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Thread: Poor Take up on courses

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    Poor Take up on courses

    So where are we going wrong? At County and Nationally level the movement runs some great courses. However I am constantly surprised by the lack of interest and take up for these. For example Kent runs power boating courses for very good value and yet so far I understand we have two people booked on the September L2 course and one on the October course (my son). Similarly we have a WSMP course planned for October in Kent, so far three people have signed up two of which are from my district as I approached them personally. Particularly with this latter course this has the potential to greatly improve our safety awareness so I cant understand why there is not a flood of people wishing to do it.

    So what is going wrong, these courses are very completively priced and I am sure groups, districts, counties can help with funding if required.

    I know shooting and archery courses have a good take up so whatís the issue, do we think that the shooting and archery has a good take up as is easy to do compared to some of these other courses? Is it a lack of publicity,? or are most leaders just happy to stick to running a basic programme and donít want to do adventure, or is it simply funding putting people of?

    I would love to understand why we are not flooded with applications.
    Paul Austin
    Kent Scouts SASU Water team
    G0AXQ, intrests in Scouting, Cycling, Hiking, anything on the water. seeing the young people achive.

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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    Our County have a training levy to pay for training courses which means that as Leaders we dont have to pay a fee to go on a course.
    Keith "Hawkeye"
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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    I would think there is not much take up as there is not much opportunity to use the qualifications when put against the effort required to get them.

    After all Power boating (if not a Sea Scout Group) is unlikely to happen without being via a centre who will have all the safety cover themselves - so whats the point?

    WSMP is fairly useless unless you are planning to wild swim. Most Groups swim at a local pool (for various reason) - so whats the point?

    Most Leaders have a limited amount of time so will only spend extra time on qualifications of direct use to them. Archery and shooting can easily be done on camp, at their hut etc so have a corresponding greater interest from Leaders.

    I would like to get a WGL or ML but the amount of time required to get it means I'm not likely to. For the few times we go mountain walking I'll hire in the qualification, it's a much better use of my time.
    Last edited by Kastor; 10-09-2012 at 02:39 PM. Reason: spelling (or lack of it)
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    i was going to do wsmp but then i realised how many beaches have rnli guards - we spent the day at joss bay this summer and had no need of qualifications... it was all lifeguarded for us

    the cub leaders did it because they use a field with a lake and want to make use of it but it is only valid for 2 years so we invested some £150/head including accommodation and fuel to get 3 leaders qualified for 2 cub camps

    i can't blame groups who choose not to do that

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    the cub leaders did it because they use a field with a lake and want to make use of it
    If the lake is Class C, WSMP is not required, so even less of a need. (This was an amendment to the initial rules which would have banned swimming in Class C waters without a qualified lifeguard, which would seem silly given that other Class C water activities e.g. rafting tend to result in swimming!)

    http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/library/...s/fs120620.pdf

    If we plan a Summer Camp where, like on the IoW a few years ago before the rules came in, we might want to swim in the sea at a quiet non-guarded beach, or if we do a trip to somewhere like Kandersteg or Zellhof where swimming in the lake might be in order, I'll probably look to do it specifically for that. But otherwise I can't see when I'd really use it within 2 years.

    Neil
    Last edited by Neil Williams; 10-09-2012 at 02:19 PM. Reason: added a bit

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    If the lake is Class C, WSMP is not required, so even less of a need. (This was an amendment to the initial rules which would have banned swimming in Class C waters without a qualified lifeguard, which would seem silly given that other Class C water activities e.g. rafting tend to result in swimming!)

    http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/library/...s/fs120620.pdf



    Neil
    it might be class c (that is debatable) but have you read the FS?

    it definitely requires knowledge, skills, experience, ability...

    it does not say that any leader can take their kids swimming in class C water.

    " conduct a comprehensive risk
    assessment of the situation and make informed
    decisions as to the management of the activity."

    "have sufficient swimming
    ability to conduct effective rescues should the
    need arise. Therefore they should be a strong
    enough swimmer for the location and water
    conditions with the ability to keep themselves and
    a casualty afloat during a rescue."

