Oh what a week, the challenge of volunteering

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Sorry it’s taken a bit longer to share with you the experiences of last week.This one has been one of those weeks juggling work and Scouting, both a little busier than usual! Oh the challenge of volunteering!

On Thursday last, we met with Peter Cruddas to discuss project YOU (Youth Organisations Uniform), a project founded by the Met Police and now championed by HRH Prince of Wales. Peter founded CMC Markets Plc and describes himself as one of the wealthiest men in the City.

More importantly he is on public record as saying that he could not have achieved this if it were not for what he learnt as a Scout, “Much more valuable to me than University” were his words.We had a great time sharing Scouting experiences and discussing ways we could work together to extend Scouting to more young people. Watch this space.

On Friday, Bear, Derek and I met our President, HRH Duke of Kent to brief him on our activities and strategy.It was great to hear again Bear’s infectious enthusiasm and energy for Scouting and he showed that he has quickly grasped our challenges. Equally, HRH showed that he very much takes on board conversations with Scouts during his many engagements and showed a keen awareness and interest in what we are up to.

Friday saw the start of the Gilwell Reunion; a fantastic experience with over 2,200 adult volunteers gathering for the weekend.Whether you were looking for new friends, reuniting with old friends, wanting a party, learn a new skill or see a trade stall, there was something for you.

It was great to have an opportunity to meet so many of you over the weekend – come Monday I was exhausted, it felt as if I had spoken endlessly to all 2,200 you! Julie asked what was new!

A large and growing number of Network members attending ensured a party for those who wanted it, and the Davyhulme Scout Orchestra ensured that those wanting a little quieter time had fun also – we enjoyed both. There was much more entertainment for all tastes besides and it was great to see the newly redeveloped Lid evolve from an exhibition hall to a Hollywood themed party and a fully equipped activity centre; all in 24 hours thanks to the staff and service crew.

An awesome experience, reaffirming for me what great volunteers we have and how we can strike the balance of learning something new whilst fun ourselves.

Come along next year, 3-5 September 2010, or why not encourage your Country/Region/County to organise something similar a little nearer home?

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