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Thread: I need your advice

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I need your advice

    Those I am asking will probably have noted the state of the District that I am in (obviously seen from my viewpoint). So, I won't reiterate.

    I have always believed that a united District can offer more opportunities than a disparate District. I have tried to do my bit to create cohesion, and I have failed, not just once, not just twice, but at almost every attempt. I don't like failing.

    I have lost faith in the District, and to some extent the County. Part of me says, "Sod them. It isn't my problem.", but the other part of me says, "Keep trying".

    Now, it would be much easier for me to walk away, and indeed I suspect that is what some would prefer. However, some from unexpected quarters have said to stay (though they won't say so openly).

    Do I just turn my back on District and focus on the battles I appear to be winning, the group and Whitley Beaumont, or do I continue to make myself unpopular by putting forward ideas that I know will get rejected, by trying to get people on-board.

    Most in my Group have suggested that I walk away from District completely. My wife is insistant that I should because she knows how upset I get. But... there is this little voice that keeps nagging me about the road least travelled etc.. But how many times do you go down the dificult track before you decide to take the motorway?

    So, I turn to you, the best support group in Scouting and ask, what do you think? Do I take my Group to the next level, or should I continue where it appears I am doing no good? (perhaps even making things worse).

    Thing is, I'm probably damned either way.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....

    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers

  2. #2
    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    Ingleby Barwick, England
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    My view is that you should concentrate on your group, take it to the next level and leave district to their own devices. It might take time, but eventually they will realise that you have something good, they will hopefully smell the coffee and realise that they need you to give them a big kick up the backside.

    At the end of the day its all about giving YP the best Scouting experience that we can and clearly you are doing that in your group, but thats not happening in your district.
    Keith "Hawkeye"
    (Acting) Beaver Scout Section Leader (Woodbadge)
    Group Executive Committee Member
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    1st Ingleby Barwick (St Francis) Scout Group

    Volunteer at 1st Ingleby Barwick Scout Group
    Section Leaders, Assistant Section Leaders, Sectional Assistants, Occasional Helpers, etc.

  3. #3
    Account Closed Raksha's Avatar
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    Lymington, Hants
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    I would be inclined to stick with what is working in your Group and at Whitley Beaumont, and like rain wears away a stone, just the fact that these two items are working will drip away at the District problem....
    You are in Scouting to give the YP the best they can. If it means that you have to look at County events or National events rather than District events to give your YP a flavour of Scouting, then so be it. You have already said your wife wants you to walk away from District because of what it does to you. Listen to her. At the very end of the day family comes first. No-one will thank you for making yourself ill over District problems.
    Good luck, not an easy one.

    I have made decisions by tossing a coin and then trusting my reaction to the result before now when I really didn't know what to do. Have you tried that? But be honest with yourself when you listen to your gut reaction.

  4. #4
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    I dont know the issues your experiencing,

    I would suggest look after your own group, and open up activities/adventures to other like minded groups in the district, but ran under your control.?

    I have seen your posts on here and from what I see your running things well and have the YP's best interests in mind when delivering quality scouting to them.

    It is frustrating when your constantly banging your head on the same closed door. (Mine was parents in my pack)


  5. #5
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Part of me says, "Sod them. It isn't my problem.", but the other part of me says, "Keep trying".

    My wife is insistant that I should because she knows how upset I get. But... there is this little voice that keeps nagging me about the road least travelled etc.. But how many times do you go down the dificult track before you decide to take the motorway?
    If turning your back on district makes you feel uneasy, then it's probably the wrong decision. If it's a blessed relief, then it's probably the right decision.

    I'd have thought it upsets you because you care about it.

    The only answer I gave give is that the answer probably lies within you. Sorry!

    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    It seems to me that your district has more problems than I perhaps imagined when we discussed this a while back.

    I think one question you may need to ask is how much time as you wasting on things in the district that never happen.

    It may be that you need to focus more on the things that go well or setting up new things that might have a chance.

    Perhaps if you focused on your unit and the campsite then could you work with other groups in neighbouring districts for example?

  7. #7
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    chuck in the district stuff...

    you've told the CC, you've told HQ. It's bust... it needs fixing, you can't do it.

    Make whitley beaumont better... grow your group... delegate roles you find difficult...

    spend more time with mrs S. Go and see some live music perhaps?

    In reality... this is what you'll do:

    quit from distirct but keep an eye on other scouts and explorer leaders... (i know the latter is a moot point)

    share your skills with the leaders who want help... you'll spend more time kayaking and more time doing pioneering...

  8. #8
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Your District appears to be about the most dysfunctional one I have heard of. If I were you I would leave District Exec at the next AGM (with AGM season coming up). I would then concentrate on your Group and Whitley Beaumont. However I would also say don't turn your back entirely on District; unlikely as it maybe right now if there is a District event then support it wholeheartedly. I would also review the situation periodically in case your District magically sorts itself out.

