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Thread: Starting a Network group!

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    Starting a Network group!

    Hiii
    I'm Steph i'm 20, i used to attend Network in our district but it sort of fizzled out. I really want to start it back up again but don't know how to get around letting people know we exsist. None of the explorers in the explorer unit are getting near Network age, so so far it's just me and a few others! I'll already started a Beaver group and bought our cub group back, but it was alot easier to get Beavers and Cubs than Networkers!
    Thanks!

    Steph

  2. #2
    Offshore sailing geek dannyweaver's Avatar
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    Hi

    Great to hear about another new Network hopefully starting!

    First of all make sure you have the support of your County (or District if you are to be a District Network). Use the checklist in the back of Network Essentials (if you don't have a copy, we've got a slightly modified version that we use in Derbyshire here.

    In terms of promoting yourselves, you could try running a simple event with ice breakers, team building games etc and a brief presentation as a launch evening. Invite anyone that could potentially become a member in the next year or so - friends, ask your District for details of 18-25 leaders and 17+ Explorers - and anyone that may be able to support you or have an interest somehow - i.e. DC, DESC, ESLs, CSNC, etc. Even though you don't have any Explorers ready to move up yet, start building those links right from the start - then when the time comes, the leaders already know you and exactly where to send their Explorers.

    Make sure you go in armed with at least a couple of follow up activities/events scheduled. Even if there is a small number of you, you can still do some good activities at next to no cost - you have to start somewhere. We started our Network 4 years ago with just 4 people. Take advantage of opportunities to link up with others - join in with any county events or events run by near-by Networks. A great way to get yourselves seen and an easy way of making some of the bigger activities more feasible when you are a small group on your own.

    Shout about what you are doing - as you are launching a new group, get in touch with the local press and get them to mention your launch event and how people can get involved. But also shout about what you are doing within Scouting - get yourselves in any District or County newsletters, get yourselves along to the relevant District/County meetings and socials, etc. It won't happen overnight but you can build up your reputation and awareness gradually within Scouting.

    Over time you could consider running activities for local Explorer units - ask if you can run a night for them. They can start linking up to Network from 17 1/2, but it's important that they already know what Network is before then. You will often only have a limited time window before they go to uni or something, so you must make sure you pick them up before then. That way they will be more inclined to stay involved whilst they are at uni or working; rather than leaving it until then to start tempting them in.

    A website is a good idea - doesn't need to be anything fancy but do make sure it is up to date with a programme and contact details, and that it is linked from your District website, County Network site and any local Explorer websites too.

    And hoodies/tops with your own unique branding are an excellent way of gettin yourself seen.

    Remember also that District might be able to apply for a start up grant to help you get going. In any case, if you are going to be a District Network then remember that they are responsible for supporting and financing you - so speak to your DC about a budget for getting yourselves going, a suitable meeting place, etc. Use the checklist!

    A lot to do perhaps, but it is rewarding when you get your first "newbies" come along and start to enjoy it! Spread the jobs between those that are involved from the start if you can.

    Hope that helps, and happy Networking!
    Dan Weaver
    Volunteer skipper & webmaster: Adventures Offshore [facebook] [twitter] [youtube]
    All posts are made in a personal capacity & any views expressed are not intended to represent those of the organisations I am affiliated with

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    Hiii
    I'm Steph i'm 20, i used to attend Network in our district but it sort of fizzled out. I really want to start it back up again but don't know how to get around letting people know we exist. None of the explorers in the explorer unit are getting near Network age, so so far it's just me and a few others! I'll already started a Beaver group and bought our cub group back, but it was alot easier to get Beavers and Cubs than Networkers!
    Thanks!

    Steph
    Advertise, advertise, advertise.

