National Council 2017 - ELECTIONS National News

Derek Long – Running for the Position of Provincial Commissioner Southern Province

From comms

Derek Long

What position are you running for and why?

I am running for the position of Provincial Commissioner for the Southern Province at National Council 2017. I am putting my name forward for the role as I want to continue the good work of the pervious Provincial Commissioners and their teams. From my recent role as the County Commissioner of Cois Laoi Corcaigh Scout County, I fully understand the importance of a strong working Provincial Team who are there to support the Provincial Commissioner. A strong Provincial Team allows the Provincial Commissioner to achieve his goals, while also supporting County Commissioners achieve their goals. I feel that I have the ability and leadership skills to put together and lead a strong Provincial Team in the Southern Province. Only strong leadership coupled with a strong working PMST can I achieve my aims which I have outlined below.

What do you plan to achieve in your term in the Role?

If I am honoured to be elected as Provincial Commissioner my main objectives will be:

  • To promote and support Scout Counties and Scout Groups in developing programme for our youth members.
  • To support County Commissioners in developing their Scout Counties.
  • To make the Provincial Team more accessible to Scouters on the ground.
  • € To ensure that the Provincial Team is taking its direction from the Southern Province Membership.

Identify one challenge currently facing Scouting Ireland and a potential solution to this challenge?

Challenge: One of the major problems facing all Scout Groups at the moment is the cost of training a new Scouter from the beginning of their Scouting Journey to the completion of their Wood Badge. I believe this cost has become a large financial burden for all Scout Groups.

Solution: I believe that by reducing the cost of Scouter Training some of the financial pressures currently facing our Scout Groups will be alleviated. However the solution is not easy. I firmly believe that by giving our Scouters the option of splitting the ³Being a Scouter² weekend into two day courses can reduce the overall cost of the course. This may also encourage more Scouters into the association by removing the compulsory weekend element of the initial Scouter training. By splitting the course into two single days, the overnight accommodation and meal costs are reduced. Another way of reducing the cost of training for groups is to make groups aware of the different types of grants available for training. This could be done at a Provincial Level by providing the groups with information about the Educational Training Boards training grants and other grants from relevant authorities. Support from the Professional staff when filling out the grant applications may inc raise the number of successful grant applications while also insuring that groups are aware of application deadlines.

Lastly anything else you would like to say to the Membership?

I would be delighted if members from the Southern Province could support me on Saturday the 8th of April. In my thirty-five years of Scouting from a Macaoimh/Cub Scout to a Scouter, I have seen many changes in Scouting and one thing for certain is that there will be even more changes in the months and years ahead. What we need to remember is that we still pitch an Icelantic tent in the same way, we still climb and navigate a mountain in the same way and we still wear a neckerchief in the same way. If we keep that in mind the future of Scouting in Ireland is very bright.

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