Only Monster Explorers on Loch Ness

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After the weekend in Wales and Birmingham, I returned to London on Tuesday for a variety of meetings, including some with the Programme Team, International discussions and one-to-ones.

On Wednesday I was in Belfast to catch up with the team there and to attend a dinner to celebrate Wilfred Mulryne’s time as Chief Commissioner and the handover to Colin Lammey this year. Many thanks Wilfred.

Meetings galore

Friday was a busy day at Gilwell with a chance to catch up with several colleagues to discuss work plans and progress in many areas. Evenings before major committee meetings are also a chance to catch up with colleagues who have come from across the UK to attend, and Friday was no exception, as the IT Steering Group were also meeting.

A reminder of what it's really about

We weren’t the only people at B-P House. I met 90 Wiltshire Cubs plus their leaders, who were enjoying a fun weekend in London and were off to visit HMS Belfast, the Imperial War Museum and then the London Eye among other things - sadly they weren’t keen to swap places.

A new start for the Operations sub-committee

Saturday saw the inaugural meeting of the ‘new’ Operations sub-committee, combining the work of General Purposes into one, and overseeing the governance of key areas such as programme, activities, marketing and communications, safeguarding, line management – essentially everything non-financial.

The October meeting also covered a review of work plans and proposals for initiatives in the next financial year. Proposals include support for local PR, practical skills, ongoing evolution of the youth programme, website enhancements, legal support and much more.

Getting to know the Highlands and Islands

After an intensive few days, I headed north to Inverness in the Highlands and Islands region for the 39th Cally Rally – a fun-filled adventure weekend for Explorers, Rangers and older Scouts and Guides on the shore of the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness – a truly awesome location and event.

A great adventure weekend

After flag break and Scouts Own, where I was lucky enough to present various awards, including a Chief Scout's Platinum Award to Rachael (who definitely regretted wearing a cow costume for flag break), I was then able to visit most of the activities including the 4x4s, aerial runway, RIB and cruisers on the Loch, and so much more.

It was great to meet Explorers and leaders form the Western Isles and Shetland in particular, to learn of the challenges they face and the great opportunities they have too (as they were quick to point out). It's worth remembering that the Scouts from Western Isle (Stornoway) had an 80-minute coach journey, then a three-hour boat trip – and they are in the same region.

A great introduction to the Highlands and Islands for me and the end of a very busy eight days.

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