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Thread: How to make Jamboree Selection fair

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    How to make Jamboree Selection fair

    1. Take the contact email of every scout/explorer with an eligible date of birth.
    2. Send them a realistic presentation of what to expect at a Jamboree and what will be required of them.
    3. Invite them to apply with a decent deadline
    4. Repeat 1-3 about two weeks before the deadline
    5. Wait until the deadline passes.
    6. Pull the names out of a virtual hat.
    7. Ask them if they'd like to accept their place.
    8. Repeat 6-7 until full.

    I mean, apart from HQ falling down on point one with a debacle, what's the problem? I mean, of course, it would mean dismantling the whole county bidding unit structure thing, the whole county/district subsidy thing is out the window too.

    I contend the above is the only logically "fair" way of distributing places. Everything else brings human emotion into it.

    And actually, if you ask the kids, mostly they'd be horrified at the thought that any randomer that applied might get a place.

    I suspect the unit leaders might not be too chuffed as they'll get all the same troubles we have on summer camps when Smiffy comes along, but for 3 weeks, and abroad.

    Idle thoughts.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - World Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    I'd welcome a study of retention post-jamboree to see if it's worth it overall.

    We don't offer d of e in our district (a couple of leaders will support a unit that wants to do it but that's about it) but we can send 40 kids to the USA and spend a lot of cash on them in the process.

    I don't think we'd be any poorer if we sacked the whole thing off.


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    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I agree with point 1 to 5 but after that I would still want selections, The WSJ experience is not for everyone, it involves teamwork before the event in fundraising etc and during the event you have to be able to live with the same people and work together for 2 or 3 weeks. Put the wrong person into that environment and you could make the exerience miserable for everyone else involved including the Unit Leaders.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Assistant Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    I'd welcome a study of retention post-jamboree to see if it's worth it overall.
    Define "worth it"? How do we identify kids who might be "lifers" and those that will end up using it as a last hurrah? Are "lifers" necessarily the same ones that want to go to a Jamboree? Is it the fault of the kid that they go off to Uni months later? Or Network doesn't work in their district?

    Hmm, let's see...
    2015 - Japan - Two still active in explorers, one's gone to Uni, no idea if he's scouting locally there, or if we'll see him at Network in the holidays.
    2011 - Sweden - Both at Network having finished Uni and moved back home. One helped on the selection weekend.
    2007 - UK - Only vaguely remember who went, if it's who I think it is, they're both explorer scout leaders now, and both went on IST in 2011
    2002 - Thailand - Now you're asking, I know one lass was very dissatisfied with everything once she got back. Dropped out of scouting. Ended up moving back to Thailand and rumour had it she was a professional kickboxer. No recollection of the other. Mind you, 2002 was interesting times wasn't it? Ventures stopping, Explorers/Network starting. But I remember her at Explorers I'm sure.

    I can't go further back than that. Well, our current DC went to the last USA Jamboree in '67.

    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    We don't offer d of e in our district (a couple of leaders will support a unit that wants to do it but that's about it) but we can send 40 kids to the USA and spend a lot of cash on them in the process.
    Non sequitur? If your district studiously ignored the Jamboree...would your district run D of E?

    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    I don't think we'd be any poorer if we sacked the whole thing off.
    Monetarily richer for sure.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - World Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2017 - May 2018
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    I'd welcome a study of retention post-jamboree to see if it's worth it overall.

    We don't offer d of e in our district (a couple of leaders will support a unit that wants to do it but that's about it) but we can send 40 kids to the USA and spend a lot of cash on them in the process.

    I don't think we'd be any poorer if we sacked the whole thing off.


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    Likelihood of retention is something that should be considered by selectors. It won't be an exact science, but should feature.
    Chris Hawes, CSL (Akela) and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group (on sabbatical); District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District.
    Web designer of free Scouting templates, Scouting Themes 4 WordPress.


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    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Our Explorer that went to Sweden when he was 16 returned to Explorers and stayed for a further 2 years until he went off to Uni. He is not currently involved directly in Scouting, as he is just starting his graduate career in London but he still has occasional contact with our Unit and the Scout Group he joined us from and would have hopes of him rejoining Scouting as a Leader at some point in his adult life.
    Last edited by shiftypete; 24-10-2017 at 12:37 PM.