    "be capable recovering a casualty or
    swimmer in distress. This requires the knowledge
    of suitable rescue techniques. "

    "be capable of using suitable rescue
    equipment for the location being used"

    "All adults in Scouting with an interest in swimming
    and water safety would be encouraged to take page 3 of 6
    part in the RLSS Water Safety Management
    Programme. This programme has a variety of
    units ranging from a basic water safety unit
    through to in water rescue and environment
    specific units. "

    it looks pretty definite that one should have a qualification... how else do I, as GSL, know that the cub leaders are doing this properly? I know nothing about swimming safely

    they also want to use some kayaks and similar... i set this as the absolute minimum before i would allow it - even in class C water. the rules say

    "It is
    required that those in charge of the activity have
    the appropriate skills and knowledge of the activity
    taking place and a knowledge of and ability to
    conduct appropraite risk assessments. " (check that spelling! makes mine look good)
    Last edited by big chris; 10-09-2012 at 02:26 PM.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    People will only take up courses if a/ they want to or b/ they feel a need.

    Sometimes they may fulfill both a and b, but still won't because of c/ - which puts all three together as CBA. Sad but true.
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member Ceiron's Avatar
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    I think retention is an issue. Groups dont want to fork out money to get niche qualifications that may never get used.
    Cheaper overall to pay someone else to lead.

    Whilst i am job hunting as such i am happy to do courses but most the group wont pay for and i cant afford myself. I would be happy to use the skills across district but districts seem very clique.

    I am struggling with the modules alone as so few opportunities and all a fair distance away and with sharing a car can be difficult to get to. So the same occurs with skills courses. Especially ones that are time costly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    it might be class c (that is debatable)
    Should be easy to determine if it is or not, the criteria are clear enough, you also apply the published County classifications on top (I know I don't agree with the use of them for the purpose of creating local rules, but they do exist).

    but have you read the FS?
    Yep.

    it definitely requires knowledge, skills, experience, ability...

    it does not say that any leader can take their kids swimming in class C water.

    " conduct a comprehensive risk
    assessment of the situation and make informed
    decisions as to the management of the activity."

    "have sufficient swimming
    ability to conduct effective rescues should the
    need arise. Therefore they should be a strong
    enough swimmer for the location and water
    conditions with the ability to keep themselves and
    a casualty afloat during a rescue."

    "be capable recovering a casualty or
    swimmer in distress. This requires the knowledge
    of suitable rescue techniques. "

    "be capable of using suitable rescue
    equipment for the location being used"

    "All adults in Scouting with an interest in swimming
    and water safety would be encouraged to take page 3 of 6
    part in the RLSS Water Safety Management
    Programme. This programme has a variety of
    units ranging from a basic water safety unit
    through to in water rescue and environment
    specific units. "

    it looks pretty definite that one should have a qualification...
    No, it looks pretty definite that one *need not* have a qualification. Otherwise it would say one is required, per the other Classes of water.

    It does recommend that it's best if they do, but that's all it does. If you're going climbing, it's probably really best that it's lead by an MIA/MIC, but in practice you probably only have a Scout Permit holder, as a not all that different example. (OK, a Climbing Permit is a qualification, but a higher qualification is better than a lesser one...)

    I would say I am able to do all of the above things, however I have no bit of paper saying so.

    how else do I, as GSL, know that the cub leaders are doing this properly? I know nothing about swimming safely
    One way would be to discuss the matter with them together with someone with a qualification.

    Another might be that you decide you needn't renew the WSMP every two years for this purpose.

    You might also find that another qualification covers the bulk of the above, e.g. the Bronze Medallion. It's excluded for other Classes of water for various (good) reasons, but might be useful here.

    they also want to use some kayaks and similar... i set this as the absolute minimum before i would allow it - even in class C water.
    While a Permit is not required for kayaking in Class C waters, I won't run it myself because I don't think I'm good enough. However I do run traditional rafting in Class C waters. (I could probably get a Permit for a higher class of waters for this if I could be bothered, but I can't see that I'd want to run it anywhere else as it's more about pioneering than water skills and so things like small Scout camp site boating lakes are the best place for it anyway, IMO).

