DON’T GIVE PARENTS / CARERS SPACE TO WORRY

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.

Andy T.

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