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Hi Everyone!

I'm Jenny Mullan, the County Commissioner for Suffolk, here you can find my online blog, where I will post updates about all the amazing things I have seen during my travels around the county. Keep checking back every now and again as I will try to update this regularly!

Jenny 

Having thought I had written my last County News contribution, here I am again.  I’m confident (I think) this will be my last missive.  So, what’s been happening in the County?  January and February are always quiet months but there are a few events of note. 

At the beginning of January I was privileged to present the Queen’s Scout Award to Daniel Jackson of 1st Pakefield.  Daniel was also presented with his Woodbeads.  It was a fabulous evening with Daniel’s friends and family members who were all very proud.  Thank you, Lowestoft District, for making the evening extra special for me.  The cards and photo mugs are tremendous and so very thoughtful.  Such a wonderful reminder of my time as County Commissioner.

A very Happy New Year to you all!  I hope you had a super Christmas.  It has been a quiet couple of months for me comparatively speaking! 

The African Expedition Camp was a joy to visit, the excitement is really building up now.  Thank you, Paddy, for the gift you gave me.   I’ll treasure it always.  

The Stowmarket Show was excellent, the youngsters were quite amazing.  Thank you, Clare Beavers, for your gift and card.  It has pride of place on my window sill.

All the Carol services this year were just wonderful, the Orwell service with the Salvation Army is always a highlight. A special thanks to Stowmarket for letting the service be hijacked for my farewell. I felt very humbled by the gifts from the County.  I shall use the gardening vouchers to buy something special as a lasting memory of my time as County Commissioner. The beautiful vase will hold all the flowers I’ll be growing! The Jamboree board just blew me away. Thank you so much to all the Contingent for their thoughtfulness.

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!

I hope you have all enjoyed the summer break.  The weather has improved, thank goodness.

The Wet Weekend was once again a success.  It’s great to see so many youngsters having fun on the water.  Wolsey SAS put on a fabulous tea for their Party in the Park to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.  Pat Andrews invited me to join the 2nd Ipswich when they celebrated their Group’s 100 years. The church service, the presentations and memorabilia were a trip down memory lane for all the ex-members.

At the time of writing this I am listening to the Referendum reports and the uncertainty of our future outside the EU.  Scouting in all its guises offers stability for our youngsters and it has never been more important than in this day and age.  Fun and Adventure for all!!

Some of you will have experienced the wettest camps for a long time.  When visiting Stowmarket Cub Camp, the rain was so heavy it took me 10 minutes before I could get out of the car!  I must say it did not deter or dampen (sorry for the pun) the enthusiasm of the Cubs or the Leaders.  Well done to Anita Scruby and her team for keeping the party going!  Deben and Lowestoft camps fared better with the weather.  I really enjoyed the visit to Henham Hall where Deben Cubs had gathered for their 100-year camp and it is always a joy to visit Herringfleet. 

The past two months have been very busy as I am sure it has been for you.

CAMPS.  If you are planning a family camp please make sure all your parents have a DBS.  If you need support please get in touch with your DC who will help you.

The 2018 Vision Road Show in Lowestoft, where Lowestoft and Waveney Valley came together, was a great success.  Look out for the dates for your own District!

The Training Academy in March saw lots of Leaders enjoying a weekend of training modules.  The County lunch continues to be a great success.  The talk was given by a previous Deputy Master of the Royal Household and it was quite fascinating.

It is great to have lighter nights but a bit disturbing to note how fast time is moving on. I was saddened to hear that Julie Baker, a Leader with Lakenheath, had 'gone home'. Julie was a true inspiration to all who knew her.

As you may know, John Mabb’s final issue as County News editor is the March/April 2016 edition. John has been a great supporter of Suffolk Scouts and was certainly one of the best County Commissioners I had come across in my nomadic Scouting life. As I have said before, we all leave footprints and John has certainly left his on the County. I’m sure we shall still see John from time to time. Thank you John, for carrying on as editor for as long as you have since moving to Hampshire.

CAN you believe that autumn is nearly over? It’s been a bit mixed weatherwise but on a sunny day the trees are looking pretty amazing on campsites I have visited. One camp in particular stands out: the Deben Link camp was run by …wait for it… Young Leaders! Henry Slim and James Higgins had put the programme together and ran the weekend very well indeed.

Did you enjoy the County AGM last month? The Jamboree Contingent and the Explorer Belt participants put on excellent displays and they were followed by Andrew Waller who gave the audience an entertaining presentation on the happenings of the CMAT members over the summer.

THE camping season is now in full swing. I have been so impressed with the camp programmes you have provided for your sections. We were all soaked to the skin at the Orwell District Scout Camp and Beaver sleepover but it didn’t seem to stop the fun. Well done Leaders!

The Lowestoft Reunion Camp which officially opens the camping season at Herringfleet was a day to remember - I had the privilege to open the newlybuilt welfare block. The campfire which was run by Explorer Scouts was also good fun.

The Suffolk Show was busy again this year and the weather was kind to us. Many thanks to the Deben and Orwell Leaders who helped out on both days

IT’S fabulous to have the light nights and spring-like weather with us at last. The camping season will be in full swing soon and it is timely to remind you all of the Policy on alcohol Policy Organisation and Rules 2.4.d “During ‘off duty’ periods, adults in Scouting also need to take into account the effects alcohol can have and how it may affect their fitness to fulfil their Scouting duties. “Under no circumstances should young people under the age of 18 be allowed to consume alcohol during Scouting events.” Please do keep this in mind.

Our numbers dipped this year in the Annual Census and the County is 1% down on membership from last year. Some Districts did exceedingly well in spite of what has happened with Compass! Keith Gleen is busy with the Growth Certificates and I look forward to presenting them.