Frequently Asked Questions
It is not uncommon for Beavers to spend their first night away from a close family member at a Sleepover, let alone CAMPING! So the challenge is: How do Leaders give parents confidence? One answer is to hold a Parent’s Evening. During the fast 15-20 minute meeting I would suggest you cover the following topics:
- - Venue [Location, key features and why the location was chosen]
- - Activities [What exciting things will the Beavers do. How will plans be adopted according to changes in weather]
- - Sleeping arrangements [boys & girls together(?), changing areas)
- - Arrival & Pick-up time / process [Importance of pealing Parents / Carers from sides of Beavers (into their first activity), deal with any paperwork before they leave]
- - Kit List [Everything to be labelled., Beavers should be encouraged to pack, don’t need new items, ask if you don’t have a …..]
- - Experience of the team [No events, Nights, Qualification, Years]
- - Required Help [Gives Parents / Carers the opportunity to see what is going on as there is nothing to hide]
- - Medicine / Allergies [Current prescription in packets, form for does and recording administration, specific allergy issues will be addressed]
- - Bed Wetting [Talk about how mats / pull-up will be discretely used, what happens if someone wets their bed]
- - Risk assessments [Everything considered and mitigated e.g. ….]
- - In-Touch Process [We will always let you know if there is an issue. Please send a text if you need to but accept if everything is OK we may not get a chance to respond]
- - Questions - Beavers [Always first]
- Questions - Parents [No question is too silly]
- - Question previous event Beaver Parents if you have missed anything [They will often address some of the issues raised for you]
- - Final Comments [You will be happy to answer any further questions that come up]
I like to use a menu sheet [List things the Beaver likes and dislikes] to act as an ‘ice breaker’ when parents arrive. Try to avoid agreeing to a specific menu. During the meeting try a little humour e.g Remember to bring your tissues as the Beaver will be too excited to get you one. Hopefully if you have covered all the above items there will be no opportunity for a parent / carer to remain concerned.
If a Parent is still not happy, suggest their Beaver attends the next event. However, peer pressure can on occasions be persuasive. Whilst not all unhappy parents are difficult, it is after all optional for the Beaver to attend. Give it your best shot and you may be surprised at the success rate you have.
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To gain your permit doesn't require you to put on your Super Hero Beaver costume and organise everything. Some leaders may claim that when they qualified for their Nights Away (NA) Permit they had to do everything (at the one camp), but that's not a requirement of the NA Scheme. You are allowed to delegate / outsource activities to other leaders / parents, as long as you can talk to the specific activities and risks that the teams covered e.g. Catering: Menu, allergies, Risks, timings, equipment. As Leader-In-Charge are you bringing everything together which needs to be covered?
Quoting Scout Association regarding a Nights Away permit, "It shows that all those leading nights away events for young people within Scouting have the skills, experience and personal suitability to take young people away safely." To gain a permit you will be assessed in four areas:
1. Technical Competence
2. Knowledge of Scout Association Rules for Nights Away
3. Child Protection
4. Personal Suitability
Use the Assessment Checklist for a Nights Away Permit (AC120990) and think about where your 'prior experience' can be used to support your application. Think about pulling together an evidence file with example documentation, photographs etc. For your assessment camp think about:
- Event Program (Youth and Leader Timetables) inc. wet weather options
- Roles & Responsibilities (Individuals / teams)
- Communication with Adults / Youth
- Youth Involvement
- Beaver Welfare
- Equipment & Food Lists
- Meal Plan(s) and catering arrangements
- Risk Assessments & First Aid arrangements
- Lessons Learnt and Youth Feedback
Do not expect everything at the camp to go perfectly, especially if it's the first time you have been the Leader-in-charge. Being a Super Human is not a permit requirements. Most of the hard work is done on the lead up to the event. Everyone adapts the program as things change e.g. an event over-runs because everyone is having so much fun. For us the key assessment requirement is how you bring everything together e.g. the Glue.
For more details about the NA Permit scheme visit: http://members.scouts.org.uk/nightsawaypermits
To begin the process, the Leader wanting a permit fills out the application form and emails/mails/ gives the form to the Nights Away Advisor.
This will include any and all information regarding the persons background and experience as well as what type of permit they are applying for.
The application is acknowledged by the NAA, who will make contact to discuss the persons experience, knowledge and abilities, and together formulate a plan to work through the assessment.
It is mildly irrelevant as to how much camping they have done, it is about the persons current ability to plan, organise and run a camp in accordance with the Scout Association rules.
THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO HAVE RUN A MINIMUM NUMBER OF CAMPS BEFORE YOU CAN BE ASSESSED.
THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO HAVE YOUR WOOD BADGE BEFORE BEING ISSUED A PERMIT
THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT FOR COMPULSORY TRAINING BEFORE BEING ASSESSED. IT IS NOT MANDATORY TO ATTEND MODULE 16 or MODULE 38 BEFORE RUNNING YOUR CAMPS*
However, they are incredibly useful sources of information for Leaders. More information can be found https://members.scouts.org.uk/FS120800
The NAA should then assess the person against the assessment form AC120990 :
The assessment will probably be a minimum of three parts:
- An initial meeting to go through the form and tick off any parts they can;
- a camp,
- then a final meeting.
There may be a practical assessment against some of the equipment. This will be up to the NAA.
Then there will USUALLY be a mutually convenient camp organised for the applicant to demonstrate their ability to actually plan and run an event, although this is under the watchful eye of a current NAP holder, just to ensure no major mishaps.
After this camp, the applicant will prepare the financial paperwork, meet up with the NAA and discuss how the camp went, sort out any minor issues and finalise the application.
The NAA will then recommend a permit on Compass and the DC will then issue once they are satisfied all is in order.
The AC120990 paperwork remains with the applicant to pass to the DC for final sign off, although now the permit is approved through Compass.
The key is open and clear communication both ways.
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