RE: Two-deep leadership
(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 14 Nov 1992 12:19:09 CST
"David D. Miller +49 6221 404415" <DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET> writes:
>Our Scout Hall is heavily used, with two meeting rooms, and a couple
>of offices. Two meetings in different places is not uncommon, but with
>small intervals between meetings, and often an overlap, we have problems
>of adults unexpectedly finding themselves in charge of other people's
>kids, or totally unable to maintain two-deep leadership.
This is a common occurance with military community kids and ONE
meeting place for both boy and girl scouting groups.
>1 A common situation is when there is a planned break between meetings
> in the main hall, but other adults in the building. The first meeting
> ends, and everyone leaves, but the door unlocked. The kids for the
> second meeting arrive, find the building open, with the lights on, and
> walk in. In many cases their parents drop them off outside and leave.
Parents need to know that they cannot "drop off" their kids and drive
away....they need to bring their kids to the front door and "sign them
in" (In 1984, parents did just that at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri,
and they returned to find that the kid was never accounted for by the
Scouting leaders...she had run off to go to the youth activities
center to see her boyfriend, a senior in high school. The only
problem was, the Scouting leaders cancelled the meeting that night and
when parents returned to the building and found it locked
(unexpectantly) it sent the military community into hyperactivity.)
When parents first bring their Scouts to my meetings, I tell them that
unless they see me or one of my Assistants, that I have NO
RESPONSIBILITY (I really do, but I don't tell them that!) FOR THEM
UNTIL THEY HAVE SEEN US. This cuts the "drop and run" down to a
"drop, chat, and c-ya later" trot.
> Now when the other meeting finishes, the adults emerge to find a
> building full of kids and no leaders. I've seen this twice now,
> and both times the Den leaders were also at least ten minutes late.
> Do you kick the kids back outside and lock up? Or do you stay and
> keep control of these kids, without any papers on them? (Not even
> an emergency phone number to call the parents back to fetch them!)
This would be a great time to get an understanding between all
Scouting leaders of where meetings should be held and who should be
there to "greet and meet" those that come early and late. Parents
should understand when the meeting ends and pick their kids up. I
stick around for ten minutes after the meeting...this is going to
sound cruel, but I take the ones that parents don't come to pick up
to the military police station. After their parents have to go to
the police to pick up their kids, they will understand that you are
not a childcare provider, you have a life outside of the Scouting
realm, and that you care about the health and safety of your
participants. I do not know of a police station that will not watch
kids until parents arrive. This also relieves obligations on those
that don't belong to your unit.
Den Leaders that come late should be talked with to remind them that
"we can cover for you for short (1-5 minutes) times; but these kids
are here because they want a program...and you're part of the program.
When you come late, that makes the meeting late and it makes for poor
program, because you'll be trying to make up for the time you missed."
>2 Now, on Thursdays, I have Cadettes followed by Boy Scouts with a 30
> minute break. There's a Brownie meeting also running which finishes
> 15 minutes after the Cadettes, so we let the other Cadette leader
> away early and still keep two-deep with the two small Troops, in
> adjoining rooms with the door open, until the Cadette meeting
> finishes. (Simply not a problem.)
> The first Boy Scouts arrive up to 25 minutes early, but my girls
> aren't out until ten minutes late (when the last of the parents
> arrives). Yes, I'm dual registered, but should I be looking after
> both groups at the same time? (While trying to change uniforms?)
Nope... you should be conducting the Cadette meeting. Those Scouts
that come early should be told that unless they are setting up the
meeting place for the Troop meeting, or have patrol business (in which
they would have an Assistant Scoutmaster and another parent there),
that they should not be in the building without adult supervision.
> Then the Brownie meeting finishes punctually and the Brownie leaders
> disappear with their girls. They've no obligation to help look after
> the Boy Scouts, who often come through the main hall and disrupt the
> end of their meeting. So there's always at least ten minutes when
> I'm the only adult present. (Unless the Cadettes all leave on time,
> in which case I cycle to MacDonalds Drive-Thru' for some essential
> food, leaving the Brownie leaders to face problem number 1 instead.)
Again, I would be looking for ONE place to hold ONE meeting at a time.
Kinda hard in PHV, isn't it??
>3 Worse still, from my side, is when I arrive early for my Cadette
> meeting (to do preparation) and _one_ of the girls suddenly shows up
> a full ten minutes before any other adults are even expected. Again,
> the lights were on, so the parent drove off. Two-deep leadership is
> simply not an option when there is no other adult available.
> This is the one that I have the greatest anguish over, since the boys
> are always in quantity. I can't run a GS meeting one-on-one, nor can
> I send the girl outside to wait (in the rain) for others to arrive.
> What should I do?
>(Just to complicate things, a nine-year old German girl was murdered
>two weeks ago in Mannheim (10 miles away), and the US parents'
>conviction that Europe is relatively safe for their children has been
Sorry to hear this....we had a similar problem with a German boy to be
killed by a car in a nearby community close to Kornweestheim (3 miles
The quick answer would be to find alternative meeting places for the
Girl Scouts and the Scouts. This would cut down a lot of the "drop and
run" that you have been experiencing. This is not, however, the best
answer to your problem.
This is where your friend, the Deputy Community Commander can come in
and assist you with. Every military community is commanded (has a
"military mayor") which is also the commander of a significant
military unit within the community. Every military community has a
Deputy Community Commander (one of the many military jobs I held), who
serves as a "military city manager" of the community. Have him or her
to draft a letter to parents of all Scouting members in the community.
The letter should have the following elements:
* That Scouting is an important community program and while not a
mandatory program, it is one that receives command attention at the
senior most levels of command in Europe.
* That the community is sensitive to the increased tension and
pressures placed on military members and their spouces by the
military's drawdown policies and internal pressures to "be all you can
* That parents have obligations to support the volunteer efforts of
Scouting leaders, that give lots of hours in addition to the above
note, understanding that in many cases, they are risking personal gain
for the gain of the community and their teaching of values and
recreation to youth of the community.
* That parents WILL NOT drop off members of Scouting units without
seeing that a meeting will indeed take place (Facilities Engineers and
others have access to buildings and an open building does NOT mean
that a meeting will take place at that location or during that
timeframe) and will consult with Scouting leaders about calendars of
events and meeting times to firm that understanding
* That Scouting leaders have an obligation to be ON TIME and READY for
their events and activities, since community facilities are tight and
that timelines for various community activities are extremely short
due to closure of many facilities due to the drawdown.
(anything else you want to add there...) Insure that all parents and
committee members get a copy of the letter/policy and then when
parents come and drop off their kids, simply tell them that their
meeting is from X time to X time and not to come before Y.
This is a terrible situation to be in, and the way that I solved it in
Pattonville may not work there in Heidelburg. I feel through that a
meeting with all parents and leaders involved (youth and adult) should
help things out somewhat; but some time....you should see about
hosting separate places for units to meet and "close the doors" until
the meeting actually starts.
(god, this sounds terrible....)
>David D. Miller
>Scouting in Europe - A Unique Experience
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
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