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Thread: Explorer - Network linkup advice?

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    Explorer - Network linkup advice?

    Looking for some specific advice from those who have organised joint explorer network linked events / activities (and dare I even say joint units) before.

    We had 10 expl turning 18 between lockdown and before weíll return for f2f scouting. There is no network in district. No network active in county. So thatís 10 right there that want to stay involved and do scouty things without having to be leaders. The 2 that had a bit more wherewithal are off to uni and not returning, and we definitely know that without a bit of support the remainder wont stick it. But a bit of support to get them going, we think theyíll do great.

    Explorer leaders want to help them out initially once f2f scouting permits (letís park that issue for now) by running some of the explorer meetings / events as linked activities with network.

    Only advice in district had been from previous DC who says that over 18s must be DBS checked as adults and cannot return to the explorer unit within 3 years. I think thatís local rules, because as youth members Network surely can meet together say in a second room at the hall and join in for some activities or hikes with us explorers - as long as everyone is clear that they are youth members and not having leader responsibility. Thatís what Iíve put to gilwell to confirm.

    So, has anyone done this kind of thing before? Any rules or hoops to jump through? Any tips or suggested activities? Thanks!
    AESL

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    GSL & ESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I believe you are correct over the local rules and can see no reason that you cant do what you are suggesting within the rules.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
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    Does sound like a local rule. I know for YL volunteers its recommended that someone doesn't volunteer in the same section to give separation from those they are leading but it doesn't apply to Network as they are not Leaders (unless they take on an adult role)

    By definition Network members are youth members aged 18-25 therefore they cannot be DBS'sd as there is no role to generate the DBS from unless they also take on an adult role eg skills instructor, active support member etc.

    From https://members.scouts.org.uk/suppor...11&moduleID=10

    Although Scout Network members are youth members, where they could be considered to be in a leadership position or during overnight activities where no leaders are present, they would be considered to be adults. Therefore subject to the appointment requirements as explained in point 3.

    The only point to watch out for is on that link is if they go on a joint camp where you will need to treat them as adults as per the link.
    Dave Ralphs
    Yarnton Scout Group (Treasurer)
    DofE Advisor & District Exec Member - Oxford Spires District
    http://yarntonscouts.org.uk/

    I work for O2, any posts are my own personal views & do not represent O2

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    I had 18 plus ex-Explorers come on board as part of the team.

    A/ Network was not for them for various reasons - so if we didn't offer them anything, they simply quit.
    B/ They had skills that we could use, and they wanted to join and help
    C/ They could help with other sections straight away.
    D/ Any rule to distance them from participation equated to a loss of interest - so we turned a blind eye to it.
    E/ They would also do their own thing as a group of friends.

    Sometimes Scout dogma intrudes on the lives of those it wishes to retain... Or, sometimes I actually wonder if it really does wish to retain Network age, or whether it wants to create barriers that put those who are "not the right stuff" out.
    Ewan Scott

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    Unless its changed recently my understanding is that the position with over 18s who are only Network, is that they need to be added to Compass and this will generate the internal checks about suitability but legally a DBS can't be requested for the role, and forcing a situation where a DBS is requested is probably of questionable legality.

    If I am honest I have come across a lot of people in key roles who corrupt this to Scout Network don't need to be on compass, or its a DBS or nothing. Some of which could be if I am generous recalling pre DBS/CRB changes, where it was legally permissable although I know some people did argue the point to CRB all over 18s.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Unless its changed recently my understanding is that the position with over 18s who are only Network, is that they need to be added to Compass and this will generate the internal checks about suitability but legally a DBS can't be requested for the role, and forcing a situation where a DBS is requested is probably of questionable legality.

    If I am honest I have come across a lot of people in key roles who corrupt this to Scout Network don't need to be on compass, or its a DBS or nothing. Some of which could be if I am generous recalling pre DBS/CRB changes, where it was legally permissable although I know some people did argue the point to CRB all over 18s.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I had 18 plus ex-Explorers come on board as part of the team.

    A/ Network was not for them for various reasons - so if we didn't offer them anything, they simply quit.
    B/ They had skills that we could use, and they wanted to join and help
    C/ They could help with other sections straight away.
    D/ Any rule to distance them from participation equated to a loss of interest - so we turned a blind eye to it.
    E/ They would also do their own thing as a group of friends.

