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Thread: Is Scouting risk-averse?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    I'm not saying this applies to anyone here as I don't know any of the individuals here personally. However this is exactly how many leaders come across from reading comments here or on 1st FB:

    "The parents are the worst thing in Scouting",
    "If they don't like it then here's the application form",
    "They don't need to know, I'm the leader and if they don't trust me they should take their child out"
    "I have huge waiting lists and I'm very successful, nothing has ever gone wrong before so I don't care what anyone else says"
    etc

    Ian is right, we are entirely dependant on parents to support us - even if that support is just bringing their child every week. And I'm afraid in my position I've seen quite a few very "successful" leaders crash and burn when they fall out with a better connected parent group, or when something does go wrong and it proves that luck has sustained for all those years. I've also never seen a group fail in the long term after the critical 24/7 leader leaves for any reason. We should treat the parents and the members with equal respect and engage with them both equally.
    For the record. None of that describes the relationship we have with parents - many of whom are leaders, hold positions on the committee and are involved in other ways. Of course, we have parents who are hands off, but it's a small village, people speak to each other - which is part of why we can operate the way we do.

    We're not being complacent - unless we've been being complacent since I was a Scout here, which was a fair while ago.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    My guess is that this change was a result of parents sending kids off to camp with an expectation that the camp is being run by the normal Leaders that they already trust, only to subsequently discovering that it was being run by a group of adults that they had never met. I have seen this happen with District camps and it really annoys parents because they feel that they have been duped into sending their kids away with people that they do not know. The change to catch this problem has been badly implemented. I for one complained about it during the POR consultation.
    Interestingly (or not), since it's been mentioned. We don't do this. We don't offer camps to the kids if we can't send at least one leader they know away with them. It's a judgement call we made, we know our kids (and we know most of the parents), the kids wouldn't be comfortable with it, and I don't like doing it.

    As I said, when it comes to trust and the relationship we have with the kids and their parents - we're not complacent.

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  4. #63
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Interestingly (or not), since it's been mentioned. We don't do this. We don't offer camps to the kids if we can't send at least one leader they know away with them. It's a judgement call we made, we know our kids (and we know most of the parents), the kids wouldn't be comfortable with it, and I don't like doing it.

    As I said, when it comes to trust and the relationship we have with the kids and their parents - we're not complacent.
    Similary we don't offer camps where none of our Leaders will be present. I don't think its fair to the kids nor the Leaders that are there but don't know our Scouts from Adam.

    The exception to this would be events such as Apex or Theme Park camp of the like with Explorers where they would be on a NA passport with the Leaders on site just running the event not being responsible for the camping part.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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  5. #64
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    The exception to this would be events such as...Theme Park camp because it's awesome
    There, fixed that for you, bookings open etc etc.
    Last edited by ianw; 20-05-2019 at 12:44 PM.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=pa_broon74;463775 We don't offer camps to the kids if we can't send at least one leader they know away with them. It's a judgement call we made, we know our kids (and we know most of the parents), the kids wouldn't be comfortable with it, and I don't like doing it.

    As I said, when it comes to trust and the relationship we have with the kids and their parents - we're not complacent.[/QUOTE]


    Interestingly, over the years we bought into the Scouting is one big family message - and discovered it wasn't.

    I once sent kids to a Backwoods camp run by other Leaders. It was something they had asked to do, but I was not available. (though I did drop in). They had a great time, learned some stuff I couldn't teach them. Asked if they would go again, the response was in the negative. They felt uncomfortable without us around - and our food was better... their words.

    Buying into the idea of sharing Exploers around groups for YL experience, two went to a neighbouring group - once. When I asked them why they wouldn't go back ther response was - The Leaders spent all their time slagging our group off - so screw them.

    It was notable at District events that if Leaders didn't have time/ inclination, then the kids didn't come. That extended to International events too.

    Of course, all a moot point for us now.
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  8. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Interestingly, over the years we bought into the Scouting is one big family message - and discovered it wasn't.

    I once sent kids to a Backwoods camp run by other Leaders. It was something they had asked to do, but I was not available. (though I did drop in). They had a great time, learned some stuff I couldn't teach them. Asked if they would go again, the response was in the negative. They felt uncomfortable without us around - and our food was better... their words.

    Buying into the idea of sharing Exploers around groups for YL experience, two went to a neighbouring group - once. When I asked them why they wouldn't go back ther response was - The Leaders spent all their time slagging our group off - so screw them.

    It was notable at District events that if Leaders didn't have time/ inclination, then the kids didn't come. That extended to International events too.

    Of course, all a moot point for us now.
    Indeed.

    I wonder if that's also an affect of a more general decline in community? Kids see insularity where they live so take it on camp with them?

