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Thread: Akela needs help...

  1. #1
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    Akela needs help...

    ...in a bad way!

    I'm SL, but one of my girls has just moved up from Beavers so I'll have two daughters there. We have two cub packs, but for various reasons they don't seem to get on and share almost nothing - I get on really well with the ACSL, in fact he's just spent the last week with us on our troop Summer Camp, so I really want to help the pack out, but not take over (if you know what I mean).

    What do I think is wrong? Same programme (getting a bit tired), but often organised last minute, not much thinking ahead or badgework going on, Akela seems to go it alone and doesn't involve the assistant leaders. This isn't an issue I can discuss with our GSL - I wouldn't describe that relationship as 'good'.

    I offered at the end of last term to help out - but I don't want to step in with my size 12s and jump all over Akela - I genuinely just want to help, but I realise that it's an age group that I not that familiar with, other than as a parent.

    Any suggestions for the best way of handling this without putting Akela's nose out of joint?
    John

  2. #2
    Senior Member DonTregartha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badric View Post
    ...in a bad way!
    This isn't an issue I can discuss with our GSL - I wouldn't describe that relationship as 'good'.
    I'm sorry John, but what IS your GSL about if you don't/can't speak to him/her about this?

    Leaders who can't delegate need help.

    If you can't comfortably raise this with him directly then the GSL should do it - that's their job.


    Don Tregartha
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    Politics... I know from past experience that this would not be a good approach!
    John

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    Senior Member DonTregartha's Avatar
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    I know that you like many groups in the country have 'problem' GSLs

    It really hacks me off to hear about it.

    If one of my guys posted the previous comment - I'd quit.

    There's no way I'd not give them a hearing.

    I might disagree with them.

    But I'd know what I had to do and I think they'd have apretty good idea about my view on it.

    Being GSL isn't about status and bossing folks around -its about vision and leadership.

    Sorry to hijack your thread - I do hope you get it sorted.


    Don Tregartha
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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Any chance you can somehow suggest that the ACSL at least takes over responsibility for keeping track of badge progress.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    Suggest to the ACSL that they try and get involved more and take responsibilities from the Akela?

    And I agree with the above re. GSL - this is precisely the situation they're for!
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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    aka "Old Battle Axe" tomahawk's Avatar
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    id be furious if the scout leader intrefeered with my programme...there may be very good reasons why akela does not delegate. For example, the last two terms, my ABSLs have been on go slow....one went on hols and then was not involved in planning and so did not get involved in the second term. The other has a new baby that has to come along to Beavers and sometimes his needs come first. I have felt a huge weight on my shoulders and Ive been struggling and felt as though i was on my own quite often.

    But theres a fine line between parental inteferance and assistance. You have to conscious that your offers of help dont get misconstrued as a critisism.

    You could approach this in a comradely way as in....
    "Akela I notice you dont seem to get a lot of support - what can I and the other parents do to help you?"

    Or you could offer a specific help without maligning the whole programme...

    "akela, my kids are dead keen to do X badge and I must confess I would love to do it with them, as its an exciting thing for me.....may I design a couple of activities for next terms plans and get them all through the requirements? Please please?"

    A feeling of support and enthusiasm from another leader may be what he/she needs to pull himself out of the doldrums. But any whiff of critisism will have him out the door if he is in the doldrums already.
    Tomahawk

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk View Post
    id be furious if the scout leader intrefeered with my programme...there may be very good reasons why akela does not delegate. For example, the last two terms, my ABSLs have been on go slow....one went on hols and then was not involved in planning and so did not get involved in the second term. The other has a new baby that has to come along to Beavers and sometimes his needs come first. I have felt a huge weight on my shoulders and Ive been struggling and felt as though i was on my own quite often.

    But theres a fine line between parental inteferance and assistance. You have to conscious that your offers of help dont get misconstrued as a critisism.

    You could approach this in a comradely way as in....
    "Akela I notice you dont seem to get a lot of support - what can I and the other parents do to help you?"

    Or you could offer a specific help without maligning the whole programme...

    "akela, my kids are dead keen to do X badge and I must confess I would love to do it with them, as its an exciting thing for me.....may I design a couple of activities for next terms plans and get them all through the requirements? Please please?"

