Why then do utopian communities so often fail?

We scouts want to build a better world and scout centres are related to communities, so I found this article at AEON very interesting. https://aeon.co/essays/like-start-ups-most-intentional-communities-fail-why

Food for thought.

Why then do utopian communities so often fail? Interestingly, attrition rates for intentional communities are not all that different from many other types of human endeavour. The failure rate for start-ups is around 90 per cent, and the longevity of most companies is dismal: of the Fortune 500 companies listed in 1955, more than 88 per cent are gone; meanwhile, S&P companies have an average lifespan of just 15 years. Can we really expect more longevity from experimental communities? And if not, what can we learn from an audit of these experiments? What have been the key factors undermining communitarian living?


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CMC 2015 Connection – The relationship between fun and informal learning

The theme of the CMC 2015 was Learning to Grow and an important part of that theme was centred around informal learning and education. I feel it was a highly important topic and well worth following up and so the other day I found this post over at deep fun about research into informal learning at the work place and fun:
The Relationship Between Fun in the Workplace and Informal Learning

Food for Thought.

If you like the article, you might like the next CMC.

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CMC 2017 – Diving into Application Statistics

This post reflects the personal views of Martin Eliasson and not necessarily the CMC planning team.

Dear Friends,

I’m going to write a little today about my thoughts on the program for the upcoming Centre Managers Conference (CMC). I Have been on the planning team for CMC twice already, and I have always focused on the program. In Neihaischen 2013 I was taken by surprise a little because I had imagined that it would be like Jambville 2011, but it was very different I think.

I do my own evaluations and I keep going back to them, and one of the things I do nowdays is that I dig into the early request for partnership answers. As you may know, we are trying hard to get Erasmus+ funding for the CMC so we are quite early and I know things will change, yet, I think the statistics are interesting.

If we take a look at from where people got the information and invitation to CMC from, it is very scattered:

28% Goose Network
26% From my NSO / MO
20% European region communications
9% Social Media
7% Other


I believe this statistic is illustrating that the link between Scout Centres and NSOs are not the strongest. There are many reasons for this and I will not dig deeper into it here, what I do think is that we who are active at scout centres and care about scout centres must never rely on NSOs as single channel of communication. This is why we are sending out the invitation through as many channels as we can and with good result.

Another takeaway is that the Goose Network is vital. If we hadn’t Goose we would be far worse off, especially considering that the whole planning team, except for the great scouts of the hosting centre Úlfljótsvatn, are active in Goose.

One reason to go to CMC is that you liked last CMC. I work hard to make the program as meaningful as possible. Looking at the application statistics, 46% or about half, came to last CMC. At the moment this looks like a good number. I can also tell from the underlying information that some did not come to last CMC but earlier CMC. To me, this tells me we should really try to not repeat anything from last time, but leave it to participants to discuss in breaks, over lunch etc.

I find this an interesting challenge, because this year I’m thinking a little about just not changing the workshop contents but maybe experiment a little with the format too. More about that in coming posts.

So who is coming? This years statistics are pretty straight forward: Roughly 1/3 Centre Managers, 1/3 Mid-level managers and 1/3 Board or committee members.

It will make it a little of a challenge to please all backgrounds and I think we might have to come up with a way that the workshops can be meaningful to participants of different backgrounds. On the other hand, I think it can be a great strength that scouts with varying backgrounds but a common interest meet.

Finally, I did some interpretation from the free text entries of the partnership form concerning what you where interested in. It is my interpretation and so it is not exact science, but here is the data. Not everyone filled in the free text field and some of you mentioned several of the items below, so it’s not some pie-chart data and it’s not normalized. I see it as a “tip of the iceberg” view.



22% Developing best practices and growing centres
20% EVS, funding and finance
17% Volunteers: taking care and attracting.
15% Environment and SCENES
13% Sustainable networking

Let me comment a little on this.

22% Developing best practices and growing centres. This is a lot about what Goose Network is about and I recognize a lot of centres in this category who are clearly aiming to grow or are building something new and who have realized that instead of doing every single mistake you can go to existing centres and learn fast. I think this is great and I’m sure you will enjoy the conference and all contacts. In my experience, centres and applicants in this category tend to use their networks well.

13% Sustainable networking  – This is a challenge that has resurfaced yearly, that we all want our network to be more active, bring better result, more guests, more volunteers etc, but networking requires effort. My own view on this is so long I will have to write another post about it.

