Hollyrosa har fått ett ansiktslyft

Programboknings-systemet Hollyrosa har fått ett större ansiktslyft. Efter att ha uppgraderats till HTML5 så har jag nu valt Bulma som CSS system och i och med det så har sidor uppdaterats för att dra nytta av allt som Bulma har att ge.

Hollyrosa har fått ett nytt menysystem vilket är mycket smidigare och visa sidor har fått lite mer förbättringar än bara ny CSS.

Hollyrosa är inte designat för att primärt vara mobile-first, men med Bulma så börjar vi nu använda flex-box design så de sidor som man typiskt titta på i mobilen eller sin padda kan man lägga ner lite möda på att göra mer mobilvänliga. De delar av Hollyrosa som kräver relativt mycket skrivande behöver primärt inte se bra ut i mobiler.

Ett av grundmålen med Hollyrosa var att ge en bra och fullständig överblick och det kräver en stor skärm. Hollyrosa är en fröjd i 24 tum.

Hollyrosa upgraderad

Programbokningssystemet Hollyrosa har nu i vinter upgraderats internt. Det är ett rätt omfattande arbete som om allt gått rätt knappt syns alls.

Hollyrosa har uppgraderats till senaste TurboGears 2 – version 2.3.11 och i samband med det så koverterades alla sidor till HTML5 (vilket är en av de stora förbättringarna) och för att lyckas med det så var jag tvungen att byta ut template-maskineriet från Genshi till Kajiki och därmed även upgradera alla widgets från Tosca Widgets 1 till Tosca Widgets 2.

Huvudpoängen är att Hollyrosa nu är upgraderad till HTML5 vilket gör att vi kan bygga vidare med moderna CSS tekniker och reaktiv programering framöver.

I samband med upgraderingen så passade jag på att uppgradera till dojo 1.11.3 men det bör knapt märkas heller.

Enjoy

ECMC 2017 – How the rest went

This is part 6, the final part, in a series on posts from my experience being part of the planning team for European Guide and Scout Centre Managers Conference (ECMC) 2017.

Check out the statistics for autumn in Iceland: any day has a 45% chance/risk of rain. Say for example that you exit the planning teams HQ, in order to go the the Gillwell Hall. Its a fifty meter walk in sunshine but cold winds. You spend about 25 minutes rearranging tables and preparing the hall for upcoming workshops. You are in a rush to get back to HQ but s you exit through the front door you realize that it is no longer sunshine. It is raining. I learned that on Iceland, you bring your rain jacket everywhere.

Not too bad morning

I will close the series on ECMC 2017 by discussing a few sessions and the workshops. They are all important to me because I do believe the CEMC is a conference that is working because the participants are active. ECMC is a conference for and of the participants ultimately.

Amazing Place

Consulting Challenge

Participants in the Big House

The Consulting Challenge was a new introduction to ECMC. The idea of the  session, in essence, was to put the participants to work solving real problems. The participants was asked to act as consultants for an hour to Úlfliótsvatn who got to describe the challenges they wanted consulting help with. This was a really good session and when listening to the output I think it could be applicable to many centres challenges.

Arnor presenting the challenges for the consultants to address

Micro Presentations

Everyone have something to tell/teach and everyone have something to learn. By opening up for a big variety of micro presentations, I think we open many doors to new ideas and discussions. We had so many micro presentations that we had to split the conference into two parallel groups. Since I was running one of the two parallel sessions, I only saw half of the presentations. Running about 25 presentations in rapid succession creates a challenge keeping up with loading new presentation on the presentations computer. I have come to develop a certain fondness for slide less presentations.

A few presentations stood out to me. First of all, we had more than one centre manager speaking the personal challenge of burn out. It is such an important and deep subject I hope we can bring it to the next ECMC.

Another presentations which stood out to me was Rui’s great story behind a scout centre having no memory is a scout centre having no history.

From Scout Valley Lithuania came an inspiring talk by Jonas about how he introduced outside kindergarten in Lithuania influencing national regulations via his scout centre. (making the world a better place anyone?). I’m mighty impressed.

Workshops

We in the planning team always strive to do as few workshops as possible. Participants here enough of us anyway. So we where happy that we could fill so many workshops with hosts not from the planning team. Big thanks from the planning team.

