I don’t know about you but the clock change last weekend and the darker evenings has really made it feel as though Autumn has arrived with a bang.  While the Autumn and Winter seasons provide us with great opportunities from a programme perspective, it’s also a good time to look back and reflect on the Summer we’ve had and the range of superb events that have been organised across the County, showcasing our activity centres at Blackwell and Pikes Pool.

When I look at the events that have taken place the commitment, dedication and professionalism of the teams of people responsible for organising them shines through. It’s difficult to find ways of saying thank you to everybody who has helped lead or support activities, but we owe a huge vote of appreciation to those leaders, friends and family members who have supported activities, at Group, District or County level through the Spring and Summer seasons this year.

Looking back at recent events, in early September we held our Beaver Fun Day, celebrating the Beaver Scout section’s 30th Birthday.  More than 200 Beavers and their Leaders descended on Blackwell Court on a slightly damp Saturday but had a great time taking part in lots of activities, finishing with jelly & ice cream!  Well done to Mary Van Roy and Denise Sandford for organising the event.

Later in September, we saw over 600 Cubs attend ‘BrumCamp 100’, our weekend celebration of the 100th Birthday of Cubs. Everybody enjoyed a fantastic weekend, blessed with sunshine and a great activity programme. The centralised catering meant that Groups were able to simply turn up and take part – the majority with huge smiles on their faces.  In recent weeks our County President, David Bradnock MBE has also buried the time capsule that was put together at the weekend – a fitting end to a great Cub Scouting year which will finish with the Cub Scout Promise event in December. Thank you to Paul Fennell and his organising team for a very memorable weekend.

September also saw us celebrate the 40th year of Bivouac, our survival skills weekend for Scouts and Explorers. Again a mild weekend which the participants were probably very thankful for, with 84 Scout and Explorer participants, 15 Explorers as Young Leaders and 52 adult staff taking part. It was great to see the owner of the land we use presented with a gift at the end of the weekend for the many years that she’s supported the Bivouac weekend which continues to go from strength to strength….

And not forgetting BrumVenture, our County Scouts badge weekend, which took place in early October with 13 badges offered to the Scouts, many of which are more difficult to achieve during the normal Scouting programme. Over 120 Scouts took part with over 80 adults helping on badge bases or on the support team. Yet again the weather was great and everybody gained their proficiency badge and the coveted BrumVenture badge. It’s the tenth anniversary camp next year with several of the leaders having been involved from the start. We are sure it will be another great event if the feedback is anything to go by.

Visiting these events it was great to see that all the Districts were represented by young people and adults alike.

Another piece of great news has been the appointment of District Youth Commissioners (DYCs) in four of our Districts.  Welcome to Jack, Amy, Hannah and Sophie. Feedback and a youth shaped programme are key to the future of Scouting and it’s been good to see our DYCs attending our events to get feedback on the programme and the activities the youngsters were taking part in.

The County has also recently had its Development Day with the entire County team meeting to discuss the priorities for the next few years and how we as a team can support the work at a troop. Group or District level. Several teams have been established to look at key issues we face as a County and I shall report more in the New Year on how these are progressing.

So for now we get ready to the run up to Christmas with a busy programme including the County event iceSCOUT and your own programme plans. I am sure as usual they will be challenging, active and exciting for all….

Andrew Lloyd

County Commissioner