....to have a few concerns about my Beaver Leader?

(69 Posts)
LovelyMeredith Mon 08-Apr-13 20:48:25

[N.B. I would ask this on the Scouts forum, but can't get any anonymity]

Basically, I started as an Assistant Beaver Leader for my colony in October, and I have a few issues about the lack of effort from my Beaver Leader.

I totally understand that everything she does is on a voluntary basis, and that the amount of paperwork can be A LOT of dedication in itself. I don't mean to go and slag her off, I feel sometimes that the lack of effort she sometimes puts in particularly with coming up with activities does a bit of a disservice to the kids. The activities she comes up with are pretty much the bare minimum, and I've heard the Beavers say a couple of times "We've done this before" and get fed up.

I also sometimes feel she places more value in the "occasional" helpers than she does in me and the fellow Assistant Leader. Her daughter and a few of her friends are occasional helpers, and I feel like they are given more say in the running of the colony than we are just because she's her daughter.

I know from what I have heard that a previous Assistant Leader took issue with the way she ran the colony and left so I know it isn't just me. I'm a tad bit fed up because quite frankly I wonder what on earth I am doing there sometimes, and I don't feel like I'm getting enough support.

Am I justified in feeling like this? I would love to hear from anyone who have been involved in roles like this before.

cocolepew Mon 08-Apr-13 20:49:23

EPIC thread title

amiwhatorhow Mon 08-Apr-13 20:49:28

<childish snicker at 'my beaver' >

sorry op blush

cocolepew Mon 08-Apr-13 20:50:18

Sorry that wasn't very helpful [bush]

HollyBerryBush Mon 08-Apr-13 20:50:23

Not laughing, so not laughing

LovelyMeredith Mon 08-Apr-13 20:50:45

amiwhatorhow - thank goodness I have a sense of humour, just realised how that sounded!

cocolepew Mon 08-Apr-13 20:50:48

Jeez lousie blush

Sorry.

TwoPoundCakePuncher Mon 08-Apr-13 20:50:52

Why dont you make some suggestions for games?

There is a games book in the beavers handbook sets with a load of good game ideas, or google, as the official assistant leader i think you could make more suggestions.

cocolepew Mon 08-Apr-13 20:51:14

I'm in pieces.

amiwhatorhow Mon 08-Apr-13 20:51:50

cocole - me too, can't stop laughing grin

ckwkatie Mon 08-Apr-13 20:52:00

I'd have a word with your Beaver, OP.

Kyrptonite Mon 08-Apr-13 20:52:06

Crying with laughter at thread title.

defineme Mon 08-Apr-13 20:53:33

Ask to take responsibility for planning/leading part of each week's meeting?

TwoPoundCakePuncher Mon 08-Apr-13 20:53:39

Oh god, i now realise im the only one who has given a serious answer... Having to field Beaver jokes from DH constantly means i am immune!

I shall attempt to hide my smirk and give a proper answer.

Do you have planning meetings where all sections leaders/helpers have a chance to put forward ideas?

Now I'll Smirk. grin

GentlyGentlyOhDear Mon 08-Apr-13 20:54:57

Do you have termly planning meetings where you all sit down and decide what to do for the upcoming term? You could suggest that all three of the leaders come up with a schedule and perhaps take charge of a couple of activities each?
It does sound like she can't commit fully to the job and perhaps she should think about standing down from being the leader?

It is frustrating. I was a beaver leader for a fair few years and found it hard work to get everything done, but I had NO support.

Previously as a helper when I was younger we used to have a planning meeting once a half term/term. We had a 'theme' for the half term and worked out rough activities and then were each allocated planning eg me as the other young leader more often than not were allocated/volunteered to prepare the games themed on that week. It was all typed up and very clear who was doing what.

Each week had a similar timetable eg as they came
In they coloured in or drew something or listed things to do with the theme. Then there was time in lodges and intro from leader/register etc perhaps a story or explanation about the evening. Usually some kind of activity - crafty or drama and then a big game. I think we might have have had a drink then back to lodges for notices/song etc...

LovelyMeredith Mon 08-Apr-13 20:56:25

Binkyridesagain - We do have meetings but any suggestions I give tend to be ignored disregard for her own suggestions. Hence why I wonder what the point of being there.

DinoSnores Mon 08-Apr-13 20:58:08

I'm a Guider so I don't know the Scout set up but do you have an equivalent of a District Commissioner to discuss this with?

LovelyMeredith Mon 08-Apr-13 20:58:29

GentlyGentlyOhDear - She had previously talked about standing down and having one of us take over, but that seems to have gone out the window. With the lack of support I've received, I doubt I'd be able to manage running it and would feel in the deep end.

Have you tried suggesting that you run an evening? I've been a scout and cub leader and have been were you are but was overruled by the GSL, who wanted a youth club not a scout group, I walked. So not much help.

TwoPoundCakePuncher Mon 08-Apr-13 21:04:05

GSL would be my first port of call

IS your GSL involved in any of your planning meetings and has he seen an evening run?

