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Thread: Son Recently Joined Beavers - How Involved Should I Be?

  1. #1
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Smile Son Recently Joined Beavers - How Involved Should I Be?

    Firstly, apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere. Please point me in that direction if so.

    My 6 year old son has recently joined our local Beaver colony, and Im pleased to say he is loving it. My question is this - having recently been looking through the requirements for the activity badges online, many of them seem to be things we can do together. The issue is that his leader has not mentioned him working towards any badges as yet (its quite early days). Is this something we can suggest to the leader ourselves, or could we record anything we do in a suitable way for use if he is entered into the appropriate badges in the future?

    He is really keen to work on a variety of practical projects, under my supervision, but the last thing I want to do is step on the leaders toes, or become an annoyance.

    When I was in Cubs, I seem to remember the vast majority of my activities were done within the pack itself, with very little input from my parents. However, my Dad and Akela worked together at the time, so there may have been communication there!

    I dont want to come across as a pushy parent, but we love trying new activities together, and as a former Cub and Scout myself, Im keen to be as involved as my (sadly very limited) time allows.

    Thanks for any advice at all, especially opinions from leaders!

    Stu
    Last edited by lakes_stu; 06-03-2013 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Talk to the Leader - they'll have some badges planned into their programme so try to avoid repeating those but some others can only really be done at home. Check the requirements online, document that your son has done the relevant bits and show it to the Leader and they should be happy to award the badge.
    Group Chairman, Webmaster, SSA
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  3. #3
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Thanks Martin, thats probably the way to go. Certainly cant hurt.

    Its sometimes a bit difficult to get hold of him on a meeting night, as he is obviously quite busy and my Son has the impatience typical of a 6yo afterwards (we tend to stop off on the way home for a Father/Son snack and drink).

    I notice that his mobile number is on the notice board though, so I may give hime a call.

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    If there is an activity badge that is a particular interest of your you could also offer to help run it in the weekly meetings for the rest of the colony as well.

    Our beaver leader has never turned down offers of help
    Spark - AGSL Emlyn Scout Group & soon to be AESL for our new Explorer Unit

  5. #5
    ADC (Support) & DMM mediamanager's Avatar
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    Stu, welcome to the wonderful world of eScouts

    Most active sections will progress the young people through the requirements for badges within the normal meetings and additional activities which they undertake - this is a requirement of the Scout Association.

    It's really good that you are being supportive and wish to encourage your son in getting involved.

    Some badges have requirements which can easily be transferred to the home and I'm sure the Colony Leaders will be looking at this when they plan the programmes which normally are a term at a time.

    It would be worth you arrange to talk to a Leader - maybe agree with them to stay on after a Colony meeting - and see if there is anything specific that they feel may help.

    It's important that new members are encourage to participate and enjoy the meetings - as their motto "Fun and Friends" indicates.

    Never feel like a pushy parent - but whilst you say you have little time available you will be surprised that the movement allows adults to volunteer in smaller "chunks" as a Sectional Assistant or Occasional Helper. Have a look on www.scouts.org.uk for further information if you want to dip your toe back in!
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
    Cub SA - 3rd SV Scholes Scout Group
    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
    8th Keighley Scout Group (ACSL, CSL, GSL, Group Chair)

    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

  6. #6
    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    For Beavers, they should be able to do all the badges whilst there for 2 years.

    Is good you are trying to support could always see if you could help on a badge or badges if you speak to the leader.

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

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    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Mark, thanks for your advice.

    I think the best thing to do would be to have a chat with the leader, find out what is planned for Son and just what can be done and documented at home. Then Im not overstepping any marks, but can hopefully be a useful helper for a wide variety of things.

    I have to admit that I would love to 'dip my toe back in' to Scouting, but feel that it would be more appropriate to volunteer at another part of the section to avoid any perceived conflict of interest and/or problems such as http://www.escouts.org.uk/forum/thre...t-always-comes. Also, the Mrs might not be too supportive (my Father in Law was far too involved with one of the cadet forces when she was a child, so she would be cautious to say the least).

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Here's a fantastic idea. If your are unhappy with the programme your VOLUNTEER Leaders offer, then ask for an AA Form and get involved and show them how it is done.

