To be annoyed at cub 'leader'(132 Posts)
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??
You could always volunteer to help.
YABVU, your son is going there for FREE!
You could complain if you are happy with the thought that the group may fold and many children will miss out on a fun and affordable activity.
Alternatively you could make enquiries about becoming a volunteer and either helping regularly, or with one off activities that are targeted towards a badge.
Unstructured, free, your son enjoys it.
If you don't like it find another group to send him to. Or give up your own time to help.
Unless you stay the entire session do you really know exactly what they do? I help at brownies and we usually finish with games so that might be the thing they tell their parents about, forgetting the things they've learned or made before then!
The money thing is more concerning because certainly in girl guiding each unit has to have its accounts signed off at a district level, I can't imagine it being different in Scouts.
Cubs are expected to work independently towards some of their activity badges
Our troop only hands out badges at the end of each term, otherwise she'd spend the whole time handing out badges.
And have you tried offering to pay the people looking after & entertaining your child for free? Subs are usually £30 per term.
This happened at my lads cubs.
However the woman was running it by herself, hold done a full time job, look after her on kids and was a single parent.
She kept asking for help and asked if he could have a rota of volunteers but only one parent came forward ( and I worked 3 Tuesdays out of 4)
So she couldn't do much. Parents would drop off and expect their kids to be entertained and get badges but gave nothing back.
Also it was embarrassing at parades because only about two parent would send their kids to it. Happy to take,not so happy to give.
If you are so bothered offer to help.
Maybe the badges have elements that they are supposed to complete at home? I used to do this sometimes when I was a Brownie Leader and my Scouting DS often has 'homework'.
Offering to help is by far the most constructive thing that you can do. Sounds like she needs support, not criticism. Perhaps you could do the accounts? Or offer to lead on a badge on a topic that interests you?
She does sound a bit disorganised, but FFS, she's volunteering! If you can do it better, volunteer to help!
I would chase the money thing, the subs need to be paid for insurance purposes among other things.
They do sound a disorganised group tbh, I am a scout group secretary and our groups do loads and loads of badges, ds is in cubs and since April probably has got about 10 badges plus camp and district extras. However some groups work this way and some much more relaxed, and if the cubs are happy then so be it. If you want a more organised group I would look elsewhere, but do remember they are volunteers. Yes leaders do undergo training from time to time and all the ones here are organised and the cubs do some great things. They have just done their diy badges and got to go to a workshop and use hacksaws etc, lots of happy cubs
I don't think you're being completely unreasonable if it is as you describe.
If you think you could do better, why don't you volunteer to help? Carping parents are the bane of volunteers' lives.
The Beavers group my son goes to work towards badges but most of them are given at an 'awards ceremony'. They play dodgeball at the start - do you know for sure yours carry on doing it?
If he wants to stay at the group I agree the best thing would be for you and/or another concerned parent to volunteer. We have several people running ours, and it seems really well organised, but I don't see how one person on their own could do it.
If you are keen on badges your son can do a lot at home. I help at cubs and find most parents drop their son off and run. Very little offers to help etc.
Regarding subs why don't you offer to do the accounts for the pack. Perhaps the leader really doesn't have time to do that as well. You could send out a letter to parents asking for subs and simply pay it into pack accounts.
Given it's free & he enjoys it, YABU. Why don't you join & get them up to standard?
im am ex assistant cub leader now a scout leader and from what youve put I can totally see where your coming from as our cub group was like that and no matter how hard I tried to make things better the leader was just lazy and in the end made out I was stepping on her toes.
my advice is to speak to the gsl about your concerns in regards to the programme they should at least be working toward a badge a term.
do pm me if you want
Yabvu your ds enjoys it, that's enough IMHO, and it's free too. Why don you volunteer there, and turn it around
Do you help your DS work towards his badges. DS is in Scouts now but during beavers/cubs he had to work towards them independently of the group.
And most of DS's cub time was spent playing dodgeball/Mr Men game/ Captins Coming. He still loved it!
It's not 'free' though, is it? They'll get round to asking for subs eventually. I'm with the OP. I know the leader is a volunteer, but she's not coping by the sound of it. She should be planning every minute, just like a teacher plans lessons. Plans, gathering/making resources. More importantly, she should have help to do this, and support from the organisation above if she's not coping.
So the poor leader is expected to plan to teaching standards without reward? I'd be saying fuck that. If the OP isn't happy things are being run properly she can pull her son out, complain about the free child care she's getting or offer some constructive help and support.
I would never berate anyone who gave up their free time to entertain other people's children without being paid. It is really hard work at the best of times and soul destroying at the worst (particularly when you want people to volunteer and no-one comes forward).
My advice is if you feel strongly get involved otherwise don't moan.
Why don't YOU volunteer and organise the programme to the programme that is offered for cubs instead of complaining!
The subs pay for insurance and hall hire. The leader doesn't get anything.
She is already giving up one evening a week every term time week + leader meetings.
Instead of complaining offer support.
Your son is in her care for 1/12 to 2 hours and it costs you very little, not even your time. Do something positive if you are not happy.
You can't complain unless you also volunteer.
