Friday, May 29, 2020


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My first Parent meeting

I , Alistair Wallace, as  a very young Scout Leader who was trying to build a Gleniffer Scout Troop using all I had learned from Adam Blake and his assistants,  received a phone call from a very irate scout parent.

The parent said his son had come home from my scout meeting with his uniform in tatters. I agreed to visit him that evening and asked for his address. It was a big posh house in Potterhill .

As I walked to the door via the immaculate front garden, I knew I did not know this scout, he must have been one of this year’s new cubs.

“Please come in,” said a softly spoken lady who directed me to a very smart sitting room which had a very sad scout uniform hanging on a hanger.   

“So you are the man who was in charge  of last Friday’s scout meeting. My wife  went down into Paisley , bought a complete new uniform and after one meeting it is wrecked, look at this  . How could you be so irresponsible? Did you stand back and watch, let this happen? With this amount of bullying going on are you a fit person to run this Scout Troop? That uniform is not usable for another outing.  As parents, should my son ever be allowed back to your scouts? “ said an angry father.

After 30 minutes of  being told how hopeless I was,  and still not being able to put a face to the scout I had to agree that this parent was correct.

I explained that the last Friday of each month is always a ‘Wide Game’ near  Black Rock and what I did not say was that I had stayed behind to tidy the hall.

“Well should he not have been told to go in old clothes?” asked the parent .

The last Friday in each month was always a ‘Wide Game’. But had I remembered to tell the new cubs ? No!

“That uniform cost £30 what are you going to do about it?”

I gave in to everything , then Mr Middleton offered me a large quality whisky and we talked about golf , gardening , and local government .

“Would you like another whisky?” said Mr Middleton  ( Golf Course Designer).

After a while I asked him if he would consider joining  the Parents Committee and he said he would .

I wonder what happened to his son?  Did he stay in scouting or even become a PL or a leader for that matter?

Unconnected comment

Never give a Scout a trip for nothing, help with the cost but never make it free – While Scout Leader I had a boy from Glenburn who lived with his grandparents because the mother and father were a bad lot . There was never any money about the home. We were going a 7 day  camp, and I asked three national scout charities if they could find the money to cover his costs. They did. The boy/ scout did not turn up . I thought there might have been a family crisis or something. I later found out he had gone to a Rangers v Celtic match on the camp’s first Saturday,  so gave the week’s camp a miss. I had learned a lesson.