DC’s blog – 15 January 2018

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Happy new year!

We hope that everyone involved in Scouting across the District was able to take a well-earned break over the Christmas and new year period. No doubt, plans are now in place for programmes over the next couple of months and perhaps longer where events will take a bit more to organise.

After a bit of a break for us too, we’ll start up regular fortnightly blogs again now.

Steve Ball, Ian MacKenzie

District Commissioners, Wiltshire North

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In this edition:

  • Scout Association census 2018
  • St Georges Day 2018
  • Adult training
  • Madagascar 2019 opportunity
  • Winter camp

Census 2018

Every year the Scout Association takes a census of members across the country. Gathering the information is no small undertaking, but allows planning locally and nationally and helps monitor the effectiveness of the Association’s growth plans. The census collects information as at 31 January 2018. Please can all those completing information do so in the first two weeks of February.

Login details for the online data collection system have been provided directly from the Scout Association to Group Scout Leaders. Login details for Explorer leadership teams have been distributed by Josh Coombs. If any Group or Unit has not received their login details, please let us know (dc@wiltshirenorthscouts.org.uk).

Some of the details of what’s being collected this year are slightly different than previous years. Some of the processes (particularly around returns for Explorer Units) have changed. Please take a bit of time before the end of January to make sure you’re clear about what’s required.

It is no longer necessary for Groups or Units to provide a list of members to the District.

St Georges Day 2018

This year’s St Georges Day parade will take place at Malmesbury on Sunday, 22 April 2018. More details to follow nearer the time, but please build the date into your programmes. The venue is relatively large so it would be good to have high levels of attendance and really showcase the scale of Scouting in the District.

Adult training

Making sure that adult volunteers have the training and support they need to provide high quality scouting is an important function of the District. You’ll always find the latest information on the District Website (http://www.wiltshirenorthscouts.org.uk/public/training).

Plans are starting to get off the ground for providing training locally, in addition to that provided at a County level. You’ll also find a link to training that’s being run in Swindon, which might be more convenient to attend than Potterne – or simply provide alternative dates.

Training for Manager and Supporter roles are now run on a regional basis. The next is in Swindon towards the end of February. Subsequent options are further away (Taunton, Dorset) – so worth getting onto the one in Swindon if that’s what you need.

Madagascar 2019 opportunity

One for Explorers (or ‘nearly Explorers’). Do you feel you need to provide an international Scouting opportunity for your young people? There is an opportunity for a Scouting trip to Madagascar taking place in 2019, which is being organised by Somerset County Scouts. Young people taking part will need to be aged 15 – 18 years in August 2019. More details at http://scoutexped.org.uk/mad19 or you can email info@scoutexped.org.uk Closing date for applications is end of January, so need to get your skates on if this is of interest.

Winter Camp

Finally, it appears that almost 100 brave souls from across the District attended Winter Camp at Gilwell Park last weekend. Something like 40 Scouts; 30 Explorers and 30 Adults all told. Well done for braving the cold and wet January weather and putting paid to the notion that camping is only for June, July and August!