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Graham’s July D C Blog – Together in Scouting

 

WHAT IS TOGETHER IN SCOUTING?

There are lots of good ways that we can be Together in Scouting, not just here in the Scout District of Burton upon Trent, but also at County and Nationally.

We also have members of the District going to the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan next year, where being together will certainly bring opportunity and enjoyment to the Scouts from here and all over the World.

As with every aspect of our progressive youth programme the going away and joining together is equally important. What we do together at camps and activity days bonds us and builds great spirit amongst not just the adults but more importantly the youth members of the Scout movement. I wrote in the opening paragraph last month that we can learn from good practice and from difficulties as well. Never has this been truer than in the enjoyment and the stress of running a District camp for example or taking a few members off to join in with total strangers at an event the other end of the country. If ever there were doubt, the enjoyment on the faces of Scouts from 6 to 18 tells us that it is always worthwhile.

GETTING THE LOCAL MANAGERS TO SAY IT AS THEY SEE IT – WITH NO PRE-PLANNING FOR THAT PREPARED RESPONSE – WE TOOK IT ON THE CHIN!

Recently the Group Scout Leaders (our local managers) took part in a challenge one evening at our May Bullock centre up at Rangemore. We met Liz Curran and Glen Brooks from the national staff of the Scouts Regional Development Team. They guided everyone to look at what we are doing well, not so well and to be frank in need of action both at District and Group levels. The good news is a fairly clear set of outcomes that held few surprises. I did note that one or two Group Scout Leaders were very supportive of their colleagues who were concerned at some of the answers. It was good to see that Together in Scouting we have the common goals and the common issues.

WORKING WITH THE RESOURCES WE HAVE

I have been able to take advantage of the District Cub Scout Camp and also the District 6ers and 2nders camps recently. It is very useful to go and chat and watch and sometimes get involved with Leaders and members at these kinds of events. We can learn so much from the dynamics of a camp or an activity day. Taking this a step further we are now embarking on the YOUTH INVOLVEMENT project which will embed into everyday Scouting. It is going to be heard more and more “what do the Beavers / Cubs / Scouts / Explorers think” or perhaps we will be taking an idea from a number of suggestions and shaping the Scout District and the Groups own programmes and activities – in other words Youth Shaped. I was at BIG Camp run as a Staffordshire County Camp for Scouts and Explorer Scouts with a lot of Young People being heavily involved. This was a really great event, and local campsite Beaudesert. This is where we will see a County Cub Scout Camp in 2015, and this will prove to be an ideal time again for Leaders to enjoy working Together in Scouting.

One of our main resources is the VOLUNTEER so whatever the role we need to manage that carefully and remember to acknowledge and reward (thank you often means so much) and see how we can support each other better in what we are trying to achieve. I am looking at options to support local SCOUTING PROVISION with a call on fewer adult volunteers to achieve a bigger youth footprint especially where we have facility opportunity and youth recruitment potential.

Finally I know that we move towards the summer holidays when a lot of our units will be closed for a few weeks. Those that have camps and alternative programmes can enjoy the richness of being Together in Scouting and having the chance to use the resource that is the whole of Scouting’s opportunities. Enjoy camps and enjoy the rest as well because we know there is always a demand for what we do best in Scouting.

Graham July 8th 2014