Who’s Zooming Who – an AGM with a difference

It was an AGM like no other we’ve seen at County level before, but the 2020 Annual General Meeting took place with a large online gathering on Wednesday evening.

After six months of disruption to our Scouting activities, you might have thought we would be well accustomed to online meetings by now, but the sight of 80 Celebrity Square style boxes on Zoom was still quite an unusual sight to behold!

Thank you, firstly, to those of you who spent an autumnal evening in our company as we reflected on the 2019-20 financial year, and also on some of the more recent resilience shown by Berkshire’s Scouts in the face of the pandemic.

County Commissioner Nigel Bevan kicked off proceedings (once everyone was suitably on mute) with a welcome before we enjoyed a review of Scouting as we remember it pre-lockdown. Among the many happy faces and adventurous activities was a recap of our Uganda 2019 project and our attendance at the World Scout Jamboree.

One of our Berkshire Stags, Sophie, sent us a video looking back at what she called a ‘wow’ experience. “I did things I never thought I’d do, like attending a baseball game and boating at Niagara Falls. I am incredibly thankful I got to go; I gained really important leadership and communications skills,” she said.

Seeing the hard work of our Uganda attendees reminded us why we are all so passionate about Scouting – and how impressive the facilities at the three sites look. We also reflected on the situation caused by COVID-19 and how groups around Berkshire have supported local communities and kept the Scouting values alive in this challenging year.

In a special message recorded for Berkshire Scouts, Chief Commissioner for England, Alex Peace-Gadsby said: “I know just how tough that lockdown was for young people and adults. You have been a beacon and a lifeline for so many of them through the differences you have made and continue to make. We continue in such difficult times to make that difference. Let’s continue to do brilliant things. Thank you all.”

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