From Parliament to Legoland
My week kicked off joining Julie as she hosted an informal dinner for the WSJ Unit Leaders and their partners to say thank you for the considerable additional work they had undertaken in the run up to and during the event itself – it struck me as a nice way to show your appreciation.
Enjoying Parliament’s hospitality
A change of scene later in the week as I joined members of Ealing and Hanwell District, GLMW County, in the rather grand surroundings of the Members' dining hall at Westminster, overlooking the River Thames, to celebrate the District’s centenary.
Continuing my recent trend of challenging introductions, Phillip, the newly appointed District President, announced that the bar would be closing in a few minutes just as I was standing!
Deliberating with the East of England Region
Another day in the office at Gilwell Park before heading to Wyeboston Lakes near Bedford, where I was joining various members of the East of England Region who were hosting two conferences there over the weekend.
The first one was for DCs and GSLs, and the second, on Sunday, for those supporting the youth programme, County Training Managers and others. It was also an opportunity to meet with the County Commissioners in the evening, where we had a very wide-ranging debate, and a variety of discussions, from topics such as making Scouting more inclusive locally, to how to invest £5million and the challenges of continuing our growth.
Making the most of technology
These events as usual were supported by a variety of staff, as well as members of the volunteer teams, so it was also an opportunity to catch up with a variety of colleagues and to check on progress with some of our key projects.
This weekend saw meetings with staff from programme, RDS and Internal Communications, along with fundraising teams and recently appointed volunteer members of the Programme Team. All these people support events like this locally and ensure that we are providing the best support we can, as well as being a conduit for feedback from across the Movement.
A particular project we caught up with was our research into electronic means of face-to-face meetings, such as webinar, video conferencing and similar technology, and we are looking to pilot this in the next few months.
Invasion of Legoland
After opening the conference on Sunday morning it was a quick dash to get to Legoland, near Windsor, where I was lucky enough to be joining 6,000 Beavers, leaders and their families for the second day of the South East Region’s 25th birthday celebrations.
Over the two days, 16,000 members visited Legoland. Organising such a major event and bringing the ten large Counties of the Region together for such an event was a fantastic achievement, so congratulations to Wendy and other members of the Regional Beaver team. It was also a good opportunity to chat to many parents who were there to help out – what a fantastic way to recruit them.
Catching up with District Commissioners
It was then back to Gilwell in time to catch up with the weekend’s emails and other correspondence before joining a group of DCs who had arrived early for their DC induction day on Monday. We again had some lively discussion over dinner, and later in the group room, on the variety of issues they are presently facing and I explained some of our national strategies.