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Thread: #SkillsForLife is killing the District

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    #SkillsForLife is killing the District

    My District has decided to take the #SkillsForLife thing to heart and is implementing the “ADCs are there to provide training and support, and not provide District events” strategy.

    However what this has meant is

    • We have had several ADCs leave their positions as they did not want to be trainers or be acting GSLs for Groups that hadn’t got one.
    • We have had the usual 10ish District events per section per year drop to zero as there is no one to deliver them.

    The Groups have now all retreated into their silos with no District events for them to meet up at.

    We used to have a good selection of events that were popular with the YPs (they were well attended and were asked for again in the forums etc.) We now have almost nothing.

    Most of events that were planned for this year were been blocked by the DC, either because they are “not scouting enough” or “aren’t available to all the members”. These reasons are both in line with #SkillsForLife but means that #YouShape is out of the window unless the YPs ask for what is in line with what the DC wants.

    The few events that were allowed are being cancelled before being offered out, as there is no one to organise them.

    And we have only just started, four more years to go……
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I have no idea where you District has got this idea of ADCs there to provide training and support from, support is their role but training is most certainly not (unless they also choose to be a Training Advisor). Part of how they can support Leaders is often by helping to provide a programme of District events for Sections to join in with that individual Sections or Groups would otherwise struggle to offer such events.

    Our District's relatively newly appointed ADC Beavers and ADC Scouts are both certainly helping provide and/or support District wide events for their Sections.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    More like "District misunderstanding #skillsforlife is killing the District".

    Also no idea where they've got this "ADC only does support" thing from. Not in anything I've seen. And I've been to the talks about strategy and pillars of work and all that stuff.

    It's not sounding like a great success so far!
    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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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    I have no idea where you District has got this idea of ADCs there to provide training and support from, support is their role but training is most certainly not (unless they also choose to be a Training Advisor). Part of how they can support Leaders is often by helping to provide a programme of District events for Sections to join in with that individual Sections or Groups would otherwise struggle to offer such events.

    Our District's relatively newly appointed ADC Beavers and ADC Scouts are both certainly helping provide and/or support District wide events for their Sections.
    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    More like "District misunderstanding #skillsforlife is killing the District".

    Also no idea where they've got this "ADC only does support" thing from. Not in anything I've seen. And I've been to the talks about strategy and pillars of work and all that stuff.

    It's not sounding like a great success so far!
    Have a look at https://scouts.org.uk/media/928190/D...me-Support.pdf
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    I must have missed something in the #skillsforlife stuff then because I'm not sure why that emphasis necessarily means not organising District events.

    However I am aware that HQ are starting to up the heat on training not being completed so that may be behind a push to get that sorted before people start getting the Gilwell vote of confidence (aka order of the boot!).

    ETA

    Having now seen that document linked my reaction is an underwhelmed "Oh". (Probably followed by FFS but not abbreviated!)
    Last edited by mang21; 09-05-2019 at 12:38 PM.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    Which specifically references District Events ok it does make a point of saying to make sure they are relvant to supporting Sections which to my mind is pretty much the same criteria as offering something a Section couldn't do on its own but it certainly doesn't say in anyway shape of form the ADCs and their team shouldn't be organising District events.
    Last edited by shiftypete; 09-05-2019 at 02:49 PM.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    To be fair I'm inclined to agree with the list of District Events that probably shouldn't be a priority for someone's time. (But then I'd add World Jamborees to that list on the grounds that its a restricted entry competition.....)
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    I have no idea where you District has got this idea of ADCs there to provide training and support from, support is their role but training is most certainly not (unless they also choose to be a Training Advisor). Part of how they can support Leaders is often by helping to provide a programme of District events for Sections to join in with that individual Sections or Groups would otherwise struggle to offer such events.

    Our District's relatively newly appointed ADC Beavers and ADC Scouts are both certainly helping provide and/or support District wide events for their Sections.
    I agree because needs must etc.

    However, in an ideal world the ADCs are supporters and are supposed to support adults. A District programme in this ideal world should be run by District Leaders which is what the role of a District Scout Leader etc is.

    In the real world though I agree that ADCs do get involved in running the activities for the District. Training though - depends what it is. Not formal training but skills training can be provided by the ADCs or at least co-ordinate it so that those with skills can share them if they are able.

  12. #9
    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    Which specifically references District Events ok it does mkae a point of saying to make sure they are relvant to supporting Sections which to my mind is pretty much the same criteria as offering something a Section couldn't do on its own but it certinaly doesn;t say in anyway shape of form the ADCs and their team shouldn't be organising District events.
    It's more by omission (and DCs interpretation).

