Chief Commissioner’s blog| Many sides of the Scouting family
For some, the end of the summer term is a time to retire their Scout appointment, while for others it’s the start of summer camp. Wayne reflects on both as he attended a retirement lunch as well as the launch of an exciting new Scout Network.
Growing Scout Network
I was delighted to be invited back to my old District, Fareham West in Hampshire on Saturday to celebrate the launch of the Vulcans Scout Network Unit. The Unit consists of an impressive 30 members drawn from the four successful Explorer Scout Units that run jointly across the District as well as a few former members who had been encouraged back to Scouting by their friends.
It was also a great opportunity for Julie and me to catch up with some old friends and former Scouts (not surprisingly, some of their children are members of the new Network Unit).
Additions to the family
The family continues to grow as one of our volunteers gave birth to a son earlier this week; it’s fair to say that such an occasion does not usually warrant the phenomenal media interest and excitement across the world, but this was of course the birth of Prince George.
It was great to see the media interest of the Explorer Scouts presenting their Royal Highnesses with the baby backpack on the steps of the hospital, which attracted worldwide media interest also. We thought it fitting that Her Royal Highness or indeed the Duke should have the opportunity to continue their everyday adventures and Scout volunteering with their baby. Scouting after all is just one big family.
Gone home – Chris Ide
Sadly, as with all families, our members ‘go home’, and on Friday Matt Hyde and I joined others to celebrate the life of our Treasurer, Chris Ide, who sadly lost his battle with cancer last month. Chris was a fantastic example of a professional person who didn’t hesitate to offer his services to help the development of Scouting. It was great to join so many people from his varied interests to celebrate such a great and unassuming individual.
Saying thank you to a retiring family member
Families have retirements also, and I was lucky enough to get back to Guernsey on Sunday to join a lunch celebrating 25 years of Scouting of Joy Bourgaize, a local Beaver leader. Joy got involved in running her local Beaver Colony when her son came home 26 years ago in tears because his Beaver Colony was closing due to the leader having to leave unexpectedly. Now, not only has Joy run a very successful Beaver Colony but she has been instrumental in raising funds for a new Group HQ as well as helping others through a shoebox appeal run by Scouts and their local church.
And off to camp
The other great feature of the summer term of course is summer camp and as many of you embark on yours, I will kick off 10 days of visiting the international camps taking place across the UK on Monday, so more about this from me next week.