Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 274 total)
  • Beaver/Cub/Scout Volunteering
  • FB-ATB
    Full Member

    air rifle shooting too which I haven’t done in a while!
    Currently planning a joint beavers/cubs summer camp to get my permit for that too

    think you’ll need to do an NSRA course for air rifles rather than time served on the activity.

    lose various people at that age and even more at explorers

    There’s the pressure of school/ exams to contend with. Don’t have much of this issue with our  Scouts but the explorers have a drop in the GCSE lot at this time of year.

    collecting round the flag pole each day, housing and folding it in particular ways

    easy way to do a headcount on camp, reminder of the day’s activity, address any issues.  Folding the flag is mainly for how best to unfurl it rather than have some poor sod yanking on the rope only for it to remain bound! If there’s a right to fold it when not in use we’ve not got the memo. I don’t think the UK is as possessive as the US in the “correct” way to fold the flag.

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    What kind of tents?

    5 man Berghaus ones.

    https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/16618540/berghaus-adhara-500-nightfall-tent-16618540

    They are brand new, so we had the kids put them up and pull them down last Wednesday. They didn’t do that in 38 minutes!

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    Most DofE / Scout / youth camp groups I have worked with seem to have a time zone malfunction when it comes to packing up anything camping wise…

    Our older ones sat around in their deck chairs watching a DoE bunch in the same field, in the hope that they would make a pig’s ear of setting up camp. They turned out to be Air Cadets and were even faster than us!

    IHN
    Full Member

    5 man Berghaus ones.

    https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/16618540/berghaus-adhara-500-nightfall-tent-16618540

    Pah, so you’re one of those nylon dome Johnny Come Lately snowflakes eh? We’re still using that bastion of Scouting (and bane of Scouts), the Stormhaven…

    https://www.blacksofgreenock.co.uk/blacks-of-greenock-stormhaven-tent

    FB-ATB
    Full Member

    We’ve got a fine set of Icelandics, but the bells & Vangos get used more due to the separate sleeping pods they have.

    Our 2 scout troops are now at c50/50 boys & girls (think my troop are poss >50% girls) so if we’ve got a mixed patrol for activities they can stay as a group in the tent.

    neilnevill
    Free Member

    Thanks poly.  It’s lists of you must have … like that which is probably why I’ve gone 50 years avoiding any tickets and just got on with it.   Easy enough when it’s you and mates.  I probably shan’t be doing all that lot to enable some cubs to experience sailing then!  I’ll stick to knots for the moment…. unless that also needs a ticket these days 😉

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    We’ve got patrol tents too, but they are a faff, weigh a ton!

    poly
    Free Member

    Thanks poly.  It’s lists of you must have … like that which is probably why I’ve gone 50 years avoiding any tickets and just got on with it.   Easy enough when it’s you and mates.

    I might be wrong but the barrier to entry to become a sailing instructor compared to MTB trail leader, Climbing instructor, or a canoe instructor seem rather different.  Even at that you still operate under the “supervision” of a senior instructor!

    I’ll stick to knots for the moment…. unless that also needs a ticket these days 😉

    I think you’ll be fine.  If they do ever go sailing the instructors will be delighted as it saves them half an hour of trying to teach people to tie a bowline, clove hitch, round turn and two half hitches….  If you are doing that it’s worth teaching them when to actually use each one, too often it’s taught as learn the process for the knot but ignores where/when to use it.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    We’ve got patrol tents too, but they are a faff, weigh a ton!

    Patrol tents are cool, solid easy to put up,and last for many decades. A couple of our scout groups tents were Ex British army and had messages and dates written inside from WW1

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    In other news… My lad has a spoof scout badge with a TARDIS on it on his Explorer shirt. At the weekend camp we convinced some of the Cubs that Explorers had a Time Traveller staged badge.

    eBay Linky

    Level 1 : Two hours forwards and backwards.

    Level 2 : See Henry VIII

    Level 3 : Dinosaurs or Jesus

    All the leaders were in on it along with the older Scouts. We even told them that the red phone box by the Tuck Shop was the time machine.

    This started a debate amongst the kids about where and when they would go when it was their turn to go for the “Time Traveller”.

