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View Full Version : Should Scout Shops (www.scoutshops.com) sell ALL badges, direct to leaders?



Richard
05-07-2008, 05:18 PM
Should Scout Shops (www.scoutshops.com (http://www.scoutshops.com)) sell ALL badges, including activity badges direct to leaders, who it can check are leaders?

Akela Ben
05-07-2008, 06:22 PM
I voted yes because our badge secretary rarely has all the badges we need and then we have to wait weeks. So I have started ordering them online and I get them all within a few days, its so much easier.

The Hairy One
05-07-2008, 08:22 PM
Yes, the badge secretary holds very limited stocks and can take can take 3-4 weeks to get badges in. Also, I have to do a 14 mile round trip to collect. With online ordering they're at my home in 3-4days. Less waiting, less hassle and no fuel costs.

The Hairy One

Graeme
05-07-2008, 08:33 PM
Absolutely. For all the reasons already mentioned.

Lots of people buy them online already, so it might as well be direct.

boveybaloo
06-07-2008, 05:33 AM
Yes, for the reasons stated above . But our district runs a shop open on saturday mornings in the district HQ and it is run by a couple of fellowship members who do a great job . They have also started a coffee morning type thing and so poping in for some badges and chat to other leaders has become a bit of a social event for some. The HQ is pretty central within our district so that also helps.:)

Dramatist
06-07-2008, 06:07 AM
Absolutely! Badges ordered from District, 4 weeks minimum - can be three months; badges ordered online from Glasgow, 4 days maximum! Scout Shops could run an online system where your login included your membership number so no problem with who could buy them. They're missing a trick there - but I doubt that the Glasgow Scout Shop would be too happy! ;)

Heron
06-07-2008, 09:44 AM
I am too pro central badges, I buy my online from sgs-outdoors, and they offer great service... I too struglle with district shop although I can pick up from the local shop (once I have ordered by phone or email) but I never get confirmation the order arrived or the stock is in... and after a few wasted journeys, I discovered online is easier!

If I have the choice pay postage at cost (which I think it should be for badges) or pay for my phone call and fuel (which no doubt comes out of my own pocket) then I think online is best!

We are all Scouters, yet with the schout assoication emplying it is hard to get volunteers as we are soooooo busy, then this is another way to makes our lives easier...

I would be happy if they created a back pack membership for the young people in each section, that I could input what badges the YP had done, all the parts for the challenge badges and they send them out automatically within 3 days of us saying they are complete! They could employ someone to do our paperwork! And it would mean if a child transferred or leaders changed you can access that person/sections records.

Interesingly that would mean under the new programme changes the SA could see whether we were offering a balance programme (whether children get challenege badges), whether they get a chance to get their cheif scout award, and whether we offer camping experences (Nights Away Badges)... but then that would be thought as being "Big Brothered"....

Ashbourne_Akela
06-07-2008, 09:47 AM
As far as I am aware, we don't even have a District badge sec. I have always e-mailed the GSL for badge requests and I get an envelope from SGS within the week. I have had random bags of badges left for me in the Scout hall every now and then tho, maybe we do?

Testarossa
06-07-2008, 12:33 PM
I believe that Leaders should be able to buy whatever badges they need online as postange is much cheaper than doing the hour and a half round trip to the nearest shop.

However, there are badges that we, as Leaders in our District, are not permitted to purchase - names the Chief Scout Awards. I know other Districts don't have this rule. I think this would be very difficult to "Police".

Our DC likes to award the CSAs as it gives more "weight" to what the young person has achieved, but I know certain Leaders in our District would happily award them and not even tell District that a child had achieved it, which is a shame.

I like Heron's idea of a my backpack for the kids. I can already add the young people onto the database, so the facility is there, but I have never checked to see if you can input badges.

Having said that, I am also aware that My Backpack is very outdated, and this would need sorting before developing it further.

curtisuk
06-07-2008, 03:31 PM
my backpack is firstly a leaders database but will at some point when all the leader and appointments side of it is sorted and working to a point then they will strart the YP side of it properly and that would me the badge side of it as well so lets wait and see.

Pedge
07-07-2008, 12:07 AM
curious to hear from the people who have voted no, why not?
i can only see it as making life easier for the people on the ground giving out badges

Arkelar
07-07-2008, 08:20 AM
We have an excellent District Badge Secretary who will take orders via e-mail and then post them out to you within a couple of days. However, on the odd occasion I am one short (or our B Sec is away) then it would be useful to be able to get hold of them.

