When great things come from sad events


After a day of meetings at B–P House last Saturday, Wayne joined 200 members from King Alfred District, Oxford as they celebrated the 40th anniversary of a challenge for Scouts in memory of Stuart Rae, a keen adventurer, Scout and soldier who died in action in Oman in 1971.

Another busy weekend saw several meetings (it’s one-to-one season with my team again) as well as catching up with the team organising the National Queen’s Scout Parade next April. The event has a great Commonwealth theme next year, so if you know any Queen’s Scouts entitled to attend, please ensure they do. I also had chance to have breakfast with Kelvin Holford, who is retiring as County Commissioner of Kent.

A far-from-boring board meeting

The Board of Trustees met on Saturday and had another busy agenda with key projects and updates including signing off the tender document for Getting IT Right (now known as Project Compass), succession planning, reviewing trustee performance, Scouting Ambassadors and how we can support local ambassadors, business update from Scout Shops Limited and their strategy for the next five yeas, initial budget for next year and first thoughts on the action plans behind our Vision 2018.

Not much on as you can see!

Building on a tragedy

I managed to leave central London in time to join 200 current and former members of King Alfred District in Oxford. The gathering included a number of past winners of the Stuart Rae Challenge as they celebrated the 40th anniversary of the award. It was established by family and friends of Stuart who was killed in action in 1971.

Since then, 400 Scouts have successfully completed a series of challenges throughout the year, including attaining their Chief Scout’s Award, service projects and culminating in an expedition in Wales. Five Scouts completed the challenge this year (eight had started), so it was great to kick off the evening hearing about their experiences, highpoints and low points and celebrate their achievements with them.

Losing a loved one so prematurely is a devastating thing for anybody to experience, but there is a definite pride in Stuart’s family (represented by his sister on the evening) in knowing how his sad death has spurred such great achievements by others.

What it’s really about

We then heard from past achievers, Stuart’s friends and those who had first set the challenge up – many great stories. For me, it was also particularly good to see the results of the Impact Study really being brought to life as past participants talked about what they learnt through Scouting and how these have gone on to shape their lives, and those of others.

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