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Thread: 2019 National Census numbers

  1. #16
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul o View Post
    I also am surprised by the census data stating 24% of Scouts are female. Does anyone run a Section where 1 in 4 are girls? We are lucky to get one per six.
    In cubs it's 21% So not far from your 1 per six.
    Our Explorers are more like the census, something a bit greater than 1/3. Summer camp I think it was more or less 50/50.
    Interestingly, that's how the numbers stack up, least proportion of girls in Beavers, most proportion in Network.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul o View Post
    The financial summary is all very well - I am still waiting for the bill for Compass - how can SA hide the millions that have been expended on that? How many years is it since the panic to switch Compass off? 5 years? Just think what we could have done with those millions... it could have bought the first 15 minutes of the World Jamboree opening ceremony!
    I don't think we will get a big lumpy bill, it's probably a large part of the 1.7m in the accounts for "Information technology and business solutions" as a license fee or something.
    The old MMS wasn't exactly god's gift to IT. It did need replacing.
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  2. #17
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul o View Post

    I don't buy the "waiting lists are infectious" and result in a drop in membership... that makes no sense as a waiting list ensues you run at capacity.
    Yes and no. A waiting list is a sign that you are doing well and are probably at capacity (hwever that is determined). However, a waiting list signals to some that "you won't get in there" and they go elsewhwere. At beaver age some parents are desperate for their kids to be doing "stuff". I lost track of how many had gone off to rugby or martial arts because we had a waiting list. So, it can cut both ways.



    I also think cramming in YP into sections is short sighted and will ultimately lead to discipline issues, lack of quality in the programme and eventual closure of sections due to loss of Leaders. I note the census shows average Section sizes are always under 20... is that under capacity? Our Sections are nearly always in the mid 20's.
    On past experience, I would say that was under capacity. But... oftimes strong groups will run with high numbers and a waiting list, whilst less active groups may run with capacity to spare. Without detailed, honest and critical analysis of membership numbers it is imposible to come to any real conclusion about "capacity"

    I also am surprised by the census data stating 24% of Scouts are female. Does anyone run a Section where 1 in 4 are girls? We are lucky to get one per six.
    The financial summary is all very well - I am still waiting for the bill for Compass - how can SA hide the millions that have been expended on that? How many years is it since the panic to switch Compass off? 5 years? Just think what we could have done with those millions... it could have bought the first 15 minutes of the World Jamboree opening ceremony!

    At one point my Troop ran at 50/50 male female. We also had strong representation in Beavers and Cubs for girls. The girls in cubs rarely followed through into Scouts and our Scout Girls were often disaffected Guides.

    In Navigators, we are for sure underepresented in the Cubs age section, just two girls out of 18 members. In Navigators (Scout age up) we have roughly 25% girls.
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    Quote Originally Posted by revoda View Post

    Not sure we've peaked. Back in 1980 we had 307,856 Cubs, 203,796 Scouts and 32,436 Venture Scouts, so we a way to go to get back to those numbers.
    While I wouldn't specifically rule out getting back to those numbers. The UK is not the same place it was in the 80's and neither is Scouts.

    In terms of whether or not we've peaked. I meant TSA in it's current iteration with all it's foibles that are well discussed here.

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    Couple of points...

    I do believe 25% girls, in our 9 groups that's probably pretty representative. I do, however get concerned that we are not growing for boys in the same way as girls, if anything we're probably less desirable. I do think that the drive for numbers is paramount at HQ as it drives their income and ability to claim their credibility as "the" mixed sex youth movement. However it's clear that they can't grown organically with the boys, and therefore are only able to grow in attracting more girls...

    And that leads to the second point. I know one troop only where girls outnumber boys, it's not great. They clique together, are physically and emotionally advanced of the boys and dominate games, discussion and activities, it's not a great atmosphere and certainly very different from explorers where there's much more parity. It certainly seems a lot less of an issue at Explorer age, although I fully understand the section mentioned above where the all girl unit attracted no Scouts and closed.

    It's probably heresy to say it, but girls have a "safe space" as the guides put it, which is way more popular to girls than is scouts, and a lot more popular to girls than Scouts is to boys... That's an uncomfortable fact to many (and try saying that on 1FB if you want to troll), but the numbers say that either Scouts isn't as popular or that the single sex space isn't that stupid at early teen and younger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Couple of points...

    I do believe 25% girls, in our 9 groups that's probably pretty representative. I do, however get concerned that we are not growing for boys in the same way as girls, if anything we're probably less desirable. I do think that the drive for numbers is paramount at HQ as it drives their income and ability to claim their credibility as "the" mixed sex youth movement. However it's clear that they can't grown organically with the boys, and therefore are only able to grow in attracting more girls...

    And that leads to the second point. I know one troop only where girls outnumber boys, it's not great. They clique together, are physically and emotionally advanced of the boys and dominate games, discussion and activities, it's not a great atmosphere and certainly very different from explorers where there's much more parity. It certainly seems a lot less of an issue at Explorer age, although I fully understand the section mentioned above where the all girl unit attracted no Scouts and closed.