Well fit help has disappeared we have been saved from the AIBU? Everyone going yes and them coming back saying that they aren't!
My cub unit is currently struggling. We've lost five leaders in the last year, I've had take time off due to being pg and having SPD and we simply do not have enough leaders to run a successful pack.
So we've joined with another group. In the meantime our hall has a problem and we've have meetings in strange places, with one getting cancelled at the last minute through no fault of our own (double booking)
We have tried to work towards badges in this time but it's hard work to organise when you don't know how many children will turn up or what facilities you'll have. Hell it's hard when you do know.
A few weeks ago a parent e-mailed every parent and leader calling us inept (and a few choice other names) and calling for other parents to stop supporting us. Every single time we've asked for help from parents nobody has come forward.
We've done our best, and we think we've come to a solution (we were in a meeting about it when this parent e-mailed and followed up the email with a call to say the same, shouting and swearing) but that's not enough for some people seemingly. There have also been complaints about badges. We try to do badges, but there are a number that can be done outside of meetings, either through other clubs (sports etc) or with some parental input.
Why not get hold of one of the books that are available about badges and see if there is anything you could help with? Or even just volunteer to help from time to time.
Two weeks ago
I really dislike this notion that because you're doing a voluntary job, you can get away with doing it badly.
A job should be done well whether paid or not.
Maybe the OP doesn't want/can't volunteer herself, that doesn't mean she can't expect a better organised group.
My dds brownies is run fantastically by a passionate enthusiastic leader. I appreciate her very much, we organise a collection at Christmas/end of the year and I try and help out when I can. Theres a rota for mums to help each week, if you cant do it you swap with someone. Subs are collected on the first day of term, each week has a structured activity or an outing. Brown Owl is in her 60s and shows no sign of slowing down. It's really not that difficult to do a half decent job.
And yes you CAN complain and not volunteer. OP I would find another cub pack, it DOES sound like a shambles.
The difference between your group and many others incuding a few on her is about the help it is getting from other parents. Did you not read that bit?
Many places are struggling for help and no matter how many times they ask they are not getting support.
They can not be expected to do it all and run a fantastic club.
Bloody Well done you for having parents that rota themselves on. Not all clubs have that luxury but have parents that have huge expectations.
The people that run cubs etc chose to volunteer, so if you volunteer to do somethign you should do it knnowing that you can deliver what is expected IMO or why bother.
My DS's cubs groups as just made a ton of demands both financial and time wise - I don't think it was made clear just how much you have to do in supoprt. But to be fair they are a very busy oversubscribed group. Having said that I have sent my DS with stuff for badge work, dropped off at different locations but he has not had a single bad in nearly a year.
So whilst I respect what they do is good for the kids etc I am a bit pissed off with my group at the moment as they have sent snotty letters about doing stuff (I have a toddler and it is not doable for me and so feel bad) whilst at the same time nt doing the badge work - which is what the kids love to get.
YANBU - I had similar problems with DD1's Rainbows, my offers to volunteer were turned down because they 'had plenty of help' and they did have 2-3 helpers a week, and as a nondriver who sat outside most weeks, a lot of their time was spent colouring. When I tried to get more information on church parade before the first one as I hadn't the foggiest what it was, I was simply told that I didn't have to attend because I'm a religious minority and was refused further information based on that. They also refused to do anything about the bullying, denied it was happening, even when girls (including my DD) were coming out in tears right next to them, they would say the crying never happened, that everyone was happy and playing well. I eventually learned that the adults actually encouraged the bullying (one had said my daughter and 'people like her' are disgusting, multiple girls repeated this story but the adults all denied it). It was also encouraged because each of their trips had a 'schedule change' that was communicated only to few people and the rest of us would be denied being able to check our information when they kept claiming they couldn't get through on all the numbers and emails we'd given them.
Some groups are done really well, but I find the firm denial by many that these groups can be done very badly and that we can only complain about if we volunteer unrealistic and frustrating. Even had my DD1's support worker say that bullying can't happen at rainbows . I didn't send her there for childcare and run off, I tried to volunteer and had it made clear I wasn't wanted, and had a daughter who kept questioning why they didn't want her either. We pulled her out at the beginning of summer break, and her confidence still hasn't recovered.
My Ds would love playing dodgeball
The two local cubs that I'm thinking of ended up with leaders by default.
Both of them were helpers. One leader died suddenly and the other leader had a serious health issue the current leaders stepped into their shoes on what was meant to be a tempory basis. Parents were very grateful that the club wasn't going to fold blah blah blah! They all promised to help. If everyone does a week here and there it will be fine.
Guess what, I'm sure you can. Only 2 people volunteered - and that is out of two units. They couldn't do every week because of shift work.
Both leaders tried their best to keep something going and got fuck all thanks and now snooty attitudes on here - ' well they chose to volunteer'
The toddler excuse is always a good one. Apparently nobody has a partner who can look after the toddler while the other helps out at a club her kids can go to. Funny that.
It's a very tricky situation. DS's beaver leader is the same. He went there for over a year before he got any badges. The previous cub leader who was meant to be backing out, is still there every week, effectively doing the cub leader job.
I offered to set up a parent helper rota - the other group had one - and he didn't even respond to my emails.
