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Thread: 2019 Census

  1. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    As I've already said, in a perfect world...

    I didn't get that email, I assume our GSL did, but he either didn't know he could forward it on or thought/decided it was his responsibility to log in and input the data.

    All that happened was, I got an email from the GSL saying he'd be down at Scouts later that day and could I have the census information ready. I'll admit, it crept up on me, but I knew roughly what was needed, and I know OSM (for Scouts anyway) is bang up to date. What I didn't know anything about was if there was any new info needed (reading stuff on here about postcodes, I think that turned out to be for the hall though, not members) or crucially (because this can be key) what format they wanted it in.

    I maintain, it wasn't clear. Looking at what comes out of Google searches for info on census 2019, it's conflicting, circular and misleading. It tells you to log in, but with what - for example. It's rammed with info for parents (why bother, they already gave all the info way back when). As I've already said, some of the forms have dates from 2017 on them - misleading, introduces doubt...

    Just fed up with people saying, oh it's simple, it should've been easy - as if to say I'm dim for not being able to just skip off and do it... And with respect, people being busy outside of scouts is precisely the point here. TSA should be doing everything they can to make these processes simple and quick. That might have been true about the nitty gritty - the actual recording of the census on the website, but it certainly isn't true about the instructions and guidance.

    They need to wind their necks in and stop being so verbose.
    None of us scout in a perfect world. All I'm saying is the email your GSL would have received but didn't forward on to you had the information you needed. My point was that the busiest person in the world can check their emails once in a 2 week period and press the forward button. If he had time to pop down to scouts, he had time to check his emails and give you the information you needed rather than make it all more complicated than it ought to have been.

    I don't read any of the posts here as being suggestive of your intelligence or otherwise.
    James

  2. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    your issue is with your gsl who made your job needlessly hard. not with TSA who have made it all quite simple.

    I am the first to complain when TSA screw up IT.
    Not really. The census website is still a dog's dinner.

    I've known my GSL for 20 odd years, we led scouts together for most of them. While neither of us are perfect, (he really needs to get a smart phone for example, and I need to be more patient with TSA's corporate machinations - maybe... )

    Our GSL does all the GSL stuff, but he also does district stuff, and family/life stuff. Actually, this does all mostly land at the feet of TSA. They design the structures, all the new jobs and stuff that needs to get done. It's like a house of cards they build but we all have to live in. If you have all the people, and they're doing what they should be doing, then you're scouting experience will be as TSA envisaged in their focus groups or whatever.

    But if you don't... Presumably, you get folk on eScouts telling you it's the fault of local volunteers.

    Which seems a wee bit unfair to me.

  3. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    Exactly, as a GSL I completed our return in under an hour. Quick look at the census aggregator on OSM for the figures and type them straight into the census site. The hardest thing for me to get my head around was the fact the OSM table was laid out as such...

    . M F
    Age 8 . .
    Age 9 . .
    Age 10 . .

    ...and the census table as such...

    . Age 8 Age 9 Age 10
    M . . .
    F . . .

    ...but that probably says more about me!
    This year I have went totally the OSM route, and I agree the table mismatch is confusing, doesnt help when we have 9 sections. That said I still find it quicker when it does all the adding up for you and you dont need to wade through endless spreadsheets working out ages.

    As someone who has done Area/District and Group Census over the years, I dont find it that much of a challenge, but it is a bit geeky. The fact that the in the last few years introduced section returns as well, just makes it a bigger faff, though I understand why they want the data.

  4. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    None of us scout in a perfect world. All I'm saying is the email your GSL would have received but didn't forward on to you had the information you needed. My point was that the busiest person in the world can check their emails once in a 2 week period and press the forward button. If he had time to pop down to scouts, he had time to check his emails and give you the information you needed rather than make it all more complicated than it ought to have been.

    I don't read any of the posts here as being suggestive of your intelligence or otherwise.
    So you say.

    In truth. Neither you nor I can say for sure what he had time to do, or not do. I happen to know a little about what our GSL is dealing with at the moment - so no, I can say he might have had time to go into his emails and forward one on - but other things may have conspired to take his mind of actually doing it.

    Maybe popping down to scouts was all he had time to do? We seem to have moved on from assumptions about the level of organisation present in scout groups to assumptions about a what a person, entirely unknown, has the time (or presence of mind) to do or not do.

