The Hampshire Scouts Growth and Development Team aim to provide places for as many young people in our local communities as possible, to prepare them with essential Skills for Life. To do this, they support the development of Scout groups across the county. Get in touch with them today, if you would like help and support growing Scouts in your area.
To demonstrate how the team could help you, they've given us some examples of their recent great work!
Setting Up a New Section: 6th Farnborough Beavers
This group in Farnborough already had a Beaver section but also had a large waiting list so the District Commissioner asked us to get involved and support the Group Scout Leader in seeing if we could set up an additional colony. We initially met with the GSL to get a better picture of the group and the potential needs that we could fulfill.
Although a little concerned about the additional pressure this could add to existing leaders, we agreed to run and support an open event to show potential new members how much fun Beavers is and to encourage and enlist parents to join in too. All the children on the waiting list were invited plus the GDO would go to the local schools to present an interactive assembly with the children to encourage a greater engagement. Flyers were also sent home to parents to let them know all about the open event and sign up.
It was a very successful event having over 25 families come along - and the sun was shining! The children took part in a range of activities including indoor archery, a walk in the woods, crafts and a campfire with marshmallows. There were lots of smiling faces! Whilst the children engaged with activities the GSL and our team were on hand to talk to parents and begin the recruitment process. For the group to open we needed a brand-new set of leaders and helpers. At the end of the activities all the children joined together to play parachute games whilst we talked to all the parents about our need for them to step forward to help the group in some way, be it a leader, exec member, fundraiser, cleaner etc. The parents were buoyant having seen the fun that their children had that afternoon, and they were also able to see the support that the group had from the existing section leaders and the GSL. From the meeting we asked parents to complete cards if their children were interested in joining and to also indicate what help they would be able to give the group. We had over 20 cards completed.
The team then worked with the parents to get them enrolled over a series of meeting with roles chosen, we also worked together to come up with a fun programme to get the new Beavers started.
“After our waiting list grew to a size bigger in size than our Beaver colony and not being able to expand in size the GDO came to the rescue. We discussed the group and its needs and the suggestion was made to open a second Colony. At first I was concerned about the additional pressure that this could add to my existing leaders as I couldn’t see how they could run a second colony. Once the GDO explained that the process involved getting the parents of the new members to become the leadership team themselves I could see this working.
In the build up to the open session the GDO kept me informed of what she was doing and what progress was being achieved. My leaders and I put together a programme of bases that the potential new members could take part in from a craft station, indoor archery, a woodland walk and trying out a hammock. Then we all got to enjoy some marshmallows by the campfire.
Later while my leaders were playing games with the young people the GDO supported me in speaking to the parents about what was needed to open a new section including needing them to help run the section as a leadership team. There were a few disappointed faces and tough questions that I and the GDO were able to turn around.
The new Colony was eased into things with help all along the way and once able to run on its own, was allowed to.
I don’t think I would have been able to open a new section on my own and the help and support of the GDO was key to our success.”Bear, Group Scout Leader
"When invited to a taster evening for Beavers, my child was very excited to attend. During the taster session, the children had a wonderful time. I could see that the activities would enrich my child's life. I volunteered to be the leader as I have had previous experience leading Guides and Cubs in my early 20s. I had amazing support and access to great training. The experience turned out to be just as enjoyable for me as it was for my daughter!"Linda, Farnborough
The new colony was initially supported by members of the existing leadership team, the GSL and our team until after about half a term when they were confident to continue on their own. They set up with 9 Beavers, a Beaver Scout Leader, an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader and 6 Section Assistants.
Supporting a Group needing more leaders: 3rd Alton Beavers
The current leaders were moving on to Cubs with their children. We went in to talk with the existing parents to engage more support. As a result of the talk, three parents came forward. Two of the parents came on the New Leader Workshop that we offered and became the new Beaver leaders. The other became a significant support helper.
"Without Melissa's help it’s debatable as to whether we would still have the Beaver Colony. Her support and assistance allowed us to recruit 3 new leaders to run the section. It’s great seeing the Colony back to full strength again and all of them working closely together to push it forward"Matt, 3rd Alton
Running Development Workshops/Sessions
We can run a development session with leaders and exec members to remind people how they can best recruit or work towards a development plan for a group. These can be as detailed as required but are usually held District wide. From here we can identify specific projects going forward and add these to the work plan if agreed by the Growth & Development Committee.