Saturday 15 September 2012

The Scout Association - reflection for AGM

Good morning everyone, last year I came here for my first time and was elected to serve on the board of trustees, which has been a massive honour, and I have had the good fortune to have taken part in so many opportunities this year, but I wanted to share with you just one for our reflection today.

Within my role I have served this year on the scout delegation to the British Youth Council. I understand that at 24 years old I am just about clutching on to my youth, and stand as the oldest member on the 10 person delegation.

For those of you who don’t know much about them, they are a group of young people aged 14-25 who aim to represent our members around the table of the British Youth Council. Each year the young delegates attend an induction weekend, national evetns, and the BYC annual council meeting.

This year’s annual council meeting was a policy making meeting - all BYC members are allowed to submit up to 3 motions which are debated on and voted either into or out of the BYC manifesto.

Our delegates carefully prepared 3 motions this year, based on evidence collected from local and national consultations all organised by the delegation. The final 3 motions were: Support for uniformed organisations, Support for informal international opportunities, and support for skills from informal learning. Im sure you will agree that these motions are all in line with our ethos, and I assure you it took a great deal of conference calls and rewriting to whittle it down to these three which not only represented our members but also our association and our beliefs.

Two weeks ago today, our delegates, supported by staff, attended the largest ever BYC Annual Council Meeting on record in Cardiff. If you can, try to picture a room twice this big, with nearly 300 people from all parts of the UK and different organisations, including youth workers, youth councils, uniformed groups, policitcal youth groups and faith groups.

Now, without wishing to get into the politics of it all, the ACM threw up a few challenges and one of the motions we submitted was amended and fell by the wire. It would have been easy at this point for our young delegates to lose heart and lose face, however they did not.

Our delegation stood strong and our youngest delegate took to the stage to propose our next motion, in a room full of strangers with lights shining in her face and on her tiptoes in order to reach the microphone. This time, our motion passed unamended and unanimously. The young person returned to the table and whispered “That was amazing”.

When I joined the BYC delegation, I was told by someone in this very room that it would be a good development opportunity and would serve me well in later years, following in the footsteps of many of the people whom I respect the most. At that point, I think I just shrugged it off a little, if I am totally honest. But now, having witnessed what it is like to be part of an empowering group of young people and seeing that one young person suck up all the courage within herself to address a bigger and scarier audience than this one, now, I get it.
2 weeks ago in Cardiff I was put through my paces, fighting a battle which I couldn’t win when we proposed a motion to support uniformed youth organisations. That day I came away feeling angry, disappointed, frustrated. Empowered, valued, and proud.

Proud that I stood up for what I believed in.

Proud that I was able to represent the half a million members of the scout association, on an external platform.

Proud of the young people, who smiled and whistled in difficulties.

Proud of a delegation who stood united and strong whilst facing many challenges.

Proud of the impact that we have, training volunteer leaders to support our young people, inputting millions of pounds of youth services to the public.

Proud that we are a movement that embraces change and accepts individuals differences.

Proud to be part of an organisation that trusts its young people and empowers them to speak up on their behalf.

Proud of the uniform that I wear which unites 32 million people worldwide.

Proud to be a scout.

So, as we look towards our vision for 2018, I would like to ask you all what makes you proud to be a scout? How can you empower the young people you support? How can we value our volunteers? What is it that makes you go back to your friends and colleagues, and say to them, "That was amazing”.

Sent from my iPad

No comments:

Post a Comment