    Have a look at Danny's signature above and then yours. See the difference? He has two Networks mentioned with links, we have no idea where you are. There could be some people on who are near you or even in the same District. Then as Danny says go round all the Groups, Explorers in you District (and/or County) and get a mention on their websites. Set up a couple of good events and see how it goes.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Also, if you're in a uni town, see if you can put posters and stuff up there, or hand out leaflets, or do something there to attract people. If you're not in a uni town, then posters in staff rooms of employers that tend to have alot of that age range, supermarkets, garden centres, etc.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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    Thanks very much for all that info. We will be a district group, and as my Dad is the DC he is fully behind anything the Network want to do. However we have problems from other members in the district are not keen on a Network group at all. WE have tried to advertise a lot, starting Facebook groups, contacting Explorer members and Newspapers, and it has been mentioned a few times in teh District newsletter, But still only got one reply!

    Thanks though i will try everything!

    xx

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Also, if you're in a uni town, see if you can put posters and stuff up there, or hand out leaflets, or do something there to attract people. If you're not in a uni town, then posters in staff rooms of employers that tend to have alot of that age range, supermarkets, garden centres, etc.
    Nope we're not a uni town! Our problem is we are a district made up of one small town and a few villages! I have put a poster up in teh pub where i work inbetween uni! But thanks i will put them up all over the place!

    xxx
    Last edited by Steph; 29-09-2009 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Merged Double Post

  6. #6
    No mountain too high PeterSheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    Thanks very much for all that info. We will be a district group, and as my Dad is the DC he is fully behind anything the Network want to do.
    My tips would be - get hold of a copy of Network Essentials, and see what Network-specific support is available "up the chain" - county, region, and there's plenty of support from HQ.

    Also be aware that your County Commissioner (in consultation with the CSNC) must approve the starting of a District Network - Districts can't unilaterally open a Network!
    Assistant Area Commissioner (Activities) - Gwent

    "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap... but by the seeds you plant"

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSheppard View Post
    My tips would be - get hold of a copy of Network Essentials, and see what Network-specific support is available "up the chain" - county, region, and there's plenty of support from HQ.

    Also be aware that your County Commissioner (in consultation with the CSNC) must approve the starting of a District Network - Districts can't unilaterally open a Network!
    Thank you very much. I have a Network Essentials somewhere. Well we already had a Network group in the district so I assume everything will be ok.

    xxx

  8. #8
    Legend ;) Trooper's Avatar
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    where are you from Steph? 'Cos they may still be something going on in your area.
    Richard Ellarby



  9. #9
    Senior Member Jay Biggs's Avatar
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    Steph, get in touch with Chesters Hollyoaks Network... if your thinking about setting up a network we could help... They started just about 15months ago

    ((im finding it really difficult to not associate myself with Netowrk, i was booted for being 25 recently ))
    Being a Scout leader is a constant reminder why some animals eat their young.


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    Member KrisMcCabe's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Hi Steph,

    The best thing to do when opening a Network is to speak to the County Network Commissioner if you have one. You mentioned you had a Network previously? Not to sound like a buzz kill but this does not automatically mean your ok to start another one. You still kinda need the CSNC approval to open up a Network as it is a County provision, even if you run within a district area.

    If you do not know who your County Network Commissioner is, just email/call HQ and ask for details. If there is not a current County Network Commissioner then you need to contact your County Commissioner (these guys can authorise an opening of a Network also).

    I hope the above is helpful, but keep going. With your drive and determination - you will get there.

    Do PM me if you want any help or advice but the guys on here will also help too!

    BTW - PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME, PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME...
    Kris McCabe
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  11. #11
    Member rawz's Avatar
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    Here in Royal Kingston, we are just about to tap up the Explorers for members, the District Explorer Scout Administrator (DESA) should hold records of all members of Explorers, we are going to ask for details of those who are reaching 17.5
    After we get this we are going to invite them to attend our meetings etc.

    The DESA should still have records on those members who have reached 18 in the last few years.

    We are also looking at visiting units to inform them of our existence and of what we do.
    Last edited by rawz; 18-11-2009 at 06:53 PM.
    AESL - Pheonix ESU (Royal Kingston)
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