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DC experience

Burghilly

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
Out of interest - how much experience would you say is required as a minimum before someone could consider take on the role of DC?

3 years as a qualified leader? 5 years experience at running a unit? Experience at working with different sections ?

OR - does it not really matter? Is it more about the qualities and abilities of the individual?
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#2
I think the qualities of the individual are paramount. Clearly some experience of Guiding is preferable but it need not be extensive. I think the key qualities are an enthusiasm for the role, good communication skills ( listening as well as speaking), an ability to know where to find answers to queries and being flexible...

There are a lot of transferable skills involved so if someone is a manager or team leader at work they can bring those skills to the role. It is different managing volunteers to employees but there are parallels. Likewise someone who has been a leader for 20 years may not have the skills as they are just not cut out to be a leader of adults or may not want to be..
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#3
I think that they should have been involved with Guiding as a member for at least two years, and ideally have had both a unit based role and experience of running or organising an event for multiple units with different teams (so not a joint event for two units that they run).

I think that there is a risk of if too much experience is asked it leaves only a small pool of elibable candidates, but equally if they aren’t that familiar with Guiding it can be a lot too expect. For example knowing what WTD is, all the different roles, qualifications and structures, local conventions…It also might be difficult for a new volunteer to carry out things like complaints when they are against “senior Guiders”- who is this new person to challenge beloved Gladys with fifty years service under her belt?…
 

AngliaGuider

Regular (50+ posts)
#4
I think it very much depends on the District, and the way you fill the role. The DC role can cover so many different things - admin, personnel, recruitment, Good Guiding, PR, fundraising are all things that the DC can/may/should be involved with. I am just finishing a 5.5-year term as DC and I've done all of those - but as a Guide section leader I still don't consider myself an expert on Rainbows and Brownies, or Senior Section. Yes, I have visited all 14 units over my District on a regular basis, but if the girls seem happy and engaged, the programme seems varied and the Rainbows aren't climbing the walls, I assume there is good Guiding going on. I answer a lot of questions from leaders, and a lot of those do draw on my experience as a leader, but there is a lot that could be done by any volunteer. Certainly I think that if you split the role so you have a team doing it, there is place for both ends of the spectrum to be involved.

In an 'easy' District, a newcomer could probably do the whole job, but which District is always easy? I would be nervous of asking someone with no experience at all to do the job alone, as I would suspect it would be too much to ask - she'd certainly have to know the rulebook inside out, upside down and back to front to be able to hold her own against a difficult personality. But in some situations, and with the backing of a good Div Comm or assistant DC, it would be OK. So I sit on the fence, I suppose.
 
#5
I'd suggest that the qualification is actually just wanting to do the job? Most people don't so you frankly get left with the person who does and that may mean they aren't actually qualified to do it at all. It's the thing about organisations who rely on volunteers, you have to take what you can get. I've seen it in Scouting when I was a Cub leader, the Group Scout leader had an ego which meant he came straight into Scouting, took up the 'job' of GSL which he then proceeded to use to 'social climb' basically. He had no interest actually in Scouting, didn't run anything but would go to council ( local and county) meetings and functions as a representative of Scouting. The last I heard of he moved to Air Cadets and became an officer ( though I don't think he realised what the 'proper' RAF thinks about people who try to use their rank on them rofl)
There is always the danger of someone taking on the role of DC to boost their own ego and disaster follows when that happens but I don't know how you would turn down someone when they volunteer to do it and no one else does.
 

Kochanski

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
Our D.C. was quite new to Guiding but nobody else wanted to do it and the positive way of looking at it was she was fresh and enthusiastic. She was middle aged and a strong personality so coped with the older and experienced people. She also questioned some things that had always happened with a fresh pair of eyes.
 
#7
Our D.C. was quite new to Guiding but nobody else wanted to do it and the positive way of looking at it was she was fresh and enthusiastic. She was middle aged and a strong personality so coped with the older and experienced people. She also questioned some things that had always happened with a fresh pair of eyes.

It makes so much difference if you have someone like that instead of a narcissistic personality who drives leaders away etc and makes people too demoralised to do anything.