LovelyMeredith Mon 08-Apr-13 21:05:25

Binkyridesagain - That was suggested, I was supposed to be running one evening but that seemed to have gotten forgotten about. She's also the GSL which doesn't help either.

DinoSnores - I did toy with have a chat with the District Commissioner, but I don't particularly want to cause an argument between me and her either.

Almostfifty Mon 08-Apr-13 21:07:45

Could you have a word with your GSL?

I'm not sure how beavers is run with the heirachy but do you have a beaver district leader that you could talk to?

Is there another colony you can move to that would appreciate your input?

Almostfifty Mon 08-Apr-13 21:09:34

Ah, crossed post.

Offer to do a badge one week. If she's GSL as well, she's probably to much to do.

BunnyDoIt Mon 08-Apr-13 21:11:35

You definitely need termly planning meetings and Assistant Leaders should organise some of the evenings. We also get the kids to do a termly questionnaire about all the activities we've done and rate them so we know what they enjoyed and what to avoid repeating.

In terms of the admin, it can be a lot of work but we've found Online Scout Manager is a huge help with that. It's a good resource for planning ideas too.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 08-Apr-13 21:13:35

Sorry, another one who only read the title. grin

arf.

PipsWife Mon 08-Apr-13 21:16:38

Showing my maturity .... Arf

CleanHankie Mon 08-Apr-13 21:19:13

The Scouting movement is crying out for people like you with enthusiasm and wanting to do more adventurous activities, and there she is, putting people like you off - Argh! Her being the GSL is not helpful at all either. Do you have a training advisor you could speak to ie it's not helping further your ABSL training if you don't get a say in the programme or get to lead that often. Alternatively, is there another Beaver Colony nearby that you could transfer to? If it gets that bad, please don not leave without having a word with your DC, do you have a St George's Day District event coming up where you could have a informal word with them then?

fridayfreedom Mon 08-Apr-13 21:19:18

Have been in this position and seem at last to be making headway.
We now have termly planning meetings and use the challenge badges on rotation to provide a varied programme, we also try to do an interest badge each term. We also use events, Xmas, Easter, St Georges as activities.
Along with the other assistant leaders , I went on the training modules which gave us the chance to learn about what we should be providing, glean ideas from other leaders and talk to the trainers.
Together with our training supervisor we were able to set our own training objectives and to share them with our leader so that rather than criticising what the leader was doing we were approaching it from our own training needs, for example, I need to plan a set of activities to cover X badge.
At the termly meetings we also volunteered to lead activities and say "I can do that" rather than waiting to be asked. In this way we spread the work around.
It is hard work because often the leader has been doing it for ages and for that there needs to be some recognition but you also need to get something out of it plus provide a fun, balanced programme for the children.

ATouchOfStuffing Mon 08-Apr-13 21:20:26

Beaver Leader grin
Pwahahahahaaw.
Sorry.
<slinks off to dunce corner>

Oh no, I'm supposed to be sulking and you made me laugh out loud. Beaver leaders<snigger>.

ATouchOfStuffing Mon 08-Apr-13 21:30:28

I can't stop chuckling.
Made my evening this has.
Well done all of you Leading Beavers taking this thread seriously and actually helping OP, unlike me. Woman power grin

ATouchOfStuffing Mon 08-Apr-13 21:31:39

Just have to say I LOVE the fact you have 'colonies' as well.
Awesome.

fridayfreedom Mon 08-Apr-13 21:32:02

don't worry it's not like we haven't heard it all before!!

it does sound like she might be a reason why boys (and girls) might not come to your groyp.
youneed to go over her head if she is not listening.

why should you feel like you should leave because of her? that's not fair on the kids (and parents who are spending money on this)

DinoSnores Tue 09-Apr-13 09:53:17

"DinoSnores - I did toy with have a chat with the District Commissioner, but I don't particularly want to cause an argument between me and her either."

I'd reckon that your DC could have a chat and a visit to see how things are run without necessarily letting the main leader know that you've 'told on her' as it were. Hopefully he could then point out things that need improvement or could be changed.

badguider Tue 09-Apr-13 09:59:29

I find it hard to see how you running a night can be 'forgotten about'... can you not just say 'ok, which night is for my activity this term?' and then stick to it?
If you do take a night and run it well I'm sure it'll help her let go a bit, it seems like she's maybe a bit control freaky. I have run guides on my own (not through choice) for nearly a year now then last night my new assistant was planning almost all the activities and I felt very weird turning up not knowing what was planned and if all the stuff would have been brought etc. of course it was, and I'd NEVER stop anybody from helping or running a night but it felt odd after being left alone to worry about it all for so long.

Just take a night, and do it.

meebles Tue 09-Apr-13 10:16:25

it's a new term so I would get a date out of her for you to run the activity, link it to your woodbadge training if you're doing that - tell her you want some more responsibility ...and if she's still being impossible I would move to another colony where you can be appreciated (our group could do with an experienced absl).
I found it hard when I started as acsl as there were other very experienced leaders who were reluctant to loosen their grip. Ive managed to make some good changes and have more planned mwahaha....bet she doesn't like the idea of OSM either! !