But the problem is he is a young lad, thinks he can do it, is a bit arrogant and unwilling to take any help that's offered. Also I do have to admire anyone willing to take on the role as it's hard work and I think he underestimated how much it would be/
It has improved now as he has an admin support who lets us know what happens every week and has drawn up a plan for the term.
Constructive things you can do - join the scout exec as a parent representative, ask politely but pointedly what badges they will be doing and when, offer to set up a parent rota. However if your DS enjoys it, then you could just let it go and hope he gets a better leader when he moves to scouts.
flipchart the situation you descrbe I think is exceptional. Well the fact is I do have a toddler they see her when I drop him off/pick up and sometimes they see her crying and ready for bed at pick up (7pm) as I do not have a DP who can look after the toddler.
It is really insulting you should put this..would you begrudge a single/forces parent stating that fact. My situation is my DH works long hours he is not back to do pick up even. I DO NOT have family near by. I will give you an example of a recent request:
3 X 2hours slots during December outside between hours of 6pm and 8pm - well no I cant do this with a toddler, and no there just is not anyone else to have her.
But I agree all in all it is a 'good excuse' eh?
I suppose my thing is I appreciate the adults volunteering but they dont seem to do the badge work but expect a lot of support. There are a lot of admin/fundraising issues that have seem to have overtook what they are actually doing with the kids.
I sent him to Beavers to give him the opprtunity to experience a variety of tasks and greater independence as I respect the core values of the scouting movement. But at the moment I am questionning just what it is he is experiencing.
Each group depends on people runnign it both parents and volunteers so each group is going to be governed by the standards set by those indivisuals which is why each group is different.
I like the idea of a parent rota - this wat I could plan ahead and arrange with DH to not be away that day for me to do this. I would feel much happier knowing I have a regular slot to do my bit. I have offered to help with any admin I can do from home and any driving around to collect/drop off stuff.
I suppose with the money they have asked for and DS school stuff it's partly down to the time of year.
TheSpork I am really sorry your daughter had such a negative experience, sounds horrible. I would put that in writing to someone. I would also get her involved in another group, one which you have checked out, sounds like she needs her confidence restored in people and herself. Reasuure not all people are unkind but some are. Showing her the correct response to people like this is also a good thing for her to learn.
The situation isn't exceptional because Ds1 scout group folded when he was in that group.
Ds1 explorers folded and he had to almagamate with another group.
Ds2 scouts is about to fold. Although he is old enough for explorers there isn't one for him to go to.
The reasons are the same. There are no people willing to run the groups.
feelingfestive there is no need to be defensive about your lack of volunteering. Bear in mind in my posts I said that parents were so grateful that they could continue and yes,they would all help and sort something out. It was only once they thought some one else would do it the excuses started coming in. And yes I used the toddler one because two of the mums who said that didn't miss their spin class at DW fitness on the same night!
Just checking that all of you thinking that voluntary work should be done to paid work standards are actually volunteering at something not just full of hot air. People volunteering give up whatever time they have available and they need support from others to do the role effectively. Often what you get from others is useless advice and no time commitment instead. If you think it can be done better volunteer it will be appreciated.
I am involved in a similar organisation I am a leader, thankfully 1 of 5. I work full time I have a 2 hour daily commute and I am doing a course. I only have a certain amount of time to commit, if the other leaders left the unit would close I simply do not have the time to do this voluntary role up to my paid job standard alone.
flipchart mums bring toddlers and younger siblings with while they help out. It's not a problem.
Just asking for help is too vague. There needs to be expectation from the group leader when a child starts cubs, brownies or whatever. Something along the lines of you are expected to help out once/twice a term depending on numbers, these are the times, attendance is compulsory, if you can't do your date then swap with someone. Send out the rota well in advance. If everyone does their bit it's manageable for all, even those with toddlers in tow.
But the OP is more about the attitude of the cub leader and I'm amazed people think it's ok because it's voluntary. Eating her dinner during a session?? It's what an hour, hour and a half, why does she need to eat during that time?
YABU... Why not offer to help collect the subs as a first step? Then stick around to do more. Used to be a cub leader and got fed up with the type of parent that treated it as cheap childcare rather than a community effort
If you say you are there to do a job, paid or not then you do it to the a minimum standard as set by the organisation you work for. Would you apply the same principle neunun to St Johns ambulence volunteers or Samaritans - its wuite insulting to imly that volunteers should not or do not have uphold a set of standards.
I will state again my group does not have a parental rota. I think they have lots of leaders an junior leaders there are always at least 4 there, but I know there are 7 in total I have seen in uniform.
You dont need to be volunteering/employed to have an opinion on the standards of something.
flipchart I said I couldnt volunteer because I have a toddler and you made a sarcastic comment about that so I think I was justified in defending my position. So no generalisations there then, people use having a toddler as an excuse not to be out at night in cold tell lies. You maye needed to have stated that was one such example in your previoius post.
