Would you volunteer so your child could go to Brownies?

(33 Posts)
PsychicPaper Thu 03-Apr-14 18:53:09

I just wondered if I am being unreasonable.

I have no DC yet, but run a very popular Brownie unit with a huge waiting list. So much so I don't think all the girls on it will eventually become Brownies as by the time it is their turn, they may be over 10.

We could however take on a few more if we had another leader.

Would it be unreasonable to offer the mums on the waiting list the chance to volunteer, and in return to give a place to their child?

I know not everyone would have time to volunteer, and in some ways its unfair, but by letting one child potentially "jump up the list" it would open spaces for another 3 girls.

What do you think?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 03-Apr-14 18:54:18

Seems fair to me. Set a deadline for volunteering and pick from a hat if you get more than one.

3littlefrogs Thu 03-Apr-14 18:56:25

Absolutely.
I volunteer for a group and do a huge amount of work.
The majority of parents grumble constantly and refuse to help.
Makes me angry.

Woodenheart Thu 03-Apr-14 18:57:23

I would.

callamia Thu 03-Apr-14 19:00:27

I would if I was able. I work long hours, but if if someone else could help and their child could jump ahead, then I guess I couldn't be too grouchy. In the end, you're making the waiting list smaller aren't you? It seems sensible if not entirely 'fair'.

nancy75 Thu 03-Apr-14 19:05:08

I think your plan is fine op, personally i wouldn't want to help because i am not very keen on children, however i am aware this is not very nice of me so i only send dd to stuff that is paid for and i don't have to feel bad about not helping.

mamij Thu 03-Apr-14 19:07:46

That seems a fair way of doing it as it is a lot of work with volunteering and people giving up their time to do it. Like others have said, if you get too many volunteers, draw names out of a hat.

AHotDenseState Thu 03-Apr-14 19:10:57

Our local Brownie unit has done exactly his - emailed parents with girls on waiting list to ask for volunteers. Seems perfectly reasonable to me! We can all grumble but sometimes you need to put yourself out to get what you want.

Good luck!

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Thu 03-Apr-14 19:14:01

We did that when we started a new Guide unit last Sept. No one complained.
I think its fair that someone gets rewarded for giving up their free time for the benefit of others.

I would do that, no worries. I have a standard speech for new additions to my Rainbows waiting list that includes the "if you could volunteer as a regular weekly helper then your daughter will get priority when a space becomes available".

I'd alert your DC though, just in case anyone on the waiting list kicks off.

Good luck!

PsychicPaper Thu 03-Apr-14 22:52:31

ooh, not as controversial as I thought, will have chat with DC and see if any parents volunteer

Nocomet Thu 03-Apr-14 23:01:25

It's worth a try.
I had one lovely mum who helped every other week and a mum's rota to do the rest.

Some of the mum's were hopeless, it would have been great if I could have found someone else prepared to do every other week who didn't stand about looking bored.

Fortunately, I had two brilliant pack leaders, who would muck in with everything.

VodIsGod Thu 03-Apr-14 23:05:02

We did something similar... A warranted guider moved into the area with her two Brownie-aged daughters and volunteered at our unit. We let her daughters jump the queue as it enabled us to add a few more extra girls to our unit as well as them. Go for it!

On the basis that if they are going to be at the meetings their DC will need to be there too, then it makes a lot of sense, it's the younger siblings needing looking after that is the problem for many potential volunteers though.

BackforGood Thu 03-Apr-14 23:11:54

I wouldn't, but I think it's an absolutely fair way of doing it - don't see how anyone could object..... would you no be able to open a 2nd pack if you got a few volunteers - grow your own pack then split it (and the Leadership Team) in 2 once they found their feet, then that would open up about 20 places?

Primrose123 Thu 03-Apr-14 23:24:41

I did, but it wasn't quite the same situation. I put my DD's name down and was told that the pack might have to close unless they had more volunteers, so I volunteered. She didn't jump the queue though.

I think YANBU. None of the other parents would help out at all, even when we did extra activities on a Saturday. They were more than happy for us to entertain their DDs for a whole day though. If someone is prepared to give up their time to help, then why shouldn't their DD get straight into Brownies?

