PDA

View Full Version : GSL Role



Fruit Loop
23-06-2011, 10:43 AM
Does this role vary greatly from group to group? Can you be a GSL and not be physically present at the group on troop nights? Thoughts please

EdJellard
23-06-2011, 10:45 AM
I've personally seen my GSL once on a troop night for a few minutes - so yes, you can be a GSL without attending section meetings!

Personally I think the GSL should go to occasional meetings to see how things are going and give feedback - but maybe that's just me.

chubbchubb
23-06-2011, 10:53 AM
as far as im aware a gsl is there to support the leaders. in theory they should only turn up if asked by leaders for support on a particular night, or if they are just checking in to see how things are going, but as such they don't have specific section to run. in my group our gsl turns up to cubs and scouts every week, mainly as her kids are in both.

Taeniura
23-06-2011, 10:58 AM
The GSL's role is liad down by the SA how the GSL decides to interpret that role is down to the individual GSL. I know one GSL who very rarely attends weekly section meetings. I know another who visits all three sections every week and will always help out and do the washing up.

Some Groups have an abundence of leaders and adult helps others don't.

Bushfella
23-06-2011, 11:01 AM
GSL need not turn up at section nights. He is a line manager and he might better speak to his Leaders at separate leader meetings.

However, as a hands-on GSL, you are more likely to find me dropping in on meetings than not. Sometimes it is just to say Hi, sometimes it is to check on discipline (sometimes I am asked to, sometimes I get messages that suggest I might want to), sometimes it is to help, and sometimes it is because I enjoy it.

I do not interfere unless I really, really feel a need, I'd rather my leaders did that - and they are all used to me talking to the kids so if I praise one and ******* another no-one gets uptight.

I'm in the mould of the commander who is at the front line rather than the one who issues edicts from a safe distance. Works for us.

Howslo
24-06-2011, 10:43 PM
To be honest, I don't know many GSLs who don't also run a section these days, not locally, anyway. Personally, I run Scouts, although I have my fingers crossed that I may have just recruited a new SL...

One thing I wouldn't want to do is loose touch with the YPs and their parents, which I think would be very easy to do as a GSL. My wife (our BSL) and I are on first name terms with most of the parents, and I wouldn't want to loose that.

As a rule, I don't attend Beaver meetings unless I am needed for something, but as Scouts follows Beavers, the Beavers and their parents do at least see me around. Probably cutting the grass!

With Cubs, I go mainly because my son is a Cub, and my daughter is a Young Leader, and I can usually find something to do in the stores or whatever while they're there. But I let the Cub leaders get on with it, rather than interfering, unless they ask me to help with something.

Penny E
24-06-2011, 11:03 PM
To be honest, I don't know many GSLs who don't also run a section these days
Hi Howard! :wavey:

OK, i concede that you said "not locally". :)


One thing I wouldn't want to do is loose touch with the YPs and their parents, which I think would be very easy to do as a GSL. My wife (our BSL) and I are on first name terms with most of the parents, and I wouldn't want to loose that.That is my worry as well - if I simply became the "paper-pusher" behind the scenes, the whole character of our group would change.

I don't attend many Scout meetings - maybe a couple each year, but virtually every Scout and their family know me because they have been through Cubs.

I think that a GSL has to make an effort to get to know the YP and their families. How you do that is up to you - it might be through section meetings, it might be through attending events or organising camps, but it is a very important part of building a cohesive group.

Mark W
25-06-2011, 05:29 AM
From "Keys to Success: GSL"
Key parts
The role description for the Group Scout Leader gives guidance on the priority and additional tasks of the role.
The priority tasks listed are:
• Ensuring the Group has a team of ‘fit and proper’ adults working effectively together and with others to meet the area’s Scouting needs.
• Ensuring that all adults are adequately supported including induction, reviews and development.
• Ensuring that a challenging and exciting Balanced Programme is carried out
throughout the Scout Group and that all adults are supported in performing
their tasks.
• Resolving problems that may occur within the Scout Group.
• Acting as a charity trustee of the Scout Group.

Role description states it slightly differently

Main tasks:
• Ensure that the Scout Group thrives and has the best systems in place to support adult volunteers and develop the Group – including a Group Executive Committee and Section leadership teams.
• Provide line management and support to the Leaders in the Scout Group, including setting objectives for their work and holding regular reviews and one-to-one meetings.
• Ensure that the Scout Group has an adequate team of supported and appropriate adults working effectively together and with others to meet the Scouting needs of the area.
• Ensure that a challenging, exciting and balanced programme is offered to young people in the Scout Group.
• Work with the District Commissioner, Deputy District Commissioner(s) and other Group Scout Leaders in the District to ensure that the District thrives and supports Scout Groups.

