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Ski Club of Great Britain Chief Exec resigns

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The current SCGB council consists of:

Trevor Campbell Davis - Chair - Honorary Treasurer of the Alpine Club, ex-CEO at Oxford Hospitals NHS Trust, member of the Downhill Only club since 1991. No apparent connection to leading or repping. Brought in as an outsider to steady the ship, but apparently has been a self-employed management consultant since 2009.

Andrew Poodle - Elected: 2016. LinkedIn shows that he has been a SCGB Leader since September 2012.

Bridget Cassey - Elected: 2016. Leader since 2010 (1), and LinkedIn also states Head of Marketing at the SCGB for a year (2009-2010).

Dave Davenport - Elected: 2016. Leader since 2011 according to LinkedIn, and part of the Leaders course training team (2)

Joanna Milner-Percy - Elected: 2016. Not a current leader, but has 35 seasons of leading experience (2)

Ed Kilwick - Elected: 2019. Leader since 2001. (2)

Gerry Aitken - Elected: 2019. Leader since 2003. (3)

Martin Jordan - Elected: 2019. Leader since 2007 (4). Proposer of Ed Kilwick in 2017.

(1): https://issuu.com/skiclub/docs/report___accounts_2015_final
(2): https://www.skiclub.co.uk/news/ski-club-news/2017/10/ski-club-council-election-2017
(3): https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-reps/gerry-aitken-1
(4): https://www.facebook.com/groups/SCGBCervinia/permalink/1125974741125441/

Questions:

a. How are the "typical" members represented on council? Why is every member of the council a current or recent leader? I know that there are probably very few candidates, and most of those will be heavily invested in the SCGB, but this can't be healthy

b. When the question arises of how valuable the leading service is to the membership, how does the council take a dispassionate view of this?
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@ousekjarr, it probably doesn't. I am mildly curious as to why you care.
snow conditions
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A forum behind a paywall always dies. Maybe not totally but it becomes insignificant. I've seen a few. One I know (was a member of the "organisation" for 10 years) always had about 50 people reading it and about 10 posting. Everybody thought it was a nice "private" forum and a few people wrote some "interesting" stuff about their exploits, and about dodgy stuff done by certain individuals. Then one of these paid up the joining fee and read all the stuff about himself and threatened to sue everybody. The forum is still going, with the same 50/10 people.

A pity that SH allows personal attacks. It would be a nice place otherwise. But most forums allow them; it drives up the traffic massively. If you ban personal attacks, the nasty egotistical and narcissistic characters will leave and ... start another forum! Smile And since these dozen or so generated some 30% of the total posts, their forum will grow, and every time somebody gets p155ed off on the original forum (for having a beating-up post deleted) they will go over to the new forum. Eventually the old one will die.

What I find surprising is the venom among the dozen or so here against their old place. They should get a life.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Quote:
..
the nasty egotistical and narcissistic characters will leave..


I'm afraid I'm staying put for now. Madeye-Smiley
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Peter Stevens, so personal attacks bad but OK if they are by you against this shadowy "dozen or so"?

I'm pretty sure there is nothing stopping you setting up your own paywall free but heavily modded forum of your own for skiing or snowsports (if you can bear to have those pondlife there). Try it you might like it better than you clearly do here.

It has been explained to you before the ways in which you might consider engaging in order not to feel you are being "personally attacked" aka robust debate and challenge, but unfortunately those ways involve listening and modifying behaviour.

Everyone else - apols for feeding the troll.
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
achilles wrote:
@ousekjarr, it probably doesn't. I am mildly curious as to why you care.


I already explained that above:

ousekjarr wrote:
I'm often left wondering why I contribute to this thread, as it really shouldn't concern me. The answer I keep coming back to is that it annoys me that SCGB is so useless because actually I could have been a lifelong member if it had been able to offer me something, it annoys me that it seems to be so London-centric in its membership and France-centric in its outlook, it annoys me that the people who represent it come over so badly, and it annoys me intensely when someone who has clawed their way into a position of responsibility then rejects any and all feedback on the apparent basis that they know better. Which would be fine if the club was thriving and showing regular smallish profits indicative of sound financial management, plus a growing membership, but it isn't.


That's one of the reasons why having a council member abusing people on another forum is something the SCGB should not permit. It builds annoyance that they may be unaware of, and can do nothing about.
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Now this is the sort of thing SCGB should be spending their hard earned on

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53082294
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@ousekjarr, I'm not sure why you think it's an issue that the council members are leaders. Whatever your view on leaders, it's a role that requires a reasonable time commitment and a decent level of enthusiasm (and ability) at skiing - which seem like good attributes for someone on the governing body of a skiing club Puzzled
snow conditions
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Arno wrote:
@ousekjarr, I'm not sure why you think it's an issue that the council members are leaders. Whatever your view on leaders, it's a role that requires a reasonable time commitment and a decent level of enthusiasm (and ability) at skiing - which seem like good attributes for someone on the governing body of a skiing club Puzzled


Isn't the point whether they can be objective on whether leaders are the thing members desire most and thus where funding priorities are made?

