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Very many thanks to all of you who have contributed to my recent blogs on improving awareness and awards for all – I am pleased to tell you that many of these observations and suggestions were discussed at the recent operations sub-committee meeting where further work in both of these key areas was commissioned.

Not just for adults

The awards scheme we were considering isn’t just for adults, with a number of awards made annually recognising meritorious conduct by our young people as well.

I was delighted therefore on Monday evening to be able to join an evening with the 4th Guernsey Air Scouts where they had invited the lieutenant governor of Guernsey and the bailiff (judicial head of the Bailiwick, not the debt collector) to see them in action and to recognise achievements of two cubs and the rest of the pack who had found an unexploded mine during a pack evening last year.

The importance of that training in the winter months

As well as recognising Toby and Morgan’s chief scout commendations for meritorious conduct,  it was good to remind ourselves of some of the exercises that the beavers, cubs and scouts were undertaking during the evening, which had been open to other members of the local community. It was the very training they had received that had enabled them to respond so well on finding the munitions.

Getting out and about

It was another busy week with a day at Gilwell catching up with colleagues to discuss our response to the PRS/PPL music licensing requirements and to discuss with Girlguiding UK how we might jointly lobby on this. I continued my meetings with county commissioners, this week seeing Dan from Avon and Graham from Cheshire to discuss a variety of issues but in particular how HQ can better support local Scouting to improve awareness.

I really shouldn’t be surprised

On Friday I joined district commissioners and some members of the county team in central Yorkshire at the beginning of their County Development Conference. We discussed a variety of topics as you might expect. I was however particularly struck by the fact that half of those present didn’t seem to know about the Impact Assessment. 

I was disappointed that such a key piece of work in supporting local Scouting to make a difference with decision-makers had not yet got through to those it was intended for. Nothing perhaps we didn’t know in terms of the ongoing challenges with internal communications, but nonetheless a reminder for me that we need to work harder still.

A packed weekend of meetings (so, what’s new!)

A really full-on weekend, starting with making sure that I was on the 6.05 train from Leeds down to London in time for the start of the operations sub-committee. It was a full day's meeting, covering a very wide range of work plans and topics ensuring that we are building on what we know is needed locally to support the continued growth and development of our movement. 

I’ve picked up on the progress made regarding awareness and the awards, but other work plans included developing our public affairs work, vetting and safeguarding. membership support services and our core programme work in activities, international and programme. I will provide some further information when budgets are finalised (we’re not unique in having a longer wish list than we are perhaps able to fund).

Saturday evening my team met before continuing into Sunday where, having caught up with what is going on across the UK and sharing good practice, we considered in some detail the work plans that may be necessary next year to achieve our Vision 2018 and beyond.

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