Chief Commissioner's Blog | Traditional skills are still important

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When you saw some of the newspapers on Monday you could be forgiven for thinking that UK Scouting had stopped knot tying as an activity. But that is not the case, as Wayne explains.

Youth Work Week

The first day of Youth Work Week saw many sensational headlines suggesting that Scouting has stopped teaching traditional skills and doing adventure in favour of ‘youth work’. In reality, we know that these kind of skills continue to be the most popular activities for young people, and also that we have always done ‘youth work’.

Check out the facts

You only have to read this blog on The Huffington Post by Hannah, UK Youth Commissioner, to find out about why she joined Scouting, and the life-changing opportunities that followed. We’ll never lose sight of the fact that it is the adventure we offer young people that attracts them to Scouting.  

However, it’s equally true that our leaders today need to have a variety of wider youth work skills and that more specialist activities can be provided in various flexible ways. Several of the more thoughtful news stories covered these facts – some you win, some you lose!

All in 24 hours

My varied schedule is one of the many benefits I get from Scouting, but last weekend perhaps caps many.

On Friday, after a catch-up call about Compass I met with Mark Tarry, Chief Commissioner of England. We then had dinner with the Chief Guide Gill Slocombe and our respective leadership teams.

Our joint Thanksgiving Service on Saturday saw 2,000 Scout and Guide leaders at Westminster Abbey for an inspiring service. Lunch for 40 Silver Wolf recipients and their families was a chance for us to say a special thank you. A train to Gilwell Park and a little ‘help’ from the make-up team and I appeared as a smiling Count Dracula with 1,200 Scouts and Explorers at the first national Scarefest event!

That evening – after changing out of the Halloween costume – I joined London’s County Commissioners for dinner and then attended their team meeting on Sunday morning. I’m very lucky to cram so much into ‘my hour a week’, and to enjoy almost every minute of it!

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