Croydon Scouts seek commissioner as French stands down

Croydon’s Scouts are seeking a new district commissioner, as Steve French, who has been the area’s head scout since 2009, is standing down.

Croydon is one of Britain’s largest Scouts districts

“At the ripe age of 57 and having been involved in Scouting in Croydon for nearly 40 years, I hope to continue supporting Scouting in Croydon in another equally satisfying role,” French told Inside Croydon.

The Scout Association generally makes appointments to senior roles for a maximum five-year period. Sometimes, people are able to serve a second term, and French is coming to the end of 10 years in the position. “I admit to having a very heavy heart when I think about handing over the district to someone else in a few months’ time,” he said.

“However, for the Scout Association to be relevant it needs to move with the times. To coin a phrase from Baden Powell himself, ‘Scouting is a movement, because it moves forward. As soon as it stops moving, it becomes an organisation and is no longer Scouting’.

“After all, Scouting is all about the young people and we have been inspiring and encouraging our young people to take a greater responsibility for their local Scouting provision,” French said.

“It gave me great pleasure recently to appoint three Youth Commissioners to Croydon. These are young people aged between 19 and 21 taking senior roles and helping to drive Croydon Scouting forward.

“I am sure there will be some individuals currently involved in Croydon Scouting who would like to consider applying for the role of DC. However it is important that anyone currently from outside of the movement without prior Scouting knowledge but perhaps has some relevant management experience feels equally able to apply.”

Steve French: standing down after 10 years as Croydon DC

Scouting is the largest youth organisation in the world, stretching across 216 countries and territories, with a global membership of more than 31 million. In Britain, membership is around 500,000 and rising.

Croydon is the second largest London borough by population and Croydon Scouting is one of the largest Scout districts in the country in terms of membership and the number of individual Scout groups.

“The ‘youth of today is the future of tomorrow’,” French says, “and we all have a vital part to play in this development whether it be from the central Government and the statute authorities or from the private and voluntary sector, we all need to ensure that the support and opportunity exists for our young people now and in the future.”

In a nutshell, the district commissioner needs to:

• Inspire and enthuse people
• Apply strategic thinking to a challenge
• Build and lead a team of key volunteers
• Be resourceful and energetic
• Believe passionately about developing young people and volunteers

In the official announcement of the vacancy, Croydon Scouts say, “We need you to nominate someone, or some people, who you think would make a great contribution to the role of DC. You may wish to apply for the role yourself, that would be great! We would also consider a ‘team’ nomination or other opportunities to share the role. Any nomination you make will be kept in the strictest confidence.”

Anyone interested or who would like to discuss the role further, please contact Theresa Jeffrey on 01737 555911 or email

The vacancy pack (click here to access it) contains a full role description, a nomination form and an application form. The closing date is February 8.

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