    (While there's an element of that with our lot - after five minutes they usually find common ground if they're with Scouts they don't know. Unfortunately that common ground is usually mischief. We're nervous about sending ours away to things on their own because on the one hand, they're perhaps not overly confident, but then on the other, the opposite is also true true for some of them... In truth, even if we or they wanted to go, they barely have time for the things we're organising, never mind stuff other folk are organising. It's understandable that if they can go, they want to go with the crowd they know.)

  9. #67
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    We routinely send Scouts to events led by others from the County and District. It allows them to do more than we could provide. I've never had it queried by parents (although presumably those who don't fancy it don't book), and only once in decades had feedback from the Scouts about the leaders' different style.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

  10. #68
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    The last time our kids went to a thing where other scouts were present, they didn't actually have much to do with other leaders. They were in a dorm building with us. But, we did have kids from two other troops in there with us - and we know they talked about us and our leadership.

    We had one girl along on that trip, because she wasn't allowed to be with the boys, she had to go in to a girl's only building (which she didn't really understand or like). She said the leaders in her dorm were 'alright'.

    Previously, when we used to go to jamborees down south, talking about what other leaders/scouts were doing (and how they were doing it) was near the top for chat fodder. One of the reasons sending scouts to camp on their own died out, was because of the experiences they were having. I put that partially down to our leadership being a good bit more relaxed than elsewhere. Sometimes, actually often, at these camps, the rules they have are a good bit more strict than those we'd normally have. We used to get a lot of feedback - it wasn't necessarily negative, but getting round the rules became something of a challenge.

  11. #69
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    Just to follow up on my previous comment, in recent weeks I've offered climbing, archery, kayaking and sailing courses or tasters, plus a chance to try gliding, all run by leaders from District or County. We may have someone present at some, but not necessarily. In a couple of years' time, there'll be a chance to spend two weeks in Scotland walking, sailing, kayaking and mountain biking with District, with a bit of white water rafting and stuff thrown in. It will be open to all Troops in the District, but not all Troops will necessarily have leaders present; in any case, because all leaders attending need to be there to fulfil a specific role (owing to space/cost limitations), most activities will be led by people the Scouts don't necessarily know.
    Last edited by DKRSL; 27-05-2019 at 08:25 AM.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

  12. #70
    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    I sent my Scouts on a District camp a couple of years ago, without any of the leaders.
    They went as a Patrol, I donít know how much mingling they did, but they seemed to enjoy themselves.
    Norma
    Routine on camp is that they are self sufficient and led, with the leaders just running the activities for them, so not much different really.


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    I think it's probably a balance.

    I know for example that once the kids settle in, they're fine. They were initially not keen on going to the 'camp' I mentioned above (Lochgoilhead, it was indoors, and a regatta - so not what we actually expected since none of ours can paddle or sail particularly well.) However, it took them about fifteen minutes to get to know the scouts they were sharing the dorm with. There was some friction, but they got on and I can't say their behaviour was tempered particularly by being around people they didn't know.

    As weekend's away go, that was a bad one though - our crowd behaved terribly. We have a different crowd now, we 'lost' many of the main cast members from that episode.

    What I meant by balance was - we find it hard finding weekends that are available for us to organise weekend's away. (We had a recent trip over Easter there, which was a surprise in terms of attendance), but, normally, we really struggle due to all the stuff the kids do. Add in to that, leaders actually enjoy going away with the current crowd - it's challenging in places, but we have a really keen and decent crowd at the moment - so despite the occasional behavioural blip, it's really rewarding.

    Part of what gets leaders is that they get to enjoy Scouting too. I don't like to waste what weekends we can get with the kids, on sending them to things by themselves. There isn't any thing anyone else can book or organise, that we ourselves can't book or organise. Equally, there are plenty of opportunities for the kids to meet other scouts from around the country - the balance there is, that they get to do that with the leaders along, because we enjoy that aspect of scouting too.

    I suppose that makes us less selfless than others - maybe the kids miss out. But, we've always been honest about that. At the end of the day, the only reason we've been able to clear our waiting list, get numbers way up to the mid-20's with regular 95% attendance - is because we now have the leaders to cater for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    There isn't any thing anyone else can book or organise, that we ourselves can't book or organise.
    Agree with you about balance. But we're traditionally a Troop of generalist leaders, so most of the things I listed we can't organise ourselves (or at least, we can't instruct). And some, such as winter camps for the District, just add to the range of what we offer anyway.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

  15. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKRSL View Post
    Agree with you about balance. But we're traditionally a Troop of generalist leaders, so most of the things I listed we can't organise ourselves (or at least, we can't instruct). And some, such as winter camps for the District, just add to the range of what we offer anyway.
    I would have thought most groups buy that stuff in anyway. We tend to assume leaders would want to do that sort of stuff too, so organising for the kids to go away and do it with others, isn't really the thing to do.

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