Where to next?
It’s the time of year when many Scout Groups hold their AGM and I try to attend as many as I can. It’s great to meet our volunteers ‘at the coal face’ in their home territory and see at first hand what the Group has been up to over the past year.
I never cease to be impressed by the volume, range and quality of the Programme and activities our Amazing Leaders offer, week in week out. All kinds of things from the excitement of abseiling down one of the highest church towers in the Borough, to community-spirited events like a massive litter pick along the River Crane. Every one of them is an opportunity to increase #SkillsForLife for young people as well as adults. Yes, adults learn and have fun too!
Our District is home to some of the oldest Scout Groups in the world, dating back to the very foundation of the Movement by Robert Baden-Powell. Last year 13th Twickenham (St Mary’s) and Petersham & Ham groups both celebrated their 110th birthday. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to 2nd Mortlake’s Centenary celebrations at their family camp and this weekend I was very excited to be able to take part in another two Group birthday parties; 1st St Margarets (known by friends as ISTMAR) who turned 100 years old this year and 1st Richmond (St. Mathias) who reached their 110th anniversary. Isn’t that just amazing! And you should know that The Scouts certainly know how to throw a party!
Whilst Scouting has indeed had some tweaks over the years to keep up with the times, our core principles, values and methods remain virtually unchanged. A real testimony to the forward thinking of Robert Baden-Powell.
And if attending two barbecue parties wasn’t enough, by kind invitation I went to a third barbecue event on the same night – this time to wish the County’s Explorer Scout Expedition to Sweden bon voyage. A good number of Explorer Scouts from the District will be joining others from Greater London South West in a few weeks to join an international event in Rinkabyfaltet, Sweden where our UK Contingent of 38 will be camping and enjoying activities and expeditions with Scouts from Germany as well as the local Swedish Scouts. That’s Scouting at its best!
These things don’t happen by themselves – I cannot help but feel humbled by the energy and sparkle our Leaders and volunteers constantly demonstrate to give our young people the best start in life.
Thank you all. Next week – Borough Camp! I can hardly wait ..!