Cubs don't understand why things take so long sometimes (section leader orders from Group sec who orders from District who orders from HQ.....) - 2/3 weeks is a long time when your 8 years old and have to wait.

Vanessa

Evil Akela
07-07-2008, 10:13 AM
I also have a brillant badge secretary, who I email my order, and she will put them in the post, or even sometimes her husband will put them through my door (he's recently retired).
However it would be good to have the option of getting badges delivered, especially odd ones that have to be ordered specially, and also if you could order them with regular Scout shop products, so only one set of postage.

PeterSheppard
07-07-2008, 12:16 PM
I would be happy if they created a back pack membership for the young people in each section, that I could input what badges the YP had done, all the parts for the challenge badges and they send them out automatically within 3 days of us saying they are complete! They could employ someone to do our paperwork! And it would mean if a child transferred or leaders changed you can access that person/sections records.

This was one of the features (or at least, the recording part, not the purchasing/delivery part) that was promised to be available from launch, during the presentations that were done around the country in 2001/2002!!!

Yes - the presentation said that it was going to be one super-database that would mean we could record everything we needed to, and never need to have our own databases!

Now I wonder if that's still the strategy (or do they even HAVE a strategy now?)

Keith
07-07-2008, 01:01 PM
Yes, because it sells everything else and our local scout shop is only open once a fortnight.

ianjames
07-07-2008, 04:54 PM
The reason I voted NO is that we have a good badge secretary, every day badges are normally in stock and can be picked up on a Tuesday night, or posted out, whichever is easier for the Leader. When badges are not in stock she can normaly have them within 2 or 3 weeks, which isn't a problem. In addition the sale of badges brings 10% of the cost back into the district funds. If your district system doesn't work the kick ass until it does.
As a leader I would also add that if you have planned your program in advance you should know what and how many badges you are going to need and can be ordered in advance so thay are waiting for the YP to comlete the work.

Doug in Canada
07-07-2008, 06:21 PM
As a leader I would also add that if you have planned your program in advance you should know what and how many badges you are going to need and can be ordered in advance so thay are waiting for the YP to comlete the work.

I would disagree in that the bulk of badges I award come from kids who have earned the badge on their own - there is no way to forecast how many or which badges! True, we do work on some during our meetings and these can be forecasted but that only represents two, maybe three badges per youth. I also think that waiting two, three or four weeks for a badge is too long for Cub and Beaver aged children.

Mad dog
07-07-2008, 09:47 PM
my backpack is firstly a leaders database but will at some point when all the leader and appointments side of it is sorted and working to a point then they will strart the YP side of it properly and that would me the badge side of it as well so lets wait and see.

A little off topic I know but interesting to hear folk mention my backpack!! Is anyone else having trouble with it?? At the moment mine wont even let me amend my e-mail address?? Grr!!!

I think it would be great idea if you could input YP's Badge Progress into it, especially useful if a YP was to move District I would have thought - save their being any doubt what they had/had not done - just log-in and see!!

As for the Scouts Shops and badges....leaders are volunteers so surely anything that may make it easier for them and make the system more efficient has to be a good thing, in my opnion!

jelly
08-07-2008, 02:26 PM
The best thing about our badge secretary is the fact that the group has an account with the shop - so they just bill the treasurer direct.

Heron
09-07-2008, 06:49 AM
But you can have an account with some of the online shops, who they send you an invoice and which the treasuererpays direct..... only difference I can see is the badge arrive in the post :)

phy445
09-07-2008, 12:46 PM
But you can have an account with some of the online shops, who they send you an invoice and which the treasuererpays direct..... only difference I can see is the badge arrive in the post :)

Thats how we do it. The only problem is we cannot get the district/county badges online and have to go to the badge secretary for them - phone call to arrange (in)convenient time, car journey of several miles (there goes the environment) and payment by cheque only(another journey to see the group treasurer).

I suspect that most Badge Secretaries have got better things to do with their time as well.


Simon

Skip.Craig
10-07-2008, 09:54 PM
Our badge secretary is the best he keeps 25 of every badge in stock, runs group accounts - sends the bill the treasurer, and he puts the badges through my door before my next meeting (mostly same day as order if I put it in his door on way to work).

If he can do this,and he is in his 80's, why cant every district ! ! !

(I know he is one in a million)

tomahawk
10-07-2008, 10:13 PM
I would love to buy my badges online - currently I have to drive to local town, find a parking space on a saturday morning (nightmare) and then find cash to pay for all my badges, neckers etc.

