Much is written and said about the first 100 days in office. I am fast realising why so much is said about it as well as the importance of the first 100 days. It’s been a baptism of fire to put it mildly. The Job Description doesn’t do the job any justice. I have renewed respect for my predecessor Paddy Milner and would like to thank him for steering this ship for the past 10 years.
The strategic plan to grow Scouting in South Africa is clear. To manage the growth, we must be able to measure it and set growth targets to do this. To get this right, we require one source of the truth – in this case our database Scouts.Digital. It’s been a challenge to get everybody on the same page, but we are getting there.
Good governance is critical to the success of any organization. We cannot proceed with unwarranted adult leaders – which includes adult leaders without police clearance. Scouts in our care at the top of our list of priorities. Our plan is to be fully compliant by 1 July 2023, failing which corrective measures will have to be initiated.
A great deal of focus has been placed on Safe from Harm. We’ve come a long way since 1907 and much has changed. The Child Protection Act very clearly stipulates and enforces the changes that ensures the safety of children.
I have challenged all adult leaders in the region to complete the SfH1 and SfH2 online training courses and assessments so that we are all aligned regarding Safe from Harm.
We acknowledge that the ongoing change in our programmes – Cub, Scout, Rovers as well as the introduction of the Meerkat programmes, have placed additional demands on both Adult as well as youth training. This is particularly true for our Scout Training Programme where we run Regional badge courses. I have engaged
with the RTC Scout Programme and we plan to approach 2024 a bit differently, so that we can make courses more accessible. It’s important that we don’t create hurdles that would slow down the growth of our scouts. Project 1st Class aims to radically increase the number of 1st Class scouts in our Region and the country. We must ensure that our facilities and training provide the right opportunity for our scouts to achieve their 1st Class badge.
We have seen a 22% Year on Year growth. This is phenomenal, with our Scouting in Schools (SiS) programme doubling in numbers over the past year. We have also embarked on a different model and expanded to George, with Scouting being delivered through the NGO Womb to Tomb. This, we hope will allow us to rapidly scale and achieve a very aggressive growth, both Regionally and Nationally.
Our duty is to be useful and to help others. We are experiencing a very wet and cold winter. Many people are less fortunate than we are. Let’s get some soup kitchens and blanket drives on the go. If we drive this as District initiatives, we can spread the warmth and love far and wide across the Region. Thanks to those groups who have already responded to this call to action.
I look forward to your support as we work together to offer great programmes to our youth. All work done in the Dens and Packs, ultimately support the drive to achieving the goal of increasing the number of 1st Class scouts as well as Springbok scouts.
Enjoy your midyear school break and the awesome opportunities to go out hiking and camping. A scout obeys orders, so if warnings are issued regarding inclement weather conditions, then lets heed the warnings. The mountains are wet and slippery, so take care when you are out hiking – but do get out there and enjoy yourselves.
Till we chat again.
Nimmy Abrahams – Regional Commissioner