Meet Jo Haynes, ACC 14-25

We are thrilled to announce that Jo Haynes has now stepped into the role Assistant County Commissioner, 14-25 for Hertfordshire.

We caught Jo for a quick fire interview to find out a little bit more about her.

So, Jo, tell us a little bit about yourself

Well, I work in HR Systems, I'm married and have a 7 year old daughter.

What is your scouting background?

I originally joined Venture Scouts (yes, I am old enough!) back in the 90's. I then became an Assistant Scout Leader, sat on the District Exec, became an Explorer Scout Leader when the Explorer Section started. I joined the 14-25 team in 2015, most recently looking after Youth Shaping.

I have also been privileged to attend the last 4 World Scout Jamborees as Assistant Unit Leader, Contingent Support and most recently Contingent Management.

What is your role as ACC 14-25 entail?

I'm still figuring this out! So I lead a fab team who are working tirelessly to ensure DC's/DESC's and Networks have the relevant support they need.

We are also responsible for Programme items, so we look at larger events such as Monopoly, Network Sailing weekend, Christmas meals etc. based upon demand - however sometimes someone has to make a decision and that person is me!

The immediate focus is to help sustain online Scouting and ensure engagement, longer term is, like everything at the moment, a bit sketchy. But I do have a plan I hope to implement - but like everything until we know what our operating constraints are, I'm not going to communicate this.

What motivated you to want to apply for the role?

All my Scouting Leadership experiences have motivated me. My most recent role for the UK Contingent, was to deliver youth engagement. I worked with Sean, my fab job share and together we enabled the most youth shaped Jamboree experience for the whole Contingent.

I gained so many skills as a Venture Scout and these, and later scouting experiences have certainly helped me in life. #SkillsForLife is true and I'm proof of it. As a result of my experiences at the 22nd WSJ in Sweden in 2011, I signed up for university because I realised that actually the only things stopping me was me! I was in a session with a Patrol that was discussing electricity. It was such an eye opener sitting and talking and listening to Scouts from all over the world and the challenges they faced day-to-day with and without electricity. For the first time I truly appreciated how, broadly speaking, lucky we are. I completed my MA in Human Resource Management (with a commendation) in 2013, 3 weeks before I had my daughter!

What are the top 3 things you want to achieve in the role?

Active Youth Engagement to County deliverables, Continuous support of DESC's/DC's and Network Leaders, getting everyone together again and ensuring that all members recognise the value and opportunities scouting can provide (even when we are online only) which can set individuals apart when applying for college/university/jobs etc.

Camp breakfast! What’s your favourite?

Ooooh! Tricky question! I quite like a crispy bacon roll, with ketchup - very practical on Peak Assault and when supervising D of E, but I also quite like eggy bread but with sugar!

Best camp you have ever been on?

As a youth member, it was when my Venture Scout Unit did a tour of the West Country one year, most recently, it has to be my World Scout Jamboree experiences. It's a very hard choice between Japan and America as they were such contrasting experiences in country.

Tea or Coffee (and how do you take it?)

Both! I do like a latte, but if not, coffee with milk (maybe a sugar too if on camp!) in the morning and tea in the afternoon - strong and with a little bit of milk (I can't abide milky tea! 🤢)

Your favourite scout memory

Oooh another tricky one! If I can only pick one, it's going on the BIG Zip at Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia at the 24th World Scout Jamboree. We found out adults were required to test the zipwire in the morning before youth participants were allowed to go down. We got a bus across site, walked for 45 mins up the mountain all before sunrise on the chance that we might be at the front of the queue to 'test'! It was the best commute to work ever! We slid down, landed on the landing platform and walked 5 mins round the corner, back to the UKC office and started our 12 hour shift as the Duty team for the UK Contingent. So very memorable and a great example of sometimes you have to put the effort in and take a chance to reap the reward.

Tell us a little known fact about yourself

My birthday is on Boxing Day - I always get a day off work, but never really do anything with friends to celebrate as everyone is usually doing something with their own families.

You will be seeing lots more of Jo in the coming months and we are excited to welcome her to the role.

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