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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Summer snapshot!

BLOG 04.08.16

Summer snapshot!

In four days of criss-crossing England we have been lucky enough to see the wide array of summer activities that Scouting continues to offer young people.

Celebrating Cubs 100

On Saturday morning, Julie and I joined 2,600 Cubs from East and West Sussex along with their leaders and helpers who were celebrating the centenary of Cub Scouts with an action packed camp.

Amazing music

After a stop on the way north to catch up with Tim Kidd, Julie and I were delighted to spend the evening with the National Scout & Guide Orchestra and Concert Band as they celebrated their 40th anniversary.  The concerts on Friday and Saturday evening are the culmination of the orchestra’s summer camp which this year saw 115 members, 40 of whom had never participated in the orchestra before, coming together and playing together for the first time.  The re-introduction of the concert band after a few years' absence, meant that all Scouts and Guides who applied to attend this summer have been able to which is fantastic especially as their music was absolutely amazing.

Campers from around the world

Through the course of the following three days, we were able to attend the international camps at Brumjam, Essex International Jamboree and Charnwood with between 1,800 and 10,000 participants at each, including a very wide range of international visitors from up to 30 countries.  These events provide a fantastic opportunity for Scouts and Guides to begin to understand the size and international nature of our Movement and also enable a great range of new activities.

More to adventure

Whilst we often think that the headline grabbing adventurous activities are what attract young people, it’s interesting that it is often the simple or creative activities that are the ones that young people often talk about when I ask what they enjoy most about their camp.  Of course, those which involve water and mud often rate highly as well!

Youth shaped

This year in particular it has been great to see the increasing involvement of young people in the planning and delivery of the camps.  At Charnwood, for example, three Youth Ambassadors, Alex, Beck and Alex, who, along with their Youth Forum, have been helping the management team plan the camp.

Something for everyone

But it is the variety and different shapes and sizes of the activities and experience we offer that makes us so unique. I was delighted to be able to spend a day with Hampshire Scouts, visiting two very different campsites and catching up with the County team and others in the evening. Lyons Copse, run by an entirely volunteer team drawn from five Districts, and the Hampshire County site at Ferny Crofts which provided the type of activities you would expect at a national Scout Activity Centre.  The chance to meet with the wide range of groups camping on both sites, most of whom I’m pleased to say were cooking on open fires despite the rather inclement weather and enjoying more traditional group summer camps.

Nearly finished!

Without exception, at all of the events we attended the participants were having a great time learning a wide range of new skills and meeting new friends made possible by their leaders and helpers who have given up there time to make it possible.

I am taking a short break now but very much hope to see you at Gilwell Reunion on 2-4 September where we adults have our own opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities, learn new skills and ideas and refresh friendships new and old.  As well as it being an opportunity for a great many more people to observe and attend the Annual General Meeting which will be held on the Training Ground on the Saturday morning it also represents the handing over of my role as UK Chief Commissioner to Tim Kidd on Sunday afternoon.

Please do come along if you can and join in the fun.





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