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  1. #46
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    Last week we had some one who practices AIKIDO come in, was much enjoyed by most and I hope they learned something. He's also a local rugby coach so knew how to keep them interested lots to do no activity lasted longer than 5 mins
    'Simba'

  2. #47
    Man in a daft hat Hatman's Avatar
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    meccanoman by Nigel Pope, on Flickr

    It was superhero night. Introducing Meccanoman.

    The Beavers also came dressed up as superheros of their choice. The programme was by the Young Leaders and it was lots of fun.

    The thing on my head was a Meccano bat with electric flapping wings.

    Nigel (Meccanoman)
    Last edited by Hatman; 06-03-2017 at 11:35 PM.
    ABSL 1st Hoveton and Wroxham Sea Scouts
    www.hovetonandwroxhamscouts.org.uk

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  4. #48
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    Got to Beavers to find out we had a bit of a vague plan to do healthy eating and hygiene... 15 minutes later and I found myself making up a song on the spot about the necessary steps to wash your hands, complete with exaggerated actions!

    ... I've got a feeling I'm going to end up on YouTube.
    Assistant Cub Scout Leader (1st South Leeds & Morley) | Training Adviser (Central Yorkshire)


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  6. #49
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    We did some teamwork skills.

    Stepping stone relay across the hall;

    Putting playing cards into a given order, with one Beaver checking a number at one end of the hall and conferring with their team at the other end. Took turns to be this 'leader'. Emphasis on listening;

    Working in teams to solve a jigsaw puzzle of a famous local landmark. Again an emphasis on listening, thinking and speaking in turn;

    Snowballs with scrunched up paper. The team that had the least amount of snowballs on their side when a whistle blew every minute scored a point.

    Behaviour pushed me to the brink of quitting. My BSL and other ABSL were unable to make it, and I had to pull a programme off the shelf at short notice. The parent who stayed to help me was great, but she poached my YL for Cubs (she is an SA there). I could not properly brief this parent or my YL, as I had to worry about collecting subs at the same time.

    I had words with the GSL, as one leader cannot run a good night for 19 Beavers who are in full on riot mode. I can't anyway. We agreed to ask 'nicely' for parent volunteers. If this does not work we will be putting a compulsory parent rota in place. Sorry, but that's how it is.

    The weekly subs needs to go too, regardless of what the other sections do. My GSL suggested switching to half termly cash. Half termly sounds good, but I think we should aim for standing order. That way we can focus on the Beavers and briefing adults.

    Not my finest Scouting hour.
    Last edited by lakes_stu; 17-03-2017 at 08:47 PM.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

  7. #50
    Senior Member roger-uk's Avatar
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    Just set up a standing order / Electronic payment system for Our Cubs and beaver sections. If you need advice holler - It's still in its infancy so time will tell
    Roger Woods
    Cub Scout Leader, Pegasus Pack,
    1st Sawley (All Saints) , Long Eaton
    www.sawley-scouts.org.uk

    NSRA Air Rifle instructor
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  8. #51
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    I have permission to chop wood and light fires down at my local woods so I've taken to taking my Beavers down there on a fairly regular bases.

    Last Thursday we did our most involved campfire yet. We roasted giant marshmallows, toasted toast and drank hot chocolate using hot water from a kettle hung from a home-made bushcraft tripod.

    The Beavers absolutely loved it despite the rain, but we were well prepared with our waterproof suits.

    Last edited by Jamieson90; 18-03-2017 at 06:17 PM.
    Proud Beaver Scout Leader of a bunch of ankle biters.

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  10. #52
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamieson90 View Post
    I have permission to chop wood and light fires down at my local woods so I've taken to taking my Beavers down there on a fairly regular bases.

    Last Thursday we did our most involved campfire yet. We roasted giant marshmallows, toasted toast and drank hot chocolate using hot water from a kettle hung from a home-made bushcraft tripod.

    The Beavers absolutely loved it despite the rain, but we were well prepared with our waterproof suits.

