The perceptive among you will have noticed that I didn’t post anything here on Sunday. That is because I was preparing to go to Gilwell Park, the home of UK Scouting, for a few days camping.
Being here is a fantastic experience in itself, but there is something very special about my first visit to the site - I am here on the very day that Scouting celebrates our 110th birthday.
My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of people sharing their memories of 10 years ago when Scouting celebrated its centenary. That was a global celebration of Scouting and reached billions of people with our stories of adventure, learning and friendship. I missed out on those celebrations by not being a Scout.
There has been no such media fanfare this year, but that doesn’t make this day any less special. In fact, sitting in my tent and writing this from the home of British Scouting feels amazing.
There is something even more amazing than being at Gilwell today, and that is the thousands of people who volunteer with the Scouts.
The summer holiday is not a quiet time for these people, who often find their summers filled with summer camp and planning for next term.
Today, 110 years since our movement was founded, is the perfect opportunity to thank our adult volunteers for all the work they do for Scouting’s youth members. It is a perfect opportunity to thank the people who volunteer so much time to supporting this country’s young people in whatever role - from a leader at your local group, all the way up to Tim Kidd and team UK (who are also all volunteers). It is a perfect opportunity to thank the people who sit on Executive Committees to ensure safe Scouting can continue for years to come.
This is my thank you to those people, and to everyone who has been a part of Scouting’s story for 110 years.
Scouting offers fun, challenge and adventure to around 500,000 adults and young people across the UK and millions more around the world. You can join the adventure by going to scouts.org.uk/join in the UK or scout.org everywhere else.