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Thread: Written Risk Assessments to become compulsort - POR Pre-launch Check

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    We were introduced to a reverse version of Bulldogs while on a camp in Holland, instead of knocking them down ( as in bulldog) the players who are "on" have to lift someone off the ground slightly safer (but still with ots own risks) in that in order to be caught you must first be at a standstill, where as bulldog involves tripping someone up whilst in motion.

    Ladders is a game that i avoid based on experiences as a Youth member, as is murderball for the same reason ( murder ball two teams of Scouts with a goalie stood on a chair played in the dark, players score a goal by getting the ball to their goalie by whatever method they choose)
    Last edited by Richard T; 02-07-2020 at 05:55 PM.

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    I've played 3 versions of Bulldog; takedown, lift-up and tag. The only version that's resulted in paperwork is tag, because collisions are more severe because the game is faster, FWIW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard T View Post
    We were introduced to a reverse version of Bulldogs while on a camp in Holland, instead of knocking them down ( as in bulldog) the players who are "on" have to lift someone off the ground slightly safer (but still with ots own risks) in that in order to be caught you must first be at a standstill, where as bulldog involves tripping someone up whilst in motion.

    Ladders is a game that i avoid based on experiences as a Youth member, as is murderball for the same reason ( murder ball two teams of Scouts with a goalie stood on a chair played in the dark, players score a goal by getting the ball to their goalie by whatever method they choose)
    Murderball as I know it is one on one and ladders isn't a game I'd play with scouts normally but it popped into my head for example purposes.

    Bulldog can be managed carefully and I've not had an injury from any of the versions I've played but it does take careful management. You can tell if the atmosphere isn't right and you don't play it/ stop.

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    The best written risk assessment I ever saw was presented by a leader after an activity went wrong and was subject to a formal complaint. The biggest problem was that no one had seen it in advance, the contents had never been discussed with anyone present, the mitigation not implemented, and some of the details can only have been known after the event. She got into way more trouble for presenting such an obvious fake than the problems on the event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    The best written risk assessment I ever saw was presented by a leader after an activity went wrong and was subject to a formal complaint. The biggest problem was that no one had seen it in advance, the contents had never been discussed with anyone present, the mitigation not implemented, and some of the details can only have been known after the event. She got into way more trouble for presenting such an obvious fake than the problems on the event.
    Its not uncommon (ive never done it, but i've seen it done) to write a risk assessment post-event to cover something that went wrong... unfortunately as you say its often blatantly obvious that the risk assessment is very much customised to the thing that went wrong - or that the control measures suggested didnt happen. I'll be honest - i'd much rather put my hands up and say "our risk assessment didnt cover that as we didnt think of it". Because risk assessment will never cover everything that could possibly happen.

    We didnt play it at Scouts, but at Cubs, Ladders was the most dangerous game (until the GSL asked that they stop doing it, after having to fill in the "hospital treatment" form). Its a truly terrible idea for a game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I'm now thinking, given how our group runs, that actually instead of Explorers, we might run Navigators instead for the over 14's.
    I wonder how well that will go down with district!

    I'm pretty sure there's nothing they could do to stop you hiring the hall and kit to a navs unit. But I suspect they might review some leader appointments if they discover the same leader team is running a 14-18 Navs unit and directing the Scouts to go there rather than explorers.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    And I think, oh, well, hopefully most will be reasonable and everything will be groovy, then I see this on that facebook...



    And I think...crikey...they walk among us. This leader's GSL is going to [HEART] the future!
    Deary me. Permission. Approval. 2 Weeks notice. OUCH

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    .....I wonder how well that will go down with district!...
    .... OUCH
    Or the parents - given that Scouting will quite happily pass on the message that leaders left because they didn't like asessing risk.

    I doubt many will leave for a new movement. The difficulty of setting up under Nav's or anyone else will far far exceed the trouble in writing an RA. Locally we have a group which set up by a number of disgruntled leaders. I've just checked their web page which has vanished and I suspect the group has too. I don't think it ever exceeded 30 member across ages 5 to 18, and last I heard was on its last legs. They weren't allowed to use a Scout hut - not least because one of them was still under suspension - and ended up in a school hall which is never ideal. It was basically simply swamped by the local Scout group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Or the parents - given that Scouting will quite happily pass on the message that leaders left because they didn't like asessing risk.