20% EVS, funding and finance – This is an important issue and have always been. Ever since I sat in the financial workshop at CMC 2011 in Jambville, I have heard the same thing over and over. Scout centres are financially challenged. Margins are thin. Any way to bring in funding is welcomed. This is why we in the CMC planning team and Úlfljótsvatn work so hard to bring ion the Erasmus+ funding. We know how vital it is. It is also why I think Felipes workshop about managing financials at KISC held at CMC 2015 in Kapraluv Mlyn was one of the greatest workshops we have had.

17% Volunteers, Taking care and atracting – Another item resurfacing year after year concerns how to get volunteers and how to take care about them. I know this one is important to all of you and it is to me to, so much that two times in a row I have suggested the theme of CMC to be “friendship” because I think at the heart of the matter, friendship is a cornerstone of what volunteering is about. I’m very pleased that friendship made it into this CMC and I want to do something that makes a difference for you this year.

15% Environment and SCENES – Seth Godin pointed out that all easy problems are solved, what remains are the hard ones. I was at the SCENES conference in 2008 (I think it was) in KISC. I remember clearly that one of the core issues was coming up with good environmental program beyond recycling. In a way, almost ten years later, this is still a challenge for us in many ways, so either there are no easy solutions or we have been looking at it the wrong way for a long time.

Hope to see you all in Iceland

Martin Eliasson,
former co-ordinator of Goose Network
Member of CMC planning team 2013, 2015 and 2017

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Application and travel information to Goose seminar 2017

The 13nd Goose Network Camp Staff Seminar 2017
At Scout Centre Næsbycentre 13th – 17th April 2017


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Goose Seminar 2017

Dear Centre Managers and Friends in Scouting or Guiding
We are pleased to invite 1 or 2 young people from your Centre to join the 13nd Goose Network Camp Staff Seminar, which is taking place from Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April 2017 at Scout Center Næsbycentre, Denmark: http://www.naesbycentret.dk.

Objectives of the Seminar 

  • To create a new partnership/network directly between young people dedicated to work with the development of our centers.
  • To promote the Youth programme between the participants with focus on exchange of voluntary staff members, networking and future seminars on topics of common interest.
  • To share ideas on activities, methods and thereby to open the possibility of improving the quality of our projects.
  • To concentrate on personal development (skills, knowledge, attitude)

Beneficiaries of the Seminar
The participants should be (voluntary) staff members, ideally aged between 18 and 30, and from a Goose Network Scout / Guide Centre. They should demonstrate an interest in both environmental issues, networking and in making improvements of their Scout / Guide Centre.

Seminar Programme
The seminar consists of both theoretical and practical sessions. Topics will include ‘My Centre, My Country’, ‘Market of Possibilities’, how to be a Goose Network Camp Staff member, nature conservation and environmental work, intercultural communication, and local Scouting in an environmental context. More information on the programme will follow with the registration.

The seminar fee per person includes: accommodation, tourist tax, full board, activities and VAT.  The fee will be in the registration information.

The application for the seminar will be sent out in February. More information will be available at the Goose Network website: https://goosenetwork.wordpress.com/

We look forward to hearing from you, and to welcoming you to Scout Center Næsbycentre, Denmark for this event. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Planning Team via goosecampstaffseminar@gmail.com.

Yours in Scouting and Guiding
The Planning Team
Maiken Nielsen, Denmark; Katrine Hansen, Denmark; Tea Kekua, Georgien; Pavla Glosová, Czech Republic

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European Guide & Scout Centre Manager’s Conference

See the invitation in the link: 2017-cmc-invitation


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Goose meeting – minutes


  1. Opening of the meeting – Mama Goose and José Carlos
    The Mama Goose, Maiken, and the Director of CNFA, José Carlos, opened the meeting at 9.30 am. Maiken thanked everyone for their presence and expressed her satisfaction in being Mama Goose and the dedication of the staff at the Camp Staff Seminar.


