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

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

    Hello hive mind!

    I have a swimming up problem. Two of our Beavers are due to swim up to Cubs in early November (they turn 8 about halfway through October). Their mother was notified by email about this in the middle of August - both by me, and by my ABSL who handles badges (she contacted the mother about the Personal Challenge badge and mentioned the move up to Cubs in November). We had no reply so assumed all was fine. I then contacted people on the waiting list to say that there were spaces available, and these have now been taken up.

    At our registration evening last night, the mother of the swimmer-uppers told me that they would be too tired to start Cubs and it would be too late a bedtime for them. (Beavers is 5.45-7pm, Cubs is 7.10pm-8.30pm). My ABSL inadvertently let slip that they would have to start Cubs sometime before they were too old to do so at 8 1/2 - and this was then pounced on as "oh, then they could stay until they are 8 1/2?" The Cubs leader is willing to defer their entry.

    I don't want to do this! For one, I have already given their places to others on our (long) waiting list. Second, all new Cubs find it tiring - my son did, I know the ones he swam up with did. If I keep these two on for this reason, I potentially have to do it with others.

    I note that the Scout Association guidance on age flexibility says that young people can join Cubs from age 7 1/2, although it's for YPs between 8 and 10 1/2. And that it also says this: "The opportunity for a young person to progress through the sections within Scouting is fundamental. All young people should be encouraged to move into the next Section at, or near to the core age range of the Section. The Programme and awards for each Section have been designed with these core age ranges in mind, and have been developed primarily for participation and involvement with the required flexibility to allow all young people to enjoy and achieve." To me, the flexibility is supposed to accommodate those with SEN or similar, but I guess it could be read to also cover those who find it hard from a fatigue point of view.

    My options are:

    - say no, they need to move up to Cubs at age 8 - will annoy the mother
    - say no, but they can choose to not attend either Beavers or Cubs between ages 8 and 8 1/2 - will also annoy the mother
    - defer the new joiners and allow them to stay on - will annoy the new joiners
    - as we may have one spare place, allow them to share it and do one week in every two (so child A one week, child B the next week)

    What would you do?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgie View Post
    Hello hive mind!

    I have a swimming up problem. Two of our Beavers are due to swim up to Cubs in early November (they turn 8 about halfway through October). Their mother was notified by email about this in the middle of August - both by me, and by my ABSL who handles badges (she contacted the mother about the Personal Challenge badge and mentioned the move up to Cubs in November). We had no reply so assumed all was fine. I then contacted people on the waiting list to say that there were spaces available, and these have now been taken up.

    At our registration evening last night, the mother of the swimmer-uppers told me that they would be too tired to start Cubs and it would be too late a bedtime for them. (Beavers is 5.45-7pm, Cubs is 7.10pm-8.30pm). My ABSL inadvertently let slip that they would have to start Cubs sometime before they were too old to do so at 8 1/2 - and this was then pounced on as "oh, then they could stay until they are 8 1/2?" The Cubs leader is willing to defer their entry.

    I don't want to do this! For one, I have already given their places to others on our (long) waiting list. Second, all new Cubs find it tiring - my son did, I know the ones he swam up with did. If I keep these two on for this reason, I potentially have to do it with others.

    I note that the Scout Association guidance on age flexibility says that young people can join Cubs from age 7 1/2, although it's for YPs between 8 and 10 1/2. And that it also says this: "The opportunity for a young person to progress through the sections within Scouting is fundamental. All young people should be encouraged to move into the next Section at, or near to the core age range of the Section. The Programme and awards for each Section have been designed with these core age ranges in mind, and have been developed primarily for participation and involvement with the required flexibility to allow all young people to enjoy and achieve." To me, the flexibility is supposed to accommodate those with SEN or similar, but I guess it could be read to also cover those who find it hard from a fatigue point of view.

    My options are:

    - say no, they need to move up to Cubs at age 8 - will annoy the mother
    - say no, but they can choose to not attend either Beavers or Cubs between ages 8 and 8 1/2 - will also annoy the mother
    - defer the new joiners and allow them to stay on - will annoy the new joiners
    - as we may have one spare place, allow them to share it and do one week in every two (so child A one week, child B the next week)

    What would you do?

    Thanks in advance.
    Of the above.

    Annoy the mother...

    Plan B/ Become Navigators and have a more flexible age range
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    That's a toughy.

    But, I think I might ask the mums involved, if that six months is going to make any difference in terms of their kids no longer being tired.

    As you say, the core ages are what they are, and if we start setting precedents, then we end up with all sorts of unwritten rules about the age ranges for sections.

    I always took the leeway to be - so kids weren't moving up individually on their birthdays - I'd probably pass that on to the mums too.

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    Chances are even with two extras (may only be one if you end up with a spare space) you wouldn't have 100% attendance very often so its unlikely you'd breach ratios so having them stay on shouldn't be a big problem from that perspective.

    My view which may well be a minority one is that your timing structure which is no doubt dictated by only having the hall once so having to back the two groups onto each other does lead to a later finish than we have (we run 6:30pm to 8pm). That might suggest that it would be more sensible to expect a transition later in the age spectrum than I might for my group. Doesn't help you now but maybe worth thinking about later. (We've had a few parents of kids going into Scouts balk at a 9pm finish for 10 1/2 year olds so I have some sympathy with a just turned 8 year old having to jump a hour and a half).