    I doubt many will leave for a new movement. The difficulty of setting up under Nav's or anyone else will far far exceed the trouble in writing an RA. Locally we have a group which set up by a number of disgruntled leaders. I've just checked their web page which has vanished and I suspect the group has too. I don't think it ever exceeded 30 member across ages 5 to 18, and last I heard was on its last legs. They weren't allowed to use a Scout hut - not least because one of them was still under suspension - and ended up in a school hall which is never ideal. It was basically simply swamped by the local Scout group.
    I dont think Pa Broon was suggesting leaving scouting - just setting up Navs locally for the 14-18s. As far as i'm aware there is nothing in POR that prevents leaders doing so... a group can hire its hall and equipment to whoever it wants, leaders can volunteer for as many organisations as they want (enough people volunteer for both scouts and guides for example), and although Scouting data couldnt be used for Navigator recruitment there'd be nothing to stop leaders mentioning it to scouts and their parents face to face. But i'm sure the district would find a way to make life very difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Or the parents - given that Scouting will quite happily pass on the message that leaders left because they didn't like asessing risk.

    I doubt many will leave for a new movement. The difficulty of setting up under Nav's or anyone else will far far exceed the trouble in writing an RA. Locally we have a group which set up by a number of disgruntled leaders. I've just checked their web page which has vanished and I suspect the group has too. I don't think it ever exceeded 30 member across ages 5 to 18, and last I heard was on its last legs. They weren't allowed to use a Scout hut - not least because one of them was still under suspension - and ended up in a school hall which is never ideal. It was basically simply swamped by the local Scout group.
    I don't know how other groups run or how they're regarded in the community they operate. But in a small community like ours, people are important, institutions and Scouts come second to that. People have said in the past that complacency is dangerous. I think TSA is getting very complacent about their place in communities and among their volunteers. They do rather seem to be aiming for a service provision model with franchised, anodyne carbon-copy scouting.

    At this stage, I'm not sure I actually care about this, or whether or not scouts move on to Explorers or Navigators, or something else. In a wee village like ours, that it's a scout group is neither here nor there. The social contract is between the people who run it, the kids, and the kids parents. Scouts is just the vehicle we travel in. No one gives a **** about district or the travails of TSA, they just want their kids to do something wholesome and mildly educational.

    The proof is always in the eating, doesn't really matter what kind of pudding it is. Scouts would do well to remember that.

    I'm not likely to set up a navigator section. I'm more likely to just call it a day.

    As a strictly non-melodramatic statement of fact. I've been involved with Scouts all my life. My earliest memories are of being on scout camp with my parents. (My dad was a leader). I'd be sorry to leave the group, I don't think I'd be sorry to leave Scouts. I don't even own a uniform any more and we don't really engage with any of the stuff TSA put out. I'm half way out the door anyway.

    We'll see what happens anyway. This may all come to nothing. It'll depend on the tone from district.




    edit* If TSA did pass on the message that leaders left because they didn't 'like assessing risk', that would be defamatory. They'd have to prove it was true, since we've ran scouting for decades with no reportable incidents - they'd lose.
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 02-07-2020 at 09:56 PM.

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    I think if TSA started spreading negative messages about former leaders without good evidence they would soon be spending even more money settling claims... this time for slander and libel

    I wonder if TSAs insurance covers DCs for this or if they'd be hung out to dry.

    Slandering former leaders would be about as wise as a company slandering former employees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    Murderball as I know it is one on one and ladders isn't a game I'd play with scouts normally but it popped into my head for example purposes.

    Bulldog can be managed carefully and I've not had an injury from any of the versions I've played but it does take careful management. You can tell if the atmosphere isn't right and you don't play it/ stop.

