Making the most of the sunshine - for the lucky ones

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The week kicked off with a Facebook message from Simon in Cardiff sharing the above video from the All Wales Scout Camp. 

It's great to start the week celebrating a Scouting success. Clearly a great weekend was had by all.

Residential weekends are an excellent way to recruit adult volunteers and make the most of The Big Adventure, now in its second successful year.

What is social inclusion in practice?

Wednesday I met Terry, Deputy Director of Children’s Services for the London Borough of Southwark, along with Jane, his head of services for 11-19 year olds.

Terry is a former Scout. He also assists with our National Scout Activity Centres strategy as a member of the Steering Group.

The meeting though was about his day job. Amongst other things, it includes ultimate responsibility for the provision of youth services in Southwark.

We discussed areas of common interest and identified ways in which Scouting can work more closely with local authorities. At a time when funding for centrally organised activities is under great scrutiny, Scouting offers an excellent way to help maximise limited resources. In turn, working with local authorities helps us to offer Scouting to even more young people.

On the same theme, I had a conference call with Paul. Paul is a Scout Leader from Birmingham who I met on a recent Development Day. He is interested in how Scouting can help young people in care, especially foster care. As well as giving the young people something to do, Scouting can also give carers a precious few hours respite.

Both working in inner cities and with young people in care requires us to think differently about some of the ways in which we operate. This includes our approach to vetting criteria. I am keen to continue looking at how best we can move forward, as I mentioned in my recent comments about our diversity strategy.

In the evening I caught up with Andrew. Andrew is leading some work with colleagues on our approach to safeguarding and complaint/dispute handling.

Back to Gilwell and yet more meetings

I continued the week with another day in the offices at Gilwell. There I caught up on a variety of projects. These included our fundraising strategy, meeting new staff, and progress towards our business objectives.

I finished Friday, with a five hour long Key 3 meeting. There we discussed  plans for the National Scout Service at Windsor next year, our high profile guests for various events, communication, plans for the development of our Vision Towards 2018, and plans for the AGM and Council in Conference in September.

All of which set us in good stead for the quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees on Saturday. See, I do know how to enjoy myself during these balmy summer days whilst you guys are out and about having fun!

The main topic of business on Saturday was a review of the reporting committees which sit beneath the board. We've been looking at these following the changes made to the Board - formerly Committee of the Council. Other business included a look at the Associations’ financial strategy for the next 10 years, identifying major projects and sources of revenue to fund these. We also discussed and agreed the membership fee for 2011.

Thank you for all those Big Adventures

I mentioned earlier The Big Adventure. Don’t forget you still have time to complete the online survey and a chance to win two free nights camping for your Section or £230 for your Group.

A very big thank you to all who have taken their section away, or are about to embark on a summer camp, and recruited some additional volunteers in the process.

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