The Quality Scout Experience is a workshop designed by Scouting Ireland to help scout groups to figure out what their priorities are and get a development plan in place. Both adult scouters and youth members from all sections are invited to participate and in fact it is vital that they do as the scout group belongs to everyone, not just the adults.
Gerry and James, our Provincial Support Officers ,facilitated the workshop. We decided on some ground rules for the day - no phones, one person speaking at a time etc. and then got straight into it. We were split into tables for each section (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, & Ventures, and two tables of scouters ,given random bits of Lego and asked to build our scout group as it is now.
Each group built how they see our scout group now and there were some interesting interpretations to say the least. Each table then had to explain what they had built and why they had built it in such a way.
Following this we had to write out the positives about our scout group on some post it notes. We then had to write out the negatives. James had prepared a Ven Diagram for each table with overlapping circles for Program, Resources, and Governance. Each group had to decide where their positives and negatives fitted on to the Ven Diagram.
After Lunch we went back to the Lego and built our scout group as we want it to be - expanding on what we had already built earlier in the morning. Again there were some great interpretations with Mary and Catherine featuring a lot - chatting and drinking tea with Alan on his computer and Brendan in his kayak with a Go Pro camera, It was quite specific. Again each table had to explain what they built and why.
The final session was to write down what our perfect group would be like. The things we really wanted. Gerry then complied these into a list of 20 or so items as there was a bit of duplication. These were then out on the walls of the hall. We were each given 9 sticker dots. 3 X Green (Must do), 3 x Orange (Should do), and 3 x Red (Could do). We had to place the stickers on the post its around the room that we thought should get them. The points were then added up and we were presented with what the group thought our priorities should be.
An action plan was formulated as to who was going to manage each priority and when there should be action taken by. Not everyone was in agreement about the priorities, but everyone did get to vote so it shows a consensus at least.
Overall the day was very informative and it was really great to see so many young people take an active interest in their group to help us create a development plan. Now it will be up to the Group Council to implement the development plan and put it in to action. Some of the items are already in hand, but others will take a bit of work. Hopefully this is just the positive start to help give us direction.