Pledge Cards

Sometimes, ideas just come to you but other times I’m in no way shy about stealing them from other people.

Kate Reid of The Scout Association’s Regional Development Service mentioned during a training session the other night that she has successfully used pledge cards to get more adult help in local groups.

The idea is that at the start of an event where you’ve got parents – AGM, presentation night, whatever – you hand out cards printed with something like “To help my child’s Scout Group, this year I pledge to… .” Parents fill them in, with some hints if they’re needed, then hand then in.

As well as lots of adult support for the group, it’s a great way to offer a reward for volunteering: just use the completed card as raffle tickets.

Thanks Kate!


Some things matter more than test scores…

Okay, so after a week of doing SATs (which for anyone that doesn’t work in schools in England are government-set tests in English and Maths that children take when they leave primary schools) I’ve been itching to write something – anything – to make clear to people just how stupid it is to put 10 and 11 year old children through such stress over something that really doesn’t matter.

While I try to put that into a form that isn’t going to get me into trouble with anyone (Mr. Gove… ) I have come across a video that really does sum up what is the most important job that schools have:

If only the world had more inspirational teachers like Ms. Reifler.


Found this this morning on John May’s website:

Dear parents

Thank you for lending us your children.

We are not experts. We’re your next door neighbours. We’renot perfect; we are just parents like you.

We don’t have any more spare time or energy than you do; weall work full time and juggle our families and our schedules and try to keep itall together as best we can.

The only difference between us is that we believe in whatScouting has to offer. So much so, that we contribute our time, our miles, andour talents to help your children and our children grow in Scouting.

We complete authorisation forms, budgets, and registrations,and fill our homes with boxes of paperwork that you will never see.

We are required to take hours of training, as well as attendleaders’ meetings, so that we can meet our greatest challenge – providing avariety of programmes which meet the needs and interests of very individualboys and girls.

We try to involve parents who want us to understand thatthey don’t have the time to drive on outings or help at meetings. We rejoice atthe generosity of others.

Sometimes we find ourselves going in too many directions; werun out of steam. We have memory lapses. Communication lines break down. Timeslips by. But that doesn’t mean we don’t care.

So many evenings we spend on the phone, seeking advice andsupport from other leaders when disappointments or problems occur. “How doI keep my child’s attention?” “What are your ideas for the ceremony?””How do you work with youngsters in four different sections?”

Our dining room tables are covered with bits of rope, menus, tourpermits, and merit badge cards for each and every youngster in the group. Acouple of them won’t show up, and don’t think to call and let us know.Sometimes we feel unappreciated.

Yet, these youngsters can fill us with pride at theirdetermination and accomplishments. Their smiles light up a room; and when theysay “Thank You” it makes it all worth it.

We help these youngsters build relationships. Some strugglemore than others. Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly… is encouraged by theScout Oath and Law. And sometimes we too must learn these lessons over and overagain with the boys and girls. But we are willing to keep learning.

Please be patient if we appear distracted or frustrated oroverwhelmed at times. Forgive us if we are not the kind of Scout Leader youwould be if you had the time. Instead, provide us with encouragement or offeryour help. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

We are, after all, only mentors…role models…leaders.Volunteers who have taken an oath to give these boys and girls, youryoungsters, the most precious gift we have to offer- the gift of time.

With best wishes

Your child’s Cub Scout Leaders

So tempted to send it to a few people!

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