Message from the District Commissioner

Posted on 5th April 2021 by Greg Piskosz

Today, Monday March 29th, is the day that we start the journey back to a way of Scouting that we all recognise and love, being with our Young People in the Great Adventure that is being in Scouts.   Today we can return to Face to Face Scouting and the Government roadmap puts us into a path that by the end of June  means we will be largely back to where we were.

It is well over a year since the 1st lockdown and everyone’s lives changed for ever.   In that time you have all gone through so much, personally in your home lives, in your work loves, in your scouting lives.   Despite al this Scouting has continued and for many of us the only constant in the turmoil that has been the past 54 weeks.   It’s been fantastic the way that leaders, sections and groups have responded.   The range of activities that have been offered to our young people is truly inspirational – from on line meetings, Camps @ home, wide games, self led badge work,  the list goes on – Thank you to you all for whatever you have been able to do.


During the period of lockdown we have taken the opportunity to ensure that all the training that adult volunteers have to complete is done.   At the start of this month the Training team sent out personal emails to Volunteers to get their mandatory and Initial training completed.   In those emails timescale deadlines were set for completion.   These deadlines are generous especially when we remember that for most there has been in excess of 2 years to get this training done.   Having a role on Scouting comes with obligations, obligations to the group section and young people, and also obligations to undertake and complete training.   Gilwelll have a very simple, and Hard Line, No training completed, No role.   This is not somewhere we want to be.   If you have training to do please complete it.

Training Advisors

On a cheerier note our Five New training Advisors – Karen Gibson, Chris Atherton, Aimee Comby, Andrew Pine, Stephen Bailey, have completed their training and now only have to complete the Validation Process before we can then let them loose.

We recruited more Training Advisors to ensure that we can give the maximum support to Adult Volunteers in their training journey and obligations.   TA’s will be in contact very soon with the leaders that have been allocated to them

First Aid

During the lockdown, First Aid compliance has been hit hard.   Gilwell have developed a Course that is able to be completed as a hybrid – part on-line, part face to face.   It consists of two on line sessions that covers a lot of theory and content that can be delivered on line, followed up with a 3rd practical session that covers CPR.   Up to know we have held back on running this as we did not want a large gap between the on line session and the Practical demonstration element of CPR.   Now we are starting to come out of lockdown the picture has changed.   Our First Aid Trainers are looking at dates etc that we can hold the on line sessions on.   We know all the leaders whose First Aid is out of date and will be in touch soon

Face 2 Face Scouting

Groups and sections have already made huge strides towards a return to F2F scouting and are planning outdoor meetings.   However, we need to remember, as I keep saying, It is Not a Race, It is Not a Competition.   Groups and sections will return to F2F scouting if and only when THEY are ready.

I, like many, have massively missed the time we spend with our young people in Scouting, so please if your Group, Your Section is holding F2F meetings I would love an Invite.   I welcome the opportunity to see our Young People ‘in the flesh’ to see you all and be able to thank them and you for keeping strong and sticking it out.   As I always have said……  Invite Me and I will Come…Please

And Finally…….   In my first district wide communication just after we ceased Face to Face Scouting I published this from Pope Francis, at the time I said…………

whether you have a faith or not it speaks wonderfully to where we are….

“Tonight before falling asleep
think about when we will return to the street.
When we hug again,
when all the shopping together will seem
like a party.
Let’s think about when the coffees will return
to the bar, the small talk,
the photos close to each other. We think about
when it will all be
a memory but normalcy will seem an unexpected
and beautiful gift.
We will love everything that has so far seemed
futile to us. Every second
will be precious.
Swims at the sea, the sun until late, sunsets,
toasts, laughter.
We will go back to laughing together.
Strength and courage.”

These times are difficult, still full of uncertainty.  However It seems that a lot of these hopes and dreams are now starting to come true.

We are all part of one, huge extended Scouting Family, unified by our Promise.   All we can ask of each other is ..

…To do My Best,
….Up hold our Scout Values
……To help other people

Look after yourselves, Be Safe.


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