Barbeasty Fri 04-Apr-14 09:10:09

Maybe run down the list in order giving them the chance to volunteer. Then if 1 of the top 3 on the list volunteers, nobody is jumping the queue.

And those near the top know the consequence of not volunteering.

redskyatnight Fri 04-Apr-14 13:08:40

The only thing to be careful of (we did this too at our brownies) is what to do if your adult decides they don't want to carry on after (say) a fairly short time.

If I was to do this, I would perhaps suggest that the mum does, say, half a term as a unit helper to see if it's actually something she will stick with before allowing the girl to start. Plus that gives you a chance to see if they will actually be any help - if they are just going to sit in the corner glued to their phone all evening, they don't actually count as a useful leader.

I would have enjoyed volunteering, but having a younger child made it really hard to commit. I could (and did) help out at specific events and occasions when I could book a sitter in advance.

FriedFishAndBread Fri 04-Apr-14 13:24:51

My ds beavers group has a parent helper rota, could you do something like that?

ShonaTorch Fri 11-Apr-14 15:19:30

I WOULD volunteer - but for the fact that I have a DBS check in my job.

The problem is this....

Suppose I become your junior Brown Owl - just for one day. Suppose someone puts in a 'complaint' or 'allegation' against me. Well, once that's done, of course the 'safeguarding' people then according to their rules have to inform any other organisation you are DBS checked with - including your employer, which could result in you being suspended or even sacked.

So, just for helping you out with painting eggs for Easter one Tuesday night, I could end up losing my job, my career and heaven knows what else.

The OTHER thing is this. These days, you don't have to actually be 'accused' of anything. With all these safeguarding types out there, all it takes is for someone to accuse you of being 'inappropriate'. Remember too that 'allegations' made against volunteers NEVER go away. Even if you are completely cleared, there is nothing to stop an official pulling your file out late one night in 10, 20 or 30 years from now and deciding to reopen the case and draw an entirely different conclusion.

This happened to someone at work who'd had one 'allegation' against him right back at the start of his voluntary career. Though they'd been cleared - by the police even - today's bosses sacked them. And being vols, there is nothing you can do about that. Nearly cost him his job too - but for the union.

And that's the difference. AT work, if you are 'accused' the union will help. The management have to follow procedures etc, etc. Vols don't get that protection. In fact, as we found out from that case, vols simply don't have legal rights.

So basically the answer is NO. My job involves a DBS check - which means I am always - by nature of having such a check - at risk of an 'allegation'. Given that, I am not going to put myself further at risk by VOLUNTEERING to do another job that also requires one.

JodieGarberJacob Fri 11-Apr-14 15:30:35

One of the rules of our packs, both Rainbows and Brownies, was that every session had to be covered by a volunteer parent otherwise the pack wouldn't run. Us SAHPs used to cover once every half-term or less depending on who was available. You'd fill in your name against the date and if you couldn't make it you were expected to swap with someone else. Nobody minded; it was specified from the beginning and we knew the consequences if we didn't step up! If you had younger children you shared their minding with another parent. Some parents never offered but there was enough of us to share the sessions without it being onerous.

Shona parents on a parent rota are not subject to DBS checks as they are never left in sole charge of the children.

More regular volunteers - unit helper, guider, assistant guider etc - are though.

ShonaTorch Tue 15-Apr-14 08:53:08

Is that so?

Well, when DS decided he wanted to join the Beavers, we were told that BOTH parents had to be DBS checked JUST IN CASE they were asked to help out.

In any event, if a problem were to arise, one of the first things the safeguarding team for the brownies/cubs etc would do would be to check whether the person concerned had a DBS check in any other area and if so, they would inform the holder of it.

whojamaflip Tue 15-Apr-14 09:03:49

We did this a couple of years ago when it looked like our Beaver colony would have to fold as we didn't have enough adult support - gave parents the opportunity to get their dc in quicker if they volunteered to be leaders - it worked and now we are thriving.

One point I would make is to specify a minimum term of service ie a year as we had one parent agreed to join, got his child in then pissed off after a month - we couldn't exactly kick the child out but we were then short of adults again confused

We also run a parent helper list for times when leaders are ill or we plan activities away from the hut and need a extra grown ups!

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