A distant memory


Last week’s Scouting started so well for me on Tuesday with a late afternoon flight and trip to Gilwell, but it all now seems a distant memory and not just because of the volcanic ash, but more of that later.

I arrived at Gilwell on Tuesday evening in time to drop-in unexpectedly on a group of 19 Leaders who were taking part in a week long Section Leaders training course at Gilwell. It was great to spend a couple of hours chatting with them about their experiences at the coalface and to answer some of their questions – at least to try to!  If ever you get a chance to get a week off and attend one of these do try to as each of the participants thought it a great opportunity, email the Training Team for details of future courses.

Main purpose of the trip was a busy day on Wednesday when I joined Gail and Keren, respectively Director of Marketing & Communications and Director of Corporate Services (senior staff posts) to interview candidates for our newly created staff role of Assistant Director – Internal Communications and Creative.

This is a key role in our MarComs  strategy and will spearhead the development of our internal communications so I was very pleased to be part of the interview process. I’m also delighted at the appointment we have been able to make and am very excited at the opportunities to make a big impact on how we listen, communicate and act. Watch this space ……

A quick dash into London after a long day of interviewing to catch up with Dan, an elected trustee and Chairman of the Operations sub-Committee. Dan and I share responsibility for several of our key objectives, especially Youth Involvement and Diversity so there was lots to chat about, in addition to the wider stuff on the go.

Thursday morning started like so many others for me, having spent the night near Gatwick airport ready for an early flight back to Guernsey to catch up with the day job. I remember being a little surprised that although the airport concourse was busy, there were no queues at security for a change. It transpired that my flight to Guernsey was to be the last for nearly a week.

The subsequent closure of the airspace meant that I was unable to get back to London for meetings on the Friday and sadly missed Newry District’s Centenary celebrations in County Down at the weekend. I have, however, been able to re-arrange things and all being well return to Northern Ireland on 22/23 May to visit your Scout and Cub camps and hopefully meet many of you over that weekend.

Not seeing an end to the flying ban and with a busy schedule of commitments ahead, I resorted to travelling over by ferry to Poole on Saturday night and arriving to chaos in Poole harbour in the early hours of Sunday morning. Making my way to Gilwell where I finally arrived at lunchtime on Sunday, I certainly appreciate the benefit of air travel right now.

On arrival at Gilwell, I was greeted by Simon, our Assistant Director – Media Relations, who had a few things to share; but more of that very shortly …………

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