    Sent from my SM-G986B using Tapatalk
    Try writing a RA for describing the ‘mood’! I agree, if you know your YP, you can usually be attuned to it. Many a night I changed programme on the fly as they weren’t in the right headspace. So how does that get written in a way that you could feel the TSA would back you up in case of incident?
    AESL

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Or the parents - given that Scouting will quite happily pass on the message that leaders left because they didn't like asessing risk.
    Quite. I have probably put a few folks of Navigators because I stress the point that the buck stops with the team - there is no District, or national organisation to act as some sort of buffer.

    I doubt many will leave for a new movement. The difficulty of setting up under Nav's or anyone else will far far exceed the trouble in writing an RA. Locally we have a group which set up by a number of disgruntled leaders. I've just checked their web page which has vanished and I suspect the group has too. I don't think it ever exceeded 30 member across ages 5 to 18, and last I heard was on its last legs. They weren't allowed to use a Scout hut - not least because one of them was still under suspension - and ended up in a school hall which is never ideal. It was basically simply swamped by the local Scout group.

    I think that a fair number will leave - TSA have joined a perfect storm - a long break, and added burdens of paperwork and approvals...

    Will they set up Navs or something else? I have no idea - there was a spell where the BBS saw a spurt in growth as people defected. Navs had a spate of enquiries. I suspect some may go to UKBPS o BBS - they won't go to the Federation because they hide behind a cloak of anonymity and don't respond to enquiries - I found.

    Some people want to do Navigators for all the wrong reasons - having to write Risk Assessments is one - but the establishing of a Navigators Group, is actually very simple. We have some basic paperwor, the rest is up to those setting up the group. They can get insurance that equates to Unity (there are some areas that they won't cover, but that does not impact most groups - and any independent going to Unity will not get insured for those activities either.) They can access Safeguarding and DBS checks through their local authority. The rest is membership support and logistics. Each group will have its own break even point. But, contrary to the song sung by TSA - it is not impossible to follow a different path - there are many routes open to anyone truly interested in working with young people in a "scouty" type fashion.

    In fact, the protectionist idea and the vitriol that comes towards independents from the existing Scout establishment is pathetic. It runs completely against the ethos of Scouting. If our interests are in the development of young people as part of the community, then it matters not one iota whether those kids go to TSA. UKBPSA, Navigators or the Local Oompah Loompah Club. Each group attracts a different set of kids. Of my Navs now, only 20% ever went to Scouts or Guides. If we were not available then the other 80% would not be involved in any "scouty" activity at all.

    I actually felt the same when I was in Scouts. When a neighbouring group was in trouble I tried to help them get adult support but they had screwed the pooch locally. When I started getting a regular transfer of Scouts from another Troop, I spoke to the SL - but he wasn't interested. I eventually went to the then DC and asked for an intervention - not because we didn't want the kids, but because the transfers were damaging the original Troop. I then refused any transfers. When a couple of mine went the other way, it didn't bother me in the slightest.

    I would invite all the local youth groups to events, I still do when I get a chance. It is morally unsound to be protectionist of any particular youth service. A friend operating an ESU in Wakefield called me one night and told me that he had membership applications from kids who were fed up of the conflict between Scouts and Navigators... He told me to stop running Scouts down to the kids. I couldn't understand it. Because when kids had come to me and said, I don't know whether to go to Scouts or come to Navigators, I always, but always, told them that it was their decision, they needed to look at where their interests lay and go where they felt happier. It turned out though that that was not reciprocated - I know, because kids who did both and then chose Navigators told me about it.

