We are here to compare and contrast
It disappoints me that often we as members of the UK scouting are so quick to judge other organisations based on snippets of information that comes out through social media outlets. It really get under my skin when those judgement in particular focus on the delivery of programme for young people.
I have noticed this in particular recently with the Boy Scout of America, and one comment that seem to be continually repeated is well that’s not relevant you don’t have girls in your organisation.
I had the chance through the international camp staff programme (details here) to experience the BSA programme first hand and it annoys me that some people can’t see beyond the no girls and no gays to actually look at what the programme offers for those young people who undertake it.
I have decided to try to address this a little and have gathered some scouting friend two from the US and one from the UK to create a discussion foursome to compare and contrast different elements of our Scouting programmes. Looking both inwardly at our own programme and outwardly as how we see the other countries programme.
I will openly admit that I have been following US blogs now for about 3 years and I honestly believe there are some elements of scouting they do far better than we do in the UK
This post is really an introduction to the team.
Name : Chris
Current Scouting Role :- Assistant County Commissioner for Explorers
Blog : www.jabbering.co.uk
Bit about yourself :-
For those outside the UK the role of the Assistant County Commissioner Explorers is
“to work in partnership with the County Commissioner to ensure effective operation of the Explorer Scout Section in their County in accordance with the rules as laid down in POR of The Scout Association.”
I am a support function I am there to support anyone running the Explorer Scout programme within the County to ensure we provide the best programme for young people. I am also there to ensure we are a county deliver a balance, enjoyable, adventurous programme that empowers our young people
Name – Clarke
Current Scouting Role – Scoutmaster
Blog – ScoutmasterCG.com
A Bit About Yourself –
I’ve been a Scoutmaster since 1984 when, at the ripe old age of 24, I agreed to take over for a Scoutmaster who was ready to retire. I was never a boy Scout as a youth but I have always enjoyed the outdoors and doing what I can to help out.
I staffed our summer camp for twelve years in various directorships including two seasons as the camp director. I have worked with literally thousands of Scouts and leaders and have administered a staff of eighty counselors. Beyond that I have also staffed many training sessions.
I started blogging about Scouting eight years ago. I wanted to clarify my own understanding of Scouting as a way of learning more about the subject. I was also interested in speaking rationally about the discrimination present in the B.S.A. and advocate for change. I haven’t been as brave as I ought when it comes to this, the internet can be a wild and wooly frontier devoid of the normal niceties of discourse.
The weekly Scoutmaster podcast is now three years old, and people still listen, so I keep going.
It may interest U.K. Scouters to know that I have written, directed and/or acted in a dozen Pantomimes in as many years. Our group is one of the few in the U.S. that produces an annual Panto, and we have a devoted audience.
NW: Oh no you don’t, CG Oh yes I do …… this could go on a while.
Name : Nick
Current Scouting Role :- Group Scout Leader
Blog : blog.nawbus.co.uk
Bit about yourself :-
I joined Cubs when I was 8 in 1979 and carried on ever since. When I joined Cubs, my Mum and Dad were the Pack Leaders, so I guess they were my influence to join!
I worked my way through Cubs, Scouts & Ventures and I am proud to be a Queen’s Scout. As part of the tasks for the Queen’s Scout Award, I became an Assistant Beaver Leader (this is the section for 6 – 8 year olds). I then was away from the majority of Scouting for about 18 months due to work. I then became Assistant Scout Leader, Scout Leader and finally Group Scout Leader.
As a Scout I have climbed, walked, camped, sailed, abseiled canoed, knotted, traveled and met fellow Scouts from all over the world (including my wife!) and done far more varied activities than if I had not been a Scout
As the concept of Group Scout Leader is probably alien to American Scouters, I shall explain. In the UK, Beaver Colonies, Cub Pack and Scout Troops are not individual entities as they are in the BSA, but part of a Group. This means that a young person can join the Beavers at 6 and go through to Scouts until they are 14. Being a member of a Group means that the young people get to know the Leaders from the other sections and they stay with their friends.
At the head of the Group is the Group Scout Leader – Me!
The role is described by the Scout Association as –
“To manage and support the Scout Group and its Leaders to ensure it runs effectively and that Scouting within the Group develops in accordance with the rules and policies of The Scout Association.”
You can read the actual fact sheet here.
Basically, I get to deal with a lot of the dull stuff – managing and paperwork, but also the good bits – handing out awards, camps and activities.
A lot of what a GSL does is unseen and a GSL isn’t expected to attend every section meeting every week. However it is a rewarding role and although not at the coalface of Scouting as such is an important position.
Name : Adam Cox
Current Scouting Role :- Cubmaster (retiring i think)
Blog : Scouter Adam
Bit about yourself :-
CLM I am hopping Adam will eventually send me his bio bit so I can stop hassling him and put it here but you can always read the about Adam page of his blog HERE
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