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Thread: Waiting List Query

  1. #1
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Waiting List Query

    For the first time in many years, our Colony has a waiting list. Not too big, just enough to remind us that we are popular and there is a demand for us. As things stand, we should be able to clear the current list by about Christmas. All good except we are at a point where the next person to join the list wont get a place until late April due to a gap in birthdays.

    My usual method of managing this is to reply to a parent who has asked to be placed on our list giving a warm welcome and a few pertinent points (basically practicalities, but also the things we need to make clear from the off - I have taken a leaf out of your book Dan). I then send and email or text when a space becomes available, and so far we have always seen the YP at the next meeting. So far so good.

    I have a situation where we received a request to go on our waiting list from by email. Actually, they had filled in the contact form on our website. I replied to the address they gave with my usual welcome, but heard nothing back.

    A couple of weeks later, a place opened up for them. I sent another email offering the place but again heard nothing. The YP did not show up at the last meeting.

    I only have an email address for the parent, no phone numbers etc, and the emails have not bounced so I guess they are going somewhere! The dilemma is that although out list is short, we could offer the place to the next YP. I don't want to do this though if the first parent is going to show up in a couple of weeks expecting to still have a place despite having not communicated at all.

    How do you send a gentle reminder (or a not so gentle one) to a parent concerning the offer of a place, and do you send a 'sorry but you missed your chance' message before moving to the next YP on the list? How long do you wait in each case?

    It could be that she gave me the email address wrong (as I say, it was our contact form so I cant just hit reply), but equally she might be no longer wanting the place but does not want to say so and hopes that I will just go away if she ignores me.

    Thoughts please!
    Last edited by lakes_stu; 12-09-2017 at 10:53 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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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Hi Stu

    When we offer a place, we send an initial email offering the space. We only do intakes 4 times a year, and generally know how many spaces we're going to be able to offer in plenty of time, so we send the initial email about 6-8 weeks before joining offering the space and asking them to confirm whether they would like it but also to let us know if they no longer require a space. Its a bit more complex for us as we may, for example, offer them a Monday Beaver space but they want to hold out for a Thursday space.

    If we haven't heard back from them after about a week we send a second email, reminding them of the offer and explaining that unfortunately if we dont hear back within 7 days we will have to offer the space to the next person on the waiting list. After a week or so we then offer to the next person on the list.

    Unfortunately flexibility is a bit of a luxury, and with a constantly full colony and a long waiting list places will unfortunately end up going to those parents who are organised enough to respond!
    Dan Spencer

    Group Scout Leader 66th Bath
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    ASL Kev's Avatar
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    I would just send an email to the only address you have saying you have been trying to get in touch and had no reply and if you do not receive a reply within 24 hours the place offered will be lost.

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    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    I would just send an email to the only address you have saying you have been trying to get in touch and had no reply and if you do not receive a reply within 24 hours the place offered will be lost.
    I would givem them more than 24 hours to reply but other than that yes, so long as you have made clear they will forfeit the space so if you then go and offer the space to someone else they shouldn;t then suddenly turn up expecting a space for their child in your Colony.

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

    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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    Senior Member Airobat's Avatar
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    We're with Dan. We swim up and take from the waiting list at the start of each term. We know what we're sending to Scouts and what is probably coming up from Beavers. Invites are sent to waiting list based on these. Offers are time limited and depends on the size of the list and spaces available (Few spaces + big list = 48 hours, many spaces + short list = week)

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  10. #6
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, I think that is the way we will go. I will give them 7 days to let me know, as that seems fair under our current circumstances.
    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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    We don't operate an absolute size limit on Sections, so if they came back later one extra wouldn't be likely to cause an issue.

  12. #8
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    This is the same way I do it, we don't take phone numbers and request two email addresses if possible in case one changes.

    claire
    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    Hi Stu

    When we offer a place, we send an initial email offering the space. We only do intakes 4 times a year, and generally know how many spaces we're going to be able to offer in plenty of time, so we send the initial email about 6-8 weeks before joining offering the space and asking them to confirm whether they would like it but also to let us know if they no longer require a space. Its a bit more complex for us as we may, for example, offer them a Monday Beaver space but they want to hold out for a Thursday space.

    If we haven't heard back from them after about a week we send a second email, reminding them of the offer and explaining that unfortunately if we dont hear back within 7 days we will have to offer the space to the next person on the waiting list. After a week or so we then offer to the next person on the list.

    Unfortunately flexibility is a bit of a luxury, and with a constantly full colony and a long waiting list places will unfortunately end up going to those parents who are organised enough to respond!
    'Simba'

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    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    Also worth providing them phone number in case their email to you is bouncing

    Rich

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  15. #10
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    We do take phone numbers... but theres no way I haev time to phone around offering spaces.
    Dan Spencer

    Group Scout Leader 66th Bath
    Deputy District Commissioner (Programme) - City of Bath District
    Nights Away Adviser and member of District Executive Committee - City of Bath District
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    Event organiser "Be Prepared" Resilience Events
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    Senior Member Mark's Avatar
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    I take mobile numbers as they join the waiting list and if I don't get a response to the "would you like to take this place" email I send a text asking the parent to check their emails. After 2 emails and a text over the course of a week to 10 days I move on to the next person on the list.

    BTW We've just take on 10 new beavers and have 33 on the waiting list.
    Mark
    You can contact Mark via www.4theastcotescouts.org.uk

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  18. #12
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    We do take phone numbers... but theres no way I haev time to phone around offering spaces.
    I don't generally have time to phone people either, but we tend to communicate by text rather than email where possible as it works better for our parents, and to be honest is probably easier for me too.

    When it comes to welcome messages, offering places, or anything remotely formal, email is the way to go though.
    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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    Senior Member Airobat's Avatar
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    One of our mums manages the waiting list for the group. She's amazing (as was her predecessor).

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    To be honest I manage wait list enquiries and would say I get at least 10 percent which are vague to start with and never respond to queries asking about the date of birth of child, further contact details etc. Sometimes they come back a lot later (ie are just disorganised / missed the email first time) but I'm beginning to think that there may be a mystery shopping programme going on. Most of these vague enquiries seem to be asking for a relative that isn't your own child, and give no details about the name of the child, age of child etc or if they do want a place in beavers for an 11 year old or something... I'm always polite and explain the structure and the wait lists but... I always hold on to the emails just incase but without sufficient details its hard.

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    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    All our joining enquiries are directed to the joining form on our website which requires full details of the child and a name, email address and phone number for the parent. Also means we have an electronic record of the enquiry not some scrap of paper with some details written on it which may get lost.

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

    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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