Training, validation and reviews

Parents of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, the Scout Association and the Charity Commission all rightly require that we’re all seen to be fully trained and competent to look after other people’s children. Those many of us who are parents ourselves will fully agree with this.  
 
The Scout Association’s training programme is something that we must take seriously.  It does in general provide an excellent means to ensuring that we as Scouters are properly trained and understand what we are doing as Scouters.
 
During the coming year myself, Robert Holyoake, those GSLs we have in place, and the ADC’s, will be emphasizing the importance of training, and checking to ensure that everyone is up to speed and appropriately trained, and ensuring that everyone can get online and review their own COMPASS record.  Much of this can be done in a relaxed way as part of a review process, where a line manager will sit down and have a chat with a leader to ensure that they are comfortable with their role and with the training requirements laid upon us by the Association. See http://members.scouts.org.uk/review
 
 
What we need to do is help all those leaders who may feel they are at the edge of things and for whatever reason have struggled to find time to complete their training or to complete validation of their training. Additionally, we will try to assist those who need to update or refresh their “mandatory ongoing learning” – that is, first aid, safety, and safeguarding. 
 
If you’ve any questions about this – particularly about COMPASS – please don’t hesitate to ask myself, Rob Holyoake, your GSL, or Karen or Christine as ADCs. 

World Scout Jamboree 2019

Have you submitted an application yet for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree? An adventure beyond anything you can imagine, you could join 45,000 Scouts in West Virginia, USA for 12 days of fun and friendship. This is the biggest and best event that world Scouting can offer.

Your application must be received by 17th September 2017

How do I find out more?

How much does it cost?

The final fee is not yet known but is likely to be in the region of £3-3,500 which covers everything, including food and transport. As with all Scouting activities, we don’t want people to be put off applying to attend the Jamboree on financial grounds:

  • East Surrey District plan to subsidise the fee to a certain amount.
  • Your Group may be willing to subsidise the cost and will also support your fundraising activities
  • Other bursaries and financial support may be available at a local and national level
  • Fundraising is part of the experience, and past participants have found it possible to fundraise their whole fee!

How do I apply?

You MUST:

  1. Have been born between 22nd July 2001 and 21st July 2005.
  2. Complete online application form by 17th September 2017: http://wsj.surrey-scouts.org.uk/
  3. Attend East Surrey/Caterham District joint selection camp at Frylands Wood on from 0800 Saturday September 30th to 12 noon on Sunday 1st October.

You will receive an automatic confirmation e-mail after applying – if you do not receive this your application has not successfully submitted. We will be in touch afterwards with details of the selection camp.

If you have any questions about applying, please do get in touch with me as soon as possible!

Nick Hough

District Commissioner

District AGM – September 21st

Scouters and supporters of scouting in East Surrey are invited to the the Annual General Meeting of the East Surrey District Scout Council. It will take place on Thursday 21st September 2017 from 2000, at the Hurst Green Scout hut, Mill Lane, Hurst Green.

Invitation here.

RSVP.

A word on minibuses

If the law allows you to drive a (17 seater) minibus, then the Scout Association does not stand in your way.
If you have “D1” on your drivers license, then you should be good to go now. If no D1 then you need to get a minibus drivers licence.
 
Surrey County makes no requirement about MIDAS training.
Neither does East Surrey District.
There are those who consider that MIDAS training would be a good idea and they may be right, But if the law says you are good enough, who are we to say different?  This may change, but if it does it will be from the top down – our change of view will be required by Gilwell.
 
The Group MUST have a Section 19 permit for the minibus. Failure to have such a permit could cost you as the driver a £6000 fine. They cost £5 and last five years so don’t go there – arrange to get permits. 
 
Also, some extra points
  • you need to be driving on a voluntary basis and the minibus used for “social purposes by a non-commercial body”
  • the maximum weight of the minibus is not more than 3.5 tonnes – or 4.25 tonnes including specialist equipment for disabled passengers, for example a wheelchair ramp 
  • you’re not towing a trailer
All that said, obviously you need to do your own personal assessment of risk: make sure that you are personally comfortable driving the little darlings around safely in a minibus, and ensure that the minibus is not some old shed but is in good condition. 

BBC: “Leaders are at their scarcest in Surrey”

The BBC writes today (see here):

There are 51,000 children on a waiting list to become Scouts, Beavers, Cubs or Explorers, according to the organisation behind the movement. The Scout Association, which is open to girls and boys between six and 18, blamed a shortage of volunteer leaders. It said record numbers of adults were members but that volunteers had limited amounts of time.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls said it was a “challenge” to recruit more people. “We’ve got 51,000 young people wanting to join and benefit from what scouting offers,” he said.

“Volunteering changes us all for the better. Please join me.”

There are 457,000 Scouts, including Beavers (aged six to eight), Cubs (eight to 10), Scouts (10 to 14) and Explorers (14 to 18).

Although 154,000 adults currently volunteer, which the Scouts said was an all-time high, people are committing less time than before. About 17,000 more volunteers are needed, the Scout Association said. Leaders are at their scarcest in Surrey, Devon and Merseyside.

The organisation said volunteers typically commit to attending sessions on a regular basis and will plan what to do during meetings, as well as undertake training. Those volunteering with older children, like the Scouts, may also go on trips or expeditions over the weekend.

Tim Kidd, UK chief commissioner at the Scout Association, said the organisation was making it easier for those with limited time to join by being flexible about a range of roles, including group leaders, administrative and trustee positions.

Online badge sales

From 6 March, Scout Shops will introduce a new UK Scouting online badge ordering service to compliment the local Badge Secretary service, providing a wider choice to members. Scout Shops will introduce a verification process to ensure that all customers are genuine. Existing online Badge Secretaries do not have access at a national level to Compass so are unable to validate membership details leaving the opportunity for non-members, especially collectors, to purchase restricted items.

It’s important to note that this additional service provides choice to members to complement the great service provided by local badge secretaries. It provides choice, especially to those who don’t have a local badge secretary or local scout shop. Ultimately, this will reduce the burden at District and Group levels from stockpiling badges, some of which may be discontinued meaning a reduction in local financial risk.

Online badge ordering will launch at shop.scouts.org.uk on Monday 6 March allowing members to order alongside their regular orders of uniforms and Scout souvenirs in one place at any time of the day.

Karen Almond

Head of Scout Shops

The Scout Association