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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Irish adventures

BLOG 05.05.16
This week, Wayne spent time in Ireland to hear about the successes and challenges of local Scouting (with a very interesting road trip for good measure!).

Irish adventures

Something of an Irish week for me last week, with two trips to Ireland, including an interesting road trip and more in between.

I took advantage of being in Dublin for my first visit with the Diana Award, their Anti-Bullying Showcase, to catch up with John Lawlor, Chief Executive of Scouting Ireland to discuss a wide range of topics of mutual interest before returning to Ireland on Friday and Saturday to join colleagues in Scouts NI for the weekend.

Learning about enterprise

In the meantime, I was lucky enough to attend a local presentation of the Young Enterprise Scheme which offers young people an opportunity to run their own business, supported by mentors and advisors ensuring they get a true experience of entrepreneurship.  It is of course interesting to compare some similarities between our own programme, including the Entrepreneurs Badge, and more general opportunities that non-formal learning offer.

Understanding success in Northern Ireland

Returning to Belfast, Northern Ireland, I spent Friday evening with the Scouts NI team comprising County Commissioners and those in national support roles to discuss a wide variety of topics from young leaders, the complexity of some Scout badges, our partnership with Scouting Ireland and growth of Scouting in Northern Ireland along with future opportunities.

Making good from bad

On Saturday morning, an early start enabled me to join County Fermanagh Scouts, the fastest growing Scout County in the UK, as they kicked off an activity day for all sections.  Fermanagh sits on the border with the Republic of Ireland, possibly sadly better known for some of the atrocities during The Troubles, but equally the venue for some exciting partnership work with Scouting Ireland and others and at the forefront of bringing communities together.

That road trip!

A somewhat eventful drive (one for the memoirs, and another day!) took me from the south western border to Londonderry in the north where I was lucky enough to join the County’s Cub Scouts for their Cubs 100 Centenary camp.   Fortunately, I arrived just in time for the cutting of the cake and testing of some fantastic cupcakes before joining them on a variety of their activity bases.

A week that sums so much up

Another fairly typical week where I was able to combine some detailed discussion about the successes and challenges of Scouting with the fun and adventure that we provide young people and the practical skills that make all the difference to their lives as well as that of our volunteers.



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