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lakes_stu

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About lakes_stu

  • Rank
    Junior Member
  • Birthday 04/01/1976

Profile Information

  • Location
    Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
  • Biography
    Assistant Beaver Scout Leader (6 to 8 year olds for those not familiar with UK Scouting),
    1st Woodhall Scout Group
  1. Apologies if I have misunderstood this, but It might be worth pointing out that here in the UK, Girlguiding has not folded into Scouting in terms of a merger or anything similar. We (Scouting) are fully co-ed, but Girlguiding remains completely separate and is going as strong as ever. If the numbers are to be believed, I think they have slightly more members than we do. I think Guiding and Scouting can often attract girls who are looking for different things. So the two do not really impact on each other as such. There are of course exceptions, but girls who want to scout join Scouting, and girls who want to guide join Girlguiding. A rather simplistic description, but there you go! Its worth saying that we do not change our program when girls are involved. We continue to provide what we have always done. We just make sure it is fully accessible to all (and in the case of girls there are very few adaptations needed and they are straightforward). Those who like it will come regardless of gender. We do also see girls who want to do both, and the costs of both organisations are generally so reasonable (most of the time) that they are active members of both and this causes no problems (would this be an option for BSA/GSUSA?).
  2. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    Im sure Family Camps can be a very effective way to recruit more Leaders. Maybe its something we should try. One thing that is common here is operating a 'parent rota' where parents take it in turns to help with a meeting a couple of times a year. Some groups are very strict about this while others are much more informal, with everything in between. DBS checks are renewed every 5 years, although I am sure any issues flagged up in the interim would result in immediate action. We also need to take safeguarding and safety training every 5 years, although it should be and generally is an ongoing thing. First aid training is renewed every 3 years.
  3. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    In our group, we have 1 Beaver scout Leader, 1 Assistant Beaver Scout Leader (me!), 1 Cub Scout Leader, 1 Assistant Cub Scout Leader, 2 Cub Scout Section Assistants, 1 Scout Leader, 1 Scout Section Assistant and 1 Group Section Assistant. Out of these, about half have been in Scouting as youth members. One was in Girlguiding and was a leader there but left because she felt it was a bit wishy-washy (her exact words wont be repeated here, but thats the general reason). All but 2 are (or have been) parents of kids in the group. Ages range from 23 to 48 I think. "Family Camps" are not too common here. They used to be quite popular in Beavers when they were not allowed to camp in tents without their parents. That changed several years ago, and they are not very common now as far as I know. It is more common for an interested parent to help with a camp as an additional adult. In any case, adults attending overnight have needed to have the appropriate safeguarding checks done first. Family camps could, I believe, be a bit problematic as many adults were there as 'parents' rather than 'leaders'. This led to issues with parents undermining leaders, picking and choosing which elements of the camp they wished to get get involved in and several other notable problems. In any case, it was felt that the young people got less from the camp if their parents were there (as opposed to leaders who just happened to be parents). Having said that, we welcome parents along to our camps (provided we can get them DBS checked in time - it takes a while) and other events. Its just that they are expected to be part of the leadership team rather than 'parents'. I dont have first hand experience of this though. Perhaps @@Cambridgeskip or someone could provide more info.
  4. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    Not a problem. Again, I apologise if I have come over a little opinionated. Its just that I am passionate about what we do (aren't we all) and wish the best for the BSA and its members. Things can seem a little black and white sometimes! As @@Cambridgeskip says, keep the questions flowing. I am really enjoying this, as I feel I am learning a lot too (from my colleagues here in the UK as well as you guys overseas).
  5. If you have space (and BSA ever allows it), allow girls to join your existing pack/troop. Don't change your programme though, keep doing what you have always done well. That's the answer. Sorry if this sounds a bit blunt, it is not my intention to offend or upset. I just feel that Leaders can continue to focus on delivering a great programme without having to worry too much about gender.
  6. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    We only have a couple of kids who are old enough to join Beavers who are having to wait thankfully. Our Cub pack and Scout troop actually have spaces (although we have a few Beavers due to move up soon). However, there is a group near to us where it's 2 Beaver Colonies are full and they have over 60 waiting!!! Sorry, straying off topic now.
  7. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    There is a joke that following the next ice age, scientists will initially find 2 things - fossils and Icelandic tents
  8. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    Yep, the classic scout tent in the UK is made by Blacks of Greenock. They call it the Icelandic. Far less popular than they used to be in my experience (they are not cheap for one thing) but they last forever (IF they are properly looked after). http://www.blacksofgreenock.co.uk/13-tents
  9. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    Personally, I can't say that I have experienced this. At the moment, we try to rotate our Lodge Leaders so that everybody gets the experience at some point during their time with us. This is not the practice elsewhere though, but I can't really say for sure. I know that our Cubs had a girl Sixer fairly recently, but the other Sixers were all boys. I think the pack only had 3 or 4 girls at the time though.
  10. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    Yes, a Beaver Colony (as we call a Tiger Cub pack) is normally limited to 24. We can take more by arrangement with our line manager, but I'm not sure how many do. Cubs and Scouts can take more (as they do not require as much individual support as they get a bit older - in theory), and I think Explorers are only limited by the practicalities of their meeting place. As a result, it is very common for groups here to have long waiting lists.
  11. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    @@Hawkwin, that's a tough one. I didnt join as a leader until after co-ed was universal. I really dont know any different. I do remember when I was a Cub and Scout though. It was a lot of fun then, but its just as much fun now. So from me at least there are no regrets. I do get peeved with parents tear a strip off me about their son having to wait to join because (and I quote) 'the girls have taken all the places'. This tends to come from parents who are least likely to step up and volunteer.
  12. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    Could you focus on providing the bulk of the team from the keener Dad's, and perhaps have some kind of rota for when you need a Mum? I can understand this. Our colony has 19 boys and only 5 girls. I don't know the exact details of what BSA is planning as yet, but is there any chance that girls could be allowed to join a Den with boys?
  13. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    To answer this from the even younger 6-8 perspective. The rules are exactly as @@Cambridgeskip says. However, it probably happens more often with Beavers, as we often run sleepovers in church halls and similar spaces. We have a couple of tents that can be pitched indoors, but not enough for the whole colony. When we have 'District' sleepovers there can be about 100 Beavers all in the one room (changing space in segregated toilets). The adults always sleep in a separate room and come to an arrangement regarding changing.
  14. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    Take a look at rules 2.3 and 2.4 http://scouts.org.uk/media/819396/Chapter-2.pdf
  15. lakes_stu

    Co-ed scouting overseas

    I suggest taking a look at https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/search/?cat=419,304 and exploring some of the information there and on linked pages. @@Cambridgeskip, @@PaulArthurs, @@ianwilkins do you know if there any any factsheets or parts of POR that may be worth quoting here? I'm at work right now and having to be a bit discreet!!!
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