Why does growth matter?

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I took advantage of a visit to Malta to meet with Leslie, Chief Commissioner and Kevin, International Commissioner and learn more about Malta's 2,600 Scouts. We discussed ways in which we could support them in the development of their Movement.

Once again, lots of ideas and specific areas which, as I have mentioned before, I believe provide an ideal opportunity for our Scout Network aged members to work with other National Scout Organisations to share some of our experiences, and to learn from theirs and find ways in which we can enhance our own experiences.

Time to catch up

A three-hour flight was also an opportunity to catch up with lots of reading as well as writing. I am always pleased to receive local publications, web links and the like. I was particularly struck by some comments this month in Hampshire Scout News which I am sure County Commissioner, Adam Jollans, will not mind me quoting to you:

Why does growth matter?

'Firstly, young people join Scouting for the adventure, and they leave if they don’t get it. If Scouting is growing, it means that more young people are joining than leaving.

Secondly, growth enables us to do more – to provide better Scouting to more young people. Bigger numbers enables more ambitious camps; additional subscription revenue enables us to buy more equipment.

And lastly, being part of a growing organisation gives us all a buzz – the feel-good factor. Everyone wants to be part of something successful and we will recruit and retain more adult leaders.

We’ve studied this year’s census, and it shows a surprising variation. Half our Districts grew and half shrank. Many Groups grew and others decreased. One Group doubled, another lost half its members.

To understand what happened, we need to dig deeper at a Group, section and Unit level.'

Reflecting on why we do what we do

Adam’s thoughts particularly struck a chord with me. As you know, last weekend we were reviewing the annual census returns and in particular looking at those areas that have been continuing to grow, whilst trying to understand those that are not.

More along the theme of why its all about growth from me over the coming weeks, and in particular in the next issue of Scouting magazine.

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