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Thread: Willesley campsite

  1. #1
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    Willesley campsite

    Anyoen got contacts for willesley scout campsite, been trying to get in touch, and nothing has come back

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    Escouts Team Bloory's Avatar
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    Patience... The [email protected] does get responded to, but sometimes takes a while.
    Jonathan Bloor
    Escouts Team
    Group Scout Leader - 4th Ashby de la Zouch

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    Have had the same issue, Send email - wait a week for a reply: phone up, leave message - wait a week, then email.

    Their communication is poor.

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    This thread supports my theory that we actually have too many Scout campsites, so they don't get run very well. There could be a common booking website for UK scout campsites with a helpline - in practise Gilwell gets on with running their 11 sites, does very littles for the rest. With over 300 campsites in the Uk we should be able to do better; but no-one is interested in trying... (and I have tried to get HQ interested, but they are all too busy)
    A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room. Baden-Powell

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    we stayed there one autumn 15 years ago or so, it was a brilliant site. So much space and the buildings are far more interesting than the normal prefabs that we are used to.

    Worth waiting for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnL View Post
    This thread supports my theory that we actually have too many Scout campsites, so they don't get run very well. There could be a common booking website for UK scout campsites with a helpline - in practise Gilwell gets on with running their 11 sites, does very littles for the rest. With over 300 campsites in the Uk we should be able to do better; but no-one is interested in trying... (and I have tried to get HQ interested, but they are all too busy)
    Hmmm...

    Not sure that there being too many is linked to they're not being ran well. I suspect the ones that do get back sharpish have paid staff on site, and the ones that don't, ummm, don't.

    We sometimes get pelters from parents because we don't get back quickly enough to membership requests. Our answer to them, I imagine, would be similar to the answers you might get from Scouts sites ran by volunteers.

    I know, if they're advertising a site then they should probably be a wee bit more responsive - but - at the end of the day, it's their site and their charity etc. No one has any right to a timeous response - however nice that might be.

    (Saying all that, it's still annoying.)


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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnL View Post
    This thread supports my theory that we actually have too many Scout campsites, so they don't get run very well. There could be a common booking website for UK scout campsites with a helpline - in practise Gilwell gets on with running their 11 sites, does very littles for the rest. With over 300 campsites in the Uk we should be able to do better; but no-one is interested in trying... (and I have tried to get HQ interested, but they are all too busy)
    With HQ's record on IT systems? Brrr. No thanks. Can you imagine?
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    big chris (24-09-2019),johnL (26-09-2019),shiftypete (24-09-2019)

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I am fairly sure we don't have too many Scout Campsites. I have been to a lot of different ones over the years (easily 20+ probably nearer 50) and rarely been to a quiet one (ok a few of our Feb Hostel trip sites have been reasonably quiet because we have booked the only building and no one seems keen on camping in mid Feb lol)

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    A central system might work for campsites that people only ever book for a camp - generally you might need to do that a few times per year, you'd expect some paperwork and a charge so going through ticking the boxes and doing the admin makes sense plus isn't onerous. However certainly our district one gets a lot of use as a week night activity location, which is free for sections within the district (but obviously not allowed if a camping booking is in place - in reality this rarely is an issue as most sections round here don't meet in school holidays or at weekends when camps tend to happen). I'd certainly get pretty hacked off if I had to go through the national standard booking system ticking all the relevant boxes and getting charged for the privilege to then have to claim the cost back from District via some form of expense claim.

    I think sometimes we get a bit too used to instant responses - off topic example but I had a member of staff today raising a potential fault with our holiday booking system because her holiday hadn't been approved, by the main boss, within half a working day of making the request. I doubt very much she'd have been willing to take a paper holiday form, slam it on his desk and say you need to sign this now, but electronically that was what she was expecting. Its not efficient to keep stopping what you are doing to deal with the latest random request!
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Every now and again you have a wee thought to yourself that leaves you groaning about being too old.

