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Thread: Dual roles - District and Group

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    Dual roles - District and Group

    I had an ominous sounding e-mail from our new DC saying she was trying to contact me. When she finally managed to get to me (my phone numbers weren't up to dat in Compass - ooops!), she has asked me if I would like to take over ADC Scouts. I had never thought about doing this but she is new and wants to re-energise our district. I love working in my section and have worked so hard to get it to where it is today but we don't have leaders who would want to take over, and i don't really want to be giving it up anyway. I asked her if i could carry on in my section leader role to which she said I could. But when I spoke to my GSL today, he was suggesting I couldn't. He didn't sound too enthusiastic about the opportunity. but I think that's because he is trying to prepare me to take on his role in the future.

    I can't seem to find a definitive answer to whether I could hold a District and a Group role so is anyone here familiar with this and know whether I could.

    Thanks.

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    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    You can

    Whether you should or not is a question that differs for all of us.

    Sometimes its energising and full of advantages to do two. Sometimes its draining.

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    In my opinion Scouting happens at the group within the Sections
    If i was offered a role that took me away from the cut and thrust of the weekly section meetings, the walking on the knife edge between chaos, disaster, and something that just somehow ends up working.
    the meeting bights where it appeared to be a complete diaster, but yet over hear the YP saying how its been great.
    The Scout that came to the section as a scared Cub who cried throughout the first camp wanting to go home - but somehow stumbled through it and then 4 and a bit years later managed to get CSG

    I would turn it down, and stay at the front end -does the District need an ADC Scouts?, or could it be done with a group of leaders in the district getting together to organise things

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    GSL & ESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    There is no rule saying you can;t hold both roles. As per rule 3.41 you need to satisfy the DC that you can fufil both roles satisfactorily.
    3.41. Limitation on the number of Appointments held
    No Manager, Leader or Supporter may hold more than one appointment unless able to carry out all the duties of more than one appointment satisfactorily.

    The District Commissioner must give approval for any person to hold more than one appointment and, if the appointments are to be held in more than one District or County, the approval of all the Commissioners concerned must be obtained.
    I think its quite common for an ADC role to be filled by someone who also holds a Section Leader or Assistant Section Leader role
    Last edited by shiftypete; 02-02-2021 at 10:37 PM.

    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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    Senior Member BenOfThe12th's Avatar
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    ShiftPete is a perfect example of your question.
    GSL, Group role, ESL, District one.

    The ones that tend to get overlooked are NAA (District/County) or even TA (County) run in addition by section leaders.
    Well it's been fun...

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    Scout Leader (Bosun) Nick's Avatar
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    I think it depends a lot on what you want (and your DC expects) of the role. If you are going to mentor/visit lots of other groups and stand in when they are short of leaders and really be at the front line, then it will be a big commitment especially if there are lots of pointless meetings you are expected to attend.

    However if it is more organising district Scout events then it might be more manageable especially if you have other leaders from other groups that will help with the actual running of the events. In my experience it isn't a lot more work to organise an activity for 100 Scouts than it is to organise one for your own troop.

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    All of our ADS type roles are all leaders too within their existing groups and that is important to keep up the role! I doubt anyone in our district has left their existing position for an ADS role- heck even our DCs which share the role continue in the previous roles, although they do step back on the amount of work they do with their sections/ group.

    The only issue is whether you feel you have the time to dedicated to an additional role, manage the meetings and oversee a few district wide events? You may also get asked to provide advice and support weaker sections in the district.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_82 View Post
    I had an ominous sounding e-mail from our new DC saying she was trying to contact me. When she finally managed to get to me (my phone numbers weren't up to dat in Compass - ooops!), she has asked me if I would like to take over ADC Scouts. I had never thought about doing this but she is new and wants to re-energise our district. I love working in my section and have worked so hard to get it to where it is today but we don't have leaders who would want to take over, and i don't really want to be giving it up anyway. I asked her if i could carry on in my section leader role to which she said I could. But when I spoke to my GSL today, he was suggesting I couldn't. He didn't sound too enthusiastic about the opportunity. but I think that's because he is trying to prepare me to take on his role in the future.

    I can't seem to find a definitive answer to whether I could hold a District and a Group role so is anyone here familiar with this and know whether I could.

    Thanks.
    You can, if you can do both roles to the full.

    If you are looking at becoming GSL, then I offer a word of caution.

    As GSL, I built our group up from the cusp of collapse to one of the largest in the County. I has a fantastic team who all worked together to make it all happen - but I was the Lead player. (Excuse me for blowing my own trumpet, but I know what I achieved).

    As things were gong so well at the Group, I thought, when asked by the DC, that I could perhaps take that skill to help tackle issues in the District - which was why the DC asked me to do the job.

    Without going into the detail, the ADC role was thankless, my presence was not wanted, if anything some parties went out of their way to make it difficult. The group suffered. My Exec advised me to step away from District. I did, I refocused on the Group, and away we went again back to normal.

