County Update – February 2017

It’s been a busy few months across the County with lots of activities and events taking place from the Chief Scout Awards held at Head 4 Heights to the 44th Cotswold Marathon that took place at the start of the month.

It has also been a very busy time for changes with District and County leadership teams, and some other exciting developments across the County. So it would be good to update you about all that has been going on!

County Personnel

  • Liz Hodge stepped down as Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Programme at the end of 2016 – although Liz isn’t running away from the County (as if we would let her!) I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Liz for all her hard work over the years and for the support Liz gave me (and continues to give) since I became Acting County Commissioner (CC) in May 2016.
  • Mick Seamarks stepped down as Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) Beavers at the end of 2016 – again Mick isn’t running away but deserves a big thank you for all his support to the Beaver section and the events he has gotten involved with over the years!
  • Chris Meadows has taken on the role of DCC Scouting Operations – which means he has a responsibility for managing the team that supports Programme across the County. Chris will be building a few teams to support sections, activities, events and such like. Chris can be emailed at dcc.scoutingops@gloucestershire-scouts.org.uk
  • Chris Langham and Ben Klinkenberg (Benk) have both taken on the role of ACC International, with Chris leading on the global programme and Benk focussing on trips abroad. Dave L’Oste Brown who has held the post of ACC International for a number of years will gradually handover as the team becomes more comfortable with the administration. They can be reached at acc.international@gloucestershire-scouts.org.uk.
Districts
  • Bruce Warden stepped down as District Commissioner (DC) for Gloucester District on the 31 December. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bruce for his hard work in developing Gloucester during the 2 years he was in post. Michelle Vaughan has been appointed as Acting DC, and Barry Smith is leading the Search Team for a new DC.
  • We welcome Tony Dale as the new DC for North Cotswold when he takes over on 1 March 2017, I’d like to thank all those involved in the Search process but particularly Chris Langham for leading the Team. With a new DC coming in I need to say a big thank you to Stephen Perry who has led the North Cotswold District for almost 10 years now, especially given the warm welcome and words of advice he gave me when I took on my Acting role!
  • A number of Districts have recently appointed Youth Commissioners, and they will have been very busy working over the last few weeks as February is #YouShape! Alex Jenkins was appointed as District Youth Commissioner (DYC) for Cotswold Vale in November. Jordan Randall was appointed in January as DYC for Cheltenham and Matt Dann has been appointed as Deputy DYC for Cheltenham.
Around the County
  • Gloucestershire has been selected as a beacon County for the relaunch of the Scouts of the World Award (SOWA); this is an WOSM (World Organisation of Scout Movements) award that is Network age range only. This is a really exciting development for the County and will give our members first access to the really rare award. Chris Meadows and Benk attended the training course a few weekends ago so expect a few announcements soon!
  • Cranham Scout Centre continues to flourish under Andy and Mairead who have recently accepted a permanent contract as the joint centre managers. Tom Harding has taken over as Chairman of the Cranham Management Sub-Committee from Dave Hall.
With all the exciting things happening and enthusiastic people I’ve met over the last few months 2017 will be a fantastic year for Scouting in Gloucestershire!

As always if you have any questions or comments please get in touch with me cc@gloucestershire-scouts.org.uk.

Development Opportunity

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We have teamed up with the Pears Project and The Scout Association and are excited to announce some paid intern opportunities for the coming year. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience and develop skills whilst leading part of a project team. The project aims to open new Scouting provisions across Gloucestershire Scout County (youth sections for young people aged 6-18yrs). The development interns will be lead by a project manager and will work with local volunteers to provide hands on practical support engaging with schools, the community, partnership organisations and parents of the new youth members. The project aims to enable and deliver the recruitment of adults and young people and to open new sustainable Scout provisions in Gloucestershire initially focusing around Cheltenham.

Interested? Have a look at the advert

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Why Am I here?

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For many of us the first few weeks of September signify the start of the Scouting year, it’s also typically the time to hold our County AGM and the County Commissioners chance to give a report on what has happened in Gloucestershire in the last 12 months.

It was with much trepidation I stood up in front of 40 or so Scouters to tell them what had gone on in Gloucestershire, but before I launched into my report I asked a question. Pause, for a second, and ponder this…

Why are you here?

…So why am I here? Why am I the Acting County Commissioner? Why do I Scout?