    Envious. Big time. This looks amazing.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

  11. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakes_stu View Post
    Envious. Big time. This looks amazing.
    A lot of effort, paperwork and planning goes into these sort of nights, and they're very stressful for me on the night (leader in charge) as there is a lot of safety aspects to consider - once the fire is lit I don't leave it till it's out - but all of it is totally worth it when you see how happy the kids are and how impressed their parents are.

    In fact, I'm already planning our next fire and how we can make it better.

    Lastly, if there are any other BSLs out there looking to organise a camp fire for their own colony, then please feel free to ask. I have quite a bit of experience at running them now and have some good advice to offer.
    Last edited by Jamieson90; 19-03-2017 at 12:55 AM.
    Proud Beaver Scout Leader of a bunch of ankle biters.

  12. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakes_stu View Post
    Behaviour pushed me to the brink of quitting. My BSL and other ABSL were unable to make it, and I had to pull a programme off the shelf at short notice. The parent who stayed to help me was great, but she poached my YL for Cubs (she is an SA there). I could not properly brief this parent or my YL, as I had to worry about collecting subs at the same time.

    I had words with the GSL, as one leader cannot run a good night for 19 Beavers who are in full on riot mode. I can't anyway. We agreed to ask 'nicely' for parent volunteers. If this does not work we will be putting a compulsory parent rota in place. Sorry, but that's how it is.

    The weekly subs needs to go too, regardless of what the other sections do. My GSL suggested switching to half termly cash. Half termly sounds good, but I think we should aim for standing order. That way we can focus on the Beavers and briefing adults.

    Not my finest Scouting hour.
    As an Ex-Teacher and current Teaching Assistant (decided to take a step back), I wouldn't like to run a meeting containing 19 Beavers with only 1 parent helper and my Beavers are already very well behaved. I could do it, but I also have a lot more experience than your typical leader.

    In my experience, the level of behaviour being exhibited is made worse when children are bored and there is not enough adult supervision. So the circumstances you were placed in were only compounded by this.

    I also think that working on weekly subs is mental. I remember a couple of years ago when I forced through a change to half termly subs (15 per half term), and it's been one of the best decisions we ever made.Yes, some parents didn't like it and left but that was mostly the scrotes who didn't pay on time, didn't regularly attend, who saw use as effectively free child care and whose children I doubted had recieved any form of 'parenting', so it wasn't a big loss anyway. Attendance improved drastically as we operate under a no refund policy. You pay your 15 per half term, if you don't attend that's your fault, we still have to pay insurance fees and bills etc.

    The fact that parents have to pay 15 at time has meant that the demograph of parents and their children has shifted for the better, and behaviour is much better for it too. The fact that the problem children left has resulted in better recruitment and retention too as the Beavers who join aren't put off by their behaviour anymore.

    Of course, some would argue that Scouting is about helping the most disadvantaged, and I agree with that to an extent and we do have a hardship fund, but parental cooperation and backing costs nothing as does good manners and behaviour; I was effectively brought up in poverty by a single mother who worked two jobs and it wasn't an excuse, she still made sure we behaved and that we respected people. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, if you're an arshehole you're an arshhole and if you raise your kids to be arsheholes they'll be arsholes. We don't have to deal with them, so we don't.

    Now as an Ex-Teacher I have a wide range of tools and techniques at my disposal for dealing with troublesome kids, and for the most part I can get pretty much any kid bar the very extreme ones to behave. Thankfully this isn't a problem though as I eradicated the culture of misbehaviour from the colony when I became the BSL a few years back. It took a lot of time and effort but we eventually got there. Nowadays, Beavers join and see how well behaved the other Beavers are behaved and if there is any misbehavior it's self policed by the other Beavers and the Lodge Leaders. They quickly learn that behaving is more fun and rewarding because we go out of our way to praise good behaviour.

    So if you need any advice on behaviour management then please do not hesitate to get in touch. I have a lot of handy tips that are very easily to learn and implement.
    Last edited by Jamieson90; 20-03-2017 at 07:52 PM.
    Proud Beaver Scout Leader of a bunch of ankle biters.

