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Thread: Retention

  1. #1
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    Retention

    When a YP leaves the group in my case scouts do you contact them and see why they left and if there is anything we can do to encourage them back?
    We were a small troop but have since grown to a decent size and we haven't had a retention issue in the past infact most people go right through the sections.
    But this summer we have had three possibly four scouts leave out of a group of 25, and it niggles me, I can semi understand one of the leaving as he has had big family issues and is now trying to find himself, I think in time he will return but in his own time.
    Two of the others we had earmarked as new APL's one of which had real potential to succeed, in the three years I've been with the group we have only had three scouts drop out before now, and all three were not a surprise, only girl in troop, cadets, and a parent who was asked to stop being an occasional helper so removed there child.

    My gut feeling is to contact them and see why they have left, my old scout leader when I was a lad used to do that and so I have been wondering if it is something others do.
    To be honest 3 of the 4 can be a real pain most of the time, but underneath the surface there all good kids.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I don't ask why they left, because I invariably know why they have left.

    Unless you have them leaving in droves, just look after the ones who stay with you. That's all that you can do. Knowing that Smithy left because he wanted to play football doesn't help you. Knowing that Smithy left because you gave him a row doesn't help either, you gave him a row for a reason, right?

    I spent some time trying to hold onto kids who didn't want to be there. I lost others who turned round and told me that they were fed up with me focussing on people who didn't want to be in Scouts. I listen. I acted.
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member roger-uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I don't ask why they left, because I invariably know why they have left.

    Unless you have them leaving in droves, just look after the ones who stay with you. That's all that you can do. Knowing that Smithy left because he wanted to play football doesn't help you. Knowing that Smithy left because you gave him a row doesn't help either, you gave him a row for a reason, right?

    I spent some time trying to hold onto kids who didn't want to be there. I lost others who turned round and told me that they were fed up with me focussing on people who didn't want to be in Scouts. I listen. I acted.
    Ditto - I did same tried to change things to keep Cubs and ended up losing those who wanted to stay.

    We went down to 5 before we realised and went back to running pack as we thought it should be within 2 years numbers are back up to 21 and rising.
    Roger Woods
    Assistant Group Scout Leader,
    1st Sawley (All Saints) , Long Eaton

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    Agree with Ewan and Roger - concentrate on those who want to be there.

    Scouting isn't for everyone and, imo, we can't make it be for everyone. However, the majority of the young people who try it enjoy it and stay. i guess much of this comes down to if you have a good and varied programme that the young people enjoy then they will want to join and stay.

    in the pas, though, we've found we lose more young people in the summer. Not really sure why but i guess there are probably more sports clubs on and when the weather is nice they may want to play outside with their friends
    Jamie
    ACSL - 16th Lancaster Scout Group

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimjam View Post
    in the pas, though, we've found we lose more young people in the summer. Not really sure why but i guess there are probably more sports clubs on and when the weather is nice they may want to play outside with their friends
    Why don't they join Scouts then, where they get to play outside with their friends?
    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.

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    nele
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    We have just lost a whole bunch, all but one really keen scouts, but they were all playing sports (2 or 3 each) and also had lots of homework, and parents made them choose. 2 have also transferred to the other troop which meets on a Friday due to clashes with football training.

    I know the local schools do give a load of homework, so it may be at some point we have to consider a meeting time which suits better like Sunday afternoon which is the traditional Belgian time for scouts etc, so no organised sports clash with it. Whetehr we'd find leaders is another question..

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Why don't they join Scouts then, where they get to play outside with their friends?
    Good point. However, we do have a waiting list so it's easier said than done!
    Jamie
    ACSL - 16th Lancaster Scout Group

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    Senior Member johnmcmahon's Avatar
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    We lose a few every year to other activities. I no longer chase as if they don't want to be there they are just disruptive.

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    As has already been said, i don't chase after them, concentrate on the ones that want to be there. Unless it is something as straight forward as a clash with another activity, i don't think you will get a useful answer. I try not to take it personally, but it always makes me a little upset when they stop coming. Still numbers are on the up , must doing something right.

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    Thanks for the replies, I suppose that I take it personally but your right we must be doing something right as were growing.

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    Senior Member Mallah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimjam View Post
    Scouting isn't for everyone
    We, actually it is - I think what you really mean is that Not everyone is for scouting.

    I think I'm about to lose 5 unexpectedly, the oldest as it happens and the ones lined up to take over as PLs? They are the youngest in their year and as their friends have just left they look to be following. Not a problem as the APLs are all capable, but it's a bit annoying having trained them up so to speak - perhaps that idea of annual intake by school year group is a good idea after all.

    He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I have actually lost a whole school year. Yet the year above and the year below have no issues.
    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



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

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    Glad to see its not just our group that has lost a few,there is nothing worse than a scout who if forced by pushy parents to attend,i find the scouts go to so many other activity's Football,rugby etc, that scouting is not a priority 10 kids want to go to camp 5 of them have other commitments, two told me that they cannot miss football practice because they will not get on the team. what can you do?
    http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt102/ste234/necker-1.jpg

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    It can't do any harm to ask people why they leave. It might be because they don't like what you do but it might also be something else which you might be able to do something about. If it's a transport issue you might be able to offer suggestions. If they can't make the night you might be able to suggest alternative groups on a different night.

    Yes, concentrate on those that want to be there but don't assume that people leave just because they don't want to be there.

  15. #15
    Yes, I've got the T-shirt Sparkgap's Avatar
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    Like most of the others, we have some who drop out for various reasons, sports/clubs, family etc. being the main ones. In one case had one lass who always seemed a bit lazy during meetings drop out and promptly join the local army cadets which she enjoyed, much to our great surprise! I'll not go chasing up every kid who drops out, and instead concentrate on those who are interested and hence will benefit from it.
    Andy
    SL 1st Wellington
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