The attitude of some on here is exactly why I gave up being a cub and then brownie leader. When I did it I worked full time and had 2 children. I went straight to the brownie meeting without any tea. The meeting was 6 - 7:30 and you wouldn't believe how may parents thought it was fine to pick their dd's up at closer to 8 o'clock so completely agree with the comment re some treating it as cheap childcare. Hardly anyone volunteered for anything and I could count on one hand how often anyone ever said thanks. I even got "told off" once by the area leader (I was standing in the queue at a supermarket at the time!) because I said I couldn't help at the Saturday Christmas stall. Apparently giving up every Monday evening in term time, going to leader training/meetings etc. and camp once a year still wasn't enough.
Apparently you have to volunteer to have an opinion. Oh dear.
You can have an opinion on anything you like but I'm afraid that I'm not going to take much notice of someone criticising volunteers who doesn't do any volunteering themselves.
In the case of volunteering, yes it is a case of people shouldn't judge until they've walked a mile in someone else's shoes. Even people who can't attend meetings can volunteer to help in other ways. Collecting subs or managing accounts, organising camps or day trips, fundraising etc. We had one parent who used to manage all the badge-work.... attended just once a month but it was a huge help.
If you are that upset about the badges do some at home, a lot of them do not need specialist knowledge
My daughter had a sleeve full of badges, they weighted her down. My son? Think he got two
You post david has just proved my (dry) post to be true. So you are a volunteer who ignores the opinions of parents who do not volunteer - lovely, you sound charming.
Would it not be more prudent to listen and take notice of those parents who have something valid to say rather than dismissing a good few who may have some useful ideas?
There is no weekly rota at my DS group. I cannot do hours in the cold outside at night-time with a toddler. If my opinion is dismissed because I am not able to volunteer at the time they wish then it is shame that people in such positions have ignorant and short sighted views.
I am an ex teacher with lots of skills that could be used to plan resources or activites that I could do at home during the day. I have offered to help in the ways I am able to. If they do not take my offers of help then that's ok.
David I hope my DS is never a member of an organisation with people in it like you whether they are paid or not. Any parent worth their salt is going to have an opinion about an activity their child attends, at very least about their well being and care. You come across as disrepectful and pompus towards parents who do not volunteer.
You need to look up the idea of 'stakeholders'
Feelingfestiveok again do you volunteer? Read my second post I would leave the unit if I had to do the work of 5 people because I simply do not have the time to commit. The time I do commit is gratefully received. I have absolutely no respect for those who berate the work of volunteers and never volunteer themselves.
Corssed post - yes cog thats the sort of stuff I've offered to help with as I can fit it in.
I have a toddler too feeling festive
That's awful about pick up david what sort of excuses did they give? I wouldn't even think not to pick up on time!
It sound like you put in a lot of effort but I'm sure you agree (whether a volunteer or not) what the OP is describing is pretty pants.
The problem is our generation are really too busy to be cub leaders. What we really need is grandmas/retired people who have the time to organise it properly.
But neunu look you probably do a great job - I dont know you sound passionate but you cant possibly say that just because you dont do someone elese role (paid or unpaid) that you are not entitled to an opinion on it?
My only thing with my group is I feel bad because I could not do the 3 x 2hrs thing in cold at night re toddler. This is becauase of the way a letter was worded. Also he has been going for nearly a year and has not got one badge, it makes me wonder what they have been doing...can you understand that - and I'm asking this as genuine question.
So again if a person is volunteering in whatever situation or capacity they can set their own standards and are not accountable?
Sorry feelingfestive. I didn't realize having a toddler meant you couldnt help out with admin and planning sessions or even taking a register.
Oh flipchart - I have offered to do this reading the posts properly
^^ What cog says.
festive re: the toddler bit, it is a stock response/get-out clause that too many people throw at us for any and every request for help, and it hits a nerve, I'm afraid.
david whether we agree or not about the volunteering/opinion issue, it sounds like you did your best in a crappy situation. If parents were disrespectful in the way you described I can understand why you would not want to listen to people like that.
festive, if your offers of help aren't being accepted, feel free to PM me and I can tell you how you might be able to work around that problem. It isn't unheard of by any means.
Feeling festive you are totally entitled not to volunteer a lot of people don't and I see nothing wrong with that. However it sounds incredibly entitled to set such high standards for some thing you won't do yourself. My unit goes away and I do not go with them as I bf my toddler and cannot see days apart benefitting him however if work required it I would do it. Volunteering is not the same as paid employment.
waltons do you think IABU y not doing the 3 x 2 hrs 6-8pm during december with a toddler? This is what my issue is with, plus no bagdges in nearly a year.
No neun I am not setting the standards my point is if you do a role paid or not there are standards set by the organisation - like what and how you deliver the core aims and values. As I Understand it Scouts is very strucured.
I don't help at my sons cubs. But I do their accounts. I collect the subs, trip fees etc and pay the money into the bank. I can do this at home. Why don't you do this to help then you don't need to stand outside for hours in the cold.
No, of course YANBU, festive. I wouldn't expect that of you, but I would always ask if there was something else you could do instead. That dialogue is clearly missing in your Group.
No badges isn't unheard of either. When we go to parades you see whole Packs with barely a badge between them, and other Groups whose Cubs look like Christmas trees, they have so many badges.
Badge recording is a fiddly task, but also very rewarding. It is an ideal task for someone with a bit of time to spare, but who can't help at weekly meetings ...