    The only slight concern I would have about this course of action is the situation with your Explorers as District could if thy wanted to cause you real problems if they so chose to. Of course facts on the ground often outweigh such things (i.e. the Unit exists and runs fine and no other provision is available)

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite -
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    SAY not the struggle naught availeth,
    The labour and the wounds are vain,
    The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
    And as things have been they remain.

    If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
    It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd,
    Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
    And, but for you, possess the field.

    For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
    Seem here no painful inch to gain,
    Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

    And not by eastern windows only,
    When daylight comes, comes in the light;
    In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
    But westward, look, the land is bright!

    Arthur Hugh Clough
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tazmania's Avatar
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    I agree with the above - you have helped me along my rocky scouting journey!

    Do what feels right for you and your group first - if you have it right, YP will start to vote with their feet if they have mates in your group...

    I think all districts have stirrers and stickers (I'm a stirrer!) ie those who want to change things which aren't working or could be improved on and those who want things to stay the same for EVER!!!

    The two will never see eye to eye and so the slow drip method of change may be the only way... Good luck and keep at it - we now have spag bol AND chicken with noodles as an alternative to sausages for summer camp so it IS possible!

    2 kids, 1 house, non-scouty husband, BSL, ACSL, and 1 full time job!! If I can do it why can't everybody else?!?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Prodigal Son's Avatar
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    A very wise man* told me that when you are lost the first thing you should do is:


    Failure to do so will only result in fatigue and Frustration!!

    You are at that point where you now need to stop.

    For the sake of you, your family and your group. To carry on any further as you are will result in something probably having to give, - to the point that it may be scouting in it's entirety! At the end of the day you are achieving the sum total of zero at District level and becoming more and more frustrated by it.

    Maybe it is your presence that is causing the problem at district? I know I certainly wouldn't chose to lock horns with you out of choice, it could be others won't come out of the woodwork whilst you are there?

    Alternatively it may all fall apart, in which case you will be in a refreshed state of mind and organised ready to step up to pick up the pieces if necessary.

    Or they may be pleased to just see the back of you and carry on as if they were normal, in which case you are in a position that you are free of the crud and able to get on at group level and at W.B.

    (*He was a big tea drinker though and would look for any excuse to stop and have a brew!!)
    Scout Leader
    Plus other stuff

    Lost on the path least travelled!!

    "If you or anybody else care to email me with the specific County/District behaving in such a way I'll happily follow it up. My own views on local rules that inappropriately restrict Scouting are well know."

    Wayne Bulpitt
    UK Chief Commissioner

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    It's your decision.

    Just as a seperate point, have you tried an "action plan". I've seen several people do this, and it be very effective. Itemising everything that's wrong and how to fix it can help a lot i think.
    Set a meeting- those who don't turn up can't grumble, those that do turn up are keepers!

    Mind you, they only work for a certain "type" of problem...

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Newcastle upon Tyne
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    I think there's loads of questions to ask yourself...

    What do you want District to offer - do you (or did you) want to get the Exec side sorted out, or the uniform side or both? Why not work at one small part of it?

    Do you want large District activities to take place - your group probably doesn't need them as you seem to have a very full and varied programme within your group. Is there even one other group you can work with to start a joint activity off - might be an evening for Scouts doing some backwoods with a bit of a competition element.

    Do you want to concentrate more on your group - from what I've read you have lots of assistants but few people taking the leaders roles. Have you some ideas of where you'd like to take the group - you could always spend a year doing that then come back to District

    Do you want to concentrate more on WB yourself?

    Personally I would stick with trying to improve district, but not get tied up with all the issues. I would talk to everyone at County level - see if they are aware of the issues your district faces. I would then try and improve one small part - maybe the uniform side rather than the whole lot.

    I would guess by your question that you don't want to give it up but feel you should.


  14. #14
    SM(s) (B-PSA) RedCoat's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    You have my sympathies, and you know what we did when we found ourselves in a similar situation.

    That said, you need to sit back and think about this. The key, to me, is that your wife has told you to quit district. Of all the advice you get, she is going to be the one who knows you, what this is doing to you (possibly both) and is best-placed to give you advice.

    If District the causing you to feel upset, which is in turn causing upset in your wider life, you have to think of yourself, your well-being, then the group and, at the bottom of the list, District.
    Richard Cullen
    Fakenham Lancaster Baden-Powell Air Scouts

    Per Exploranda ad Astra!

  15. #15
    Senior Member wolfie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Thing is, I'm probably damned either way.
    And on that basis you have to do what, deep in your heart, you know is right for you. To make a difference to District in the way you would clearly love to do so will take time and energy, and at the end of the day we only all have so much to give.

    Not knowing anymore than the posts on here (which paint a quite clear picture anyway) I think you walk away from District. After all, no one says that has to be forever and a "break" of doing the stuff where you already know you are making such a difference may be enough for you to return at some unknown point in the future to a District role - ready for any "battles" that then lie ahead...

    As a well known saying goes "trust your wife's judgement, look who she married"
    Last edited by wolfie; 14-02-2011 at 05:44 PM. Reason: typos

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