Planning Team member
  • Diana from Nocrich did an excellent work on using EVS and I think many will start using EVS after this. Excellent.
  • Long term ECMC participant Damien of Scouting Ireland got rave reviews for his take on Managing Change and I was happy to be in the room to listen. This was one of my favourite workshops in CMC.
  • Connor, also from Ireland did a workshop on Staff and Team Working which I missed unfortunately, but it was very popular (I was running Safe from Harm in parallel).
  • Felipe did a workshop on Train the Trainer based on KISC experience, participants was very positive about the workshop.
  • Safe from Harm – my own session, mentioned elsewhere in this series.
  • World Wide Scout Programme – good participant feedback, unfortunately I was not in the room (I was in the parallel workshop). We noted that the interest for SCENES is still strong.
  • The Relationship between Paid Mangers and Unpaid Staff and Volounteers delivered by Karsten of Houens Odde is not only the workshop with the longest name ever that we couldn’t shorten, it is also one of the most well received workshop we have ever had and I think people will remember it for years to come, especially his small exercises.

    Karsten
  • Educational Methods and Non Formal Education – João helped us with an important workshop in one of the key areas of scouting. It also represented a very good connection back to last CMC and into the future. I couldn’t be in the workshop (again, I was in the parallel one). It was really important for the conference.

So much more

So much more happened on the conference. I’m still processing some thoughts and ideas, but now it’s time for a set of photos I love to share with you.

Leftover from the Moot. The center didn’t have time to recover fully from the Moot.
Amazed by the morning light
Centre View
Notern Lights
Dining hall was crowded
The Amazing Kitchen Crew
Excursion time
Up the mountain to the hot river
Five degrees in the air and 40 degrees in the river. Nice.
Ending Cermony
Morning in the Golden Circle Tour
Cold but oh so beautifull.
River of dreams
Too much to photograph
The great clear water of Iceland
In golden light
Great Waterfall
Europes biggest waterfall by volume
Team KISC
The great centre manager Arnor
No Icelandic tour without Geyjsir

But this is it for now.

Looking forward to see you all again

 

ECMC 2017 – We dont like to pay for grass

This is part 5 in a series on posts from my experience being part of the planning team for European Guide and Scout Centre Managers Conference (ECMC) 2017.

Scouts don’t pay much for grass, but they can pay a lot for a knife. It’s called price sensitivity. Scouts are price sensitive to grass since hiking tends to be free. We are price sensitive to free things. Knifes are not free, they are even forbidden in some places. So we are price sensitive to knifes, especially if the knife carries a brand name.

We are price sensitive to grass

This is how you can have guests at scout centre complaining about the price of accommodation (grass + house + food + toilet + occasional activities to kill time) while happily the scouts spends money on expensive knifes and smart phones.

Scout programme from a distance

To get out of this, scout centres will have to stop being a hostel-like business and start working as a premium scouting centre. That means embracing and deploying the scout method one level above where we are now. Values and everything. Above all, we can start work as a centres for non-formal learning in a more focused way.

Jakob delivering keynote on challenges for non-formal learning in outdoor education

If you don’t know what non-formal learning is, I recommend you to watch John May’s keynote from the educational congress in KISC 2017 if you can find it.

By now, I hope you noticed I consider non-formal learning something important. This is why we asked João to help deliver a workshop on educational methods and non-formal learning. Unfortunately, I had to be in the other parallel workshop so I missed it.

The matrix illustrates three kinds of education: non-formal education, formal and informal education and where they typically takes place. Jakob talked also about things like the power structure and vocabulary used in the different kinds of education. One of the key points of this slide is a full human, a citizen, has capabilities from all parts of the matrix, but school can only provided part of the education.

This is why we were thrilled to have Jakob delivering a keynote (the second one) on non-formal learning in outdoor education. Jakob actually does part of his research by visiting Úlfliótsvatn every week. He’s the first keynote speaker I have met who takes the keynote as an opportunity to deepen his research by starting his keynote by asking everyone to fill in a form related to how they got started in scouting etc. His keynote was very interesting and I think he could have spoken for four hours if we had given him time.

Research-during-keynote

 

Best practices project presented by former-former centre manager, not to be forgotten.

 

ECMC 2017 – What We Have in Common

This is part 4 in a series on posts from my experience being part of the planning team for European Guide and Scout Centre Managers Conference (ECMC) 2017.

When you travel the world (Europe at least), when you meet scouts from different places or perhaps change country yourself, you get exposed to different kinds of scouting and so you get to think about what is it in scouting, at the core, that we all agree upon.

Jose is the kind of leader who understands the symbols and cermonies part of the toolkit very well. His addition to the planning team was invaluable.

To me, this is no small question. I believe that the common core that we share in scouting is the one place where I look for answers on how to improv any scouting endeavour. The core is what really works in scouting.

