A grilling from the East Grinstead Dolphin Troop

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In this blog: A busy schedule of meetings, the blog gets an RSS feed, a 'grilling' from the 1st East Grinstead Troop, planning the exciting DC/GSL Conferences and a chance to say hello to Andy, new CC for Warwickshire – all in five days…

Brussels to Belfast

I made it to from Brussels to Belfast in time for meetings on Thursday with some members of the Northern Ireland Executive Committee to discuss a variety of topics, but sadly my attempts to get home to Guernsey were thwarted by Flybe, and a technical hitch. This resulted in a missed connection and unscheduled stay in Southampton, meaning that I only had a few hours back in Guernsey to catch up with the family and day job before leaving for more meetings at Baden-Powell House in London. I wasn’t happy, so apologies to anybody who had an email from me then!

A busy weekend of meetings preparing for the future

On Friday evening, I joined members of my team and the Regional Commissioners of England to discuss a variety of topics and to receive feedback from their regional meetings of CCs – always a useful temperature check of what the needs are and to receive feedback on what we are doing. Nice to thank them too as they often get some of the less pleasant tasks that managers in Scouting occasionally have to deal with.

Fifty-five members of the HQ team of staff and volunteers involved in line management and leader support for Programme, International and Adult Support gathered for our annual Operations Conference. We got to know new members and share what individuals and teams are up to. We discussed how we are going to support delivery of our Vision 2018, the next eight years, and reviewed our workplans, addressing the current strategy towards 2012. Lots of good work done, although perhaps a different format for next year will be better as it didn’t really achieve our goals – and I certainly learnt how not to deliver our Vision.

Dinner on Sunday with Tim (Kidd) and Steve (Peck) gave us an opportunity to review our approach and also to revise plans for the following day, a further one-day conference. This time it was with 50 staff and volunteers who are helping us deliver a series of DC and GSL conferences in every Country and Region of the UK in the autumn and spring.

The conferences are a key part of our strategy to inspire and motivate our volunteers by ensuring they are properly supported. These are important and exciting events for DCs and GSLs. Ask yours if they are attending, and if not, why not!

Great fun with the 1st East Grinstead Dolphin Troop

A few months ago, I received a very nice letter from Chloe and Joe, Senior Patrol Leaders of the 1st East Grinstead, Dolphin Scout Troop to say that they would be camping in Guernsey this week and to ask if I could spare the time to join them for tea and cakes. An offer too good to miss so I went along to Guernsey’s excellent campsite and activity centre (Julie insisted on the blatant plug!) on Monday evening. After a chat with Chloe, Joe and their leaders we were joined by the rest of the Troop for a question and answer session. I had a great time, with a really nice mixture of fun, serious and thought provoking question which they had obviously given much thought to. A thoroughly enjoyable hour, and the tea and cake certainly lived up to expectations. It was an honour to be able to present Chloe and Joe with their Chief Scout's Gold Award and wish them well as they join Explorer Scouts.

While at the campsite...

I was able to track down Andy Shorter who was with his group from Nuneaton, all 82 of them. Andy has just been appointed County Commissioner for Warwickshire and I wanted to thank him for taking up the role. We had a good chat and I met some of the Group (the Explorers were setting off for an overnight hike to the South Coast of the Island). At the age of 25 Andy will be one of our youngest CCs.

Must dash, off to Scotland now to visit Blair Athol Jamborette.

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