Yesterday’s St George’s Day event was a step in a very different direction for the District. It’s time to reflect on what we were trying to achieve, how well we did and what we might want to learn for the future.
Our young people had told us loud and clear in our survey last year that they wanted something other than the traditional parade and church service. They wanted something more informal. They wanted to try some exciting and adventurous activities, the opportunity have an impact in their community and meet and mix with as many of their fellow Scouts as possible.
As a leadership team, we wanted to deliver what our youngsters had requested and also introduce as much as we could towards our Vision 2018 pillars of Adventure, Community Impact, Inclusivity, Growth and Youth Shaped Scouting. We wanted to show our young people the meaning of how they could act on their promise and “help other people”.
And so, we invited our “A Million Hands” partners to join us and deliver some activities as part of our Community Impact work; we brought in the climbing wall, cave bus and archery teams to deliver some adventure and tried a very different way to renew our Promise to be as inclusive as we possibly could.
So, how did we do? Well, it wasn’t perfect! We tried to mix our Groups together as they walked to the main venue, but it really didn’t work out and caused a great deal of delay and frustration. I promise we’ll take a look at how we can do that better in the future.
However, our A Million Hands partners’ and our adventurous teams did an outstanding job! We wanted to introduce the local contacts for our national partner charities to our Groups and we certainly did that. I’m sure that will be followed up with some great projects with our Groups working alongside the people they met yesterday.
And as for the promise renewal? I think the jury is out. It’s very difficult to lead a large group of people to renew what is now a large variety of promises at the same time. Several people have told us they enjoyed what we did, but we’ve also had a few comments that a little more structure might have been appreciated. Again, I promise we’ll think a little further on this one before next time.
But overall, I think we showed the way forward. We need to build on what we did, learn where we can improve and make it even better for next time!