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Being a parent

I've just returned from the airport having waved my daughter off with her Network Unit (she turned 18 just before we disappeared to the US for a holiday, where as she pointed out, the minimum age is 21 much to her frustration!) as she went on her first expedition with them to Ireland. Spending last evening helping her pack her rucksack (well, to be honest before my wife Julie posts a comment, I was "advising" the two of them on how to pack) also brought back very many memories.

On the drive home (you'll appreciate that in Guernsey, this wasn't a long time!) I was thinking about the hundreds of thousands of parents that have done something similar over the past few months as you have taken their children on camp or other outdoor adventures. Not only do we know that these are amongst the most popular activities that young people enjoy doing, we know also that they give us the greatest opportunity to help their self development; all whilst having great fun. On behalf of all those parents, a very big thank you to all leaders and helpers who have taken their sections away recently.

Interestingly, we have learnt also that camps and other residential experiences are one of our best opportunities to recruit new leaders from helping parents. This was why we launched "The Big Adventure" this year. I've recently seen a summary of the interim review and the results are very encouraging and confirm how great a source of potential volunteers we have.

It would be good to hear from those of you who have used this theme, or any others to recruit people?

I look forward to seeing many of you at Gilwell Reunion next week, please come and join me and other members of the national team on the Buffalo Lawn sometime between 3pm and 5pm for a drink by way of a small "thank you" for all you are doing.




By Paul Amass (GLSE Scouts)
on 01/09/2009 15:33

I think there is a lot that can be said about putting ourselves in the shoes of our parents. Not being a parent myself I find this difficult, but its worth trying!

When you step out of the Scouting world, and think about our organisation from a different persona, (like a parent or an external body), we identify ways we can do things differently.

Its usually the simple things like Jargon, does a parent know what 'District' Scout Camp means?

Food for thought...

By Moz
on 08/09/2009 08:52

I thought the 'Big Adventure' was a great idea - but as a Section Leader I received next to no support from HQ to put it on.

Yes there were articles in Scouting, things on the website, but I never received any of the promised information packs, invitations etc.

Can someone tell me what exactly I was supposed to receive, and was it just me that missed out?

By Rosie Shepherd
on 08/09/2009 10:11

Dear Moz

I'm glad that you think that The Big Adventure was a good idea, but am sorry to hear that you feel that you had no support.

Our main support materials consisted of the step-by-step guide, which all members received in the February/March 2009 magazine; information on the web pages at www.scouts.org.uk/thebigadventure; and free invitations and 'Little Guides' for parents.

The invitations and 'Little Guides' were posted out to Group Scout Leaders, Group Contacts or a Section Leaders within the Group to distribute in March 2009.

Whilst we are confident that we sent mail to all Groups, we are also aware that not all resources received their intended destination (ie Section Leaders or camp organisers). We have taken on board this feedback and are currently working on a different (improved!) method of distribution for 2010.

I hope that you have not been put off trying The Big Adventure as a valuable recruitment method and that you continue to look out for more information on The Big Adventure 2010 in the December magazine!

Rosie Shepherd
The Big Adventure project co-ordinator

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