If you’re attending a group meeting as a parent helper, please read these notes in advance of attending.
Thanks for being a parent helper
We want you involved in the group (many hands make light work and make the whole thing a lot more fun). More importantly, we notice that your kids like it when you get involved in what they’re doing – even if they won’t admit it to you. That’s why we want you here.
We don’t always know exactly what we’re going to be doing in advance, but there are a couple of key reasons why we need a regular parent rota. The village hall has lots of nooks & crannies (multiple toilets, multiple rooms, kitchen, inside, outside) and our child protection rules require that no adult should be in a room alone with a child. Adults should always work in pairs. This can make it a bit tricky for example when you need to run a game with 20 kids but one has a cut that needs to be washed. In addition, sometimes we tackle activities in small groups. Chaos can break out quickly and sometimes it helps to have 1-2 adults per small group just for that section of the programme.
Some evenings there won’t be much for you to do but we’ll be honest. Our tactic is to drag you into the group, show you that you can enjoy it, and get you more involved in what your kids and their friends are doing. We’re trying to keep our group open, welcoming, and make you comfortable with the whole idea of turning up. Our starting point is to drag you in on the rota.
This is how you can best help the group on the evenings you’re with us:
- Read the Scout Association’s child protection policies before coming along – see what’s called the ‘yellow card‘
- Help us with the ‘two adult’ rule. Stick to it yourself. It can get very busy some evenings. If you see another leader in a fluster rushing off to help a child, having briefly forgotten the child protection policy, please take it upon yourself to accompany them. That helps all of us.
- Look at what the people up the front are doing and try and work out what you can do to help or join in. We haven’t got time to direct you closely so we’re relying on your initiative. Here are some practical examples of what you could do to help…
- Join in with games where you can (note – kids can get a bit rough with each other during some of our games but there should be no need at all for any adult to be rough during games). Games are a great way of building rapport with the kids. Once they feel they know you, they’ll be happier to work with you during other parts of the evening
- Help with crowd control. If we’re asking the kids to do something, please follow the lead from the front. Two dozen children will take time to respond, particularly if there’s four up a corner totalling ignoring instructions. If you can walk up to the four, make sure they’re doing what they ought to, then the rest will follow more quickly too. That makes everyone’s life easier and allows everyone to get more out of the evening. Your little actions can be a great help to us
- Keep quiet when we’re asking the young people to be quiet. It’s harder for them to stop their conversations when they see others, of whatever age, still chatting.
Above all, please join in enthusiastically (we know that’s not a problem, but it is something that should be on a list like this). Also, please let us know what ideas you have and what else you’d like to do to help your child’s group.
Thanks for your help!