Chief Commissioner's Blog | When adults don’t get on


Wayne knew things were getting ridiculous when the suggestion was made to start a union for leaders...

I kid you not

I think we can agree that I am generally a happy, smiling and positive person; you only have to look at my photograph on my Twitter and Facebook pages to see this! However, this week has been dominated by that 5% of my role that includes dealing with serious complaints, adults not following rules and a small number of wayward comments on eScouts. I knew things were getting ridiculous when the suggestion was made that we should have a union for leaders. I kid you not!

I have mentioned before that the Law and Promise that we take and the values that underpin our Movement are so often forgotten when adults fall out or disagree with each other.

Some of the emails and correspondence I receive are very personal and insulting and I am aware that volunteers at many levels just occasionally receive such correspondence. Clearly this shouldn’t be happening and believe me, such negative comments achieve nothing.

Of course, with social media and online groups etc, negativity is now more widely seen and known about than it used to be. It never ceases to amaze me how people seem willing to accept such comments as ‘fact’ without accepting that there may be very good reasons for much of the action.

What are we doing about it?

We identified some time ago that some of the barriers to the success of our Movement would be failing to have the right people in the right roles. We have subsequently called this initiative Leadership and Management and a lot of time and resources have and are being put in to ensure that managers at all levels, from GSLs to Chief Commissioners, have the right skills for those roles and are properly supported.

This information and support, from training courses to videos and webinars, can be accessed at

Similarly, a lot of work has recently been done regarding complaints policies and procedures, including a review; this can be found at

We can do better

One area that needs work is the suspension of members. Thankfully these are relatively rare, but when they do happen they are incredibly difficult for those involved. While we have developed support around this the area, we are conscious that we can do more. Tim Kidd, Chief Commissioner of England, and the person most behind the significant advances made to this whole area of our work over the past few years, is currently reviewing how best we may do this going forward.

Reasons to be cheerful

Thankfully, I have an exciting weekend of Scouting to look forward to. I will be joining Scouts Scotland; visiting local activities and attending their annual awards ceremony, which recognises the achievements of over 300 young people and adult supporters.

It is always worth remembering when involved in such challenges I have mentioned, we should always focus on our successes, of which there are many, and many more to come. 

I’m still smiling...


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