Celebrations in Clyde and going back to my roots

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Our hosts for the evening, Explorer Scouts Hannah Johnstone and Charlotte Reid promised the 300+ guests a great evening as we reviewed their year and presented awards to 100 young people, and nobody was disappointed, but first...

BP House was the venue for a meeting of the Executive Committee on Wednesday where we reviewed several pieces of work and coordinated activities, projects and proposals which cross different teams. We also reviewed the Kids Outdoors initiative from 2008/9 to evaluate its successes and consider learning points for future campaigns.

Getting to know Clyde Region

Then it was off to Glasgow for a couple of days to meet members of the Regional and District teams and for their Annual Review and Presentation evening on Thursday. I was grateful to more than a dozen of the team members who took the time to join us on Wednesday for an ‘open forum’ aimed at keeping me aware of issues facing our local teams and so that we could discuss potential solutions. It is also an opportunity to answer some probing questions on ‘what and why’.

A humbling and inspiring evening

After catching up with Eleanor, Chief Commissioner of Scotland in the afternoon, we were off to the main event; Clyde’s Annual Review and Presentations, presided over by Hannah and Charlotte.

They did a fantastic job introducing presentations on Explorer Belt expeditions, the Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette and the Norwegian National Jamboree. We then presented over 100 awards ranging from Chief Scout's Gold, Platinum and Diamond Awards, DofE Gold, Explorer Belt and a Queen's Scout Award. A truly humbling and inspiring experience as we took the opportunity to chat to many of the recipients during the evening.

A trip down memory lane

Friday brought about a trip down memory lane for me as I had been invited back to my old Scout Group, 1st Warsash, for the evening. The occasion was their Royal Navy Inspection but I was also pleasantly surprised to find my leaders, Tony and Rosemarie along with a friend Ian who was a fellow Scout at the time and joined us for the evening.

The Group continues to be very successful and now has 193 members as well as being part of a thriving District Explorer Scout provision. Luckily, they sailed through their RN inspection – hardly a surprise chatting to the young people who joined us for the evening and hearing of the many exciting things they still get up to. In a world of such change, it's interesting how many things have changed so little.

It’s also never too late to learn either – as Tony reminded me how to tie two knots that I had totally forgotten!  It was also great to see one of my nephews, who has joined Beavers there, having a great time.

Enabling us to be more inclusive

Back to BP House and ‘work’ on Saturday as I hosted a round table discussion on how we can achieve our aspirations to make Scouting truly inclusive.

I have outlined my personal thoughts in a previous blog and had invited a cross-section of staff and volunteers to review where we are and relate their local experiences in taking this work forward. We also discussed the blocks to that work and identified potential solutions and future actions

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