Notwithstanding the fact that leadership/repping in person somewhere near the snow is the only thing the SCGB has which distinguishes it from other operations.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Arno wrote:
@ousekjarr, I'm not sure why you think it's an issue that the council members are leaders. Whatever your view on leaders, it's a role that requires a reasonable time commitment and a decent level of enthusiasm (and ability) at skiing - which seem like good attributes for someone on the governing body of a skiing club Puzzled


But maybe not the best placed to represent the views and needs of the broader membership who’s subscriptions fund the club?
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I suppose that the point is that their background and stated enthusiasm for the no-longer-legal "non-professional leader in France" business model may somewhat detrimental.

It's unlikely that people in those positions would "represent the broader membership" in terms of their background, in an organisation that size.
If they fail to actually "represent the broader membership's interests" (a different thing), then their organisation will not survive.
ski holidays
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
For those calling for the Snowheads admin to censor this thread, I'd say well fine, go ahead, kill it altogether. I think that SCGB representatives need to understand that responses like

“It's pointless talking to you.”
“That's all you need to know about that.”
“You're wrong and that's the end of the factual part of the discussion.”
“Complete rubbish.”
“Jealousy is what you have.”
“I don’t have a single good word to say about Holt.”

are not the right approach. If they're representing SCGB then surely the aim is to present it in the best possible light? Especially as they're addressing it's target market. In that case, however difficult, they have to do the PR thing and swallow any real or perceived insults and respond calmly and explain reasonably what they're trying to do. Sadly, this just doesn't seem possible.

So yes, let's censor this toxic debate and just remove the entire thread. Its a blot on the otherwise excellent landscape of Snowheads.
snow report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@LaForet, to be fair the asking for censorship is one individual who has his own particularly trolling agenda and AFAICS is just in this thread to shitstir because his intereactions in the past have resulted in him being called on his BS by numerous long term contributors, even though they were initially willing to help him. He has nothing to do with SCGB AFAIK.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@On the rocks, maybe but people from the broader membership need to put themselves up for election to the council. Seems that the SCGB occupies a bit of a grey are between being a member-run club and a commercial service. If people want it to be a member run club they have some responsibility as members to contribute to its running.
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Arno, others have already provided the answer, and it may well be that they can take a wider view even if that comes to the conclusion that the future of the SCGB may not involve leaders, and they may all be reduced to the same status as the other members, which is as people who want to ski with a group of like-minded people, and who pay for the privilege.

The membership fees for the SCGB has semi-consistently given them around £900K per year of income. The leaders/ILG programme has consistently cost them £200K per year to provide. So that's 22% of the membership fees which are spent on leading. And coincidentally, if there are 23000 members, that's an average fee of £39 each which is a long way from the £70 "standard" membership, so even allowing for the £102 price for two adults and any number of children (0-9 people aged up to 23) something doesn't add up given the published demographics.

According to the last annual report available (Nov 2018), in the 17/18 season there were 6623 skier days of skiing with a leader representing 2344 members, plus 1995 ILG trips booked with 395 sessions run - it is not clear whether some bookings were cancelled due to conditions or low numbers. If 395 sessions were run, each session represents 5.05 people per trip. It's also not clear whether most people ski with a leader on every day possible, or whether the majority go for one day in their annual ski week, as there's no breakdown of the usage.

If 10% of members use the leading service (assuming 23000 members, which is a difficult assumption), and each of them averages 2.8 days per season, the cost per skier day to provide this is about £30, so 10% of the members are getting an average of £90 of service for a membership fee of £70, while the other 90% are getting zero for the same membership fee. All of them get the same additional benefits package. And clearly for the average to be 2.8 days, some are probably getting 5 or more days for their membership fee.

If someone were to say "Hang on a minute, why am I paying £70 per year so that the self-selected 10% can be led around the mountain free of charge?", and a proposal was made to reduce the membership fee to £10 but charge £30 per day for leading, then you would expect that most of the 90% would vote for the proposal, and the 10% against.

