June 20, 2014
SVG Scouts Association falls below benchmark in recent international audit

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Scouts Association has fallen below the benchmark, scoring only 37.7 per cent in an audit recently done by the World Scout Bureau.{{more}}

Operations executive for the Caribbean Scout movement Ronald Richardson told SEARCHLIGHT that the first-time audit was done in April by an auditor from France, and examined the performance of the Association, using over 90 different criteria.

The audit also covered matters of administration, finance, expansion, youth programmes, community relations, leadership training, among others.

According to Richardson, the local Scouts Association is just one of the first 15 associations in the world where the audit was done and the first in the Caribbean.

Following receipt of the audit report, a retreat was held at the Scout headquarters in Arnos Vale last weekend, where the way forward for the Association was planned.

Richardson said a number of matters were agreed upon over the weekend, including the upgrading of the financial management and controls of the Association and the expansion of the movement throughout the country.

“We have more cub scouts in the movement than we have scouts and venture scouts… We came to the conclusion [that] we have to concentrate on those two bigger areas. We are reaching the younger ones and we have to get back to reaching the scouts…,” Richardson said,

“We are slightly below the benchmark. The discussions we had over weekend addressed that. We discussed what we need to do to get up to that 50 per cent.”

The meeting saw scout leaders commissioners and executive members in attendance.

The Association is also in the process of developing a plan showing how scouting in SVG will be financed over the next five years.

Bernard Joseph, executive member of the local Scouts Association, said the audit is timely since the movement is celebrating its 100th anniversary here in SVG.

“We can basically assess where we are and we now know what we need to do. We’re in a better position to address our weaknesses,” Joseph said.

At present, Joseph said there are about 350 persons who make up the scout movement and by 2015, they are aiming to increase that figure to 1,200.

Joseph made an appeal to members of the public to support the Association by becoming leaders, executive members and helping the movement move forward.

According to Joseph, efforts are being made to step up their public awareness and focus a lot on the venture scouts.

“With venture scouts, they learn more than just the basics of a scout; they move from traditional scouting to learning how to improve communication skills, money management, preparation for the job market and so on…,” Joseph added.(KW)