An ACC Goes Blogging

Welcome to 2014 and a Happy New Year to you. As the Christmas decorations go away and we get in to the planning for the year questions like: “where to start?” raise their heads. It turns out that there is much to look forward to this year with a wide range of events and activities on the Explorer and Network Calendar that has something for everyone to get their teeth into.

Explorer LogoThere are large scale camping and activity opportunities in nearly every month this year starting in the next few weeks with the potential for wet, snow or icy camping experiences at Gilwell Wintercamp and our own PACCAR February Freezer Camp. A shortlist of some of my favourites is at the end of this report with these and many more regularly listed in the County Diary.

Explorer Leader Feedback

Now, in the last few months many of you have given us some strong feedback that you want and need to see more and better information on the Explorer and Network Sections in GLMW. The things that you would like to see include:

 

  • Better and Earlier advertising of the events and activities that are available;
  • Programme and Idea Sharing; and,
  • Reviews of what people have been getting up to so that the good ideas can be copied (and lets face it which programme doesn’t include a direct lift of good ideas from somewhere else?) or developed for your own particular Unit needs.

 

In particular, you have asked that the information you receive be better focused and targeted to your Section so that you don’t lose it in the mass of e-mails that hit your mailbox or twitter feeds every week. To be honest, it’s a tall order to compete with the mass communication volumes in our media intensive lives these days but let’s give it a go.

This article is the start of a new feature that will appear regularly on the county website taking a look at some of the things that have happened in GLMW Explorer and Network sections. It will flag up event dates as soon as they become available so that you can get them into your planning even if the advertising flyers are not yet ready to print. To make it work, however, I’d like you to help me with some work too. Let’s face it, the best things are not always free from effort or payment so this one charges you with some effort. I would like you to send in your thoughts and programme ideas each week that you think can or should be shared. Simply jot them down in an e-mail to me via the County website at An ACC Goes Blogging and I will do my best to get them into the blog at the first opportunity. Now, if you are still reading at this point, and I hope that you are, you are highly likely to be ready to join me in this effort and have things to add to the information we can distribute. One idea from each of you every month and we will be flying along.

How would you like to see a reminder for the Blog? An e-mail, a tweet or a text. Send me a message via An ACC Goes Blogging at the website and I’ll add you to the list. If you’d rather not be told, then don’t tell me, you will not be on the list…

QSA and Explorer Belt Changes

QSA Award BadgeYou may have seen the announcement in the last County Update of 2013 referring to some important changes to the Queen’s Scout Award and Explorer Belt Award which came in to effect on the 1st of January this year. If you missed them, they are reported at Award Changes so that you can take a look. For Explorers or Network members who have already started and are expecting to complete the awards before September 1st, 2015, there is no need to take any action. For anyone just setting out on the awards or expecting to complete after September 1st, 2015 they will need to register on the Scout website under the new process which you can find at Award Changes.

If you have any questions about the changes or need any additional support, please get in touch by dropping me an e-mail and I will help find the answers or materials you need.

Explorer News

QSA Award BadgeAs we get started in 2014, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Greenford’s Primus ESU. After a lot of personnel changes mid-way through 2013, there was a bit of a hiatus in unit meetings and a short period of searching for leaders. After a few meetings and with a lot of enthusiasm, the unit re-launched with a new leadership team at the start of November and is looking forward to a fun packed and exciting 2014 that will include a Krypton Factor evening and Burns night in the first weeks of the year, an Explorer Belt Expedition and plans for more than one camp are already in the pipeline.

In Uxbridge & District, a new merged unit comprising members from six different Scout Groups across the district has launched successfully in the last six months. Rejuvenating the Explorer section across a large area of the District, the unit is now travelling with some 20+ members and growing in both young people and leader numbers. The programme through the Autumn term included a Spooky Woodland Night Hike and sleep over on one of the chilliest nights of the year, Christmas Fayer fundraisings and winning the 2013 SkyCamp competition.

22nd March 2014 will see the third outing for the Explorer Orienteering competition. Explorers were left behind by the Beaver and Cub Sections last year with a much greater participation level. This year will feature the Great Chocolate Race. We have two Explorer units already hoping to take part this year but if there is a modification to the event that will make it a more attractive proposition for your unit, drop me a line at An ACC Goes Blogging and we will try to add it in.

The Event List

As promised at the top of the article, here is the list of some of my favourite events for the year. I hope that you find the Blog a useful addition and will keep an eye out for it throughout the year. Help it to develop usefully by contributing your activity items and telling me what you think and here’s to a great year of Scouting in GLMW Explorers and Network.

All the best

Richard

ACC – 14 to 25

The Favourites List

January

10-12th Gilwell Wintercamp
31-2nd Feb PACCAR GLMW Expedition Training and Assessment Skills Weekend
http://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/stories/activities/2013/12/expedition-train...

February

14-16th PACCAR February Freezer Camp
http://www.glmwscouts.org.uk/events/february-freezer-camp-2014

March

1-2nd Endurance 80
21-23rd PACCAR Woodland Challenge and Camping weekend including the Great Chocolate Race (more info coming soon)

April

11-13th GLMW Expedition Training and Assessment Practice Weekend

June

27-29th Malvern Challenge – potentially the last ever running of this great event
http://sr-mc.co.uk/

July

4-8th GLMW Expedition Assessment Weekend
4-6th Sun Run – potentially the last ever running of this event
http://sr-mc.co.uk/
11-13th Gilwell 24
http://www.gilwell24.info/default/

August

2-9th WINGS 2014

September

19-21st PACCAR SkyCamp Challenge 2014