    Your Leader might well be struggling to cope with the Beavers. I know that we have real behavioural issues with Beavers, and when I spoke to the ADC Beavers he said that all the colonies were the same locally. Maybe the Leader has put a hold on badgework, maybe they are at their wits end. Maybe they are tired and need a break. If you are truly concerned and want to help, then ask for an AA Form, and get helping.

    Sorry, if that is blunt, but you hit a raw nerve. So many parents want Jimmy and Jemmima to get all their badges and do all these wonderful things, but the only person they want to help is their own kid. Leaders may join to help their kids, but they also join to help other peoples' kids too. When I get asked why my Leaders are not doing this or that badge, I point out that they offer full programmes and if the parents think there is a shortfall in service the answer is to join us as a Leader.

    Big Chris recently published a graph of his membership mumbers on Facebook. It was patently evident that numbers in a Group, and therefore the level of activity, is directly related to the level of adult support.

    And before anyone jumps in saying that I'm being a bit harsh, consider this. For the past 17/18 years I have been Mr. Soft when it comes to recruiting adults. I have never really pushed or pressed or told it the way it was. Twice in that time sections came to the brink of closure before people stepped up - ironically those people are still with us today, years down the line. However, after the past year's fiascos, I have got a bit tougher. I have been in their face. I have told them that if we don't get help we cannot guarrantee the future. I have pressed AA Forms into hands. I have chased them, I am putting on Mod 1/2/3 Training in house, I am trying to avoid OH forms like the plague. You want to help? Become a sectional assistant and come down as often as you please. You can kae it every other week? Then we will make you a Leader. I now have about 10 AA forms in the pipeline, I will be saving our second Cub Pack, I may even be able to re-open the second beaver colony.

    If you want to help, then ask for the AA Form, find the GSL at the Group, make sure they know you want to help. If you get no positive response, find somewhere that will take you.
    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



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  9. #9
    ADC (Support) & DMM mediamanager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Here's a fantastic idea. If your are unhappy with the programme your VOLUNTEER Leaders offer, then ask for an AA Form and get involved and show them how it is done.

    Your Leader might well be struggling to cope with the Beavers. I know that we have real behavioural issues with Beavers, and when I spoke to the ADC Beavers he said that all the colonies were the same locally. Maybe the Leader has put a hold on badgework, maybe they are at their wits end. Maybe they are tired and need a break. If you are truly concerned and want to help, then ask for an AA Form, and get helping.

    Sorry, if that is blunt, but you hit a raw nerve. So many parents want Jimmy and Jemmima to get all their badges and do all these wonderful things, but the only person they want to help is their own kid. Leaders may join to help their kids, but they also join to help other peoples' kids too. When I get asked why my Leaders are not doing this or that badge, I point out that they offer full programmes and if the parents think there is a shortfall in service the answer is to join us as a Leader.

    Big Chris recently published a graph of his membership mumbers on Facebook. It was patently evident that numbers in a Group, and therefore the level of activity, is directly related to the level of adult support.

    And before anyone jumps in saying that I'm being a bit harsh, consider this. For the past 17/18 years I have been Mr. Soft when it comes to recruiting adults. I have never really pushed or pressed or told it the way it was. Twice in that time sections came to the brink of closure before people stepped up - ironically those people are still with us today, years down the line. However, after the past year's fiascos, I have got a bit tougher. I have been in their face. I have told them that if we don't get help we cannot guarrantee the future. I have pressed AA Forms into hands. I have chased them, I am putting on Mod 1/2/3 Training in house, I am trying to avoid OH forms like the plague. You want to help? Become a sectional assistant and come down as often as you please. You can kae it every other week? Then we will make you a Leader. I now have about 10 AA forms in the pipeline, I will be saving our second Cub Pack, I may even be able to re-open the second beaver colony.

    If you want to help, then ask for the AA Form, find the GSL at the Group, make sure they know you want to help. If you get no positive response, find somewhere that will take you.
    Ewan, IMHO you are being way too harsh on Stu as his OP wasn't criticising the leaders in the sense of they are failing...purely that he'd like to help his son progress. I know some leaders have not had much, if any, productive support over the years/decades but potential new recruits should be welcomed rather than frightened off.

