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Thread: Beavers "too tired" to move on to Cubs - what to do?

  1. #31
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    The other thing we need to bear in mind before criticising parents is that there are often other factors at play (which may not be relevant in this specific example).

    OK so one eight year old might be able to stay up later once a week and deal with it - so its no problem right?

    What if that eight year old has a five year old sibling that Mum has to drag out with them at collection time because she's parenting alone or because Dad works late? I regularly have Cubs picked up at 8pm by a parent with another younger child in pyjamas and a dressing gown so they can go straight to bed when they get in. Clearly they deal with that but it might just be that the difference between my current 8pm finish and a later 8:30pm finish would go beyond their tolerances. (Substitute younger sibling for partner that has to leave for shift work etc, an earlier than 7am start because parent needs to leave for work early and so disturbs the house etc).

    We absolutely have the right to plan sessions for when they work for us and ask parents to work within that - but equally they have the right to consider what is right for their family and make decisions based on that. Just as we'd bridle at parents assuming that surely we can easily change our session times, I think its a bit presumptuous of us, almost certainly without the full information of what is going on in a family, to assume they can fit round us.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post
    The other thing we need to bear in mind before criticising parents is that there are often other factors at play (which may not be relevant in this specific example).

    OK so one eight year old might be able to stay up later once a week and deal with it - so its no problem right?

    What if that eight year old has a five year old sibling that Mum has to drag out with them at collection time because she's parenting alone or because Dad works late? I regularly have Cubs picked up at 8pm by a parent with another younger child in pyjamas and a dressing gown so they can go straight to bed when they get in. Clearly they deal with that but it might just be that the difference between my current 8pm finish and a later 8:30pm finish would go beyond their tolerances. (Substitute younger sibling for partner that has to leave for shift work etc, an earlier than 7am start because parent needs to leave for work early and so disturbs the house etc).

    We absolutely have the right to plan sessions for when they work for us and ask parents to work within that - but equally they have the right to consider what is right for their family and make decisions based on that. Just as we'd bridle at parents assuming that surely we can easily change our session times, I think its a bit presumptuous of us, almost certainly without the full information of what is going on in a family, to assume they can fit round us.
    I absolutely agree. 8.30 is late - not my opinion just that every single Cub pack in this district finishes at 8pm or earlier. So it doesn't matter what we think as leaders, or as parents, the majority of packs, their leaders and presumable parents think that 8pm is a better time to finish. I don't think the answer is "take it or leave", but certainly to explore ways of making it work to finish earlier.

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    I absolutely agree. 8.30 is late - not my opinion just that every single Cub pack in this district finishes at 8pm or earlier. So it doesn't matter what we think as leaders, or as parents, the majority of packs, their leaders and presumable parents think that 8pm is a better time to finish. I don't think the answer is "take it or leave", but certainly to explore ways of making it work to finish earlier.
    I think it does matter what leaders think. That would be the prevailing situation in your district, we all have to work within the individual constraints we have in place.

    At the end of the day, if 8:30 was an affront to good parenting everywhere, that cub pack wouldn't have any cubs - obviously there are parents who are happy with an 8:30 finish even if they'd prefer an 8pm finish. Our Cubs finish at 8:15, we've had no complaints.

    People know what they know, if cubs have always finished at 8:30, then that's what they'll be used to.

    In terms of the the original post... If they were to allow one kid to stay on till 8.5, then others may want to do the same. Since we don't send kids upon there birthdays - if leaders are moving members on every six months say, the OP could end up with beavers that are closer to age 9 than to age 8.

    So they need to draw the line somewhere. How you present that to parents is the thing though, no point in getting all final about it, some sort of compromise must be possible.

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I think it does matter what leaders think. That would be the prevailing situation in your district, we all have to work within the individual constraints we have in place.

    At the end of the day, if 8:30 was an affront to good parenting everywhere, that cub pack wouldn't have any cubs - obviously there are parents who are happy with an 8:30 finish even if they'd prefer an 8pm finish. Our Cubs finish at 8:15, we've had no complaints.

    People know what they know, if cubs have always finished at 8:30, then that's what they'll be used to.

