The point is, no matter how good you do, you can always do better, and results will repay the efforts. And surprise: it might be easier than you think!

Reading a Danish report on how about 80% of what leaders do influence the growth of scout groups, and only the remaining 20 % is due to “external factors” as amount of kids, transport, economy, etc. inspired the Norwegian Scout and Guide Association (NSF). What if this is really true and growth can simply come by making our groups more attractive? Linking this information to NFS’ strategic plan which gives priority to growth, NSF support scout groups which have the ambitions to become better and make leaders’ lives easier through several short programs of about two hours as well as a yearly program to. A group of trained, experienced and communicative scout leaders called “Inspirators”, can visits scout groups to give them the keys to be more attractive in an efficient way.

The Danish study showed how the attractive groups (the one growing) had a good balance between three elements, plus one:

  • They have high ambitions, and those are visible and recognisable.
  • They have a simplified management, with clear routines.
  • They have a good team spirit, and take care of it.

Finally they have a clear leadership, binding the above elements together.

Ambitions, it means that our scouts know the group and the units are thinking big, they know they are going to experience something special (camps abroad, great pioneering, rafting… the potential activities are infinite). Simplified management it means leaders don’t have to spend a lot of time finding material in the storage room because it is chaotic, understanding how to organise a meeting because there is no outline for it, etc. It means they have more time and energy to have fun with the scouts because things go smoothly. A good team spirit, it means the leaders take care of each other’s, they have fun together, they are flexible to change people tasks if needed, etc. It means they enjoy being with the group and do not feel it is a chore!

A good leadership binds the element together, assuring continuity and vision.

The Norwegian scout groups can easily book an Inspirator, to literally get inspiration and tips on one of the following topics: How to get more leaders; How to involve more parents; Get higher ambitions; Simplification in the scout group; Get a better image; Leaders’ training; Get a good team spirit in the group; And finally how to make an action plan for the group through an “inspiration board game”. A trained leader goes visit the group for a couple of hours, to work with the leaders on one of these topics. Otherwise the groups can get a more holistic help, and have an Inspirator work with them several time during one year, for a more tailor made approach.

The project is fairly new in Norway. It is too early to evaluate the results, but single cases speak of higher quality, inspired leaders, more focused actions and… growth!


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Jordan Bajraktarov
About The Author

Jordan Bajraktarov

Jordan is a Director of Organisational Development at the World Scout Bureau - Europe Support Centre, Geneva

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