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Thread: Stepping out the hut, where did the permission misnomer come from?

  1. #16
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    This is taken from the minutes of a recent GSL meeting in our District :-
    (DC) reported that she needs to receive Group Programmes in order to approve them. She reported that she needs the following information in order to act promptly if any issues occur: Term dates, Normal meeting place and time (this should also be up to date on compass), changes to normal meeting place and time, any activities taking place at a different meeting time, activities taking place outside of the meeting place e.g. hike plan details, details of all adults attending Nights Away, adults/leaders meeting dates/venues and any changes to the information above.

  2. #17
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    Well I provide that just through providing a copy of the troop programme.

    I only but that is a bit sticky is the hikes we are doing. They will be set by the youth on the day by two of them. County has one under wraps that the Scouts will know just before they set out. The last two are part of our expedition and I donít know where we are going yet.


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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipwest View Post
    This is taken from the minutes of a recent GSL meeting in our District :-
    (DC) reported that she needs to receive Group Programmes in order to approve them. She reported that she needs the following information in order to act promptly if any issues occur: Term dates, Normal meeting place and time (this should also be up to date on compass), changes to normal meeting place and time, any activities taking place at a different meeting time, activities taking place outside of the meeting place e.g. hike plan details, details of all adults attending Nights Away, adults/leaders meeting dates/venues and any changes to the information above.
    Time to drown the DC in paperwork.

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  5. #19
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    THat given in the example is unworkable.
    Question Leaders/non uniformed helpers CRB'd - Correct answer None, Zero, 0 no adults will/should have a current CRB ( its all DBS now)
    14 days before the meeting? unworkable - Programme say widegame in a suitable woodland, area checked the weekend before during daylight hours - all is OK, Area quickly checked the night before, and is no longer suitable due to work taking place/travellers moving in/other issues
    Email etc sent to parents saying that the meeting is now a walk dropping of at X and picking up at location Y

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    Unfortunately until somebody sees the sense to remove rule 9.1b then there will always be DC's out there who will use it as a means of micromanagement and control. Of course the removal of 9.1b will never happen as ultimately the buck stops with the DC if something serious goes wrong in the District - the first question will be "did you know they were doing this ?"

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    Neil Williams (13-02-2019)

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    Time to drown the DC in paperwork.

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    Agreed.

    Had a previous DC who wanted similar. As a district we buried him in paper work. The system soon died of death

  9. #22
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I am on my 3rd or 4th DC now and luckily none of them have been stupid enough to try anything like this, with around 16 Groups and 7 ESUs in the District they would never have time to do their actual role if they did try.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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  11. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipwest View Post
    This is taken from the minutes of a recent GSL meeting in our District :-
    (DC) reported that she needs to receive Group Programmes in order to approve them. She reported that she needs the following information in order to act promptly if any issues occur: Term dates, Normal meeting place and time (this should also be up to date on compass), changes to normal meeting place and time, any activities taking place at a different meeting time, activities taking place outside of the meeting place e.g. hike plan details, details of all adults attending Nights Away, adults/leaders meeting dates/venues and any changes to the information above.
    Hmmm...

    What happens if she doesn't approve? I can understand an over-zealous DC wanting to know what's happening in their district - very roughly. But 'approval' of the program? Nope.

    Leading a section is already time-onerous. No way would I be spending time fulfilling all that stuff. We don't really know what we're doing one week to the next, I couldn't tell the DC even if I wanted to.

  12. #24
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    Many years ago when I was ADC (Activities) our DC met some Beavers from our District out on a hike when she happened to be in the same spot.

    She felt that she should have known that they were there so I was instructed to invent a form for Leaders to fill out if they were away from their HQ.

  13. #25
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    We have given our DC and ADC's access to our programmes on OSM. Always up to date (well at least the location is).


    I interpret the rule as a mechanism by which a DC can stop a group from running an unsuitable activity. So, if you have a group that is misbehaving, and as the DC you need to step in, you can use this rule to withdraw your "permission" - if they ignore you, you now have a clear breach of POR that you can use to start a disciplinary. Very much a last resort to be used when polite persuasion has failed.

