1. Ben

    OK here’s my comment, I’ve watered it down to protect the easily offended.

    I believe in Scouting, that many Scouters live in a Scout bubble. There seems to be this belief that the parents MUST help out as leaders or the running of the group. Why? Why should parents have to do this? I have been a leader for around 17 years, the first 9 years I had no children, but today I have a 7 and 8 year old. So I know what it’s like being a leader and being a leader as a parent. As a parent now, I have to give far less to scouting than when I was single, I had loads of time then. Now I have no time, I love being a leader so I make the time. But if I was a parent and wasn’t really keen on being a leader, why should I make time to become one. I know so many parents struggling at the moment just to make ends meet, they don’t have the time, or the money. Many are working so many hours, or live in fear of being made redundant. Until people feel more secure and the economy improves adult recruitment will always be hard. But then this situation has been so ever since scouting began, people just seem to assume its a recent problem.

    My boys also play football for the village team, which takes up a couple of week nights and nearly every Saturday throughout the year. But the football club never once has to recruit parent help, why is this? Maybe parents get more out of football, maybe they are a different ‘type’ of parent to scouting parents. I run the club website and my wife is the club welfare officer, as well as us both being Scouting leaders. (we’re just mad) But looking at my experience in both organisations, FAW and Scouting, FAW is far more relaxed and welcoming. Scouting, and I’m not saying this is the case everywhere is very elitist and territorial. Maybe when Scouter’s wonder why they can’t recruit parents, they should look within. Is the problem the current set up or the current leaders. I know of a few groups I wouldn’t consider joining for a number of reasons.

    • Ben 

      I stand by my comment that support will come and should come from Parents however I believe you have hit the nail on the head. If scout groups can’t recruit parents then maybe they need to look at how they are doing it. 

      There seem to be two way the recruitment process goes. 

      1) Oh you want to help, ok come along next week you can – next week comes and the person asking to help arrives and not given any instructions and find themselves standing on the site all evening, person thinks well if I am not needed I won’t come again. 

      2) Oh you want to help, great here is your uniform and we will invest you next week, and you need to fill out this form and attend these courses and you need to do this and…. and….. and…. so on – it just scares people off. 

      I think Scouting is pushing very hard to change the way we look a volunteers and the idea of the flexible volunteer is key, if your background is as a car Mechanic come along one week a month for 3 month and help use run the mechanics badge and we will do that once a year. I go back to saying understand what help your asking for. 

      I saw a tweet the other day from a member of the Gilwell park team that said 

      “Recruitment tips. Define the role, generate a list of people to ask, ask them, support them. 1 in 4 say yes. #numbersgame”

      it is that define the role bit, that is often forgotten people just scatter gun cry for Help instead of sitting down and thinking what help we actually require and defining exactly what that role is. You said you look after the football website it is a defined role they don’t suddenly ask you to start coaching (in fact I am sure they often shout at you on the sidelines to stop doing it) 

      Thanks for the comment and as always thanks for the support. 

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