Special days

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On Monday I joined the UK head of Hewlett Packard (HP), Nick Wilson, to present a very special Scouts of the World Award to William Bennett, an intern with HP for the past 15 months.

Other than a great opportunity to engage with HP, Will is also the first person not to be a current member of Scouting to achieve the award – which is open to all.

His boss at HP, Norma Brandon, is a member of our International team and introduced the concept to HP as part of a scheme for interns.

Opportunity of Scouting

It’s great that the company has taken this up and the purpose of Monday’s presentation, in addition to celebrating Will’s success, was for him to present to this year’s intake of interns the opportunity that Scouting and the Scouts of the World Award offers young people.

You can find out more about this award online.

The Programme team is currently working on promoting and supporting the award so that UK Scouts can enjoy all the benefits of this scheme. Watch this space for more information.

Talking shop with Girl Guiding UK

Thursday also saw the latest of our meetings with Girl Guiding UK. Myself, Derek and Alan joined Gill Slocombe, Chief Guide and Denise King, Chief Executive for another of our regular updates.

Making the most of AGMs

Annual General Meetings are one of those events that have to be undertaken for governance reasons but are seldom the highlight of anybody’s year.

I certainly won’t claim that the Association’s AGM was the highlight of our year, however it certainly was a great occasion with everybody commenting on how productive the day had been, and how positive the general mood and atmosphere of it all was.

The day is split into two, the formal AGM in the morning followed by a ‘Council in Conference’ session in the afternoon which we used to develop further our strategy for youth engagement.

Probing questions

That doesn’t mean that the day was stage-managed as there were several opportunities for questions that either had been pre-advised (where detailed answers were appropriate) or had been taken from the floor as part of a now-familiar question and answer session with myself, Derek and Alan. 

Questions this year were varied including one about the staff defined benefits pension scheme, our plans to develop and support our future leaders, a lack of gender balance among candidates for the Board, the role of occasional helpers, safeguarding, a suggestion that fundraising online (similar to programmes online) would be a great idea, governance and many others.

Over the course of the next week or two, I will take the opportunity to expand on a couple of these and to highlight discussions on the youth engagement session in the afternoon and to share some key messages our key volunteer managers have been briefed on.

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