    It's probably heresy to say it, but girls have a "safe space" as the guides put it, which is way more popular to girls than is scouts, and a lot more popular to girls than Scouts is to boys... That's an uncomfortable fact to many (and try saying that on 1FB if you want to troll), but the numbers say that either Scouts isn't as popular or that the single sex space isn't that stupid at early teen and younger.
    Interestingly, or not... We don't have any girls in our scout section. We have had in the past, but generally speaking it's not the norm.

    With us, on the odd occasion we've had a girl in, they've mostly been on their own and have eventually left - not because they got bullied or mistreated, but because they were the only girl, (and no, that does not automatically me they were mistreated). If you put that next to the examples of girls in scouts being a bit cliquey and not particularly well matched to the boys - and boys either not joining or leaving...

    Some might say, this is (anecdotal) evidence to support the notion that at Scout age anyway, a mixed section may not be the ideal.

    Only once have we achieved any sort of gender balance - but it's safe to say it was exceptional circumstances. In terms of the individuals who were there and the numbers break-down. Up to then and since, it's never worked well at Scouts. (possibly worth mentioning, the girls we had in scouts when it did work, did not move up to Explorers with the others.)

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Up to then and since, it's never worked well at Scouts. (possibly worth mentioning, the girls we had in scouts when it did work, did not move up to Explorers with the others.)
    Yet it always worked for us and the girls we had alwys stayed through Explorers.

    It is worth noting that the girls who came to us had rejected Guides for all the sterotypical reasons...
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    Statistics are always in how you read them

    The Cub Pack numbers are up 12 on the year, which sounds good.

    However there are 49 new Groups, which assuming they all had a Cub Pack, means there was a net loss of 37 Packs in the year in existing Groups, which is not good.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Yet it always worked for us and the girls we had alwys stayed through Explorers.

    It is worth noting that the girls who came to us had rejected Guides for all the sterotypical reasons...
    Yup.

    We have a well-thought of guide provision in the village. But, as you say, the girls we got rejected the Guiding ethos. They wanted to do the 'boy' stuff, or stuff that was thought of as being 'boy' stuff.

    At that time, we had three girls, one was fading (I think she only came because her pals did, but actually didn't like it), one was already thoroughly indoctrinated into the unfortunate local cult known as the P*** B***. and the other left because her pals left.

    I think though, there is a balance to be found where you have enough girls so that they don't feel isolated among the boys, but not so many that they're seen as taking over.

    I know it's not popular, but I do think at that age, there are differences that can't reasonably be ignored. So, some space may be required. It being not popular however, doesn't make it incorrect.

    As for statistics. You know what they say about those. The difference in numbers is so small, I don't think any real conclusions can be drawn.

  10. #24
    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    I think the start of the downward turn has finally come (it's taken a time) The lack of leaders in many areas will start to impact the number of youth members and think over the next decade there will be a decline in membership.

    Rule 66. A map and compass offers no protection against getting horribly lost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcush View Post
    I think the start of the downward turn has finally come (it's taken a time) The lack of leaders in many areas will start to impact the number of youth members and think over the next decade there will be a decline in membership.
    If I had to rub my crystal ball...

    I think what'll happen is, the last of the old school leaders will disappear (that would be me). We'll leave, die or retire, not necessarily in that order. All the new leaders who haven't really known anything other than the way things are set up now, will have much shorter tenures, gone will be the days of leaders staying on forever - I think it's already tipped over into being just little bit too arduous to be a leader. It's no longer a hobby, it's a pseudo-occupation.

    (If I had to follow all the bureaucratic rules, (and no, I don't mean the ones around safety), I'd have no choice but to leave. It's not why I'm involved. I mean, who ever joined up to satisfy paperwork?)

    Digressing slightly. I think another problem which is developing, is an ever-increasing knocking of heads, between adults who volunteer to lead, and adults who volunteer to administer. I've now met up with this it twice, maybe three times. It wasn't necessary, and each time it was enthusiastic people in admin roles just being too, ummm, enthusiastic. I can avoid some of it but not all of it. So I don't do the activity I've been doing (perfectly safely) for the past 20 odd years (and more), or I ignore it and Press On Regardless. (It's what POR really stands form, or did back in the day).

    It's my view, that Administrators now have too much power and say in what Leaders do, or are able to do. It's just tipped over into being impractical - mostly due to over-enthusiasm and a structure which is writing cheques the movement's ability to recruit adults can't cash.

    So to speak.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    If I had to rub my crystal ball...

    I think what'll happen is, the last of the old school leaders will disappear (that would be me). We'll leave, die or retire, not necessarily in that order. All the new leaders who haven't really known anything other than the way things are set up now, will have much shorter tenures, gone will be the days of leaders staying on forever - I think it's already tipped over into being just little bit too arduous to be a leader. It's no longer a hobby, it's a pseudo-occupation.

