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Cambridgeskip

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Cambridgeskip last won the day on May 3

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About Cambridgeskip

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    Junior Member

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    Cambridge UK
  • Occupation
    Aspiring novelist
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    Anything outdoors. Football (the one played with a ball, and your foot!) reading just about anything.
  • Biography
    UK scouter who mostly lurks on this forum and occasionally pops up with some ramblings.

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  1. Cambridgeskip

    New girls in Scouting

    Barry I hope you don't mind, but a question for you. I've seen you make this point numerous times and something I'm not sure of is, how is BSA ever meant to expand if fresh blood, who by their nature are likely to be inexperienced in terms of scouting, doesn't come into the organisation? While we disagree on coed scouting I have broadly been able to follow and indeed respect many of your arguments, it's just this one pont that leaves me a bit confused!
  2. Cambridgeskip

    Parents not getting it

    Indeed. Once upon a time that leader was me! I used to run cubs, then about 9 years ago I switched to scouts. It was a steep learning curve for me as I learned to cut the apron strings and let them get on with it. I understand how it can be difficult to sit back and watch the kids making a hash of something and not intervene. I've learned over time to let them take more and more of the responsibility and its worked better as time as gone past.
  3. Cambridgeskip

    Parents not getting it

    It was interesting to see the thread about misconceptions as I had deliberately logged on to post something. yesterday I spent 40 minutes on the phone and my Group Scout Leader (my manager, don’t think you have an equivalent) had spent 2 hours on the phone with the mum of a scout who was having a bit of a moan. She had various things to say but they all stemmed from the fact that her daughter has not made PL or APL yet. Her daughter is disappointed. She’s not the first and won’t be the last and in herself is not a problem. The problem is that her mum does not accept how scouts operates. Both myself and the GSL have tried explaining that our job is not to make all the decisions of the scouts for them. We advise them, we explain what they should consider, we will give our opinion if asked. If there is a safety or discipline issue or other very good reason to do so we will over ride youth decisions. What we won’t do is simply over rule them because they chose differently to what we would have chosen. In this case this scout would make a perfectly good APL. She’s enthusiastic, well behaved, polite etc. And yes she could probably do a better job than at least two of my current crop of APLs. Fact remains though that at this stage the PLC chose them and not her. And mum does not accept that. Ive explained to mum that’s if I over rule every decision I disagree with there’s no point having PLs or a PLC as they wouldn’t be making decisions, it would just be me demanding that they do it my way. What would be the point? And Mum does not accept that. I know that BSA put more emphasis than we do on the youth led process. Do you ever get problems with parents wanting you to over rule the PLC? How do you tend to handle it?
  4. They don’t understand that the adults are there to, as much as possible, facilitate the scouts in making their own decisions and leading and running the program as much as they can. They seem to think that we are there to do everything!
  5. Cambridgeskip

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    I run scouts, 10-14 year olds, so the age group behind Ian's lot. Interestingly my observation has always been the biggest gap in maturity sits at the Cub-Scout move up age. By the time they move to explorers the boys have typically caught up, both physically and mentally.
  6. Cambridgeskip

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    There are specifically male issues out there no doubt. Mental health is a big one, attainment at school is another. Fact remains though that men still dominate in most areas of life. I can't speak for the USA but here there are 208 women in Parliament out of 650. And that is the most it has ever been! 7 out of the FTSE 100 companies have women as CEOs. We may have a female Prime Minister but she is only the second in history. We have never had a woman as Chancellor of the Exchequer, had only one as Foreign Secretary (she lasted about a year), and one Home Secretary (she's now PM) As Ian says promoting opportunities for girls and women to do what men have historically done is not doing boys down but giving them competition. That is a separate issue to ensuring that they attain good grades in school and get good mental health provision.
  7. Cambridgeskip

    So I wrote a book - help required

    Now that would make a great title for a children's book!
  8. So... after I was made redundant back in November I started writing a book. Now this book is a children's book set in a scout troop. I won't give too much away but the short version of the story is teenager gets (outrageously unfairly) into trouble at school for standing up to the school bully. Parents pull her out of scout summer camp as punishment. Her friends decide it is grossly unfair and help her stowaway anyway. Along the way they pull some outrageous stunts. Some of which are a touch dangerous, some of which are border line illegal...Anyway having finished it I am now looking for an agent and a publisher.Before that I thought it might be a good idea to bounce this off UK HQ and make sure I wasn't going to upset anybody or cause any problem with copyright.They have come back and said.... given the story line please don't use any specifc scout terms. Given what the kids get up to I have some sympathy so this post is NOT a winge about our HQ. More a case of getting some ideas. I needs some replacement terms for the terms I've used. I plan on getting my scouts to help me as well. Basically any ideas for replacement terms for the terms below. I've put a similar post on the UK equivalent of this esteemed forum but thought that getting some ideas of folks with a bit more distance might be quite useful....Beaver (6-8 year olds)Cub (8-10 year olds)Scout (10-14 year olds)Explorer (14-18 year olds)Service Crew (What we call campsite volunteer staff)PatrolPatrol LeaderAssistant Patrol LeaderTroopUnitBronze Cross (one of our scout gallantry awards)Probably goes without saying they shouldn't be terms used by other organisations either! eg Navigators, Pathfinders etc...Thanks in advance, looking forward to some ideas
  9. Cambridgeskip

    What are your Units doing this fall?

