Beaver / Cub / Scout Leaders

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  • Beaver / Cub / Scout Leaders
  • Premier Icon eyestwice

    I almost was, after moving too far from a cadet unit to continue as an ACF Instructor.

    The trouble is that the waiting lists and the shortage of staff place a high time demand on the adults involved. That put me off as I didn’t think I’d have enough time to spare.

    I fully appreciate that ‘every little helps’ but I’m sure it’s a factor in the current recruitment issues.

    Premier Icon Yak

    Going to help out at cubs soon, once my youngest can attend.
    It’s currently running at a 1 year waiting list!

    tbh – its bloody brilliant! Really good events, evenings, visits to places etc. We did our first pinewood derby recently. There’s years of pinewood car development to be had there. Handily my retired dad has decided to mock up a track with timing gate so the cub pack can get some pre-race testing in before the next one.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    In the Cubs we’ve got two section leaders, two assistant section leaders and two regular parent helpers. The leaders are all DRB checked and first aid trained, and all apart from one of them only got it in the last 18 months. On top of that we have 3 non attending committee members that look after the finance and other admin. The Beaver unit have got 3 IIRC. Scouts have non yet, but we are trying to sort it (should anyone want to volunteer ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

    I don’t have the time to give up more than one night a week. Our GSL treats it like a second job, but I think he secretly likes admin.

    Premier Icon Yak

    I will start in the lowest helper capacity and see how it goes. Got my cubs dbs check done already. (my British Cycling one didn’t count). Not bang up to date with first aid, so that needs doing soon.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    Not bang up to date with first aid, so that needs doing soon.

    Our district runs a course every month or so. It is the St John workplace one with additional bits for dealing with kids.

    Premier Icon Yak

    Hopefully that will be the same here. I used to have form cave too bitd, but now haven’t been caving for years. More relevant for scouts though I would have thought and I would have to redo it all again. (or whatever it’s called now).

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Been an ad-hoc parent helper since Jnr was a Beaver, and he’s now almost 14. He’s talking of trying to to do Explorers and Young Leader next year.

    I’m also on the Exec committee – I don’t have the patience to be a unit leader but enjoy doing the behind the scenes work that frees up leaders time for the kids.

    We have a waiting list that would allow us to run two sections at each age group if we could get leaders.

    My wife is a Guide leader and may have to close her unit if she can’t find another over 18 to help her on a regular basis.

    It can be hard work, for little thanks, but I find it very rewarding. I’d encourage anyone thinking of it to give it a go, even if it is behind the scenes like most of what I do.

    Or if you have a skill or hobby, you might be able to do one or two sessions to help with badge work, even bike mechanics for the Cyclist badge.


    Beaver section leader here.
    I can understand why some people are put off. The “one hour a week” is great fun. Its the other many many hours that is hard work and time consuming. Exec meetings, planning meetings, training, training meetings, AGM’s and thats before all the extra events you put on.
    When I started as section leader I wanted to ensure the kids had loads of opportunities that Beavers don’t always get because of their age. That unfortunately means lots of weekend days taken away to…
    Indoor winter camp, outdoor summer camp, 2 x weekend hikes, 1 x weekend bike, Panto trip, district events, and normally throw in a couple of special things in as well like a trip to Crocky trials or bell boating etc.
    Great great fun but it does take a lot of your time and energy!


    I was for a while, maybe 8-9 years total. I helped in a cub group while I was in the scouts myself and kept that up through University. I ended getting involved in a Scout troop that was ‘just ticking over’ after that with hopes of getting it kicked off. It struggled simply because it’s a bit more remote so less kids around.

    I enjoyed it but we never had more than about 5 kids and they rarely actually seemed that interested in doing anything Scout-y, so I started to wonder why I was actually there!

    Nail in the coffin though (and the thing that stopped me moving on to a different group when the kids eventually got too old and we had none left or coming from Cubs in the forseeable) was the training, or more specifically the trainers for the district. Now between being in Scouts myself and helping in other groups, I’d seen a few different ways of running things, group traditions etc- this training team had ONE WAY of things being done and absolutely no brooking of any other possible option regardless of the actual rules. That and being unbelievably, impossibly risk averse- I have seen risk assessments for off road vehicle trials shorter than the sort of thing they were asking for simple activities.

    After a couple of years of incredibly frustrating and tedious evenings training, putting up with it in the knowledge I was doing something useful, when the troop petered out I was just about ready to pack it in. Spent my time organising at the local MTB club instead.

    It’s not to say I wouldn’t do it again, but I don’t think I’d do it again under the same training team!

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    Anyone else do it?

    I’m an assistant section leader at my lad’s pack. I only got into it because my daughter wants to join and has a medical condition that means I’ll have to be there too.

    By being an assistant leader I’m spared all the paperwork and can concentrate on being The Minister of Stupidity, a role which I’m quite naturally adept at.

    Highlights of the last year…

    Making a scale model of the solar system half a mile in diameter.

    Taking them to the indoor BMX track in Manchester.

    Taking them to a climbing centre.

    Teaching them some very basic karate.

    Hopefully we’ll get out first camp sorted this summer and take 18 of them away for a weekend.

    We are a new pack starting up 18 months ago after the previous one folded and now we’re over subscribed with 30 kids and a waiting list. The next task is to restart the scout group so we’ve got somewhere to send them when they get too old.