    (If I had to follow all the bureaucratic rules, (and no, I don't mean the ones around safety), I'd have no choice but to leave. It's not why I'm involved. I mean, who ever joined up to satisfy paperwork?)
    There are alternatives out there... Navigators does not suffer from this isue. However, I will grant that if we had 10,000 groups, we would need the bureaucracy to support them. The positive is, no hierarchy. The negative of Navigators is... no hierarchy to pass the buck to.

    Digressing slightly. I think another problem which is developing, is an ever-increasing knocking of heads, between adults who volunteer to lead, and adults who volunteer to administer. I've now met up with this it twice, maybe three times. It wasn't necessary, and each time it was enthusiastic people in admin roles just being too, ummm, enthusiastic. I can avoid some of it but not all of it. So I don't do the activity I've been doing (perfectly safely) for the past 20 odd years (and more), or I ignore it and Press On Regardless. (It's what POR really stands form, or did back in the day).

    It's my view, that Administrators now have too much power and say in what Leaders do, or are able to do. It's just tipped over into being impractical - mostly due to over-enthusiasm and a structure which is writing cheques the movement's ability to recruit adults can't cash.
    This much is for sure true. I know of several who, when approached by the next big thing from on-high, sling it a rubber ear. However, my team and I are an example of the end result of fending off the bull from above. Eventually, they find a chink in the armour and it all goes to hell in a handcart.

    I never found a single activity that POR or the Information sheetsforbade me from doing, not one. I did find a couple where , shall we give them the benefit of the doubt, over-enthusiastic types imposed local restrictions at a County level - which if ignored, could have invalidated any insurance claim - I was not about to test the theory.

    It was not POR that did for us, it was a DC with an agenda. And I can tell you that this is a familiar story up and down the country. That will and does cost Scouting good Leaders ( others can judge whether i fell into that category).


    So to speak.[/QUOTE]
    Ewan Scott

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    If I had to rub my crystal ball...

    I think what'll happen is, the last of the old school leaders will disappear (that would be me). We'll leave, die or retire, not necessarily in that order. All the new leaders who haven't really known anything other than the way things are set up now, will have much shorter tenures, gone will be the days of leaders staying on forever - I think it's already tipped over into being just little bit too arduous to be a leader. It's no longer a hobby, it's a pseudo-occupation.
    A few years ago I used to think like that. We had 3 out of 4 Section Leaders and the GSL in our Group and Unit all in their 60s or 70s and no likely candidates to replace them. However I no longer think that is the case as I think TSA is just starting to properly see the benefits of the YL scheme. Most of our Group's current Leaders were YLs either in our Group or others, we just had another one join us last week who was a YL and then ABSL. We now have two Section Leaders in their 20s, one in their 40s and me as GSL and ESL in my 30s. It seems that when these former YLs move into the area one of the first things they do is look for a Scout Group to help with. Ok they might not all stay forever at our Group as people do move around more these days but I reckon most will stay involved in Scouting one way or another.

    I would certainly class myself as one of your so called "old school Leaders" in that I have been around our Group and Unit for years (since before I was 6) and intend to be around for decades to come. I know two of my former Explorers are Leaders where they live and I reckon both are set to be in Scouting for life so there are still long term Leaders coming through to replace those that leave, retire or sadly die.

    Peter Andrews ESL 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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    I mean, I think there will be anecdotal evidence in all directions. For example, I could say our experience is the opposite of Pete's. Out of three new leaders we've taken on, two are ex-Scouts. One from our group who didn't go to Uni, and another who went to another group (over the hill a bit) and moved into the village and sought out a group.

    But in our experience, that isn't the norm. The norm is parents taking on roles because they had their arm twisted. Sometimes they're great, sometimes they're just doing their time and are adequate. As Pete says, social mobility - ironically - among the class that Scouts most appeals to, or is most accessible for, social mobility is high. Where we are, it is very rare that a person is able to return to the area and live. Almost all of ours go to university. And once away, they can't return.

    When you couple that up with the whole actually-being-a-leader-thing, and not just a helper. I think the trend is going to be toward shorter tenured, dare I say, less interested leaders.

    I also think the battle between leaders and administrators will simmer away and will eventually boil over. Like Ewan says, we're almost pitting volunteers against each other. I mean, we don't mean to, but we are.

    Our district is picking up, we have a very on-message DC in place. Going by the noises coming from up the greasy pole - rubbing my crystal ball once more - I think there may be some ructions.

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    ASL and YLUL wealdbrook's Avatar
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    We are just sending out a letter to advise that our Scout section is ceasing to meet - we have no adults prepared to be consistent leaders. We have been keeping it working for about 18 months with the GSL and others covering but the time has come. Hopefully we may see a response but we have not had one in the past, but perhaps they did not believe we would actually pull the plug.
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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wealdbrook View Post
    We are just sending out a letter to advise that our Scout section is ceasing to meet - we have no adults prepared to be consistent leaders. We have been keeping it working for about 18 months with the GSL and others covering but the time has come. Hopefully we may see a response but we have not had one in the past, but perhaps they did not believe we would actually pull the plug.
    Good luck

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