I am here because back in May 2016 I said ‘Yes’ to Hamish Stout, our Regional Commissioner, when asked if I would be prepared to become the Acting County Commissioner.

I am here because, as many of my friends will tell you, I have an inability to say ‘No’. In fact I’ve got a message on my phone from one Scouting friend who I asked advice from when deciding whether I should take on the acting role. They said, I shouldn’t take it on, and then finished their message with ‘You are mad, completely bonkers, I’ll support you all the way’.

But why am I really here?

I’m here because 22 years ago, as a quivering 6 year old, my mother held my hand and walked me through the door of Selsley Scout Hut, in Stroud and Tetbury, for my first night of Beavers and what was to become the start of my Scouting adventure. I remember the night vividly, there was a charity sale going on, I begged my mum for some money and bought a toy tractor in blue and grey. I made new friends, we did Beavery stuff, we went outside and jumped off the bank into a big pile of fresh grass cuttings. (Which in hindsight was a bad idea – 1. My mum was not amused over the grass stains in my lovely grey uniform. 2. Someone had spent a long time making the pile of grass cuttings which we destroyed in minutes!)

I’m here because for 22 years volunteers have given their free time, invested their free time in me. I’ve been helped to grab opportunities that I wouldn’t have had; I’ve met and made life long friends I wouldn’t have known; and I’ve learnt things about myself that I wouldn’t have learnt.

For 22 years volunteers with a passion for Scouting have given their time to me, and it’s a passion I’ve now got. A passion and a belief in Scouting and what it offers to young people. A passion that each, and every volunteer in our movement shares. A passion that means we deliver high quality programmes to young people week in week out. A passion that has helped us grow Scouting in Gloucestershire again.

In the 2016 census our we had 71 new young people join the movement, and I strongly suspect we will see a further increase in the number of Cubs due to the fantastic events and activities that have been going on for Cubs 100. We also had a 175 increase in the number of adults – I’ll let you decide if that is connected in anyway to the removal of membership fees for adults.

It’s fair to say there have been a number of challenges in our County (and indeed nationally) in the last 12 months:

  • Compass – it’s been a difficult journey the last 12 months, and some would say we did loose our way (the puns don’t get any better). But things are much better now and we are moving in the right direction. We need to say a particular big thank you to all the managers, district secretaries and compass champions who’ve had to pick up the pieces, thank you for perservering.
  • DofE – as a County we were not operating at an acceptable standard, and through a committed effort from DofE Leaders, DofE Advisors and leaders we are now working to high standards.
  • Pete Richardsons recent departure from Cranham, where he was centre manager for 5 years. The Executive have commissioned a report into Cranham so they can better understand the centre, how it’s run and all the other pieces involved with it. I would like to thank the Cranham Management Committee for their continued hard work, especially in the last few weeks where they have been busy trying to recruit temporary cover to March next year.
  • Paul Trott’s announcement at the AGM last year that he was looking to step down, and the subsequent search for the next County Commissioner.

But…its been a great year too

  • Tom Harding, our County Trainer Manager, has been successful in recruiting Local Training Managers to cover all Districts.
  • 81 Scouts achieved their Chief Scout Award
  • 80 Young People achieved their Platinum and Diamond Awards, Young Leader Buckles, DofE Bronze and Silver Awards.
  • We’ve had every section offered the opportunity to camp in the last 12 months – 172 Beavers at County Camp, 650 Cubs at the Cubs100 Camp at Rhydd Covert (where your’s truly was conned into being Alex the Lion! I must say I feel emmense pride in the roaring success this camp was, and the team behind it should remember that despite all the heartache, blood, sweat and tears the maine thing was the Cubs all had an amazing time!) As well 89 Explorers at Beast last year.
  • The Strategy and Evolution events were successful yet again with 1,250 Scouts and Guides at Strategy; and 360 Explorers, Network members and Rangers at Evolution.

So what does the future hold?

  • I’m looking at the County structure and how best to rebuild the County team so as to offer better support to Districts, Groups and Leaders.
  • Lauren Greening is forging ahead with reminding people across the County that Youth Shaped Scouting should be at the heart of what we do.
  • There’s going to be another year of fantastic County events – Beast, S&E and a refreshed Chief Scout Awards.
  • We have been chosen to be the second County to get the support offered by the Pears Project, which will help us develop Scouting across Gloucestershire.