I have Pm'd you walton
I woldnt be surprised if Ive outed myself on this thread!
Re the badges, I don't have boys so can only speak from brownies point of view. My dds have looked through the book and worked for badges they fancy doing on their own eg book lover, writer, dancer etc.
Sometimes Brown owl does a badge as a pack, they've done First Aid and Circus skills as these are difficult to do alone.
feeling could you not look through the badges with your ds and see what he fancies doing? As I said with brownies, most of the badges they are expected to work for themselves.
I have dancegirl I have seen two badges I think we coud go for and maybe do over Christmas related to hobbies, sport and crafts.
I'm going to see what walton suggests and have thought about approaching one particular leader to see if there are alternatives.
There are loads that Cubs can do at home/outside meetings:
Equestrian (horses for courses, that one)
I.T. Staged badges
Swimmer Staged badges
Link to the requirements here for anyone who wants them.
Just check that you won't be stepping on anyone's toes by doing them at home, but it hardly sounds as if you will be.
My main concern would be that the leaders may not follow through by actually awarding the badges once they've been earned. (Another "not unheard of", I'm afraid.)
waltons I have seen some children with lots of badges in our group, but just thought it was because they have been there longer.
I do know someone took a model in recently and got a badge so i will have to check out whats what with the leader. I have no problems with the leaders themselves they all seem very nice and keep a very large colony in check. They also seem to do a lot. DS has done lots to do with safety and nature etc - but no bagdes.
I could say more but may out myself but out local Scouts groups is quite big and there is alot going on especially at the fundrasing side.
Oo could easy do the book reader one...to didnt see that. Thanks waltons
This was why DP gave up as a cub leader, frankly ... Everyone wanted to bitch and moan and no-one wanted to actually help ( they all had magnificant excuses )
He didn't feel he could do a good enough job with the help he had and pulled the plug - que chorus of " Oh shame! Will no-one consider the children " etc ...
You've got two choices, basically - Pitch in and help improve things or stop moaning, enjoy the free-ish child care and your son's pleasure in bouncing around with his mates.
We have some children in our cubs who have never finished a badge, despite our best efforts.
We have some parents who don't pay.
I sometimes get delayed and arrive late, so eat something at the start of a meeting.
Whenever I ask the children what they want to do (which we are supposed to now, it's meant to be a child-led activity), they say dodgeball. I HATE FUCKING DODGEBALL.
My advice is: if your child is doing an activity you don't like,take them out and send them to something else [helpful]
And she will have done training. Hours and fucking hours of it [bitter]. In her own time, and probably at her own expense.
festive, you aren't outing yourself with that. Most big Groups are constantly fundraising. You could be anywhere in the country and within a ten mile radius there will be a Group that is trying to raise a shed load of money for something or other - a minibus, a new hut, new tents, kayaks, whatever.
And I'm glad I don't have to deal with parents like Dancer and Feeling
Wow, what an extraordinarily entitled attitude some people have.
Are you still a cub leader Maryz?
Yes, I am.
If you despise your volunteers as much as your posts make it sound, do everyone a favour and send your kids somewhere else.
One more thing. Yup, YABVU.
I'm a beaver leader and really hate parents who endlessly complain (fortunately while I've been doing it there have only been couple).
Get off your arse and offer to help.
No Maryz that is not what I have said.
After having some differing opinions and positive advice from others inc volunteers its just not nice of helpful to come wading in a be so nasty.
I have not said I am not happy with what my son is doing. He is doing some great stuff, been away a few times etc but has no bagdes.
I'm frustrated as I am willing to help and volunteer I just cant do it when they need it to be done So I am going to apporach them again re admin side. I have thought of a fundraising activity I can easily do from home for the group too.
So before you have a go please read posts I have offered to help. I have also stated I I would like a rota so busy workig parents or ones with young families can plan ahead so they can indeed to there bit. But obviously I cant just 'do this' though I will suggest it.
Im not the OP BTW
The sort of excuses parents gave for arriving late to pick up their dd's was, "sorry, took ages to get my toddler out of the door", or the traffic was busy. I had zero sympathy, just thought - why didn't you start getting ready/set off earlier then so I can get home. Must admit that I'm not convinced by many excuses re why people can't help at the pack that their child attends. In my experience people are either happy to volunteer or they are not - it has very little do do with how busy they are (some of the busiest people I know still find time to volunteer) or what age their kids are. Most people I know who say they are too busy to volunteer because they have a toddler don't suddenly getting involved when their child is older.
If you have an activity your child is doing you have three choices:-
1. Accept it as it is as your child is enjoying it. (In a country with severe childhood obesity spending 2 hours a week seems pretty great to me. Plus part of the value of cub / brownies is getting to know kids who are not in your child's class but may well turn up at secondary.
2. Volunteer to help turn it into what you want it to be
3. Take your child out.
The only exception is the poster who spoke of what sounded to me like racial discrimination. This needs reporting to the district commissioner.
Can I just say, my DH is a leader at a youth activity. It's a great club, very organised and child focused, they do something exciting and interesting every week, loads outings, badge work, sport and crafts. Apart from the club itself he spends time planning, finding resources and attending training. All the parents agree it's a great club and the kids love going.