    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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    Should we be measuring time remaining in Scouts against getting to go to a big jamboree? Should we be not be concentrating on giving young folk great experiences now, and not worrying about how long they'll be staying on for?

    I'm ambivalent about it. I think - unless your super-Scouty (which I'm not) - WSJ's are overrated. With that in mind, really, only the most keen should apply (regardless of whether they'll stay on afterwards or not...)

    What I find a wee bit more concerning is, that poor kids don't go. The way they're funded seems to be an issue. A kid from a poor background (I think anyway) is far less likely to want to go than a floppy-haired kid from a well off background. I think the former will sit down with their family/mum/dad/carer and just think 'no, that's just too much...' Even if its mostly 'fund raised' (term used loosely). Big jamborees tend to be very expensive for what they are...

    I suppose, everyone should be offered the chance to go, but as already said, they details really need to be explained. We sent two of ours to Chile way back when. They both left before VS's, one enjoyed it, the other didn't. The kid who enjoyed it, was a high flier, very keen while he was in, the other lived somewhat in his shadow - but they were very much peers so they both went.

    WSJ's are pure distilled Scouting for the keenest of beans, none of ours qualify due to no being that into it all.
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 24-10-2017 at 11:35 AM.

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    Thank you, Ian for bringing this one up. As someone who went on the selection weekend for unit leaders, I have to say that I came away from the whole experience very frustrated.

    I felt that the whole process was about personality and not about knowledge, and the people who shouted the loudest were the ones that got a better opportunity of being selected. I would say that I have a fairly well proven track record when it comes to organising big events and also international trips however it didn't feel that was taken into concideration (might have done at the application/paper stage) on the actual selection weekend.

    Additionally, if you have had the opportunity to be a unit leader on the last Jamboree, then there should be a break, to allow others the opportunity. The cynical side of me would say that it's some sort of county and role politics, I stop short of favouritism however.

    Maybe a better route to take would be an out-the-hat selection, get the leaders that have been selected for a camp based on experience, run some activities to see how the dynamics work. If a swap is required then have a selection of reserve leaders to drop in.

    I can only presume that it would have been similar for the young people that went on the selection.

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    Senior Member Mallah's Avatar
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    I don't agree with Jamborees full stop, simply because they are selective. I consider scouting activities should be available to all, not to a selected few. From Section up to District, camps are available to all who want to take part. Jamborees are selective and favour the few who impress those making the selection. Ian is right, emotion gets involved and it becomes devisive and those making the selections enevitably have a favoured criteria.
    And then there's the cost I've heard of District subsidising these jollies which is plain wrong to spend so much on individuals rather than the entire district.
    Meh

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

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    D.of e v jamboree was a complete non sequitur.

    It's in my head because 2 explorers want to do it and they can't. It's not offered. The u init could run it. But for only 2?

    I went to the jamboree in 95. It was fun. I'm not sure it was worth all the cost and adult effort. I would still be involved if I hadn't.

    I don't but that the contingent members are ambassadors for the group etc. That they bring back the jamboree spirit to their own groups etc. Certainly not in a meaningful way beyond a PowerPoint.



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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Our district coughed up 20k last year for attendees. They did not means test it. Very rich families got a grand. So did very poor families. I object to that but nobody else at recent GSLs meeting really cared so I'm in a distinct minority. The concensus was that scouting should not give money based on parents income. I found that very weird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    Our district coughed up 20k last year for attendees. They did not means test it. Very rich families got a grand. So did very poor families. I object to that but nobody else at recent GSLs meeting really cared so I'm in a distinct minority. The concensus was that scouting should not give money based on parents income. I found that very weird.
    I don't have a problem with that for a number of reasons. Firstly wherever you draw a line, someone will fall just outside the demarcation and so will end up paying where someone slightly worse off doesn't. Removing the prospect of individuals having to find a substantial sum should remove the deterrent for some to apply. I wouldn't call myself very rich but there are certainly those that would question that if they looked at my salary because of their own circumstances. My eldest's school recently offered a limited places ski trip to the USA along with various other cultural visits whilst there. Son, read it and laughed as he knew there was no way we'd pay that, - slightly academic because it wouldn't be sensible to send a never before skier on such an expensive and distant trip. How many scouts look at the Jamboree information with its rough indications of costs, and laugh the same laugh my son did, before binning the application form?

