Chief Commissioner's blog| Celebrating with Scouting Ireland
Wayne was honoured to join 700 members of Scouting Ireland’s National Council in Cork for their annual meeting – a cross between our AGM and Gilwell Reunion.
Nothing quite like it
I was well briefed beforehand and soon found out why the delegate’s pack warned of the need to conduct ourselves in a ‘Scout like’ manner during debate at Ireland’s National Council!
The Council comprises of a representative and a youth rep from each Group and each level, and anybody can propose a motion. A variety of issues were up for debate, from the NMC (Trustee Board) proposals for Vision 2020 (including structural changes) to the number of raffle tickets in a book. While the debate could certainly be described as robust at times the positive buzz throughout the whole weekend reflects the success that Scouting Ireland is enjoying in its 10th year.
Within a few minutes of arriving at the hotel we were whisked off to a Civic Reception as the proud city of Cork were keen to make us welcome. The conference itself was opened by a Government Minister, himself a former youth member, who re-affirmed the important role of non-formal learning within Ireland’s education system.
A partnership for change
For me, the partnerships we have successfully built – not just in Northern Ireland where we recently highlighted one of many projects, but through collaborative team efforts on both sides of the Northern Ireland/Ireland border – are good examples of the benefits of being part of a worldwide Movement: helping and learning from others for the benefit of young people. The Scoutlink project is a perfect example.
The gala dinner in the evening was described by the hotel staff as the best they have ever hosted and it was clear to see why as the dancing started before the food had even appeared.
Having had the privilege to address the Council I was pleased to be able to highlight our many successes and the desire to make our partnership even more effective. I was also delighted and somewhat humbled to receive their highest national honour, the Order of CúChulainn, which is very much in recognition of the successful partnerships we have developed.
In other news
On Thursday Matt and I met up with Gill Slocombe, Chief Guide and Julie Bentley, GGUK Chief Executive as part of our ongoing dialogue and to discuss all matters Guiding and Scouting. We were also able to celebrate the great recognition HM Government has given to our success through the additional £10m granted to Youth United to fund our development in deprived areas.
UK Chief Commissioner