View Full Version : Poll: What is your single biggest issue delivering and maintaining a full programme

25-01-2009, 12:56 AM
Poll: What is your single biggest issue delivering a full programme

Record Keeping
Programming for Zones
Leaders available to deliver programme
Programme Planning
Ordering Badges
Keeping Up With the Changes
Specialist Instructors

25-01-2009, 01:34 AM
oh yeah please feel free to leave comments :thup:

25-01-2009, 08:02 AM
oh the record keeping!!!

badges divided into "must do 3 things, one frome each section" - so it cant just be a tick box. Then youve got the issue of can an activity count towards more than one thing - or are activites counted once rowards one badge and not again?

Then, delivering the programme, you have kids who are away on the night you do one of the specifics....like magnets - so to get them the Chief Scouts, you have to run another similar event to ensure they have ticked the box.

For such a complex system, I really surprised that the SA has not devised a computer programme that you could use

25-01-2009, 08:33 AM
our biggest issue is just not enough leaders but i suppose thats common at most groups.

25-01-2009, 09:11 AM
I voted not enough leaders but a close second is record keeping (complexity of it and not having enough time to keep track).

25-01-2009, 09:46 AM
I've gone for "Programme Planning" but that really covers "Programming for Zones" and "Leaders available to deliver programme" as well.

The issue is having enough people with enough time to plan the Programmes to a decent level rather than just turn up and make it up.

25-01-2009, 09:49 AM
I opted for programming for the zones, I struggle at times to try and find the right mix.

I don't feel that either badges or record keeping prevents anyone delivering a full programme they just complicate matters after the event. Trying to cross reference what activity goes with what badges and challenges can take more time than the activity.

Yes TSA did try and develop a programme for record keeping, "scoutcount" dissapeared when TSA couldn't get it to work properly

25-01-2009, 11:31 AM
I voted for programme planning, as it can be difficult to fit things in and have a varied programme.

25-01-2009, 12:39 PM
I voted for specialist instructors - which I suppose is part of 'Leaders'. Running this a very close second is record-keeping. You need an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of all challenges and badges to realise what areas of which challenges/badges any given activity you have just done has covered. Quite often, one activity can be 'ticked off' in about six different places! Added to that is the fact that ten o'clock at night after a lively meeting, is just about the last time you want to be ploughing through loads of paperwork - leave it a couple of days and your spare time is being used on the next meeting/event and very soon, your records are out of date!

This term I have a new leader to help and her main job over the week is record-keeping. Very nice and works well but it is a luxury many troops cannot afford. The SA needs to find some way of simplifying the whole process!

Chris Lambert
25-01-2009, 12:55 PM
I voted other - the biggest problem with delivering a full programme is access to activities. Even if we had instructors we have to travel quite a long way to do pretty much anything which immediately significantly increases costs.

Maybe we could do something about it with enough time and effort, so maybe it comes down to not enough leaders.

25-01-2009, 12:56 PM
Thanks guys, keep the votes and the comments coming, I'm doing a session on this subject and the comments will be as useful as the votes

25-01-2009, 01:06 PM
I'd go for costs, although my group is in a diprieved area, things are quite expensive.

25-01-2009, 01:18 PM
To be honest, and I have thought about it, but I don't have any problems delivering a full programme. I have great leaders, we have a very varied and active programme, no problems with our resources or obtaining them, no problems with record keeping, numbers are up and seem to be going up and up and finally the kids seem to be really enjoying themselves.

I've learnt to be very organised over the years, and I think I know how to run my pack the best. With numbers going through the roof at the moment, our pack is on a real high.

big chris
25-01-2009, 02:58 PM
i started to explain this in the other thread...

I run a programme that i enjoy and keeps the kids happy. Along the way, we tend to cover all the challemges, all the zones etc. I very rarely do large projects that take more than a session.

Looking at the challenges:
easy peasy:
(my scouts complete these time and again during their 4 years.)

easy if we look at what they do out of scouts

Easy if we don't look too hard at the "project " part... I'm not a teacher, I'm not setting homework.

difficult because of numbers of kids and limited number of camps:
Outdoor Plus

Now then... my two problem areas...

Global... All my scouts who went to Switzerland get this with zero effort. But what of those who didn't? I am fiddling it and will allow kids who did not go to do my own caregories that will require a bit of effort but will not need me to find foreign troops, facilitate online meetings etc... my life is too short... if 2 scouts run an interntaional cookery night and do a bit of work towards it... they can have this badge.

This is scouty, it is fair and it saves me having to set geography projects or spend weeks looking for a foreign group to partner with.

Promise Challenge oh dear... fortunately, I have a kindly assesor (my old SL) who eases kids through this by pointing out what they've done and making it fit... the potential for embarrassment otherwise is huge...

I suspect that I'll have to run a Troop Forum (is that a PLC?) to blag some kids through this...