A few things to think about.......;)

Testarossa
25-06-2011, 09:55 AM
As a rule, I don't attend Beaver meetings unless I am needed for something, but as Scouts follows Beavers, the Beavers and their parents do at least see me around. Probably cutting the grass!

With Cubs, I go mainly because my son is a Cub, and my daughter is a Young Leader, and I can usually find something to do in the stores or whatever while they're there. But I let the Cub leaders get on with it, rather than interfering, unless they ask me to help with something.

So, you're helping out in different sections for different reasons, not because you choose to run those sections!

If I remember rightly, when I became Scouter in Charge, it was because you couldn't be GSL and run a section.

In our District, only 1 GSL turns up on Troop nights and I'm going to stick my neck out and say it's because he WAS the Scout Leader and now cannot let it go!

As has been said, the GSL is a line Manager. I would hope they would turn up to each section at least once per term to make sure everything is running as it should be. We send ours the programme for each term and he can turn up whenever he likes. It also helps him to check that each section is running a balanced programme. We are left alone to run the programme, but they are there in a supporting role whenever we have an issue.

We've recently had a change of GSL. Our last one, we never saw for personal reasons and we never had Leader meetings. That is all changing and the Group is moving forward with our first Leader meeting booked in 2 weeks time.

The GSL should take the information from the Leader meetings back to the Exec with our wish list for kit etc.

The GSL also helps with recruitment, ensuring each section has adequate Leaders, and that Leaders are adequately supported. Nothing wrong in turning up every week for a new Leader, but personally, I would expect someone who has been doing the role for a while to be able to get on with it!

FarWest
25-06-2011, 02:08 PM
In my 15 years experience, you either get the GSL who nobody ever see's, or the GSL who has his nose in every week wanting to tell you how to run your meetings and programme. The obvious answer is somewhere in the middle. It's nice to have a GSL who you know is there for you if you need them, or willing to chip in with help if needed.

Yunallesca
25-06-2011, 05:23 PM
How do people feel about a GSL running a section if it's not your own section? If the GSL is running Beavers every week for example, do people feel he can then comfortably prioritise the group's responsibilities over the Beaver section responsibilities, and support all leaders as well as run his weekly meetings...?
Just a thought.

Matt Donnelly
26-06-2011, 12:20 AM
It depends on the person. I am both GSL and Acting BSL - and when I'm having a group leaders meeting or group exec. meeting I am in 'GSL mode', and purposely have an ABSL representing the Colony at each meeting so I can think about the group as a whole and they can think about the Colony.

Sometimes I think my compartmentalisation of roles can go a little too far and I can forget the needs of the section I run when worrying about the group as a whole! (But then I am hoping to hand over the Colony to someone else as soon as possible!)

DonTregartha
26-06-2011, 08:15 AM
How do people feel about a GSL running a section if it's not your own section? If the GSL is running Beavers every week for example, do people feel he can then comfortably prioritise the group's responsibilities over the Beaver section responsibilities, and support all leaders as well as run his weekly meetings...?
Just a thought.

Usually you have no option. I'm only helping run cubs whilst we try and recruit a CSL.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Bushfella
26-06-2011, 02:15 PM
Well, this GSL runs a Group where...

All the kids know the GSL
All the kids know the SL
All the kids know the CSL and the BSLs

All the kids get to know the skills team.

I have to ask, how can anyone run a Scout Group any other way?

mulac
26-06-2011, 04:02 PM
I took on the role of GSL because no one else had time to do it, At the time we had a part time ASL, SL (me), CSL, ACSL x2, BSL, ABSL. I still ran the Scout section, enjoyed doing so and as the rest of the sections were all doing fine the GSL role was quite easy.

In the last few months we have found a new SL and ASL but lost all the Cub and Beaver leaders through them all changing jobs or locations. I have now recruited a new CSL and BSL but have had to introduce parent rotas for both. I still go to Scouts every meeting to help out but am trying hard to step down as SL and give the new leaders a chance to make the troop their own.

As we are a small district I am taking on some of the training of the new leaders, and helping out at Cubs and Beavers. I am taking the Scouts to Austria this year and still love being a SL. We are a close group but I am finding the GSL role taking over, becoming more involved in the other sections and looking at the bigger picture now.

YP recruitment is going to be a big feature in the next few months and raising the profile of the group locally. There seems to be a bit more politics with the role and there is a bit of friction between the Explorer leaders and Scout/Cub leaders which needs to be sorted quickly before it escalates, I'm not looking forward to that.

