DCs blog – 30-Sept-17

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This is Steve & Ian’s first blog as District Commissioners for Wiltshire North.  There is lots of great Scouting going on around the District, but it can be hard to let people know about what’s going on and keep the flow of communication going.  We’ll write a bit about what’s going on every few weeks.  To make sure you receive these emails, please subscribe to the DC’s general update using this form.

In this edition:

  1. District website launch
  2. Changes in roles
  3. Scout section at Stanton St Quintin
  4. Nights Away notifications
  5. Scout Association Strategy consultation
  6. World Jamboree international service team (IST) applications
  7. August 2018 sailing trip
  8. Rotary youth leadership award
  9. Chance for DCs to meet Scout Groups and Explorer Units
  10. What’s happening?  Nights away events

District website launch

We’ve created a ‘skeleton’ website for scouting in Wiltshire North.  We’ll use this and a number of tools centred around it to try to tackle some of the challenges around communication around the District.  Most importantly, we’re building some mailing lists so that people can add and remove themselves from email communication.  You can manage which lists you are subscribed to using this webpage.  If you want to hear about new posts on the website, liking this Facebook page will see them appear in your feed.

Please do let us know what you think of the website content and where it can be improved.  If you’d like something a bit more descriptive for your Scout Group or Explorer Unit, please send us some text and we’ll update the relevant pages.

Changes in Roles

There is been quite a bit of change in the roles that people undertake around the District.  A quick summary of some them below:

  • With Steve taking up the DC role, there was a vacancy for GSL at 1st Corsham.  Mike Neal is going to fill that role (thanks, Mike!), with support from Neil Bridgeman and Josh Coombs as Assistant GSLs.
  • Ian is going to continue as Cub leader at Box alongside being DC, but we need to find someone to take the role of Assistant District Commissioner (Cubs), which he did previously.  It’s not a particularly onerous role and the Cub leadership teams across the District already collaborate well and organise a number of events throughout the year.
  • Barbara King is stepping aside as GSL at 10th Chippenham after many years of sterling service.  This leaves a vacancy at this thriving and expanding group.
  • Ian Munford is stepping aside as GSL at 1st Neston and Box, another thriving Group, leaving a vacancy.

If you are interested in being considered for any of the vacant roles, or know anyone who might be interested, please do let us know by email at dc@wiltshirenorthscouts.org.uk

Scout section at Stanton St Quintin

The Scout Group at Stanton St Quintin is the newest addition to the District.  It’s a real success story, with Beaver and Cub sections already thriving.  There is work underway to establish a new Scout section there, with support from the Scout Association’s Regional Support Team.  The plan is to run taster sessions from October and formally establish a new Scout Troop in the new year.  If you would be prepared to help with planning and running taster sessions, there is a planning meeting on 4 October 2017.  Let us know if you can help.

Nights away notifications

A few people have asked who they should send nights away notification forms to now that the switch of DCs has taken effect.  There are two ways you can do this – either are fine:

Scout Association strategic plan consultation

The Scout Association has provided information on it’s plan for the development of scouting over the next 5 years.  All those with an interest are invited to review the plans and submit their comments for consideration.  You can, of course, provide your feedback directly to the Scout Association – or we can collate views and submit them for the District as a whole.

The draft strategic plan can be downloaded from the Scout Association website, along with a number of resources to assist with capturing views and comments.  Your views can be submitted using this link.  The deadline for responses is 27 October 2017.

World Jamboree IST applications

The next (and 24th) world jamboree will take place in America in 2019.  Whilst applications for places for young people have now closed, there remain opportunities for those over 18 (or who will be over 18 by July 2019) to apply for a place as part of the International Service Team.  The IST are the staff that makes the jamboree happen and looks to be a really rewarding and valuable experience.  The closing date for applications is 6pm on Friday, 13th October 2017.

Details, including the application form can be found here.

August 2018 sailing trip

Over the summer, 20 Scouts and Explorers spent a week on board two Challenger yachts in the Solent and along the south coast.  The trip was really successful, so we’re planning to organise a similar trip next summer.  Full details of the trip can be found in the leaflet here.  The trip is suitable for Scouts and Explorers aged 12 and up next August.  Please could all Scout and Explorer leaders across the District share the leaflet with their sections?  If you would like paper copies, please let Steve know how many. The closing date for applications is the end of October.  Applications can be made using an online form here.

If any section would like someone to come to one of their meetings during October to talk about the trip and answer any questions, let Steve know and we’ll see what we can arrange.

If there are experienced Scout or Explorer leaders, who’d like to be considered for next summer’s sailing trip, please make sure they let Steve know.

Rotary Youth Leadership Award

One for Explorer section leaders.  Chippenham Rotary have been in touch with information about a youth leadership programme, which aims to support those aged 16-18 and promote leadership, team working and communication skills.  They will run a week-long, professionally facilitated residential course on Dartmoor in February 2018.  To actual cost of the course is quite high, but Chippenham rotary are prepared to subsidise this heavily, meaning to cost to anyone taking part would be only £100.  Chippenham Rotary would sponsor up to two people from Chippenham, Corsham or surrounding villages.  They would not be able to sponsor those from further afield.  If anyone is interested, please let us now and we’ll pass on the details we have.

Chance for new DCs to meet Groups and Units

Many thanks to those who’ve invited Steve or Ian to attend meetings and events in recent weeks, including 1st Crudwell, 10th Chippenham and Endeavour ESU.  We’re keen to get around and meet people, get to know what’s going on and try to oils the wheels.  We might not always be able to make the times that suit you, please do offer.  If you’ve got a meeting of section leaders or your executive committee, or a camp or event that you’d like us to visit, please do let us know at dc@wiltshirenortscouts.org.uk

What’s happening – nights away events

Finally, a quick round-up of the nights away events that have taken place over the last couple of weeks.  It’s great to see so many events and so many opportunities for young people.  Thanks so much to all the people, who work so hard to make them happen.

  • Malmesbury survival weekend for Explorers and Scouts
  • Sherston camp at Dolygaer in the Brecon Beacons
  • 1st Chippenham Scouts at Tedbury, Nr Frome
  • Sea Squad ESU at Youlbury, Nr Oxford
  • Colerne Cubs at Cleeve Hill, Nr Bath
  • Crudwell Group Camp