    Well indeed there is normally a panto horse or cow (I was the back end of the cow in a school production of Jack and the Beanstalk! I was later bestman at the wedding of the front end of the cow. True story!) but there is more to it than that. It is normally two hours of pure slapstick silliness based on a classic children's story. Our local panto this year is Alladin. Cinderella and Jack and The Bean Stalk are also both common ones. The main male character is always played by a woman and the main female by a man. A character called Buttons (unlucky in love nice guy who gets friend zoned by the girl) is normally shoe horned into whatever story it is. There's plenty of "he's behind you" and "oh yes he is/oh no he isn't" and general audience participation. The very best ones normally get some satire in there as well. Frankly the script writers must be spoiled for choice this year with the amount of world wide nonsense to satirise! Have a look on Youtube, there's loads to get an idea of.
  10. Cambridgeskip

    What are your Units doing this fall?

    Highlights of the term are The annual monopoly run. An evening of chaos as the troop are let loose on an unsuspecting Cambridge public to complete various tasks round the town centre. Christmas trip to the local pantomime (I understand this is a peculiarly British thing so nudge me if the concept needs explaining) Inter Patrol cook off. Not sure what format this will take yet, a couple of the PLs are planning it. Although I am personally a fan of getting some tins. Taking off the label and getting each patrol to take one blind to include in their recipie! Ooh I'm 'orrible to them
  11. Cambridgeskip

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    If it is anythnig like this side of the Atlantic the reminders will need to go on for longer than that. 27 Years since we had local option, 13 years since my group went for it and 11 years since compulsory coed we still get expressions of surprise that girls can be scouts. Despite girls featuring one way or another in pretty much all publicity the message has still not fully got through.
  12. The biggest danger to any child in the western world is traffic. It simply wasn't a thing in BP's day. These days it is the single biggest killer of children aged 5-16 in the western world. When my scouts do something unsupervised by adults it is them being hit by a car that is top of my list when it comes to things that leave in a cold sweat. I'm not saying don't let kids off the leash, just teach them to cross the road safely first!
  13. Cambridgeskip

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    I started writing this post with quite a lengthy response to quite a few of the comments above. Then I deleted it. Instead I thought I’d post this link. http://12thcambridge.org.uk/blog/2018/08/26/summer-sun/ Its the photos from my troop summer camp which also included the cubs from our group for half the week. as a group we have a well above average number of girls. (For those not familiar with my comments on here I’m British so used to fully coed scouting) They come to us because they like what we do. So summer camp this year meant hiking, caving, rock climbing, pioneering, a trip to Alton towers (rollecoastertastic!) and would have meant mountain biking if not washed out by 60mph winds and torrential rain. we have issues with leader training and finding enough quality volunteers as well. But hopefully the photos show you the problem does not stem from girls wanting to change things. I don’t quite know where the issues stem from. But don’t blame the girls that want in. Or their parents. That’s not right and it’s not fair.
  14. Cambridgeskip

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    I think one thing worth adding to Ian’s comments is that prior to scouting becoming coed here the scouts association traditionally had quite a strong relationship with Girl Guides. From everything I have read here it was, and indeed still is, stronger than that between BSA and GSUSA. The point being that many events were, and indeed still are, joint between the two. Where I grew up in Hertfordshire, just north of London, it was almost unheard of for county events to not include Girl Guides. Similarly in the more rural areas of the country it was not uncommon to see official joint scout and guide groups. So when the change happened there were people who were already well used to girls taking a full part on scout events, just wearing a different uniform. make of that what you will but worth noting. Beyond that what Ian said and feel free to pick my (and I assume Ian’s) brain on how things are and what the practicalities are all about.
  15. Cambridgeskip

    Gender Identity Issue

    I think you're over thinking this. A scout has asked to be known by a different name. Unless the parents specifically phone the SM to object to using that name just go with it. If the parents contact you to object then deal with that then. At that point a conversation with them and the scout involved is needed. Until then I'd advise simply don't worry about it. Frankly if some other scouts left because I respected the wishes of another scout then I'd be sad to see them go but there's a lot of kids out there who can replace them. I currently have a scout who prefers a different name. It's not a gender issue, she simply doesn't like her name and prefers something else. A real name as opposed to a nickname. So I use it. I have her legal name on record in case I ever have to take her to hospital and they need to find her medical notes. I've never even asked her parents.
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