I’ll leave you with one final thought that was put to me while dealing with a difficult issue earlier this year, something I think all leaders think when the going is hard. Only one person has a right to Scout – that is a young person aged 6 to 25; for everyone else being able to Scout is a privilege. A privilege I’m proud to say I have.

 

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Intern Opportunities

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We have teamed up with the Pears Project and The Scout Association and are excited to announce some paid intern opportunities for the coming year. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience and develop skills whilst leading part of a project team. The project aims to open new Scouting provisions across Gloucestershire Scout County (youth sections for young people aged 6-18yrs). The development interns will be lead by a project manager and will work with local volunteers to provide hands on practical support engaging with schools, the community, partnership organisations and parents of the new youth members. The project aims to enable and deliver the recruitment of adults and young people and to open new sustainable Scout provisions in Gloucestershire initially focusing around Cheltenham.

Interested? Have a look at the adverts below

Advert Interns
Advert Senior Interns

A4 Detailed Development Intern
A4 Detailed Senior Development Intern

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County Commissioner

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For five years now, Paul Trott has been your County Commissioner. During that time he has made a significant contribution to Scouting across Gloucestershire. Amongst those many contributions, Paul will be most remembered for restructuring the County Executive Committee and County Team, supporting the Mad 13 expedition to Madagascar, selecting the World Jamboree participants by ballot, overseeing the transition from Sun Run/Malvern Challenge to Strategy and Evolution, introducing the “Poppy Badge” and establishing the bi-annual Queen’s Scout Award reception at Berkeley Castle.

As indicated in my email at the end of February, Paul has expressed that he wishes to stand down as County Commissioner, though he agreed to continue as CC for a short time. We have now agreed that Paul’s last day in role will be Sunday 15th May. I want to take this opportunity to place on record a huge thank you to Paul for all that he has achieved whilst leading Scouting in Gloucestershire over the past 5 years.

You will be aware that we commenced a process to identify Paul’s successor. However, it has not yet been possible to conclude that appointment. In the meantime, I am delighted to be able to advise that Lewis Dangerfield has agreed to take on the role of Acting County Commissioner, with effect from Monday 16th May. Lewis has had a number of roles in Scouting, with a few years’ experience involved in the running of Stroud and Tetbury, his home District, where he is also an Explorer Scout Leader. Lewis will work closely with the DCs and other County Team members to ensure that great Scouting continues in Gloucestershire. Finally, although the formal role is ‘Acting CC’, it is important to ensure that work continues apace, so Lewis will be exercising the full authority of the County Commissioner role during this interim period.

My grateful thanks again to Paul for his leadership over the past five years, and to Lewis for agreeing to take on the CC role on an interim basis.

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Could you be the next County Commissioner?

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We are looking for a passionate person to help lead Scouting in Gloucestershire. Heading up a team of enthusiastic volunteers, the County Commissioner shapes Scouting throughout the County and enable more people to experience everyday adventure.

If you can think of anyone who might be suitable for this vacancy, or want to put yourself forward for the role hen please fill in the application form.

Nomination form – Gloucestershire CC 2015
Gloucestershire CC Letter advising search group
CC Vacancy Pack Gloucestershire

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County Commissioner’s District AGM Speech 2015

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How things change. May’s General Election seems ages ago now. Yet when I started doing the round of District AGMs it was all so topical. But I would like to start by talking about another election – the US Presidential election of 2008 – when Barak Obama first ran for President and as part of his campaign he used a poster which was no more than his picture and the single word “Change”.

And that was very clever – most people can think of something they would like to change – few people are entirely happy with the status quo – all want to change something. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said “There is nothing permanent except change”. The trick of course is getting enough people to agree on changing the same thing in same way at the same time. And it’s the same in Scouting. The Scout Movement has changed so much in recent years. And this year we have been required to make even more changes.

Scouting is not naturally pro-change – it has traditionally tended to attract and retain people who like structures and hierarchies – who are comfortable wearing a uniform – willing to repeat their Promise in public, often several times a year. This provides certainty and continuity, clear values, and as a result Scouting is trusted and valued by the public at large – so why change?

