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Thread: Recruitment problem becomes a crisis

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post
    I'm afraid personally I would be dumping the ADC role if nothing else as a point of principle and protest at the failure of the structure to provide you with proper support. Its when we have section leaders trying to function with no active GSL, no proper DC and at best distant management from County/Region that things start to go wrong - at which point the reaction from TSA doesn't necessarily back the person who has been there, doing their best without the support they should have had. So in your shoes the RC would be getting a letter of resignation explaining that in the continued lack of a GSL and DC, your focus has to be on your own section and recruiting more help, not on an ADC role that may or may not continue when they pull their finger out and appoint a DC!
    It does rather sound as if Tomsmum's district is in the same predicament ours is. Speaking to the old SL last night - who is now an ASL, GSL, Nights Away person (not sure which), he was just asked by the (new) local training manager if he'd take on yet another role. He hadn't even had his GSL position agreed (presumably on Compass) because he now needs to re-do his wood badge...

    Too few people sharing too many roles - up and down the line... Its getting to be a bit silly...

    We never really relied on the district far less the region when it came (or indeed comes to) recruitment. We do it pretty much 100% in-house at group level. Its all word of mouth or through Facebook. Some districts just have no effective structure. Sometimes I feel its not a bad thing (from reading some stories here), some districts can be a wee bit too controlling - but on the other hand - if a Scout Group, does't have a proactive and supportive management committee, (and a GSL), then there are going to be problems.

    We've always been quite well supported, but we still mostly live leader-to-leader - if a key person leaves a section, we're left scurrying around looking to fill the gap. (And yes, we're always on the prowl for more key people...)

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneiros View Post
    Yes. I appreciate it may be the only way to keep a Section running, but IMO, 'casual' help should only be considered an interim solution. In most cases, it literally is, as a parent is very likely to move on with their offspring. I find TSA's insistence that we get enthused about 'flexible volunteering' less than helpful.
    I would suggest that a parent rota should be a permanent part of the leader recruitment process...

    You get to meet the parents, see how they get on with the Scouts, chat to them a bit about any past experience or things that they would like to do.
    They get to see the Scouts (etc), get to know them, see what they can cope with.

    It is much easier to suggest to someone who has already been helping and seen what it is like helping to run a meeting to consider becoming a leader, than it is for them to volunteer without having seen what it is like first.

    Similarly the parent rota can help to identify people who might be willing to help at a camp (and be good at it).

    And it just helps to build a relationship with the parents and to improve your ratios...

    The up-thread suggestion that if parents are not prepared to be on a parent rota, then they cannot expect other people to do everything to keep a section running is fair (caveat that there are individuals whose circumstances (shift work, health may prevent them). Younger children in the family should not be a barrier, my wife took over as Beaver leader when our daughter was 3. I was usually not back from work in time to look after her, so she went to Beavers and joined in.

    G

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    I tell all our leaders that their priority is home and family first, work second and scouting at least third on the list. Scouting is not a right that you are committed to provide at all costs. We are but another activity where a parent can enrol their offspring for another evening activity. Not jaundiced - a parent actually said to me that her son had a vacant slot during the week which coincided with Beavers, so she wanted him to join!! If you have not got the time, regardless of how much you want to provide scouting, don't try and do it. It will come back and bite you. I know - I have been bitten and live to regret it daily. NEVER EVER put scouting before your family.

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  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by boballan View Post
    I tell all our leaders that their priority is . . . .
    You don't have the right to tell your leaders what their priority is. They're adults, they can set their own priorities. By all means tell them what you wished your priorities had been but they're entitled to make different choices.
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    You don't have the right to tell your leaders what their priority is.
    Yes he does. In fact, I'd say he has a duty to do it.

    Leaders can still make their own decisions, as you say, they're adults.

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  8. #21
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    Could you decline the district role and just return to running the section?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Having just seen the posting about how leaders get grief from their families about the time they spend in Scouting, its no bad thing for someone to point that out to them.

  9. #22
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    I was in a very similar position. Husband, kids, ect........ I was lucky that a new ABSL joined me, but as brilliant as she is, she basically helps out during the meetings. I still do the back ground stuff - parents, badges, Exec meetings, organising the programme events & stuff. I was also a District Leader - a shared position, organising District events, days out, sleepovers, visiting other colonies & I absolutely loved all of it. Hard work, but incredibly rewarding because we were doing so much good stuff.

    Then I started a new job. I can only echo what others are saying, you need to look after yourself. My work hours increased from 5 to 30. There is only so much anyone person can do. I've seen too many good people crash & burn, too many marriages break up. I started to notice that the things I loved doing, were not getting done. I was supporting too many other people in the District. So, something had to give. I stood down as a District Leader.
    Our ADC was rather upset & announced she wouldn't continue on her own if I left. We currently have no ADC, with no one on the horizon. There is no one supporting the colonies in the District who are struggling, & I feel bad. One that we were propping up has closed, another has merged with it's second colony. There have been no more District sleepovers & fewer Beavers are achieving their Bronze award. Our DC keeps asking me to come back, but I don't want that sort of pressure in my life.