  13. #55
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamieson90 View Post
    As an Ex-Teacher and current Teaching Assistant (decided to take a step back), I wouldn't like to run a meeting containing 19 Beavers with only 1 parent helper and my Beavers are already very well behaved. I could do it, but I also have a lot more experience than your typical leader.

    In my experience, the level of behaviour being exhibited is made worse when children are bored and there is not enough adult supervision. So the circumstances you were placed in were only compounded by this.

    I also think that working on weekly subs is mental. I remember a couple of years ago when I forced through a change to half termly subs (15 per half term), and it's been one of the best decisions we ever made.Yes, some parents didn't like it and left but that was mostly the scrotes who didn't pay on time, didn't regularly attend, who saw use as effectively free child care and whose children I doubted had recieved any form of 'parenting', so it wasn't a big loss anyway. Attendance improved drastically as we operate under a no refund policy. You pay your 15 per half term, if you don't attend that's your fault, we still have to pay insurance fees and bills etc.

    The fact that parents have to pay 15 at time has meant that the demograph of parents and their children has shifted for the better, and behaviour is much better for it too. The fact that the problem children left has resulted in better recruitment and retention too as the Beavers who join aren't put off by their behaviour anymore.

    Of course, some would argue that Scouting is about helping the most disadvantaged, and I agree with that to an extent and we do have a hardship fund, but parental cooperation and backing costs nothing as does good manners and behaviour; I was effectively brought up in poverty by a single mother who worked two jobs and it wasn't an excuse, she still made sure we behaved and that we respected people. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, if you're an arshehole you're an arshhole and if you raise your kids to be arsheholes they'll be arsholes. We don't have to deal with them, so we don't.

    Now as an Ex-Teacher I have a wide range of tools and techniques at my disposal for dealing with troublesome kids, and for the most part I can get pretty much any kid bar the very extreme ones to behave. Thankfully this isn't a problem though as I eradicated the culture of misbehaviour from the colony when I became the BSL a few years back. It took a lot of time and effort but we eventually got there. Nowadays, Beavers join and see how well behaved the other Beavers are behaved and if there is any misbehavior it's self policed by the other Beavers and the Lodge Leaders. They quickly learn that behaving is more fun and rewarding because we go out of our way to praise good behaviour.

    So if you need any advice on behaviour management then please do not hesitate to get in touch. I have a lot of handy tips that are very easily to learn and implement.
    +1 to every word Jamieson. I fully agree.

    I have more or less got my mojo back now. I would be very interested in any tips you (or anyone else for that matter) have to share. Either in a PM, or publicly (could be good for a new thread).

    Personally, I have always believed in celebrating good behaviour and making a big deal of the rewards. However, not everyone agrees with me, and there are some that I work with that prefer to focus on bad behaviour and sanctions. I guess there isn't much I can do about that, but can still go my own way with whatever I am leading.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

  14. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakes_stu View Post
    +1 to every word Jamieson. I fully agree.

    I have more or less got my mojo back now. I would be very interested in any tips you (or anyone else for that matter) have to share. Either in a PM, or publicly (could be good for a new thread).

    Personally, I have always believed in celebrating good behaviour and making a big deal of the rewards. However, not everyone agrees with me, and there are some that I work with that prefer to focus on bad behaviour and sanctions. I guess there isn't much I can do about that, but can still go my own way with whatever I am leading.
    To begin with:

    1) To get their attention, raise your hand and have the Beavers do the same. Don't start talking until every single one of them stops what they're doing and raises their hand. You must have an absolutely iron resolve to refuse to give in no matter how long it takes. After a while, the Beavers will begin to learn that everything stops when you raise your hand and it doesn't continue until you're ready for it to. It saves your voice and the children will appreciate not being shouted at - also whistles are for emergencies.

    2) Word instructions as commands and follow them with thank you rather than please as please is weak and sounds like pleading. Also, use positive language too.

    For example "Please can you sit down?" vs "Show me good sitting, thank you."

    Which is likely to be more effective?

    The thank you makes it more authoritative - basically what you're communicating is that you're so confident they're going to sit down properly and do as you've asked that you're already going to thank them for doing it; it's hard to argue with someone who's just thanked you too.

