A great week, celebrating success with 145 Queen Scouts and more

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This week got off to a great start on Monday with an announcement by the Government that it is going to intervene to stop Ofwat’s rain tax and introduce a sensible social water charging regime. An excellent demonstration of the success that lobbying by local Scouts across the UK, supported by some superb work by our small Public Affairs team at Gilwell, has achieved. What should we take on next?

It’s been a great week with our Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, too with live Radio 1 and Radio 2 interviews at the beginning of the week and a highly inspirational visit to the Queen Scout presentations on Saturday which saw him meeting and chatting to all of the Queen Scouts and telling the story of the 7 Scout Laws, which included explaining them without any notes. I was just relieved that he didn’t put me on the spot by asking me to help him!

One hundred and forty five Queen Scouts and over 280 of their guests joined us at the Science Museum on Saturday for this year’s presentations; a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate their achievements (full story).

For me it was most apt that we were doing this at the Science Museum where they had a special exhibition on the great inventors. They will have demonstrated many of the characteristics that the Queen Scouts have done in achieving the award; perseverance, determination, leadership and dedication, all of which stand them in good stead as the Countries leaders of the future. It was also great to hear how many of them were continuing as section leaders – thank you.

The number of Scouts receiving their Queen Scout award is significantly less than a few years ago though, and I can’t help but think that we should be doing more to encourage greater participation. I would welcome your thoughts and ideas on this, especially of you are presently an Explorer or Network member?

A very tortuous drive back to Gilwell (only because of the traffic, and not the company of the person giving me a lift, honest Emma) to arrive just in time for the opening of a meeting of the Regional Commissioners and Regional Development Managers for the 8 English regions. We hold these 24 hour meetings twice a year and they are a great opportunity to share ideas and good practice, to understand what is happening in the Counties and Districts across England and to identify future work streams in response to this feedback.

This weekend in particular we were looking at how we can better support members and co-ordinate our activity across a wide area as well as identify work we would like other departments and volunteer teams to be doing to help us. We also took a step back and looked at our current approach to Want to Join enquiries (which, incidentally, are currently running at 120% of last years levels!) and the retention of current leaders.

All in all a fantastic week with many highlights and reminders of what it’s all about.

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