Chief Commissioner's Blog | Helping others get to camp
It’s not always easy for leaders to find the time to take their Scouts away camping, so Wayne was delighted to meet so many leaders who are making such opportunities available.
The west coast tour
A combination of plane, train and an automobile ensured that I visited three international camps in three days. These were Blair Atholl Jamborette in Perthshire, Red Rose in Cumbria and Goose in Dorset - three fantastic events each with their own distinct brand, giving over 5,000 young people a chance to experience the very best of Scouting and Guiding.
Moving with the times
Scouting, as we know, is succeeding because it moves with the times and Blair Atholl is one such example. Every two years since 1946, the grounds of Blair Castle in Perthshire are transformed with participants from all over the world coming together to camp.
Over 1,000 Explorer Scouts participate in the camp where a Scottish patrol is twinned with an overseas patrol to camp and live together for 10 days. They share in fun, friendship and a massive range of adventurous activities and challenges. This is all made possible by 300 volunteers and an amazing location.
Fun on its own, with something to aim for
By tweaking the ages, the organisers have been able to make more of this opportunity by inviting Scottish Scouts to take part in a satellite camp during the middle weekend. Through camping in another area of the estate, they are able to camp in their Groups and participate in some of the activities of the main camp. This gives Scouts their own unique experience and the chance to see what they can look forward to when they join Explorer Scouts at the age of 14.
I was particularly interested when talking to the leaders from a group in Moray District, North East Scotland. They had invited PLs and APLs from each of the Scout Troops in their District to join in a District Unit. This meant that young people in Groups where the leaders may have been unable to take time off for camp had the same opportunity to participate as others.
A similar attitude was present in many of the leaders I met across all the camps and I would just like to say a very big thank you to everybody who made such offers available.
Inviting others to see Scouting in action
We were able to attend on the Saturday which is also visitors day. Over 3,000 people from local dignitaries to leaders and parents were able to visit the camp and see what all the buzz and excitement were about.
Red Rose, organised in Cumbria by West Lancashire Scouts, was the venue of another exciting visit. We were shown around by enthusiastic young spokespeople who ensured that we got the very best out of our visit. In particular, we were able to see the preparations for the international parade. This provided, on the first main day of the camp, a great opportunity for people to get to know each other.
I joined over 1,000 young people and their leaders at Buddens Camp for Goose 2014, Dorset’s international camp.
Travelling for three days with Nigel Hailey, International Commissioner, and his successor Dan Wood provided an opportunity for us to catch up on a whole variety of Scouting matters. These included preparations for the World Scout Conference in Slovenia which starts on 10 August. I also met up with current and former colleagues in Scotland and Cumbria and a group of young spokespeople from West Lancashire.