    Premier Icon scc999

    Did it for about 18 years. ASL, SL, GSL, ESL often wearing two or three hats at a time due to lack of adults willing to help out.
    Eventually I came to realise that not only was I not enjoying it, I’d actually started to resent the time it was taking and actively disliked doing it. Probably left it too long to quit by some time as I was guilted into continuing.

    After I quit the troop closed down for a while and even though some other leaders were found, the group ended up merging with another and (I think) they have now both closed.

    I currently help out a local group when they run sessions at their climbing wall.
    I’d happily help out now and again with another group or district but I just know that there would be regular appeals to get more involved, and I just don’t want to spare that much time from doing the things I love.

    A case of once bitten, twice shy I’m afraid.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    Got back yesterday from our first camp with them.

    13 kids, 4 leaders, 2 parent helpers.

    Between 5 am on Friday and 11 pm last night I got 6 hours of sleep. My lad got slightly more but he was still like a zombie this morning.

    We got most thing right – Kit, menu, activities and H&S but managed to get some things wrong – Camp tidiness mainly, but we’ll take pop up bins and instil a bit of discipline next time with regards to putting stuff away once it had been finished with.

    We even came to the rescue of the more seasoned pack that were overseeing us until we’d got our “nights away” permits when one of their kids got a burn and we were able to send over two of our leaders to assist. We’re lucky that we have an infection control nurse and fire fighter amongst our adults.

    Capture-The-Flag Wide Games and Soft Archery were brilliant fun. The Happy-Clappy communal campfire singing less so.


    Everyone had a great time.
    The weather was on our side
    I only had to break up one fight.
    Everyone ate my cooking.

    Can’t wait to do it again… but not just yet.

    Premier Icon GrahamS

    Well done HtS!

    MrsGrahamS is an Assistant Beaver Leader.

    She got roped in because we live opposite the hall and she was often over there in the evening playing with our 3 year old whilst our elder daughter was at Beavers. ๐Ÿ™‚

    So now the 3yo is an official “Beaver In Training” and MrsGrahamS is “King Louie” ๐Ÿ˜†

    We were at a Leader’s Families Camp last weekend up at Ford Castle, which was great, but there were several strong hints that maybe I’d like to volunteer too ๐Ÿ˜•

    I think I’d really enjoy aspects of it as I generally like kids, mucking about and being outdoors. Plus I was in the Cubs, Scouts and Army Cadets myself as a kid so I know the benefits for them. But I just don’t think I have time!


    its the happy clappy bit [ and it is a religious club] that prevents me. kudos to those of you who do

    Premier Icon GrahamS

    There is definitely much less of a focus on religion these days JY.

    There is still a Faith badge, but they accept all religions and have an atheist version of “The Promise”.

    Only religious bits I’ve been aware of in our troop is attendance at events like Christmas or Remembrance Sunday, but they are optional.

    Happy clappy campfire songs for our lot consist of ”Hello, My name’s Joe” and “We are the mighty mighty Wylam” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yup, Cub SL (as of a few months ago) and it’s ace. I started off just helping the odd night as a parent, then got PVG’d for camps, then was happily bimbling along as ASL until the old SL left. The step from an hour a week to planning, dealing with parents, committees, the nutters that run the other sections, was a bit of a surprise.

    It’s properly brilliant seeing the kids all change as the year goes on, and we get to do some great stuff too. This weekend’s camp was at the local safari park. Through the week we had them doing bivvys and lighting fires.

    Officially Scouts is a faith based organisation, but I don’t think that’s quite the same as a religious organisation. Certainly our pack doesn’t see it that way. We do remembrance (optional) and visit the mosque and synagogue. Our campfire songs must be a bit ruder than yours!

    STW joint camp?


    Applied to be a section assistant. First application turned down as one of the my referees was the group scout leader and that’s not allowed apparantly.

    Second application turned down as both of my referees are scout leaders and that’s not allowed apparantly.

    Third application still being processed……………………….

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    I volunteer with the Boy’s Brigade, mainly as two of my lads are in it (third is a Scout). Our BB’s is one of the largest in Scotland – 130 boys in it 8)

    I specifically help with DofE expeds, as I have qualifications and experience that helps run the trips safely.
    Takes me to some ace places, and more importantly inspires a few more to take to the hills and wild places that I so benefit from and love visiting. The last trip a few weeks ago was midge/rain/heat/cold hell – and yet a few still stated how much they enjoyed it, and this week are already asking where they can plan for Gold trip… 8)

    [url=]Dunblane BB's DofE Silver Practice 2017[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr
    [url=]Dunblane BB Exped highlights[/url] by Matt Robinson, on Flickr

    I’m a scout leader and have been for 6 years. Started off when my son joined cubs, and now have both daughters in Scouts.

    Fortunately we have 5 leaders so that distributes the workload quite a bit with each of us taking the lead on different nights. Without them i wouldn’t be able to find the time to commit to the organisation and preparing but it is immensely rewarding.

    Premier Icon grumpysculler

    Currently a parent helper with my son’s beavers but, after an 18 year break from Scouting, my forms are in the post to start as an ABSL. (I’ll be making the God-free promise when the time comes)

    The group had an away day at the weekend. It is a huge group and there is a very very large group of adults supporting that and enjoying themselves. I think having a lot of adults helps a lot – compared to a lot of other organisations I have seen there is more camaraderie and less critical reliance on any one individual (not that some don’t make a massive contribution).


    Parent helper here. Anyone else go to OxonJam?

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