Scouting's high standing
This week, Wayne visited the newest international camp, BrumJam 2012. He also took the opportunity to explore ways of capitalising on the continued high standing of Scouting.
Getting the rundown from those who really know
More than 1,300 Scouts and Guides have gathered for BrumJam 2012, an international camp organised by Birmingham Scouts. The event, taking place between 28 July and 4 August), is based at the impressive Blackwell Court International Scout Centre.
A big thank you to my hosts for a fun-filled but all too brief visit: Annabelle, Charlotte and Joe from the 148th Kings Heath Explorer Scout Unit.
First impressions count
They say first impressions count most, and this certainly proved to be the case with the incredibly enthusiastic welcome I received from my hosts and my first conversation with some Guides from Belper, Derbyshire. They were studying the photo montage of just about everybody onsite, explaining how they had enjoyed their first ever sailing lesson the previous day, and were not put off by capsizing!
The Teletubby challenge
I managed to avoid embarrassing myself too much in the Teletubby challenge as part of Brumjam's 'It's a Knockout' competitions. I beat the camp chief, Andrew Lloyd, although I’m not too sure how hard he tried! I also managed to avoid falling over despite the compulsory five turns around the starting post.
The benefits of helping others
Rea Valley District was my host for lunch. The District is a great example of the benefits of teamwork as they attended with three troops and their leaders. They also hosted Scouts from several other troops where the leaders had been unable to get time off. Along with some leader friends who were visiting for the week, they ensured that all young people in the District had the opportunity for at least a week's residential, and what a week it was turning out to be.
International camps are a fantastic opportunity to give increasing numbers of our members a residential adventure and a taster of the benefits international Scout and Guiding can provide.
Well done to Andrew and the team at Birmingham for making the commitment to get BrumJam on the map.
Catching up with wider international Scouting
I took the opportunity of flying into Birmingham to meet up with Nigel Hailey, International Commissioner (he lives in the Midlands). We caught up following his recent visit to various islands in the South Pacific where he was able to progress a number of projects. It's clearly a tough role being our IC!
Always a great leveller
It's nice to have an opportunity to catch up with visitors to Guernsey when I can, and I had a particularly good evening with the Scouts and Explorers from Greenock District last week.
As well as presenting several awards, it was marvellous to join a small discussion group to better understand some of the things on young peoples' minds – always a good leveller for any of us.
Making the most of our great reputation and standing
Previously, I spent a day in London with a consultant from Kingston Smith, who is assisting us in developing a high-value fundraising strategy. Not only will this assist in the ambitious plans we have for our activity centres and other facilities, but it will ensure that we capitalise on the good standing of Scouting to support local Scouting.
This can be through things like the Development Grants Board and our other funding opportunities.
Derek, Alan and I took the opportunity to meet with our president, HRH the Duke of Kent, to brief him on our current strategy, as well as to discuss his forthcoming visit to our Council in Conference in September. We also discussed a visit to local Scouting in the north east later this year.
Tim's takeover 2012
Some of you may be relieved to know that Tim Kidd, Chief Commissioner for England, will again be taking over the blog for the next couple of weeks while I take a break.