    A feeling of support and enthusiasm from another leader may be what he/she needs to pull himself out of the doldrums. But any whiff of critisism will have him out the door if he is in the doldrums already.
    very well put Tomahawk - extreme tact is the order of the day for what could be a very sensitive subject.
    Ruth

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    Senior Member Ian Mallett's Avatar
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    Badric

    In the notification I've circulated for our next Group Scouters meeting, I've asked "Please can all sections bring copies of their September to Christmas programme to share at the meeting. By sharing these, we may be able to pick up tips for our own section meetings." I intend to make this a standard part of the Group Scouters meeting agenda

    Without having such discussions and info sharing, I do not see how a group can either operate collectivley or understand what each other is doing. It's also a transparent way of me as GSL being able to see what all the sections are doing, and for everyone to make constructive suggestions about the whole groups programme.

    Does your group have such meetings? If so, could you suggest such an agenda item is included?

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Ian Mallett; 07-08-2009 at 09:09 AM.
    Simba (my daughter wouldn't let me be Rafiki, and now she's a Network Scout & ABSL)
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  10. #10
    Senior Member lanajay's Avatar
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    I agree with Tomahawk. Rather than try and interfere with the leaders group offering some help or support might be a nicer way to go. I particularly like the idea of asking to come alongband see your kids doing a particular badge that they're keen on. That way you could perhaps suggest that other parents would like to do the same. It kinda forces the leader to do badgework and plan a bit better without interfering too much. Especially if you speak to them as a parent rather than SL.

    Also, although I'm new at this from what I understand the GSL should have a proffessional relationship with all leaders and assistant leaders. If they've made you feel that you can't go to them with a legitemate concern then there's something wrong.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DonTregartha's Avatar
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    Sorry if the GSLs are 'ganging up' on you here, but Ian is right.

    By revealing the programme, it gives the opportunity to say - "I'm good at that, why not let me run that bit, to give you a break' or 'You seem to be taking a lot on just by yourself - why not spread it around?

    If you don't have a meeting like that, start one, they're essential - especially before Christmas when you might be planning bag packing, Christmas post etc so you need to agree with the other sections what each of you do.

    For those without a GSL, there's usually someone in a group with a wise head (not necessarily the oldest) who can pop this suggestion forward.

    You never know, you might be surprised.

    ----------------
    The Following Was Added to the post within 60 minutes of posting the above
    ---------------

    Actually, another suggestion is to say 'I need to do XY&Z for my training' can I organise the meetings on A, B and C nights?
    Last edited by DonTregartha; 07-08-2009 at 06:52 AM. Reason: Merged Double Post


    Don Tregartha
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonTregartha View Post
    If you don't have a meeting like that, start one, they're essential
    Any suggestions for how to do that when the GSL won't run Exec meetings or section leader meetings because she might lose control of her empire?

    District haven't helped when asked in the past.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ian Mallett's Avatar
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    Sorry if this sound like a cop out, and I know that this could be difficult, but below is the the bit of POR that says how groups ought to be run. This is structure I have tried to introduce in my group, it didn't exist before, but I feel has been very benificial. You really need to persuade your group, through whatever mechanisms exist, that this is how it ought to operate.

    Rule 3.23 The Constitution of the Scout Group
    The following represents an ideal Constitution for a Scout Group where the circumstances and the support allow.


    a. The Group Scout Council

    The Group Scout Council is the electoral body, which supports Scouting in the Scout Group. It is the body to which the Group Executive Committee is accountable.
    i.
    Membership of the Group Scout Council is open to:

    Scouters;

    Group Scout Fellowship members;

    Colony, Pack and Troop Assistants ;

    Skills Instructors;

    Administrators;

    Advisers;

    Patrol Leaders;

    all parents of Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts and Scouts;

    the Sponsoring Authority or its nominee;

    any other supporters including former Scouts and their parents who may be admitted by the Group Scout Leader, the Group Executive Committee or the Group Scout Council;

    Explorer Scout Leaders (if stated in a Partnership Agreement);
    ii.
    The District Commissioner and District Chairman are ex officio members of the Group Scout Council.
    iii.
    Membership of the Group Scout Council ceases upon:

    the resignation of the member;

    the dissolution of the Council;

    the termination of membership by Headquarters following a recommendation by the Group Executive Committee.
    iv.
    The Group Scout Council must hold an Annual General Meeting within six months of the financial year end to:

    receive and consider the Annual Report of the Group Executive Committee, including the annual statement of accounts;

    approve the Group Scout Leader's nomination of the Group Chairman and nominated members of the Group Executive Committee;

    elect a Group Secretary and Group Treasurer;

    elect certain members of the Group Executive Committee;

    appoint an auditor or independent examiner or scrutineer as required.