I enjoy the challenges the role is providing and think I'm lucky to be able to make the role my own, as there has been no GSL for a couple of years so no one is saying 'so and so did this and that' etc and I still have a reasonably active role in the Scouts and I am getting to know the other sections better now.

So far I have been lucky and been called into any major problems yet...........

Kyle & Carrick
26-06-2011, 06:59 PM
Well, this GSL runs a Group where...

All the kids know the GSL
All the kids know the SL
All the kids know the CSL and the BSLs

All the kids get to know the skills team.

I have to ask, how can anyone run a Scout Group any other way?

I just have to agree, We are a close Group - large by some standards and all the kids know the GSL(me) If I pass one of the schools in town at end of the day time I will have lots waving and screaming hello!

From my part I know all of the Explorers & Scouts, most of the Cubs and about half the Beavers - must try harder. Most of the other Leaders in the Group will know those in the Section below as well as their own of course.

As bushfellow says what other way is there?

Howslo
26-06-2011, 10:30 PM
If I remember rightly, when I became Scouter in Charge, it was because you couldn't be GSL and run a section.



Ah, you can only officially have one appointment - in my case, GSL - but there is nothing stopping you doing more than one job, in my case Acting SL. I can actually think of one person who has three jobs, at group, district, and county level. How he finds the time I'll never know, but he performs all three roles really well, in all fairness.

I think the role of GSL is what you make of it. There are many ways of approaching it, and as long as the group runs effectively, I don't think there are any right or wrong ways. My way seems to work for us. I like to think of myself as 'in the middle', as someone quoted earlier. Most of the yp know me, most of the parents know me, and every leader I consider a friend - hopefully, they feel the same about me! I'm hands on, I'm 'there', but certainly not poking my nose in where it's not needed.

As I said earlier, I'm at most Cub meetings, but mostly these days for convenience. Both my own kids are there, and there is always something I can do rather than go home for just over an hour. The cub team are left to their own devices. It's their section. If they need help, or ask advice, I'm there, but not 'in their faces'.

Bushfella
27-06-2011, 07:31 AM
Ah, you can only officially have one appointment

Show me that rule...

You CAN hold more than one appointment, but you must be able to show that you can do both properly.

kjburdon
27-06-2011, 07:35 AM
Ah, you can only officially have one appointment

You can hold more than one role providing you can demonstrate to your DC that you are capable of completing all roles properly and effectively. The only exception to this is the DC who cannot hold any other permanent role other than TA.

PaulArthurs
27-06-2011, 08:28 AM
You can hold more than one role providing you can demonstrate to your DC that you are capable of completing all roles properly and effectively. The only exception to this is the DC who cannot hold any other permanent role other than TA.

"The Group Scout Leader may not hold any other appointment in the Scout Group other than Training Adviser." POR 3.41c

"The District Commissioner may not hold any other appointment than in a short term ‘acting’ capacity or as a Training Adviser." POR 4.43c

"A County Commissioner may not hold any other appointment other than in a short term ‘acting’ capacity or as a Training Adviser." POR 5.34c

Scary Monster
27-06-2011, 02:18 PM
Our GSL seems to be at Scouts pretty much every week - and seems to effectively be a SL and GSL. He pops into Beavers (and I assume Cubs) occasionally.

As a Beaver leader - I feel that someone who has always worked with an older section should tread carefully when crashing Beaver meetings as they are very very different creatures and can need different handling to Scouts.

In general, I'd say reasonable contact with the sections was key, but you can do that in a variety of ways - be that popping into section meetings every term, or just being an obvious prescence at group events. One skill I personally feel is key to being a good GSL is treating your section leaders in a reasonable manner, and letting them run their section as they see fit. To me, a GSL manages the leader, not the section, so if they have a problem with something a section is doing they should take it up with the section leaders, not directly with the section (or the YLs).

PaulArthurs
27-06-2011, 03:25 PM
As a Beaver leader - I feel that someone who has always worked with an older section should tread carefully when crashing Beaver meetings as they are very very different creatures and can need different handling to Scouts.

If a GSL is visiting a Beaver meeting then they're not "crashing" it - part of the role of the GSL is to visit section meetings.



To me, a GSL manages the leader, not the section, so if they have a problem with something a section is doing they should take it up with the section leaders, not directly with the section (or the YLs).

The GSL line manages the section leaders, assistant section leaders and section assistants. It is logical, therefore, that the GSL will need to discuss issues with all of these people (sometimes collectively and sometimes individually).

