Huddersfield to Hungary, and back...

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On Monday evening we held a conference call with the Scout ‘areas’ presently involved with or considering local Youth United initiatives (formerly Project YOU).

The timing was good, as that day Prince Charles had expressed his hopes for helping the lives of young people and credited the role that Scouting and other youth organisations play.

On Tuesday I started five days of Scouting with a visit to Leamington Spa for the 39th Annual Warwickshire Guide and Scout Show. There was a great evening’s worth of entertainment by a cast of 135, with only six over the age of 25! I travelled with Bill Cockcroft and Aidan Jones, who you may remember from the Jamboree. So it was a good opportunity to catch up with them and pick their brains about various current topics.

Off to Huddersfield on Wednesday to spend some time with Mark, newly appointed County Commissioner, and Tony and Peter of the Regional Development Service. We were there to take up a challenge from Ewan and David, joint District Commissioners of one of the Districts.

They wanted us to see first hand the challenges they face and to meet with their district teams and leaders to discuss those challenges and potential solutions they have tried.

Ewan has posted his own thoughts on the day on the Escouts website, and for my part I found it very helpful and was impressed with the passion and commitment the team there has. It was also great that they are celebrating their first year of growth for a while.

On Thursday it was off to Budapest for a four day European Scout Symposium along with 120 senior volunteers and staff from across Europe. It’s a chance to help structure the European Region’s development plan, which will be considered at the European Scout Conference in July. The largest benefit is to network with others and to share experiences and good practice.

I heard about several things which I though were particularly interesting: Scouting Netherlands have developed some support for volunteers through an HR team, which impressed me (we pinched the idea for the Information Centre from them many years ago too!), and VCP Scouts of Germany have developed a great international camp themed in an innovative way on sustainability. Well worth thinking about and perhaps joining the three UK Scout Groups that are already going.

There was the opportunity to engage with members of the World Committee, who were in attendance, and to learn first hand how well plans for the Moot and World Scout Jamboree are coming along.

Sadly there was no time for sightseeing, just back to the airport Sunday evening for decent Wi-Fi at last. So sad! 

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