    We should encourage parents to consider volunteering - I agree - but shouting at them won't endear them to us
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
    Cub SA - 3rd SV Scholes Scout Group
    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
    8th Keighley Scout Group (ACSL, CSL, GSL, Group Chair)

    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

  10. #10
    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    Ewan, I think you're being unnecessarily and unfairly blunt in this case. Stu is not saying that he is in any way unhappy with the programme at Beavers - as his post says, his son is loving it. What he is asking is how can he he get more involved in his son's Scouting and potentially help him complete badges outside of the meeting nights - and specifically without preventing the Leaders from doing their Scouting.

    The best thing would be for Stu to get involved in meeting nights where he can to help the existing leaders, as then his son AND the rest of the Colony would benefit. But there are also plenty of ways he can get involved and support his son's Scouting outside of those evenings and help develop their bond by doing the practical projects with him (after speaking to the BL to prevent duplication).

    Scouting is something that happens outside of our meeting nights, and it's good to see a parent who recognises this.

    Stu - The best action would be to speak to the Beaver Leader and ask whether there is a way you can help with your skills and time commitments. They may be very pleased to have you run a meeting, part of a meeting (or a series thereof) to cover a particular badge, or they might be grateful for your general support on occasions when time allows you to commit.

    Say that you would like to be involved where and how you can in your son's and his Group's Scouting; be willing to commit some time that you can to the Colony as well as your son; offer your support and ask how you can help. If you then get turned down, the Leader is a fool.
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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  11. #11
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    if i was the BSL i would recognise you as one of these!



    and i agree with CH's advice above.

    cordially yours, TM

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    I started as a one off occassional helper and i very quickly realised that occassional meant i occassionaly couldnt make it. Only because i enjoy it.

    I am sure your beaver colony would appreciate any help they can get. Even if it is just once a month or every other month and i am sure that if you told them exactly what you are thinking then they would be glad of any assistance.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Didn't shout, I just emphasised the VOLUNTEER.

    Sorry, but we get people coming along all the time. Jimmy really enjoys Beavers/ Cubs/ Scouts but ... can you do more badges, more camps, more this, more that? Well, yes, when you volunteer, here's the form. We are running at full tilt, half my Leaders currently are operating in two sections. I have parents laughing at their child's abysmal behaviour in Beavers. Months, of being "nice" has had little impact. My BSL has now asked me to step in when I can to help bring both kids and parents under control so that we can get badgework done. If a parent wants to help, then here's the AA Form, we will go out of our way to bring them into the team. (Rotas don't work - 50% of the time parents don't turn up.)

    Oh, er, no, I've got work, don't have the time, or they just vanish in a puff of dust.

    The real change came for me last year. Parents of an Explorer, whom I recalled talking to on a regular basis from when he was in Beavers, and who always said that they were willing to help, but in 9 years never lifted a finger, never helped so much as make a cup of tea, kicked off when their darling son was party to a row for going AWOL. The subsequent shitstorm just about closed the Group. So, parents, if you want to help, ask for an AA Form, if you don't then be very careful about telling the volunteers what they should or shouldn't be doing.

    A pushy parent who signs on the dotted line is absolutely fine by me.

    I knew I'd be accused of being too harsh. The best way of Stu helping would be to get involved (AA Form) and help everyone in the Colony. My recent experience is that when a parent asks about badgework, it is focused on one individual only. If Stu wants to help everyone, brilliant, here's the AA Form.
    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

  14. #14
    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    caps is shouting Ewan, if you want to emphasise use bold or different colour

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

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    Senior Member Walsallwizard's Avatar
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    Stu,
    Hopefully you are still reading it’s the place to be... welcome

    During your son’s time in Beavers he should be easily able to achieve all badges within the section, if you do any with him please chat to the Leaders before so that they can let you know what he will be doing “in house”.

    Now unlike the others I am not going to criticise Ewan because he explained that this question hit a raw nerve, also he is a Scot living in Yorkshire so life is hard on him!! rofl... Locally we have had 2 Groups close because of lack of adult help. I took on 6 Cubs from one of them and the first thing one of the parents asked was about gaining badges away from the “club”, then camps and activities. When I asked them what they could do to help I was told they were too busy, when I asked what they did for a living I was told they work part time, I still don’t know exactly what they do. However, their son has never done a badge away from Scouting so they must be too busy to do that as well.
    Richard Fenton
    CSL 1st Hartburn Sea Scouts (Graham Mellanby's Own)
    www.hartburnseascouts.org


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