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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Bring back the kudu horn!

Like so much of Scouting, the success of Gilwell Reunion, our traditional gathering over the first full weekend in September, has been its ability to move with the times while remaining true to its original values… 

Reunion: past, present and future

In 1921, there was a decision to hold an event for members of the 1st Gilwell Park Troop and Pack, notably adult leaders who had attained their Wood Badges and who automatically became members of the 1st Gilwell. That event was attended by 140 Scouters and their Programme included a film screening, campfire and Scout’s Own service.  All elements you will find in the Programme today.

But many elements of the Scout Programme have moved along too. It is no longer necessary for you to have attained your Wood Badge in order to attend Reunion and this has resulted in participants being increasingly reflective of our wider Movement. Many attendees would also be relieved that the obligatory 7.00am rouse by the kudu horn blown by the Chief Scout no longer features; nor does the 9.30am tent inspection!

This year’s reunion had over 2,200 participants who came together to share experiences, make acquaintances old and new and generally have a fantastic time.  There were also plenty of opportunities to participate in workshops covering all current topics within the Movement as well as a question and answer session with myself, Matt Hyde and Hannah Kentish.

Scout Radio

The wonderful volunteer team at Scout Radio (scoutradio.org.uk) were on hand throughout the weekend and are in the process of compiling an excellent collection of interviews and excerpts from the various sessions. Please do check out their website to find out first-hand what we got up to as well as to learn about such initiatives as A Million Hands and more.

Next year will be the 90th Reunion; if you haven’t already, put 2-4 September 2016 in your diaries now!

AGM and #WeShape

This weekend sees our Annual General Meeting at Baden-Powell House (Saturday 12 September) and Council in Conference – this year called #WeShape. I am delighted to say that for the first time, and following the excellent example set by YouShape, we will be live streaming the day including the question and answer session. This provides an opportunity for those not physically present to participate via twitter and web interaction. The coverage will begin at 10.50am at scouts.org.uk/weshape.  
During the afternoon session (from 1.40pm onwards) we will be looking at the fantastic opportunities for Scouting over the next 18 months and how we can achieve our strategic objectives by delivering the balanced Programme.  
As always, we remain fully committed to increasing even further the openness and transparency of our Movement, whether through appointments to key national roles, our Trustee Board or wider interaction with members. I would encourage everybody to participate fully in these sessions and let us know of other opportunities that could help us support you further.  

And finally: huge congratulations to our Patron HM the Queen who officially becomes our longest reigning monarch today – a great ambassador for Scouts and a true inspiration for generations to come.



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