The Scouting Ireland Chat Forum, not known for its freedom of debate or indeed meaningful conversations these days, nonetheless recently hosted a spirited exchange. This followed the furore at the associations National Council, surrounding the Meeting Chairman’s alleged assertion to the meeting, that a female youth member was being inaccurate in some comments she alleged the Chief Scout had made relating to the controversial ‘Vision 2020’ proposal a number of weeks beforehand.
Adult awards as a concept may seem counter-intuitive in an association where volunteers seek only to serve the interests of their scout group, the community it is in and the members of it. Yet, an awards system is also arguably a valid and welcome method in which to recognize in a small way, the efforts that adult scouters go to in their spare time, to bring Scouting to the nation’s youth.
It’s an open secret however in Scouting Ireland for some time that the adult awards system is in need of review. It is secretive, unaccountable and the way it is currently calibrated, by and large favours only politically connected (and/or politically savvy) Scout Groups.
The decision, by the National Council of the Youth Organisation Scouting Ireland to reject in full, the ‘Vision 2020’ proposal, as put forward by the associations National Management Committee at this weekends annual National Council meeting in Cork, suggests a number of things about the current culture of leadership within the Scouting movement in Ireland.
The detailed proposals behind Scouting Ireland’s much vaunted ‘Vision 2020’ initiative have been circulated to the association’s membership. They make interesting reading.