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Thread: Is there no shortage of Leaders?

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Is there no shortage of Leaders?

    Bit the bullet and decided to try to get back into scouting ( its a long story but I've been rudderless for two years) Rang Gilwell to see if there was anything on my account to prevent me re-joining and was told no it was fine, I would just have to start again from scratch.
    Contacted the GSL of a scout group three weeks ago and have heard nothing back (sent two emails and message over FB) Just contacted another group 10 days ago and again silence. Does no one need any leaders any more or are there dark forces operating out there.

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    I have to say as a group were in the fortunate position of not really having any "vacancies" right now but if someone was especially keen on joining us (as apposed to other local group that truly need the the adults) we could work something out.

    But you'd certainly get a reply regardless... I rarely check my Scout emails less than once a day, if you waited 48 hours for a reply it would be once in a blue moon!

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    Bit the bullet and decided to try to get back into scouting ( its a long story but I've been rudderless for two years) Rang Gilwell to see if there was anything on my account to prevent me re-joining and was told no it was fine, I would just have to start again from scratch.
    Contacted the GSL of a scout group three weeks ago and have heard nothing back (sent two emails and message over FB) Just contacted another group 10 days ago and again silence. Does no one need any leaders any more or are there dark forces operating out there.
    Par for the course in some places.

    I had a chap contacted me. I responded by return. He took the role he wanted. Six months later a group ha had contacted two weeks before he contacted me got back to him and asked if he was still interested as they had just lost a Leader... A third group never bothered responding.

    Thing is, there were only two groups locally that didn't NEED leaders, and he didn't apply to the other one.... Ah, going to stop now as I feel a rant coming on...
    Ewan Scott

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    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    Poor practice not to at least let you have a reply and a referral to another group if they don't have vacancies.

    Sadly, since taking on a District role it has become clear there is an element of martyrdom among some leaders - they don't actually want new leaders as they can't then complain how hard they work and how indispensible they are. We had a new leader turn up (moving into the area) so offered him to the loudest complainers (What has District ever done for us etc ... cue Monty Python sketch). They actually turned him down because they preferred just moaning about District. Plan B worked perfectly - he has turned around a failing group in less than a year while the original group are still struggling. You can't please some folks.

    In your situation I'd be tempted to contact the DC for an introduction or actually get on the phone to the GSL. Also, remember that some leaders just don't check emails (or even keep contact details up to date) so you could be just what they want, but they haven't actually heard about you.
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

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    Hi bernwood. I know a lot of people in your area are busy with Gang Show this week and with it half term they may also be away. Not making excuses but could be a reason for slow replies.
    What area are you looking to Scout in? I'm on Oxford Spires exec and i know quite a few Groups are always asking for leaders mainly Oxford area ours included (we are based at Yarnton).

    I'll send you a pm with a couple of email addresses.
    Dave Ralphs
    DofE Advisor
    Oxford Spires District

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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    It's a shame really that you're four hours and over two hundred miles away or you could have joined us.
    Keith "Hawkeye"
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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Sorry Dave I can't rejoin Oxfordshire Scouts they were the ones that threw me out in the first place!
    https://www.escouts.org.uk/forum/thr...a+sniper+rifle

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    Your experience mirrors mine to an extent.
    When I moved towns, I stayed on at my old group for several years but finally decided to change to a local group.

    We have three groups in the town and I emailed all three, based on their contact details from the county website.
    One replied almost immediately (and Iím AGSL there now). I never heard from the other two.

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    Senior Member crisolin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    Bit the bullet and decided to try to get back into scouting ( its a long story but I've been rudderless for two years) Rang Gilwell to see if there was anything on my account to prevent me re-joining and was told no it was fine, I would just have to start again from scratch.
    Contacted the GSL of a scout group three weeks ago and have heard nothing back (sent two emails and message over FB) Just contacted another group 10 days ago and again silence. Does no one need any leaders any more or are there dark forces operating out there.
    I had a similar experience when I moved into Oxfordshire in 2011

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    I think a lot of existing leaders are careful about new recruits. Even if they're a bit short on help, they'd rather not take a chance on an unknown quantity joining the team. I know I'm a bit like that. Much as TSA would like it to be, it's not work, section leaders don't have to accept people the GSL/District/etc put on to them.

    Saying that, it's poor form to not even acknowledge an offer of help.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I think a lot of existing leaders are careful about new recruits. Even if they're a bit short on help, they'd rather not take a chance on an unknown quantity joining the team. I know I'm a bit like that. Much as TSA would like it to be, it's not work, section leaders don't have to accept people the GSL/District/etc put on to them.

    Saying that, it's poor form to not even acknowledge an offer of help.

    Not often that I disagree with you but whilst the uncertainty is a thing, incumbent Leaders do not have the right to prevent the team expanding on the basis of the unknown quantity. It is something akin to the Scouts deciding that X is not coming to join the group because he goes to a different school and they don't know him.

    The situation is compounded when the very groups that fail to respond to Leader enquiries are the ones who are constantly bleating to District about needing help and wanting more Leaders. In a way, it goes back to my thread about not responding to offers and invitations.
    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



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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Not often that I disagree with you but whilst the uncertainty is a thing, incumbent Leaders do not have the right to prevent the team expanding on the basis of the unknown quantity. It is something akin to the Scouts deciding that X is not coming to join the group because he goes to a different school and they don't know him.

