To be annoyed at cub 'leader'

(132 Posts)
goodgrief54 Sat 07-Dec-13 10:02:56

My son started at cubs in April and to say it is a shambles is an understatement. They do not do anything I would expect and instead play dodgeball for 90 percent of the time. They have started to work towards badges but then don't finish them, he hasn't had a single badge the whole time of being there.. we have not paid a penny either as despite repeatedly asking they are not organised enough to know how to sort this out. I know that the leader gives up time to be there but doesn't plan anything at all and spends the first ten minutes eating her dinner when she arrives. I thought you had to have some sort of training to be a cub leader and am surprised that this can even be called cubs. my son likes going as all his friends go but am I being unreasonable to complain and risk it being closed down all together??

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Sun 08-Dec-13 11:28:33

Mary Z I have to admit none of the units I go to are especially child led and for this reason. The brownies especially are too young to come up with constructive ideas and with large packs there are a couple who will shout the loudest to get their way. We would spend every week playing Fruit Bowl ( which I HATE) and then they'd complain we hadn't done anything. So we organise fun and varied things for them to do and let them chose a game in the last ten minutes. I still fucking hate Fruit Bowl.

DwellsUndertheSink Sun 08-Dec-13 11:29:36

I was a beaver leader for many, many years. Had a fabulous very popular colony, did wildly exciting new things every week, lots of outings and badges galore.

One week, I organised an exciting (and expensive) activity - kids arrived plus a brother. The parents felt that the sibling (who was not a beaver) should be able to participate, and when I said no, they kicked up a fuss. For the next year, they refused to talk to me. Not even a "Good evening" or a "Thank you" - I was good enough to look after their child for over an hour every week, plus go on camp and take care of their older child, but they refused to talk to me. WOuld pointedly turn their backs and speak to another leader, even if I was organising something they wanted to attend.

AFter a year of being ignored, I left the organisation - not the only reason, but a huge contributing factor.

Another was a whinging parent complaining that there was no Beavers that week as she had something to do...well that's because I went to see my own child's nativity play. Shocking huh.

We even got to the point of charging parents a nominal fee for events because we got tired of no-shows on events that had cost us money - like panto or days out, when we are stood waiting for kids who have said they are coming - only for parents to decide they couldnt be bothered. AMazing how, having paid a fiver for a £20 activity, the parents all wanted little jonnie to attend.

Because there are many that know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Parents, please do not think that its only a couple of hours a week. I believe that to run my colony effectively, I needed 8-10 hours a week of preparation, admin, training, shopping etc. Plus fundraising activities. If you are doing it on your own, it takes over your life and there will be times when the Scout group has to take second place to important stuff - like sick children.

Not to mention setting up the hall at the beginning of the evening, and cleaning up the hall after everyone had left. That was me, with 3 kids of my own. Staying in a cold, isolated building for 30 minutes hoovering up all the crap all over the floor and washing up cups. WHile my own toddler and 6 year old cried with tiredness wanting to go home. Eating their cold dinner out of a plastic box because there was no time to eat before getting to the hut to set up.

And for this? I can count, in 7 years, a mere 3 Christmas cards.

Value your leaders, lest they decide to walk away.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 08-Dec-13 11:30:10

Btw what about the example given above feeling where a unit is being badly run by a leader from another unit holding the fort trying to get another leader to take over by someone who is holding down a full time job. No one comes forward. That is probably the most common type of badly run unit I have seen over the years. That definitely does not fit with the teacher analogy they would never take on a second class. Anyway I have to stop because it does appear that I am defending ineffective leadership here which I actually do not in the real world but the reasons for it are often though not always, down to a lack of civic participation.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 08-Dec-13 11:35:08

Fruit bowl what is that :-) our favourites are splat, they simply cannot get enough, wink murder and set the table. There absolute favourite one is Farmer which we cannot play very often thanks to the carpet burns that can result :-).

oldmacdonaldscow Sun 08-Dec-13 11:59:46

I am glad that I've been able to help festive to break down the door. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, I'm afraid, asking for the wrong sort of help from the wrong people.

The watchword in Scouting in the last couple of years has been "flexible volunteering" - give what you can, when you can.

It's a concept we should have been communicating years ago and unfortunately it will take time to sink in. Until then there will be too many units where one or two people do pretty much everything. And that is when standards can slip.

feelingfuckingfestiveok Sun 08-Dec-13 12:31:49

neunun This is true it does not fit the analogy and in those circumstnce peole need to be gratefule for what they get provided. Is there not management further up the organnisation that can help with recruitment, they shouldnt be left to struggle.

Just as a note teacher do take on extras all the time and do not get paid, they seldom get thanked specifically. I have took on GCSE classes in year 11 beause someone else messe up had to do what I could - I did end up taking over the department and running it much more effectively.

All said and done I am pleased to be being counted in a way that I can manage to do.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 08-Dec-13 16:23:43

There is a management structure there but it is only possible for the management to work with the volunteers they have at their disposal and the time commitments they can offer. For example FatOwl mentioned additional training, at the moment my commitment to training is limited by doing an MA course which eats up all my spare time so someone in my position would not be able to offer additional time for the likes of that. As a guiding 'manager' that might be frustrating but unlike employment you cannot offer incentives/rewards or make demands to insist that volunteers give additional time.

You sound like a committed type of person feeling based on your commitment to your own job but from my experience you need to know what you can offer in voluntary organisations and no matter how unreasonable others expectations you prioritise your commitments in the manner that is realistic for you to be true to all your conflicting roles in life in my case mother, teacher, student, and last on the list of my priorities leader.

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