Dear fellow Scouter.
6 1/2 years ago I joined as your District Commissioner, with the aim to simply get more young people in scouting in the area and boy did we all achieve that and so much more!
We now have more young people than ever before in Bristol South (Growth of over 34%!), we have had a 110% growth in adult volunteers and we have just short of 50% of young people achieving their top award!!!
Whilst I still have your full attention, I would like to say thank you. THANK YOU to each and every volunteer present and past. Without each and every one of you we would not have achieved what we have. I still am taken back by how much time and effort our volunteers put into scouting in Bristol South, it’s quite breath taking. Thank You to you all.
So, now time for some reflections if you want some bed time reading!
As I type this, we have 527 volunteers in Bristol South. Let’s imagine you all do 2 hours a week (I know for many that is a running joke!)…..That equates to:
1054 hours this week alone
4216 every month
50,592 every year
328,848 since I started 6 1/2 years ago. It’s quite astonishing when you break it down like that. And I know for a fact it will be so much higher than that with the amount some of you do for our young people.
When I started I was 24 years young, I am sure some people thought how on earth is a 24-year-old going to do this role (I thought that!!). I was ready to take on the world, I had plans to have the district fighting fit with volunteers coming out of ears, every group at capacity with more banging on door to come in, a full district team to support everyone and so much more. And then what happened was life, scouting life!
What I quickly came to learn was scouting always has something interesting to throw at you that is not in the plan, in fact many things never even crossed my mind that it would be something I needed to deal with!
Although my original grand plan has probably only been half completed, we have achieved so much more than I ever thought we would have. Jamborees for 100s of young people, having our own gang show, opening new groups, opening new sections, welcoming 100s of new young people and volunteers, re vamping our social presence…. I could go on for hours!
I won’t lie, some of the times have been tough. I have had to make some really tough decisions and trust me I don’t take them lightly. I cannot thank those closest to me in my role enough, I have pulled on so many people (far too many to mention them all) to help me, whether that be to gain some advice or their view, help me with un picking a situation or just being a moral support. You know who you all are and I am so thankful. I have made some friendships for life.
Then we fast forward to 2020, what a year but not for any of the reasons we thought. Covid has turned our lives upside down not only in scouting but for everyone personally. Thank you to all those who have supported the country being a key worker and thank you to everyone for their resilience this year within scouting. It has been humbling to see the efforts everyone has been putting in to ensure scouting carries on. Let’s hope 2021 brings us the joy of getting back to the scouting we all love.
There are plenty of people I could call out for their support, but one person in particular is Cathy. Cathy has been my deputy and she has been there through thick and thin! I cannot thank you enough for all your support over the years, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for your support.
So, that’s 6 1/2 years wrapped up in an email, so much more I could tell you and so many more people that I could thank. It has been an honour to be your District Commissioner, I am excited to see where Bristol South goes next as there is so much potential. Please support Isabelle and the team as you move forward in the search for a new DC/District team members. Isabelle will be your acting DC from the 1st Jan 2021.
My sincere thank you to you all. Don’t be strangers.
Merry Christmas to you and your families and a Happy New Year.
‘Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you, until we meet again!’