Scary Monster
27-06-2011, 03:31 PM
If a GSL is visiting a Beaver meeting then they're not "crashing" it - part of the role of the GSL is to visit section meetings.



I did use the word crashing rather than visiting deliberately. Visiting implies not being an active detriment to the meeting.



The GSL line manages the section leaders, assistant section leaders and section assistants. It is logical, therefore, that the GSL will need to discuss issues with all of these people (sometimes collectively and sometimes individually).

Yup, fair enough, but not the kids or the young leaders directly without being very very careful that they're not undermining the section adult leadership team.

Bushfella
27-06-2011, 04:53 PM
As a Beaver leader - I feel that someone who has always worked with an older section should tread carefully when crashing Beaver meetings as they are very very different creatures and can need different handling to Scouts.

You think?!



In general, I'd say reasonable contact with the sections was key, but you can do that in a variety of ways - be that popping into section meetings every term, or just being an obvious prescence at group events.

Sounds like you don't want the support of your GSL?



One skill I personally feel is key to being a good GSL is treating your section leaders in a reasonable manner, and letting them run their section as they see fit. To me, a GSL manages the leader, not the section, so if they have a problem with something a section is doing they should take it up with the section leaders, not directly with the section (or the YLs).


One skill I personally feel is key to being a GSL is building a team that works together and plays tyogether. A team of equals.

In such a team if words are needed any Leader can have those words and no-one takes offence. We all work together to the same end.

Tazmania
27-06-2011, 05:04 PM
You can.. our GSL is also Akela... But doesn't that make him SIC...? ( was in one of my old and much smaller groups)

PaulArthurs
27-06-2011, 05:48 PM
You can.. our GSL is also Akela... But doesn't that make him SIC...? ( was in one of my old and much smaller groups)

I presume by "SIC" you mean "Scouter in Charge"; a role that I believe was abolished in the 1960's!

Your can be GSL and Acting CSL, or CSL and Acting GSL, but can't be GSL and CSL.

If there is no GSL, and the DC hasn't appointed an Acting GSL, then the DC is your GSL.

There is no such role as "Scouter in Charge".

"If a Group Scout Leader appointment is or becomes vacant the District Commissioner will appoint an Group Scout Leader (Acting) as a temporary measure or will perform these duties himself."

Howslo
27-06-2011, 08:41 PM
In my experience, although I am going back ten years, the DC tends to leave the group to fend for itself, at least ours at the time did. When our previous GSL left, we called a 'crisis meeting', attended by the exec, leaders, and the DC. The DC's answer was to recruit a GSL or Group Administrator, from the parents. He told the Chairman to write to the parents, and that basically, if no one came forwards, the letter hadn't been written properly!

Needless to say, no one did, and I very quickly realised the group would rapidly lose direction if someone didn't take the helm. Plus, as the longest serving leader, everyone was turning to me with questions / enquiries, whether it was exec, other leaders, people from outside the group. So I was left with a choice: Stick my head in the sand and ignore the problems, and watch the group slowly die, or tackle it head on.

I'm pleased to say I chose the latter!

Scary Monster
28-06-2011, 08:02 AM
You think?!



Sounds like you don't want the support of your GSL?


I would love the support of my GSL, and I would love for him to come down to a section meeting occasionally for a purpose other than to make it clear he's checking up on us and either the programme we're running or what our YLs are wearing. Yes, I'm well aware that he should have an interest in our programme, but complaining that we're not doing exactly what we wrote on the term plan one particular week isn't a great way to make your section leaders feel supported.





One skill I personally feel is key to being a GSL is building a team that works together and plays tyogether. A team of equals.

In such a team if words are needed any Leader can have those words and no-one takes offence. We all work together to the same end.

If for a moment I felt like I was an equal, or even something that wasn't a minion who should worship the ground a GSL walks on I might be more content. In our section leadership team we very much work as a team of equals and work together really well. Am very confident none of the Beavers, parents or YLs have any clues who's warrant as an A on the front and who's is the BSL one. But when we as a team are managing behaviour and uniform standards in our section as some kind of plan, having someone come crashing in and throwing tellings off around really isn't helpful, and feels like it undermines us as section leaders. Sorry kids, I know usually you see the three of us here leading your meetings, and we ask you to do X, Y and Z and wear this and that, but this week, someone you don't know, has come down, shouted at you all, and told you that how things are usually done in this section is wrong. That's not a good way for a GSL to work.

