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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Having a lasting impact

This week, Wayne looks to the past and the future of Scout Activity Centres, and pops in to visit the Community Impact Group!

Having a lasting impact

Returning to the annual conference of the Association of Scout & Guide Centre Manager (ASGC) provided an opportunity to review our strategy over the past 12 years and look to the future.

Looking back

One of the early national initiatives I became involved with on becoming a trustee in 2001 was the review of National Scout Activity Centres which we published and approved in late 2002.  The vison was to:

·      Deliver a range of visitor experiences that complemented each other.

·      That Activity Centres would serve as ‘shop windows’ for Scouting, working in partnership with Local Authorities and others.

·      Be financially viable.

·      A smaller number of centrally managed Centres and more partnerships with local Scouting.

…. reflecting on today

Some 13 years later, and 7 years since I last spoke at and ASGC conference, it’s great to know that:

·      National Centres contributed £1.3m net income this year (up from £331k).

·      We have invested over £15m in the centres.

·      40,000 school children participated in activities compared to less than 300.

·      1/3 of business is ‘non-Scout’ but it contributes 2/3 of income.

·      Achieved through successful partnerships with several Scout Counties, Scouts Wales and Scouts NI.

And crystal ball gazing for the future

Looking to the future, with increased appreciation of the value of outdoor learning, a focus on healthy living, not to mention the growth of Scouting, it was also an opportunity to reflect on how our shared successes could be even greater by working together, in partnership, to capitalise on these.

It was of course, a time to catch up with some old and friends and to have a little fun also!

And another great foundation laid

Earlier on, I had dropped in on the Community Impact Group, the team leading the A Million Hands initiative.  They were reviewing progress to date and looking at how best they could offer further support to local Scouting to embed the initiative in the programme, making it easier for section and unit leaders to empower young people.  A great combination.

Very worthy recipients of their Stage 4 Community Impact badge!



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