A Moot Point

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The 2021 World Scout Moot will be in Ireland, hosted by Scouting Ireland. The association won the bid at the recent World Scout Conference in Slovenia.

It will be the first time that a World Scouting Event has ever taken place in our country. We have had many International Events, but this will be different and it has the potential to be very special.

Our approach and our professionalism in terms of how this project is delivered will go a long way towards establishing Ireland in the minds of scouts globally as a viable destination for Scouting and indeed for future World Scout events. There is therefore a lot riding on getting this right.

Great credit must go to those who had the vision to pursue this idea and to those who got behind it and helped to make it happen. The fingerprints of Failte Ireland were evident in the professionalism of the well-put together (if slightly cheesy) promotional film – (the irritating and overused theme tune from ‘parent’ Failte Ireland TVC’s for example). Still, tourism is in a way about selling parodies and letting visitors discover for themselves how inaccurate (or indeed accurate) they might be.

Hosting a World Event of this size and complexity will be a significant challenge for an association with little previous experience of events on this scale. Jamboree 2008 will go down in history as a success and undoubtedly the challenges on the site at the time and those presented by the weather will have added greatly to the significant collective experience the association has on running large events, not least the minefield of red tape.

Equally, the preparations for the subsequently aborted plan for a Jamboree at Stradbally in 2013 gave another generation of event planners exposure to big scale activity planning, even though on that occasion, the project did not progress.

There is certainly no shortage of passion, enthusiasm and willingness to work hard to get things right within Scouting Ireland.

Will this be enough when the tendency within Scouting is to choose teams based on politics rather than skill?

It’s a delicate balancing act to succeed in combining real experience with youthful enthusiasm. Whilst Scouting breeds far more than it’s fair share of headstrong, capable people with a ‘can do’ attitude, it also over-indexes on turner-uppers, bureaucrats trying to justify their roles by adding complexity and ‘jobsworths’ who delight in signing up for ‘security’ and other roles that provide opportunities to temporarily exert power over others, usually involving a yellow jacket and a radio.

It takes strong leadership skills to utilize the right people, whoever they are and to screen out the ‘mall cop’ types. Still, there is at least plenty of time to get this project right.

If one thing is sure, the International attention that the Rover Moot will attract is likely to ensure that the excessive interference and the sometimes clunky incompetence that results from ‘too many cooks’ (and usually the wrong ones) being involved in every decision, will be minimized.

This could well be a defining moment for Scouting Ireland. The people who got us to this point deserve credit. The people who will get us to the next stage in this project will need goodwill and a lot of support.

Lets hope they get it.

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