    Another thing is that personally we wouldn't do a mid term switch - at the very least I'd be delaying that move until January. We do moves at the start of each term for all those in the right age range so as to avoid repeatedly having to do introductions etc. That might give you a compromise - saying to both sets of parents "We've decided to change our transition policy to termly - that means your Beavers move to Cubs after Christmas and won't have a space after that point, and your potential Beavers have to wait a few extra weeks" is less inflammatory than your current all or nothing options. As an aside as a parent I have always found my kids struggle most with the second half of this term in terms of tiredness - its usually 2 x 7 week half terms, dark evenings, lots of bugs going around etc, and so probably the worst time for me to have to get my kids into a later night routine would be November. Move to the other side of Christmas you've got evenings getting lighter, a short sprint to a break at half term and its much easier.

    I take your point that others have managed to struggle through this - which is a fair one - but we are all about the welfare of the kids in our care. So balancing challenge and looking to see if we can do things better makes sense. So I'd go with the term compromise for now, and maybe look at a later move given your Cubs later finish as a longer term strategy.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    I should say that we have often sent Beavers up when they're older than 8, but that's always been because Cubs didn't have space and we've had to wait.

    I'm relatively new to this (became a BSL in 2017 with no prior experience of Scouting whatsoever!)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Some good points there, thanks!

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    keep it simple... this is the date when they move. they cannot come to beavers after that. if they don't go to cubs, they lose their place.

    I've spent time trying to accommodate in the past and it is never worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgie View Post
    Hello hive mind!

    I have a swimming up problem. Two of our Beavers are due to swim up to Cubs in early November (they turn 8 about halfway through October). Their mother was notified by email about this in the middle of August - both by me, and by my ABSL who handles badges (she contacted the mother about the Personal Challenge badge and mentioned the move up to Cubs in November). We had no reply so assumed all was fine. I then contacted people on the waiting list to say that there were spaces available, and these have now been taken up.

    At our registration evening last night, the mother of the swimmer-uppers told me that they would be too tired to start Cubs and it would be too late a bedtime for them. (Beavers is 5.45-7pm, Cubs is 7.10pm-8.30pm). My ABSL inadvertently let slip that they would have to start Cubs sometime before they were too old to do so at 8 1/2 - and this was then pounced on as "oh, then they could stay until they are 8 1/2?" The Cubs leader is willing to defer their entry.

    I don't want to do this! For one, I have already given their places to others on our (long) waiting list. Second, all new Cubs find it tiring - my son did, I know the ones he swam up with did. If I keep these two on for this reason, I potentially have to do it with others.

    I note that the Scout Association guidance on age flexibility says that young people can join Cubs from age 7 1/2, although it's for YPs between 8 and 10 1/2. And that it also says this: "The opportunity for a young person to progress through the sections within Scouting is fundamental. All young people should be encouraged to move into the next Section at, or near to the core age range of the Section. The Programme and awards for each Section have been designed with these core age ranges in mind, and have been developed primarily for participation and involvement with the required flexibility to allow all young people to enjoy and achieve." To me, the flexibility is supposed to accommodate those with SEN or similar, but I guess it could be read to also cover those who find it hard from a fatigue point of view.

    My options are:

    - say no, they need to move up to Cubs at age 8 - will annoy the mother
    - say no, but they can choose to not attend either Beavers or Cubs between ages 8 and 8 1/2 - will also annoy the mother
    - defer the new joiners and allow them to stay on - will annoy the new joiners
    - as we may have one spare place, allow them to share it and do one week in every two (so child A one week, child B the next week)

    What would you do?

    Thanks in advance.
    You as BSL have decided that they are ready to move on at 8. Therefore the mother has two options: move them on to Cubs at 8 or lose their place in Cubs and reapply at a later date and join the waiting list as a potential new member, at the back of the queue.
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Secretary and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
    Web designer of free Scouting templates, Scouting Themes 4 WordPress.

    Social media
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    Instagram: @wnscouts



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    Looking even further forward...

    If you set a precedent at eight and half for kids moving up - potentially, a kid could be very close to nine before they move on. If I was a Cub Leader, I might have problems with that.

    While it's important to be flexible, the age ranges are there for a reason. Also, Scouts isn't child care provision, parents are not customers or even service users - so they can't really dictate what happens.

    But, there is a balance to be struck.

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    **Thread Hijack Alert**

    I read this this morning... https://themilitarywifeandmom.com/wh...=SocialWarfare

    Our society's incredible risk averseness has created a situation where children are not being allowed to grow and develop.

    No parent wants to see their child hurt in any way, but the fact is that a child needs to develop abilities and skills and learn to take risks and find out what works and what does not work. As people, we need to bang our heads, scratch our arms, maybe even break a bone or two along the way. We need to get tired. We need to get exhausted. We need to know that having fun can be hard work. We need to go and work and play and get tired, and pick ourselves up and do some more, because, that is how life is.