TheSlug Tue 09-Apr-13 11:22:04

Meredith, where do you live? Come and be my assistant guider instead, I will appreciate you, promise!

you don't have a very exciting beaver, she needs a stern talking to.

Groovee Tue 09-Apr-13 11:29:15

There was a guider who posted about having problems last week and sadly it looked like she was going to walk away due to the "leader" just not paying attention.

I think you have to be be more assertive or ask your DC for a move to another unit. Some people like being in charge but have poor leadership skills. The first brown owl I worked with was like this and it resulted in me leaving. I should have been more assertive.

poozlepants Tue 09-Apr-13 11:37:31

Find a new colony. If she is your GSL I doubt much will change unless she decides to give up the Beaver section. I stuck with a colony for 3 years whilst the leader basically ran it into the ground and it was dissolved. She was just so boring and the activities were rubbish. I resorted to coming up with theme nights sorting all the stuff and then asking her could I do it and presenting her with the work I'd done and she wasn't really able to say no as it was obviuous I'd gone to loads of trouble. A lot of it was to do with the fact she didn't think that theboys were capable of doing anything at all complicated which was rubbish.

My Dad was a GSL and then district and county commissioner many moons ago and this was always a problem when there were leaders who were basically rubbish but couldn't or wouldn't be pointed in the right direction. Because it's voluntary there was a very fine line about what could be done and to avoid flouncing.

ben5 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:38:01

is there another unit you can go to? if you say you are interested in becoming an assistant helper most groups dont let you walk out the door without getting you to sign something saying you'll help!!!!! is there another beaver leader in the area you can talk to? thank god Im in oz and have joeys and not beavers!!!

ben5 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:38:44

in fact we need a leader fancy coming here? we have sunshine!!!

StuffStuffStuff Tue 09-Apr-13 12:11:47

I was about to suggest talking to your GSL but I see that is the same person. I guess the DC would be your next option.

Do you have a Training Advisor? If so, they could give you some advice on what to expect from your role. You could also ask them to approach the leader about getting you more involved in planning/running activities - you need to do this to complete your training.

chowhound Fri 08-Aug-14 11:42:57

I dont know if this got sorted, being a fairly old thread, but ...

POR states that the GSL should not also be taking a section leader role too.

Rule 3.41c....
The Group Scout Leader may not hold any
other appointment in the Scout Group other
than Training Adviser.

So, if she wants to be GSL, she has to step down from BSL.

Alternatively, if she wants to be BSL, she has to step down from GSL.

Unless of course she is actually just the GSL who happens to run Beavers informally and you don't actually have a BSL? This seems really strange to me though.

Of course, if she stepped down from BSL and you took over, she would be your formal line manager (which she is not now, leaders and assistant leaders are on a par). Would you be happy with this? She should still give you the freedom to run the Colony as you see fit though, provided standards are met.

This is something that your DC should enforce.

Wow, a lot of TLAs (three letter acronyms) in this post!

chowhound Fri 08-Aug-14 12:25:16

Oops, didnt see just how old this thread actually is. Sorry everyone!

paddleduck Fri 08-Aug-14 12:27:59

Just snorted my drink through my nose.

My beaver- hilarious!

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:23:31

Perhaps she has beaver fever?

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:24:24

Maybe you should leave her to her beaver fever

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:25:05

Or organise a cooking class with a beaver cleaver?

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:26:08

Tell her not to be such a beaver diva

puntasticusername Fri 08-Aug-14 13:26:36

Or a session where you teach the boys to construct baskets and similar objects from lengths of wicker?

Beaver weavers.

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:26:40

But on a serious note you could offer more help?

puntasticusername Fri 08-Aug-14 13:27:30

Or maybe she'll never change and you'll just have to beaver leave 'er.

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:27:41

Lol pun!

But dont go talking behind her back or you will be a beaver deceiver!

puntasticusername Fri 08-Aug-14 13:29:09

grin

What about a session focusing on the gods of different world religions?

Beaver Shiva.

(too much?)

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:29:13

Offer her a rest; a beaver breather

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:29:34

Good one!

momb Fri 08-Aug-14 13:30:06

This isn't really the right place for this discussion as I think you'd get more informed opinions on a scouting forum, but as a Guider I'd say you need to discuss this with your commissioner: explain that you have concerns about equal responsibilities for the programme: is the unit actively involved in county events for example? Are you covering all areas of the programme over the year? It's definitely one to take higher.

puntasticusername Fri 08-Aug-14 13:30:47

Actual lol.

"How to keep your home and person clean and hygienic ".

Sponsored by Beaver Unilever.

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:31:45

Is she sucking the soul out of everything she does? Perhaps shes a beaver reaver!

And im done

riskit4abiskit Fri 08-Aug-14 13:36:23

If she handles stolen animals she will be a beaver receiver

puntasticusername Fri 08-Aug-14 13:43:06

What kind of animals? Beaver retrievers?

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 08-Aug-14 13:47:58

The leader is obviously being a beaver diva...

AlpacaMyBags Fri 08-Aug-14 14:01:20

The leader is obviously being a beaver diva

CRYING! grin

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