Chief Commissioner's blog| Scout around the world
This weekend , Wayne witnessed more than 500,000 Scouts from around the world join together for the 56th Jamboree on the Air and joined the fun from the station at Gilwell Park.
With 32 million Scouts worldwide, Scouting is well placed to provide amazing opportunities to meet new friends and to learn about and understand different cultures. And the great thing is that you don’t have to travel to participate.
This year was the 56th Jamboree in the Air (JOTA), which connects Scouts around the world through amateur radio stations. Weather conditions over the weekend were ideal for long-range contacts, so when I joined the fun at GB2GP, the radio station at Gilwell Park on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, they were making contacts with over 28 countries around the world!
The station itself was being run by a small team of Scouts and Explorers, with Frank Heritage, Gilwell organiser, and a few others on hand just I case. It was great to present the Communicator Badge to Jack, a 12-year-old Scout, who clearly earned it with his hard work. Luckily the Cubs and Scouts on hand from Brentwood and Ipswich were very patient in showing me what to do (pictured above).
Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) has also grown rapidly over recent years and is now in its 17th year, running alongside JOTA and providing further communication opportunities.
I arrived at Gilwell after a packed meeting of the Operations Committee on Saturday where we undertook a mid-year review of the large number of work plans taking place. We underpinned our work to support local delivery of fun and exciting programmes and discussed our communications around those programmes and other aspects of our infrastructure.
In addition, we had substantive discussions to identify future work in areas as diverse as supporting growth, being youth-shaped in partnership with adults and ensuring our uniform is something we are all proud to wear.
Jack Petchey Awards
On Sunday afternoon I joined 110 Scouts, their families and supporters at the Jack Petchey Awards presentations event in Greater London South East County.
The Foundation is an incredible supporter of young people across London and especially of Scouting and the development of our facilities at Gilwell Park.
It was a great opportunity to thank Jack and his foundation, especially while celebrating the amazing and inspiring achievements of so many Scouts, Explorer Scouts and leaders who continue to make me feel very humble as their achievements are read.
Did you realise that it costs 55p for each copy of the magazine that we mail? You can now opt to receive the magazine in an enhanced digital format from 1 January 2014 or, now that all supplements are in one, just receive one copy per household. Additionally, the magazine website contains back issues of Scouting for you to browse through. One thousand of us have already opted for a digital-only version of the magazine, saving the Association over £3,000 per annum already!