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Llandrindod Wells is described as being equally inconvenient for everybody in Wales to get to and so it tends to be the venue for most All-Wales meetings. This weekend was no exception as it played host to an Explorer Scout gathering and the Welsh AGM.

Exploring what’s on offer

After a dinner on Friday evening to thank Gareth Williams for his six years as Chairman of the Wales Scout Council, I joined 25 Explorer Scouts from across Wales who had gathered for 'Grab the Opportunity'. This was a great way for them to meet up and learn about a host of things.

Topics covered included the Queen's Scout Award, volunteering, DofE, Explorer Belt and a discussion group looking at the future of Scouting and how we can achieve our Vision Toward 2018.

We also had an interesting conversation about whether or not paintballing should be a banned activity – more about this another day as the subject also featured in a discussion Mark Tarry, Deputy Chief Commissioner for England, had with 65 Explorers at a Scouts Speak Up training weekend.

Inspirational tales

In the afternoon we joined the Wales Scout Council for their AGM and celebration of another great year for Scouting in Wales which has enjoyed a 4.8 per cent growth in membership.

Guest speaker was Tori James, the first Welsh woman and youngest British woman in 2007 to conquer Mount Everest. She had got the taste for adventure from her time as a Guide and Scout and through the DofE Award. Tori told us of the frustrations and challenges she had to face and the sheer determination to overcome along with teamwork that got her to the summit.

The day was rounded off by Hattie Brewster, a Trustee (18-25) and Explorer Leader, with an amazing and inspiring impromptu summary of the different key speakers and how we should follow Tori’s advice and show determination to allow even more young people to fulfil their dreams.

Room for one more?

Then it was back in the car for a drive to Gilwell where I arrived just as the London County Commissioners and Regional team were about to sit down to dinner to thank Alan, their retiring administrator of ten years. Some great footwork by our Sodexho team meant that I was able to join them unexpectedly for a great dinner – thank you Sodexho and London CCs.

I was back at Gilwell for the latest of our DC/GSL Forums which had over 150 attendees from across London, and as far afied as BSWE, Hampshire and Essex. I look forward to continuing our successful run of great days, sharing our Vision Towards 2018 and discussing how we can make it happen.

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