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To Hope For A Little Appreciation From Beavers Parents

(178 Posts)
chowhound Tue 22-Dec-15 18:49:45

The one big thing in my life right now is leading my Colony of Beaver Scouts. I really throw myself into it as do the rest of the Leader team.

Now, even though it's Christmas, and many parents seem to compete as to who can buy the best Christmas present for their PAID teachers, we volunteers on the other hand expect nothing at all. And boy do we get it.

I don't want gifts, I don't even want cards (although both are very great fully received, especially if it's something the child has made themselves). However, a thank you and maybe some feedback on what they and their DC feel about what we have done over the year would be nice. Failing that a smile and a 'merry Christmas'?

You know what I got this year? Nothing. Not a single card, not a single thank you, not a single seasons greeting. Barely even an acknowledgement that I was there,

Maybe I should make it a new year resolution to pack it in. The other leader and our Section Assistant feel the same. Problem is that our group and District are on a skeleton crew and can't get any stand insurance and none of our parents will make the commitment to be a leader (and I admit it's a big commitment). So, there would be 15 6-7 year old son who would have no Beavers if we did that.

I just would like a little acknowledgement of the work I put in at this time of year.


DartmoorDoughnut Tue 22-Dec-15 18:51:52

YANBU flowers I'm really sorry that they're so unappreciative of all you, and your team, do for their children. Hope you have a lovely Christmas fgrin

mouldycheesefan Tue 22-Dec-15 18:52:57

You are not being unreasonable. I sent a thank you email to our leaders. I didn't get them presents as there are six leaders which makes it a bit tricky.

OSETmum Tue 22-Dec-15 18:53:10

YANBU, we bought ds's leaders a tub of chocolates to share on the last night. It's not much or expensive but I hope it shows that we appreciate them. Not one other person bought a thing though sad.

RoseWithoutAThorn Tue 22-Dec-15 18:56:25

Now, even though it's Christmas, and many parents seem to compete as to who can buy the best Christmas present for their PAID teachers, we volunteers on the other hand expect nothing at all. And boy do we get it.

If you expect nothing then why start a thread about it and why have you felt the need to say teachers are paid in capital letters? confused. You then go on to say you would like acknowledge when you've already said you expect nothing. Make your mind up FFS.

redexpat Tue 22-Dec-15 18:57:51

I got one card once from one of my guides. Sadly lots of people think you get paid by the guide or scout association. Consequently I usually try to make DS' volunteers some biscuits or something. Also they get jam if we have a bumper crop in the summer.

chandeliertinseltwirler Tue 22-Dec-15 18:58:42

YADNBU. Perhaps it's because I was a guider myself (a gazillion years ago) but we have always taught our DC to thank leaders/volunteers at the end of sessions like Beavers, and so do we. We also buy token gifts and write cards at the end of the year. I know that not everyone will agree with that, but I think volunteering can be a completely thankless task (you kinda prove my point), so a little something to show appreciation is vital.

One of my DCs goes to a unit where there is a parent volunteer rota (I think it works out as helping not even once a term, although not everyone does) The unit would not run without this- that is made quite clear to all new joiners. Could you consider that?

TheBunnyOfDoom Tue 22-Dec-15 18:58:52

Blimey Rose, she says although a present would be nice, she doesn't expect one, but she does expect a thank you! Why is that so unreasonable?

Sirzy Tue 22-Dec-15 19:00:42

I am a youth leader and I love nothing more than an email or whatever after an event to say thank you, one from a parent last year made me cry.

It is stressful and events take a lot of organising but just a little bit of appreciation makes it all worth while

Lilipot15 Tue 22-Dec-15 19:01:52

I felt the same when I used to help with a Brownie pack. Someone up thread may be right that folk may think you are paid.
BUT, it is a somewhat demoralising when you are not even thanked - our pack was in quite an affluent area and I think a lot of parents didn't know what my day job was (not that it matters one bit what my job is) but I felt the same as you, rather invisible and a bit like a cheap babysitting service.

Hopefully you can reflect that the kids enjoy it and when I did leave I got a lovely handmade cards from the children which I still have many years on.

twinkletoedelephant Tue 22-Dec-15 19:04:18

I was a parent helper for nearly a year. I left with my boys. I was shouted at expected to do x y z for can dozen children because that's what the money they paid weekly was for.... I helped out as my DC had additional needs. There were several children who really needed 121 to keep in track and safe but parents dropped and ran
..and often collected late.
I was coming home every week stressed and upset and my children weren't enjoying it as I had to spend so much time sorting out the other kids there. Dh said enough was enough and I totally agreed with him. As far as I know no one took my place and the waiting list is growing and growing yet no parent will offer to help even 1 session a month.

