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Thread: Knowing the cub leader

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    Knowing the cub leader

    Had a really strange occurrence at cubs this week. We were doing basic CPR/defibrillator usage and, due to the number of youngsters (21) and the desire for all of them to have a go we overran by 15 minutes - 8:45 rather than 8:30. Overrunning is not the norm and if we know that it is a possibility e.g. if we go on a night "hike"- we tell the parents beforehand. This kicked off a few parents moaning on our facebook page about late finishes, school tomorrow, tired youngsters etc and even a request for confirmation of cub meeting times. This is despite cub meeting times being clearly presented to all new starters both by the Beaver leaders and by the cub leaders. When challenged by one of our leaders to come and talk to them about their issues, a parent said she had no idea who the leaders were!! Our cub leaders are very visible and their names are well known (at least, that's what we thought!) - especially in letters/notes sent to parents regarding activities. What really concerns me was a parent freely admitting that she didn't know who the leaders are!! Is this becoming the norm now? You simply let your 8 yr old enter the scout hq without having the foggiest idea who is there just because the lights are on and the door is open? Lights on, door open is because the beavers are just finishing and the leaders are clearing up prior to handing over to the cub leaders.

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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boballan View Post
    Had a really strange occurrence at cubs this week. We were doing basic CPR/defibrillator usage and, due to the number of youngsters (21) and the desire for all of them to have a go we overran by 15 minutes - 8:45 rather than 8:30. Overrunning is not the norm and if we know that it is a possibility e.g. if we go on a night "hike"- we tell the parents beforehand. This kicked off a few parents moaning on our facebook page about late finishes, school tomorrow, tired youngsters etc and even a request for confirmation of cub meeting times. This is despite cub meeting times being clearly presented to all new starters both by the Beaver leaders and by the cub leaders. When challenged by one of our leaders to come and talk to them about their issues, a parent said she had no idea who the leaders were!! Our cub leaders are very visible and their names are well known (at least, that's what we thought!) - especially in letters/notes sent to parents regarding activities. What really concerns me was a parent freely admitting that she didn't know who the leaders are!! Is this becoming the norm now? You simply let your 8 yr old enter the scout hq without having the foggiest idea who is there just because the lights are on and the door is open? Lights on, door open is because the beavers are just finishing and the leaders are clearing up prior to handing over to the cub leaders.
    When we have parents joining our closed Facebook group we have three set questions they are asked - one of our new parents thought I was the GSL.
    Keith "Hawkeye"
    (Acting) Beaver Scout Section Leader (Woodbadge)
    Group Badge Secretary
    Group Web Manager
    Fundraising Co-ordinator - Group Family Camp 2018
    1st Ingleby Barwick (St Francis) Scout Group



    https://www.inglebybarwickscouts.org.uk


    WE NEED MORE ADULT VOLUNTEERS!
    Volunteer at 1st Ingleby Barwick Scout Group
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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    For Beavers and Cubs we make clear parents have to come in and hand their child over to a leader and ensure the Leader is happy they have enough adults to run the evening before they leave. So the parents really have no excuse for not knowing who the Leaders are especially the Section Leaders who we do make a point of naming and giving contact details for in our joining pack and whom we introduce new parents to in person.

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

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    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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    Parents claiming not to know who leaders are, says more about them than it does about leaders.

    Is what I think...

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    ASL Kev's Avatar
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    As per the facebook thing, I wish more people would work out that you should only post comments about somebody online that you would say to their face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Parents claiming not to know who leaders are, says more about them than it does about leaders.

    Is what I think...
    Totally agree.

    We had the full range. From parents wanting to know the full list of which leaders were going on a camp, and parents wanting to see proof that leaders had DBS checks, to parents who couldnt care less what their kid was doing as long as they were occupied for 90 minutes a week and taken away on camps so mum and dad could enjoy some peace and quiet.

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    It's a bit different with scouts, the older age range means they are quite likely to make their own way there and back so we don't see as much of the parents. I do though make a point of asking at least one parent to come in with them their first night with us so I can meet them and give them the chance to ask questions.

    Back in my cub leader days I also saw the full range of parent attitudes from those who thought my home phone number was their personal hotline to me and Mrs Cambridgeskip was my PA to those who we barely saw. It did include one parent who regularly forgot her son was there!

