Role of the Group Leader
The Group Leader is nominated by the Scout Group Council, recommended by the County Commissioner and appointed by the Chief Commissioner (Adult Resources). The Group Leader is primarily responsible for the management and co-ordination of the resources of the Scout Group in accordance with the Policies of Scouting Ireland.
The Group Leader may ask Group Council to nominate one or more Deputy Group Leaders to help them with their role; once any Deputy is appointed the Group Leader or Group Council can then delegate specific responsibilities to them, this can help to spread the load and may provide a basis for succession planning for the role of Group Leader.
The Group Leader’s role is to manage people and resources to provide a quality youth programme experience to the young people in your area.
S/He is a member of Group Council, where the decisions on how your Scout Group is run are made. They also work with and rely on the Parents and Friends Support Group who are there to provide the resources your Programme Scouters need to operate their Programme Sections effectively.
It is their job to know every adult who is working with the youth members of your Scout Group. They are required to approve all applications for appointment of Programme Scouters; so they must make sure that they approve only those who are ready, willing, and able to look after the young people properly and who are committed to enabling them to avail of the youth programme. They must agree with each adult member what they will be doing in the Scout Group and they must ensure that each Scouter undertakes the required training for their role. They must also ensure that each adult member of the Scout Group receives the supports and encouragement which they need to do the job. They must take the time to give the adult members appropriate feedback on how they are doing and to arrange that they get appropriate recognition when it is called for.
They represent your Scout Group at the Scout County Board where decisions which directly affect Scouting in your Scout County are made and also at the Scout County Management Committee whose role it is to support every Scout Group in your Scout County.
The recommended term of this Appointment is three years but an individual may be re-appointed for a further term of three years and subsequent one-year terms subject to the necessary approvals as set out in the Rules.
Your County Commissioner oversees the operation of every Scout Group in the Scout County; and each Group Leader should expect to see them frequently. The County Commissioner will help you the Group Leader to set meaningful goals for your Scout Group and to review progress with those. They can also provide with advice, support and guidance if it is needed.
Specific Group Leader training is available to help Group Leaders and Deputy Groups Leaders understand their role, to recognise how best to approach key aspects of it and where they can get help and support when it is needed. This training is most useful and it is advisable to attend it shortly after to Appointment to the role.
The Group Leaders Roles is set out in more concise terms in SID 11.03 - Group appointment Descriptions
Where to get help
All of the Scouters and other adults involved in your Scout Group are there to play their part in running the Scout Group and so helping the Group Leader and Deputy Group Leader(s) in their role. The Parents and Friends Support Group should also provide invaluable assistance.
Scout County Management Committee meetings provide the opportunity to meet other Group Leaders and they provide the opportunity to discuss issues, to benefit from their experiences and to work together on joint or common issues.
The County Commissioner is responsible for supporting all of the Scout Groups in the Scout County and is on hand to help if needed. They meet Group Leaders from time to time to discuss how things are going and, if help is required, how best that could be provided.
The Group Support Facilitator and the Provincial Support Officer are members of Scouting Ireland’s staff who are responsible for supporting Scout Groups and they are also ready to help if asked.
Scouting Ireland’s National Office may be contacted on 01 495 6300 if advice is required during normal office hours. The National Adult Resources team is also contactable on the same number on Monday night’s between 7pm and 9pm if required.
Other useful materials
The Group Leaders Handbook contains a comprehensive reference to the materials that are available to support Group Leaders and Deputy Group Leaders in their role. It is available online here: Group Leaders Handbook A hardcopy version is also available from your Provincial Support Officer, just ask them for yours.
You may also find Role Descriptions - Scout Group useful