Developing partnerships and building awareness
One of those proud moments
A full eight days away from Guernsey, including visits to Dublin, London, Buckinghamshire and Edinburgh, led to a rather full-on Scouting week, but before leaving I had an opportunity to play the proud father as Francesca was presented with her Queen’s Scout Award and Explorer Belt. For me, the Explorer Belt Award is greatly underused and something I hope that we can make more of.
Ironically, I finished my week in Edinburgh joining the Scottish Regional Commissioners for their regular team meeting, and was particularly interested to hear of some work in Clyde region focusing the Network section on a variety of projects, including awards and international expeditions. Something else on the list to follow progress of.
Working with others
A brief personal visit to Dublin gave me the ideal opportunity to catch up with their Chief Scout, Michael John, to continue sharing our respective experiences and to learn of the progress with their exciting project at Castle Saunderson, which is on schedule to be opened in August this year.
A variety of other meetings throughout the week included the Chief Executive of The Prince's Trust, Martina Milburn, who Derek and I caught up with to discuss areas of mutual benefit, particularly as we seek to ensure that those young people we find it hardest to engage with can benefit from Scouting.
Dinner with the Chief Guide was a further chance to share ideas and information, and Friday evening was spent with the County Commissioners of the South East England Region to further share feedback and discuss aspects of the national strategy.
Building awareness of our relevance
I have mentioned before that a regular theme in my meetings with Section, Unit and Group Scout Leaders in particular are the challenges you face in obtaining positive local coverage, and so I convened a meeting with interested parties from several Counties along with members of our headquarters Marketing & Communication team. The object was to explore the current challenges in more detail, and to identify potential work streams to improve the awareness of Scouting and, in particular, our relativity for different stakeholders.
This is very much the beginning of a process which will result in ideas being developed and evaluated, a paper to the Operation Sub-committee and, if all goes to plan, agreement to an action plan to improve support. Watch this space.
Board, but not bored
Saturday saw the Board of Trustees gather at Gilwell Park for the quarterly meeting which included consideration of the consultation regarding the membership fee, consideration of the annual budget, initial review of the census, updates on our new membership system and continuing review of our strategic objectives.
This meeting was followed with a brief meeting of the Nomination Committee which is responsible for all senior appointments, volunteer and staff, within the Association. It was then a quick ride to Stansted airport with Graham Haddock, a fellow trustee and Chief Commissioner of Scotland, for a trip north to join his team for their meeting on Sunday and to find out why Scotland is again the fastest growing area for Scouting in the UK.