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    And I thought that perhaps we might be unique - tongue in cheek. We have waited before for parents to collect their youngsters when they have forgotten that their youngsters were at cubs!! With regard to youngsters being dropped off - immediately after I noticed a Beaver scout being dropped off down the road from our hq to attend Beavers I wrote to every Beaver and Cub parent telling that they must not simply drop their child outside the building but must come inside, with their child, and wait until the relevant leaders are there. It worked for a while!!

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Its not upto the parents to know the cub leader, It's the cub leader that needs to know the parents. I always had my sixers run a 5 minute game before start so I could stand outside and greet the parents and cubs as they came in. At the end the sixers ran another game so I could catch up with any parents I needed to. We sent newsletters home as well as emails, facebook and our website. We also involved parents in events and camps and about 50% off them participated in some way. You cant beat face to face contact to engage with parents.

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    Lucky you bernwood. We communicate weekly with all our parents - or at least those who have taken the time to keep us up to date with their email etc. Every week photos, comments etc are posted on each section's facebook page. At the end of a meeting most of the parents are gathered in and around our building kitchen and internal doors connecting to the meeting room. Each month, an article and photos is published in both local magazines telling everyone what we have done and what we will be doing. Leaders enter the building by the evry same doors that the parents and their youngsters do - generally at about the same time. Some parents do take the time to come in and see the leaders. The vast majority don't. Without barring the exit door when everyone is inside we have no chance of the leaders making themselves available for parents. It grieves me to say it as I have always believed the opposite. We are the cheapest, no personal contact babysitting service available. We are also second best to any other activity - school event, party, sports activity etc. How is it that a football coach can threaten a youngster with hellfire and damnation if they don't turn up but if we adopted the same approach we would be on a hiding to nothing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by boballan View Post
    How is it that a football coach can threaten a youngster with hellfire and damnation if they don't turn up but if we adopted the same approach we would be on a hiding to nothing?
    Parents dream of their child making it to club first team, county, etc in sports. There is no such thing in Scouting.

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    Knowing the cub leader

    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    Parents dream of their child making it to club first team, county, etc in sports. There is no such thing in Scouting.
    Yet the Eagle Scout rank does achieve that in the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Yet the Eagle Scout rank does achieve that in the US.
    I guess if you take the long view, the QSA achieves something similar - although less well known. But that's years ahead of them when they're a Cub or Scout.

    A bit closer, of course, is DofE... but that's operated in a dumbed down capacity by schools, so why would anyone want to do it "properly" with their explorer unit. Sadly as these are given out like toffees they're no longer "special".

    The Chief Scout Gold award, sadly, means nowt (again, not least because a lot of scout groups hand them out like toffees, as TSA expects every Scout to get one and considers the troop is failing if only the best Scouts get them)

    Maybe if we operated a harder award scheme, and sought recognition for it within UCAS along the same lines as DofE then Scouting might suddenly see an upturn in prioritisation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    The Chief Scout Gold award, sadly, means nowt (again, not least because a lot of scout groups hand them out like toffees, as TSA expects every Scout to get one and considers the troop is failing if only the best Scouts get them)
    This is quite interesting, as I near enough never gave those out (I think I gave out 2-3 ever) because when actually meeting the requirements of the challenge badges as written they are very difficult to actually achieve without the Scout doing a fair whack of work outside Scouting, and most won't do it.

    When I see Troops with lots of them I really do suspect that some dumbing down is going on on a local level.

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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    This is quite interesting, as I near enough never gave those out (I think I gave out 2-3 ever) because when actually meeting the requirements of the challenge badges as written they are very difficult to actually achieve without the Scout doing a fair whack of work outside Scouting, and most won't do it.

    When I see Troops with lots of them I really do suspect that some dumbing down is going on on a local level.
    I don't think we've given out any gold awards, at least since the challenge badges were changed in 2015. Hopefully this should all change within the next few years - i'm predicting that we'll have one or two gold awards coming.

    We do have a good few bronze and silvers awarded over the years - most we've had was about nine awarded at once.
    Keith "Hawkeye"
    (Acting) Beaver Scout Section Leader (Woodbadge)
    Group Badge Secretary
    Group Web Manager
    Fundraising Co-ordinator - Group Family Camp 2018
    1st Ingleby Barwick (St Francis) Scout Group



    https://www.inglebybarwickscouts.org.uk


    WE NEED MORE ADULT VOLUNTEERS!
    Volunteer at 1st Ingleby Barwick Scout Group
    Section Leaders, Assistant Section Leaders, Sectional Assistants, Occasional Helpers, etc.


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