Looking ahead to the summer….

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As the schools break up and many of us head off for a well deserved break, we should also reflect on a very busy Scouting period filled with camps, events and packed programme nights. The recent heat wave has certainly enabled many of our Groups to get out and about, enjoying the glorious weather.

We’ve had a number of District camps take place this year, starting with Cole Valley South’s Safari camp back in May, followed by the Sutton Coldfield Districts Cub Camp and Tame Valley’s District Camp in June and most recent Rea Valley’s Rea Away 3 weekend which was held at Blackwell at the beginning of July. Spitfire’s District Camp in September will complete a great year for District camping.

We’ve seen great numbers of young people and adults taking parts in our District Camps this year – the scale of which, coupled with the wonderful variety of activities provided never ceases to amaze me and we owe a special thank you to all of the organising teams who led these great weekends and given our young people experiences and memories that they will hold forever. I was delighted, while visiting Rea Away 3, to present Roger Morcom with his Silver Wolf award – it was the perfect opportunity to present Roger with such a well deserved award in front of his family and his many friends from across Rea Valley.

On our return from the summer holidays in September we look forward to a number of County events including Bivouac and BrumVenture which have yet again got great support from our young people and adult volunteers.  I’m delighted that we’re also going to be launching BrumJam 2020 and opening bookings for international visitors so please look out for further details and the new theme that we’ll be announcing. If you do have contacts overseas who may be interested in attending BrumJam please do let us know and we can provide postcards and leaflets for them.

Hopefully, over the last couple of months you’ve all seen the launch of the new #SkillsForLife strategy that Headquarters have been working on and will take us forwards over the next 5 years. Feedback nationally has been really encouraging with high numbers of leaders having seen the information, and best of all over 80% of leaders believing it’s relevant and will make a real difference. If you’ve not seen the information please check it out at https://scouts.org.uk/about-us/strategy/vision-for-2023/

Linked to the rollout of #SkillsForLife strategy has been the introduction of our new branding and updated logo – I hope you’ll agree that it’s looking very contemporary and fresh. We’ve recently had a really good discussion with the County Executive Committee about how we can assist Groups with their HQ signage to quickly reflect the new brand – having seen it now starting to be used, I think it looks great and am looking forwards to providing information about the support we’re looking to offer.

Continuing the theme of support, I’m delighted to be able to confirm that we now have over 65% of our sections across Birmingham registered and using OSM which is great and I’m hearing wonderful feedback about how the application is making leaders lives easier in administering their sections and events. More training courses are going to be planned as we continue to see a positive uptake. If you’ve not already registered using the County account it’s really simple and an administrator just needs to enter the discount code “BirminghamScouts” in the Settings > Upgrades > Discount Codes screen.

Finally, our last event before the summer break is the National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra, who we’re again hosting here in Birmingham, and who (with the highest numbers ever seen) are coming together next week before playing three formal concerts on Friday and Saturday. We wish them all the best, hoping they have a fabulous experience and a great week.

I now hope that you will all take advantage of the great weather to recharge our batteries and spend some quality time with our families. For those that are Scouting over the Summer break please do stay safe and have a fantastic time.

Wishing you all a fantastic Summer…..

Andrew Lloyd

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