We are going to try a different group after Xmas further away but from a camp we did we know they have lots of helpers and the kids all seem well behaved and more importantly the all seemed to be having fun.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Tue 22-Dec-15 19:05:47

The OP said they don't expect presents.

But they are surely reasonable to expect a thank you and merry Christmas!

Is there anything you can do with the Beavers themselves to encourage manners and gratitude for people who help us?

megletthesecond Tue 22-Dec-15 19:06:26


Fwiw I always say thanks and give chocs after trips and at xmas. My dc's have loads of fun at beavers and cubs.

timelytess Tue 22-Dec-15 19:06:36

I think you are being unreasonable. Unless you state, when people sign up their children for Beavers, that parents must show their appreciation in words, cards or gifts, then you have no right to expect them to do so.

You aren't the centre of the parents' universe. They would expect you to be paid, or to have volunteered willingly and not in the hope of reward. Is there a fee for children to join or attend? If so, parents will certainly expect you to have been paid for your time. They have other things on their minds, juggling work, Christmas, children's social commitments, family breakdown, ill health - whatever is going on in their lives that you don't know about. And here you are, whinging about them not doing something you never even asked them to do. Its definitely unreasonable.

TheBunnyOfDoom Tue 22-Dec-15 19:11:29

Since when is it unreasonable to expect a thank you? hmm

Floggingmolly Tue 22-Dec-15 19:11:35

Oh, don't be such a miserable old trout, timely. I'm sure the op did volunteer without hope of reward, but a thank you or the odd box of chocolates to acknowledge her efforts would be nice hmm

Someone does not have to be the centre of my universe for me to offer them thanks and appreciation when they do something for me or my children, timely!

How much time, effort or thought does it take to say 'thank you' and/or 'merry Christmas' to those who volunteer to do something that enhances children's lives?

Theworldmakesnosense Tue 22-Dec-15 19:14:15

timely manners cost nothing!
OP so sorry that you give your time and effort FREE OF CHARGE to help the children of inconsiderate self centred rude arseholes

Aeroflotgirl Tue 22-Dec-15 19:14:48

Yanbu at all, that is awful, really disgusting of the parents, I woukd expect a lot better. Dd goes to Brownies, there are 6 staff so coukd nit afford sometething for each one, so got them 2 boxes of chocolates to share and wrote them a Christmas card each.

BumpPower Tue 22-Dec-15 19:17:50

Oh dear timeylytess, a fantastic demonstration of why the voluntary sector struggles to find and retain people. Saying thank you and showing appreciation - in words or by deeds such as giving a small Christmas present or even offering to help yourself, should not be too much effort even for busy tired parents under pressure. It's two words and a smile.

StuntBottom Tue 22-Dec-15 19:18:03

YANBU but get used to it. I've been doing it for several years and thank yous are rare. Most annoying is when you do weekend events, such as camps and sleepovers, giving up a chunk of your precious weekend and don't get a thank you for that.

This year, I even got criticized by some parents for not signing up to a district weekend event as it would have meant my own child missing out on his weekend activity. The Beavers could still attend with their parents but apparently the parents would have preferred me to take their children. I nearly packed it in over that one!

Aeroflotgirl Tue 22-Dec-15 19:18:17

After an activity day, I always message Brown owl or Twaney Owl to thank them, I thank them at random intervals of the year. There is a Facebook page for our Brownie group and Brown Owl thanked the parents for all their wonderful gifts, so I am glad our group are appreciative for the Free time. Brown Owl told me she puts something like 30 hours week/month fir planning and she is district commissioner too.

chowhound Tue 22-Dec-15 19:18:23

Rosewithoutathorn, I apologise for my obviously poor choice of words/analogy.

chandeliertinseltwirler, thankfully we are not in a position to need a rota right now. I personally see them as a compulsory thing, and we are not doing too bad at the moment (although I make a point of biting off the hand of anyone who volunteers, lol).

Of course if we did jack it in at least one parent (preferably two or more) would have to go through the recruitment, training and lifestyle change (seriously) that being a warranted leader involves, as a Colony cannot run on a rota alone.

That's not going to happen though, as feeling better having read responses. It would just have been nice if parents had taken the time after our last meeting of the year to say something like 'thanks for your effort this year' or just wished us merry Christmas.

ChoudeBruxelles Tue 22-Dec-15 19:19:14

Yanbu. Parents were the reasoni couldn't wait to stop being assistant leader. Lots of ungrateful and often frankly rude people

Aeroflotgirl Tue 22-Dec-15 19:19:58

timley manners cost nothing! Are you one of those bad mannered parents op is referring to I wonder hmm.

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