    The situation is compounded when the very groups that fail to respond to Leader enquiries are the ones who are constantly bleating to District about needing help and wanting more Leaders. In a way, it goes back to my thread about not responding to offers and invitations.
    I suppose. I know I've turned people away (onto other groups as it happens) because I didn't think (basically knew from speaking to them) they wouldn't fit. We've had situations where someone's come down to help out, and while we haven't actually asked them to leave, neither the leaders or kids got on with them - they just had to go. I'd hate to lose decent volunteers (or kids) because we took someone on that turned out to be, well, a poor fit. (It has happened...)

    It'll depend on how the district works, but with ours, we wouldn't ask them at all. I think because we're very rural, (whether this is actually a reason or not these days, I'm not sure) people tend to scout in the village or town in which they live, they rarely go to other settlements. That being so, groups have a much better idea about who to approach and are a lot more accessible then any district folk. Heck, I don't even know who's in the district at the moment, I don't suppose people outside of scouts will have a clue either.

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    Assistant Beaver Leader Keith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Not often that I disagree with you but whilst the uncertainty is a thing, incumbent Leaders do not have the right to prevent the team expanding on the basis of the unknown quantity. It is something akin to the Scouts deciding that X is not coming to join the group because he goes to a different school and they don't know him.

    The situation is compounded when the very groups that fail to respond to Leader enquiries are the ones who are constantly bleating to District about needing help and wanting more Leaders. In a way, it goes back to my thread about not responding to offers and invitations.
    That's why we have DBS checks, references, appointment advisory panels, interviews, etc. - these exist to help us welcome the right new volunteers.

    Our DC, ADC and anyone who'd listen to our GSL or myself know that we need a Section Leader and we will keep trying to recruit.

    All our external volunteer enquiries come through our DC, unless they make contact with an existing leader or member, where they are referred to the GSL.

    Those groups that aren't responding to potential volunteers contacting them aren't helping themselves when they could result in a new volunteer joining.

    One of my greatest achievements within Scouting is getting a friend of mine, who used to be a leader at our group, back into Scouting with another group. Our GSL at the time wouldn't have him back after he took time out of Scouting. I directed him to a friends group and at the last check every single family member was involved - one SL, one ACSL, one ABSL, two Scouts and one Cub.

    One of our ABSLs who's started at University and a new group in September is now a BSL and is District Youth Commissioner there. She's coming back after Uni, but her new district cancelled all her appointments in order to start the process again, for which I was asked to provide a reference.
    Keith "Hawkeye"
    (Acting) Beaver Scout Section Leader (Woodbadge)
    Group Executive Committee Member
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    1st Ingleby Barwick (St Francis) Scout Group



    https://www.inglebybarwickscouts.org.uk


    WE NEED MORE ADULT VOLUNTEERS!
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    Section Leaders, Assistant Section Leaders, Sectional Assistants, Occasional Helpers, etc.


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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I suppose. I know I've turned people away (onto other groups as it happens) because I didn't think (basically knew from speaking to them) they wouldn't fit. We've had situations where someone's come down to help out, and while we haven't actually asked them to leave, neither the leaders or kids got on with them - they just had to go. I'd hate to lose decent volunteers (or kids) because we took someone on that turned out to be, well, a poor fit. (It has happened...)

    It'll depend on how the district works, but with ours, we wouldn't ask them at all. I think because we're very rural, (whether this is actually a reason or not these days, I'm not sure) people tend to scout in the village or town in which they live, they rarely go to other settlements. That being so, groups have a much better idea about who to approach and are a lot more accessible then any district folk. Heck, I don't even know who's in the district at the moment, I don't suppose people outside of scouts will have a clue either.

    We all have had approaches from people who "didn't fit", ignoring their approch is not the answer. I've taken on Leaders who turned out to be the "wrong fit", they usually do a short stint and then depart never to be seen again, or perhaps move to another group - I've had kids do that too, that's fine. But to ignore an approach is not fine.

    I'd challenge your definition of "very rural" - you are closer to Musslburgh or Haddington than I am to Huddersfield, Wakefield or Barnsley. I suspect that your locale is a little more isolated in that your neighbouring villages are not "linked" in the same way as ours are. I also get that your "District" appears to be somewhat "distant". But still, we don't ignore approaches to help.

    Most such approaches often come to nothing. The joining process tends to sort out most that don't fit. Either that or the group ethos will not fit with them and they don't stay.
    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



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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    I've heard of this sort of thing happening in many parts of the country and typically it's because of one of two things.

    1. Failure to keep websites etc up to date. Be it group, district, county etc. So you email someone and it goes to a defunct mailbox and never gets seen again. Such problems are relatively easy to fix but infuriating nonetheless.

    2. Is a bit harder. And that is some people are just rubbish at replying to things. As simple as that. An email comes in and they don't deal with it. Sometimes lack of time and it gets forgotten about. Sometimes refusal to delegate. Sometimes a case of they have their way and don't want others involved. That mentality is far harder to deal with I'm afraid. Alas it's also self perpetuating. The individuals involved don't get the extra bodies they need, so stuff gets on top of them so it becomes even harder to get the bodies.

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