2010/10/02

AGM and democracy

Autumn is ATM time. First for all groups, then districts. The observer who came last year, who is also on the national committee, criticised us for the lack of motions from the active.members. It hit home, and we felt a bit ashamed: Every year we ask the scouts to sit in on the AGM and also vote. They are usually not particularly amused. So this year we decided to do something new.
The first couple of weeks this term I visited the older Cubs, the scouts and the Challengers. I explained the structure of the movement and the scouts wrote motions: The younger ones on big pieces of paper, some with illustrations, the slightly older ones on ordinary writing paper, and the challengers sent their by e-mail. Some of the leaders took the opportunity to write some too. All in all 14 motions were handed in to the committee.
At the AGM we took care explain the lingua and the proceedings as they happened. The scouts were much more active and questioned, voted and discussed the motions and the budget. The AGM lasted for almost 2 hours, but at the end of it we had a new vice chairperson (27) and two other members under 18. We also decided to build a tree house at our campsite (motion from the older Cubs), to buy some new tents (motion from the Scouts), to start sorting the rubbish at the hut in fractions for recycling (motion from the Challengers) and to buy an electrical chain saw for the campsite (motion from the Rovers).
Now I'm on the train to my first WSJ meeting. Exiting!
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2 comments:

Nick Wood said...

It would appear you have a somewhat different approach to an AGM than we do.
As we do it, the AGM is there to report on the past year's activities, the state of the finances and approve the accounts, elect officials and to generally show the state of the Group / District etc. to its members.
We do have an Any Other Business section at the end, but this is generally for trivial matters only.
Then after the more formal stuff comes the 'nice' bits such as presentations of awards.

I'm not sure which is the best system. Yours would seem to get the young people more involved, whereas ours is seen more as the 'legal' formalities. However, I would hope that if a young person has an idea then they could put it forward and it would be discussed at the next meeting of whichever committee.

LoveCat said...

Oh, er Do the formalitet oh, we do the formalities too, but win our group we have an extra AGM in March, to sum up the past calendar year. That is generally over in an hour, but people can hand in motions and suggestions for.that too. We find it important to get the.kids involved and taught about the goings on behind all Tue fun stuff too, so that they can get involved in other.circumstances, like student councils, political youth movements and so on.