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Chief Commissioner's Blog | A Celtic Week

Wayne joined camps in our northernmost districts of Shetland and Orkney, but his Scouting journey this week started in Belfast, before heading on to Edinburgh and Aberdeen!

Moving on up

Graham Haddock, Chief Commissioner of Scotland, and I joined 90 Explorer Scouts, Network members and leaders from the NE Region of Scotland for an evening of discussion on what makes their Scouting interesting, why they joined and what more we could be doing to improve retention between sections.  We looked at what had attracted us to Scouting (interestingly only one person had responded to an advert) and went on to look at those things in Scouting that vary from super cool to super uncool and how we can move those that are seen to be uncool, to cool!  There were few surprises here, apart from an interesting discussion on how you move spiders from uncool to cool and the need for a ‘Minecraft’ badge!


A further one hour flight was needed to get us to Shetland, the most northerly district of the UK, much closer to Oslo than London.  Scouting in Shetland is growing and it was easy to see why, as we joined in the activities of the District camp, including the hike to a beach (I resisted the invitation to paddle!).  The Islands also have two Explorer Scouts taking part in the WSJ and so they made full use of the ‘Japan in a Box’ pack to provide a number of themed activities, including lunch.


A 30 minute flight south saw us in Orkney to join their first District camp for longer than anybody could remember.  I quickly grasped the geographical challenges involved when talking with the group from Sanday, who had a 3 hour journey to get from their island to the main island for the District Camp!  With a theme of Vikings, the activities were again varied.  I hadn’t come across ‘feeding the dragons’ before, such a simple thing to do and yet so effective.

Whatever your community

Whatever the nature of your community, whether remote island, urban or rural, Scouting plays such a key role in encouraging community cohesion as well as ensuring that young people get great opportunities irrespective of their circumstances or environment.

It was great, therefore, that I had been able to start my Celtic week by recognising some exceptional service by volunteers in Northern Ireland – a community in which Scouting plays a key role in promoting local solidarity and better opportunities for young people.

Clearly a ‘super cool’ week for me!



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