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Thread: 2019 National Census numbers

  1. #61
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    It still makes no sense because what you said has no actual bearing on what I said. I never said people who didn't have any outdoor/scouting experience would make crap leaders. I said people who had outdoor/scouting might make better leaders. What I said does not rule out what you said - ergo, it makes no sense as a counter argument.
    Well that's firmly put me in my place! I will now quietly bow out of this and let you have the last word if you wish.
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    Maybe just don't claim you said maybe when you didn't and try to understand why what you actually wrote might have understandably upset or annoyed someone and possibly consider apologising when you have done so as well as explaining what you actually meant.
    Hmmm...

    No.

    I can't help it if people take posts in total isolation or treat the wording as some sort of immutable contract. I'm not apologising for someone else's misunderstanding or inability to not assume the worst in others - especially when they (me) have said the exact opposite often elsewhere.

    It's getting to the point where posting here is either a contractual test, or you need to add all sorts of caveats at the bottom of every post listing everything you're not saying, lest someone takes offence, or assumes the worst case scenario in terms of what the poster (me) is trying to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Well that's firmly put me in my place! I will now quietly bow out of this and let you have the last word if you wish.
    I don't mean to be curt. (I know, that sounds daft, since that's all I've really done).

    I'm not a horrible person, I don't think parents make bad leaders. It bothers me, that because I didn't include one qualifying word, in one post, on one forum, that you would assume I thought what you seemed to think I thought. Especially given the leaders I work with are parents, and I have the highest regard for them - indeed, I'm also regularly left floundering in their wake by their efforts.

    I just don't think it's fair to judge people in that way.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Hmmm...

    No.

    I can't help it if people take posts in total isolation or treat the wording as some sort of immutable contract. I'm not apologising for someone else's misunderstanding or inability to not assume the worst in others - especially when they (me) have said the exact opposite often elsewhere.

    It's getting to the point where posting here is either a contractual test, or you need to add all sorts of caveats at the bottom of every post listing everything you're not saying, lest someone takes offence, or assumes the worst case scenario in terms of what the poster (me) is trying to say.

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    I don't mean to be curt. (I know, that sounds daft, since that's all I've really done).

    I'm not a horrible person, I don't think parents make bad leaders. It bothers me, that because I didn't include one qualifying word, in one post, on one forum, that you would assume I thought what you seemed to think I thought. Especially given the leaders I work with are parents, and I have the highest regard for them - indeed, I'm also regularly left floundering in their wake by their efforts.

    I just don't think it's fair to judge people in that way.
    Ah now. Don't take your bat and ball home over a minor difference.

    Some of us have strong views, perhaps radical views, and we sometimes manage to rub people the wrong way, even when we really don't mean to. It used to bother me, but nowadays I let it fall into the "sh*t happens" category.

    I have always felt that the whole purpose of Forums was to discuss and debate and to accommodate differering opinions, when people take umbrage then there is a failure to communicate the message - usually. There are very few times that I can remember when any poster here, even in the heyday of the Forum, came to verbal blows in the way that can be found on other places.

    My view is that most any adult joining can contribute in a positive way - IF they are in the right role. That is a huge IF.

    The problems arise because we are all desperate for adult support and we tend to take anyone who raises their head above the parapet and put them in whatever role we have available, when what we should be doing is guiding them towards a role where they can be at their best and as a consequence help create a better scouting experience.
    Ewan Scott

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    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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  5. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I'm sorry, but that doesn't make any sense.

    If you have room for one leader, and you have two people in mind. One has tons of outdoor experience and is dead keen, the other doesn't. If you don't know how either will pan out as a leader - who are you going to pick? It also works the other way. If you need a GSL (say) and you get two people, one of whom you know to be a great administrator, and another who has his own canoe and parascending equipment - you go with the administrator. (And get the other guy in as a section leader.)

    I never said someone with scouting skills couldn't be an awful leader. I said that if a person already had some scouting skills, they might make a better leader. I'm careful to qualify the statements I make on here, I usually say might, or perhaps...

    And what else is anything I say, other than my opinion? Or do you think I'm so sociopathic, that I believe everything that falls out of my head is a fact?

    I agree about the 'or-else' recruitment paradigm - if that's all you can do, then that's what you do. But that misses the basic point. Perhaps the reason we're falling back so often on an 'or-else' recruitment paradigm is because, how we deal with adult volunteers is a huge turn-off in the long run?

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    I agree, which is why I said 'might' and 'perhaps'.

    We're talking about probabilities here, I assumed people here would understand that. I think someone has uninstalled the nuance module from this forum.



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    This is me, except with any sort of cooking. I can manage pancakes, but beyond that, I struggle.