    When I was away on holiday in the summer there, every time I needed to book a hotel, it was through one of those god-awful hotel booking websites. It's the torture of choice in a nutshell, option paralysis kicks in - am I getting the best deal? Is there a better hotel on this comparison site? What about hotels that aren't on these comparison websites?

    Sometimes it's nice to just find a place, phone them (or i will allow for emails) and wait. Obviously you can't just turn up with a bunch of Scouts at a campsite, (although we did do that once or twice with Explorers...)

    Like Mang said, we're just too acclimated to instant responses. We bemoan it in the kids, perhaps we're guilty of it too?

    I've never heard of Willesley scout campsite, but it looks lovely. And it's near Ashby De La Zouch which I've seen the sign posts for several times, but never been.

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    It is a great site, I have been there many times. Good camping spaces, nice building and the duty wardens are great.
    But when you are planning an want to set dates etc. a prompt response to an enquiry is looked for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post
    A central system might work for campsites that people only ever book for a camp - generally you might need to do that a few times per year, you'd expect some paperwork and a charge so going through ticking the boxes and doing the admin makes sense plus isn't onerous. However certainly our district one gets a lot of use as a week night activity location, which is free for sections within the district (but obviously not allowed if a camping booking is in place - in reality this rarely is an issue as most sections round here don't meet in school holidays or at weekends when camps tend to happen). I'd certainly get pretty hacked off if I had to go through the national standard booking system ticking all the relevant boxes and getting charged for the privilege to then have to claim the cost back from District via some form of expense claim.

    I think sometimes we get a bit too used to instant responses - off topic example but I had a member of staff today raising a potential fault with our holiday booking system because her holiday hadn't been approved, by the main boss, within half a working day of making the request. I doubt very much she'd have been willing to take a paper holiday form, slam it on his desk and say you need to sign this now, but electronically that was what she was expecting. Its not efficient to keep stopping what you are doing to deal with the latest random request!

    From the other perspective though, is it a question of someone taking bookings that doesn't really want to or isn't good at it but from the District/Group point of view it is better to have the role filled rather than vacant.

    One hopes that if a site is open to bookings that the person who is taking those both wants to and is able to. Unfortunately too many people in Scouting have too many roles and sometimes something has to give.

    Of course it could be that they are on holiday too.

    In an ideal world we would have people in roles that want to be there, can do the job and have time to do it.

    Checking emails is not a difficult task for most people but if they are already busy, answering queries can take quite a bit of time.

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    If the staff are all volunteers then I have every sympathy with them, although if you're a small site that needs as much 'business' as you can get it makes sense to respond quickly because otherwise people will just go elsewhere

    This is nothing to do with the size of the site though, I've always (for 10 years plus) had difficulty communicating with Downe as they randomly dont answer emails, which may be linked to their semi central booking system with Gilwell

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    OSM is developing a campsite booking system

  20. #15
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    managed to get in touch with the campsite, at the moment its just an availability enquiry, and the feedback was its available so were going to push on and all being well make a booking in the early part of next week, the plan is for a small group of Scouts camping under the event passport/nights away passport with minimum to no direct adult supervisoin.

    As for a centralised booking system, due to the way different campsites/groups and people operate this could cause more issues than it solves, however campsites with websites that show availability and even when a warden is on site would be helpful - if your close enough to a campsite, or happen to be passing its easier to be able to pop in and deal with it in person instead of by email .

    As for willesley itself, other than being about 20 minutes or so away, its a fantastic little site, the abseil tower punches above its weight- although it can look a little intimidating for younger members ( ie cubs - send the confident ones down first) there s a small indoor rifle range, archery and so on.
    The campsite has one large field ( on a slight slope) a smaller field ( and a smaller area by the church) and some wooded areas.
    If you find yourself there in the summer, the nearby town of Ashby de-la Zouch has an outdoor public swimming pool - Hood park ( as well as an indoor pool) which is a 3.5 mile walk away take the footpath(s) to Packington, then back to Ashby
    Also within walking distance is Hicks lodge cycle hire centre with cycle tracks/routes
    google maps link:
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/52...1!4d-1.4957629

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