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Thread: Another DC bites the dust...

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    Another DC bites the dust...

    So that's us returned to our usual condition of having no DC.

    So, would there be anything wrong with devolving the DC's responsibilities to GSL's?

    Logically speaking (sort of), we have a lot more GSL's in position than we have DC's (obvs), so it stands to reason (sort of) that if the DC's responsibilities were with GSL's, there's more chance of that stuff actually happening. If a group didn't have a GSL, a neighbouring group's GSL could stand in. That may seem onerous to some, but I think the last DC we had was in position for two years and I never met him or had any communications with him.

    We've probably had this discussion before or explored it. But I thought I'd ask because it's quite quiet here lately.

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    I think the DC's role is too big and some of the responsibilities should be devolved, yes. Principally 9.1 or anything to do with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I think the last DC we had was in position for two years and I never met him or had any communications with him.
    You're a GSL right? Because if so, that's extraordinary. Well, maybe I've been blessed, but, generally, I've always thought the DC job was pretty onerous, or at least, there's lots to do, and part of that was talking to the groups in the district. Or rather, I can't see how a DC would be doing the job properly if they didn't talk to one of their groups in two years.
    Ian Wilkins
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    A lot of what the DC does could be delegated to the GSL. That is what happens when you set up a Navigator Group. The Buck stops with the Group Leader.

    Of course, this only works if the Group Leader has an inkling of an idea what he is doing and actually gets involved. For the remote GSL, who only fits where he touches, it wouldn't work, which, of course, is why the DC role is so difficult. Made all the worse by the DC who has no idea what he is supposed to be doing.
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    You're a GSL right? Because if so, that's extraordinary. Well, maybe I've been blessed, but, generally, I've always thought the DC job was pretty onerous, or at least, there's lots to do, and part of that was talking to the groups in the district. Or rather, I can't see how a DC would be doing the job properly if they didn't talk to one of their groups in two years.
    if the dc chooses to have leaders' meetings (and POR does not require it) then there might be 2 or 3 a year... but if they get scheduled for a date that a GSL can't do... (always on a certain day when the gsl has childcare duties, for example) then unless the group is failing... a DC might leave well alone. No complaints, AMS paid, census done etc...

    it's a pretty onerous job if done properly and hq will delegate really crappy tasks to DCs like safeguarding complaints as well as trying to manage HR issues etc...

    checking in on a group that is running OK is probably v far down a list of priorities!

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    checking in on a group that is running OK is probably v far down a list of priorities!
    Especially in a mega-district of 20-30 groups eh?
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Especially in a mega-district of 20-30 groups eh?
    over 40...

    now i'm in a district of 4!

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    checking in on a group that is running OK is probably v far down a list of priorities!
    Actually, that in itself is a sign of poor management.

    Just because a group is not in trouble does not mean that it does not need support. A visit may quietly boost morale just when it is needed ( and there are different ways in which that can happen). It may open eyes to issues that were beng missed.

    The one thing that none of my team could understand was this. Here we are growing, developing, and building Scouting, whilst almost every other group in the District is facing funding, recruitment, leadership issues. Yet no-one has come and asked us, what is it that you are doing that is making this work for you. What can we take from your positive experiences here, and use that to help others deal with their challenges. Not once did anyone ask. That was poor management.

    You cannot make judgements on performance without getting to know the people, without standing in the same space, without knowing how they are operating - which of course is why they were so astonished when so many people walked when the DC tried to change the way the Group worked.

    In a commercial setting, a company with multiple outlets will always investigate the best functioning to find out how to apply the lessons there to the lesser functioning outlets. In Scouting this is rarely done, possibly because there is this concept that to do so is a sleight on those hard working Leaders at the groups that are struggling. It should, rather, be seen as a real supportive action.

    Sorry about the rant.
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Actually, that in itself is a sign of poor management.

    Just because a group is not in trouble does not mean that it does not need support. A visit may quietly boost morale just when it is needed ( and there are different ways in which that can happen). It may open eyes to issues that were beng missed.

    The one thing that none of my team could understand was this. Here we are growing, developing, and building Scouting, whilst almost every other group in the District is facing funding, recruitment, leadership issues. Yet no-one has come and asked us, what is it that you are doing that is making this work for you. What can we take from your positive experiences here, and use that to help others deal with their challenges. Not once did anyone ask. That was poor management.

    You cannot make judgements on performance without getting to know the people, without standing in the same space, without knowing how they are operating - which of course is why they were so astonished when so many people walked when the DC tried to change the way the Group worked.

    In a commercial setting, a company with multiple outlets will always investigate the best functioning to find out how to apply the lessons there to the lesser functioning outlets. In Scouting this is rarely done, possibly because there is this concept that to do so is a sleight on those hard working Leaders at the groups that are struggling. It should, rather, be seen as a real supportive action.

    Sorry about the rant.
    i agree absolutely.

    if you are a group that is pretty succesful in a big district, you only ever hear from a dc or his delegate because you have done something wrong. it means that communication with district becomes relentlessly negative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    You're a GSL right? Because if so, that's extraordinary. Well, maybe I've been blessed, but, generally, I've always thought the DC job was pretty onerous, or at least, there's lots to do, and part of that was talking to the groups in the district. Or rather, I can't see how a DC would be doing the job properly if they didn't talk to one of their groups in two years.
    Heck no.

    I've been everything (at group level anyway) except GSL and BSL.

    I think those two jobs may have some striking similarities now that I've put them side by side.


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    In 3.5 years as Explorer leader never had any contact from EDC.

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    First a caveat, the DC's we've had (except that last one who I can't really comment upon because I never met him), have all been great. Supportive and helpful when required and otherwise hands-off when not.

    How much of what a DC does though, is merely satisfying bureaucratic procedures that have very limited impact in real life?

    Why is a DC best placed to ensure best practice, what qualifies someone in that position, versus someone more ingrained in groups?

    Rule 9.1 is a case in point - why is the DC best placed for that? We've hardly ever had an activity okay'd by the DC, and it's made precisely zero difference to anything in the real world. Our GSL has usually known what's going on, (caveat #2, for the past two years anyway, the GSL we had before that, mmm, not so much). Whether he tells the DC (which he might have done) is still completely moot. All it meant is someone who I or kids or the parents never met knows we're somewhere doing something.

    I think I'd get rid of all the commissioner roles and just get GSL's to cover it collectively. Okay, maybe not all the commissioner roles... But, is there an argument for saying, if you wanted to be a commissioner, you'd have to be a GSL? A lot of the commissioner jobs could be as busy as you want them to be, I'd posit the notion that you could be a GSL and say, a youth commissioner and manage okay, if you chose to. It would certainly be no worse than the current situation.

    I know, youth commissioners/GSL's may pile in and say don't be daft. But looking around at what people do in their roles and how many roles aren't filled, is it that daft?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BREWBOY View Post
    In 3.5 years as Explorer leader never had any contact from EDC.
    What is EDC?
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    What is EDC?
    I took that to be Explorer district Commissioner. I suppose if you never met the person, it's possible you'd get their title wrong.

    I met the two we during my 8 year tenure, once each.

    It's probably a commissioner I'd keep, although they really need to lay off all the chat about Explorer forums and trying to get them involved in district meetings... My Explorers never saw the point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I took that to be Explorer district Commissioner. It's probably a commissioner I'd keep, because they are unremittingly awesome
    There. Fixed that for you.
    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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