I am sure you will agree with me that the longer evenings and warmer weather is so welcome and an absolute treat allowing us to get back out there hiking, paddling, camping and playing games!
By the time this blog post comes to publish I will have been in post for 5 weeks and I can honestly say it’s been such an inspiring and eventful time that has made me even more excited for what happens next.
My first engagement took me right back to my roots in Scouting at the Cole District St Georges Day Parade through Knowle. I have been a participant of that parade since Beavers in 1st Knowle and have taken part as a member of every section since. To have the honour to be proud of you all, will something that will stay with me for a long time. The weather was beautiful (which was not always the case) and we had a great turn out, but special shout out must be made to the Squirrels of 1st Marston Green, our newest little red army, I can’t wait to see this section thrive across the county over the next couple of years, helping us provide more opportunities for more younger people earlier in life! Thank you to all members of the Cole Leadership Team for making this happen in an efficient and safe manor!
I’ve also had the opportunity to get out and about and see two camps at Rhydd Covert Campsite in Kidderminster. 1st Chelmsley Wood were nestled away in the woods looking exhausted (…and slightly sunburnt) after a day at West Midlands Safari Park whilst waiting for their chippy tea to arrive and our World Scout Jamboree Unit ‘SoliCov’ were over the other side of site which, when I got to them, had just finished a traditional Korean dinner and settling in for an evening around the fire, their Unit Youth Forum had just finished selecting the final design for the unit badge and I can’t wait to get my hands on one and be part of the rest of their journey as I myself head to Korea as a member of the International Support Team.
Last weekend we attended Basecamp22, the HQ National Conference bringing together County Leadership Teams from across the UK for a weekend of engaging discussions, informative sessions and of course to celebrate my birthday! We’ve got some exciting things to share with you from that weekend that will lead positive change across the country and ultimately make scouting easier for our volunteers, more impactful for our young people and offer more #SkillsForLife to a wider selection of our community. Keep an eye on your emails, webinars and social media to find out when we share these things with you, nothing will be happening overnight and we are here to support these changes with you all the way!
Part of the Saturday Evening celebrations saw the ‘Good For You’ awards, a way for the UK Leadership Team to recognise those teams and individuals who have made a real impact in Scouting in their local area and we were overjoyed that our West Midlands Region Youth Shaped Team picked up the award for presenting the largest number of YouShape awards across the country. This award is true recognition of the hard and collaborative work that all of our County Youth Commissioners have done throughout the pandemic and continue to plan for in the rest of this year. Being Youth Shaped is not just about giving our young people a voice, it’s about ensuring our movement is for young people, by young people and allowing that platform for change both locally and globally!
We’ve also shared through your County Camp Group Contacts the pricing for this years County Camp in September and announced the date for Operation Chameleon – two of the biggest events in the County Event Calendar! Both events are very close to my heart and my appointment as CC won’t be removing me from those events, so I cannot wait!!
My big concern for the County at the moment is First Aid Training. John Cheshire continues to support the delivery of this with his team, but the uptake in training courses is low, we’re having to cancel First Aid courses because they only have one attendee booked in, despite the large number of leaders requiring their Training to be done. If you have any thoughts on how you can support this, please do let me know, I am starting to think a little outside the box with the team to ensure we can continue delivering safe scouting.
Alongside First Aid Training, we are starting to suspend members with long overdue and outstanding Safety & Safeguarding training. Both of these modules are delivered online and do not take long to complete. If you’re not sure if yours is due or expiring soon then have a look at your Compass record. If you don’t have access to Compass, please speak to your GSL/DC or me. Head to solihullscouts.org.uk/training for the links to complete these modules!
There continue to be a series of webinars being run by HQ to cover a whole range of topics and discussions every night of the week across all roles, I encourage you to have a look at scouts.org.uk/events to see if there’s anything coming up which may help you locally.
A number of you have reached out to me asking what I will be doing with “the team” and how that will look going forward. As you can see, it’s been a very busy start to the appointment and what I’ve highlighted in this blog post is only the surface of what I’ve been up to. I’ve had a number of 1 to 1 sessions with members of the existing team and continue to make plans on how that team looks going forward. I am hoping to publish those changes in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for that.
As always, there is a space on our team for you. Solihull is a great place to Scout because of its volunteers always going above and beyond on a weekly, daily and sometimes hourly basis so thank you. But, if you’re looking for something new, a little change or have an extra bit of time to offer, please do not think that a County Role is hard work, time consuming and boring… I didn’t think I’d be writing a two page blog post only one month in! I continue to welcome any of you for a discussion with me, check out solihullscouts.org.uk/cc for my availability!
Over the next month I’ve got opportunities to visit Warwickshire Scouts County Camp ‘Get In’, Join in local Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations, Attend some AGMs and hopefully get out to some more group camps to join you at the Camp Fire… as well as continuing to meet with members of our team and build our #SkillsForLife plan!
Finally, if you’ve made it reading this far, thank you. I’ve always believed that the key to good support at local level is good communication. How can we support you if you don’t know what’s going on? If there’s anything you’d like me to be sharing, saying or doing then please just ask – I love communicating but I’m not very good at mind reading!
I look forward to seeing you all soon as I chase you all around the Country!