    Sometimes Scout dogma intrudes on the lives of those it wishes to retain... Or, sometimes I actually wonder if it really does wish to retain Network age, or whether it wants to create barriers that put those who are "not the right stuff" out.
    I agree fully re Network.

    I have seen it work really well, although not so much recently in a few places which have got the activities and culture right. If I am honest it works best with a reasonable proportion only in Network roles, where in my experience it becomes a 'social club' for under 25s who are leaders I think it really struggles because the participants struggle to commit much time.

    I am increasingly wondering whether Scouting will follow Guiding and largely reduce the youth programme to 6-18, potentially with early years but continuing to offer access to the QSA and the DofE post 18 and the social stuff can be incorporated into existing structures, with the emphasis on 18+ who want to remain involve being in a flexible way e.g. SASUs, attached to groups ,activities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Rover View Post
    Unless its changed recently my understanding is that the position with over 18s who are only Network, is that they need to be added to Compass and this will generate the internal checks about suitability but legally a DBS can't be requested for the role, and forcing a situation where a DBS is requested is probably of questionable legality.

    If I am honest I have come across a lot of people in key roles who corrupt this to Scout Network don't need to be on compass, or its a DBS or nothing. Some of which could be if I am generous recalling pre DBS/CRB changes, where it was legally permissable although I know some people did argue the point to CRB all over 18s.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Unless its changed recently my understanding is that the position with over 18s who are only Network, is that they need to be added to Compass and this will generate the internal checks about suitability but legally a DBS can't be requested for the role, and forcing a situation where a DBS is requested is probably of questionable legality.
    So here’s a key question - how do you get them registered as network if there’s no network active in district or county?
    AESL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I had 18 plus ex-Explorers come on board as part of the team.

    A/ Network was not for them for various reasons - so if we didn't offer them anything, they simply quit.
    B/ They had skills that we could use, and they wanted to join and help
    C/ They could help with other sections straight away.
    D/ Any rule to distance them from participation equated to a loss of interest - so we turned a blind eye to it.
    E/ They would also do their own thing as a group of friends.

    Sometimes Scout dogma intrudes on the lives of those it wishes to retain... Or, sometimes I actually wonder if it really does wish to retain Network age, or whether it wants to create barriers that put those who are "not the right stuff" out.
    I've long suspected (since Network started really) that TSA don't want under 18's mixing with over 18's if said over 18's aren't leaders who've been through the full range of safe guards (up to and including all the training - which (I think) was also seen as a bit of a gate keeper type tool). That full stop there is meant in more than one sense.

    Must admit, I don't really know what Network is for. I'd suggest what Wild Rover did wrt SASU's for over 18's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atb View Post
    So hereís a key question - how do you get them registered as network if thereís no network active in district or county?
    Try via https://www.ukscoutnetwork.org.uk/
    Dave Ralphs
    Yarnton Scout Group (Treasurer)
    DofE Advisor & District Exec Member - Oxford Spires District
    http://yarntonscouts.org.uk/

    I work for O2, any posts are my own personal views & do not represent O2

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    Quote Originally Posted by dralphs View Post
    I looked at that, but all that does is get the Gilwell Info Centre to pass your details on to the relevant district network. Which, if it doesn’t exist, then it won’t achieve anything!
    AESL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atb View Post
    I looked at that, but all that does is get the Gilwell Info Centre to pass your details on to the relevant district network. Which, if it doesnít exist, then it wonít achieve anything!
    Two separate things

    - the UK Scout Network operates as a UK wide district so you can join and register with that directly, but may create issues locally as they wouldn't be visible on Compass to the district hierarchy. Technically creating the UK role should create a parallel SN role automatically for the local district, or least that was the intention.

    - the UK Scout Network website also redirects to the local networks and operates on the basis that a network exists in each district, so if there is no contact it will bounce to the Info Centre.

