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Thread: What Leader Shortage?

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    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    What Leader Shortage?

    Just got back from an excellent Sweden presentation. A real feel good time, proud to be involved as a parent, let alone a leader.

    However, being a high(ish) profile event we had 2 ACCs, a DC and the CC there, all four of whom I recognised as having been really good scout leaders in the recent past. The CC gave a good talk at the end, praising the YP and thanking the organisers. The other 3 chatted to each other but not to the YP and it dawned on me that we're about to close a Scout Troop in our District at Christmas due to a lack of leaders and yet here we had 4 leaders with proven track records spending their Friday evening watching a slide show (albeit a very good one) when they could be running a unit.....

    The Guides insist that their Commissioners etc also run their own units, are we missing a trick here?
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith at 2M View Post
    The Guides insist that their Commissioners etc also run their own units, are we missing a trick here?
    Almost certainly we are. I realise the demands on time that being a leader as well as having a District or County post would make, but how many people at that level have we all met and wondered if the last time they had "coal face" contact with young people was when they were young themselves?

    Keeping them up to speed with the continually changing attitudes of young people could have a very positive influence on what they decide further up the greasy pole.

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    The Annual Report shows the national membership numbers. Doing some number crunching...

    We have (according to the census at 31.1.11) 413,223 young people in membership across the five sections.

    We have 53,365 "Section Leaders" and 14,070 "Sectional Assistants and Skills Instructors". If all these adults were working directly with young people (as they should be) then there would be an average adult:child ratio of 1:6

    If you add in to the mix the "manager" roles (including GSLs) and "supporter" roles, then the adult:child ratio would become 1:5.2

    If Active Support members provide active support to Scouting then the ratio becomes 1:4.7

    And, if you take in to account all the adult roles (including administrators and associate members), then the ratio becomes 1:4.3!

    If you want to play with the figures then go to page 41 of the Annual Report here

    The above, of course, doesn't take in to account:
    - those on parents rotas (as they're not on census)
    - Occassional Helpers (as they're neither a Member nor Associate Member)
    - the fact that Network members don't need a lot of adult supervision

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    The guides do have much smaller 'districts' though. I know a guide dc who also leads a group aswell.

    But im pretty sure it is only made up of 4-5 groups (or whatever the guide equivalent is!)

    Compared to the 14 that make up the scout district my group is in. (same area)

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    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orion1107 View Post
    The guides do have much smaller 'districts' though. I know a guide dc who also leads a group aswell.

    But im pretty sure it is only made up of 4-5 groups (or whatever the guide equivalent is!)

    Compared to the 14 that make up the scout district my group is in. (same area)
    aren't guides just individual sections as well?

    Rule 66. A map and compass offers no protection against getting horribly lost.

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    well their managed individually, but they are still 'sorted' in groups so that rainbows brownies guides share the same name scarf ect. (i think!)

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    Account Closed Raksha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulArthurs View Post
    The Annual Report shows the national membership numbers. Doing some number crunching...

    We have (according to the census at 31.1.11) 413,223 young people in membership across the five sections.

    We have 53,365 "Section Leaders" and 14,070 "Sectional Assistants and Skills Instructors". If all these adults were working directly with young people (as they should be) then there would be an average adult:child ratio of 1:6

    If you add in to the mix the "manager" roles (including GSLs) and "supporter" roles, then the adult:child ratio would become 1:5.2

    If Active Support members provide active support to Scouting then the ratio becomes 1:4.7

    And, if you take in to account all the adult roles (including administrators and associate members), then the ratio becomes 1:4.3!

    If you want to play with the figures then go to page 41 of the Annual Report here

    The above, of course, doesn't take in to account:
    - those on parents rotas (as they're not on census)
    - Occassional Helpers (as they're neither a Member nor Associate Member)
    - the fact that Network members don't need a lot of adult supervision
    This breakdown also doesn't take into account the flexible volunteers, take Active Support for example. they provide active support in many ways, not always directly with yp, and they also may not have a weekly commitment. The same with Assistant Leaders etc, they dont have to be there every week, so how can you include that in your adult child ratios?

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    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raksha View Post
    This breakdown also doesn't take into account the flexible volunteers, take Active Support for example. they provide active support in many ways, not always directly with yp, and they also may not have a weekly commitment. The same with Assistant Leaders etc, they dont have to be there every week, so how can you include that in your adult child ratios?
    Also have to take in to account Network with those ratios as they don't need any adults there, as they are all over 18 and also some crossover of network and leaders. You then also have to include people who hold multiple roles.

    Rule 66. A map and compass offers no protection against getting horribly lost.