    Then, we had a period without a DC, and a DC was imposed upon us ( he had been "evicted" from his previous District) . Things were so bad that old enmities were temporarily buried and two GSLs and a long standing Secretary replaced the imposed DC. The idea had been that we would have an "interim" management team of equals, but County wold not allow it and one had to be the DC. Under the new DC, the Secretary lasted about six months and resigned after 21 years' service. I snapped her up for the Group! I followed shortly after. Again, much to the relief of my Exec, who had seen my eye taken off the ball again.

    If I were ever to rejoin TSA, Its would be for a dedicated role, I would put my all into that role at a Group, but I would never divide my time and attention between Group and any other role.
    Ewan Scott

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. The DC has said it can be as big or as small a job as it needed to be; A termly district meeting, couple of district led events, awarding Chief Scouts, etc. I think to take the role forward it should be more collaborative and she plans for SASUs to be a wider support system for groups. At the moment we only have one major weekend camp for scouts in our district and occasionally an activity which is led by one group but opened to others.

    The fact I could carry on a group level is important as that had always been most rewarding for me to date for many of the reasons Richard points out above. I wouldn't want it to become disproptionate to my group commitments so defining and agreeing the role and planning a balance in regards to time would be crucial as others have said.

    She wasn't desperate so I can think about it a bit more, weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision.

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    Get a role description agreed.

    If its just chairing a few meetings for scout leaders (which you would be at anyway) and acting as a point of contact for other scout leaders then thats easy enough.

    If its running a busy programme of events and supporting struggling sections then what will happen to your own section programme.

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    Yes, I've got the T-shirt Sparkgap's Avatar
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    How much spare time have you got?
    In my second district the DC wanted me to take over as SL in starting a new section in a group, however the existing cub leaders weren't particularly enthusiastic so he made me ADC with a remit to get scout sections going in several groups which didn't have them. Basically, I was a district scouter and at one point was running three different scout troops in a week. I also made a point of dropping in to each troop at least once every 5-6 months to see how things were going. So, plenty of spare time needed!
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I think it depends a lot on what you want (and your DC expects) of the role. If you are going to mentor/visit lots of other groups and stand in when they are short of leaders and really be at the front line, then it will be a big commitment especially if there are lots of pointless meetings you are expected to attend.

    However if it is more organising district Scout events then it might be more manageable especially if you have other leaders from other groups that will help with the actual running of the events. In my experience it isn't a lot more work to organise an activity for 100 Scouts than it is to organise one for your own troop.
    As you say a lot depends on what the DC is expecting. However, in theory, an ADC is appointed to support Leaders to do their job and help mentor etc as you have said.

    In an ideal world it is not an ADCs job to organise District Events (co-ordinate possibly) that is the role of District Scouters - and yes I appreciate that is an ideal rather than the norm.

    By taking all this on though something will suffer either in the District or the Group as you start to spread yourself too thinly.

    People then find themselves in an impossible position and give up then you need an ADC and a SL.

    Take care and think carefully based on what is expected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveb123 View Post
    As you say a lot depends on what the DC is expecting. However, in theory, an ADC is appointed to support Leaders to do their job and help mentor etc as you have said.

    In an ideal world it is not an ADCs job to organise District Events (co-ordinate possibly) that is the role of District Scouters - and yes I appreciate that is an ideal rather than the norm.

    By taking all this on though something will suffer either in the District or the Group as you start to spread yourself too thinly.

    People then find themselves in an impossible position and give up then you need an ADC and a SL.

    Take care and think carefully based on what is expected.
    How many districta these days have a team of ADCs and a team of District Scouters?

    Reality is more likely to be an ADC chairing meetings of the scout leaders in district and trying to coordinate one or two events a year.

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    GSL & ESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    How many districta these days have a team of ADCs and a team of District Scouters?

    Reality is more likely to be an ADC chairing meetings of the scout leaders in district and trying to coordinate one or two events a year.
    To be fair I don't think there is any real need for a team of District Scouters as well as ADCs so long as the Leaders of the Sections are prepared to pitch in a help organise District events. I think the existance of a District Scouter role is so if you do have someone who no longer wants to run a Section but does want to help support District events then there is a suitable role to give them.

    Our District certainly usually runs a very full slate of District Beaver events, so annually there would usually be a themed Beaver funday at the local County campsite, a coach trip to a visitor attraction for kids, a Christmas craft or Chinese New Year craft evening (alternating years so most Beavers would not repeat either event) and a swimming badge event. Each year a different Beaver Colony's leadership team would volunteer to take the lead in organsing (and hosting where needed) each event so the load was fairly evenly spread amongst those Colonies taking part with the ADC just overseeing things, making sure organsiation was on track and helping with communciations etc.

    For example in 2019 our BSL took the lead in organising a District Beaver sleepover at the Deep in Hull with coached there and back and the only real input the ADC had was in sending out the emails about it to all the BSLs.

    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 campwarden View Post
    How many districta these days have a team of ADCs and a team of District Scouters?

    Reality is more likely to be an ADC chairing meetings of the scout leaders in district and trying to coordinate one or two events a year.
    Like I said ‘in theory’.

    I agree that many are in dual roles but that is often where there are issues due to conflicts of interest and time constraints.

    I guess that to fit everything in you have to have few other interests and a job and family that support what you are doing.

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