    Locally anyone with the relevant Admin access can Network Membership to Compass, as in my previous role periodically had to get DCs to add this otherwise ESs who turned 18 and were not taking on an adult role were not visible.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also since 2015 in England only districts can support Networks, unless the Regional Commissioner has explicitly consented to them sitting at county.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I've long suspected (since Network started really) that TSA don't want under 18's mixing with over 18's if said over 18's aren't leaders who've been through the full range of safe guards (up to and including all the training - which (I think) was also seen as a bit of a gate keeper type tool). That full stop there is meant in more than one sense.

    Must admit, I don't really know what Network is for. I'd suggest what Wild Rover did wrt SASU's for over 18's.

    Network were it works well, is a really good stepping stone from the youth programme to adult leadership/ support roles but it takes a huge amount of time and effort to get it going and maintain it. Unless you have seen if directly working, I can see the negative side and fully accept the lack of clarity of the role.

    When I was coming up to 25, which was in the early days of Networks lots of people were suggesting a merger of Fellowship and Network which initially I was very supportive of as from a personal point of view it was an opportunity to keep going to the events that I enjoyed, without jumping through loads of hoops. However I realised reasonably quickly, that Network worked best were there was a flow in and flow out, and actually merging them would retain the older members post 25 for a longer time and that this may put off younger ones joining. Certainly a number of the events I attended when I was 22/23/24 I saw some the negative side of this. I also saw similar issues with SSAGO.

    Ultimately whether its SASU, Network, SSAGO etc, is largely irrelevant it is the flexibility that is more important to retain members whether they are 6 or 60 in an appropriate way that is suitable and works for that community/ membership, and this will not be fixed in time. For example for a good few years where I grew there was a network of Young Scout Fellowships (just pre Scout Network), which were very popular but people moved on and they fizzled out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Rover View Post
    Network were it works well, is a really good stepping stone from the youth programme to adult leadership/ support roles but it takes a huge amount of time and effort to get it going and maintain it. Unless you have seen if directly working, I can see the negative side and fully accept the lack of clarity of the role.

    When I was coming up to 25, which was in the early days of Networks lots of people were suggesting a merger of Fellowship and Network which initially I was very supportive of as from a personal point of view it was an opportunity to keep going to the events that I enjoyed, without jumping through loads of hoops. However I realised reasonably quickly, that Network worked best were there was a flow in and flow out, and actually merging them would retain the older members post 25 for a longer time and that this may put off younger ones joining. Certainly a number of the events I attended when I was 22/23/24 I saw some the negative side of this. I also saw similar issues with SSAGO.

    Ultimately whether its SASU, Network, SSAGO etc, is largely irrelevant it is the flexibility that is more important to retain members whether they are 6 or 60 in an appropriate way that is suitable and works for that community/ membership, and this will not be fixed in time. For example for a good few years where I grew there was a network of Young Scout Fellowships (just pre Scout Network), which were very popular but people moved on and they fizzled out.
    I think there was and continues to be a lot of unique localised conditions which dictate whether or not something like Network will work.

    I was at the Network launch in Scotland, and it was a decidedly odd camp. I don't think I'd ever been made to feel more unwelcome at a Scouting event. That seemed to boil down to me being over 25 (only by a couple of years too) and another thing I won't mention because it'll take things way off topic.

    I think in terms of unique localised conditions, the same could be said of quite a lot of things in Scouts right enough.

    I can see how Network would be hard to keep going. I imagine it's more of a social construct, it having to adhere to Scout rules, would be an impediment more than anything else. (Especially with the recent new rules coming in...) The difference being, a group of early 20-somethings going to climb a Munroe as Network, or just as a group of pals...

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    GSL & ESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atb View Post
    So hereís a key question - how do you get them registered as network if thereís no network active in district or county?
    Get your DESC or a GSL to put them on compass with a role of network. The problem is that once they are added then unless you have a network role yourself (DNSC for example) then you won't be able to see their compass record after adding the new role.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL
    2002 - 2018 AESL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I think there was and continues to be a lot of unique localised conditions which dictate whether or not something like Network will work.

    I was at the Network launch in Scotland, and it was a decidedly odd camp. I don't think I'd ever been made to feel more unwelcome at a Scouting event. That seemed to boil down to me being over 25 (only by a couple of years too) and another thing I won't mention because it'll take things way off topic.

