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emailing youth club members

(17 Posts)
jam17 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:04:38

im an instructor in the army cadets. Every week we teach lessons in military skills such as map reading, weapon handling, marching etc.
The system is based on levels and they take an assesment in each skill to reach each level.

When i was teaching today, (map & compass) it was a higher level and i could tell that i was loosing some of the kids (age 13-16). I remembered having some factsheets on my pc that would explain using diagrams. I then told the kids that if they emailed me, i could foward the sheets that would explain (dont have a printer myself).

The email adress itself was set up by me on behalf of the cadets, so they could email & ask questions if they needed. I gave the adress & password to the other group leaders so they could access it. It wouldnt be ftom my personal email.

At the nd of the night, i was given a dressing down by the senior instructors about emailing the cadets as it could be seen as 'underhand'. Im in my 20's where as they are 35-50 and i think its because they are less computer literate, they dont understand jow useful it is to eemail notes on.
How woukd ypu feel if your Dc was in this situation, would you mind them getting educational emails from a youth group?

PandaG Tue 16-Oct-12 22:11:42

I would be fine with this, but I think in your position I would have asked parents to email me, so I was mailing back to parents rather than DC.

Might be someting you could consider in future, setting up a group email to the parents, or parents and DC, ensuring the cadet group leader is CC'd in

bumpybecky Tue 16-Oct-12 22:12:28

My daughters (14 and 12) are both Guides and get emails from their leaders with reminders about events, forms that need returning, things they need to bring to meetings etc. I'm also on the mailing list so I get a copy to.

I think using email like this is fantastic as it gets here, unlike all the bits of paper which get lost between the guide hut and the kitchen!

Can you suggest that the cadets get their parents to sign a permission slip to allow them to get emails from you? or set up a mailing list for your group so the cadets, their parents and the other group leaders all get the same email?

jam17 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:12:38

Ive tried to get te leader on board but hes so stuck in the dark ages its such a pain!

aldiwhore Tue 16-Oct-12 22:13:55

An official web page with a forum for your group would be better, and certainly an all round safer way to pass notes on. I do not think YABU though.

itsatiggerday Tue 16-Oct-12 22:15:11

Am involved in youth work as well, we are advised to avoid getting into email exchanges with youngsters but if they contact us it's OK to reply (so as not to be rude) but make it clear that it's a response to theirs and avoid anything too personal or anything that invites a further response from them back on email. I think since they would have emailed you first, it's OK-ish but not ideal that you invited it. Agree with PandaG, asking parents to email would avoid the issue altogether.

jam17 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:15:51

That would be a good idea aldi, but the cadets have a bad name, and anything public, you have to ge all sorts of permission for!

sausagesandwich34 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:16:48

I'm a guide leader, we email the girls direct from a 'guides account' but have permission slips from all the parents

if we don't have permission, or the girls don't have their own email account, then we will email the parents

stinklebell Tue 16-Oct-12 22:17:56

What about a private group on facebook?

The scout group that my DCs belong to use this, letters, reminders, etc all get posted or uploaded on there.

steppemum Tue 16-Oct-12 22:19:55

my ds was emailed directly by his cub leader. I noticed that all emails sent and received went to the addressee and to the other leaders too, this means that there can be no untoward correspondence. My ds loved it. We were happy with it

GhostofMammaTJ Tue 16-Oct-12 22:29:23

Gosh, don't ask me, I am after all 45, so must be less computer literate and not understand how useful this could be!

Oh, or maybe, I am older and wiser and can see how things can be misconstrued.

Having said that, I would not have a problem with it really.

EdithWeston Tue 16-Oct-12 22:32:21

I'd bet your nit the first leader to think about this, nor will be the last.

Have you tried your County Office for advice on best practice?

jam17 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:37:43

Obviously not everyone over 30 is useless with computers, but unless you work with them day to day, then people of that age werent bought up with them like i was! I meant no offence!

Facebook is a big no-no unfortunatley as they all use it!

I think i might start a newsletter and send out permission slips next week! Thanks for ypur ideas and comments smile

jam17 Tue 16-Oct-12 22:39:06

Its annoying edith, cadet leaders take rank very seriously and going above your commander is really bad practice! Otherwise county headquarters would be much better informed!

BackforGood Tue 16-Oct-12 22:40:42

Of course it's fine.
As others have said, you copy in other adults as well - be that the parents or other leaders. My son's Explorer Leaders communicate with them this way (Explorers are 14 - 18).
Indeed, if anything untoward were said by anyone, then it is all there, recorded for any evidence to be shown, so I think this is a lot better than text messages, which is something that is also worth having open debates about regarding safeguarding, and protecting yourself as adult leaders. Against that of course, 99% of teenagers would get a text message instantly, whereas a lot of teens don't bother with e-mail anymore.

EdithWeston Tue 16-Oct-12 22:44:28

You carry your immediate leaders with you, as you would with anything that needs escalating up CoC. You acknowledge their very valid concerns (flatter, flatter), and say you want to establish what exactly the policy and best practice is in this area in order to ensure that, should the need arise again, you are all doing the right thing.

Without top cover from County Office, you'll never be able to use any form of e-communications again without the same bollocking from the immediate bosses. You've just got to word it (to them and to County Office) that makes them look diligent and sensible in finding the best solution.

UndeadPixie Tue 16-Oct-12 23:13:19

That's ridiculous. We use email as the primary form of contact with our explorers, it's that, text or facebook! Surely it's just normal?

The problem with official pages and groups on fb is that you can't share a lot of attachments and whatnot, so email is a good way of keeping contact and sharing information that cannot be shared via fb (pdf's and the like). We have an explorer 'person' set up on fb that all of the explorers are friends with so when information needs to be given, like when it was cancelled this week due to leader's illness, the leader (or his girlfriend I think!) posted on fb and tagged each of the kids so that they got the message. Otherwise they would have had to text/call/email everybody individually. There are many many benefits of utilising modern technologies and for your cadet leaders to disagree is stupid imho.

RE over 30's and PCs, my Mum is better with PC's than many 20-odd yo's I know, has never worked with them and was 50 this year ;)

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