Because, as another American President, John F. Kennedy, said

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”

Everything changes. The question is whether that change is positive or negative. While physics says you cannot have perpetual motion – and everything must come to rest as some point – even a stationary object will eventually rust or rot or decay if left to its own devices. Some things might mature with age for a while but not even the best cheese or wine can mature for ever. So – change is natural – but natural change can also be negative. You kick a ball & it will eventually stop moving and come to rest. You paint a beautiful picture but it will ultimately fade or tarnish. So to counter those negative changes we have to do something about them by making positive ones.

Imagine you have just moved into your ideal home. Either you can preserve it just as the architect intended it to be on the day it was first built, to maintain it for all time as a monument to the people who designed and built it or you can improve it – redecorating – extending – landscaping – modernising – to meet your current and future needs, building on the investments that others have made by investing your own capital in it for yourselves and those who come after you. Which would you do?

Going back to Barak Obama, in the course of his campaign he also said

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

And it’s the same in Scouting. Society is changing, the population is ageing and growing. As it grows it is becoming more risk averse, it is more diverse in all sorts of ways, education is, on average, improving, people are far less deferential and less inhibited than they were. If your house is going to continue to serve you and your family it will need to be put to different uses, with new rooms, doors and windows in different places, the installation of new technology, and adaptations to suit your age and your health.

And so it is with Scouting. If our Movement is going to remain relevant, useful, valued & satisfying, it will have to adapt to the needs not just of its current members but of its future ones too. That is why we are currently seeing so many changes in Scouting.

We have a new Programme for young people – new badges – new requirements – and I hope you are all becoming familiar with it and are deciding how you will offer your young people the challenges and opportunities afforded by it. To support that programme there will also be changes to the adult training scheme as we help one another appreciate the new programme and the ideas behind it.

There are changes to the Scout Network as it becomes a District rather than a County provision – all members aged 18-25 will automatically be enrolled in Network – to allow and encourage them to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities as they transition from being young members to adult leaders.

Next year the annual Membership Fee will no longer payable by over 18s. This means that the Subs charged to young people will increase slightly but it now means there is no longer a financial disincentive for us to recruit more adults as leaders, commissioners, section assistants or Network or Active Support members. Also next year Executive Committee Members (our Trustees) will finally be recognised as full members of the Association – resolving an issue that has been fudged for many years.

On the subject of Executive Committees, we will continue to work at enabling more young people to be involved in our decision making structures, either within their own sections or at Group, District and County level as we strive to make Scouting more youth shaped with the establishment of District and County Youth Councils and the appointment of Youth Commissioners.

And on top of that we this year have the Cub Scout Year of Adventure – a special year long programme of activities for the Cub Section as they prepare for next year, 2016, and the celebration of the centenary of Cub Scouting.

So, these are not changes we have chosen to make locally. The Movement is changing and we need to change to keep up, in order to better serve the communities of which we are part. In fact, we are already changing in many ways as we strive to achieve our strategic objectives of Growth, Inclusivity, Becoming Youth Shaped and Increasing our Community Impact through the implementation of our County Development Plan.

And we have certainly seen some of the effects of that change in recent weeks and months here in Gloucestershire as sections have closed and then re-opened to meet changing needs and requirements, some leaders have come, some have moved and some have left. Change is often difficult, risky and not always successful. Change is sometimes scary and sometimes painful. It is never easy, but it is absolutely necessary.

Thank you very much indeed for all you have done over the last year, for all the changes you have made and all the changes you have tried to make which maybe didn’t work so well. Thank you for trying. And thank you for sticking with it and not giving up. Please keep trying to change, adapting to the changing needs of our members and the society in which we operate. Thanks for everything and I look forward to seeing and hearing more of your achievements over the coming year.

We are periodically reminded that Baden-Powell once remarked that he had founded a movement not an organisation”. So perhaps, the better champion for change is not Mr Obama, but B-P himself.

Thank you.

