Chief Commissioner's blog| A great week

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Wayne looks back over a week in which the good news just kept flowing. He also joined the hugely successful Information Centre for their 15th birthday.

Hot on the heels of the exciting buzz following celebrations around Windsor weekend, last week saw a great reaction to our Strategic Plan 2014-18 and recognition of the work of Amir Cheema and the Muslim Scout Fellowship. We also enjoyed great celebrations as our membership topped 550,000 during our 9th year of growth.

Welcoming and supportive

I have written before about the key role the Muslin Scout Fellowship play in developing Scouting in the community, so it was great that the Prime Minister recognised the pivotal role that Amir Cheema has played in the Fellowship’s success with a Point of Light award; in doing so the Prime Minister acknowledges the significant role Scouting plays in our country. 

It was a great coincidence that I joined 400 young people from Scout Groups in predominantly Muslim communities across the UK at their annual camp. I took the opportunity to chat to leaders about their experience in opening and running Scout Groups within their communities.; these discussions are similar to those with other groups around the UK and not unique to the Muslim community of course, but it is clear that we still have much more to do to ensure that all Districts are welcoming and supportive to new groups, whatever the background.

The strategic plan

Such support is a key feature of the Strategic Plan we recently shared. The 14 underpinning strategies focus on supporting local Scouting using relatively obvious and simple techniques that you told us make a big difference in helping you with your Scouting.  Key to this is the delivery of good quality programmes run by inspired and motivated leaders.

The Info Centre – a great service

I joined the staff in the Information Centre (pictured) for a stint manning the phones and responding to some of the many emails they receive on a daily basis. I continue to be impressed by the extremely positive feedback we receive on the services provided by the Information Centre; particularly so because I recall the Trustee Board meeting 15 years ago and discussions on whether or not it would be money well spent. 15 years on, it is clear that it was one of the best investments we have made.

Congratulations and a very big thank you to the small number of dedicated staff that provide an excellent level of service.

Boy Scouts of America

On Thursday evening we joined members of the Boy Scouts of America National President’s Circle (which included their Chief Scout Executive, Wayne Brock and National Commissioner, Tico Perez) who were visiting London as part of a 10-day trip to France and England.  We took the opportunity to discuss a wide variety of areas, celebrating those we have in common and talking more robustly about the few issues on which we disagree. We will meet with them again at the World Scout Conference in Slovenia to continue this dialogue.

Just waiting to be asked

On Saturday morning we interviewed four exceptional candidates for the role of Treasurer. I was impressed that Scouting was able to attract applications from such high-calibre volunteers, each of whom had been a youth member but had no recent experience with the Movement. It makes me wonder how many more such people in our communities are just waiting to be asked. In some way, Compass will help us with this; as the years roll on we will establish a database of former members and ways we will be able to keep in contact with them.

And finally

My busy week also included a meeting with Goldman Sachs, a session with the Internal Communications team, lots of press activity around the fantastic growth numbers we have been celebrating, including local radio and national television, and a visit to the City of Nottingham District Camp, which was themed around the Commonwealth.

08/05/14

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