    We're fortunate to have a helper who was a chef, so he looks after that side of things.
    The thing is none of us is that rounded. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We look at other troops and think they know what they are doing. But they are probably looking at you feeling and thinking the same.

    I can cook, but I am not perfect. Over the years, working in a team, I have learnt so much. It is more than how to connect up the gas stove to the gas. It is little things like creating a Bain Marie in a field to keep food hot for 50 people.

    I remember really struggling to do the Scout creative badge when it came out. We went a year with less requirements ticked off than World. Then I realised cooking was creative. I looked for ideas from the wider community and started whittling things with the Scouts. (I had not whittled prior to Scouts). Now creative stuff just happens without much thought.

    Seven years ago I received an email to say that there not enough spaces in Scouts to accommodate the Cubs moving up. They needed to open a new troop. I had a cub and a scout at that point. I raised my hand. The only thing I was bringing to the table was volunteer management skills and presentation skills. I was happy to be directed into which skills I would need. Now I have an explorer and one in network. I am still a Scout Leader. I am enjoying it.


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  7. #65
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    It was just an example.

    A lot of the time, people don't really know what we get up to at meetings. They don't realise just how much ground Scouting covers, so maybe don't think they'd have anything to offer.

    I think that, and the thought that that it might not be fun, or be too much of an undertaking - are the triumvirate of reasons people don't put their hands up.

    I was thinking the other day... We have a weekend expedition coming up - it'll be a first for Scouts. Lightweight camping, wild camp sites and a bit of a walk. I've done it loads of times with Explorers, but not with Scouts. People think it's a big undertaking, all I did was liaise with leaders on dates, then send an email out to parents with info.

    That's basically it. Even thinking about the organisation of the weekend, the run up to and the execution there-of - isn't that intimidating. Sometimes though, as leaders we might forget how it looks from the outside. It's fine if you've been doing it for years, but if you never have... That also made me think - in conjunction with yesterdays contretemps. Parents do it all the time, sure there are more rules. But really, all it is, is a scaled-up summer holiday/weekend away. Listening to plans laid down by parents who I know, it's interesting, just how much work goes into it. But scout overnighters are not massively different (other than scale) to what they're probably already doing.

    In which regard, I can absolutely see why district and HQ has all the stuff they had in place - although I wouldn't necessarily structure it they way they have.

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    The census doesn't really give us really useful info that we can act upon at Group level. I'd want to see data about leaders churn rate, the reasons for leaving, the reasons for joining, and maybe insight into the average "staffing" combinations for each Section. I doubt that information is ever collected. Most Leaders just leave without "demob" interview - none from our Group in 13 years. Our own info indicates that our leaders leave because their children leave the section, or more frequently they leave Scouts. (probably 70% of Leaders), professional commitments increasing (10%), disenchantment after a weekend County training session ( 2 leaders handed back their woggles immediately on separate occasions, and now return as parent helpers), not enjoying Leadership because of discipline and over capacity in Scouts or Cubs. Box ticking is probably a contributory factor but not the principal reason for leaving.

    The positivity thing is important. All our Leaders are positive - if they weren't they would probably have left - afterall they are volunteers! Many would like to improve things - and if that is possible within a Group then that gets done. The negativity is usually associated with matters we can't influence - hence the finger is pointed at intervention from District, County and HQ. Our way of coping is to keep our head down and ignore for as long as we can... that way we keep positive and "Carry on London!".
    Last edited by Paul o; 22-09-2019 at 11:30 AM.

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  11. #67
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    Churn rate of leaders would be an interesting one, especialy if you are looking at long/mid term leaders and new leaders leaving, and groups/Districts where the long timers are leaving, and new leaders are not sticking around

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    We have a weekend expedition coming up - it'll be a first for Scouts. Lightweight camping, wild camp sites and a bit of a walk. I've done it loads of times with Explorers, but not with Scouts. People think it's a big undertaking, all I did was liaise with leaders on dates, then send an email out to parents with info.

    That's basically it.
    Not if you listen to the traing teams...

    Planning well inadvance, as much as a year, set dates, book campsites, sort out numbers, food requirements ( special diets), checking everyone has the proper equipment and the basic skills. Ensure that you have sufficient leadership time - permissions (sic), health forms, notifications, yada, yada, yada... I get what you are saying,but some people make a mountain out of it.

    International trip. Took all of two hours to cost out... the rest is just making the bookings and getting the numbers. According to training, it needs two years to plan an International trip from first conception to making it happen - NUTZ! Which was the name of two of our trips to Bastogne. (Nutz and Nutz2). NUTZ 3 is on the back burner till we know what is happening with Sterling.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





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  13. #69
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    It's a good name for that trip. I like it

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    ASL and YLUL wealdbrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Not if you listen to the traing teams...

