Blog | Top 5 highlights from Reunion 2017
Gilwell Park was abuzz with energy and excitement over the weekend as almost 3,000 members of Scouting gathered for Reunion 2017. From workshops and training seminars to campfires and dancing, the weekend was a chance for members to network, to gather resources to plan upcoming programmes, to engage in dialogue about Scouting’s future, and to celebrate this year’s tremendous success.
For those who couldn’t be there, here’s a roundup of highlights.
1. The lively Youth Commissioners’ Forum
The Youth Commissioners’ Forum was the place to discuss all things Youth Shaped. Here, Youth Commissioners got to meet the new Assistant Youth Commissioners and discuss and gather ideas for strategies going forward.
There was also a heartfelt thank you celebration for Jagz Bharth, Deputy UK Youth Commissioner, who stepped down this weekend. We’d like to say another big thank you to Jagz, for all the energy and enthusiasm he brought to the Movement.
2. Welcoming fresh opportunities, from Scout Adventures Scotland to our corporate partners
Last week Scout Adventures officially welcomed three new Scottish centres. Scout Adventures Scotland was at Reunion over the weekend talking about the opportunities for fun and adventure at the new centres: Fordell Firs, Lochgoilhead and Meggernie.
Along with them, Reunion welcomed several corporate partners for members to engage with, about the opportunities they provide. Members had the opportunity to make the most of competitions, freebies and resource assistance from BEAR Nibbles, RAF and Cross Country and the British Transport Police, amongst others.
3. A celebration of this year’s success
On Saturday morning The Scout Association’s Annual General Meeting took place. This year, there was no shortage of reasons to celebrate. The Movement has excelled in all four areas of the strategy. Successes include:
- 12 consecutive years of growth
- 230,000 young people are now involved in A Million Hands – that’s 7,200 sections from 4,400 groups, delivering 500 projects
- A 6.5% increase in adult volunteers
- A 6% growth of female youth members, taking us to 100,000 girls in Scouts for the first time
- 11% more young leaders
- 178 new sections in areas of deprivation
- 139 Youth Commissioners appointed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Without the dedication of members across the UK, none of this would be possible. Here’s a video rounding-up the last year in Scouting. It’ll fill you with inspiration for the exciting year ahead.
4. Inspiration from Scout Ambassador Ed Stafford
Scout Ambassador and explorer Ed Stafford regaled members with tales of his journey along the Amazon River in an inspiring keynote speech. As the only person ever to walk the length of the Amazon, Ed faced countless challenges and collected reams of enthralling anecdotes. At Reunion he shared details of the highs, lows and challenges along the way, inspiring the crowds with all that can be achieved with skills and resilience.
When asked what advice he’d give young people aspiring to similar adventures, he said: ‘Build up the experience, get qualifications… As your confidence starts to go up you’ve got the opportunity to start doing things that will make people stand up and start paying attention.’
5. Launch of the Christmas Appeal
Reunion saw the launch of our 2017 Christmas Appeal. Attendees stocked up on this year’s new range of badges and Christmas cards, featuring Fleur the Christmas penguin.
Take a look at the full range on offer here. Donations help give young people across the UK the chance to reach their full potential and develop skills for life, and make it possible for those on waiting lists to join the adventure.