Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Happiness and support

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Thanked 93 Times in 59 Posts

    Happiness and support

    There seem to be an ever-increasing number of posts around these parts of dismay and general unhappiness surrounding (mainly) volunteers' support structures, ie group, district, county, HQ teams and their support (or rather lack thereof).

    I'm talking about the chocolate teapot GSLs, the overbearing and controlling DCs, the micro-managing ADCs, the invisible county team and an HQ which seems obsessed with pie in the sky ideas and ideal world scenarios.

    Maybe I'm very lucky? I'm a GSL with a great DC (I nominated them so I would say that) who supports me and communicates well, we have a strong but streamlined district team with an active programme of events (Cubs has struggled in recent years but it's building up steam now), a very communicative county and (on the face of it) an HQ who seem to be actively trying to improve and change based on feedback from the membership.

    On the HQ front you might think the whole Skills for Life thing as a load of guff full of corporate waffle but that's kind of par for the course with large organisations. When you look at the headline "pillars of work" I don't think there's much there that people could disagree with Whether they achieve them or not is another matter, but the first step is recognising what needs to be done and trying to do something about it.

    I can't be the only one out there who is (overall) happy with the support I have and the way things work locally? Anyone else out there?

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to dragonhhjh For This Useful Post:

    hippysurfer (04-02-2019)

  3. #2
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Thanked 2,509 Times in 1,441 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    I can't be the only one out there who is (overall) happy with the support I have and the way things work locally? Anyone else out there?
    Yeah, overall, pretty happy. My DC is great. The CC from what I've seen is a decent chap. I'm a DESC, and my leader team in the units is 50 shades of awesome. Most times I ring up HQ, which isn't very often, they're pretty spot on with their support. I mean, I have lots of wishes, things that could be be better, but overall, yeah, happy.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019

  4. #3
    GSL & ESL shiftypete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanked 1,333 Times in 885 Posts
    I am a new GSL and I am happy and I hope my Section Leaders are happy as well.

    Our DC is pretty good and is actively supporting work to start new Groups and Sections to try and meet unmet demand in the District. We seem to have fairly active District teams for most of the Sections although not sure Scouts is working so well currently. They run events and support the Section Leaders intheir Sections but don;t tread on their toes or step into what is correctly the GSLs territory in terms of "managing" the Leaders. Our DESC is excellent although increasingly busy with 2 young kids and a relatively new job. I think our current County Comissioner is really good and I have seen him far more most of his predessors.

    Most importantly no one in the hirearchy appears to want to try and control or micro manage. I, as GSL, am happy for the Section Leaders to run their Sections as they see fit. The main change I have made as GSL is I now directly control admissions but that is due to now having a waiting list for Cubs as well as Beavers so we now need to be even more careful on who we admit to Beavers in order not to end up with far too many Cubs. The DC seems to be happy to leave GSLs to run their Groups with no silliness like insisting on directly approving all activities or anything like that. And the CC seems content to support their DCs to run the Districts.
    Last edited by shiftypete; 02-02-2019 at 09:10 AM.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL
    2002 - 2018 AESL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite -
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  5. #4
    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Thanked 427 Times in 264 Posts
    Sounds like an outbreak of common sense

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Thanked 1,508 Times in 1,071 Posts
    I'm not really sure how to answer this.

    On the one hand, I'm not entirely sure what anyone from district could do to support groups anyway. All they'd be doing (I think) is adding more stuff for volunteers to think and worry about.

    I have major issues with the structure and language now deployed by TSA, all the chat about line managers and training plans, not to mention all the positions that are required to support this structure. We've all talked at length about how we'd each organise things, and I suppose we could do that till the cows come home.

    So, I'm glad we don't have anyone from district or county or where-ever coming down to offer 'advice' or to manage or what ever they want to call it. I know our GSL is still somewhat plugged in to what's going on in the district, I dare say he knows what they're names are. But I know we both share the view that Scouts is top heavy, far too corporate in it's outlook and direction and riven with bureaucracy.

    Our main problem is getting volunteers. But even then it's not as simple as that. We now have more than enough leaders and helpers for Scouts - we now have to turn people away and try to get them to fill other roles we need filled. So far, all they've wanted to be involved with is the Scout section. I think that's been down to how we've presented Scouts on Facebook - I usually write the posts on there and try to keep it light, the new people we've got found us via there - or at least were encouraged to come down.

    TL/DR version, it's not really about having support, it's about the structure that support is, ummm, supporting.

    Other than that, I'm happy on a Thursday night down at Scouts. We've got a great bunch of down to earth kids just now. I have a great leader team, none of whom take it too seriously. There's plenty of laughter for everyone leaders and kids equally, and I think that is reflected in growing numbers, (a somewhat improved attendance) and uptake for our weekend away in April.

    Everything else is just background noise.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Thanked 3,386 Times in 1,843 Posts
    I was, believe it or not, generally happy about the support available. When I needed support it was available from County or HQ, and at times, from District.

    It failed miserably when we had a safeguarding issue, here there was zero support locally and TSA closed ranks to ensure that Scouting was not going to be damaged, but there was zero support for the Group or the kids who may have been impacted. I know that I am not alone in this and raised the issue with Wayne at the time, but typically nothing was ever done to address the problem.

    It worked wonderfully when my CSLs were sued for negligence. Even though we lost. And it worked well when we had a major c***-up by our then treasurer and we needed support to resolve the issue.

    I think it is fair to say that the perceprion of support at grass roots depends upon what the Leaders expect, and upon how the hierarchy behave at any given time and to any given issue.
    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

Similar Threads

  1. Help Support Us
    By Alex Hole in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-02-2014, 04:27 PM
  2. Active Support
    By mediamanager in forum Scouting Talk
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-12-2013, 07:53 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 20-03-2010, 01:22 PM
  4. Who should I support
    By [email protected] in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 23-11-2007, 07:48 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts