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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Proud to be a Scout

During a very poignant week, Wayne takes pride in the Movement.

Building social cohesion and integration

As it transpired, a number of events that have been sometime in their planning took on much more significant poignancy in the aftermath of the atrocities in Paris on Friday evening.

Whilst the events in Paris, so close to our own shores, will so often be uppermost in our minds, these atrocities come so quickly on the back of ongoing terrorist activities whether in Bagdad, Syria or the Russian passenger plane recently downed.   From a Scouting perspective, we were able to respond quickly, not only showing solidarity with Scouting colleagues, but providing some practical resources for our own leaders trying to help young people come to terms with such profound issues.

Global opportunities

Opening the International Forum (a gathering of Assistant County Commissioners, International and similar roles) on Saturday morning where they were discussing a wide range of initiatives and activities designed to improve understanding of global issues, cultures and local solidarity initiatives.  Members of TSA were in Paris itself attending a meeting looking at further development of the Scouts of the World Award, an award of the World Organisation of Scout Movements, ('WOSM') looking to build better understanding and personal development of young people across cultures.


At Westminster Abbey, 2000 adult volunteers in Scouting and Guiding gathered for our annual Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving – they sat spellbound as Lizzie Adams, a Guide, and Heather Dempsey, a Scout, gave their testimonies and, in their own way, illustrated the profound impact on each of them their adult leaders had given and recognised the significant impact each had had on their own lives and journeys. There was so much to be celebrating.

Improving understanding

Meanwhile, as the service ended and we moved to lunch to celebrate, in particular, the achievements of those receiving their Silver Wolf awards for service of 'the most exceptional nature' for Scouting, at Gilwell Park, the perseverance and commitment of members of the Muslim Scout Fellowship were being celebrated with the opening of the Gilwell Park Mosque, an inspiring addition to the spiritual places of worship and reflection reinforcing Gilwell’s role as a multi-faith and secular centre. 

Of course, the Muslim Scout Fellowship’s greatest achievement is the significant growth of Scouting within Muslim communities in the UK and the increasing integration we are seeing through Scouting at local levels through the Districts.

Social inequality

And, in the midsts of a week where equality and social cohesion were such a key part, a number of us were fortunate to attend an NCVO lecture given by former PM, Sir John Major on social inequality within the UK. I was reminded of the role that Scouting has had for such a long time and which is currently highlighted in our Better Prepared and other initiatives to provide life changing opportunities in particular to those young people that may not otherwise have them because of their and their families circumstances.

All in all, as I travelled home on Saturday evening I felt, more than ever before, proud to be a Scout.



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