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Chief Commissioner's blog| The old and the new

Wayne joined Scouts from across Derbyshire for their Founders Day celebrations and presentations of this year’s Queen’s Scout Awards.

Jack Antliff and Daniel Sandbrook were born 80 years apart but they both share the same high achievement: Jack earning his King’s Scout Award in 1928 and Daniel his Queen’s Scout Award in 2013.

As we listened to both recount their amazing experiences at Derbyshire’s Founders Day celebrations, it was obvious that it isn’t just the Monarch that has changed over the 85 intervening years.

Both Jack and Daniel’s activities and experiences reflect the generation they lived in. A great adventure for Jack was a weekend camp a few miles into the countryside, while for Daniel it was a trip halfway around the world.  Jack was lucky enough to have met Baden-Powell, the very man whose life we were celebrating over the weekend, and he told stories of their adventures.

It struck me however, that in less obvious ways, many things had not changed that much, and it was clear that the favourite Scouting activities remained the simple outdoor and adventurous ones. In getting their top awards, both Jack and Daniel needed to demonstrate success in community service, leadership, teamwork and endurance, to name a few; skills that span generations.

As society again recognises the non-formal learning we offer, it has been great to celebrate the Founder’s birthday in the knowledge that Scouting in the UK is thriving, reflecting the generations and environments in which we live and retaining those values that have stood the test of time.





By Larry Wilson
on 01/03/2014 13:29

It can only be hoped that in education and wider government the full extent of learning outside of a classroom is developed in a meaningful manner. Ultimately, schools are under tremendous pressures to get results at all costs. Vulnerable learners are the casualties in such an environment and all other young people are channelled to focus on maximising academic progress; all well and correct; but at what cost?
It's very easy for leaders to accept the value scouting brings and the community cohesion it focuses on, but in practice it is not judged as a success criteria for schools. Nobody is going to argue having young people embedded in their communities is a bad thing but when results are fragile in practice this is the first thing to go.
Why have the scouts not developed their own free schools with its unique vision and ethos? We have children crying out for environments where they flourish every cub or scout meeting but it blends into the background every day when they go to schools that actually don' live this in the day to day. What amazing schools these would be and imagine the queues to join them!

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