This website was set up in 2020 to present information and views, to try to clarify aspects of our current situation, to raise questions and to provoke discussion. Group Councils as well as the County and Provincial Support Teams are the correct vehicles to explore issues and to seek solutions within our organisation. If what gets posted here seems relevant to you then please discuss it with other Scouters, and take it up at meetings of your Group, County and Province.
Apart from a slow and painful transition to a new organisational structure we have been facing enormous stress within Scouting Ireland. Awareness of historic child sex abuse, charities registration, living with Covid-19 and returning to a new normal afterwards all added to the mix.
Since October 2018 the approach taken by the Board to implementing new organisational structures has lead to a widening gap between themselves and the membership, and this has exacerbated rather then lessened the stress felt by many Scouters at all levels. Communication in many respects has been poor and consultation almost non-existent. One had hoped that informed decision-making, proper planning and realistic evaluation had been of a higher quality than that, but alas there are ever-growing signs that this was and is not so.
In the absence of effective channels to resolve issues some took to social media to share views and information. This was perhaps inevitable in the circumstances, and it may well have served a useful purpose for those that participated there. Contributors to such fora can only go on the information they have and so some of the commentary on those fora may not always have been as constructive as it could have been. Contributions also reflected the stress, confusion and frustration felt by many and so some of it may have appeared quite negative and hurtful at times.
The intensity of such commentary has waned over recent months and that may be viewed as growing satisfaction, however it seems much more likely to be a sign of exasperation. Indeed the almost total lack of engagement by Group Leaders at recently attempted conferences would seem to flag clear detachment and ambivalence by local Scouters in relation to the national organisation. It seems very clear that a seismic shift towards a more inclusive approach is required if Scouting Ireland is ever to resume an effective role in the delivery of quality Scouting throughout this island.
In the continuing absence of any signs of such a change of approach, it is hoped that the contents of this website may help somewhat by providing information and by encouraging all Scouters to engage with their Group Councils, as well as their County and Provincial Teams to raise the issues they see and to try to find solutions to their challenges.