Joining up the dots

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It sometimes feels that our core messages conflict as we talk about the importance of growth, and in the next breath about the importance of safety, or being diverse – so how do each of the strands come together?

In essence there are five key work streams presently focusing on maintaining growth:

  • recruitment and retention strategy
  • youth involvement
  • a culture of safety
  • leadership and management
  • diversity and inclusion.

By bringing all of these strands together, we can ensure that we grow.

Recruitment and retention

A new recruitment and retention strategy has been developed over the last 12 months which will underpin all our work in the area. Building on our successes over the last few years, this highlights key audiences and identifies new opportunities for growing the movement.

Two key aspects that will be a focus in 2012/13 in addition to 'the usual' are:

  • learning more about why people leave us and identifying where we need to focus our efforts to support retention
  • how we engage former youth members and encourage them to come back as volunteers.

Leadership and management

The Movement deserves inspirational leadership and management.

We know that inspired and motivated adults provide first class Scouting for young people. We also know that one of the most frequent comments from leaders is that they want better support (whether that is someone to talk to, someone to thank them or practical assistance with administration and recruitment of helpers).

We believe that volunteers in line management positions should adopt an approach to management that combines the traditional roles of management and leadership, on the basis that managers should also be good leaders and provide direction and motivation to those they lead.

Youth involvement

We need to ensure that young adults – the new generation of leaders and commissioners – are fully engaged with the decision making in the Association, in this way we ensure that Scouting is not only attractive to current and future generations, fulfils our mission also.

A culture of safety

More about this soon as the working group will be shortly be making recommendations about how we can best support leaders to deliver fun, exciting and challenging activities in a safe way.

And we are doing this to ensure that we’ll keep on growing

A strong belief in what we do is why growth is very important, and should be the focus point of all of our actions as outlined above. All of our core work is currently focused on supporting this mission. I know that a few people are a little sceptical, and it is of course true that the quality of what we offer is important too, however in all of my conversations I have only come across one or two exceptions to the rule that where we are delivering exciting and quality Scouting we are increasing the number of young people. Quality Scouting really does equal growing the Movement. 

But it is more important than that:

  • Growth is a sign of success
  • It means we are doing more and achieving our mission
  • It generates a feel-good factor.

This is why it remains a focus of all our work plans.

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