    Clearly the Jamboree isn't something all Scouts can potentially experience. Its not like say Chief Scouts Gold where if you work hard enough, you can get it - some just outright won't get to go on a Jamboree regardless of how hard they work - maybe in some cases just because of the spacing which leaves them too young for one, and too focussed on exams etc for another. So if the argument for retaining Jamborees is that those going, the interaction across countries, the experiences shared on the return etc, benefit Scouting as a whole, then why not make it something Scouting pays for. Would certainly sharpen minds if the annual membership fee had a "Jamboree Supplement" tacked on and ensure that it justified the extra that everyone was being asked to cough up.

    As for random selections - if I was going I'd want a certain degree of selection but in principle if Scouting is for everyone then surely it would be as much if not more beneficial if some of those going are the difficult characters that make our lives hard but actually we know are the ones getting so much out of it. (I say that as someone who will never be going so I appreciate that is unfair and as such would not formally suggest it in consultation!).
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    I'd like to know what it is about Jamborees that put so many who attend off scouting.
    Last edited by Tony Ransley; 24-10-2017 at 01:52 PM.

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    Senior Member Mallah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post
    I don't have a problem with that for a number of reasons.
    I DO !!!. 20 individuals in that District got 1k each, I don't know how many there are in that District but it's not right that so much is spent on so few. 20k would provide several years worth of District camps in our part of the world - to which EVERY scout in the District could attend for free.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattcollins171 View Post
    As someone who went on the selection weekend for unit leaders, I have to say that I came away from the whole experience very frustrated.

    I felt that the whole process was about personality and not about knowledge, and the people who shouted the loudest were the ones that got a better opportunity of being selected...I can only presume that it would have been similar for the young people that went on the selection.
    Interesting, it's just struck me, the unit leader selection weekends...that they don't actually see them working with the young people do they? I would have said that's a fundamental flaw. Okay, so you have to work with other adults too but...

    Your comment about knowledge, well, for the young people, it's quite the reverse, you're looking at kids of 12 to 16. Some might be from very scouty troops, and some might be from very active groups, and some might not. Our usual broad church rules apply. I'm not going to mark someone down because they don't know a square lashing, but I might if they know they don't know, and just make a splurgh of string when they could have asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mallah View Post
    I don't agree with Jamborees full stop, simply because they are selective. I consider scouting activities should be available to all, not to a selected few. From Section up to District, camps are available to all who want to take part. Jamborees are selective and favour the few who impress those making the selection. Ian is right, emotion gets involved and it becomes devisive and those making the selections enevitably have a favoured criteria.
    Well of course there is criteria, otherwise how would you choose? Selection happens, it happens an awful lot in real life, and being able to cope with disappointment is, well, it's right there in the scout law. If it's divisive then, again, people are forgetting the scout law. And yes, different people have different ideas of what makes a good jamboree participant. The selection committee just have to "do their best".

    I still think they should still have the jamboree, it's a potent symbol of the global reach of scouting, and an amazing opportunity for those that are selected. Just because everyone can't go, doesn't mean no-one should go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mallah View Post
    And then there's the cost I've heard of District subsidising these jollies which is plain wrong to spend so much on individuals rather than the entire district.
    Jollies. Hmmm, well, it's not work. And if you're not jolly for most of it, something's gone very wrong.
    Our district subsidise our young people going, if people sat and worked it out it's probably a 1 of the district portion of annual membership fees, but no one ever points it out or argues against it. I'm on the district exec, and I can't say I have a problem with it, and I believe it has reduced the cost significantly enough for some of those from poorer backgrounds to apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Ransley View Post
    I'd like to know what it is about scouting that put some many who attend off scouting.
    Could you try that again?
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - World Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2017 - May 2018
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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