Central Brussels Scouts

Annual General Meeting 2016/2017

Minutes

Date: 10th February 2017

Time: 20.30

Place: Pavillion, Parc du Cinquantenaire

Attendees

Conrad Toft

Art Piatek

Irfaan Foster

Ambar Liétar

Michelle van der Straaten

Sabine Bronchart

Bindia Ravindran

Julie James

Lorraine Christian

Alberto Burba

Tessa Harris-Hess

Jos Wittevrongel

Mark Ponsford

Robin Emmot

Victor Cirlig

Caroline Wagemans

Natascha Hesketh

Stephen Sadler

Richard Monti

Andres Manasseh

Robin Sclafani

Flag Raising and investiture of new Scouts

The AGM began with the flag raising ceremony. Robin Sclafani opened the meeting and thanked Art Piatek for his efforts. An investiture ceremony took place during which 6 children made their promises, were welcomed to CBS as beavers, cubs and scouts respectively and received a salute from the assembled scouts.

Chair’s Welcome

The Acting Chair, Conrad Toft, gave the welcome address. The members of the Executive Team and leaders were asked to stand. The parents and children present were asked to show their appreciation through a round of applause.

Chair’s Report

History

Art Piatek gave the Chair’s report starting with a history of Central Brussels Scouts (CBS). CBS started in May 2014 with one beaver colony and a membership of 10-11.

Membership

In 2017, CBS has expanded to two Beaver colonies, two Cub packs, two Scout troops and 98 members (projected to exceed 100 by Easter).

CBS has no plans for further expansion and will instead build on its current activities.

 

Overall, there is a good gender balance (although this varies per individual group).

Eighty-six names are currently on the waiting list.

Group leaders

The group leaders were presented:

Past Activities

The wide range of different activities carried out by CBS was presented and included:

CB Scouts had also attended many community events, camps, trips to cultural events and listened to various guest speakers doing community work (nurse) or having specialised skills (pilot etc.).

Central Brussels would like to get more involved in the community. Lorraine Christian was introduced as a new committee member who will work on fundraising and more outreach with the community.

Art asked for suggestions on guests to come and speak. Suitable types of speakers include emergency services, medical personnel or people doing community work. It was suggested that the imam from the mosque next door could be invited to speak. Art informed the meeting that one scout group had recently visited the Buddhist Centre and so this suggestion could be considered in the future.

The upcoming events were presented. Highlights as follows:

11th March 2017: Cub/car – Lego car racing. Waterloo section has donated a large Lego racing track to CBS which will be rotated between the different groups.

12th-14th May 2017: District Camp. This brings together all the Benelux British Scouting Overseas Scouts and over 500 children are expected. Ambar will start planning the programme at the end of February. More details will follow. The theme is 110 games

End May/ Early June 2017: Cub pack camp. This brings together the 3 cub packs in Brussels.

8th-16th/17th July 2017: Scout summer camp – Kandersteg, Switzerland. CBS will be sending 6-7 scouts.

April 23rd 2017: Boot Sale. This will be a major fundraising exercise for CBS. The idea is to sell on unused items donated by parents. Items that can be sold include books, toys and children’s clothes. Unsold items will be donated to charity. Lorraine Christian has just joined the committee and will manage this event supported by the group leaders.

September 2017 – Central Brussels Family Camp

2019 – World Scout Jamboree in Virginia USA.  Younger scouts and cubs are eligible. There was a lot of interest from the scouts and cubs present. Art advised them that they would need to talk to their parents and let him know as soon as possible if they are interested. Each group can only send a limited number. Art advised those present that the cubs and scouts attending would need to do a lot of fundraising to pay for their flight tickets although District would provide some funding.

Challenges

To recruit more leaders, especially for Sherrington Cubs and the Scout troops.

To recruit people for positions of Chairman and Secretary

Ensuring that all leaders have the necessary ‘nights away permit’.

To receive more donations of used games or camping equipment

To find a suitable space to store equipment and material

Help for the distribution of marketing material

Opportunities

360 degree evaluation to be sent to parents

Possibility of administering the Duke of Edinburgh Award to be investigated.

CBS hopes to have an Explorer unit in place by September 2018.

Financial report

The treasurer’s report was presented by Irfaan Foster.

CBS now has its own bank account and manages its accounts separately.

Group income comes from 3 main sources:

  1. Subscriptions (€9,781). Revenue from subscriptions is up on previous years.
  2. Fundraising. €749.63. €650 alone was raised from the wrapping activity at Waterstones. CBS would like to do more of these sorts of activities.
  3. Start-up grants – CBS received 2 grants from District for new groups

Overview of the group expenditure 2015-16:

  1. Membership fees to District (€2,747) and FOS (€2,187)
  2. Group activities for the young people including Youth Programmes & Activities (€1,326.15), Leader Training/Certification to ensure a safe environment (€215) and Activity Badges(€1,739.20). Irfaan noted that badges represented a significant expenditure.  
  3. As CBS became an independent section, it had to purchase its own camping equipment (€1,750.59). A further €2,841.65 was spent on various camps.

Irfaan explained that CBS made a surplus last year from the camps which helped to improve the financial situation. As CBS became independent, €750 in fees was waived from section. CBS started the year with around €1000 in cash funds and finished it with around €3000.

The liabilities were presented, one unpaid invoice for cubs. No agreement was reached on this last year but it will be paid in 2017 as an agreement has now been found.

In conclusion, the surplus has improved the finances and led to a stronger situation. CBS can increase spending on activities for the young people, pay for the certification of the leaders and storage and hall fees, and buy more camping equipment.

Election of Executive Committee

Conrad opened the election of the executive team.

There were two vacant positions for which he appealed for candidates.

Julie James volunteered for Secretary

Conrad Toft volunteered for Chair.

Questions and Comments

One question from Stephen Sadler.

CBS has ninety-eight members and eighty-six on waiting list. How does the transition function? Bindia Ravindran stated that generally CBS was looking to recruit beavers and most children on the list in this age group are offered a spot. There is a longer wait for Cubs and Scout places, although sometimes spots do come open. She stressed that children can get spots if their parents are willing to help, either with fundraising or on the Executive Committee.

Stephen Sadler pointed out the fast growth of CBS and how some leaders are involved with more than one group and made the point that we should not over-stretch.

It was suggested that the scouts could attend the St Patricks Day celebrations in Parc du Cinquantenaire (19th March) in their uniforms. Good publicity has arisen from previous group outings in the community with the scouts in their uniforms.

It was confirmed that the celebrations are suitable for children (Gallic football, hurling for example) and Ambar Liétar suggested adding the date to the scout’s calendar for those able to attend.

Conrad Toft thanked everyone for the attendance and formally closed AGM