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This is my favourite time of year, not just because of the fabulous colours and smells of Autumn, but as a Leader, this was always the time to have so much fun with the programme.  Halloween harvest star gazing and of course the run up to Christmas – the time to make magical memories!

For me the Autumn term always kicks off with Gilwell Reunion.  It was a bit different this year as the National AGM was held on the Saturday afternoon and of course Wayne Bulpitt handed over the reins to Tim Kidd.  Tim dropped in on our visit to Bewilderwood and was just fantastic.  We all enjoyed meeting him.  Bewilderwood was a roaring success.  Well done to Brian Harvey for giving 1500 of us a day to remember.   I think it was Mel Buck who pushed me down the slide before I was ready!

Meare Day was another success as it usually is and Suffolk’s High Sheriff, William Kendall, took the opportunity to visit.  He was most impressed to see the young people on the water and to hear of Scouting exploits throughout the year for the first time.  He is another supporter of Scouting and all of its achievements. 

I was invited to the Guide County AGM where I had the privilege to meet the new Chief Guide, a fabulous lady who gave an inspiring talk.

Off to Lowestoft to the 14th for their Awards Night – so many youngsters and their achievements -  and to see what they got up to on their Summer Camp in Cornwall.  All great fun – well done Leaders! 

This year’s SAS Re-dedication Service was held in Lowestoft and was very well attended.  Afternoon tea was delicious. 

The external refurbishment of the portacabins at Bradfield has been completed and at the beginning of October, we hosted the naming ceremony for Lunney Lodge.  The name-plate was unveiled by Henry Lunney’s widow, Claire.  At the same time, the Cubs were taking part in a cooking competition and the visitors, including the Mayors of Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury, took the opportunity to chat to the youngsters and I think, sample some of their fare.

The County AGM was well attended and we were treated to a presentation by Catlin Rawlinson, a Sudbury Explorer Scout, on her exploits at ‘Roverway’ in France, and then we had a presentation on the African Expedition for 2017.  What fantastic opportunities these are for our young people.

Hannah Kentish the UK Youth Commissioner closed the evening with an inspiring talk on her Scouting journey.  We then had a fantastic supper courtesy of Celia Comber and her team at Kesgrave.

I have had positive feedback from the Regional Innovation Day.  If you didn’t make the day in Ipswich, the next one is in January at Wyboston Lakes.  Further information will be published soon.

I attended a Team England Day near Newark and met about 40 other County and Area Commissioners.  It was interesting to compare notes on our Counties – I think we are doing OK and with Tim Kidd at the helm we are in for some exciting times.

Lowestoft held a Cub Gang Show to celebrate 100 years of Cub Scouting.  What a joy and pleasure it was. I just loved it as it was my other hobby for many years and I know from first-hand the work that goes into producing something like this. Well done to everyone.

Finally, Bethany Farnell has been appointed as a County Youth Commissioner.  She will work alongside Ollie Smith.  They have attended the Wolsey District Cub Forum and were very impressed.  Well done to Kevin Bean who organised the meeting.

Well folks, I have had my last meetings with the ACC Team, the DCs and my Core Team.  The next issue of County News will be my last, where I will indulge myself with memories of the last seven and a bit years as County Commissioner. 

As it is only eight weeks to Christmas I shall be first to wish you a very Happy Christmas.  Thank you for all you do – you make a difference!

Jenny