ECMC 2017 – Beautifull Iceland

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In the very beginning of June this year, the ECMC planning team went to the Icelandic centre Úlfliótsvatn as part of our preparations for the event.

Imagine the following. It’s ten o’clock in the evening, you are supposed to be tired and the scouts who have arrived to the fields to camp for the coming week should be done with todays work, however, it is almost daylight outside, scouts are busy building and kids play all over. It’s almost impossible to sleep.

Iceland is kind of a country that you already expect to be very special and amazing but when you go there, you still come home thinking it was something extra. Too bad ECMC isn’t in June.


View over a Valley. Notice the smoke.


Some of the fields around the centre.


Did I say this place is photogenic?


This is how I like obstacle courses

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ECMC 2017 – Micro Presentations

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This post reflects Martin Eliassons opinions and may not reflect the CMCs opinions.

I always try to bring some change to the CMC. It’s my third time on the planning team and I always want to try one new concept.

This year, I want to try micro presentations. Why? Because I think every one who goes to the CMC has experience enough to teach us other interesting and usefull things, however, I often find that participants either think they have expertise to share but not  in line with the theme or they have expertise but in line with the theme but somehow think they are not good at presenting.

Both scenarios can be addressed by having micro presentations and I suspect that once you have figured out that you can do five minutes, maybe 35 minutes isn’t so hard after all.

Here is the official info for this CMC’s Micro Presentation sessions:

This year we will introduce a new exiting session: micro presentations. Every participants (except those who host workshops) will be asked to do a five minute presentation. The subject just have to be relevant to scout centres and we are looking for participants to bring their unique point of view, knowledge and experience. It could for example be something you learned at a course in university that could be of interest or a book you have read. Example: “The Checklist Manifesto” or “Five Whys” or “Experience of online booking” or “Microphone Techniques” or “Building a stage”.

The plan is that each presentation is 5 minutes and then we have 1 minute switch time to next presentation. Given the interest in the conference so far, the presentations will be done in two parallel sessions in order to be done in 3.5 hours.

If you would like to have some slides, the first rule is that every slide must be shown the same amount of time. Five slides mean we will change slide exactly every minute. Choose Wisely. We recommend you make five slides.

We would wish to have the presentation slides delivered to us in one of the following formats:

  • Series of images in a folder, name the images 01_yourname.jpg 02_yourname.jpg 03_yourname.jpg …
  • OpenOffice XML presentation
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP/2003 (.ppt) presentation
  • ODF Presentation
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ECMC 2017 – Programme Draft

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The Draft programme for the ECMC is now out. Below for you enjoyment. I’m really excited about the workshops and keynotes but we are not quite ready to publish the full list yet.


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International Center Day 2017


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Goose Staff Camp Seminar 2017

A short view of the seminar 2017fælles

The Planning team consisted of Tea from International Scout Center Rustavi, Paja From Kapraluf Mlyn, Katrine from Næsbycenter and Maiken/Mama Goose.

We started the planning in January and have had skypemeetings where we brainstormed and planned the programme and workshops.

The 17 participants arrived Thursday afternoon/evening and the seminar was started with a few get to know each other games, where Participants, Centerstaff and Planning team where  introduced to each other. We talk habits and divided us into types/preferences to get some labels to put on each other for the rest of the week.


Began with a short introduction to the Goose Network and its relevance to the international Scoutcentre work. A good discussion where both pro’s and con’s where talked over and a possible list of focus areas for the Centres the next few years.

The Centerstaff gave a tour around the Næsbycenter, introducing the campsites, activity fields, the Jagtvejen and how the volunteers work all year round to keep the place running.

After a lunch the next workshop focused on innovation, the basic of developing and concrete methods of how the generate ideas and how to make the ideas into profit generating concepts. Where among the methods, were the use of different perspectives to discuss and brainstorm.


After sitting and talking the next workshop took place outdoor, in the Outdoor kitchen. Where the Centerstaff introduced the use of the kitchen and together with the participants made dinner ready.

After dinner the MyCenter, MyCountry presentations took place. As being a traditional workshop the Centers have a tradition to bring both pictures, videos and presentations, but this year, we decided it should be very “offline” and the participants could only talk and have things and the table to use in the presentations, it was very intimate session, with questions. Afterwards the talk was lively at the different tables, as the participants wanted to hear more about specific subjects.


The Centerstaff had planned a tour around Denmark – though not physically, a board represented our traveling and in smaller groups,  we moved around the board. We would have different tasks that represented a place in Denmark.
The day ended with a Capture The Flag tournament a game often used to play with all the groups during summercamps.


The evening was spent inside, sharing. The workshop Market of Possibilities is also an tradition at the seminar. The participants here had the opportunity to choose a subjects/problem areas that they wanted input or ideas for.


The morning was spent focusing on the environment, with input from Kapraluf Mlyn and the Næsbycenter and also a presentation of the Scenes Network.

Afterwards a workshop created based on subjects from the participants about leadership and how it works around the different centers. The problematic situations that can arise and how we as people working together can resolve the conflicts that will arise, when working with and around people.

After lunch Goose game was presented and played by the participants. Followed by a discussion on how it is used at the different centers and a brainstorm for how to introduce/run the game for different age groups.

The last workshop was another knowledge workshop about Erasmus and how the Scoutcentres can use it

Sunday ended with a great meal prepared by the Centerstaff and closing ceremony by the campfire, where we could enjoy a nice, warm and dry evening.

Thanks to the Planning Team for all the great workshops, that has hopefully inspired to some new thoughts among our participants.

Thanks to the Center Staff for the great welcome, food and being there to make sure we all had a great seminar.

Thanks to the participants, for being prepared, engaged and positive about sharing and making new connections.

Scout Greetings
Mama Goose


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ECMC 2017 – Thoughts on coordinating the programme

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It is soon time for the ECMC planning team to meet for a weekend of planning and that is some kind of milestone.

The general concept on how the programme of the ECMC is delivered is pretty stable I would say. Every year we try to do adjustments based on the evaluation and also our own ideas. This years schedule (which is not official yet) is based on last conference schedule with some changes.

We know many participants are coming time and again and so we also try to not repeat too much. Part of avoiding repetition is the selection of the venue and the theme.

In the schedule for the ECMC, we tend to favour one or two keynotes in the beginning of the conference because it acts as good conversation starters, it is also why we prefer the “My Centre, My Country” evening early in the conference.

The workshops have a central place in the programme and I think that is because they are more hands on. This year we have four workshop occasions and since we think that a workshop shouldn’t have too many participants we are planning to run two workshops in parallel each workshop occasions.

ECMC is not a big budget operation directly, but we have learned to use our own resources and what is available locally. I have also learned that many of the most liked workshops have been held by centre managers themselves. This is also why a on-site planning team meeting is very beneficial.

It’s not always we can get every workshop to be hosted by a participant, so the B-plan is mostly to let members of the planning team host workshops, but we are careful with that option because many in the planning team have been on the planning team for a few times and we are afraid you might get bored with us 🙂 Also, we may need to have a backup workshop ready in case some workshop gets canceld.




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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.

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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