    From this, I started to concentrate on the part of Scouting I love. My colony. I've been able to run more weekend events which I have involved the parents in - without them the event wont happen & they know I will cancel with out them because I have had to. When I started talking, I started getting offers of help. One new BSSA who helps out each meeting, a couple of Dads who have come in to tell me about their jobs, so a policeman & a soldier. A mum came in & did a craft evening. That was three evenings where I did very little! I have some brilliant parents who know to make Scouting work, I need them to help out, but I have had to manipulate this.

    However inefficient the District is, you will never fix it. Just with everything else in life, don't spread yourself too thin, do what makes you happy and gives you joy.

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  11. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Tom_Foley View Post
    Having just seen the posting about how leaders get grief from their families about the time they spend in Scouting, its no bad thing for someone to point that out to them.
    It has made me stop and think. I'm very busy over the next few months so I have been putting off family stuff. However, I have committed to 3 days at weekends for scouts. I think I need a change of priorities!

  12. #24
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    Just back from 1/2 term break.

    TBH I took on the ADC role thinking I would be able to stop being a weekly leader, and in the blink of an eye that has changed. There is possibly one returning leader on the horizon..
    'Simba'

    BSL/ADC Beavers.

    All opinions stated are my own.

  13. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    You don't have the right to tell your leaders what their priority is. They're adults, they can set their own priorities. By all means tell them what you wished your priorities had been but they're entitled to make different choices.
    Yes I do have the "right". The leaders look to me for advice and guidance. It would be remiss of me not to tell/strongly advise, them where they should put their priorities. It is my duty to ensure that the leaders provide a scouting experience which is sustainable and beneficial for all. As I said above, I was bitten and live to regret it. I will not let any of my letters undergo the stress and pain I have had to suffer simply because I believed scouting was not a hobby you could put on a shelf when you felt like it as it involved people. What I neglected was that my family are also people who needed my attention. My priorities were WRONG.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    You don't have the right to tell your leaders what their priority is. They're adults, they can set their own priorities. By all means tell them what you wished your priorities had been but they're entitled to make different choices.
    Yes I do have the "right". The leaders look to me for advice and guidance. It would be remiss of me not to tell/strongly advise, them where they should put their priorities. It is my duty to ensure that the leaders provide a scouting experience which is sustainable and beneficial for all. As I said above, I was bitten and live to regret it. I will not let any of my letters undergo the stress and pain I have had to suffer simply because I believed scouting was not a hobby you could put on a shelf when you felt like it as it involved people. What I neglected was that my family are also people who needed my attention. My priorities were WRONG.

  14. #26
    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Ever thought of running on a Saturday or Sunday. We run a Sunday outdoor session for the whole age run of our group 10am - 4pm and it works really well and is better attended than our mid week session.

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    If you need to change the day or time to suit you then you could always do that, as for the help what about the cub or scout leaders? other scout groups on you area? if you have no GSL then who is the next one up from you? contact them

  16. #28
    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    How about running it on a Saturday morning? We did it with one of our cub packs when we had a similar situation and it worked really well. As other posters have stated drop the ADC role, it's more important at the kids end than at district.

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    Whilst your commitment is commendable - and pretty typical of the level of commitment many Scouters are prepared to give - it is worth remembering that Scouting does NOT pay the rent.

    Your new job must be your sole priority, nothing more, nothing less. That was often an accusation leveled at me. 'Your more interested in running that ruddy Scout Troop than you are this job' was an oft-heard cry from my managers over the years.

    Not any more. I was offered some extra shifts at work the other day that clashed with an important voluntary role where my non-attendance would cause major problems.

    I took the shifts, because having been treated appallingly at times as a volunteer, I will now never turn down paid work in favour of a voluntary commitment, no matter how important that voluntary role is.

    I would simply lay it on the line with the parents that your new job simply means you will not be able to make it to every meeting, end of story.

    If you want to make more time, give up your ADC role, but if that still means you cannot cope with running Beavers, then that is the parent's problem, not yours.

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  19. #30
    GSL/ESL(YL)/TA Mark W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Tom_Foley View Post
    Your new job must be your sole priority, nothing more, nothing less.
    Not convinced. My priority order is family first and foremost, then earning a living, then volunteering. I'll sacrifice things for earning a living to benefit the family.
    Volunteering then follows. Don't forget family, or you risk losing them.
    If it was easy, it wouldn't be so much fun...
    GSL 1st Aylburton & Lydney, TA, ESL(YL), District Campsite Warden & webmanager .....only 1 hour a week, they said (not pointing out that was what was left)

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