  1. Report and update from each Centre
  • Houens Odde
    • How to further explore the capacity of the camping areas/activities
    • Fundraised for facility projects, however struggling with the restrictions and regulations by authorities
    • Youth Island –a new project by the Danish National Council
  • Kapraluv Mlyn
    • CMC 2015 was a success
    • World Environmental Seminar was a highlight of the past year
    • Challenge: large french and German groups – learned about the max capacity of their water installations
  •  KISC
    • Positive outcome after financial crisis
    • Good overnights in 2016
    • Challenge: more people than max capacity and infrastructure needs improvements, specifically the hot water on the campsite
    • Focus for the next year to improve staff experience
  •  Vässarö
    • Infrastructure – Building backup power station – Building a new werkhof for equipement and machinery – Bought a boat
    • Society, Spring and Autumn school leaves, Sea rescue units/trainings
    • Camps – Big camp called Boomerang – confirmation camps
  • Our Chalet
    • Difficulties with numbers, big cancellations
    • Good Autumn season guest wise
    • Challenges: Hot water tank leaked; dish sanitizer broke; New boiler will need to be installed for the main buildings;
    • Next year is 85th anniversary
    • Good KPI’s, highlight is kitchen manager who improved quality of meals very well
    • Good feedback on staff
  •  Rotterdam
    • New Centre Manager – Olle
    • Shortage of Camp Staff
    • Challenges with some structure – overdue maintenance to obstacle courses, raft ferries, etc.
    • Good fixed tents that helps groups
    • Good overnights and finances
    • Application for Scenes
  •  Drave
    • Re-developing the corporate image
    • Implementing the Scouts Go Solar training
    • New Badge with activities and requirements
    • New Programme with Solar Cooking
    • New Concept: get offline – no phones, no internet, no clocks, just you and nature.
  • Ransberg
    • Challenges with structural changes on the Foundation board and leadership
    • Visits to other Scout Centres and focus on Volunteers has been great
    • Lots of opportunities for the coming years, with requests and inquiries. Possibility to expand on the capacity of the camping facilities to up to 8000 campers
    • National board meeting at Ransberg after 28 years suggesting it.



Coffee break


  • Sao Jacinto
    • Difficulties with finances as the facilities are old and the income is not very high due to low fees
    • Around 10.000 overnights and some international campers, but no international staff members
    • Reviewing the programme
  •  Naesbycentre
    • New website – joined page for the staff and the guests
    • Programme – black smithy , still under development
    • Built a storage for pioneering poles in cooperation with Houens Odde.
    • Material Yard – It is very organised with a log book and catalogued with all that is there, and now has ben fully organised
  • Zellhof – E-Mail
    • Have had an excellent and very demanding season. They have been very happy to participate in the past and Lisa had a great time at the Camp Staff Seminar.
    • They would like to host the Goose conference in 2018.
  • Bucher Berg – E-mail
    • Also had a nice summer but is lacking staff to send to the meeting.
    • Hope to participate in the Camp Staff-seminar
  • International Scout Centre Rustavi – E-mail
    • Not able to participate in meeting
    • Still wish to host Goose Camp Staff seminar 2018
  • Nocrich Scout centre – E-mail
    • Not able to attend due to Romanian national Jamboree meeting.
    • Have a staff member who is interested in being part of planning team for the Camp Staff Seminar
  • Griebal Scout Centre – E-mail
    • Asked to attend, but never heard back.








  1. International Centres Day (ICD) – Our Chalet
    Nikki (Our Chalet) explained what the activities were for this year’s ICD and awarded the prizes fort he winners. There was a discussion regarding the low attendance to this years ICD, and the conclusion was that the date during Summer was unfortunate and the Centre’s couldn’t find staff for it.

For 2017, the manager’s meeting has chosen the 23rd of September 2017 as the date for the next ICD. Kapraluv Mlyn has shown interest in organizing it, this has been confirmed afterwards by e-mail.


  1. Camp Staff Seminar 2016 at Rotterdam
    Maiken explained the programme and the activities that were run during the seminar this year in Rotterdam.

The centre’s considered the inputs from the evaluation and discussed the purposes of the Camp Staff Seminar and that we would like to review the guidelines towards the Camp Staff Seminar. Maiken has presented a draft of the „job description“ of for the host Centre.

Martin thanked Rotterdam for taking this challenge and hosting the event of 2016 in such a short notice. A thanks was extended to the planning team.

A work group has been set up with Felipe (KISC), Martin (Vassaro) and Kirstine (Houens Odde) to review the objectives and draft detailed descriptions and guidelines to this event. The deadline is the 30th of November 2017.