    Will we insist on written Risk Assessments? No. Because that is not how Navigators works. Each Group does its own thing, but it has a contract to obey the law of the land. We do have standard RA for "adventurous activities", we will have our RA for the premises we use ( our RA, on top of theirs). And we will have some generic RA, but we will not be doing a written RA for icing buns. (Though, ironically, Fiona can probably pull one of those out of her daytime job!).
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    I dont think Pa Broon was suggesting leaving scouting - just setting up Navs locally for the 14-18s. As far as i'm aware there is nothing in POR that prevents leaders doing so... a group can hire its hall and equipment to whoever it wants, leaders can volunteer for as many organisations as they want (enough people volunteer for both scouts and guides for example), and although Scouting data couldnt be used for Navigator recruitment there'd be nothing to stop leaders mentioning it to scouts and their parents face to face. But i'm sure the district would find a way to make life very difficult.
    I suppose I've heard only too many times that leaders will leave and join other organisations - it hasn't really happened has it? Our adjacent organisations haven't published numbers for years, but the last ones I could find showed about 200 times the numbers in TSA as others. The biggest fuss i recall was about the transition to NA authorisations - albeit a number of years back - previously, once you'd done LT2 you could camp. Mass walk outs predicted and the failure of camping foretold - didn't happen though the collapse in camping numbers remains a big issue it appears to be much more around the reluctance of leaders to give up their holiday for Scouting than the absence of NA holders especially as many camp or NA in district or county run events where the NA holder is external to the section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    though the collapse in camping numbers remains a big issue
    What collapse in camping numbers? When did this happen?

    Anecdotally, when I was a scout, I remember going on maybe one or two weekends a year, and summer camp. Ditto at Ventures. And it's not like I'd miss many as dad was a scout leader and brother was a venture leader. Now I'm a leader we do maybe 3-4 weekends plus summer camp. Looking round the scout troops as far as I know most do one or two weekends and a summer camp. Yeah, not sure cubs and beavers camp that much, but when did they ever? Maybe, again, I'm just lucky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    What collapse in camping numbers? When did this happen?

    Anecdotally, when I was a scout, I remember going on maybe one or two weekends a year, and summer camp. Ditto at Ventures. And it's not like I'd miss many as dad was a scout leader and brother was a venture leader. Now I'm a leader we do maybe 3-4 weekends plus summer camp. Looking round the scout troops as far as I know most do one or two weekends and a summer camp. Yeah, not sure cubs and beavers camp that much, but when did they ever? Maybe, again, I'm just lucky.
    Anecdotal local evidence again - pulled out the old figures from this district 20 years ago when I guess overall numbers in the district weren't massively different, there were at least twice as many camping nights per year against today's numbers through NA. And paperwork for a summer camp was much worse in those days - menu, programme had to be sent to the camp site DC who would also inspect the camp you might recall.

    Of the 11 troops I know well only 3 do a summer camp of a week or so every year, 2 will do so occasionally. The majority do weekends, 3 or 4 days, or do something they call a summer camp which is actually Thursday to Sunday or similar. I supposed it depends what you consider a "Summer Camp". No Cub pack I know does a week long camp though 20 years ago there were a scattering of them. Explorers is variable.

    It's the kind of information HQ needs to know to work out how to target it's various intitiatives. I don't think they keep such information though.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    I think if TSA started spreading negative messages about former leaders without good evidence they would soon be spending even more money settling claims... this time for slander and libel

    I wonder if TSAs insurance covers DCs for this or if they'd be hung out to dry.

    Slandering former leaders would be about as wise as a company slandering former employees.
    If you resign quoting RA paperwork as the last straw then that's not libel or slander is it?

    Back to the angst over written RA's, I do realise there needs to be a clear definition of when one is required, but lets assume you need one for activities where you might currenlty have an RA which might not be written. It occurred to me that despite the larger amount of paperwork and permissions required for camping out of your district 20 years there appear to have been far more camps in those days (see above) ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Of the 11 troops I know well only 3 do a summer camp of a week or so every year, 2 will do so occasionally. The majority do weekends, 3 or 4 days, or do something they call a summer camp which is actually Thursday to Sunday or similar. I supposed it depends what you consider a "Summer Camp". No Cub pack I know does a week long camp though 20 years ago there were a scattering of them. Explorers is variable.

    It's the kind of information HQ needs to know to work out how to target it's various intitiatives. I don't think they keep such information though.
    I think this is the damage done by the move to "parents helping out short term" either to get their kids in or only while their kids are in, rather than scouters/ outdoor enthusiasts doing it out of love and for the benefit of scouting.
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