Chief Commissioner's blog| All at sea with Explorer Scouts
Meetings in Cardiff, joining Explorer Scouts on Southampton waters, more meetings in London and the grandeur of Westminster Abbey sum up Wayne’s latest week.
Chief Commissioner for Wales
In Cardiff on Tuesday, I caught up with Simon Brownshill, the Field Commissioner (senior staff member in Wales) before we joined other members of the search group for the role of Chief Commissioner for Wales.
All of our national volunteer appointments follow a similar model of a search group, comprising six members, at least one of whom must be under the age of 25, and which must also represent the areas of responsibility for the appropriate roles. The search groups then make a recommendation to the HQ Appointments Committee, which considers the process followed and nomination made. In this case, the appointment also requires the approval of the Board of Trustees for Scouts Wales.
The benefits of RN recognition
On Wednesday I made the most of the sunshine between rain showers to join one hundred Explorer Scouts from Royal Navy recognised units who were taking part in their annual camp on HMS Bristol. The activities included an opportunity to pass several national governing body qualifications in paddling, sailing and power boating as well as a unique opportunity to do exercises in the Royal Navy’s damage control and sea survival facilities.
I was joined by the Royal Navy Commander for Sea Cadets and Sea Scouts and we were able to discuss a wide variety of other issues including our work to co-ordinate the uniform youth organisations through Youth United etc.
Back in London on Friday, I had a number of meetings catching up with past colleagues and also having my annual review with our Chairman, Alan Craft. As I have mentioned before, ensuring that we have effective reviews is a very important part of the retention and motivation of our volunteers and so it is important that they apply to all of us.
Saturday saw 1,600 Scout and Guide volunteers, particularly those with more than 30 years of service, gathering for our 3rd annual National Scout and Guide Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving in the splendid Westminster Abbey. We were delighted that the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, kindly led the service. We were also fortunate that the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir sung throughout the service for us.
Scouts from the 2nd East London Group, along with a number of Guides, carried the colours and played a number of roles throughout the service. The show was stolen by Explorer Scout, George Davis, whose personal testimony left not only his leaders with damp eyes but a large number of others also.
A little extra thanks for that extraordinary service
The day was also an opportunity to say a special thank you to this year’s recipients of the Silver Wolf. All in all, it was an amazingly inspiring day with the testimony from George reminding us all, and especially the long-serving volunteers who joined us for the day, of the amazing role that volunteers play in offering young people such life-changing opportunities.