    In terms of the the original post... If they were to allow one kid to stay on till 8.5, then others may want to do the same. Since we don't send kids upon there birthdays - if leaders are moving members on every six months say, the OP could end up with beavers that are closer to age 9 than to age 8.

    So they need to draw the line somewhere. How you present that to parents is the thing though, no point in getting all final about it, some sort of compromise must be possible.
    I checked our county directory and a few packs (less than 10) in over 150 meet that late. Although a similar number meet on Saturday mornings which was a revelation to me. Anyway, where there's a choice people can go elsewhere, presenting an ultimatum always risks (albeit rarely) a battle which won't be won by the leader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    I checked our county directory and a few packs (less than 10) in over 150 meet that late. Although a similar number meet on Saturday mornings which was a revelation to me. Anyway, where there's a choice people can go elsewhere, presenting an ultimatum always risks (albeit rarely) a battle which won't be won by the leader.
    Mmm...

    Not sure it's about winning a battle, I'm not sure what would constitute a win(or a loss) for the leader anyway. If a parent thinks Cubs finishes to late for their sprog (or for any other reason), they have the right to look elsewhere, I wouldn't say it was an ultimatum, it's just how things work.

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    We run 7pm-8.30pm. Even then it's tight for one of our leaders to get back from work in time. Starting earlier would make recruiting leaders even harder as our Beavers (6pm start) know to their cost.
    Kate, CSL (and GDB(S))
    1st Weald Brook Scout Group
    Brentwood, Essex
    www.1stwealdbrook.org.uk

  8. #37
    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    Our Hall has restricted parking so the parents often liftshare. Although we finish at 8, by the time they have all been dropped off its easily 9 before the driver's kids get to bed. Having been through this as a parent I'd say it was just about do-able. However, if they're out other nights of the week as well it will have a cumulative effect and given the current pressures from the schools any excuse is jumped upon to explain 'poor performance' for want of a better word - its easier to blame the cubs late finish than the X-box or whatever that they spend time on once Mum & dad think they're asleep for the night.

    In the OP situation I'd point out that the Beaver spaces have gone and the cub ones are available until they are 8.5 after which they will be offered out as well. The two beavers then have a choice - although not entirely the one they were after. We've had a couple of cubs take a term off because it clashes with drama rehearsals or in one case because she is doing football training for a local premiership club. They are included in weekend activities and we'll welcome them back when they can attend. I suspect not all leaders would be this flexible but I always believe some scouting is better than none. In the latter case how many Cub packs can say they have one of their cubs on-loan to a premiership football club?

    I always believe flexibility is the best approach but they are your rules and you should apply them as you seem fit to accomodate your particular situation. Alternatively, are there any local packs that do finish at 8 that they could join instead?
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

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  10. #38
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    I like bigchris's approach!!
    Brave Bear BSL
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    http://www.1stwealdbrook.org.uk/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Beaver View Post
    We run 7pm-8.30pm. Even then it's tight for one of our leaders to get back from work in time. Starting earlier would make recruiting leaders even harder as our Beavers (6pm start) know to their cost.
    Obviously depends on individual circumstances. But as I said abovd the big majority of packs finish by 8 or earlier.

    As a matter of interest we have one colony which meet from 4 to 530,and they have no issue with leaders (then beavers rarely do it seems), the feedback from parents has been that this is a much better time to meet than early evening for domestic arrangements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingstonCubber View Post
    I'd say the opposite! Not saying I'm right, but I think it's always been worth it when we've been flexible. There's nothing that implies the flexibility is there for SEN or similar. It's just accepting that children mature at different rates and may be ready for the challenge at different ages. It's the further flexibility beyond the core age range that's probably aimed at SEN.

    I'd echo what some have said above, can you really not increase Colony by 2 for 6 months, particularly since you're unlikely to get full attendance most of the time? If you need more adult help, I know which parents I'd ask first

    Of all the reasons for delaying moving, I am sympathetic to the late bedtime argument, particularly if it's a 1.5 hour shift. Our son was a pain in the backside the mornings after he moved up to Scouts. Since we don't see the effects of the later bedtime, it's hard for us as leaders to decide whether the parent is being reasonable.
    I broadly agree with this view.