My current understanding I have come to is based on a very simple observation: what we have in common is: the law (and in addition, the belief in positive examples, not rules), the scarf, the promise and the will to make the world a better place. We have non-formal learning as one of our most important tools. Actually, I have observed that the toolkit in our non-formal learning system like the patrol system, learning by doing, symbols and ceremonies etc. tend to be deployed differently in different places, and if I ever hear about challenges in a local scout community, I always see that there is a weakness in the application and understanding of the toolkit.

Another kind of improvement

Safe from Harm

I really wanted a session on Safe from Harm at this ECMC, so since I couldn’t find anyone to host it, I decided to make it myself. I don’t consider my self qualified for it, but both my will and request for it was there, so I decided to do it anyway.

I should make a special mention of the training session template that Felipe introduced, it helped a lot with the planning of the Safe from Harm workshop.

Most things I learned by running this workshop came out of a few exercises we did based on something called Photo Jolts. Basically, I asked two questions related to a lot of Photo Jolts photos I had spread out through the room (Northern Hall):

  • What three aspects of Safe from Harm do you think is most important at your centre?
  • Which five most important things in the ‘fictive’ Safe from Harm policy document (that I had handed out as part of the session) do you think is missing?
Workshop (not mine though)

The discussion that followed was very interesting. Taking a look at what was being said, it basically came down to a list of items and that list of items was not new to me. I had seen similar lists throughout my scout career in various context. It just wasn’t called Safe from Harm. When we talked about what could be done, we essentially reformulated old scout values and principles. Things like uniform and scarf to show inclusiveness or methods.

The toolkit is indeed important.

As an end note, I would say a specific method to handle bullying would do our movement well. It came up a lot. On second place we had loneliness.

ECMC 2017 – Vision 2023

This is part 3 in a series on posts from my experience being part of the planning team for European Guide and Scout Centre Managers Conference (ECMC) 2017.

There is a not so insignificant gap between scout centres and the NSOs (National Scout Organisations), regional level and world level (for example European Region and WOSM). Centre Managers tends to be doers who are not so thrilled by the organisational structure and political manoeuvres of scout organisations. Scout organisations on the other hand has a defined structure where neither schools nor scout centres fit in. They don’t fit the organisational chart.

A different kind of gap, this one between tectonic plates.

Organisations in general tend to view the world around them through their organisational structure, and since scout centres in general don’t fit in at all, they are off the radar. Schools don’t fit in either and so all the non scouts, school children comes to mind, who every year visit scout centres are off the  chart for all our organisations, the same organisations that so often writes about reaching out to society.

It’s telling that excited school children was what I met when I arrived at the centre, but as the conference starts, they are no longer around.

This ECMC we were so lucky to get three key note speakers, João Armando,  who was the Immediate past Chairperson of the World Scout Committee, Hulda Sólrún Guðmundsdóttir who are the vice-chairperson of the European Scout Committee and Jakob Frímann Þorsteinsson, Adjunkt lecturer, Department of Leisure Studies and Social pedagogy at University of Iceland.

I had asked João to speak about the WOSM Vision 2023 and how scout centres can relate to that. Scout centres need to start thinking about how WOSM and WAGGGS work, where they are going and how they can be approached. It’s part of the long term solution.


Inside the Big House, plenty of space, not much insulation. If you look carefully at the heater, you can see the cover of the base being frosty at the bottom 2/3. Too cold for the gas.

We had planned to start the ECMC in the Big House. The Big House is quite big, it’s a round house made of wood with wooden floors and a few windows. There are no pillars inside so the whole building is very spacious. We had spent part of the opening day with cleaning out conference rooms and preparing the biggest of all places (the Big House) and now there was a small but important issue to solve. The building had no insulation and no heating. The gas heaters did not work as intended and shut down shortly after being started. Too late we learned the gas in the base of the heaters gets too cold and that this is solved by removing the covers over the gas canisters.

Felipe opening the ECMC
Tanyas turn to speak. Tanya was also the chair of the planning team.
Arnor, Centre Manager,  delivers the centres warm welcome

We opened the conference with the usual welcomes and icebreakers but then it was too cold so we had to move to the Northern Hall for the keynotes. The Northern Hall was big enough for all participants, but just barely and we still had our coffee and cake down in the Big House.

Vision 2023 keynote by João.

João started the key note by asking who many in the room knew of Vision 2023. Three hands in the air (not counting planning team). That is all you need to know about how the divide looks like and it is also why we where so very happy to have João come present as keynote speaker. During my years at ECMC, this keynote was one that gave the most positive immediate feedback.