To be a good GSL you need to have a good working relationship with your leadership team and they need to feel it's a team, and have good two way communication. That might mean section meetings, that might mean leaders meetings, that might be on a completely random, social level if that's what works for your group.

I've experienced (from a personal perspective) great GSLs and truly shocking ones. Whether or not they turn up at our section meetings has had nothing to do with them being great or shocking.

(And getting down on your hands and knees and doing fires with Beavers on a sleepover or activity day once a year is actually enough for them to all know exactly who you are - and works just fine if you can't get out of work in time to get to Beaver meetings).

Matt Donnelly
28-06-2011, 08:17 AM
I presume by "SIC" you mean "Scouter in Charge"; a role that I believe was abolished in the 1960's!

Your can be GSL and Acting CSL, or CSL and Acting GSL, but can't be GSL and CSL.

If there is no GSL, and the DC hasn't appointed an Acting GSL, then the DC is your GSL.

There is no such role as "Scouter in Charge".

"If a Group Scout Leader appointment is or becomes vacant the District Commissioner will appoint an Group Scout Leader (Acting) as a temporary measure or will perform these duties himself."

There is of course the role of 'Group Contact' - which places someone who isn't the GSL as the main point of contact for the group so that at least information and membership enquiries can be properly disseminated. It's probably a sensible stop-gap for a DC to appoint whilst searching for a new GSL alllowing them to offload much of the day-to-day issues to someone else.

Bushfella
28-06-2011, 08:57 AM
I would love the support of my GSL, and I would love for him to come down to a section meeting occasionally for a purpose other than to make it clear he's checking up on us and either the programme we're running or what our YLs are wearing. Yes, I'm well aware that he should have an interest in our programme, but complaining that we're not doing exactly what we wrote on the term plan one particular week isn't a great way to make your section leaders feel supported.

Hmmm. Seems like a charicature of an old British officer refusing to do anything but what is written in orders. You need to be flexible. No point in continuing with campfire cooking if there is a torrential downpour.



If for a moment I felt like I was an equal, or even something that wasn't a minion who should worship the ground a GSL walks on I might be more content. In our section leadership team we very much work as a team of equals and work together really well. Am very confident none of the Beavers, parents or YLs have any clues who's warrant as an A on the front and who's is the BSL one. But when we as a team are managing behaviour and uniform standards in our section as some kind of plan, having someone come crashing in and throwing tellings off around really isn't helpful, and feels like it undermines us as section leaders. Sorry kids, I know usually you see the three of us here leading your meetings, and we ask you to do X, Y and Z and wear this and that, but this week, someone you don't know, has come down, shouted at you all, and told you that how things are usually done in this section is wrong. That's not a good way for a GSL to work.

I would agree with you. That's not right.

Scary Monster
28-06-2011, 09:06 AM
Obviously our programme swap was disgraceful - we had finger puppet craft down for one week and tent pitching down for the next week. It was really sunny one week - so we did tent pitching, tent pitching week it had been raining all day (had stopped by meeting time) so we did finger puppets.

Silly me, should have taken the tents out on the wet grass and done the pitching anyway. Call me a wimp, but if I've got a programme activity that really needs good weather, and I get good weather than week, odds on I'll do the good weather activity that week rather than stick to the script.

/Rant.

(And yes, if my job doesn't move me in September, I'll be moving groups anyway)

Hathi_Cambridge
28-06-2011, 07:10 PM
(And yes, if my job doesn't move me in September, I'll be moving groups anyway)

Off topic, but if you're not moving back to Cambridge any chance you could move to the Hampshire West Sussex border? I have a Beaver colony that would be very happy for you to come in and BSL.

Not sure if there are still refineries in the area, there were when I was young.

Even if I didn't camp with you at Skreens last summer there is still a Beaver colony waiting, just ignore the rest of the message.

Tazmania
28-06-2011, 07:39 PM
well. He is. DC supports, (younger)ADC doesn't.

Go figure.

Scary Monster
29-06-2011, 08:05 AM
Off topic, but if you're not moving back to Cambridge any chance you could move to the Hampshire West Sussex border? I have a Beaver colony that would be very happy for you to come in and BSL.

Not sure if there are still refineries in the area, there were when I was young.

Even if I didn't camp with you at Skreens last summer there is still a Beaver colony waiting, just ignore the rest of the message.


You did camp with me at Skreens last summer. Sadly if I move it's not likely to be even vaguely locally - options are Aberdeen, Shetlands, Middlesborough or abroad. Will bear it in mind though!

(And I miss you all - I'm going stir crazy back at my old group. I have however just got my wood badge, which was very very nearly finished when I left you)