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Enthuse and Inspire part 2 - a great weekend

You may already have seen the report from the National Conference on the website, take a look here if not. Feedback to-date has been fantastic, but the thing that struck me most is the really high level of energy and confidence that all participants exuded. It bodes well for the future……

So often I get frustrated when we try to do ourselves down, we talk about our glass being half empty, rather than half full but there was none of that at the weekend. That’s not to say that people had their rose tinted glasses on and were ignoring the challenges. There was plenty of agreement that we needed to support section and unit leaders better, to empower young people more and to facilitate their greater engagement in the organisation. But on this occasion, there was also an acceptance that we have already made great improvements in those areas.

Not long ago that we sat in committee meetings saying ‘if only’ things like our PR, image and recruitment were better – well those days have arrived and we have achieved a makeover that reality TV would be proud of. We planned for the Centenary and worried that our leaders would leave on 31.12.07 – they didn’t.We worried that people wanting to join us would peek on 1.08.07, Sunrise Day – they certainly didn’t and we continue to see record numbers of enquiries.

In short, we have great momentum, we are on a roll and I’m convinced from what I hear and see from all around the UK that we have many examples of overcoming the challenges – retaining adults, being flexible, teamwork and inspirational leadership.

I committed to your line managers our support to make the most of these opportunities and I challenged them to give that same support to your Districts, Groups and Units.

Increasing numbers of young people in the UK can look forward to a great future with us.




By Mark Dick
on 20/10/2009 21:38

I was not aware of a previous opportunity to contribute to

Shaping The Future: Agreeing Scouting's Vision Towards 2018

It was unclear how the focus groups were formed. But even at this late stage (and after the CCs Conference). I wish to make the following points regarding local autonomy.

· Flexibility and Diversity were key concepts in the document

¬∑ Perhaps ‚Äúflexibility‚ÄĚ should be applied to the various age bands of the Sections. Give some control back to the Groups to have say 18 -24 months leeway on moving on between Sections. It should be pointed out that Scouting started at Group and even Patrol level where these issues were adapted to suit the locality. Therefore for example ...

o Scout Section ages 10.5yrs/12.5yrs to 14.5yrs/16.5yrs etc etc

¬∑ Perhaps ‚Äúdiversity‚ÄĚ should be adapted as an optional aspiration again depending on local circumstances eg

o Single sex Sections under the control of the Group Executive rather than the Committee of the Council

o While ranging up to full diversity at National and International Scouting events.

· Let us all agree to return some power and decision making back to the grass roots!

Yours in Scouting

Mark Dick

ASL 3rd Ballymena

ADC (Activities) Mid Antrim

ACC (Activities) Antrim

By Adrian Full (ESL Night Hawks Mid Wiltshire)
on 21/10/2009 08:31

In reply to Mark's comment - please don't extend the Scout Section upper age back to 16! The young people need the challenge of Explorer Scouting at 14, the growth and vitality of the Section proves that.

Have a properly organised Young Leaders Scheme and those who really want to help run the Troop will be far more empowered via the YL route than ever they could be as a Patrol Leader.

Please trust your young people to take on roles at this level - they won't disappoint!

By Moz
on 21/10/2009 15:55

Another reply to Mark:

I see the grass roots being the young people - and when the Committee of the Countil made Scouting coeducational, and implemented the 10-14 age range for the Scout Section, they did so after consulting with these young people.

I wonder whether Mark wants this 2 year leeway, and return to single-sex Scouting, to suit the way he wants to run his Scout Troop rather than to benefit the young people.

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