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A weekend of celebrations

Looking back through my notes, it’s hard to imagine how I have crammed everything in this week; but spring seems to have finally arrived, at least for the weekend. It all started with me joining 47 District Commissioners, and similar post holders at Gilwell on Monday for the second of this year’s DC Induction Days.

The role of DC is vital in ensuring that we support section leaders through the district team, including Group Scout Leaders who provide the vital link in that support. It’s also good for me to hear first hand of the challenges they face and shares ideas for how we might be able to improve aspects of the central support.

After the opening, it’s back to a series of meetings with volunteer and staff colleagues to discuss a number of those support projects we presently have underway and agree next steps. Groups I met on Monday covered our diversity action plans (ensuring Scouting is more inclusive), website developments, parental engagement and adult support teams. A quick visit back to the DC’s to join them for coffee and a sticky bun  and then I’m off back home for a few days.

A conference call on Thursday with the Chairman, Finance s/c, Director of Finance and CEO to discuss the proposed budget for the coming year before its consideration by the Board of Trustees who met on Saturday, answered some questions I had.

Back to Gilwell on Friday for a very busy two days, the day included a meeting with Keren who has just joined us as Director of Corporate Services (replacing the role of The Secretary) as part of her induction. As one of our senior staff team, Keren is responsible for areas such as safeguarding, records, membership services, legal services and the archives amongst others. On Friday evening we were joined by Peter Duncan for a reception to mark the unveiling of his portrait and launch of a DVD celebrating his time as Chief Scout from 2004 to 2009. It has been a tradition to have a portrait of each Chief Scout and Peter’s is a great tribute to the changes he helped us introduce in the public perception of Scouting. The portrait includes Scouts from Leyton (who joined us for the evening) and Luxembourg (who couldn’t join us!) whilst they were using the high ropes at Gilwell.

Saturday saw the quarterly meeting of the  Board of Trustees  where we considered and approved a number of items covering  marketing and communications, fundraising, our action plans (business objectives) for next year, Vision 2018, financial budgets and the structure of reporting committees etc. We took a break at lunchtime to join our guest, Peter Harrison, for the opening of the latest residential block at Gilwell. This brings the total investment in the facilities at Gilwell over the past 6 years to over £11m! We have also recently received planning consent to develop the National Centre at Youlbury and hope to commence a £5m investment there very shortly.

Before leaving Gilwell, I had time to join the 30 strong management team for the UK contingent to the Swedish Jamboree who have been meeting at Gilwell for the weekend and took the opportunity to find out how planning is going (very well they assured me) and to thank them for their commitment.

Finally back to Guernsey in time to join Julie at a local horseracing evening…… raising funds for the local contingent to the Jamboree!




By Mark Pullen
on 22/03/2010 08:36

Another quiet week then?!

Please share with us more details regarding the Peter Duncan DVD.

By Chris Maxted
on 23/03/2010 09:40

Picked up your blog following interesting article about Scouts being forced to remove woggles and neckers.
Could not help but reflect that your recent picture on the web show you improperly dressed - NO WOGGLE; despite the fact that these are a requirement under POR - cannot help but think that you are either trying to change the uniform by stealth!
Presumably you are entitled to wear a Gilwell Woggle - recognised internationally as a symbol of excellence and worn with pride by so many.
How much more difficult it will be at Windsor parade to persuade Scouts to be properly dressed if you don't set an example.

By Adrian Austin
on 23/03/2010 10:36

When will you be in a position to share information regarding development of the website and the membership database, particularly the aspects relating to the maintenance of training records? We keep on hearing it is going to be improved but not details interms of what the improvements are or the timeframe. It is frustrating that having promoted the use of the membership database there is still a need to keep records locally because it is slow, cumbersome and lacks functionality in so many areas.

By Steve Smith
on 23/03/2010 17:19

Chris, we have a formal uniform, which I know Wayne wears on formal occasions. Like most of us, at less formal times, he dresses less formally, which is what must have been in the photo you refer to. I can't see anything wrong with that. Do you wear full uniform every time you attend any scout-related activity?

I'm pretty sure that if Wayne wanted to change the uniform, he'd say so - I don't think stealth is his style!

By Wayne Bulpitt
on 23/03/2010 18:48

Hi Chris, think you must be confusing me for somebody else - I can't recall an occasion when I have ever worn my neckie without a woggle - and not just because I cannot tie a friendship knot.

By dave bramston
on 26/03/2010 21:28

Oh no back to the tie again, if the worst thing we have to worry about is a woggle then things are great. I've been away for a week and Scouting life is looking good , lets not get bogged down in petty things.

By Eddie Hulme
on 27/03/2010 10:41

Chaps - its not about Woggles and Neckerchief's - its about the Youth and their enjoyment of scouting and its activities. You can look just as smart with a Friendship knot or a Woggle. Just look at the thousands now wearing the i.scout hoodies - woggles just dont fit. I had so many positive comments from scouts who saw the Chief Scout on TV wearing his hoody and necker. Lets not get hung up on woggles. An opinion on P.O.R. , apart from Safety and Legal aspects, the rest is a guide to scouting not rules in concrete. Just an opinion.

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