    I think kayaking is higher risk than swimming for a number of reasons, which was what I said to TSA in the consultation which resulted in the above relaxation of the rules. And while I can handle a kayak, I am much more confident that I could rescue someone when swimming than I could get them out of being stuck in an upside down kayak (a nasty experience I've had myself) without first having to jump in myself.

    "It is
    required that those in charge of the activity have
    the appropriate skills and knowledge of the activity
    taking place and a knowledge of and ability to
    conduct appropraite risk assessments. " (check that spelling! makes mine look good)
    That's the standard for any activity, no?

    Neil

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    No mountain too high PeterSheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    If the lake is Class C, WSMP is not required, so even less of a need. (This was an amendment to the initial rules which would have banned swimming in Class C waters without a qualified lifeguard, which would seem silly given that other Class C water activities e.g. rafting tend to result in swimming!)
    Indeed, but those swimming in Class C waters under those rules must wear buoyancy aids. As must anyone swimming in other classes of waters under a permit holder for any water activity in that class.
    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
    Indeed, but those swimming in Class C waters under those rules must wear buoyancy aids. As must anyone swimming in other classes of waters under a permit holder for any water activity in that class.
    Nope. There is also an exemption from the WSMP as quoted by Chris upthread that does not require that but does require a level of skill/knowledge.

    (For all other Classes of water you're correct, however - that that was not originally allowed was the other silliness in the rules that were changed).

    Neil

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    A lot of counties put there courses up for others outside of county to join if they like for instance Hampshire do a reduced rate for leaders within county than those from outside.
    If there was a database or somewhere easy to check other counties training courses then it would be excellent, I would have paid to put myself on the Kent power boat course if I had known about them sooner.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSheppard View Post
    Indeed, but those swimming in Class C waters under those rules must wear buoyancy aids. As must anyone swimming in other classes of waters under a permit holder for any water activity in that class.
    I am slightly bemused/ confused. Please note, I have olny ever taken Scouts swimming once. I have no real plans to do so.

    If I take them to class C waters for a swim, they must wear buoyancy aids. If I take them anywhere else, they must wear buoyancy aids for water activity. So, on a beach, with lifeguards, they should be wearing buoyancy aids?
    Ewan Scott

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    No mountain too high PeterSheppard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I am slightly bemused/ confused. Please note, I have olny ever taken Scouts swimming once. I have no real plans to do so.

    If I take them to class C waters for a swim, they must wear buoyancy aids. If I take them anywhere else, they must wear buoyancy aids for water activity. So, on a beach, with lifeguards, they should be wearing buoyancy aids?
    No, I've been corrected anyway, see above.

    It was my understanding (from somewhere in the consultation process, I expect) that when the exemption from Swimming rules for swimming undertaken in Class C waters or activitites run by a permit holder was proposed, then all of the rules of that permit/Class C for Water Activities must be followed and that included the wearing of BAs.

    Those doing Swimming as distinct from a Water Activity (i.e. one requiring an adventurous activity permit) under the supervision of a lifeguard or leader with WSMP didn't and never would have needed BAs.
    Assistant Area Commissioner (Activities) - Gwent

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    Quote Originally Posted by lwg27 View Post
    A lot of counties put there courses up for others outside of county to join if they like for instance Hampshire do a reduced rate for leaders within county than those from outside.
    If there was a database or somewhere easy to check other counties training courses then it would be excellent, I would have paid to put myself on the Kent power boat course if I had known about them sooner.
    you can still apply, you would be than welcome. if you want more info drop me a private mail.
    Paul Austin
    Kent Scouts SASU Water team
    G0AXQ, intrests in Scouting, Cycling, Hiking, anything on the water. seeing the young people achive.

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