    Follow up the command by averting your gaze (you want to give them as minimal attention as possible and the chance to save face), it also reinforces how confident you are - I'm so confident you're going to do what I want that I don't even need to look at you to make sure you've done it. Once they comply give them a small reprieve in the form of a small smile or a good boy/girl, but don't lay it on too thick.

    3. Ignore the behaviour you don't want to see (within reason) and praise the behaviour you do. Children, primarily misbehave for attention, so give them positive attention and they will have no need to misbehave. You also want to thank the ones who are doing what you want to encourage them to continue doing so, while you want those who are misbehaving to be thinking "I want some of that attention too."

    4. Use the language of choice and put the onus on the children. Reinforce that is is their choices that effect whether they are rewarded or punished. "Choose to do the right thing."

    5. Deal with outright defiance with immediate ruthlessness and don't be afraid to put your foot down. To give you an example, we have one boy who is a foster child and who has a lot of behavioural needs. His behaviour is usually great but one night when he was asked to sit in the circle like everyone else, he outright refused "No." There was an almost collective breath from the Beavers and other leaders. I responded in a calm calculated tone.

    "You have 2 choices Smithy, one, you join the circle like everyone else and join in and have fun for the rest of the night, or two, I phone your mother and she takes you home. Now I'm going to look away and in a minute I will look back and you will have made your choice," I replied before looking away. About 15 seconds later he joined in and was as good as gold for the rest of the night. I then told him. "Thank you for making the right choice, good boy."
    Proud Beaver Scout Leader of a bunch of ankle biters.

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  16. #57
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Awesome stuff, thank you!

    We actually use 1, 2 and 3 already. They just need a bit of tweaking. 4 is really interesting to think about. 5, well, I have been a bit soft in the past. Mostly through not being 100% sure how to deal with it confidently.

    I will certainly take all this on board.

    I also agree that whistles are for emergencies. Sadly, the BSL and other ABSL have taken to using them. No way I'm going to, but as I say, not much I can do about it apart from demonstrate that the techniques you described work better. That's what I'm going to do, and I'm confident of succeeding.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

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    Last night we did crazy golf. They paired up and made a "hole" each in a sectioned off(with masking tape) piece of the room. Each hole had a piece of masking tape with instructions written on to show the start and numbers for the route around the course. We had cones, some guttering, cardboard, various boxes and containers and masking tape. The end of the course was a large plastic drinking cup. Once all built we used plastic unihoc sticks and plastic balls to play the course and rotated round to the next hole every so often. They loved showing their creativity and trying the different challenges, we had tunnels, ramps, slaloms, bridges and even an Eiffel tower!

  18. #59
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    This one time, at band camp...

    Sorry, last night, at Beavers...

    We met at a local wooded lake for a nature ramble. For starters, the Beavers were encouraged to find different types of tree and take bark rubbings.

    20170331_184247-288x512.jpg

    Next, we split into groups for a scavenger hunt. Thanks to the Woodland Trust for good ideas.
    20170331_190535-288x512.jpg

    20170331_191312-288x512.jpg

    Finally, we had a swimming up ceremony for three of our Beavers who are now Cubs. A farewell on the lake bank before they made their way across the boardwalk to some Cub Leaders. Accompanied with shouts of "you're a Cub, get yourself out of here".

    20170331_194027(0)-288x512.jpg

    We had planned to hold a bit of a log chew to help finalise some planning, but in the end there just was no time.

    All in all a really great night, helped by a good adult:Beaver ratio and a good YL. I want to do more of this sort of thing. What feedback we got was very positive too. I do feel that it is a good example of grassroots Scouting.

    Next time I will advise parents to ensure Beavers have been to the toilet BEFORE they drop them off though!!!
    Last edited by lakes_stu; 01-04-2017 at 08:33 AM.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

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    Tonight's session began with empergancy arrived as the YL arrived with blood pouring down his arm and a scrape on his face having fallen off his bike when doing a jump en route!
    Anyhow continued with an obstacle course/relay race, a scavenger hunt and then a log chew. Beavers were full of beans tonight and yet again I ended up shouting more than I would like.
    'Simba'

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