And this Christmas, while loads of parents are angsting about what to buy professional, well paid teachers as a thank you for doing a good job, my lovely volunteering DH has received a thank you gift from one child out of about 25. It is such a thankless task.
Moomin That's a really good thought. Will get a gift for dd's gym coach and ballet teacher.
Offer to do more to help. The leader is giving up their free time to do this for you.
Standards are set or conduct by organisations not time commitment, that is just done by unreasonable parents.
Standards for conduct
"The people that run cubs etc chose to volunteer, so if you volunteer to do somethign you should do it knnowing that you can deliver what is expected IMO or why bother." - this was the sentence that pissed me off festive.
It's the "you chose to do it, now do it to my standards" that makes me think that people are entitled.
I remember a Christmas when ds was about ten and we (and possibly one other) were the only parents out of a group of 60 boys to buy presents for volunteer rugby coaches.
Every one of those parents (that I knew, and I knew a lot of them) had bought presents for the teachers.
Maryz with respect I did clarify to the organisations standards not to my own.
My ds went for afew months but the group was disorganized!!
The last straw was when they were supposed to attend a memorial service and canceled without telling us. Too many disappointments.
I would mention it, what's the point in going if it's just for a game of dodgeball.
There are three groups in our immediate area two a very well run but the other doesnt have a great reputation
Um ... She did say her son really likes it, pleasure doesn't count?
I ran a Brownie pack whilst I had three children under 4. Sometimes they had to come with me to meetings as DH worked evenings or I drove them 10 miles to my mum or I organised other child care . I ran several Pack holidays whilst pregnant. There are many, many guiders like me. If you want to do something you can get round it.I love my Guiding and the girls. I realise we are all different but most people can help with a bit of effort.
Sounds like you know exactly how it should be done, OP.
Why don't you do it?
Maryz has mentioned my bugbear: the lack of appreciation. I have
whinged posted about it before on MN.
Teachers who are paid for what they do getting £££ of presents while a Scout leader might be lucky to get a Christmas card from one child.
We could run the best Cub pack in the universe and still not hear the words "thank you" more than a couple of times a year.
Scout/Guide parents, please take note. A home-made Christmas card will be treasured forever. Even a shop bought card signed by a child means a lot.
And is always popular too
The best ever was the time a child told me I should be grateful that they were all going on camp as I would get overtime for weekend work (presumably overheard at home)
When I said that not only did I not get overtime, I didn't get paid at all, he looked at me like and said "why do you do it then?"
I was so tempted to just say "I have no idea" and walk out.
I really hate the fact that with all the organised, planned, interesting things we do, the one thing they ask for week after week after sodding week is fucking dodgeball.
The organisation standards do not match yours though OP, they are reasonable about putting in whatever time commitment you can manage, you do not appreciate that though.
Maryz, I would PM you but I don't think I can?
My lot only want to play one specific game when I ask what they want to do. They've been told that they get to play it twice a term, and that's it.
Sorry not directed at OP as you did not say that.
Can you not pm me Waltons.
Hang on a bit and I'll try and pm you and you can see if you can reply.
I tell the kids I won't let them play dodgeball any time they ask. If they don't ask, I might let them [evil]
I have been in and put of guiding as an adult leader for 20yrs and there are times I've not been able to give it what it deserves because of whats going on at work or home. But when other leaders leave and there's just you and if you resign the unit which has existed for generations will fold well you just keep treading water doing what you can till more volunteers can be found.
So to anybody not happy with your local scouts or guides, 99% of the time they will lap up any offer of help.
On reflection my post was quite harshly and badly worded.
please don't think I am ungrateful for the time that she gives up it it's more that they start things but never finish them. my ds has done badges at home but has never received the actual badges despite it being agreed that he has done what was needed. They are promised things that never come to anything and the boys are disappointed. it is lack of organisation and effect on boys that annoys me not the leader personally.
I would volunteer but my issue was whether it was too unreasonable to mention that I was frustrated in the first place and by offering help where there are already 3 or 4 helpers and only 9 cubs I would have to say why I felt the need to do so.
my ds enjoys playing with his friends as you would expect but is disappointed when he talks to friends and cousins in other packs and realise what they do in cubs compared to what he does.
Fair do's OP It doesn't sound as if they're short on helpers. I would have a quiet word and say what you've said here - that he's disappointed not to have the actual badge to put on his arm - and if you put some time in as a helper you'll be better placed to jog things along from the inside!
Would it be possible to change packs to where his friends are?
Welcome back, OP/goodgrief54! We missed you.
Hopefully if you read the whole thread you will find the answers to pretty much everything, and possibly the meaning of life as well.
Badges are fun but fiddly and time-consuming, so please offer to be Badge Secretary?
You can then make sure that the Cubs get what is due to them and also nudge the leaders to point out that "14 Cubs would get this or that badge if only you could run an evening of map reading ...", or similar.
The badges can be bought online by a leader, or someone else acting on their behalf and with their authority. You can do the whole job from the comfort of your own home.
sorry been out and about and not used to getting many responses... unfortunately I can't move him to his other friends cubs as they aren't local.
