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Thread: Snowflake parents

  1. #31
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    I don't think anyone is being unreasonable. Anecdotally, there will be more instances of parental error (and stories of nerves generally), because there are a lot more parents in the mix than leaders. I think if you boil it down, it's probably about even.

    Only thing I'd add, by way of a caveat. No doubt there are people who are expert at scouting - be that as it may, despite TSA best efforts via training plans etc - it's still not a professional organisation. I don't think there are any plans (as yet) for leaders to complete Prince 2 or anything...

    So mistakes are going to be made. I think the balance is about right however. I'd far rather an error in communications than an error in some other more important area.

  2. #32
    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post

    So mistakes are going to be made. I think the balance is about right however. I'd far rather an error in communications than an error in some other more important area.
    The problem is that errors in communication can lead to far larger and more important errors, particularly if it erodes trust between parent and leader.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    The problem is that errors in communication can lead to far larger and more important errors, particularly if it erodes trust between parent and leader.
    Iíd agree with that, I had an entire cohort that wouldnít camp. When I asked why, I was told it was because we had lost Fred on a camp. I replied that Fred has never been on a camp.
    I asked Fredís mum, what happened was that when he was a beaver Fredís dad had taken him to a district centenary event, that our groupís beavers hadnít gone to as the leaders were away. The cub and scout leaders didnít know him and didnít know he was attending.
    Dad spent his time chatting to his mates and then realised his son wasnít there. Spent a long time looking on a District campsite in the dark WITHOUT telling any of our leaders.
    So a child being looked after by his parent that the Cub and Scout Leaders didnít know was coming wondered off.
    Somehow this became a case of I had lost a child, explains that I couldnít have
    Lost anyone because I was away in Cornwall at the time made no difference. Kids werenít allowed on camp, but were still allowed to go off with dad.


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  5. #34
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    Another example of much eroded trust. A scout at Great Tower got very lost and ended up wondering down the road, took some 3 hours to find. The SL decided not to tell anyone, including ADC and DC - "what happens on camp stays on camp", despite being a very short time off calling the police. Issue was that the scout concerned, who was utterly terrified, went home after the camp to tell his parents who were irate that they'd not been told, they informed every other parent who would listen and then the troop gained the reputation of losing Scouts all over the country and not caring about it.

    That one was harder, I couldn't really decide the absolutely right action, but maybe taking the parents to one side and explaining on return after the camp might have helped.

  6. #35
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    If we found him, I can't see why I would tell the DC about that myself, and definitely not an ADC, as an ADC is not a manager. I probably wouldn't mention it to the parent either unless the YP said they wanted me to do so or I wanted the parent to speak to them about it, though obviously if asked a question about it I would answer honestly.

    I've had to play "hunt the Scout" on a few occasions (mostly on hikes where they misnavigate) and it would never occur to me in such a case that anyone should be told. Not "what goes on camp stays on camp" - that's dangerous and invites Safeguarding issues - but it's just not that big a thing to me if there is nothing else involved in the situation than them getting a bit lost. If there was something else involved, then that would depend what the something else was. If he walked off because of an argument with peers, that just needs resolving. If he walked off because he was upset as he had been being abused at home, then that's a reportable Safeguarding issue. But the walking off bit, particularly if unintentional, seems rather inconsequential.

    - - - Updated - - -

    (I would however let the DC know if I felt it likely a complaint would be raised)
    Last edited by Neil Williams; 17-01-2020 at 09:40 PM.

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  9. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Honesty is the best policy.
    Not telling someone something because you don't believe it is of enough consequence isn't dishonest. I don't send parents a report of every single word that was said on camp. I do however answer questions honestly if they are asked.

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  11. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    The problem is that errors in communication can lead to far larger and more important errors, particularly if it erodes trust between parent and leader.
    I was referring specifically to Ewan's example. Passing on emails from district etc, that sort of thing. I'm well aware communication is important - I think anyone would admit, that a lot of what we get from up the greasy pole, isn't worth us reading, never mind parents.

  12. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Not telling someone something because you don't believe it is of enough consequence isn't dishonest. I don't send parents a report of every single word that was said on camp. I do however answer questions honestly if they are asked.
    I didn't tell parents about the piercings. They were self evident at pick-up time.