    I think in terms of unique localised conditions, the same could be said of quite a lot of things in Scouts right enough.

    I can see how Network would be hard to keep going. I imagine it's more of a social construct, it having to adhere to Scout rules, would be an impediment more than anything else. (Especially with the recent new rules coming in...) The difference being, a group of early 20-somethings going to climb a Munroe as Network, or just as a group of pals...

    If my maths are right I am slightly younger than you, I turned 25 3/4 years after Network started. I did experience something similar with the retirement of Ventures and replacement with Explorers. My home district took a decision to go early with explorers for loads of really good reasons and the few remaining over 18s in Ventures who were not in leadership roles (I was a student 50 miles away) were politely asked to leave, and Network didn't appear for another 6/7 months this was despite from late 2000 to the local transition point or 31 December 2003 the upper age limit for existing VS being upped technically to 25 although without reaching 88 MPH in a DeLorean no-one was going to age 5 years in a maximum of 3 years.

    I can't really comment about the launch in Scotland as I lived and have only lived in England, but certainly I can recall very similar issues being reported to me. I also found places were really inconsistent about their approach to this, which didn't sit right with me and this included who was allowed to attend events as overaged Network.

    My other reflection was that a lot of time and goodwill was wasted. Certainly at the time I was heavily involved with SSAGO and a lot of people in the organisation were really keen to help make Network work and to be honest had bags of experience, but in too many places the 'new' took over and without going into the details a lot of opportunities were lost.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    Get your DESC or a GSL to put them on compass with a role of network. The problem is that once they are added then unless you have a network role yourself (DNSC for example) then you won't be able to see their compass record after adding the new role.
    Originally you were also able to register with the UKSN through the Scout Network website but I suspect with COVID and furloughing even if this was an option its not an option

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Rover View Post
    If my maths are right I am slightly younger than you, I turned 25 3/4 years after Network started. I did experience something similar with the retirement of Ventures and replacement with Explorers. My home district took a decision to go early with explorers for loads of really good reasons and the few remaining over 18s in Ventures who were not in leadership roles (I was a student 50 miles away) were politely asked to leave, and Network didn't appear for another 6/7 months this was despite from late 2000 to the local transition point or 31 December 2003 the upper age limit for existing VS being upped technically to 25 although without reaching 88 MPH in a DeLorean no-one was going to age 5 years in a maximum of 3 years.

    I can't really comment about the launch in Scotland as I lived and have only lived in England, but certainly I can recall very similar issues being reported to me. I also found places were really inconsistent about their approach to this, which didn't sit right with me and this included who was allowed to attend events as overaged Network.

    My other reflection was that a lot of time and goodwill was wasted. Certainly at the time I was heavily involved with SSAGO and a lot of people in the organisation were really keen to help make Network work and to be honest had bags of experience, but in too many places the 'new' took over and without going into the details a lot of opportunities were lost.
    It's interesting to know it happened elsewhere. There was an issue in Scotland, the national camps being ran were not exactly wholesome in terms of their aims. Unfortunately, I think, the change over was grasped ever more enthusiastically to get rid of an unwanted element of older volunteers (not leaders it must be said) who were taking advantage (literally). What that also meant was, in groups that had VSL's that wouldn't let VS's run without an adult - the unit was just disabanded completely. And since at national level anyone over 25 (which most VSL's were) were no longer allowed to be involved in Network, well, that was the end of local over 18's in Scouts - other than leadership.

    It was ages ago and not worth rehashing. Except there are echoes now, of the way they rammed it through. Then as now, there are also those people who think if you complain about it, you just fear change, or don't like having your cheese moved etc, complacent, out of touch, blah blah blah...

    What's funny is, I think where we are, district might want Explorers to be more district-based and not linked to groups. I just get the feeling they really want to standardise it and that's how they maybe think it'll happen? But all the same conditions which meant it wasn't feasible all those years ago, still exist now. I fear they might try to go down that road again and end up running it into the ground, as happened before.

    I'd be happy to be wrong about it. (Even although I'm currently not involved with that age group - we'll have around 20 members come Easter 2021 with no where to go, a group unit is the only answer that'll work.)

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