Welcome to new UK Youth Commissioner Ollie Wood
New UK Youth Commissioner Ollie Wood has officially taken over from Hannah Kentish at Gilwell Reunion 2018 this weekend.
Ollie discovered Scouting in January 2000, joining his local Beaver colony aged six. Since then, he’s moved through the sections and in 2015, became the UK’s first County Youth Commissioner for West Lancashire, leading county expeditions to Mongolia and China, and growing his own troop from four to forty in his role as a Scout section leader.
Outside Scouting, Ollie launched his own company in early 2018 at the age of 24. He attributes much of his career confidence to his earlier experiences within the movement.
‘I’m incredibly excited to be taking on the role as UK Youth Commissioner.
Scouts have been equipping young people with skills for life for 111 years, creating leaders of the future and giving our youth members the best possible start.
We now have over 400 Local Youth Commissioners around the UK, whose role it is to ensure that our 460,000 young people have a voice in Scouting, are involved in the decisions we make at every level, and get their first opportunity to lead in a safe space where it's okay to make mistakes and learn from them.
As the UK Youth Commissioner, it’s my aim to see that more young people each year in Scouting get meaningful leadership opportunities. It is important that we don't expect too little of young people; by equipping them with the right skills and supporting them to take on responsibility, we are equipping them brilliantly for their future careers as well as for the future leadership of our movement.
A young person won’t necessarily remember their best weekend spent playing video games but they will remember their best weekend on Scout Camp, or the first time that the leaders sent them camping on their own, or when they cooked for their troop, navigated an expedition or delivered a session for younger members. Whatever it is, Scouting gives young people opportunities that aren’t just educational, but that enable them to make new friends and create new memories that will last a lifetime.
I plan to keep moving forward with #YouShape, which was extended from a day in 2015 to a week in 2016, and then a month in 2017 and 2018. Youth Shaped Scouting should be an integral part of everything that we do in Scouts, and while we would like to maintain #YouShape as a means to encourage members to reach their full potential in the movement, we equally want something that works all year round – not for just a month. More information on this will follow!
I also hope that our 420 Youth Commissioners around the UK will continue to inspire young people to get involved in everything that Scouting offers them; be it traveling abroad to meet some of our 55 million members worldwide, or joining a committee to make a difference locally. We will be improving the way we support new and existing Youth Commissioners by introducing Youth Commissioner support days, alongside the conference calls that we’ve been providing for some time.
Young people in the Scouts have a voice and the opportunity to take the lead, and Youth Commissioners are well placed to inspire them to do more, learn more and be more.’