Half the time they dont have what I need or they moan because Im taking 24 of badge X and cant I phone to order them in advance?

(which I dont understand, because if I take 10 and someone else comes in for 10 and a third person comes in for 5, then they will have taken all the stock anyway - what does it matter if I take them all in one hit, or if they are taken in drib and drabs?)

So yes, my petrol, time and money for parking, the inconvinience of having to find cash for badges....Id much rather order online, it would be uch much much cheaper and stress free.

Im sure the scout shops do not make a massive profit on badges anyway - do they? Surely their profit comes from items like uniform and all those desirable sundries that we never knew we needed....

PeterSheppard
10-07-2008, 11:22 PM
Im sure the scout shops do not make a massive profit on badges anyway - do they? Surely their profit comes from items like uniform and all those desirable sundries that we never knew we needed....

I think the selling price is a 10% mark-up - e.g. the 44p badges are bought by them for 40p.

Bothwell Craig
11-07-2008, 06:10 PM
I've always just bought our badges direct fom Glasgow Scout Shop but then its close to me. The fact that you dont have to be a warranted leader is a help for us and allows parents to be asked to go and pick up badges, especially those that work near the shop.

Dramatist
12-07-2008, 08:40 PM
I use Glasgow Scout Shop too - the online service. I usually drop them an e-mail first to check that they have what I want and they've never let me down yet - not even last week when I wanted 18 Mechanic Badges!

stukley cubs
14-07-2008, 12:41 PM
Our badge secretary is the best he keeps 25 of every badge in stock, runs group accounts - sends the bill the treasurer, and he puts the badges through my door before my next meeting (mostly same day as order if I put it in his door on way to work).

If he can do this,and he is in his 80's, why cant every district ! ! !

(I know he is one in a million)

Because not many districts will have an 80 year old hanging around waiting to be asked also he may not have anything else to do and uses this as a way of meeting and chatting to others

DonTregartha
15-07-2008, 08:23 PM
A little off topic I know but interesting to hear folk mention my backpack!! Is anyone else having trouble with it?? At the moment mine wont even let me amend my e-mail address?? Grr!!!


You think that's bad, Backpack won't let me change my name from "Donald" (real name) to Don as I am known to millions!!

Only my mother, god rest her, ever called me Donald.

Oh, and one of my scouts in a rather foolish moment, he later regretted!!

Bloory
15-07-2008, 08:26 PM
You think that's bad, Backpack won't let me change my name from "Donald" (real name) to Don as I am known to millions!!

Only my mother, god rest her, ever called me Donald.

Oh, and one of my scouts in a rather foolish moment, he later regretted!!


I know that problem. Apparently they won't change it.

duncangray
15-07-2008, 09:14 PM
Backpack still has my Carlisle telephone number, left there nearly 13 years ago !! Also interesting , various "officials" have been unable to find any record of me being in Carlisle, or even Cumbria. Be amussing if they tried phoning me !

MikeJ
15-07-2008, 09:18 PM
Backpack still has my Carlisle telephone number, left there nearly 13 years ago !! Also interesting , various "officials" have been unable to find any record of me being in Carlisle, or even Cumbria. Be amussing if they tried phoning me !

I think that is one of the things you can change.

wavydavy
18-07-2008, 09:51 AM
Definately as badges sometimes take so long to arrive from the secretary as their stocks are low. And more importantly kids as young as Beavers and Cubs get great pleasure out of their badges and certificates, so like to get them straight away it is all part of their sense of achievement.
AND of course it would save me getting 'when is my son/daughter going to get their badge have you forgotten i handed in the forms and asked for it weeks ago!!!!'

graham_wj
27-07-2008, 05:05 PM
I can fully understand why many many people would vote yes. I gather i am in the rare situation of having a really good badge secretary, who sends out badges very quickly, and keeps a decent stock level of every badge. May just be one of the advantages of living in a "small" District.

ianjames
28-07-2008, 04:49 PM
I will go along with Graham that a good badge secretary is a benifit but I think the problem stretches beyound this, most badge secretaries are funded by District I believe so you need a District Treasurer who responds to requests for checks so that badges can be ordered, In a lot of cases this probably isn't a top priority. The outlay on badges can be high even for a District that is not over active, its all stock and money tied up. Add to this TSA "sudden" changes of badges, no warning it is coming so badge secretaries can get left with useless badges because few people want the old badges once new ones are launched so they don't want to carry a stock. Scout shops have the advantage of a l arge organisation behind them, they know when things are going to change and can adjust stocks accordingly which is why some things suddenly go out of stock just before a new item is released. So don't be too hard on your badge secretaries its not always their fault.

insanescouter
29-07-2008, 06:56 PM
Interesting I would have never guessed it was such a pain in the UK and i thought it was a pain here in the USA. All we have to do is fill out a advancement report and have one of our leaders take the long drive across the city to the Scout Shop and pick up the badges or if rural they can be ordered online or through the catalog.

dazatron
02-08-2008, 04:42 PM
How do make a website on this.

