In his latest blog, our
vice-Chairman Fraser reflects on a busy and productive weekend on many fronts
at Auchengillan, but involving the whole Region.
Preparing for our biggest
ever Explorer Belt expedition in 2017, there was a parents and participants
evening on Friday night. 96 Explorers and Networkers from all 7 Districts, aged
16 to 24 will trek 100 miles unsupported over 10 days through Switzerland, with
the potential to enter neighbouring Czech Republic, Austria, and a few others.
En route back to the UK the group will stop at Europe's three most popular
theme parks and spend five days at Kandersteg World Scout Centre.
Across in The Providore, Stuart
Yuill and his team ran training for new 18 new volunteers and the Auchengillan
Young Leader Explorer Scout Unit was up for the weekend, helping with final preparations
for this year’s Sub Zero.
John Rafferty (Raff), ARC
Explorers hosted a Scottish Jamboree Leaders reunion on Saturday Evening and on
Sunday Scott Douglas, recently appointed SHQ Commissioner for Explorer Scouts
hosted a meeting of his support team.
During the day on Saturday,
56 representatives from our Districts across Clyde Region, aged 16 and upwards gathered
to discuss a strategy to help grow our Region under the guidance of Professor
Robert Macintosh, from Herriot Watt University. Robert has developed and
delivered strategy development programmes for a range of public and private
sector organisations including a number of FTSE-listed firms and he co-founded
Stride which provides on-line resources for those developing strategy in their
So, what is a strategy? More
importantly, why would we need one?
Well in this particular
context strategy defines the medium to long term priorities of an organisation
and is applicable to all types, whether it be commercial, public, or third
sector (us). The workshop gave a brief overview of the key concepts of strategy
assembly and guidance on how to operationalise these in a pragmatic and
objective manner. The intention is to ensure clarity over key measures,
processes and obstacles such that these can be effectively and concisely
communicated to the wider region, in particular our groups and districts.
the morning the group split into teams to consider three topics: Growth and
Development, Programme Support and Governance & Trading. We discussed the
challenges faced at Regional, District, Group and section levels from each of
these viewpoints and traced the issues back to a common source. We recognised a
very diverse skill set at all levels, however most issues were backtracked to a
sense of "stuck"ness. An air of being set indefinitely in a way of doing
things, and in certain cases a reluctant attitude towards the natural evolution
and progression in our activities. We wondered whether this "but we've
always done it this way" mindset (in places) stood in the way of
maximising the range and potential of our volunteers?
afternoon session was spent thinking about how to ease the progression of
leadership, constructing a set of sentences to succinctly communicate our
conclusions, and how to measure the success of the strategy:
ease the progression of leadership, it was decided that there should be a
continuous progression of volunteers through leadership roles, using more
seasoned members to mentor and guide the new appointees through their roles.
This will simultaneously achieve several goals:
- It will
give a more targeted and objective method of appointing successors, hopefully
leading to smoother transitions.
- It will
provide more opportunities for, and greater potential for personal development
for all volunteers, regardless of age and standing.
- It will
give a more effective system of retaining explorer young leaders and volunteers
new to scouting. This will help counteract falling adult volunteer numbers,
which is a significant problem in some groups.
- It should
help to keep the programme up to date and interesting for the participants.
Aspointed out to a group of explorer scouts
involved in the discussions, "us old guys, we're not the future. You guys
are." The aim bring not to get rid of longer serving volunteers, but to
build on their experience to start a process of ever refreshing leadership in
the best interests of the young people.
the day was a huge success. In terms of objective planning it was a huge step
forward, and we have now framed a strategy for the next five to ten years - to
be released in the coming weeks. But what was most reassuring was the
difference in ages and experiences present, and how well everyone worked as a
team. Academic, pensioner, or school pupil, all had their say and made a fair
contribution to the end product. Author: Gary Bainbridge