No trouble, goodgrief - hope you found our ramblings useful.
Maryz, no luck? Not sure if you have PMs turned off or summat? Can't see how though?
OP sounds like the group is badly run indeed. Not sure where you go from here, I'd still volunteer occasionally to get an idea on what's missing, maybe get a seat on the planning meetings. Maybe talk to the group scout leader. Although your ds is enjoying the social side of things, which is good, I do feel that he is not getting all he could get from the experience and that is disappointing...our dcs have gained so much from the scouting movement and we are lucky to be part of a very successful scouting group with a very committed team who I am always in awe of, all the parents take turns on a rota and help on an ad hoc basis too.
Another Cub Leader here. OP do volunteer to help. You say the Cub Leader is on her own, if that is correct then the pack needs to shut as it's against safeguarding rules. Online Scout Manager (my scout) makes badge recording, sub collecting, trip fee collecting, programme planning much easier. If your packs aren't using it, ask about it, once learnt it certainly makes life easier for all concerned.
All groups are different but without volunteers, most of us work full time and have children too you know, then things drift and fall apart. Sometimes we feel like unpaid babysitters but the majority of the time we do feel appreciated, by the Cubs if not their parents.
Regarding badges, I held a Cub forum last week with our pack. The majority of the Cubs said they wanted no homework, lots of badges need extra work doing at home, preferred to be out and about or playing NSEW or football. Out of 36 Cubs, yes it's deafening during games, maybe 6 actively wanted to work for lots of extra badges. We will still do badge work but if they'd rather not fill out the fitness diary, wildlife spotter, etc.. They won't receive the badges. It's up to them.
Sorry OP missed your last post where you say there's 4/5 other leaders. If that's the case it doesn't really matter if one is eating their dinner surely.
Am very jealous of only 9 Cubs with 4/5 leaders, there's only 4 of us and 2 occassional parent helpers, we are desperate for more help.
Running a troop of scouts/beavers/cubs is a huge commitment for people to do on a voluntary basis.
It surely doesn't mean though that the parents who send their children to the activity can't ask any questions about it. Some people will be wonderful leaders, others will need more guidance and support and some may have completely underestimated how much work is required to prepare for the sessions and preplanning needed over the course of the year.
In the latter case what are the parents to do? Just suck it up and go, oh well they are volunteering so I should just be grateful.
In my case I offered to help - but got no response. I went along to all outings that parents were asked and allowed to go on and have joined the scout exec. Luckily the situation seems to have rectified itself as another young helper has been drafted in to support the leader.
I'm sure there are moany and demanding parents ( and yes maryz I will now be sending Christmas cards to beaver leader/helper and rugby organiser) but equally there must be some substandard leaders and surely it does no good to the organisations reputation for these to remain in place.
I took over a Beaver colony last year and ran it poorly. I am a cubs leader, work full time, and have many other commitments. My son's Beaver group would have closed if I did not step in, so I did. I ran it for a year through pure exhaustion. I repeatedly asked other parents for help and no one stepped up. We also played a lot of dodge ball. I finally left a few weeks ago, and it was taken over by another woman who is also a cubs leader and doesn't have any time. I loved the kids but started to dislike the parents who dropped the kids off, went to the gym, and told me they didn't have time.
I would have loved to go to the gym in the evening. I was going at 6:00am.
If you don't like it, volunteer. If you don't want to volunteer, than pull out your son. That will make less work for the leader.
Erm excuse me maryz where on earth have I given the impression I am entitled??
As I said we are lucky enough to have a fantastic Brown Owl and I hugely appreciate all the time and effort she puts in. I often say thank you, we buy her gifts/flowers when appropriate, I encourage my dds to thank her, I always turn up on time when it's my turn to help, I actually HELP the brownies with their activities (and not stand around chatting), I pay subs on time, I let her know if my dd isn't coming that evening.....
How does that make me entitled??! I think you owe me an apology.
I've posted this before.
My sister stepped in when she was a student and turned around a failing Rainbow unit and stopped it from closing. At the same time she was running senior section and helping with guides as well as doing a demanding FT course in a city 80 miles away (so was commuting back for Guiding activities, at her own
my parents expense).
The only thanks she got was a mother questioning whether it was appropriate for someone with her physical appearance (peroxide blonde hair and well covered tattoos) to run an organisation for young children.
Sister chucked her child out and gave the place to the next girl on her massive waiting list.
And for the record Guiding UK is all about inclusivity - your appearance really doesn't matter, nor does your religion etc.
I genuinely do not want thanks, Christmas cards or anything for doing voluntary work but what I wouldn't want is a lecture on how to do it better from someone unwilling to give their own time. Our unit is extremely well run thanks to a head leader who has both the time and inclination to do a great job but there are not millions of replicas of her everywhere. Other units are bound to have a variety of talents at their disposal but not all will have the benefit of great organisation skills. If you are not happy by all means volunteer, set up a better unit and take your child to that but do not demoralise leaders with this attitude.
