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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Always learning something new

Having criss-crossed the UK over the past few days, it’s been great seeing Scouting at its best in all shapes and sizes. I also picked up a few activities ideas…

Big or small – everyone is a winner

In the last week I visited 6th Gosport Cubs on their summer camp in Guernsey and joined 8,000 young people and volunteers at Peak 2015 in the stunning grounds of Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. I also enjoyed time at large local camps in Shropshire, Aberdeen and Cornwall; from these visits, one thing was clear: Scouting is at its best where young people are enjoying fun and exciting activities, learning new skills and experiences – all made possible by the amazing talents of adult volunteers.

For me, the real delights of my role (and what I spend as much time as possible doing) is meeting and talking to young people and adults in Scouting at these fantastic events. In doing so, you quickly get a feel for an event – not to mention Scouting itself – and you come away with so many new ideas.

Scouting has been organising events like these – whether large UK and international events or Groups enjoying local camping – for a hundred years, but it is interesting to see how these have evolved to meet the needs of today’s young people. Once again, it explains why we continue to be so successful.

Youth shaped Scouting

At the Peak event, I was interested to learn about their 50/50 option for Explorer Scouts, where the Explorers have an option to either take part in the whole event as participants, or spend 50% of their time as participants and the other 50% as part of the service team. They also have the option to spend their time as members of the service team. This is youth shaped Scouting in practice, which was also prevalent in Run to the Fun, Cornwall, where the Explorer Scouts helped to organise the event and established a distinct camping area for themselves, keeping their own identify and enjoying a flexible social programme. 

Flexible Scouting in practice

At LinX in Shropshire, it was great to meet the leaders of 1st Shropshire Borders, a thriving Scout Group that meets for one Saturday a month from 10am to 4pm, allowing them to offer flexible volunteering opportunities to the leaders as well as appealing to young people who might otherwise find it difficult to attend weekly or mid-week meetings.

And at Grampian Nights, Aberdeen, the camp allowed a number of Groups and sections from Aberdeen District to participate in and enjoy – a summer camp they may not otherwise have been able to attend as their leaders were unable to either get the time off work or had other commitments.

All in all a great few days to see Scouting at its very best.

Finally, I just thought I would share with you this article from the Hull Daily Mail, the headline of which sums up why Scouting and our continued success is so very important today.




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