New Year … new GSL!

Dear Scouts, Scouters and Friends of Scouting,

First of all, I wish you and your families all the very best for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!

I am very pleased to be writing to you as your new Group Scout Leader (“GSL”) for 1st Waterloo (International) Scout Group.  Since 1977, our group has offered Scouting to the English-speaking community of the Waterloo area as part of the British Scouting Overseas (BSO) area of the UK Scout Association.  For a majority of these years, between 1991 and 2013, John Nordkvelle served as GSL and I can only hope to use his example and experience as a model in assuming the responsibilities of this role.

As you know, 1st Waterloo exists to support families where, due to cultural or language barriers (and the fact that people from the UK and other English-speaking countries living overseas may frequently move around), it is not always possible for English-speaking young people to join local Scouting groups.  For others who do speak one or more of Belgium’s official languages, perhaps one parent is Anglophone and they are looking for an English-language youth activity for their child growing-up in Belgium.  As of our 2013 census, we numbered 77 Scouts and Scouters with one section each of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, but I am very confident that there are many other English-speaking young people who could benefit from Scouting.

This month, I will meet with the uniformed leaders of all sections as well as the Executive Committee members to detail my vision for 1st Waterloo as I presented it to the GSL Selection Committee during my interview process.  As parents, you can also expect to hear a lot from me this winter through various media, such as the existing site, a new Facebook page for the Group (coming soon), a new Twitter account (@1stWaterlooGSL), and others.  In addition to the normal contact you have with your child’s uniformed leaders, I want to actively share information at the Group level as well to gather feedback from you.  We are all busy at home and at work, so one-on-one interactions are not always possible during the pick-up and drop-off at the Monday meetings.  That is why I believe that quick updates via social media, combined with more detailed information on the website and e-mail, can be used to complement each other rather than to confuse you.

For those of you who don’t know me (well) yet, I have prepared a CV of my Scouting career as both a youth member in the United States and as an adult volunteer with British Overseas Scouting at 1st Waterloo (copy sent by Section Leaders with the e-mail version of this letter).  To learn more about my professional experience and skills, I invite you to find me on LinkedIn.

I look forward to working with you.

Yours in Scouting,

Leo Caisse

Group Scout Leader – 1st Waterloo (International) Scout Group