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To be annoyed at cub 'leader'

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

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

WooWooOwl Sat 07-Dec-13 11:08:44

You can't complain unless you also volunteer.

ilovesooty Sat 07-Dec-13 11:12:40

Has the OP disappeared?

flipchart Sat 07-Dec-13 11:41:32

Well fit help has disappeared we have been saved from the AIBU? Everyone going yes and them coming back saying that they aren't!

ToriaPumpkin Sat 07-Dec-13 11:59:25

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

Dancergirl Sat 07-Dec-13 12:37:15


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.

flipchart Sat 07-Dec-13 12:51:38

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.

feelingfuckingfestiveok Sat 07-Dec-13 12:52:16

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.

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Sat 07-Dec-13 12:57:22

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 hmm. 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.

MissBeehiving Sat 07-Dec-13 12:58:36

My Ds would love playing dodgeball grin

flipchart Sat 07-Dec-13 13:02:14

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.

feelingfuckingfestiveok Sat 07-Dec-13 13:32:58

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.

flipchart Sat 07-Dec-13 13:45:33

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!

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 07-Dec-13 14:00:25

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.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 07-Dec-13 14:04:25

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.

Dancergirl Sat 07-Dec-13 14:04:33

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?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 07-Dec-13 14:06:57

YABU... Why not offer to help collect the subs as a first step? Then stick around to do more. hmm 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

feelingfuckingfestiveok Sat 07-Dec-13 14:17:04

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.

davidjrmum Sat 07-Dec-13 14:22:47

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.

feelingfuckingfestiveok Sat 07-Dec-13 14:22:57

Apparently you have to volunteer to have an opinion. Oh dear.

davidjrmum Sat 07-Dec-13 14:26:20

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.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 07-Dec-13 14:30:43

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.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sat 07-Dec-13 14:31:12

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

feelingfuckingfestiveok Sat 07-Dec-13 14:42:39

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'

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 07-Dec-13 14:44:11

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.

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