But the reality is that it would be impossible to make such a proposal, because the result would be a significant drop in the number of skier days with leaders, and thus in the opportunities for leaders to lead. I would expect that the council which is made up 100% of leaders would move heaven and earth to block the proposal or make sure it was voted down. And as a previous report indicated that only about 80 people turned up to the AGM and only about 450 votes were cast in total, that's not a major ask especially if some of those were proxy votes entrusted to the chair to deploy as he saw fit.
latest report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@ousekjarr, Your calculations do not appear to include members who joined and paid their subscriptions purely to take part in one or more Freshtracks holidays in a season. Do you have the numbers?
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
<shrug> I would imagine that the decision not to mod the scgb's abuse of people here and in other threads has been deliberate. I think it's smart.

ousekjarr wrote:
... so 10% of the members are getting an average of £90 of service for a membership fee of £70, while the other 90% are getting zero ... All of them get the same additional benefits package.
I think that's the essential calculation.
Their bosses are trying to provide a service which is not commercially viable if all the members take it up.
Most gyms work the same way. However it's never been legal in much of the world and now there's no where left... it
sounds (from the bios of those people I just read) that they're going to fight to retain their jollies, even at the expense of their complete organisation.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@On the rocks, only if SCGB publish them - I'm not a member.
latest report
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
philwig wrote:
<shrug> I would imagine that the decision not to mod the scgb's abuse of people here and in other threads has been deliberate. I think it's smart.

ousekjarr wrote:
... so 10% of the members are getting an average of £90 of service for a membership fee of £70, while the other 90% are getting zero ... All of them get the same additional benefits package.
I think that's the essential calculation.
Their bosses are trying to provide a service which is not commercially viable if all the members take it up.
Most gyms work the same way. However it's never been legal in much of the world and now there's no where left... it
sounds (from the bios of those people I just read) that they're going to fight to retain their jollies, even at the expense of their complete organisation.


Yes, good point. It's a very valid business model. The 90% are just paying ( or being subsidised ) to avoid feeling guilty about lack of exercise. The analogy differs in that gyms, Covid notwithstanding, will be allowed to operate as before. It's very unlikely they'll ever be any more 'free' guiding.

On the rocks good point. That's the only time I've ever joined, (in resort for guiding) and my ski friends as well.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
There is another thread on this section "why do I get bored"? This thread certainly answers that. I shall ignore in the future. Lot of smoke, lot of heat and absolutely no light
snow report
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@countryman, A huge thanks for your contribution to this thread. We shall be very sorry to see you go.
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Firstly its fantastic that so many are happy to contribute to this thread. It seems many of us still share a (tired) affection for SCGB and a desire to see the Ski Club of Great Britain getting back to being an effective members club. As many have observed there is much in this thread that can be learnt from. However like many here I think the Club is very close to becoming irrelevant, failing to provide a MEMBERS club, with broken oversight and obsessed by secrecy rather than addressing the issues. The Club should be doing much more to support members on snow, and spending much less on head office - focusing resource where members will feel it. 30 staff and £M's of overheads is a nonsense. I'd like to see membership fees come down (especially for those that aren't comfortable middle aged semi-retired) and far more club skiing around Europe. Before they so "rudely" "dealt with" me I had tabled a detailed proposal (broadly supported) about how we could build towards 50 resorts across Europe with member skiing groups. So SCGB should cut silly exec salaries, employ fewer people, don't have flashy offices but spend money on supporting in resort member groups - in my view ... but I was elected to represent these views in Council.
I'd also like to make a brief comment about @gerry - completely agree with what @chocksaway has shared - exactly how I've found him: fun to ski with, friendly, open and much-to-his-credit willing to actively contribute in social media. (albeit too often clumsily). Completely agree with others on Snowheads that social media is a very valuable part of engaging with a community who you want the Club to serve - members and non-members. Gerry and I (along with Martin Jordan) were the most vocal standing for Council as a reaction to the apparent loss of voluntary leading and disastrous reign of the previous CEO and Chairman. We should still be on Council working on this together of course, but sadly Council has closed in on itself again, forgetting what it is to be a representative group responsible for ensuring the Club is run in member's interests.
There is no escaping the fact that Council has been failing the club and members, £2.5M of needless losses while the wrong people were employed to do the wrong things, not even the most basic financial oversight and then hiding things from members under a cloak of 'confidentiality' and 'teamwork'. Good teams do not resist openness and improvements, and can address difficult questions - they are not just cosy and weak, comforted by groupthink. Unless the club can find a way to be open and accountable to its members, provide effective oversight and allow itself to address the difficult questions - and re-focus on what is core in a members club - I too think it doomed, or if not doomed just part of our shared history which we have no more interest in. Very sad, and such great potential and history.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@pisteoff, I agree with the direction you say you've been trying to steer the Club into. As someone who wishes the SCGB well (I was a member for about 20 years before I let my membership lapse) I think the changes you've been advocating are necessary for it to survive in any meaningful form, but I fear you may be a voice crying in the wilderness. Sad
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Is there not an option for those that truly want a members club to actually form their own? I know SH fills a void but it does not seem to be the same.

Or have ski clubs had their day?


