A great end to a great month
It was Burleigh House on Thursday for Lincolnshire's County Awards evening, where we celebrated the achievements of 27 adults, 3 Queen's Scouts and the award for Meritorious Conduct to a young Beaver Scout, Ollie.
I also took advantage of being in Lincolnshire to meet with members of the County team to discuss a variety of topics and to answer their questions on our national strategy etc.
Royal Wedding fever
It was great to see so many Scouts joining Bear at the Royal Wedding. Congratulations to those of you that were interviewed on BBC and ITV, as well as locally, but especially to the Manchester South Network on so successfully presenting ITN’s Mark Austin with their necker – a great day.
Checking up on Longridge Water Activity Centre
I also took advantage of being in Windsor on Friday to visit the Longridge Water Activity Centre in nearby Marlow.
Longridge was sold by the Association as part of our national activities centres strategy to an independent trust. They now run the centre and have been very successful in developing partnerships with Sport England as well as local Scouting.
I was also presented with a ship's bell from HMS Seascout (an 'S' type submarine carrying the number P253, launched in March 1944 then decommissioned in 1965 and sold as scrap) with the motto Be Prepared.
I am pleased to say that I was able to persuade Anne to take the bell back to Gilwell for our archives rather than try to explain its way through my hand baggage on the way home. Many thanks for the gift Julian, which I am sure the Heritage team will find a good home for.
We gathered at BP House on Saturday for the latest Operations Sub-committee meeting.
We discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from our strategy to develop practical skills in the programme to supporting the development of creative activities, and reviewed our participation in the 13th World Scout Moot and understanding lessons that we could learn (remember, this was the first world event organised in Africa).
We agreed proposed changes to hill walking and high ropes authorisations (these will be posted shortly on the website and members given a month prior notice of their intended application) and progressed in the review of our educational objectives (the theory that underpins all of our activities programmes).
We were once again very lucky on Sunday that Windsor was blessed with delightful weather, with over 600 adult award recipients and Queen's Scouts gathering for the annual National Scout Service and Parade.
'Windsor', as it is known, is such a wonderful privilege (we are one of a very small number of organisations permitted to use the private areas of the Castle and also the Chapel), and I would certainly encourage everybody who has the opportunity to attend to do so.
We were particularly honoured this year that three Queen's Scouts were invited by the Chapel to write and say prayers in their own Mattins service in the morning, as well as leading the service for us in the afternoon.
As for the knots, this was something of a theme in the sermon for the afternoon, as well as a very interesting activity involving ropes hung across the Chapel itself and, well, you will have to find somebody who attended to tell you why an unnamed Queen Scout’s knot-tying became something of an issue during the service.
A truly awe-inspiring end to a fantastic week and month of activity for Scouting. I’m sure as we continue to celebrate the achievements of our young people and adults over the coming weeks, May will be just as rewarding, and kicks off with Bear's latest 'Scouting weekend' which sees him in the South West region of England this weekend.