I'm generous with these... some can be earned in minutes (sports enthusiast) or by a simple signature from an instructor (swimmer, musician etc). Unlike Dramatist, I don't think it is the troop's job to assess badges. If the kids want them, they can do the work outside of the troop...

but some badges fit in nicely with the programme but standards vary hugely..

dragon boating... (do a couple of 1 hour sessions at longridge and you earn it)
climbing... (climb on all sorts of different rocks and know LOADS of stuff)

When I took my scouts for a day's climbing instruction at Blackland Farm, they came away with a good knowledge of ropes, knots etc... I awarded them the climbers badge... we live in SE London... that is the most climbing they will get with the troop and they worked hard all day... it seemed fair...

so... I have found a happy medium...if they turn up to most of the activities, they will get CSG and this requires a god couple of months' work on an expedition.

But I do balk at schoolwork and presenting things to the troop... that just don't happen at my troop

Keith at 2M
25-01-2009, 07:08 PM
I've gone for the actual planning of the programme. I have a total of 5 adults & 5 very good Young Leaders and a total lack of time to actually plan what they should be doing on any given evening. I look nostalgically back on the days when it was me & one ACSL and 12 cubs.

We tend to plan that one of us will plan the whole evening and allocate bases to the others, that way each leader only has to actually plan 2 meetings or so a term.

We also have 'spreadsheet sessions' when the cubs break into sixes with a drink and a doughnut and a leader to go through the spreadsheet and tick off what they think they've done. Works so far, although no-one has got close to gaining the CSSA under the revised rules.

There are some pretty good spreadsheets out there and I've just changed one from e-scouts, the problem is filling it in for 40 cubs when not everyone is there every week.

25-01-2009, 07:36 PM
I have opted for resources, but it could also be specialist instructors.

I don't have a problem with coming up with an interesting and varied programme for my Beavers, what I do have a problem with is delivering those ideas when they are outside my field of knowledge or experience.

Getting "someone in to talk to the Beavers about xyz" isn't as easy as it sounds.

I enjoy doing badge paperwork so don't find this onerous but it probably helps that there are fewer challenges in my section.

26-01-2009, 08:34 AM
I voted Specialist instructors.

I get fed up of canceling an evening or wasting it just playing games because the instructor fails to show. We've had this on camp as well, where the booked (months in advance) instructors fail to show at the last minute (and not due to accident, illness or crisis). We're starting the long process of growing our own but it will take time.

On the records front, it does make a great difference if you can get someone to keep the records who is not front line programme delivery. Also if kids fail to show for one part of a multi-session badge/challenge, then it's down to them to provide evidence/work to make it up or they just miss out.

26-01-2009, 10:02 AM
I don't worry over much about it. We used to follow the programme in detail and had a lot of achievers in the Awards, but since the new prog came in we have never got to grips with it so we just do what we do, tick off what we can and if the kids are happy and learning then we're doing the job. if over the year we manage to:-

Teach cooking (indoor and out) , archery, kayaking, camp skills, environmental projects, international events, community projects, crafts and practical skills, then I think we are pretty close. We even actually cover spiritual elements as we go along, and relationships as and when the need arises.

But sticking to it rigidly has been fraught with difficulty due to the lack of regular adult support.

Scouting is about having fun whilst developing, not ticking boxes.

26-01-2009, 12:51 PM
Difficult to choose one, but I went for specialist activities, as they have proved hardest to find at a reasonable price and with appropriate standards here. Self grown instructors is hopeless as they'd have to go to the UK for courses and assessment.

However our local campsite is now working with a specialist firm to provide some activities so there is hope. costs about 12-13 euro per activity and Im waiting to hear more.

Record keeping is another bugbear. We find we can cover most of the challenges without any worries through running a varied programme, but keeping up with who did what when is difficult.

Leaders to run things is another.. we have loads of scout leaders at the moment, but can't get a summer camp organised this year as people can't take enough time off, and naturally want a family holiday.
Saturday/weekend events are also difficult as they clash with other activities..both for leaders and scouts. For that reason we get very few hikes away as the hikes we run during meetings are too short (2 hours) and longer is not possible on a school night, or after a full days work/school.

26-01-2009, 02:31 PM
.... can't get a summer camp organised this year as people can't take enough time off...... Saturday/weekend events are also difficult as they clash with other activities..both for leaders and scouts.
We are in exactly the same boat this year! GSL going to Canada with the District (and new helper), ASL desperately trying to save family business from the Credit Crunch and not taking any holidays and that leaves just me - so no Summer Camp!

Weekends are sabotaged by Parental Access arrangements for split families. Getting everybody on board for the same weekend seems to be totally impossible!

26-01-2009, 03:30 PM
Currently I'd say finding the time to sort out exactly what we are doing each week (specifically as opposed to broadly). However this is mainly because I am temporarily running Beavers as the only Leader whilst also still being the main Leader running Explorers. Luckily the other AESL has offered to completely run a couple of evenings this term so silver linings and all that ;)

I also struggle to keep up with the badgework records but that is more related to the above problem meaning I don't have the time to do it properly than it being too difficult to do

03-02-2009, 05:05 PM
I'v voted for Badges, as I cant ever seem to get my head around getting them in, and when i do order them from badge man, i get them in drips and drabs, so hold on to them till I get all of them. befor handing them all out, Its a nightmar, Was thinking about starting to order them online, but then would have to order from my personal a/c and hand the invoice in to get the money back! I hate having to do it that way! Specialy seeing that my account is now nearly empty!