“I am delighted to welcome Laura Gilman to become our new Assistant Regional Commissioner for the Scout Network. Not everyone knows a lot about the Scout Network, but thanks to leaders such as Laura, we have several flourishing ones in our Region. Scout Network gives opportunities to 18-25-year olds for personal development, adventure and fun. Members take part in a variety of activities, which they undertake and organise themselves under the leadership of a District Scout Network Commissioner. Laura has a wealth of experience at home and abroad, and her energy, enthusiasm and commitment will assist young people, aged 18-25, in our Region to benefit enormously from Scouting.
I joined the Scouts when I came to Edinburgh as a student and was looking to continue my volunteering journey. I became an Assistant Cub Scout Leader at the 35th Braid, a position I hold to this day. Scout Network was very new when I first joined the Scouts, and I embraced the chance to be a young person in the movement. I went to South Africa in 2007 for the Centenary Moot, gained my QSA and represented other young people by sitting on the Scottish Scout Network Council. (SSNC)
It was this role that showed me the importance of youth involvement in our association. While on the SSNC I helped to run national activities, sat on the very first working group looking at the idea of youth involvement at SHQ and presented our combined input on regionalisation to the Scottish Board. Network provides the opportunity for young people to explore their own development as well as contribute to the wider movement, and this continues to be why I enjoy working with this section.
I have supported the network section as a leader since I turned 25, and it continues to be the most inspiring volunteering I do with the Scouts – even though it can often be the hardest. Our young people are the future, and playing a small role in their personal development journey is a privilege.
I am also a strong proponent of international scouting, having supported 4 Explorer Belts for networkers and encouraged members to attend World Scout Moots and other events. I was part of the Planning Team for the World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) in North America last summer, running one of the programme areas on site. I have also previously been part of the Delivery Team for 2007 WSJ in the UK and a staff member at several Blair Atholl Jamborettes.
My aim as the ARC (Scout Network) is to ensure opportunities for all young people across the region to join in with a vibrant network section, as well as to continue their own development through top awards and international experiences. I hope that we can raise awareness of the section in the region and support more young people to continue their adventure in Scouting.
Assistant Regional Commissioner (Scout Network)