    One of them thought long and hard, then decided that he would like to go to Nando’s.

    If we can spin this out until the next camp I want to get the identical twins, that the Cubs don’t know about, from our Explorer Unit in on the act.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    If we can spin this out until the next camp I want to get the identical twins, that the Cubs don’t know about, from our Explorer Unit in on the act.

    Genius!

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    One walks out one door saying “bye”. The other comes in through another at exactly the same time and says “hi”.

    Last time I saw them they had different hair cuts. Will have to arrange some hats.

    crazyjenkins01
    Full Member

    think you’ll need to do an NSRA course for air rifles rather than time served on the activity.

    no, I meant I got to have a go, not running the activity!


    @Poly
    , (I’m surprised no other leaders have said this!) there are several versions of the promise, for different faiths and the one you’re interested in, no faith. Can’t remember the wording for Cubs, but Beavers is “I promise to do my best, be kind and helpful and to love our world (instead of love God)” the beavers/parents decide on which they want to use before investiture.

    IHN
    Full Member

    (I’m surprised no other leaders have said this!) there are several versions of the promise, for different faiths and the one you’re interested in, no faith.

    Which, just to prolong the debate, further strengthens the argument for having hat bit of the promise; if you’re going to have different versions of it, so different people are promising different things, what’s the point?

    poly
    Free Member

    Crazyjenkins01 – I am aware there is an option not to mention god, although my experience in practice is that it’s not as widely promoted as you suggest, in my sons experience (which is obviously from one group and over 10 yrs ago so may not be representative) was that as a group they all learned the same promise mentioning god and the expectation was parents would highlight a concern and special arrangements be made.  Now the beaver leader in that group is a rather traditional, church going, woman who was at least 60 yrs old so may not have any appreciation of the perception that creates.  Schools often fall into the same habit.  Your option if you don’t want to follow the line is to stand up and ask to be treated/identified as a minority – that’s not a great way of being inclusive.  Those kids who learn the default position with god go to school and tell their friends (they are all very proud of learning their promise) and the unintended message to people of other or no faith is you would need to learn the same promise.

    Having said god at beavers the assumption seems to be that you will continue to do the same for the rest of your scouting life (again some groups may be less so – this group is in a predominantly white, middle class, probably reasonably high church attending area).  My daughter who only joined as an Explorer, was given the standard version to learn (on paper) and told if she would rather say the version without god to look it up online!  No option that didn’t mention the Queen (or now King) was offered.

    the default position* in scouting (in the U.K.) is God and Christianity, if you are Christian it can be quite difficult to see why if there’s an opt out of those parts it isn’t very welcoming to people of other faith or none.  It is a historic anomaly arising from the beliefs of Baden Powell and the way that much of society operated at the time which in my opinion they could do with removing.  I realise that will be hard because the organisational heirarchy is full of people, who by the selection bias of the system are people who either want the involvement of the church or are ambivalent about it; any challenge to the status quo may well face being accused of “wokeness”.

    Even within the commonwealth many other scouts make no mention of their commitment to the hereditary monarch.

    I’ll reiterate again that I am very pro-scouting, I just wish the organisation could see that some aspects need modernisation to be as good as it could be.  As someone said for Beavers it probably makes no difference – but the organisations real crisis is in recruiting leaders and there’s bound to be some great potential leaders and the god and king stuff puts them off.

    * the official position is that they are secular – but it’s not the perception (and perception matters as you unwittingly exclude people you never even spoke to), and I don’t think it’s the reality on the ground either – Scouts from multiple groups in this district frequently take part in religious ceremonies at the local church, but in well over 10 yrs of involvement with them they’ve never discussed participating with other religions in the community.

    IHN
    Full Member

    No option that didn’t mention the Queen (or now King) was offered.

    There isn’t one, another bugbear of mine.

    As for everything else you said, I agree completely. To add some balance, as an ‘insider’, there is a large, vocal, number of leaders regularly expressing doubts and concerns about the “Faith and King” bits of the promise on forums such as the various Facebook groups etc, and I would be very surprised if HQ isn’t listening.