    The ADC role is defined as

    Consultation with volunteers across the movement during 2017 showed strong support for the following five tasks which should make up a District Programme Supporter role:
    1. Sectional visits

    2. District workshop meetings

    3. Leader inductions

    4. Being part of the District team

    5. Stay relevant

    Hence as events is not in the list the ADCs should not be doing them.


    If you take the ADC role at face value then (for my District) each ADC should be making 20 sectional visits and organising a workship each term. That would average out at two visits a week. That's before the leader inductions and anything else.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    I suppose, if I am to reflect, for a moment, and I can see the point they are trying to make, I think. As DESC I should be doing more adult support and recruitment, keeping on top of training, all that side of things, and not doing say, the district explorer bowling trip last week. I guess it's this mythical district again where there's a surfeit of leaders champing at the bit to organise more and more stuff. Meanwhile in the real world...if you bring in changes badly and several ADCs walk, then that's generally a bad plan.
    Last edited by ianw; 09-05-2019 at 01:57 PM.
    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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    Sounds like an issue of extremes and a lack of thought in terms of change.

    You now what I'm going to say right? We don't have any ADC's at the moment, so what Kastor describes is kind of the norm for us. If we all-of-a-sudden got a load of ADC's and they started in on the training, I don't think that would be appreciated. I mean, they'd be right, but people get used to things (whether they're right or wrong) and blanket overnight changes are never really appreciated.

    More generally, I tend eschew anything with a hashtag anyway. We've all had the discussions around youth shaped blah blah blah... Other than that, it's probably what happens if you have a strong top-down hierarchy. It's not an arrangement I think I could do my Scouting in for all sorts of reasons, some reasonably practical, some not.

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    Hmm, having read that document it looks to me like they are annoyed with ADC's saying that they do not have time to do the top-down admin because they are too busy organising the annual 5-a-side.

    The list of activities that should NOT be run by District is illuminating:

    Events which we should NOT run within a District
     Swimming gala
     Chess competition
     Handicraft competition
     Cooking competition
     Firework display
     Football tournament
     Any competition event with team number
    restrictions
    They don't like competitions do they?

    We have a District Simming Gala, Cooking competition, and Football tournament. We also have a District Cross Country / Sports Day.

    These things are run at the District level because you have to have someone to compete against. Many of the kids, (not all), like competition. They ask us to have more of it.

    I would agree that none of things have a right to exist.

    The best measure of relevance is attendance.

    This looks like another kak handed attempt to stop some poor behaviour in some places. I am sure that many of us have experienced a haranging from a member of the 'old guard' in District because they did not support the District Cooking Competition this year. Surely the appropriate 'rule' should be that ADC's and DC should never 'expect' groups to attend District events because they are told to.

    If they are popular let them thrive, if they are not let them die.

    If I were an ADC that took the role in order to organise District Events I would just resign and take up a District Scouter role instead. Then ignore this rubbish and crack on with organising great District events.

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    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    If I were an ADC that took the role in order to organise District Events I would just resign and take up a District Scouter role instead. Then ignore this rubbish and crack on with organising great District events.
    Absolutely agree - as long as they are great events

    Rich

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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    Hmm, having read that document it looks to me like they are annoyed with ADC's saying that they do not have time to do the top-down admin because they are too busy organising the annual 5-a-side.

    The list of activities that should NOT be run by District is illuminating:



    They don't like competitions do they?

    We have a District Simming Gala, Cooking competition, and Football tournament. We also have a District Cross Country / Sports Day.

    These things are run at the District level because you have to have someone to compete against. Many of the kids, (not all), like competition. They ask us to have more of it.

    I would agree that none of things have a right to exist.

    The best measure of relevance is attendance.

    T.
    I am amazed at the list of events that someone says should not take place. When I was ADC (Activities) i organised a Cub Scout 5 a side football competition and a District swimming gala for several years. This was because I was asked to - not because it was something that I wanted to happen. Both were fairly well attended and when they were not we stopped having them. As suggested above, many young people enjoy competition. It also gives a chance for people to get together and have fun.

    I think something odd is happening to Scouting. I think that previously the only things on a list of what we should not do would have been things that we were not allowed to do. Now we have an official document saying that we should not have a District cooking competition! The last one that I saw was an excellent activity.

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    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    I wonder how many ADCs there are that can meet this criteria.

    So two vists a week each term, plus a catch up with the leaders at a separate time. Plus organising District events.

    Then there's my own pack to run and during the summer boating sessions one night a week

    So I have to ask my boss to let me leave early four out of five evenings a week and explain to the wife why she only sees me one evening a week.

    Lets be realistic about what time people can actually afford to give. Having read this I'm looking at resignation, or divorce - who writes these things?
    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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