    The normal state of affairs ought to be is that the DC gives their "permission" unless they say otherwise.

  14. #26
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    I still don't really understand why a DC - who may not have any of the training or experience of a leader and/or with the sections they're making judgements over - is put in a position to judge what is or isn't a suitable activity.

    If we were to follow this, where is the trust? Where is the autonomy for groups and their leaders?

  15. #27
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    I interpret the rule as a mechanism by which a DC can stop a group from running an unsuitable activity. So, if you have a group that is misbehaving, and as the DC you need to step in, you can use this rule to withdraw your "permission" - if they ignore you, you now have a clear breach of POR that you can use to start a disciplinary. Very much a last resort to be used when polite persuasion has failed.

    The normal state of affairs ought to be is that the DC gives their "permission" unless they say otherwise.
    Thing is, unless the DC has *all* the info, how does the DC know whether an activity is "unsuitable" or not? And also, not gonna lie, some people have a different perspective of what's "suitable" and what isn't, and immediately jump to the worst conclusion and get all het up and you have to talk them down to a point where they still aren't sure but...so when I put "fire stunts" on the programme, the DC either needs the detail, and a written risk assessment to make an informed decision, and time to read it all, or they're making an uninformed decision whether to wade in and wave their hands and say "no no no!".

    Of course, sections that are "misbehaving" probably won't stick to the "requirements" to inform the DC anyway.

    Actually, in truth, unless the activity is banana boating, hitch hiking, knife throwing, and the other one...though I guess there's adventurous activities and doing them without permits etc.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I still don't really understand why a DC - who may not have any of the training or experience of a leader and/or with the sections they're making judgements over - is put in a position to judge what is or isn't a suitable activity.

    If we were to follow this, where is the trust? Where is the autonomy for groups and their leaders?
    Yes, I see it as "I'm DC, I'm responsible, you're a trained leader, so don't break POR, I approve you doing anything that doesn't break POR, crack on". Rule 9.1 is probably at least one good reason why I'm very reticent to be a DC.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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  17. #28
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    To me it makes the role untenable as I will not give my approval for something I do not know everything about.

    Being responsible via the line management structure is different but that is not what it says.

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  18. #29
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    In our district, it's probably cyclical.

    Currently, not all district positions are filled. It's possibly telling that it's difficult to find out who's who and who's where in our district. I'm pretty sure we have DC just now, but I think he was basically plonked there to fill the spot.

    Previously, with East Lothian being a bit posh, DC's have often been local luminaries and not ex-leaders. I think I can say though, as time passed and being DC for Scouts became less of a desirable position, the DC job did start to go to people who at least had been leaders. One of our previous SL's had the job for a while, another was ADC Scouts for a long time... The last DC (I think) was involved with the Cub section, but hadn't been a Scout or Explorer Leader (she was a really good DC as it happens, helpful when asked, hands-off otherwise...)

    The rest of the district team (ADC north and south, so not section specific as those positions are now), use to all be ex-leaders of Beavers or Cubs. We've had leaders struggle to make the move from Cubs to Scouts before, (almost taking the scout section down as a result.) So having someone in the DC job could be just as problematic.

    I think the whole structure is upside down anyway, (I think I've said that before...) And, I don't think - with our voluntary status and the nature of volunteering these days - the current structure (above group level anyway) is supportable.

  19. #30
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    To me it makes the role untenable as I will not give my approval for something I do not know everything about.

    Being responsible via the line management structure is different but that is not what it says.
    And up to a point, it's probably useful that the DC doesn't know the specifics of what's going on. Plausible deniability. When things have gone pear shaped for us in a public way, it's been quite useful that the DC could, while not siding with the complainant, at least be able to defuse the situation and say stuff like "well I don't know the specifics but I can investigate", rather than having to say "well I approved the activity so what's your problem?".
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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