    However, I can understand why they have to move very slowly and cautiously so as not to rock the boat too much. One can just imagine the Daily Mail/Telegraph outrage and “wokeness going mad” bullshit spin should any vague thoughts about changing ot removing it be even whispered about by the Scout Association.

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    We moved 5 up from Cubs to Scouts at the weekend. A Leader took the kids to one side and asked them if they wanted to do the God version of The Promise. They said “no”. So we did the alternate. No big fuss at all.

    Have to say that “Do my Duty to The King” grates a bit with me personally, as a Republican who went to the tip during the coronation, but I doubt that Charlie is going to turn up at troop night with a squadron of tanks looking for recruits.

    Anyway, this weekend is Escape Rammy and the kids are massively fired up for it. This is why we do Scouts. If The King wants to pop along too we’ll let him (DBS permitting), but I’m sure we’ll be fine without him.

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    Also, this is back next year and it is absolutely off the scale!

    Red Rose 2024

    Got a couple of fund raisers to do between now and then to keep the cost down, but for £265 they are going to have the time of their lives!

    poly
    Free Member

    IHN – ah yes I hadn’t even considered the external influence of the “Media”.

    I just checked the US scout promise to see if they were swearing allegiance to the flag / nation etc.  Somewhat surprisingly they aren’t.  Although I found their promise even worse!   I’m not sure what they meant by “morally straight”, I suspect it goes back to times when Enid Blyton wrote about the kids have such a gay time, but crikey nothing like keeping up with the times!

    crazyjenkins01
    Full Member

    I obviously can’t comment on other groups ‘default’ but ours, for all sections, is Our World. We aren’t based in a church though, neither are a lot of the other groups in our district so maybe that makes a difference?

    if you’re going to have different versions of it, so different people are promising different things

    While I see the point here, the only real difference in the “versions” is the name of the deity you personally believe in, and if you don’t believe in one the our world makes it more inclusive. I do agree with the King/Queen point though, but as BP came from a military back ground it at least makes sense.

    crazyjenkins01
    Full Member

    Just read your * bit again poly, must have missed it first time 💁

    We only do church service once a year, on Remembrance Sunday, St George’s day is a scout event at the football stadium (for the last couple of years at least) and I took our beaver colony to visit the city’s synagogue last week which they loved! Which the cubs did last summer as well.

    It unfortunately sounds like the traditional church going leader you mention may not be modernising themselves

    poly
    Free Member

    crazyjenkins – his group were not based in a church/church hall either.   In fact I don’t think any of the groups that are within sensible distance from here are.  It’s likely habit – the Beaver leader has been doing it for 30 years, complains constantly that she wants to give it up and wants help but isn’t particularly keen on anyone doing anything differently – I’m sure you’ll have encountered the type as every voluntary organisation has these people!

    Having a choice of promises is strange.  it’s similar with oaths in court.  Whilst plenty of people there do proactively choose to affirm (i.e. not mention god, or use a holy book) there’s a lot of people who are using words with zero meaning to them to assure the court they will tell the truth and not leave anything out, and some opting to do so because they think they sound more trustworthy if they do so!

    The ritual is important, but probably the words should matter too.

    crazyjenkins01
    Full Member

    You’re right, some people are happy to moan about nobody else doing it but then pitch a fit at something different!

    It most likely is habit/tradition, and it might just be because I’m younger than a 30-year-served leader but tbh the beginning part of the promise is more important to me rather than saying God when you don’t believe. We spend a lot of time in sessions pointing out the “kind and helpful” aspect but not so much the God bit. It’s also framed more in a “spiritual” term than a religious one.

    Out of interest if you think the King/God aspect might put off adults to become leaders, what would you do to encourage them? Would be really helpful for us to pinch some ideas! 🤣

    neilnevill
    Free Member

    My daughters said/ will say the ‘our world’ promise.   It was the only one offered.  I assumed beavers/ scouting had modernised.   Maybe croydon is enlightened more than I thought.

    I’m quite at ease with people saying different things though,  they should say something meaningful to them. For everyone else is there demonstrations of commitment that matters…. or it does to me as part of the audience, not the actual words.