    Planning well inadvance, as much as a year, set dates, book campsites, sort out numbers, food requirements ( special diets), checking everyone has the proper equipment and the basic skills. Ensure that you have sufficient leadership time - permissions (sic), health forms, notifications, yada, yada, yada... I get what you are saying,but some people make a mountain out of it.

    International trip. Took all of two hours to cost out... the rest is just making the bookings and getting the numbers. According to training, it needs two years to plan an International trip from first conception to making it happen - NUTZ! Which was the name of two of our trips to Bastogne. (Nutz and Nutz2). NUTZ 3 is on the back burner till we know what is happening with Sterling.
    I agree, if you have done it before (or something similar) then it does not take long and is not difficult. The challenge is for those who have not done it before, are not confident, who need help to make sure that nothing is forgotten.
    When we hear about school trips going wrong then we "tut-tut" that it wouldn't happen in Scouts but it could if we did not provide the training and support.
    John Alexander,
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    Quote Originally Posted by wealdbrook View Post
    I agree, if you have done it before (or something similar) then it does not take long and is not difficult. The challenge is for those who have not done it before, are not confident, who need help to make sure that nothing is forgotten.
    When we hear about school trips going wrong then we "tut-tut" that it wouldn't happen in Scouts but it could if we did not provide the training and support.
    I think the training is incredibly spotty in places, and occasionally not very good. Also, it's presented in a way that ends up putting people off doing camps and anything else vaguely adventurous.

    Actually, I don't think that, I see it all the time - where we are anyway. We've digressed a fair bit, but if these things are so easy to organise, it does rather beg the question why the training seems (in places) to be so inaccessible and impenetrable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I still think we need to move back toward leadership being a pastime/hobby as opposed to an occupation/job. The way I'd do that (to start) is by removing all the workplace language and methods currently deployed.
    It seems to me that there are two types of volunteer (in general, not just in Scouting) - or, more probably, two extremes with a spectrum in between. One type is as you describe, looking to do something as a hobby and a break from the world of work, and therefore to get away from all that language and those methods. The other lives in a working world where you are trained for everything, and everything is documented, where a few decades back you worked it out for yourself (for better or for worse). As a result, this type expects that any decent organisation will provide some of that same training and backup.

    Then of course there's the pressure that, without the documented training, it's hard to have a defence if things go wrong. The net effect, though, is to drive things towards volunteering feeling increasingly professional, in the strict sense of the word. People who understand "professional" to mean "done well" say that that is a good thing. Of course it doesn't mean that; it means "done as a formal occupation with substantial training and qualification requirements". It has entirely different overtones if you know about the "professionals vs gentlemen (=amateurs)" debates in various sports a hundred years ago, where the amateurs were considered the proper participants.

    Not that the hobbyists want to avoid all training - but as others have said, it's a different feel, and making things "professional" isn't good for everyone. I think this is an issue for volunteering in general, rather than for Scouting specifically.
    Last edited by DKRSL; 23-09-2019 at 11:12 PM.
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  19. #73
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Not if you listen to the traing teams...

    Planning well inadvance, as much as a year, set dates, book campsites, sort out numbers, food requirements ( special diets), checking everyone has the proper equipment and the basic skills. Ensure that you have sufficient leadership time - permissions (sic), health forms, notifications, yada, yada, yada... I get what you are saying,but some people make a mountain out of it.

    International trip. Took all of two hours to cost out... the rest is just making the bookings and getting the numbers. According to training, it needs two years to plan an International trip from first conception to making it happen - NUTZ! Which was the name of two of our trips to Bastogne. (Nutz and Nutz2). NUTZ 3 is on the back burner till we know what is happening with Sterling.
    Yes and no. Two years does seem excessive, I mean, for starters, in Explorers, you're only pointing at the younger half of Explorers if you're two years out, as anyone over 16 will be in Network by the time it happens. I'm trying to think back now, I'm sure we started talking about our international adventures from possibly more than 12 months out. Only in the sketchiest terms mind you. Punting out dates in early Autumn, asking for deposits in the Autumn term, you have to make decisions about flights fairly early. Group bookings v easyjet etc.

    And if you want to do something special...I mean, I had a quick look at Venture Abroad a while back, and their trips to Kandersteg are all booked up for next year.

    I guess it's like anything, the big things need sorting early. Campsite, transport, the rest you can start filling in nearer the time.

    I make it look easy, but not everyone is as amazing as me.
    Ian Wilkins
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  20. #74
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    You can start planning an international without knowing what kids are going on it, i.e. a "feasability study" like looking at where to go, how you would get both kids and kit there and what that would likely cost.

    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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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    You can start planning an international without knowing what kids are going on it, i.e. a "feasability study" like looking at where to go, how you would get both kids and kit there and what that would likely cost.
    True true. Gives you something to do on a wet sunday afternoon.
    Ian Wilkins
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