    b. The Group Executive Committee

    i.
    The Group Executive Committee exists to support the Group Scout Leader in meeting the responsibilities of their appointment. The Committee is responsible for:

    the maintenance of the Group’s property and equipment;

    the raising of funds and the administration of the Group’s finance;

    the insurance of persons, property and equipment;

    Group public occasions;

    assisting with the recruitment of Leaders and other adult support.
    ii.
    The Group Executive Committee consists of:
    Ex Officio Members

    The Group Chairman;

    The Group Secretary;

    The Group Treasurer;

    The Group Scout Leader;

    The Assistant Group Scout Leader;

    All Section Leaders;

    The Group Scout Fellowship Chairman;

    The Explorer Scout Leader (if stated in a Partnership Agreement);

    The Sponsoring Authority or its nominee.
    Nominated Members

    persons nominated by the Group Scout Leader;

    the nominations must be approved at the Group Annual General Meeting;

    the number of nominated members must not exceed the number of elected members.
    Elected Members

    persons elected at the Group Annual General Meeting;
    The Scout Association - Policy, Organisation and Rules – September 2008 Chapter 3 Page 11

    these should normally be four to six in number;

    the actual number must be the subject of a resolution by the Group Scout Council.
    Co-opted Members

    persons co-opted annually by the Group Executive Committee

    the number of co-opted members must not exceed the number of elected members.
    Right of Attendance

    the District Commissioner and the District Chairman have the right of attendance at meetings of the Group Executive Committee.
    iii.
    Ideally, between the nominated members, elected members and co-opted members, the Group Executive should include a parent of at least one Member of each of the Sections in the Group.
    iv.
    The Group Executive Committee may establish any sub-Committees that it deems necessary.
    v.
    The Group Scout Leader and the Group Chairman will be ex officio members of any sub-Committee of the Group Executive Committee.
    vi.
    Any fund raising committee must include at least two members of the Group Executive Committee, in addition to the ex officio members. No Section Leader or Assistant Leader may serve on such a fund raising sub-Committee.
    vii.
    A Scout Group is an educational charity. Members of the Group Executive Committee are the charity trustees of the Scout Group.
    viii.
    Only persons aged 18 and over may be full voting members of the Group Executive Committee because of their status as charity trustees.
    ix.
    Certain people are disqualified from being charity trustees by virtue of the Charities Acts.
    x.
    Charity trustees are responsible for complying with all the legislation applicable to charities.
    xi.
    Some Groups may also need to register as a charity. Scout Groups registered as a charity in England and Wales will be required to make an annual return to the Charity Commission. See Rule 13.3.


    c. The Group Scouters' Meeting

    i.
    Membership of the Group Scouters' Meeting consists of the Group Scout Leader as chairman, all Section Leaders and Assistant Leaders and the Chairman of any Group Scout Fellowship. Explorer Scout Leaders may be included if stated in the partnership agreement.
    ii.
    The role of the Group Scouters' Meeting is to:

    consider the well-being and development of each Member of the Group;

    ensure the progress of each Member through the programme;

    plan and co-ordinate all the Group's activities;

    to keep the Group Executive Committee advised of the financial and other resource requirements of the training programme.
    Last edited by Ian Mallett; 09-08-2009 at 02:14 AM.
    Simba (my daughter wouldn't let me be Rafiki, and now she's a Network Scout & ABSL)
    ABSL
    Birstall Scout Group
    West Yorkshire

  14. #14
    Senior Moments Penny E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutgamer View Post
    Any suggestions for how to do that when the GSL won't run Exec meetings or section leader meetings because she might lose control of her empire?

    District haven't helped when asked in the past.
    If you don't feel inclined to throw the rulebook at the GSL you could just suggest a leaders get together at the pub!.

  15. #15
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny E View Post
    If you don't feel inclined to throw the rulebook at the GSL you could just suggest a leaders get together at the pub!.

    That would have been my suggestion as well -

    If the GSL won't play ball - why not organise your own section leaders meetings? If she sees that you are all meeting on a regular basis (say once every half-term), she might come around to seeing that this might not be a bad idea (if only to keep some control over the empire).

    If you really want to get her thinking, invite some of exec. members along to the pub as well!
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

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