Deben District Scouts

Meeting Details

The meeting took place on 21st Nov in Julie’s home between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. It was attended by David (1st Framlingham), Oliver (5th Woodbridge), Adam (1st Woodbridge), Gareth (1st Kesgrave), Julie (DC), Eric (Chair) and Peter (1st Westerfield). Apologies were received from: Stu (1st Grundisburgh), Steve (1st Leiston) and Keith (1st Rendlesham).

The meeting took the form of a discussion rather than reports, so in writing this up, some points have been grouped together where similar topics were visited later in the conversation.

County News

Jenny is retiring next month, but no new or interim County Commissioner has yet been confirmed. Eric urged everyone to consider if they might propose someone.

Appointments

We now have a new District Appointments Advisory committee. They are receiving lots of support from the Deputy County Commissioner, including an extra four hour training course. They have already met to consider applications twice and this has enabled Julie to make several appointments. There are still around 70 applications pending, as the backlog dates back years, but it is good that applications are now starting to be processed.

Applicants who applied a long time ago are typically carrying out the role that they applied for, unaware or confused that they don’t hold an appointment. Unfortunately, there is no short-cut available for dealing with applicants in this situation and everyone’s patience in this area is very much appreciated.

The meeting offered to support the Appointments committee by feeding back applicants’ views on how they felt their recent interviews went. Therefore, Eric, Angus and Gareth took an action to meet with Brian and Kelly.

Julie took an action to supply Oliver with Kelly’s postal address.

Inductions

Julie handed out “supporting the journey” to those present who didn’t already have a copy. This booklet explains that the GSL has an important role in supporting applicants, as summarised in Appendix 8 below:

GSL support

Julie asks GSLs to let her know if their Group has already purchased a name badge and/or Prepared for them. If not, District will provide them in the near future along with a few useful factsheets and leaflets. The aim here is ensure all GSLs have the basics for carrying out their role.

Reviews

Some GSLs and Julie are already using the Review system. Most Leaders now have a future review date and, as the AAC picks up, this process should become easier.

Training

Ray is receiving extra support from the Deputy County Training Manager to provide training courses within the District, because there is a backlog with no District courses having been run for many years.

Julie’s interpretation of the situation at the start of November was that the most pressing training needs are:

  • Module 1 essentials, over 100 people
  • Modules 12a and b quality programme, over 100 people
  • Module 3 tools for the job, over 70 people
  • Module 10 1st Aid, over 60 people

However, these figures include people in the Appointments backlog and people who require Validation rather than actual training.

Youth Commissioner

Adam spoke in support of the need for a District Youth Commissioner and also encouraged GSLs to get in touch with the County Youth Commissioners. This role supports Leaders in supporting the Lodge, Sixer and Patrol systems which all Sections should be using.

District team

We discussed the aims of District Team meetings, which are shown on the Website. Julie asked GSLs to provide details needed to book each HQ in turn for District Team meetings.

ADCs

At present, there are vacancies for Beaver and Cub ADC roles. Adam requested that GLS should be included in notices about activities that go out to Section Leaders. Julie apologised that she had not done this and took an action to promote doing so in future.

Awards

Julie handed over awards for GSLs to present to people in their Groups and confirmed that she is delegating Investiture of new Leaders to their GSL. Angus asked if we were giving certificates for Provisional Appointments and Julie replied she has some, but hasn’t started using them yet because they say Appointments Secretary on and this could mean extra communication in an already complex procedure.

Gareth suggested that District might pay for a special woggle to be given out upon completion of Getting Started. This was a popular idea for practical reasons and Eric took an action to propose it at the next Exec meeting.

Uniform

We discussed how GSLs are supportive of Scouts being a uniformed organisation.

Nights away

There are about 35 Nights Away Permit holders in the District. Since March there have been 34 normal camps and 4 large multi-group camps. The meeting felt this was good because it suggests ample opportunities for nights away.

We discussed the GSL’s role in supporting multi-group camps. In particular in making sure that contingents from their own Group have:

  • A responsible Nights Away Permit holder
  • An In Touch plan
  • DC Approval to camp

In relation to the 4 large camps above, only the ADC Cubs succeeded in adhering to these rules. So to assist in future, new forms for multi-group camps have been put on the Website.

Julie hasn’t received any Nights Away Passport applications in the last 8 months. This suggests that no peer-led camps are taking place.

Activity Permits

Julie confirmed that adults’ Permit cards are only valid if they are recorded correctly on Compass.

We discussed encouraging more people to apply for Permits in order to run more small-scale adventurous activities on normal Scout nights. Eric explained that the District Executive supports this by offering to help fund adventurous activity training and assessment; obviously on the understanding that there is a genuine aim to provide activities for our young members.

Aerial runways

There have been 2 separate accidents in Suffolk this summer and a new local Permit scheme has been suggested to ensure aerial runways are set up correctly.

However, there is clear guidance on the national website on how to do aerial runways and if this is adhered to the likelihood of future accidents is minimised. Similarly, guidance should be adhered to for other pioneering projects, especially those that may be ambitious in size or purpose.

Expressions of interest

These originate from parents putting their postcode into the national website and choosing the nearest Group to approach. Since July there have been over 40 expressions of interest. At present Julie receives them. In the longer term, the District Plan identifies that a District Membership Secretary could be appointed to help with this.

Meanwhile, Group Scout Leaders are encouraged to update their Group’s page via info center to get expressions of interest sent straight to them. If there isn’t space available, parents need to be encouraged to approach neighboring Groups rather than go on a waiting list, since they are generally only choosing which Group to approach by their postcode.

Adult recruitment and retention

Expressions of interest also come from adult volunteers and since July there have been 5 such approaches to Groups.

“Think U Know”

Sam is offering a 2 hour course for Leaders on the risks presented to children by modern media. The course includes a presentation and workbook. For more information or to arrange attendance (contact details for County Trainer removed)

Exec

There was a recent Exec meeting and minutes will go on the Website, but this GSL meeting touched on the following points from that meeting:

  • The Exec is very small at present and hopes to include lay members and parents of Explorers in future.
  • There will be a change of Treasurer in January.
  • We have insurance for non-members in certain situations.
  • A budget will be created by March which takes into account the new District Plan.
  • Participants in County events should refrain from trying to push costs up to District.
  • Julie recently approached the Forestry Commission regarding a Scout run camping area in Tunstall Forest, but at present it doesn’t look like this is possible.