DC Blog: Group Scout Leaders in Mersey Weaver

July 14, 2018 17:27 | Posted by | |

In the last few weeks we have been extremely proud to welcome two new GSLs and an AGSL to the District Team!

Lisa Cubbin assumes the role of GSL at 1st Weston & Weston Point

Callum Linger assumes the role of GSL at 1st Ince & Elton

Linda McKay assumes the role of AGSL at 1st Ince & Elton

My personal gratitude goes to the all three of these volunteers for their willingness to accept the role of Group Scout Leader in Mersey Weaver and I am sure we shall see great things from you all!

So what is a Group Scout Leader?

The Group Scout Leader role is essential to ensuring every group in the District runs smoothly and every adult leader has a district representative local to them that they can go to for support.  They offer encouragement and deliver positive and constructive feedback to leaders. With the support of the executive committee they also ensure the group understands the policy, organisation and rules of the Scout Association so Scouting at the group can thrive! They are often instrumental in the growth of the group, recruiting new adults to the movement which in turn allows us to accept even more young people on our long waiting lists. All in all they are important role and with out them we’d be lost!

So where do we now stand in Mersey Weaver?

While it is definitely cause for celebration that we have found two new GSLs; of our 17 groups in the District, 5 still have a vacant Group Scout Leader. Only two of our groups have Assistant GSLs who we see as a just as vital role. In groups with out GSLs, a lot of this responsibility falls to Sections Leaders who already give up so much of their time planning fantastic programmes that provide our young people with skills for life. I’m in awe of them really, how they manage to do so much is beyond me and this why we need more adults willing to put themselves forward for the GSL and AGSL roles.

It is has been mine, Laura’s and Derek’s mission since we took our own roles four months ago that we put in place an infrastructure of support in the District so leaders feel valued and are properly equipped with the tools for the job. Part of this strategy has been to recruit people with good line management qualities or the potential to develop, to fill empty GSL posts and while it feels like a big step to have found two new adults to take on this role we obviously have more work to do!

In order to help us to do this Derek has formed a GSL search group made up of current Group Scout Leaders. Who better to help us identify the right people for the roles than the very people who do it week in, week out?! The purpose of the search group will be to work with groups to look internally for potential talent as well as reach out to the local community and businesses. The team will help us interview and run exercises with groups to find the best fit. Perhaps even identifying leaders in groups who’ve never considered a role like that before. They will also help with finding AGSLs so that going forward it all doesn’t come down to just one person and hopefully provide some succession when people inevitably move on.

Groups we a looking for a Group Scout Leader include
  • 1st Newton & Kingsley
  • 3rd & 9th Runcorn
  • 6th Runcorn
  • 8th Widnes
We are also on the look out for one or more Assistant Group Scout Leaders for all of our groups!
Update: Since this post we a pleased to have filled the GSL post at 4th Frodsham. We welcome Richard Smith to the role! And John Nicholson has taken an AGSL post at 1st Halton. We are excited about how both Richard and John will support our leaders in Frodsham and Runcorn.

Could you or someone you know be a Group Scout Leader too?

Are you new to Scouting or an existing leader? Maybe you are a parent just looking to help out in a way that doesn’t cramp your Scout’s style? Maybe you are looking to give something back to your community?  Perhaps you’re ready to try something new on your Scouting journey to keep things fresh!? We’re looking for lots of different leadership styles that may suit different groups so please reach out to us if you are interested in being part of a dynamic and innovative team of volunteer managers.
I was recently speaking to one of our Group Scout Leaders Emma, and I asked her what the best thing about being a GSL was and after a little think she replied,
“Helping to provide new opportunities and experiences for not only the young people but the adults too. It’s so rewarding seeing everybody young and old, grow, develop, learn new skills and form new friendships as a result of scouting.”
Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
There are a whole host of other reasons and benefits to a Group Scout Leader or Assistant Group Scout Leader Role which include:
  • Enabling more young people to enjoy and gain skills for life from Scouting.
  • Use existing or develop new management experience to give back to Scouting as well as help you develop in your career.
  • Meet dynamic individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds, make new friends and do things and projects that you’d never get the opportunity to do elsewhere.
  • Solve problems and become a figurehead in your community.
  • Gain satisfaction from being a part of someone else’s personal development. You become more than a volunteer, you become somebody’s mentor.
  • Adopt a new family that never stops extending and accept you for the real you!
  • When you don’t feel like you’re good enough, there are always lots of small people who look up to you who think you’re the best!
  • Empower leaders to do more with their sections. You could be the catalyst that takes a group who’s nights just revolving around playing indoor games to getting out and doing some truly amazing life changing things.
  • Innovate, pioneer change and leave a lasting legacy.
  • Join a dynamic group of volunteer managers who share a passion about the development of people.

Being a Group Scout Leader in Mersey Weaver comes with a package of support both locally and nationally.

If any of this resonates, you could be the next GSL we announce!
Thanks for listening!
Oli (District Commissioner)

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