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It is said, 'Travelling makes you speechless and turns you into a story teller'. A quote used by a young Edinburgh Explorer as she was about to tell us of her experience of preparing and going on a trip to Cambodia. I smiled at this, thinking of some comments made by friends and family as I relate yet another tale from my various meanderings across this fascinating planet we call home.

georgeThe unit spent four weeks in Cambodia working on a school project. I have been to a number of these feed back receptions, some for expeditions I was involved in, there are stories that play with your emotions, many make you smile. The encounters that unfolded during the hour long presentation were
familiar whilst the country was different and of course the team was made up of young people and leaders who were experiencing their first major trip abroad. My thoughts spun and memories were stirred but I came to the conclusion that the destination may be exotic and the project well serving but the result much the same. Forty or so young people experienced a world they had only read about and returned somewhat changed in their self and keen to tell all of this conversion. Each of the team had a great time and I appreciated being able to spend some time with them.

Reunion this year was, as ever, well attended. We were charged with running the drop in cafe and the International Base in the programme tent. Alan Beavis and his team did a sterling job running the cafe. In the programme tent the International base was busy. We recorded speaking to 133 people on the Saturday but we did have brief conversations with even more. Rebecca Churchill produced some programme cards with mind maps to help with delivering the Global Programme. They were well received and follow up requests for cards have been received since.

We had a team from Network Russia and Kandersteg. We undertook a survey on the Global Programme and ran one or two competitions. The team were easy to spot in bright yellow 'T' shirts and we were joined by the International Core Team and it was great to see everyone working together and getting to know each other. Thank you to everyone involved, we got many very positive comments and responses for the effort we made.

During the weekend we gave delegates a heads up on some of the exciting offerings we are planning into the future. An Explorer Belt to Oman, a community expedition to Madagascar and a major ecology based expedition to the Amazon Basin. As I write this I have just been advised that the Amazon trip has been approved by the operations committee. We are now developing a memorandum of understanding between ourselves and British Exploration Society to ensure the Network Scouts who choose to go have an outstanding experience.

Some have asked why we are planning to offer these trips when some counties and districts provide similar experiences. They do and some do a great job. Unfortunately there are a number of Explorers and Network Scouts who miss out on such experiences because their District, County or Region have not got the numbers or where with all torun them so, we do.

Jo Busby is off soon to Ghana to complete some follow on work on her project in that country and I look forward to reading about the trip in our next News Letter. On the 24th October I attend the funeral of Alec Elliott. I met Alec and his wife Anita when I was Scouting in Hampshire. I went to talk to their Venture Scout Unit. They invited me to the village pub for a beer, then borrowed the money to buy it, Scouting!!! The result was, I did not drive home that night and by the end of the week they had persuaded me to go to Sri Lanka. That was in 1985 and marked the start of my International career. Alec was an inspiration to the young people he worked with and an influence on my Scouting, he leaves a fine legacy.

George Devine, Manager

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