    Perhaps we need a eighth scout law? A scout never makes assumptions.



    - - - Updated - - -

    You know what I'm going to say now though...

    There's a census aggregator on OSM?


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  6. #170
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post

    There's a census aggregator on OSM?

    this is your friend!

    when a child joins a group, the census data is filled in. And not asked for again. it moves with them from beavers to cubs to scouts

    You can nag those who have not answered and it takes the parents 20 seconds. (nagging takes 20 seconds... it's all set up to make your life easy "send email to parents who have not done census data")

    You push a button on census day and you get all the census data in a pdf that you, the gsl, the secretary or whoever can fill in.

    census aggregate.png

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  8. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    So you say.

    In truth. Neither you nor I can say for sure what he had time to do, or not do. I happen to know a little about what our GSL is dealing with at the moment - so no, I can say he might have had time to go into his emails and forward one on - but other things may have conspired to take his mind of actually doing it.

    Maybe popping down to scouts was all he had time to do? We seem to have moved on from assumptions about the level of organisation present in scout groups to assumptions about a what a person, entirely unknown, has the time (or presence of mind) to do or not do.

    Perhaps we need a eighth scout law? A scout never makes assumptions.



    - - - Updated - - -

    You know what I'm going to say now though...

    There's a census aggregator on OSM?

    I really don't dispute your GSL being busy at all and of course you're right - I have no idea of his personal circumstances. I'd like to think the vast, vast majority of scouters do the best they can bearing all other things in mind. In hindsight maybe the night he popped down might've been better spent checking and sending you that email. Hindsight's a wonderful thing, especially in less than ideal circumstances.

    The census aggregator is a very useful tool and makes it so much easier. It's how I did our group return so quickly.
    James

  9. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    I really don't dispute your GSL being busy at all and of course you're right - I have no idea of his personal circumstances. I'd like to think the vast, vast majority of scouters do the best they can bearing all other things in mind. In hindsight maybe the night he popped down might've been better spent checking and sending you that email. Hindsight's a wonderful thing, especially in less than ideal circumstances.

    The census aggregator is a very useful tool and makes it so much easier. It's how I did our group return so quickly.
    I think what we'll maybe do for next year, is discuss this at a committee meeting. I have a vague recollection (now that I think about it) of seeing some sort of aggregator on OSM, but it never occurred to me during the week there.

    The GSL is still using an excel spreadsheet, we've discussed that before. Cubs and Scouts are on OSM and Beavers were, well, I'm not sure what they did - I think they had paper records. But I just set up the BSL with access to OSM, so hopefully we'll get them up to speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    The census aggregator is a very useful tool and makes it so much easier. It's how I did our group return so quickly.
    Except the OSM census aggregator doesn't quite match TSA's census requirement so it needs a bit of messing about to get the required result.

    See here for a discusion on this topic: https://www.onlinescoutmanager.co.uk...php?f=2&t=7786

  11. #174
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I think what we'll maybe do for next year, is discuss this at a committee meeting. I have a vague recollection (now that I think about it) of seeing some sort of aggregator on OSM, but it never occurred to me during the week there.

    The GSL is still using an excel spreadsheet, we've discussed that before. Cubs and Scouts are on OSM and Beavers were, well, I'm not sure what they did - I think they had paper records. But I just set up the BSL with access to OSM, so hopefully we'll get them up to speed.
    virtually the only thing i ever 'pulled rank' over when i was GSL was OSM.

    i declared kinda unilaterally that all subs would be run through OSM and at the start of each term, i insisted that the kids' info was up to date so i could do subs easily and painlessly. Missing kids would cost us 66 so this was worth their time.

  12. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    when a child joins a group, the census data is filled in. And not asked for again. it moves with them from beavers to cubs to scouts
    Surely we should ask for new census data every year as some answers may change?

    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    You push a button on census day and you get all the census data in a pdf that you, the gsl, the secretary or whoever can fill in. census aggregate.png
    Except it doesn't quite work like that, see here: https://www.onlinescoutmanager.co.uk...php?f=2&t=7786

  13. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstretch View Post
    Except the OSM census aggregator doesn't quite match TSA's census requirement so it needs a bit of messing about to get the required result.

