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Meeting the forces

Julie and I have been well looked after by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy during the summer. First we visited RAF Markham in Norfolk for their annual Family and Friends Day. We saw a fantastic air display - fairly, I believe, claiming to be the best - as well as an opportunity to meet many members of the community and the RAF.

We were also lucky enough to visit HMS Daring, whilst she was at anchor off Guernsey. We got to tour this new class of warship, as well as meet the officers who, earlier in the day, had opened the ship to local Scouts. A great opportunity them and two leaders who had sailed on board from Portsmouth the week earlier.

Fun with the girls

Julie and I also had lunch with the new Chief Guide, Gill Slocombe and her husband Nick – an exceptionally nice social occasion where we shared many stories and experiences as Gill embarks on her new appointment.

I am particularly keen to build on the joint statement that her predecessor Liz and I issued earlier this year, and am convinced that we could be an even greater force for good within our communities by developing further the links between our two movements. I hope to progress this in the coming year.

The lunch also recognised that without our partners and family few of us could do what we do, and that is certainly the case for me. Don’t forget to thank your own partners and family as we embark upon a new term.

Gilwell Reunion

We have just enjoyed what many participants described as their 'best Reunion yet' with over 2,000 adult members enjoying the weekend.

I’m not sure about some of the photographs circulating of my dancing skills at either the Barn Dance or when listening to the ABBA tribute band – nonetheless Reunion for me continues to be a great way to relax and enjoy ourselves whilst meeting new friends (and some old!). It’s also a great time to learn new skills and find out what lies ahead.

Saying thank you

We had a sunny afternoon reception on Saturday, when attendees get to enjoy a glass of Pimm's on the lawn while chatting to myself and other members of the national leadership teams.

One thing that particularly struck me was the number of people that quite separately expressed frustration at how long it took them to receive their Service Certificates and other awards, which they can now check on My Backpack, so know have been recognised by the system.

For me it is very frustrating that we so often get the simple things in life wrong when it comes to thanking those who give up their time for our Movement.

More about this next week perhaps...

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