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So flexibility really does pay off then?

Much more luck with my travelling this week which is just as well with 2 trips to London, kicking off on Wednesday with a meeting with the Chair and staff support for the Youth Involvement Working Group to discuss progress with the initiative and ways in which we can further integrate their work with the core work of the Programme Teams. It was also a further opportunity to spend some time whilst travelling catching up with Alex (UK Commissioner for Programme).  Coffee the following morning with Derek who chairs the World Scout Organisation’s Constitutions Committee (oh yes, there is such a thing)  to catch up with what is happening in the world of international Scouting and also to brief him on what is happening here in the UK. It's also good to tap into his wealth of experience.

At lunch time I met with the Chair of a large disability charity who, through my involvement with Scouting, I have been asked to act as a mentor for over the past 18 months.  I find our discussions particularly interesting because not only am I able to offer experiences gained through Scouting but I am also able to learn from their experiences, particularly around governance of large and complicated charities.  It is very much a win win situation and one of those unusual opportunities that Scouting so often introduces us to.

After a brief return home and to the day job it was back to London for interviews on Saturday for the role of Chief Commissioner of England and a chance the evening before to catch up over dinner with Rachel, one of our Elected Youth Member Trustees and Chair of the Scout British Youth Council delegation amongst other things.  Saturday was a great day interviewing 9 candidates for the role of Chief Commissioner of England with a particularly wide selection of candidates brought about by the re-advertisement of the role which I have spoken about previously.  I would like to say a little bit more about the day, however I am sure you will appreciate I have something of a process to follow through so will save this for next week.

I had a number of bits of good news this week, especially an email on Friday from Andrew, a County Commissioner, to update me on the progress of one of his Districts.   The relevance is that I had received an email from somebody in the District back in the summer telling me about all that was wrong with my article on ‘Focus of Flexibility’ and why it didn't work in practice.  Well the good news was that the District in question which had a new DC less than 12 months ago, has increased it’s number of young people over the past 12 months by 12% along with a 4% increase in leaders which had enabled it to open 3 new sections and to increase the average size of each of the groups.  The DC had summed it up when asked about the success by saying ‘It’s simple really, you just run a good quality programme that young people and their parents want to be involved with – you run a programme utilising the skills of the parents, not asking them to do things they know nothing about, and they want to become leaders and share in the success”. 

Food for thought for all of us perhaps?




By Wolfie
on 10/02/2010 17:12

I agree with the Dcs summing up, it's something we do already. I would just add though that having a reliable pool of adults with a huge range of skills can work without trying to convince them all to go into uniform. We have lots of parents who don't want that level of committment but who have been happy to take on everything from Chef Badge with the Cubs (4 Mums over 2 weeks and money raised for charity) to ccyling treks /camps with Scouts and rockets with beavers to astronomy with the Cubs. So make the most of the parents - without worrying abut turning them into leaders.......(although some of them no doubt will). Be direct and it's amazing what people will agree to do :-)

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