Chief Commissioner's blog| Be careful what you wish for

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Wayne paid a visit to Devon to catch up with south west Scouts this week and also witnessed one particular leader getting more than he bargained for...

Making good use of time

Our Scout values are ingrained in my psyche, including that one about using time wisely. In addition to using my travels to catch up with a multitude of correspondence and reading, it is also good to meet a wide variety of people too. The weekend was no exception.

A great way to celebrate

I haven't visited Scouts in Devon for a while, so I was delighted to join them in Exeter on Saturday for an exciting day of activities (rifle shooting, climbing, abseiling and ten pin bowling). This was followed by a presentation of 60 Chief Scout's Gold Awards, which provided the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Scouts and Explorers (always a pleasure) and thank the leaders and families who have helped them on their journey.

Life at the sharp end

Steve Frank, Chairman of 2nd Exeter Scout Group wrote to me a while ago.  His day job as a consultant covers things like quality assurance and change management, among other tasks, so we had an exchange of various ideas and thoughts. It was great to join him for a coffee while I was in Exeter and to learn more about current experiences of a Group Chairman, as well as some exciting things the Group is doing with a parent/carer survey in supporting a quality programme.

More than he bargained for

Meanwhile, 8th Ealing leader, Mark Yates, got a little more than he bargained for when he wrote inviting four VIPs to his centenary camp and one accepted – he then needed to actually organise the camp!

To drum up enthusiasm for a group camp to celebrate 8th Ealing’s upcoming centenary, Mark hit on the idea of writing to me as UK Chief commissioner, our patron Her Majesty the Queen, Scouting volunteer the Duchess of Cambridge and our Chief Scout, Bear Grylls. He got lovely letters back (each now proudly on display) including mine, offering to pop in and see them if possible. The only problem was that, until that point, he hadn’t actually organised the proposed event.

Great fun

Judging from the fantastic response I got from the Cubs and Scouts when I joined them for dinner on Saturday, this only helped to motivate the amazing leaders, parents and other helpers to organise a long weekend camp. The ScoutCraft survival experts from I-EAT Scouts (Ilford East Activity Team) were on hand to demonstrate a number of Scouting skills (axe-throwing proving just a little more popular than weaving paracord survival bracelets).

It was also great to present a Chief Scout's Gold Award to one particular Scout, Ramon, and to cut the birthday cake.

Though Mark managed to help organise a brilliant event in the end, it still goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for!

Wayne Bulpitt, UK Chief Commissioner
29/10/2013

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