MikeJ
02-08-2008, 04:44 PM
How do make a website on this.


Did you mean to post this on the same thread as the poll?

Dazgoz
09-08-2008, 09:38 PM
I vote a big YES. I have worked hard in ensuring that the Beavers in my colony get rewarded for the hard work they put into their badges. It frustrates me like hell that I struggle to get the right badges from the badge secretary. It is not their fault mind you; I have found that the change in badges by the scout Association and general lack of a clue by the Scout Association on "Sponsored badges" is where it starts. The Jetix, Hot wheels and National Maritime Museum explorer badge to name a few that have been impossible to get hold of. I actually had the NMM Explorer badges made up by a badge company at some cost may I, to enable me to present them at the National Maritime Museum.

YiS
Darren
"Toad"
www.1ststubbingtonbeavers.co.uk

Oliver
13-09-2008, 12:27 PM
I voted yes!

The shop where we order our badges from is shocking, they very very rarley have any in stock and when i place an order for any it takes months for us to recieve them!

I recieved a huge order from Scout Shops Online the other day, it came really quicky and ordering online is just so much easier!

1stbritannia
22-01-2009, 11:48 PM
would help make life easier

DonTregartha
23-01-2009, 08:24 AM
I think an issue here is how much money do the host group make from their scout shop activities. How much is tied up in stock and what happens to stock when there's a badge change?

If its a good net fundraiser then let it be, but if its being done just as a service then maybe an online/telephone ordering service would be a better way to go as leaders could get the obscure stuff or anything else by return.

Doughboy
23-01-2009, 08:40 AM
Vaugely remember this poll went it first came out. I didn't vote then as I wasn't involved with a group at the time and my need for badges was rarer than hen's teeth!

Very interesting to read through all the posts and see the points raised. Given the choice, I'd now vote yes, as although my section leaders do a wonderful job, and our Badge Sec (who is also a Scouter) is fantastically helpful there are times when he struggles to get badges quickly, and I'd happily order on-line to go and present them (as I'm being asked to do for most badges now :D

One interesting point raised was the planning of badges required. Both my CSL & SL have already ordered (and got hold of) badges for the work they've planned for this term - but then the GSL goes n pokes his oar in!!

At the 1st meeting back after christmas I set every youth member in the group the challenge to go and work on a badge away from their section meeting. This in theory could mean 24 -30 individual badges will need to be ordered by big mouth here in time for easter!!

My final point is that everyone (including HQ) acknowledges that the time Scouters & other adults give as volunteers is precious - to my mind it therefore follows that aything that makes best use of that time (i.e. on-line badge ordering) would be a good thing.

Ayers ESU
23-01-2009, 09:50 AM
My wife is Badge Secretary for our District and always tries to get orders turned around in a week. She usually has about £1,000 of badges in stock, but this doesn't mean that she will always have enough of every badge. Having said that HQ itself normally delivers badges within a week. All that said I'm sure my wife would be more than happy for badges to be ordered direct, however I think this would be a major logistical and manpowers issue. At the moment there are about 902 Scout Districts ordering badges from Scout Shops in bulk, imagine if that changed to say 12,500 sections sending in orders for 4 of this and 10 of that! Scout Shops would have to employ a lot more staff (and pass on the costs) to replace the hardworking and unpaid Badge Secretaries!

Ayers ESU
23-01-2009, 10:09 AM
Backpack still has my Carlisle telephone number, left there nearly 13 years ago !! Also interesting , various "officials" have been unable to find any record of me being in Carlisle, or even Cumbria. Be amussing if they tried phoning me !

Duncan - I can try to help you if you wish, I have been a leader in Carlisle for 20 years and am a member of the District Executive. Apologies I don't remember you, which group were you a leader at? If you can send me some more info I'll speak to the District Secretary and see what records we can find.

derekchambers
23-01-2009, 10:29 AM
yes if they can enter their wood beads number. I did get an email from another district who has set up an online shop for selling badges

Del

shiftypete
23-01-2009, 02:49 PM
@Derek and what would those of use without a wood badge yet do?