Well, the summer holidays are fast approaching, and I hope everyone will be able to take a break, whether a vacation or a staycation, and hopefully relax and recharge the batteries.

I know there’s some concern around the time limit for Wood Badges, and I’d like to put it into some context.  Yes, it should be completed within 3 years of appointment, and last year Gilwell announced that for those already overdue we have until 30/09/2021 to catch up.   An impressive number of courses have been run on Zoom over the last year, and I could name people who have grasped the opportunity and covered several modules.    The next stage is validation, and the Leaders’ Training Guide will let you know what needs to be done for each module.  The current version isn’t quite up to date for Getting Started, and module 6 is still in there, but it’s generally correct and due to be updated very soon.   Check what you need, gather your evidence together, and contact your Training Adviser to arrange to meet (online if necessary) to review it. If you don’t know who your TA is, ask your ADC (AT) who will be happy to help.

For those who haven’t managed to work through all their Personal Learning Plan yet – don’t panic.  I fully expect the Scouts will work their way gradually through the list of people with incomplete Wood Badges, and top of the list will be those who have been around for a lot of years and done nothing.  If you’ve made decent and recent progress we’d love to support you to get over the line.

The District Commissioners have requested that we run some courses over the summer to give people the chance to carry on so I’ll be reaching out to the Training Team to ask for dates. They’ll go in the Regional calendar as usual, and will also be advertised by other means.  I’m really hoping that by September we’ll be able to run face to face again, though I obviously can’t promise.  If you are keen to progress over the summer, don’t forget some modules are also available by e-learning or workbooks on scouts.org.uk.

In addition to modules for Wood Badges, we’re looking at other possibilities with a more general audience, including use of Online Scout Manager, use of Compass and Mental Health First Aid.  These will go in the calendar too.

Finally, I’d like to thank all the Regional Training Team for their huge efforts over the last year; at a recent ARCS (AT) meeting it became obvious that South East have provided so many more training opportunities for our leaders than many other Regions have managed.  Well done to the trainers, and also many thanks to all these leaders who participated and were very patient as we found our way round the new technology.

Mary Dick
ARC Adult Training