Scouts in New Zealand Help the Earthquake Relief Effort

Since the awful earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday, the New Zealand Scout Association have launched a ‘Sponsor a Blanket’ initiative.

The NZ emergency services have stated there is a lack of blankets available and people can sponsor one for a donation of NZ$10 (just over £4).  You can make a donation via PayPal here.

I know the Scout Association are also promoting this cause in their weekly email, but it’s worth restating! Please try to make a donation to this worth while cause.

Founder’s Day

Today is Founder’s Day where Scouts and Guides (and all variations there of) celebrate the births of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell.

To celebrate the WOSM and the SA are encouraging Scouts to wear their neckers (scarf) at work, school etc. and to change their Facebook photo to one with them wearing their necker. See here and here.

I’ve done mine, have you done yours?


Web Sites

Over the past 15 years or so, a lot of Scout Groups / Districts etc. will have set up their own websites. Some will still be going and some will have long since vanished.

These websites provide useful information about what is going on in that Group / District but also what has gone on. However, updates take place, web addresses change or the person running the site changes and some of the information gets lost.

Since 1996, the Internet Archive has been crawling the web and keeping snapshots of various websites. To quote the site –

The archive of pages goes back to 1996.  The original Wayback Machine interface was released in 2001 with about 10 billion pages.

It’s a US based site, but they do record sites from all over the world. So for example, my Group’s site has been archived on it’s various addresses since 2000. See here and here (the first incarnation hasn’t been saved, but a slight reconstruction can be seen here).

Last year I read that the British Library are also in the process of archiving websites, but only from the UK, and were looking for nominations for sites to be archived. I put ours forward and I was rather surprised to learn that it had been accepted – and here is our archive page. Only one snapshot at the moment, but it should grow over time.

The thing with these archive sites is that it allows us to see what websites looked like in the past, see how they’ve changed (look at the BBC in 1996 for a chuckle) and they provide an interesting history of the Group etc. Maybe in 2108, someone researching the 200th anniversary of my Group will find it interesting to look back at our website of 2011 and see what we got up to!

2011 Census

imageThe yearly census of all Scouts in the UK is now complete and while the national results don’t get released for a while yet, locally the figures are looking good.

For my Group we actually have one less member than last year, but I’m not too worried for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the previous four years all showed some significant growth and secondly, having seen the Beavers and Cubs on Friday, it does look like we’ve had a fair number of Beavers and Cubs join us since the figures were taken in mid December.

It’s also worth noting that the figures in our District are also up for the fifth year running. It will be interesting to see what the figures are for the other 2 Districts local to us and also the figures for the County.

However, using the highly unscientific method of guesswork(!), I am fairly certain that the number of Scouts both locally and nationally will be up again.

I’d be interested to hear how numbers in my reader’s Groups, Districts and Counties are doing this year. Indeed, I’m interested to hear how the numbers of Scouts are going in everyone’s own little corner of the world, no matter where you are! Please leave me your comments!