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t get hung up on the wording. I’m an atheist republican. It’s just words.

    The important thing is to be there for yourself, the kids, the troop, and the other leaders. If somebody wants to help because they have something to offer then join in.

    pictonroad
    Full Member

    As an atheist republican who is also a Scouts Trustee all the God & king stuff just looks like nonsense. I don’t think the kids think about it for more than a second after saying it, as long as they get to go run around in the mud and jump in the lake.

    I wouldn’t get hung up about it, I haven’t met a single leader who gives a monkeys about the religion or monarchy. It’s about groups of adults and teenagers giving up loads of spare time so that kids can have fun and grow into decent people. It’s all bloody brilliant and we desperately need more volunteers.

    IHN
    Full Member

    It’s just words.

    so that kids can have fun and grow into decent people

    Right, my final thoughts on it. I agree that one of the (laudable) aims is to help the kids grow into decent people by promoting behaviours and values that are, well, decent, and like I said above, the scout law does pretty much that.

    In that vein, one of things I talk to the Scouts about when they make their promise is the “on my honour” bit, and that your honour is the respect that you earn from being a decent person, and one of the main qualities of being a decent person is that you keep your promises.

    So, we can’t therefore say that to them, and then say that the Scout promise is “just words”. We either have one that means something to everyone that takes it, or we don’t

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    We have a set of values about honour, honesty and decency and respect. Respect for yourself, respect for your mates, respect for your leaders and respect for your kit. These are the important bits in my view. God and The King if you like, but honour, honesty, decency and respect first.

    neilnevill
    Free Member

    What HtS says makes sense to me.

    poly
    Free Member

    I wouldn’t get hung up about it, I haven’t met a single leader who gives a monkeys about the religion or monarchy. … It’s all bloody brilliant and we desperately need more volunteers.

    of course you haven’t – all the leaders are people who have either no objection or do object but don’t mind enough to make a fuss.  It’s survivor bias, so you’ve no idea how many potential leaders you lose just from the perception of those words.  If you meant in all your time in scouting nobody has ever tried to promote religious or monarchy aspects I’m a wee bit surprised.  We just had a St George’s day parade (which given we are in Scotland seemed odd till it was explained he was the Patron Saint of Scouting!).  And I’m sure if any district was to get a royal visit there would be much excitement.  Our kids all got a new badge to commemorate the coronation.

    Out of interest if you think the King/God aspect might put off adults to become leaders, what would you do to encourage them? Would be really helpful for us to pinch some ideas! 🤣

    well I *should* be good reference point for that question.  I have volunteered with them but I bailed out at the point they wanted me to become a leader.  The obvious thing is to change the promise.  I appreciate that the rituals are an important part of scouting and taking them away would probably be like getting rid of the uniform – but they can definitely be modernised.   Having never been a scout the idea of wearing a necker isn’t something I get excited about either, although that would have been less significant.  fwiw the other things that group (and again others may be better) do wrong with volunteers/leaders is as soon as you show a modicum of interest they leap, I can see how much time others put in – you need to have a lot of discipline to say no.  But they also seem to wait till they are desparate before they ask for help.

    that’s on top of all the usual headaches of being a scout leader like being able to get to the hall at the right time every week; ideally not having your own kid in the group; etc; and there’s always one leader who treats the parents like they are the 10 yr old kids.  I see the same with some teachers – they seem unable to switch mode – that would be kind of patronising if they were a leader you were working alongside.

    Finally I think you and IHN wrote a lot of positive things about the Scout Law and Promise and what Scouts were committing to.  I’d possibly reflect that not every teenager seems to manage that and from what I’ve seen there doesn’t seem to be any real sanction when individuals act like nobs.  Obviously some groups will be better at this than others, and some leaders will be better at it too.

    Now I spent several years as “hall keeper” letting other groups into/out of the hall, dealing with the burglar alarm going off, removing dead mice, fixing door locks, light bulbs etc.  and I am lined up to go and help a neighbouring group with a particular area I have a little expertise in come September, so it’s not I don’t want to help.

    t

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    We are a group nominally attached to a church, so God is our default promise. We don’t ever go – Remembrance service is so busy there isn’t room for us, so we run a pop up tea room in the village hall to raise funds for the British Legion after the parade.