    Parents of a near eight year old who think their child will be too tired for Cubs need to push them a little bit. Or, maybe take their child to a doctor. Or maybe they just want Junior in bed for 8:00 so that they can do whatever it is that they do.

    Maybe I was a bad parent, maybe my kids were special, but I cannot for the life of me remember then being too tired to do something they wanted to do. They would push themselves till they dropped, then get up again and do it all over again. The boys still do. I made it possible for them to climb trees, ride their bikes like mad men, I wanted them to experience being active. Sure, they have the scars to show they have been there, but they would do it all over again if they had the chance.

    I had my boys at A&E on such a regular basis at one time that they were going to refer us to social services... I think between our own kids and Scouts we were there every Friday for about six weeks in a row. One Friday there were three other Scouts from other Troops in with minor injuries...
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    keep it simple... this is the date when they move. they cannot come to beavers after that. if they don't go to cubs, they lose their place.

    I've spent time trying to accommodate in the past and it is never worth it.
    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.

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    To be fair parents often take risks in different ways - I'm appalled at some of the parents letting their kids (and by extension mine when they visit) play age inappropriate X box games etc. I suspect they'd be equally appalled by the knowledge that at age 9 my eldest was handed an axe and allowed to work his way through splitting down a couple of barrows of logs.

    Mine have tended to have earlier nights because they invariably insist on reading for half an hour before they are ready to fall asleep. So an 8:30 finish probably wouldn't see them in bed much before 9pm by the time we'd got home etc and then not asleep until near 9:30pm. For an 8 year old as a regular thing rather than a one off, I'd be wary especially this term.

    On the other hand my youngest will be spending today learning the hard way that if you start secondary school, and unlike many around the country get a full 5 day week to start with, it might not have been wise to volunteer for a couple of hour long after school rugby training sessions. It was like waking the dead this morning! That's where the lesson can and should be learned - he's made that choice and is living with the consequences of it (as are we as parents but that's a consequence of another choice we made 11 years ago!).

    If you have to push rules then its your gig and you have every right to stand your ground. On the other hand I've not really ever regretted trying to see the other persons view and seeing whether there was a half way step that could benefit both of us - I've had very few complaints and tend to find parents helpful and giving some leeway because they know we've done the same for them. The danger in being too "my way or the highway" is that word gets around at the school gate "That scout lot kicked my Freddie out because I felt moving to a late bedtime was too much at his age" - use it when you have to, and no more in my view.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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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 have never accommodated a request like this and thought it was a good idea in hindsight. I'd bet my house on a parent who makes a request like this becoming a right PITA in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post

    If you have to push rules then its your gig and you have every right to stand your ground. On the other hand I've not really ever regretted trying to see the other persons view and seeing whether there was a half way step that could benefit both of us - I've had very few complaints and tend to find parents helpful and giving some leeway because they know we've done the same for them. The danger in being too "my way or the highway" is that word gets around at the school gate "That scout lot kicked my Freddie out because I felt moving to a late bedtime was too much at his age" - use it when you have to, and no more in my view.
    Try that with the local football club, or the swimming club... it is always the highway if you don't play by their rules. I don't think you ever hear parents complaining that their kid was kicked out of football or swimming club. We are often seen as a soft touch because we are "nice" people.

    It happens that I am pretty flexible on a lot of things, but jeez, I cop it from she who must be obeyed... and rather irritatingly, she is invariably right in the end. Last one was, "I told you not to let that kid back in. But no, you had to give him another chance, and look what happened. You just won't take a telling, will you! " (Okay mum... if I were brave enough!)
    Ewan Scott

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    I've kept Beavers back a couple of times. Once because a lad was in a different school year & his mates wouldn't move up yet and he would leave. The other had issues at home and it was agreed that he was happy with us and going to Cubs would cause a lot of up set - not worth it. For the first lad, it made little difference, he lasted in Cubs for 6 months. the second one got into a right old state when he arrived at Cubs.

    We had to change much of the program for them as they would have been repeating stuff. This was a good while back when we had less badges, so they didn't achieve any new ones in their final term as they already had them all. None of this worked well we felt, but we wanted to do the 'right thing'. If you want them to go & it sounds like you do, you could use that conversation, ie. they will be repeating things they have already done, they will be the oldest in the group of younger children - they are ready to move up and of course they will be missing out on Cub badges. This last bit has worked it's magic in the past. I'm never keen on keeping Beavers back now.

    My eldest found finishing Cubs at 8pm late. He came home, went straight to bed & slept well. It took about a year, but he grew in to it. It was great because the later start meant he could have a friend for tea & we shared lifts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    i have never accommodated a request like this and thought it was a good idea in hindsight. I'd bet my house on a parent who makes a request like this becoming a right PITA in the future.
    I've been flexible with delaying moving up from Cubs about 3 or 4 times in the last 5 years. I wouldn't describe any of the parents as PITAs (at least, no more than any other parent).

    In those cases, it didn't make much odds to me so I was happy to let the parents decide. We've got the flexibility, so why not make use of it? If it was going to inconvenience me or the other sections, I might not have been so accommodating.

    I don't want to tell anyone else what to do, but it works for me.

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