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Chief Commissioner's blog| Barbed wire, dinner jackets and catching up with the Millers

A busy week for Wayne included presenting St George’s Day Awards and taking on the Pineapple Cup challenge...

‘Off Scouting, again?’

Airport security smiled when they checked what I packed for last weekend, which included my Scout uniform, hike boots and kit, dinner jacket, black tie and a ton of paper. ‘Off Scouting again, Wayne?’ they asked!

It’s certainly been a busy period: finishing our strategic plan, budgets and operational plans and attending numerous conference calls. I also spent a couple of days at Gilwell, which saw us cover several topics such as our business plan for Unity (Scout Insurance Services), our fundraising strategy, internal communications plans, the Compass progress update and more.

I also had the privilege of presenting St George’s Day Awards to national volunteers and staff to recognise their achievements and to thank them: always such a pleasurable opportunity.

All approved

Friday evening and Saturday saw the quarterly trustee board meeting taking place where our discussions included:

•    Approving our Strategic Plan 2014-18
•    Operational plan 2014-15
•    Budget 2014-15
•    Compass progress update and more

The Pineapple Cup

Leaving the meeting a little early, I headed up the M1 to drop in on the Explorer Scouts and Network members of Warwickshire Scouts and to join them on the final leg of their Pineapple Cup challenge hike.

We managed not to get lost, but I hadn’t banked on having to crawl under a barbed wire fence to get back into Rough Close campsite.

The challenge is in its 5th year and struck me as a great way to link sections, as it is organised by the Network for Explorer Scouts. It was great also to have a chance to talk to the participants around the campfire (pictured).

Celebrating with the Millers

I made a quick exit after dinner and headed up the M6 towards Dudley, for even more dinner.  A quick change from muddy hiking gear into a dinner jacket and bow tie and I was ready to be seated just in time for starters.

The occasion was the centenary if 1st Stambermill St Marks Scout Group and on Sunday the opening of their new headquarters building: The Millers, which is the name of all past and present members of the Group. The Millers have worked hard for their Scouting and fundraising and they certainly know how to celebrate. I had a great evening and it was wonderful to open the HQ on Sunday; it was overflowing with young people, supporters and members of the local community.

Facilities for local Scouting

New facilities were also on show at West Mercia’s County Development Day where its near-finished new County HQ played host to discussions on practical support for developing Scouting across the County.

Availability of facilities for local Scouting is something you’ve been telling us is getting harder; actions to address this are incorporated into the Strategic Plan. More on this in the near future...




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