Momentum Gathered as the Message Escapes!

Given there is a limited time window to get us to a position to say with we can go ahead with this outrageous idea, we’ve been telling whomever will listen about it.

Milton Keynes Citizen –
Continue reading “Momentum Gathered as the Message Escapes!”

“Go Big, or Go Home”

So, with the guilt that only 1000 young people wanting scouting can bring, the District Commissioner says to me “It’s a Go Big, or Go Home moment isn’t it…”

The District Commissioner, Stuart Bailey, and myself, Stuart Ball, Growth & Development Lead, sat in the Inn On The Lake, a hostelry in Mount Farm, just after visiting a warehouse on the Mount Farm industrial estate, Bletchley.

We’d been deliberating for many months just how we can begin to create places for young people on our waiting list which currently numbers over 1000, with a healthy pipeline to come. Our existing groups, many in their shared venues, are in need of adults to strengthen their groups, or whole new small teams of adults to start new Colonies, Packs, Troops or Units.

It’s given both Stuart and myself nightmares for months. Even though we’re being supported by the Regional Services Team and Bucks County Scouts, the nightmares continued.

This deliberation has often come back needing more space, if we did get the leaders into Groups, would the venues be able to host them…

So, with the guilt that only 1000 young people wanting Scouting, but no spaces, can bring, the District Commissioner says to me “It’s a Go Big, or Go Home moment isn’t it…”

Yes it is. We’d just visited this warehouse that’s 7500 square feet, has the footprint of three scout huts, and we think can provide 500-600 scouting places a week, based on our capacity model.

The drawback? It’s not cheap.

Over a 5 year period it would be a commitment of investing around £500,000 into Scouting in Milton Keynes, and there is consideration for a 10 year lease.

So £1M over 10 years….Scary huh?

Most of that will come back in Subs from the young people, but it is a SCARY HUGE amount of money to be considering. The rent is £55,000 per year, and it’s going to need fitting out to our requirements once the landlord has finished it’s refurb, and it’s going to need heating. Even 50 beavers running around won’t generate enough heat to keep it warm in winter.

District Gathering

So Stuart Bailey visited the District Chair Bernard this evening, and there is a nod to start the due diligence to see if we can make this viable venue to provide scouting to a large number of young people in Milton Keynes.

So I now have to break the news to our District membership, Scout Association Regional Development Team, our County Commissioner, that we want to have a serious look at making this a go-er.

We’re going to need their help, support and wise counsel

We’re also going to be contacting Waiting List Parents, our existing Leadership, Councillors, business leaders, grant bodies, planning consultants, local companies to hopefully join us on this exciting venture, which could end up being the largest single Scout Group in the United Kingdom, in one of the fastest growing areas of the country.

If anyone in Milton Keynes doesn’t know, in a few months, that we’re trying to address our waiting list in the most expansive way possible, I’d consider it a B-, must try harder.

So we’ll be adding more structure and content to this website, means of contacting and getting involved, so you can follow, share and support our journey into trying to make this a reality.

Absolutely not forgetting our existing 23 Groups, and 7 Explorer Units, who provide scouting to 1500 young people already, we’re hoping that the inspiration and engagement this project generates will have a “Halo Effect” in getting more adults involved in Scout groups around Milton Keynes. Creating a real buzz about Scouting, Milton Keynes, and Scouting in Milton Keynes.

Below are the photos of the site visit we did prior to the “moment of realisation”.

And if it doesn’t come off? We can’t say we didn’t try.