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    Guiding has Districts which in many cases are roughly equivalent to a couple of groups . (in mine there are 3 Rainbow units, 6 Brownie Packs, 3 Guide companies and 1 Ranger unit all of them full). However, the next layer up , Divisions are simiilar to Scouting's Districts. There are 10 Divisions across Bristol and South Glos all with 3-4 Districts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith at 2M View Post
    The Guides insist that their Commissioners etc also run their own units, are we missing a trick here?

    As a Guider (I have a Brownie Unit I run with 2 assistants and a Pack Helperplus a Guide Unit I run on my own with help from parents when needed....and a Ranger Unit I'm about to open due to demand from the older Guides) who is also a District Commissioner, I don't think its so much that the "Guides insist" commissioners run a unit, so much as the fact that there is no one else to BE commissioners except already busy Guiders! Lol!

    I know all the other DCs in my Division, along with the Division Commissioner - and the County Commissioner, all run units or are at least Assistant Leaders. It's just the way it is!
    AM

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    The Following Was Added to the post within 60 minutes of posting the above
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    Quote Originally Posted by orion1107 View Post
    well their managed individually, but they are still 'sorted' in groups so that rainbows brownies guides share the same name scarf ect. (i think!)

    No, we're all individual units!

    We have, in one part of my District, 1stX Rainbows, 1stX Guides and 1stX Rangers....all separate (although we meet in the same Church Hall!) with separate bank accounts, membership (although the girls do tend to move through...they are the only units in the village - along with 4th X Brownies....the 1st having closed years ago when there were actually 5 Brownie units!) and leadership.....although, again, its the same few leaders running all sections!

    AM
    Last edited by Caitsmum04; 08-10-2011 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Merged Double Post

  11. #11
    Guider and Adviser
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    Guides don't insist Commissioners run units, although many do. I believe it is still a requirement that Trainers run units but that makes sense.
    Yes Guide Districts are smaller, Guide Divisions are roughly equivalent to Scout Districts and we don't have a Group System - so you could argue that our DCs are more equivalent to GSLs.

    In the district I Guide in we have 2 Rainbow Units, 4 Brownie Packs and 3 Guide Units. The girls mix up so the Guide units each take Brownies from any of the 4 packs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitsmum04 View Post
    No, we're all individual units!

    We have, in one part of my District, 1stX Rainbows, 1stX Guides and 1stX Rangers....all separate (although we meet in the same Church Hall!) with separate bank accounts, membership (although the girls do tend to move through...they are the only units in the village - along with 4th X Brownies....the 1st having closed years ago when there were actually 5 Brownie units!) and leadership.....although, again, its the same few leaders running all sections!

    AM
    Apologies! Was just a guess really! Just know of different sections all with the same name and scarf!

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    Having held a District role and a Group role at the same time, I know the amount of work involved. If you then insist that a DC or a CC must run a section, you'd lose a great many of them.

    For instance, our CC helped with sorting out the jamboree and knowing the amount of time involved, he couldn't possible have fitted in running a section too. He's all over the County most nights of the week as well as at Gilwell an awful lot - I know - he checks in on 4 square on facebook!

    Our DC is a great guy and the "face" of Scouting in Harborough having been in since he was a lad. But, if you give him a section to run, we'd lose him - he's not home from work on week days to do that.

    A Scouting District can be large - ours has just 7 Groups, but we have 9 of each section. We have an active District who organise hikes, camping competitions, shooting competitions, swimming galas amongst other things. Are you then going to tell them to run a section too?

    We are forever telling District that as Leaders, we run a section and therefore do not have time to be organising District events and turning up to their fundraising, so why would they have time to run a section and do all the District work too?

    Maybe other areas don't have such active support, but it certainly wouldn't work here.

    On the flip side, we have a deputy District Commissioner for Guides who can run a Guide section, be the DDC and also turn up to Scouts. If you ask her, she'll tell you that it's much easier in Guiding due to the very small Districts and the fact that each unit is individual.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    The argument about moving people from District and County roles to Sections is one that appears to make sense, but, in many cases those people wish to have an involvement with Scouting but do not, for whatever reason, wish to run sections. Perhaps they have done their time in sections, perhaps they have lost the link with young people, perhaps they believe that their skills are better used other than at sections.

    I love working with sections. I've held District roles and I've not enjoyed them. So I'll probably stick with the Group and section work till I retire now. But others will "move on" to admin roles and that is where they will stay. And in many cases it might well be the best place for them.
    Ewan Scott

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    I was told last week that there are two types of adult in Scouting - those that work with the kids and those that support those that work with the kids.

    We have some great people working at District or County level - people who come together to run large scale activities every few months. There are others that support new leaders coming in and of course SAS units that are there to lend a hand but can't commit to a weekly meeting.

    I think there is a place for all.

    Barney

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