    See here for a discusion on this topic: https://www.onlinescoutmanager.co.uk...php?f=2&t=7786
    It's not perfect no, but as previously discussed none of us scout in a perfect world in the perfect world there would be a robust membership system that would negate the need for a separate census *cough* https://www.onlineyouthmanager.co.uk/features/ *cough*

    You can't deny it helps hugely with the bulk of the data reporting needed though, which was my main point here.
    James

  14. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    virtually the only thing i ever 'pulled rank' over when i was GSL was OSM.

    i declared kinda unilaterally that all subs would be run through OSM and at the start of each term, i insisted that the kids' info was up to date so i could do subs easily and painlessly. Missing kids would cost us 66 so this was worth their time.
    Yup.

    We've decided to do the same, but we need to change banks to we can get an online account in advance of moving subs payments on to OSM.

    It makes sense to do it, and to have parents update OSM via MyScout. But it's the initial transition which is proving to be challenging. Eventually, it's all parents will know so it'll be fine, but just now, parents get an envelope home with their kid with a letter, and they're expected to write a cheque or send cash back the following week, or when ever they get round to it.

    Record keeping used to be done differently by each section, the current GSL at least got it all (including the waiting list) onto one spreadsheet. We now need to move that on to OSM, which to be fair, he's now doing.

    We just need to standardise the data we're collecting so it passes up through the sections properly. Once done it'll make things a lot easier, but it's just the initial bump of getting it done.

  15. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Yup.

    We've decided to do the same, but we need to change banks to we can get an online account in advance of moving subs payments on to OSM.

    It makes sense to do it, and to have parents update OSM via MyScout. But it's the initial transition which is proving to be challenging. Eventually, it's all parents will know so it'll be fine, but just now, parents get an envelope home with their kid with a letter, and they're expected to write a cheque or send cash back the following week, or when ever they get round to it.

    Record keeping used to be done differently by each section, the current GSL at least got it all (including the waiting list) onto one spreadsheet. We now need to move that on to OSM, which to be fair, he's now doing.

    We just need to standardise the data we're collecting so it passes up through the sections properly. Once done it'll make things a lot easier, but it's just the initial bump of getting it done.
    you won't regret it.

    the uptick in subs payments alone makes it worthwhile. I went from chasing half the group to chasing 2 or 3 kids per term, if that.

    It's amazing. You set up subs in august and it takes a few minutes. then one day in september, january and april, you wake up and a huge wedge of cash has landed in the bank. all it needs is updating for new kids each tern and that takes pretty much no time.

    i wish TSA had built a successful competitor but in the until something comes along to challenge it, OSM is the only way that i can imagine running a group. (SOs look like more effort and without any flexibility to increase subs... which seems nuts)

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  17. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    you won't regret it.

    the uptick in subs payments alone makes it worthwhile. I went from chasing half the group to chasing 2 or 3 kids per term, if that.

    It's amazing. You set up subs in august and it takes a few minutes. then one day in september, january and april, you wake up and a huge wedge of cash has landed in the bank. all it needs is updating for new kids each tern and that takes pretty much no time.

    i wish TSA had built a successful competitor but in the until something comes along to challenge it, OSM is the only way that i can imagine running a group. (SOs look like more effort and without any flexibility to increase subs... which seems nuts)
    We've just moved over to OSM payments from SOs for subs (which we had been doing for years). Whilst it's been a bit of a struggle to set up (mainly communicating the change with the parents, ensuring they cancel the existing SOs and getting them used to My Scout for the first time) the benefits are already clear.

    SOs were a great replacement for cash and cheques but times change.
    James

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    We've just moved over to OSM payments from SOs for subs (which we had been doing for years). Whilst it's been a bit of a struggle to set up (mainly communicating the change with the parents, ensuring they cancel the existing SOs and getting them used to My Scout for the first time) the benefits are already clear.

    SOs were a great replacement for cash and cheques but times change.
    Yes started doing Subs with New Starts via OSM, 5 months ago, the one thing I changed is to only allow parents to Sign up to the Direct debit and take the monthly payments, you cant Pay now.

    It has taken so much hassle out of chasing subs, OSM does it for you.

    Parents are so used to paying for things online for School

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