100 Million Scouts, part of the vision 2023

The second most popular was the keynote that followed by Jakob.

Vision 2023

If you don’t know about Vision 2023, it’s definitely time to learn about it.

 

ECMC 2017 – Server Troubbles

This is part 2 in a series on posts from my experience being part of the planning team for European Guide and Scout Centre Managers Conference (ECMC) 2017.

There is a certain calmness before the storm that settles over a scout centre who is about to be visited by a large conference. The arriving of the participants goes very quickly from being a remote event to an imminent fact.

Calm before the storm

The planning team spent the first evening we all where together with unpacking in the sleeping quarters, as soon as I could I started to try to find power outlets and internet connection for the ownCloud that I had brought to the conference. Easier said then done. In my endaevours I had quite quickly found an extension cord so broken that when I tried to use it, it blow the fuses to the HQ. Apparently, the vast amounts of flies that haunts Iceland in the summer weeks every summer has a tendency to fill up power outlets with dead flies to the point of short circuit. After the cable incident was handled, it took a while to find internet. The end result was a provisional cable from the main Ethernet switch located in the hall outside the HQ hanging in the air going into our HQ. It worked.

Night over Iceland

The ownCloud server was a test, I wanted to try out to have a venue local only file share, and since there is a thing called Rasberry Pi’s these days which are both quite powerfull and very small, I figured I could bring a complete ownCloud server system in my checked in bag. This little experiment turned out to work so-so. I have now learned that there are a number of participants who go to a scout conference without a laptop. I have also learned that installing the ownCloud local client on existing laptops don’t work if the centre manager is using a computer managed by some IT department (surprisingly common). Finally, the web interface to a local IP address with a self signed certificate requires people to add a security exception in the browser, which I don’t think anyone managed.

Next time, we try a web only system with a certificate that isn’t self signed any more.

ECMC 2017 – The Rock and Soil

This is part 1 in a series on posts from my experience being part of the planning team for European Guide and Scout Centre Managers Conference (ECMC) 2017.

The rock and soil in Iceland is black, especially so when it is wet. The roads are wet too and the skies are torn by wind and clouds blowing in from the Atlantic. It feels like Iceland is part of the vast Atlantic ocean.

Icelandic rain and black roads

The open expansive solitary landscape with occasional sheep and horses grazing have only a few houses that you mostly see in the far distance. When you stand there looking at it all, felling the wind, it makes you think that in Iceland, magic is indeed possible.

Icelandic View

I flew to Reykjavik on a Monday and I was the third of the CMC planning team members to arrive to Iceland and the first of us to arrive at the Úlfliótsvatn scout centre. I was assigned the driver to the car that we rented for the whole conference, and so driving from the airport, I took the long road. The scenery is easily worth it. Arriving at the centre after dusk, on gravel roads the last bit, I was greeted by the people at the centre. I quickly unloaded the car and tried to make head quarter at the centre managers office.

There was a school class on site, excited and playing. I didn’t get a word since they where speaking Icelandic, but from the tonality of their voices, their loudness and their activity, I would say they were precisely like kids all over the world. I knew this place.

Iceland at Night

Making HQ (Head Quarter) I had to start from scratch, cleaning tables, vaccuming floor and fixing the internet infrastructure. It took longer than expected. Finding an Ethernet connection for my mobile ownCloud server turned out to be a bigger project than expected.

Scout Centre Entrance

Tuesday morning I expected rain, but not much. I continued to make HQ and after lunch I had to rush to the airport with the car and get the rest of the planning team. Unfortunately we was stuck in rush hour queues. Reykjavik might be in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, but they still have the same rush hour queue problems like any other city, if not more.

Back at the centre we quickly unloaded our personal stuff, we were assigned to live in the old girl houses across the street. When Úlfliótsvatn was built, girls and boys where still split, so they build the centre as two groups of houses separated by the road that passes through the centre. Three years later they merged. Needless to say, the girl houses was of less quality in the location without a sea view.

Unloading in Rain
Girl Scout Barracks

After dinner, we all sat down to assess the situation and make a long collective to-do list. Some of the planning team members where worried at the state of the centre. We had lots to do. Put the workshop and keynote rooms in order, prepare for the opening, figure out how to warm up the big house, make WiFi work, make the items for the opening ceremony etc. Then we had the registration, turned out there was no proper registration process in place and no staff to handle it, so we had to set up the check-in and info corner. Soon the first bus with participants arrived.

Planning team getting started
Coordinating Food