  1. Camp Staff Seminar in 2017
    Planning Team proposals and selection of the host Centre for 2017.
    a) Hosts for 2017 is Næsbycentre
    b) Hosts for 2018 is Rustavi ISCR
    c) Future Planning Teams :

Names were mentioned for possible members of the planning team of 2017 and Maiken will be in touch with them. Anna from Vässarö, Katrine from Næsbycentre, Andreea from Nocrich, Maiken from Næsbycentre, one from ISCR,

Houens Odde has offered to host the Camp Staff Seminar in 2019.


  1. Guideline/expectations regarding Camp Staff seminar – Maiken
    This subject was covered in item 5 and will be addressed by the work group.
  1. Report on Staff Exchange 2016.
    Naesbycentre reported that they sent 2 staff on exchange to Zellhof and to KISC. The staff have not yet written any reports.

Marketa is going to be asked by Maiken if she would like to stay as a coordinator. The managers proposed changes to the role of the coordinator which will be implemented in the Mission Statement and uploaded to the website, and informed to the coordinator.


  1. Goose Game / activity – Tobias
    Tobias reported that all the materials are on the website. The centres are meant to update their information on the website.
    The different centres reported that generally the game is great but many are still implementing it.

Tobias and Joey said they are happy to stay as coordinators but they wouldn’t mind if new people wanted to take over and bring new ideas. The Centres feel that now that the game is established, they wouldn’t mind to maintain the current structure before making more changes. No one else was interested in coordinating, so Tobias and Joey will remain as coordinators for another year. Maiken reminded that we will need another coordinator soon.

  1. Goose Network website – Maiken
    Maiken pointed out that a big part of the website is not up to date and proposes that every centre should have a login. This was endorsed by all.
  1. New Goose Network Members
    Scout Camp Ransberg  was accepted as a full member of the network, unanimously.

Stevningehus was accepted as a candidate centre for a year. If during this year they are active in the network, they will then be accepted as full members at the next Managers Meeting.
The present managers went through the current list of members of the network and agreed that some centres should be contacted by Maiken if they would like to remain members, and in that case they should be active, otherwise they will be invited to leave the network.
Also we brainstormed for interesting centers to invite to join the network. Maiken will contact these with an invitation for the Network.

  1. Mama Goose – Maiken
    Maiken was elected as Mama Goose for another year, unanimously.


  1. Centre of the month – KISC
    The members present felt the activity was worth while, even though it didn’t work perfectly at first. Maiken proposed to take this back on track as of January 2017. The members felt a coordinator was needed in order to make the activity really effective. Paulo (Drave) volunteered to be the coordinator.
    All centers need to update the template and Maiken will re-invite all to the dropbox with documents.


  1. The result of the center impact survey and possible updates – Martin
    Martin presented the work that was done to measure the impact Scout Centres across Europe have on Scouting.


  1. Next Goose Network Meeting 2018
    Dates of the meeting and hosting centre to be discussed and agreed on.
  • Zellhof has offered for 2018.
    The dates for the next Goose Network Managers Meeting are dependant on the location for the next CMC 2017, which has not been decided yet. As soon as a decision is taken, the network will be informed.


  1. Any other business
    • Refugee oportunities
      Felipe (KISC) mentioned the opportunity to support foodKIND a charity organisation initiated by scouts that organises mission trips to refugee camps and delivers food and compassion.
    • Maj’s goodbye
      Maj announced that this is probably her last meeting and thanked everyone for the good times working together.
    • International Opportunities
      There were suggestions on how to explore international marketing by taking part in international events. In 2017 many NSOs will have their national jamboree (eg. Norway, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Spain) and the planning teams are looking for international opportunities, such as Scout Centres that can do promotion or run programme.
    • KISC Academy
      Every year KISC organises a leadership and management training for their long term staff called the KISC Academy,  it focus on training the staff for running the Centre. KISC is happy to invite staff members from other Centre’s to take part in the KISC Academy. Dates will be shared when confirmed.
    • Goose Handouts
      There was a suggestion that having printed handouts about the Goose network would be a good way of explaining what it is. There are many challenges to that, including budgeting. Maiken will sent some thoughts to Our Chalet, they will make a design and sent it out, next year we will evaluate on the handouts.


  1. Closing
    Maiken closed the meeting at 17.30 on Saturday the 8th of October 2017.

Minutes by Felipe Marqueis


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