Chief Commissioner’s Blog | Catching up
Wayne travels the UK to catch up with colleagues new and old…
The soaring East Midlands
I kicked off Monday morning by opening the latest District Commissioner Support Day at Gilwell Park where 40 DCs participated and were briefed on a variety of key issues. There was also an opportunity for them to quiz myself and network with fellow DCs. These are great for any newly appointed DC or those who have been in the post for a couple of years and want a refresher.
I headed to Belfast on Monday afternoon for a further meeting with Scouting Ireland and colleagues from Scouts Northern Ireland. During my visit, I took the opportunity to catch up with former Chief Scout and Vice President, George Purdy, as well as Stephen Donaldson, County Commissioner for County Down.
In many respects it was a week of catching up in between various meetings; I also took the opportunity back in London to see Rob Lyon, a retired Regional Commissioner and currently District Commissioner in Chelmsford, and also later in the week newly-appointed Regional Commissioner for East Midlands, Sue Harris. The Chief Commissioner for Gibraltar, Fitz Fitzgerald, was in London for the week on business so Nigel Hayley and I were also able to meet up him.
Making more of technology
On Wednesday evening I took advantage of webinar technology to join a group of leaders from several Districts in Suffolk who are participating in a Grow Your Group initiative to answer their questions. If you think this is something that might be of interest to your District or County/Area please do ask your Commissioner to contact me in the usual way.
Much more than virtual
The weekend got underway with a visit to the Lincolnshire Youth Forum for a Q and A session and discussions around the Programme refresh. I was also delighted to meet two leaders, Emma and Kerrie who, along with Jonathan, had opened a new group in Long Sutton and we were able to discuss their experiences.
A Skills Day in Spilsby was a chance to join 80 leaders learning new (or refreshing old) skills and chat with them and generally show how poor some of my practical skills have become, especially the archery!
A working supper with Group Scout Leaders from each of the Districts in the County provided a further opportunity to explore some of the challenges, explain some of the thinking behind national initiatives and listen to their feedback. It was a fun and engaging discussion with many new and exciting opportunities apparent.
Learning by doing in practice
On Sunday, I drove back across the countryside of Lincolnshire to join Scouts and Explorer Scouts from two of Leicestershire’s Districts who were participating in Soaring Fox 2015, a hiking and incident team challenge to catch up with the participants and present the awards. As I was discussing the weekend with the participants, it brought into sharp focus an interview I had done with a journalist at the beginning of the week talking about character and resilience and the increasingly recognised and important role Scouting and the nature of our learning by doing has to play…