I remember when I was in scouts myself we had a truly wonderful experienced leader. He had a public character assassination from a mother of a complete trouble maker in the unit who took everything her very troubled son said at face value. It was all untrue or very exaggerated and the son was causing mayhem in the unit. In the heal of the hunt an exceptionally committed leader left scouting forever and the unit took years to recover from the debacle. The boy continued on his troublemaking nightmare path though so everyone lost out.
It does sound as though the leader may be struggling with the role so I would volunteer to help if you can. If they are not collecting subs, that may explain the lack of badges. Where is the money to buy them going to come from if the pack has none? I would suggest contacting the GSL with some of your concerns, but in a concerned rather than complaining sense.
From a parent's point of view, being a leader may seem to pretty much involve running a meeting for 90 minutes. That is just the tip of the iceberg though. For every 90 minutes of meeting time there will be several hours of admin, preparation, accounts, buying resources, training, district meetings, etc. I'm a Brownie leader and, whilst I put a huge amount of work into trying to run my unit well, by definition my volunteering must take third place behind my family (2 primary-aged children) and my full time job. Sometimes that means that we'll spend a meeting just playing games or doing something else easy, and it also means that my unit don't go on all the activities that other nearby units go on - because there are only so many weekends I'm prepared to give up and only so much of my annual leave I'm prepared to take off.
There'll always be some parents who'll want more. Thankfully they are in the minority.
So in theory according to some on this thread you could have an incompetent volunteer or less good than than the one down the road and parents are not entitled to ask questions just because they dont volunteer
Thats crazy, I will ask questions about any activity whether it is run by paid/unpaid simply because it is my son who is 7.
my god if I applied that maxim as a teacher, 'im sorry parent but you are not a trained teacher paid to teach so please dont ask me about your sons progress, you are not entitleds to as you have not walked a mile in my shoes'
Division Commissioner and Guide leader here.
I give many many hours to Guiding.
In my DivC role, I would want to know if one of my units is not being run well, but so that I can put support and guidance in place for those volunteers, so not be on their backs whining at them.
If someone genuinely wants to help, I can find them a role. They do not have to be a leader, or even be a helper at meetings if they don't want. In my Division I have treasurers, admin people, researchers, event planners - all parents with toddlers/jobs/health issues which mean they can't be all singing dancing leaders- but the hours they give take the load off the leaders
If a unit is genuinely not being well run, despite support and training being in place, I would look to reassigning a leader to another role and putting a new team in if there were people available.
Just because we are volunteers does NOT mean we shouldn't have high standards, and be working towards a common standard. Each unit is different, depending on the leaders, but there should be some things common to all- in Guiding it is called the Five Essentials.
I can't imagine scouting is any different.
With all due respect FatOwl while what you are suggesting is obviously the aspiration, over the years I have been involved in guiding and scouting which is most of my life,
we have had peaks and troughs when there simply was not enough input from outside volunteers for the roles to be done to the standard set by some on this thread to other times when people went beyond and beyond their expected roles. That is the nature of a voluntary organisation even a very well run one like both scouting and guiding are in my experience. I know how well run our unit is both from the inside, since I arrived and from the outside since my daughter was in the unit before I arrived but there were 2 parents complaining at one stage when the unit was in transition with a new leader. Unlike what seems to happen in your unit FatOwl there is no direct link between the DC and the parents so the complaints were made directly to the leaders. The spoke about it after and they were very annoyed and upset about it. My daughter was there at the same time and was thoroughly enjoying herself at the time and I saw nor continue to see any issues wirthy of complaint. That said it would make sense if there was a link to the DC and then such complaints could be handled in that manner. That said our DC is a leader in another unit.
Feeling the teacher analogy, where you get paid for the work you do is irrelevant here. Being a teacher is likely to make you a great leader though.
It is relevant it concerns an adult in a position of responsibility of someone elses child. I think scout leaders are just as responsible as a teacher but they deliver entirely different outcomes. But each still has their own standards.
Thanks for your post fatowl it seems sensible and balanced.
I have thanks to waltons picked up the phone yesterday and organnised two ways I can help to support my sons Colony. They are ways in which I am able to to, more than happy to do and have been well recieved.
Feeling glad you are being proactive. I totally disagree with your teacher/leader analogy for the contradictions you highlighted yourself both roles have different expectations and standards.
Yes but the point is they still have standards to maintain whatever they are respectively. I cant simplify the concept of standards and adhereing to them anymore.
spork that's awful that you and your dd were treated that way :-( I help at brownies and guides and would never deny that bullying can occur in girl guiding. The leaders I work with take any reports of bullying behaviour seriously as well as obviously dealing with any we see ourselves. With 30 girls of course we can't see everything but if a parent expressed concerns we would make sure to pay particular attention and keep an eye on things. The girls wouldn't notice us doing this but we do! The racism you encountered is disgusting. Of course you don't have to attend church parade but having expressed interest in doing so you should've been welcomed. It's hard enough to get girls to attend, I'd never turn people away who wanted to come!
The units I work with are all organised, do lots of badges and other activities and are run by passionate volunteers.
OP if you're not happy with your sons cubs then either volunteer and help turn it around or move to a different pack. There are at least four brownie packs within ten minutes walk of my house and I'm sure cubs will be equally popular.
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.
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.
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.
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 :-).
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.
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.
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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