Paul D. Trott

County Commissioner

robert-stephenson-smyth-baden-powell

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Scouts from Gloucestershire Jet Off for a cultural Adventure of a Lifetime

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30 Scouts from Gloucestershire have arrived at Heathrow to fly off to the World Scout Jamboree in Japan. The Scouts from Gloucestershire will join 4,000 other Scouts from across the UK and 30,000 others from nearly every country in the world for two weeks of activities, fun and making new friends in the most truly international event on the planet.
The UK Scouts are flying to Tokyo for three days in which the capital will be taken over by the Scouts getting to know each other, seeing the sights and taking part in traditional cultural activities, before they travel to the Jamboree site near Yamaguchi City in the South of Japan by Bullet Train.
As well as being a fantastic opportunity for young people, the event is an amazing chance for adult volunteers to take part in activities and learn new skills that they can use in other aspects of their life.
The World Scout Jamboree will include seven days of activities, with modules based around global development, Peace programme (based at Hiroshima) Exploring natures, crossroads of culture and city of science (COS) The COS programme, will deepen the understanding of advances in science and technology and the benefits and problems associated with science.
This programme provides a venue for learning about the development of fuel cells and other energy sources for the future, ecological problems, and robotics and automotive technologies.
Ned, 15, Lechlade said “I can’t believe we are actually here about to go! I have been counting down the days until we . I’m really looking forward to the view from the top of the Sky Tree!”

Rachel, 16, Cheltenham added “I can’t wait to try all the activities they have got planned. I’m most looking forward to meeting new friends from across the world, and staying with a Japanese family after the main camp. This is what makes Jamborees special”

Chief Scout, Bear Grylls said: “While lots of people know that Scouting is all about adventure, they often don’t realise that adult volunteers get to do just as much as our young members through their involvement. The World Scout Jamboree is a great example of this.  Over the course of the Jamboree Scouts will be able to meet people from around the world, take part in amazing adventures and experiences and be challenged to think about global issues in a new light. That is why Scouting is one of the greatest youth movement on earth and why I am so proud to be part of it.”

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St George’s Day 2015

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St GeorgeThe sun is shining, the breeze is “fresh”, the temperature is just about warm enough to go outdoors without a coat – so it must be St George’s Day or at least the Sunday closest to it, when Scouts around the world renew their Promises and spend a few minutes reflecting why they continue to belong to the largest youth movement in the World!

Whether you spent the day at Windsor Castle with “la crème de la crème” or with your Group or District here in Gloucestershire I hope you were inspired once more by the idea that Scouting is something very special, that it has some incredible members and that it really is a privilege to wear the uniform that we do. On these occasions we use words like “honour” and “duty”, we hear stories of courage and commitment, and we recognise people’s service not only to Scouting but to our neighbours and society. We take pride in the fact that we are not alone but are part of something much bigger. We feel reassured that we are not the only ones who care about the future of young people and the opportunities available to them. And we are gladdened by the idea that this great Movement of ours will continue to serve young people and the community for many years to come.

I was reminded of all this yesterday, when I and others spent some time meeting some of our Activity Assessors – a marvellous group of people. Adventurous activities are inherently dangerous – that’s what makes them both fun and challenging for young people and adults alike and such an important part of our programme. In order to manage that danger, we need to follow the rules which those who have had much more experience than us, have prescribed. One of the advantages of belonging to a large organisation like ours is that we can learn from the experience of others and don’t have to work it all out for ourselves. As a result, whenever we engage in adventurous activities there needs to be someone leading the activity who is sufficiently trained and experienced so that the rest of us can trust that person to keep us and most importantly, our youngsters, safe. We do that by requiring activity leaders to hold permits for the various activities they undertake. And the credibility of those permits is ensured by having highly experienced and qualified Assessors who are willing and able to confirm the ability of that leader to lead such activities.

Yesterday we met two climbers, a hill walker, a skier, an archer and a caver. Some were regular Scouters who had offered to take on this additional responsibility, while others had no involvement in Scouting other than a willingness to help in this way. I have never skied, I’m not that keen on climbing and I hate confined spaces, so to be honest I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of discussing these activities for too long. But in fact I was inspired by the enthusiasm of our Assessors for their sport, their knowledge of their subject and their empathy with and understanding of others who may be interested in the activity but don’t have anything like their level of skill or experience. Their willingness to spend their free time coaching and supporting adults and young people, without compromising on the need to do things properly, was really impressive. We are really fortunate to have such a strong contingent of activity experts in this county who are willing to give their time to Scouting in this way. When people offer their services as Leaders they often talk about “giving something back” in recognition of what they received from Scouting as youngsters. More than one of our Assessors described how they were inspired to take up their sport as a result of the introduction they received through Scouting.