    We move Beavers to Cubs on half-term boundaries. By default we move them at the start of half-term in which they turn 8. This means that they usually move somewhere between 7yrs 10mths and 8yrs 2mths. We make a big thing about "Bubbing" - i.e. attending both Beavers and Cubs. We encourage at least 3 weeks but allow up to half a term. This means that Beavers start attending Cubs at the start of a half-term and leave Beavers at the end of the half-term.

    But we are flexible about the ages. Some Beavers are ready to move by the time they 7 1/2 others are clearly not. We use the year of flexibility to try to make the move at the time that it is most likely to be successful.

    Parents often have concerns about the later time of Cubs (our Packs finish at 8:15). We use the Bubbing period to try to allay these concerns. We are flexible about allow Bubbing Beavers to do a couple of trial visits to Cubs - sometimes just for the first hour of the session. What we tend to find is that after a few sessions they do not want to leave and their parents start to see that the hassle of the later finish time is worth the effort.

    With regard to the OPs initial question... I would ask the Cub Leader nicely if they could squeeze in another one on this occasion and I would suggest that the Beavers try out the later time for a couple of weeks to see how it goes, with the option of then waiting until they are nearer to 8 1/2 if it really is too late for them.

    One thing that we did a few years ago was to write down our Moving On procedure and make it available to parents. This helps because when ever we get into one of these debates we can point the parent at the agreed procedure and explain that it has been agreed by the Exec and if they disagree with it they will need to lobby for a change.

  13. #41
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    This was very much the way the we operated when I was a cub leader.

    One interesting part of your post though was this "..it has been agreed by the Exec....". Not wishing to open up this post so that it goes on and on like some of the others (such as 14 yo YLs ), but I would have thought that moving on ages and procedures were an operational matter and fell fully within the remit of the uniformed leadership team to determine and agree (i.e. GSL, BSL, CSL, SL & their ALs).
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    This was very much the way the we operated when I was a cub leader.

    One interesting part of your post though was this "..it has been agreed by the Exec....". Not wishing to open up this post so that it goes on and on like some of the others (such as 14 yo YLs ), but I would have thought that moving on ages and procedures were an operational matter and fell fully within the remit of the uniformed leadership team to determine and agree (i.e. GSL, BSL, CSL, SL & their ALs).
    Yes they do. But ... there is an element of getting buy-in from the whole group and parent representation (at least in our group) tends to come from the Exec. So, as GSL, I like to put things like Moving On procedures, discipline approaches past the Exec at least for their comment. They have no formal power to overrule me but if they fundamentally disagreed with the stance I was taking I would want to know. So "agreed by the Exec" might also read as "the Exec agrees". This can be very useful when dealing with a parent that disagree with something. I can legitimately say that the process is not something that I unilaterally decide (even if I ultimately have the authority to do so if I wished) but is something that the group as a whole has bought into.

    It is a bit like a Head Teacher getting the PTA's buy-in for the uniform design - they don't need it, but it certainly oils the wheels if they do.

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    Fair comments. Parent representation on the exec was a very rare beast in my former group and the exec meetings were long-winded enough that anything that could be viewed as an "operational" matter such as this was kept well away from the exec meetings!
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.¯ Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Fair comments. Parent representation on the exec was a very rare beast in my former group and the exec meetings were long-winded enough that anything that could be viewed as an "operational" matter such as this was kept well away from the exec meetings!
    I know what you mean. We are really lucky that we have an exceptional Chair and we have worked really hard to focus our Exec meetings. We now have a 2hour guillotine. So we finish at 10pm regardless of whether we have completed the agenda or not. This has slowly made a big difference to attendance - we now get more parents (especially Mums) who previously were put off by meetings that went late into the night. We have estimated running times against each item on the agenda so that everyone knows whether we are running behind time. It does mean that the meetings have to be pushed along and we have lost one or two members who found it all a bit too 'business like' but it does mean we get through a lot of stuff and most of the Exec appreciate that their time is being used efficiently.

    To make it work we have moved to 10 meetings a year, once a month, with a break in the Summer and at Xmas.

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