A week of centuries

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Getting the most from the four nations

Baden-Powell House was the venue for our ‘UK meeting,’ where the Chief Commissioners, Chairs and senior staff from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland met to discuss a variety of topics and our overall strategy. It was also a chance to catch up with individuals.

Later in the day I met with Alex Minajew, UK Commissioner for Programme, to discuss progress with his team’s work plans and in particular the work of the Safety in Scouting working group.

Joining the fun in Guernsey and Ware

Friday evening was an opportunity to catch up with old (and not so old) friends in Guernsey as the Island gathered for their centenary camp and to celebrate before heading to Gilwell on Saturday morning to pass through the office and say hello to some of the many groups using Gilwell at this time of year. In particular a large number of members from all sections of the 3rd Ware Group, who were on site celebrating their centenary.

All matters international

Saturday evening was an opportunity to catch up with Nigel Hailey, International Commissioner to review final plans for our contingent to the World Scout Jamboree as well as reviewing their work plans and exploring some ideas to further develop international opportunities (especially for Network members)

It’s not often I celebrate AGMs…

… but the occasion on Sunday was the Hertfordshire County’s 100th Annual General Meeting and the opportunity to celebrate with 90+ members who are attending the Jamboree as they prepare for their departure in less than a month’s time. A chance too for them to practice some of the entertainment they have been working on and to provide a great occasion – look out the rest of the world.

As you know, I like to take advantage of attending events like this, and make the most of the time and travel costs etc by hosting Q&A sessions. We had over 50 members of the County and District teams on Sunday and covered a very wide range of topics. There was the chance to chat over lunch and throughout the afternoon to as many of the 400 attendees as possible. All in all a great day and an innovative way to increase attendance at the AGM and to celebrate the successes in the County which has seen a 30 per cent growth over the past five years.

If you would like a similar Q&A session in your own District or County/Area/region, ask your Commissioner to invite me along.

Oh, and that Times editorial

I think it was on Tuesday that the Times editorial talked about quotas as a means to increase engagement of minority groups. In their case they were talking about female members of parliament, and while they noted that such quotas were inherently objectionable on moral grounds for many, the case was well proven that they were necessary as an initial means of achieving greater inclusion.

A very different topic, but those of you who have followed my various comments regarding our social inclusion or diversity strategies will fully understand where this fits within the wider sphere of encouraging such inclusion. It’s nice that we’re not alone in taking this approach; not in quotas, but through proactive action such as the Muslim Scout Fellowship and FLAGS, as well as our policies.

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