Which brings me back to St George’s Day. Today we have reaffirmed our Promise to “help other people and keep the Scout Law”. Whether we provide that help working with our sections week by week, or by fundraising to enable those meetings to happen, or by planning training events and assessments or simply co-ordinating the whole affair, everyone I meet is committed to giving something back and helping their neighbours, whether in the town or village in which they live or across this global village that we now occupy. Service to one another is key to our Scouting experience. It is one of those things that makes Scouting unique for us. By renewing our Promise today we have rededicated ourselves to serving one another in whatever role is most appropriate for each of us and that, for me at least, is the reason why I choose to continue to belong to this great Movement of ours.

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What young people want

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The BBC is currently running a series of PanorOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAama documentaries based on an observation by Norman Kirk, a former New Zealand Prime Minister. People, he said, don’t want much. They want: “Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for.”

The same observation could be applied to young people in general and to our members in particular. It would not be too much of a generalisation to say that by and large young people want friendship, a place to spend their time, a purpose in life and something to look forward to. Our ability to fulfil those needs will have a direct impact on the success of Scouting.

We know as children develop into young adults they need the support of their peers as they find out more about the world and gain the confidence to leave the security of their home and family. Some find it a lot easier than others but the knowledge that they have some friends alongside them is an enormous encouragement when trying new things and going to new places. Lodges, Sixes and Patrols are ready made friendship groups in which children can form lasting relationships. We need to remember that such groupings are not just a convenient means of dividing up the section but are critical to the young person’s identity and status within the section and the security they enjoy as a member of the Colony, Pack or Troop. I have never forgotten the resentment I felt when after four years in primary school my form teacher decided to reorganise the class and moved me from Cowdray House to Petworth House: I never forgave him!

Young people need a place to be, where they can mix with their friends, feel they belong and to be warm, dry and safe. One of the Movement’s “underpinning strategies” is to “support Scouting to find, develop and maintain great physical spaces so we can develop and grow”. We need to make the most of what we already have but also to create and identify new places for young people “to meet and go”. I have recently had a conversation with a Group Scout Leader who could open a new Beaver Colony tomorrow if only he could find somewhere suitable to meet. Groups meet in a variety of different venues ranging from their own headquarters to church, and village halls, schools and community centres. The former are however increasingly costly to heat, light and maintain while the latter are often fully booked especially at the times when we wish to use them. The Guides have recently started Rainbow Units on Saturdays. This may be worth considering for Beavers, especially when an increasing number of willing adults seem to have difficulty in attending early evening meetings.

We all need a purpose in life and young people are no different. They need to be doing interesting and exciting things, some for the first time and others on more than one occasion as they improve their skills and experience. Something that is different to the routine of the school timetable. This is why our Scouting programmes need to be of the highest quality. Another of our underpinning strategies says “we believe all young people should enjoy an inspiring and engaging programme that meets the educational principles of Scouting”. This is crucial to ensuring that our members, of all ages, really look forward to their Pack or Troop meeting and when choices have to be made, choose Scouting in preference to other hobbies and activities. We really need to make sure therefore that programmes are varied, structured, youth-shaped and imaginative. Do you discuss your section’s programme with the members themselves? Do you involve the whole team (including the Young Leaders) in planning each term’s programmes? While it may be more time consuming, it’s often much more fun and productive than struggling away on your own.

What do young people hope for? What do they look forward to? Children and young people will answer this question on a number of levels. Many will aspire to a career or professional qualifications. Others may want to travel and explore the world. But they will also have shorter term goals, to achieve a particular award, to attend a camp or take part in an expedition. Just at the moment a good number will be looking forward to taking part in next month’s Gloucester Gang Show. Scouting is great at setting targets and helping youngsters achieve them – sometimes over weeks and sometimes over a number of years. Our award scheme is good at that. But it also means we as leaders need to plan ahead. I hope that most Cubs, Scouts and Explorers are now looking forward to a summer camp or expedition. Leaders need to be planning such events now if the young people are going to get really excited about the forthcoming events and their interest is to be sustained over the coming months. Scouting needs to appeal not just to a young person’s immediate concerns but also to their wider ambitions and give them something to aim for and give them something positive to hang on to when life’s obstacles and difficulties seem to get in the way.

So what do young people want? Dare I say, they would on this analysis, appear to want Scouting, – not just Scouting but good Scouting – with their friends, in a place they can call their own, doing enjoyable tasks with ambitious goals in view. Scouting can meet all these needs – with your care and hard work, it most certainly will.

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