Another Network success


I took advantage of being in Guernsey for a family outing to Guernsey Scout Network’s AGM

With 32 members (not bad for a population of 60,000 people) it is undoubtedly a great success. ‘Why’s that?’ I asked them. A common theme was the importance of the social element, helped by the fact that they have their own amazing base in the Island HQ.

From there they support the running of the Centre, support local activities and events and, of course, have their own active programme.

Interestingly, this has also been a common theme with other groups of younger leaders I’ve chatted to – something we mustn’t lose sight of in the quest for everyday adventure.

Friday catch-ups

Friday, so it must be Gilwell again where meetings this week included discussions about leadership opportunities for young people with Charlotte [Tow, a Programme and Development Adviser] and then with Sam [Mowbray, Head of Public Affairs].

We covered many hot topics (ground rents, CRB etc) as well as exploring further work in the support of campaigns on volunteering. Then it was off to Euston with Steve Peck, Director of Programme and Development and another working train journey, this time heading to Preston for the latest of our DC/GSL workshops.

Delivering on more social inclusion

I caught up with Colin and Peter, County Commissioner (CC) and Deputy County Commissioner for Merseyside in the evening, for an opportunity to learn of the successes the County are enjoying and also to scope out a project on how we can develop a Scouting model in some of the UK’s most deprived areas. With the plan worked out, I’m now off to find the funding!

An early meeting and warming up the North West

An early morning meeting with Carl, CC for West Lancashire was a similar opportunity and covered many topics, but mainly progress with Carl’s working group who are looking at who pays the membership fee.

The North West gave us a warm reception – eventually, and another great DC/GSL day with lots of good questions and suggestions. I needed to leave at lunchtime for a long train journey south to Plymouth where I joined the Royal Navy Recognised Sea Scouts for their annual Swimming Gala at HMS Raleigh.

It's not all plain sailing

We took a tour of the facilities made available by the Navy for the weekend and also joined some of the volunteers who organise the weekend and, amongst other things, look after the dormitories etc overnight.

Then it was off to the Wardroom where the leaders were relaxing.

We had a brief ‘thank you’ presentation to Lieutenant Commander David Griffiths who is retiring after 4½ years as Staff Officer Sea Scouts (an RN officer post).

After that, I decided to circulate, and promptly had the most depressing 90 minutes for a long time (more of that in a separate bloglater this week).

Some amazing swimming and perseverance

A more leisurely and cheerful start on Sunday with some more positive conversations over breakfast, before we joined the main event, and witnessed some amazing swimming by 200 Scouts and Explorer Scouts, many of whom do not compete regularly.

Congratulations to the 4th Heswell who were first time winners of the Otter Trophy for overall winners – a trophy introduced in 1910 and still going strong.

It’s nice to be reminded what Scouting is really about from time to time.

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