All it needs is a little inspiration


I spent much of last week based at Gilwell, taking the opportunity to catch up with various teams and colleagues working on a variety of projects, while keeping in touch with events in Suffolk where the inquest into the very sad incident which led to the death of Beaver Scout Alan Lock was being held.

This has been an immensely tragic time for everybody involved, especially Alan’s parents, the other Beavers and their families, and the leaders involved, all of whom continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Our internal investigation into the incident led us to improve guidance on the running of all activities (not just those considered 'adventurous') and has been endorsed by the Coroner.

We will continually work to improve the culture of safety within our Movement and I would ask each of you to take a few minutes before each activity, including those you do very regularly, to remind yourself of your risk assessment and who is responsible for what on the activity.

End of round one

On Friday evening, Steve Peck and I headed for Wales for the last in the series of the Vision 2018 Conferences we have been holding for GSLs and DCs across the UK. These started in Scotland back in September.

I was a bit worried when I found out that we had local competition for their attention, with the national 'bog snorkelling' championships being held up the road, but I needn’t have worried - with over 108 local managers it was a great turnout and they ensured that we finished with another great day which saw engaging discussion on a host of topics.

Look out for a wider launch in the next edition of Scouting Magazine, and the launch of a new micosite shortly.

An evening at theatre with the Chief Guide

A quick dash across the wonderful hills of Wales and the West Midlands got me to Leamington Spa, where I joined the Chief Guide, Liz Burnley, for the final night of Warwickshire’s Gang Show, WAGS, who have been celebrating their 40th Show.

With over 150 Guides and Scouts on stage, it’s a fantastic example of the joint work that Liz and I have recently been celebrating in our joint statement and hope to build on.

Endurance 80: a great example

When the alarm went at 5.30am on Sunday morning, my mind turned to the 23 teams and volunteers supporting Endurance 80, a 24 hour, 50-mile hike in Buckinghamshire, who I was joining at 8am to present certificates and some generous prizes.

The event first ran from 1980 but stopped in 1998. Ben was a participant in the 1990s and wanted to resurrect the event and boy what a job he’s done. For me, Endurance 80 seems a great example of success; Ben set about inspiring his Explorer Unit who, with some help and support from a small team of leaders acting as mentors, largely organised and ran the event.

Congratulations to all the organisers and participants for making a great weekend and a great example of all that Scouting is about.

What it's all about in Southgate

A couple of hours at a motorway service station catching up with calls and admin (just in case you think life as your UKCC is all glamour) and I joined the 6th Southgate in Greater London for the culmination of their weekend camp and a Beaver sleepover celebrating their centenary.

With over 200 former members and parents of current members present, it was a great opportunity to chat to them about the fun it is being a volunteer in Scouting as well as celebrating the significant benefits it brings to their local community.

A few problems with the North Circular meant that I made it to my flight at Gatwick with just three minutes to spare, but who cared after such a great weekend (except Julie, before she posts a comment)?

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