DC’s January Report

Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

After our District Development Day it was obvious that we need to support you and your Groups far better. The District Team and I have been working on how we can do that. In the last six months, since I was appointed. we have made some changes to the way we support all of you and hopefully in 2012 we will see those changes making an impact.

We have now launched a far better District Web Site which is now live and if you have not already looked at it please do so. The address is www.southamptoncityscouts.co.uk
I would encourage you to register yourself individually, as a member of the District, on the site so that you can look in the member’s area. You can do that by registering at the bottom of the home page here.

Nico Chart and Sam Chapman now head up the Leader Training Team and we are on the lookout for many more Training Advisers. We have a substantial amount of adults in Leadership roles that require training and support.  We will be actively doing just that in 2012.

We have a new Appointments Secretary in Lyn Westerman. She has made a great start with the help of Mike Jackson and Graham Meering to take on that role. This will enable us to carry out the appointment procedures and just as importantly the reviewing of our appointments far easier in the future.

Graham and I are looking at additional ways that we can bring more adults from all sections of the community into Scouting. We have far too many vacancies at some very key positions which we need to resolve that in 2012.

Thelma is now the Group Support for all Groups. This is a new appointment in our District but one that is desperately needed. We have three Groups that do not, currently, have a GSL. Thelma is helping support those Groups until a person can be appointed. When that happens she will be able to develop her Group Support role much more to support all the Groups throughout the District, not just two or three.

We are now looking at ways in which we can improve Wilverley, District Camp Site. We have recently improved the sleeping arrangements by purchasing £3,500 of new mattresses and we are now looking to raise sufficient funds to enable us to have an electrical supply at the site and to do away with the need for the generator. This fund raising campaign will start soon .If anyone has any good ideas of where funding may be available please contact me. Peter Hull is the main contact for booking the site and facilities but Richard Cook is now helping him by taking on the finances of the hiring’s. I have had an introductory meeting with Mark Street of the Forestry Commission and we have started some initial discussions about our need to secure a long term licence for the use of Wilverley. I am pleased to say Mark has now written to me to confirm they are willing to offer us a long term licence for an additional 21 years. This of course will need to be formally agreed between us and the Forestry and the Scout Trust Corporation. Further details on Wilverley and its availability are now on the new website.

In May we have our District camp at Fernycroft and I for one look forward to that weekend. It will be a great opportunity for us all to get together and have fun. The planning for that Camp has already started. We have arranged a meeting at Fernycroft on the 15th January at 10.45am to discuss with you all about what you would like. I have also invited a small working party to help us make sure this is the best District Camp yet. Please do not forget to design your Camp badge and bring them with you on the 15th.

Please note we have a District Team / GSL’s next meeting on the 11th January at the 7th HQ at 7.45pm. Those of you that are in the District Team or are GSL’s please put this meeting in your diaries or give me your apologies.

It is important that we celebrate with all the young people when they are awarded their various Bronze, Silver, Gold and On-Going Awards. We need to make sure that they are on the Roll of Honour within Hampshire Scouting News. All the other Districts in the County are good at publicising these achievements but we are not. In future could the details of all Awards be sent to me.  I will make sure they are published.

The District agreed to purchase, for each of the Section Leaders, a Diamond Jubilee badge. I have distributed most of them but if any Leader has not got one please tell me as I have some left.

The District Executive, last July, gave each group £1,000. If you have not already informed Richard Cook, the District Secretary, what you have decided to use this money for could you please do so and a letter of thanks would be appreciated…

I continue to get out and about and attend as many events as I can, especially those that I am very kindly invited too.

I was invited to the Cub and Beaver Pantomime which this year was The Borrowers. It is a story all about little people who live under your floors and borrow things. I have not slept well since, thinking of these little people under the floor boards. Perhaps that is where all the additional volunteers are kept!!

I was also very pleased to visit the 1st to say ‘Goodbye’ to Carol Gilbert, the Cub Leader. She is moving to Manchester to be nearer her family. I have many pleasant memories of good summer days going out with her and her Cubs for a day trip. She will be very much missed in Southampton Scouting.

I spent a Saturday evening at the Explorer Christmas Camp at Wilverley. This was very well attended by all of the Units in the District. They had a huge hog roast in the evening but by the time I arrived most of that had gone! They had a great time and well done to Dave & Ian and the Explorer Leaders for organising the camp.

If you ever want to get into the spirit of Christmas I suggest that you start by attending the Beaver Christingle Service which this year was held at St James Church. It is always a lovely occasion and all the Beaver sections take part in the Service. It was lovely when the lights went down and every young person had a lit Christingle, a very special event. Well done to everyone who took part and to Lin and her team for organising it.

I was invited, after the Christingle service, to visit the 13th Sea Scout Group Senior Citizens Party. This is an annual event that has been traditionally organised for over forty years. The young people participated in a show which was well received by those that attended; also the carols and food were delightful. Again this event is a good way to involve Scouting better in the community which is wonderful.

I was very pleased to attend the presentation evening for three new Queen Scout Award Winners. Many congratulations go to Jen Oates, Lisa Munday and Michael Freeman who were presented with their Awards by Adam Jollans, the County Commissioner. Well done and congratulations to them all.

I had the pleasure of joining the Cub Carol Service. It was very well presented by Laura and the 13th Cubs and Chris Davis our District Chaplain. As usual the service was fun and great entertainment especially the shepherds who were, I thought, just great!!

I was also invited to the 25th Cub Sleepover in Braishfield Village Hall. The Cubs were there for the weekend and I called in on the Saturday evening, which was great. They were having a good time having made excellent igloos. I left just before they were supposed to go to sleep!!

I was kindly invited to the 9th Beavers Pirate Evening. Great fun was had by all. All the Beavers dressed up as pirates and were having a great time. Once again the food was great!
I have also had the pleasure to attend the 25th Sea Scout Royal Navel Inspection. This was carried out by Lieutenant Commander Royal Navy K A Cahill. The Inspection was very well attended by the Group and the young people made the Group proud. These inspections take place every eighteen months, one in the winter and the other in the summer. Well done to Clive and his Team of Leaders and also to everyone connected to the Group for being recognised once again by the Royal Navy. This is no mean feat as nationally there are three hundred and fifty Sea Scout Groups with only one hundred and one groups having recognition in this way.
 Andy Clasby invited me to judge at the 9th Scouts Fashion Show. This was a fun evening with parents and the families of the young people in attendance. The Scouts joined in with the spirit of the evening and clearly they had a great time. Those of you that know how I approach volunteering to be a Scout Leader will be able to tell you I am up for the young people having fun. It is that which must be at the core of everything that we do.
My final invite, for the month, was to join the Active Support Group in their American Supper held at the 11th HQ. That was a lovely evening and it gave us some time to relax and really start to enjoy our Christmas. Thank you for inviting me.

That is all the main events. I have attended numerous Scouting meetings but I won’t bore you with those.

Please don’t forget if you need to speak to me with anything your concerned about just give me a call and I am sure I can help you.

Mob Tel 07770364711 or dc@southamptoncityscouts.co.uk
Yours in Scouting

Colin Floyd