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A parent's perspective

I have to confess to having been enjoying a bit of a break over Easter with nine days in Guernsey, travel free, where the family have also been back for the week.  Francesca returned from an Explorer Belt expedition on Easter Monday.  As a Scout, I have appreciated for a number of years what a great opportunity the Explorer Belt scheme is for 16-25 year olds, much the same as the World Scout Moot I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, to do something very different and unique – in this case, an adventure with a difference and a chance to get know a community and its members.

As a father of an 18 year daughter however, have to say that it is a bit of a shock to get a text from her explaining that her team have just had a great result and persuaded complete strangers to let them have a bed for the night in their house!  Or on another evening that they had met up with some locals who had then taken them to a local Scout campsite.  All innocent and a great adventure - but this was my daughter!

I had the advantage of knowing that it was a well organised and supervised trip – but as I was reading a thread on EScouts about over involved parents, it did set me wondering that we perhaps sometimes dismiss the interests of the parents of young people left in our care and could occasionally better prepare them for the adventure their child is about to experience? Of course, engaging them in what we are up to also gives us an opportunity to get to know them....

Increased opportunities such as Francesca was able to enjoy with Hampshire’s Explorer Belt expedition (which she only got to hear about because Hampshire are one of the Counties who kindly forward their monthly newsletter – hence the 'beware' of what this may lead to warning) might just be the reason why our membership is booming. But that’s a story for next week.




By Steve
on 14/04/2010 20:33

Thanks Wayne,

Firstly and most importantly Congratulations to Francesca on completing her Explorer Belt Expedition. Just the debrief and presentation to go before she compeltes one of the best awards (and best kept secret in Scouting. I hope you blog again when you go to her presentation.

The EB is a very special award and really does give a unique experience, but that is what we in Scouting do! Of course like any parents you were shocked to hear your dear daughter was staying in a strangers house. To me though, this is what an EB is about, if any team I am supervising fails to do this or meet local Scouts I would have to wonder of they have done an EB. That is why the award is so special, of course members can work on this award but to really benefit particpiants need to get into the culture, and they key to that is the special cloth we wear over our necks, held together by a woggle of friendship knot. Could any other organisation achieve this?

By Mike Hudgell
on 16/04/2010 16:49

Sounds like they all had a good time, doing exactly what the Explorer Belt is supposed to be...

However, it does flag up a good point that we are poor at communicating stuff like this nationally. EBs like this happen all around the country all the time, and yet there is no easy access national resource to find out about them [and the same applies for things like open gold DOfE within scouting].

By Louise Harrison
on 18/04/2010 16:23

And while we are talking about what an acheivement the Explorer Belt is... we are not able to record it on the Explorer's online record like all the other awards!

By Jools Sore
on 19/04/2010 08:26

Hi Wayne,

It was a pleasure to have Francesca on the Explorer Belt team, along with Charlie, Claire, Tom, John, Carla, Nigel and Steven. This XB was put together in less than 2 months, and considering the time scales, and that the team members did not know each other previously as they came from across the whole of the UK, they formed and boned as teams extremely well.

Jo and I as there support team, had a great time tracking there progress each night, and getting the messages in of the Home Hospitality that the local Germans had offered the teams. When we meet the teams, the stories of the experience they were having were just amazing, and it was very clear what a unique and exciting experience the XB is.

We are now looking forward to attending the report back presentations, and making the awards of the Explorer Belts over the coming months.

Julian and Jo Sore
Explorer Belt 2010 Germany
Hampshire County Scouts

By Wayne Bulpitt
on 01/05/2010 17:47

Hi Louise,
Work is underway to upgrade the membership system and address anomolies such as the one with the EB.
Slowly but surely.....

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