As 2019 lands with a thump, and for some a 3-day hangover, Milton Keynes Scouting starts to rise from it’s seasonally induced coma. We begin, or continue, planning our exciting adventures for the coming year, and beyond.
Summer camps, weekend camps, County Camp, kipping on a ship, the list goes on, as the 1500 youth members, across 23 Scout Groups & 7 Explorer Units, and the adults who never grow out of Scouting get ready for a fun-packed year of memory-making.
|January is also the time when Scouting counts it’s members as part of it’s annual Census. This is an important activity as it allows the Scout Association to collect, report, respond and support local Scouting. It’s also a time that the District Commissioner and myself, as lead on Growth and Development, dread. We have to report our Waiting List sizes.
In the last 18 months since we reset the waiting list, it now stands at 1023 Scouting age (6-18yrs) young people, with a pipeline of 330 who will be Scouting age within 4-6 years. Many on the waiting list will not get a place until they reach Scout age (10-14yrs), despite joining the list from the age of 4, and even then that’s no guarantee.
|As Waiting List Manager I get a number of emails a month asking when their child will get a place, particularly now that many of them have been on the reset list longer than 12 months. Some of the emails I receive are heartbreaking because I know we cannot magic up a place for all young people who would benefit hugely from Scouting in Milton Keynes.
Right, now I have bored you with the numbers, and you understand that the situation for Scouting opportunities for young people in Milton Keynes is quite stretched, possibly even dire….
In order to build a stronger, broader, more inclusive, more representative Milton Keynes Scouts, we need Milton Keynes to help us meet this challenge.
|Milton Keynes Scouts is wholly run by volunteers, ~400 of them(us?). They give up the best part of 1Million hours of their time annually to offer scouting, but we need to double that number of people to maintain Scouting growth inline with the growth of Milton Keynes.
Scouting offers a broad range of adult opportunities for adults to benefit from learning #skillsforlife, but also imparting skills you already have and inspiring the young people of Milton Keynes, to Do Their Best, Courage in all Situations and help the wider community of Milton keynes.
The generally, if slightly contraversial, accepted rule-of-thumb is that if a Parent, Carer, Grandparent volunteers then we’ll do our best to find a place for the associated young person, however there is an expectation of volunteer commitment in return for that place. You don’t have to volunteer for the same section as your young person, I know some people would rather not volunteer with teenagers, and some would prefer not to work with the Blue Ninja Army (Beavers), despite having children in those age ranges.
|The key statistic that comes from our Regional Development Service Team is that 45% of volunteer adults are Parents/Carers of a member, 45% are “home grown” who come up through Scouting, and 10% are “randoms”. We’re doing our best to make our 45% through our Young Leaders Programme, which has xx Young Leaders supporting Groups across Milton Keynes, and we have no control over randoms.
Flexible volunteering is there for those who cannot make a fixed time/location commitment as not all roles need to have a fixed time/location, particularly those roles of Trustee, the Media Team or IT Support, for example I do most of my volunteering when the children are in bed. Some adults even choose to volunteer whilst pretending to look busy in the office.
So if you fancy letting out your “Inner Akela”, your Bare Necessities as Baloo, leading a Log Chew in a Beaver Colony, “Strutting Your Stuff” with Gang Show, filling in grant forms, being a Group Treasurer, helping with IT support, taking the shot as a Shooting instructor or joining our Media Team to help get our messages & news out across traditional and social media, we can guarantee you have skills Milton Keynes Scouting needs, the rest we can teach you…..
Simply put, we cannot do it without you.
If you make the time, we can offer you the opportunity to make a difference to Milton Keynes Scouts, and the young people of Milton Keynes.
Just fill in the form below, and we’ll contact you, promise.