    St George’s Day is a district activity, but no longer at church. Our Christmas activity is now an open air campfire rather a church carol concert.

    It takes a long time to turn an oil tanker, and volunteers with the right approach to do do so. I’ve never volunteered for any group because I thought it was perfect, I do it because I think it needs improving and modernising.

    My kids went to a CofE primary school, church based Scout and Guide groups, and one has just finished a Catholic secondary school. Both are non-religious republicans, and I suspect that the independence and self reliance they got from Scouts and Guides is a factor in that.

    gecko76
    Full Member

    “Broken any of the ten commandments lately? How about any laws? Still want to join the pack? Excellent”.

    We have used the alternate promise, and given the choice it’s the one I’d go for but it really doesn’t matter much. Last week I invested some Cubs and made them promise to the Queen until someone pointed out she dead. Force of habit.

    I helped out with a Scout troop in Canada for a while and they saluted the Canadian flag which I didn’t, because I’m not Canadian. That was a dick move in retrospect.

    IHN
    Full Member

    Last week I invested some Cubs and made them promise to the Queen until someone pointed out she dead. Force of habit.

    I think a lot of investitures have been including doing duty to the Quing for a while now 🙂

    crazyjenkins01
    Full Member

    I’m not sure the promise issue for adults is as big a factor as you think poly, although I’ve been wrong before! And that might just be down here in the sunny South West.

    Most of the reasons I hear from adults for not becoming uniformed is the amount of time commitment, perceived lack of skill/ability/nothing to give, “fear” of responsibility and requirement for training.

    Maybe in other areas of the country the perception is a major factor.

    kimbers
    Full Member

    Ive been a  Cub leader for about 3 years now ( I came thru cubs, scouts etc then took a break until I had kids of my own and got roped in)

    The law/promise bit is something I barely think about, for the cubs a 5 minute investiture ceremony and theyve pretty much forgotten it!

    Im far busier planning other stuff to worry about that, next week we have a hike ive just plotted the route for, my eldest is bivvying out with scouts this weekend, I have a district beaver camp Im helping out & with my youngest going in a few weeks, we have our AGM, BBQ & waterfight in the last week of term and Im just finalising the email for a 20k gravel ride for the first week of the summer holidays

    neilnevill
    Free Member

    I’ve just completed an adult information form to hand back tonight as I take my daughters along to beavers.  I guess that means I’ve volunteered.

    <hr />

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    Unpacked from camp last night. Tents all checked, swept and put away. Unclaimed items of underwear ceremoniously stapled to the notice board. Bit of a de-brief about what went right and what could have been done better. Ate all of the crisps that will go out of date before the next camp. Older ones spent the night expedition planning. Played a game of “Dave Ball”.

    Big event coming up on Saturday morning. If we don’t win (again) the kids will be gutted! No pressure then eh?

    Anyone North West based should keep an eye out for the Bispham Hall Chariot Race. Dates should be out soon.

    fatboyjon
    Full Member

    Well done and thank you.  Explorer section leader and Cub assistant leader here, yes as has been said above, some things are a pain in the whatever but watching young people overcome self doubt, learn, form life long friendships and apply skills you’ve helped them learn is priceless.  Seeing those young people being able to teach those skills to others makes me really proud.  We’re currently trying to recruit more leaders from our parent group and having no joy.

    gecko76
    Full Member

    We have a parent rota which is a good way of a) getting to know them and b) recruiting new assistants and potential leaders. What we don’t have is a functioning exec but that’s another story.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I’ve just completed an adult information form to hand back tonight as I take my daughters along to beavers. I guess that means I’ve volunteered.

    Balanced at the top of the slippery slope…

    We have a parent rota which is a good way of a) getting to know them and b) recruiting new assistants and potential leaders. What we don’t have is a functioning exec but that’s another story.

    I used to dread my turn on the parent rota, and realised I wasn’t cut out to be a unit leader. Turns out I’m ok at exec/trustee stuff, wearing hiviz to marshall events and washing up at fundraising tea rooms!

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