DC’s Final UPDATE
18th July 2021
With the end of July, the end of term and the end of my time as District Commissioner fast approaching I have been doing my best to visit as many groups and units as possible but I just wanted to write this final DC update to reach out and thank you all for everything you do for Scouting in our District.
I feel that the District Programme Team, although scuppered recently by Covid, have worked really well together over the last five years to deliver some fresh and some traditional District activities for the different sections. Huge thanks go to Pete Bodman for taking over the role as Assistant District Commissioner (Scouts) along with Bill Rackham and Gavin Evans as District Scout Leaders. Thanks to Anne Little as ADC Cubs and early on Sam Murray as District Cub Leader. And previously to Yolly Crews as ADC Beavers and Christine Wood as District Beaver Leader. I would also like thank our District Youth Commissioner- Isobel Myers. It has been great to see a younger voice represented on the District Leadership Team. More thanks goes to Ian Mackenzie as ADC Programme, Paul Hadaway in his exciting new role of ADC Sustainable Development, Chris Jordan for his work as our ADC Community Impact and previously to Shirley Smith for all her assistance as ADC Support and her continued help with managing our Young Leaders. And let's not forget to thank those Young Leaders!
Our two District Development Days have helped us to identify District Issues and been reasonably successful in bringing us together more. I hope something similar can continue every few years to help us take stock of how we are doing and help with planning for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Thanks to Kevin and his team at 1st Deal Scout Group for all their hard work to keep Scouting going strong online throughout the pandemic and now again Face to Face. Great to see the group thriving.
Praise for Chris Goodwin and the gang at 2nd Deal (Walmer) for keeping our Sea Scout Group on an even keel. Great to see boating continues to be so popular with Friday nights busy on the water again post-lockdown.
It was sad to have to close 4th Deal (Sholden) some years ago now after it had struggled on for a number of years but good to know the majority of leaders and young people weren't lost to Scouting. Very grateful to everyone who helped out with sorting out all their equipment and hut which was a mammoth task.
Really appreciate Mavis stepping up to take on the Group Scout Leader role of 5th Deal (Sholden). Her, Pete and the rest of her team provide a great active programme for their young people.
And thanks to Mark Little, and previously Colin Tappenden, and all the other leaders at 7th Deal (Sandwich) for keeping the group strong and active.
Time now for Alison and Matt to step down as joint GSLs of Wingham. I know they will be sadly missed but hopefully with some new parental support coming forward I am sure the group will continue to grow on the firm foundations they have put in place. Thanks both for everything you have done.
9th Deal have been through a number of Leadership changes but Christine Wood has been a constant force for keeping the group going through thick and thin. I hope after all our efforts that their HQ is getting to the stage where it has a more secure future.
Well done to Graham Baker and his team at 10th Deal (Eastry) for keeping on keeping on. As always they keep providing some fantastic opportunities for the young people of the village and beyond.
I would really like to thank Jim Wheeler and his leadership team at 12th Deal (Kingsdown) for keeping the group going throughout a difficult period in the group's history. Very sorry to see most of them now choosing to step down at this time. However, I am sure the group will find its feet again in due course and new parental support is being encouraged. Exciting to see what new opportunities lie ahead for the group in its new format as an air scout group.
The trials and tribulations of launching the 20th Deal (Aylesham) Cornwallis Scout Group are something I am immensely proud of. Thanks go to Cassie Osborne and her team for extending our District family. The group is slowly but surely finding its way and I sincerely hope it goes from strength to strength over the years ahead. They are proving that Scouting has the power to help the young people in our communities become good citizens with skills for life.
Huge thanks to our District Executive Committee for continuing to meet (albeit via Zoom) during Covid and for keeping everything going behind the scenes. A special mention for Heather Rowell as Chairman, Cathy Betts as Secretary and our late treasurer Alan Anstey who is proving to be a tough act to replace.
The District is indebted to the services of Charlie Horne (Appointments) and Colin Tappenden (Training) who on top of their roles have also helped with the likes of GDPR and Awards.
Thanks to Charlie Rowell for taking on the role of Deputy District Commissioner. It has been a pleasure to have worked with such an experienced scouter. Very helpful when a DC can't be in two places at once!
We still need a District Explorer Scout Commissioner however my thanks goes to Shirley Smith, Jonathan Porter, Russell Graydon, Mark Little, Henry Dempster, Terri Armbruster and previously Suzanne Collins plus all their assistants for running our units.
There is now hope for a Deal Network Unit to finally form and I am excited by the recent work that our new District Network Commissioner, Craig Nimmo, has done working with Networker Matt Page to promote the new unit.
Sadly Nigel Smith, long-standing manager of our Scout Active Support Unit is standing down however I would like to express my thanks to him and all of the unit for everything they have done to help the District.
I am proud of the fact that the District now has a centralised Join In Requests system run efficiently by Heather Rowell and a smart looking new website which all the District Team can keep maintained. We also now have a strong social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Impossible to list everyone individually and apologies if I have forgotten to mention you but I really do genuinely appreciate all the support you have given me as DC and all you do for Scouting.
I care deeply about Scouting and all the groups in our District. Although stepping down as DC to focus more on my County International and Community projects I will not be straying too far. In my new role as District Appointments Secretary and on the District Executive Committee (if they will have me) I will give my full support to the new incoming DC as required for a smooth handover.
I knew before I was persuaded to take it on that DC was an impossible role to do well. All you can do, as any cub will tell you, is to do your best. Lots I would do differently but retrospect is a wonderful thing! It is has been challenging and fun in equal measures. I wish my successor and the District all the very best indeed in the coming years ahead.
Yours In Scouting, Alan