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  13. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    I didn't tell parents about the piercings. They were self evident at pick-up time.
    Oh, come on. That's not even remotely the same, is it?

    Unless you actually do write each parent and the DC[1] a blow by blow account of every happening on camp (including collecting witness statements from times you weren't there) you presumably draw the line somewhere. Minus the sarcasm, which is unbecoming, where do you actually draw it?

    [1] ADCs remain utterly irrelevant as they are not managers, they are supporters, therefore they need only be told things when (a) the DC has explicitly delegated, or (b) you need support. Edit: the DESC is different as they are not an ADC, they are effectively the GSL of the Explorer provision.
    Last edited by Neil Williams; 18-01-2020 at 10:34 AM.

  14. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atb View Post
    Ach tell me about it. Had something comparable recently. Explorer parents and other leaders on exec firmly refused for the group to stock a few mora knives in the kit, because “it isn’t appropriate for scouts or explorers to use knives”. Perhaps I tried to sell it too strong - I had sent a pic of beavers using knives to learn bushcraft skills. And no we aren’t in an area known for rampant knife crime. I was dismayed.
    Our Exec has devolved some spending decisions to Section Leaders (to run weekly meetings) and Moira knives are so cheap these days if we needed for weekly meeting activities them we could buy them out of these funds. As it happens our Exec were more than happy to approve funding to purchase a bunch of moira knives a few years ago. We keep them in a lock box when not in use but their safe use is up to our Leaders to ensure.

    On the telling parents thing one thing I have asked as GSL is for our Leaders to inform me of any notable incidents (most definitely anything involving needing medical treatment or reporting to emergency services but also anything needing first aid treatment) as we had an incident last year which a parent complained about to me as GSL and I had to admit I wasn't aware of what they were talking about and would look into it and get back to them. I think their complaint was partly that they had not been informed of the incident but this was fairly easily explained that the Leaders had told his Mum who picked the Scout up but the Scout lives with Dad and Step Mum who were told nothing of the incident by the Mum.
    Last edited by shiftypete; 18-01-2020 at 10:16 AM.

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    Just the other week I had a chat with a lad who was upset - he felt he was being bullied. I said that if he didn't want me to, I would not speak to his parents.

    9:01 the following day. " Hi, it's Smithy's mum. Did something happen at Navs last night? Smithy doesn't want to go to school today."

    To be honest, it wasn't that bad, but the kid is very sensitive. I didn't have to explain much, she volunteered the offender's name.

    As a result, we have clarified our anti-bullying policy and have taken affirmative action, though the bully has absolutely no idea he is being so obnoxious. One of my leaders is being super nice, another is waiting to pounce, and for once, I am taking a step back but am actively protecting those whom he targets.

    I took great joy when a little girl beat him twice in a row at a physical game... Am I allowed to inwardly feel glee at the outcome of a game?
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  17. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Not telling someone something because you don't believe it is of enough consequence isn't dishonest. I don't send parents a report of every single word that was said on camp. I do however answer questions honestly if they are asked.
    Agreed - but if a child is clearly very upset at some happening at the meeting or camp, then obviously they think it is very important - and that makes it important to their parents, and us as the leader.

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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Agreed - but if a child is clearly very upset at some happening at the meeting or camp, then obviously they think it is very important - and that makes it important to their parents, and us as the leader.
    Yes, fair point, though again I don't automatically tell parents if a YP gets a bit upset about something (where "something" isn't overly serious, not e.g. Safeguarding type stuff), they may well not want the parents told. I've been known to ask them if they want me to tell them, if they say no I'd then say it's up to them what they tell them themselves.

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    Gilwell winter camp last weekend. Had a mix of scouts and explorers with me. One explorer wasn’t there 30 mins after advertised drop off time. Phoned parents. Both explorer and parents had coMpletely forgotten it was happening, even allowing for the email 48 hours before hand warning of it being even more mudtastic than usual.

    No matter what you do, no matter how much you communicate or work with parents some will just be slinkies*. You just have to be a bit zen about it.

    *of no practical use but fun to push down the stairs.

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