From what i read here there seems to be 2 different views on what the SCGB should be providing. Perhaps its time for a true members clubs to form whilst the SCGB continues heading in the direction it is.
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@yuppie, There are lots of ski clubs in the UK, you can see a list here.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
ousekjarr wrote:
The current SCGB council consists of:

Trevor Campbell Davis - Chair - Honorary Treasurer of the Alpine Club, ex-CEO at Oxford Hospitals NHS Trust, member of the Downhill Only club since 1991. No apparent connection to leading or repping. Brought in as an outsider to steady the ship, but apparently has been a self-employed management consultant since 2009.

Leader
Leader
Leader
Leader
Leader
Leader
Leader


Questions:

a. How are the "typical" members represented on council? Why is every member of the council a current or recent leader? I know that there are probably very few candidates, and most of those will be heavily invested in the SCGB, but this can't be healthy

b. When the question arises of how valuable the leading service is to the membership, how does the council take a dispassionate view of this?



a)
(i) They don't appear to be.
(ii) I imagine it is to with the fact that the Leaders set up is organised, hierarchical and (with a small p) political. The rest of the organisations isn't. How does a purchaser of insurance become a representative of insurance purchasers? Or likewise a FreshTracks customer? The organisation needs to find an answer to these questions.

b) It can't. And just as importantly, other areas of the organisation have no voice.
snow report
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@pisteoff, Thanks for your interesting comments. I to have an affection for SCGB, having been a member once, and I'd hate to see it disappear. Interesting you agree with my earlier comments that 30 full time staff is a total nonsense, and that you think they should be spending their money on being relevant in the resorts rather then posh offices.

Sadly there will be too many people there who, although they see the writing on the wall, will be thinking "sod it, let's just make the most of this gravy train whilst it's still running".
latest report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
eblunt wrote:
Sadly there will be too many people there who, although they see the writing on the wall, will be thinking "sod it, let's just make the most of this gravy train whilst it's still running".


The trouble (as I alluded to in an earlier post) is that the reserves of gravy have been severely depleted... Sad
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@pisteoff, Thanks again raising the bar re pragmatic recognition of where SCGB is. Unfortunately it seems you can be one of two things, outside and objective* or inside and protective.

* and of course your brief sojourn inside raises problems with bias the other way at least in terms of remaining insiders. Informal peer to peer networks in resorts seem the ideal thing to be seeding and encouraging, ultimately cheap for the club (hence no reason they couldn't be everywhere), valuable for the members. Just don't let it look anything like commercial instruction or guiding.
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Surely with 30 full time staff, in a week they could have a presence at each UK based slope (just over 2 per staff member) to sell membership, support people taking their first steps into snow sports and link in with the club at that particular slope. This is what I would see their role as being, a bit like a district football association (SCGB) with the individual junior clubs being the UK slopes.

If they want it to work they've got to do the graft at the grass roots instead of sitting on top hoping that the cream will always arrive.

https://www.skiclub.co.uk/uk-slopes-map
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As an ex-member and ex-rep, I think it's sadly too late. The day they closed the previously bustling forum to non-members, leading to the birth of Snowheads, dealt a fatal blow, I reckon... People have no reason to visit their website, any more.
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
stephen buck wrote:
As an ex-member and ex-rep, I think it's sadly too late. The day they closed the previously bustling forum to non-members, leading to the birth of Snowheads, dealt a fatal blow, I reckon... People have no reason to visit their website, any more.


Well they would have a reason to visit if the unnecessarily-bloated head office team could be bothered to keep things fresh by updating the news daily/hourly, transferring all the interesting content from magazine to web after a suitable gap, linking to the social media chatter, RSSing in news and content and weather etc from other sites and so much more. The forum may be a dead duck, the site may have flaws technically but it is so clear that nobody at HQ loves it. It's the unloved website of an unloved club. Too few people care about it so I agree with you that it's too late. I have worked in and with many businesses over the years and recovery happens almost never when the graphs are all pointing the wrong way, the board appearing dysfunctional, customers leaving and the staff busier scratching out their CVs and Linkedin profiles than doing their jobs.

The last 'news' item was on the 28th April (the ousting of Pisteoff) and the one before that was a Bolle goggle review on 31st March. Lazy lazy lazy. It's not as if there isn't stuff to talk about! By contrast Davina Goldballs bangs out a witty and often interesting ski-related news story just about every day on Facebook and it can't be more than a hobby.

On 'the other forum' Gerry describes this place as:
Quote:
snowHeads is not a democratic club but more of a personality cult (self described) full of cliques (a fact admitted by many there). He could put his own house in order by re-forming as a not for profit club. It's not v2.0 at all because it's not better.


Interesting view. Might be better, as a Director, to take note.

Stop the rot now because the end is inevitable. Close it up. Give the residue to The Uphill Ski Club or similar. Every dog has its day.
snow conditions
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
And if the loss of Leaders wasn't a bit of nail in the coffin they're now telling the reps that they're going to have to pay for their ski passes, accommodation etc. SCGB seems to have gone into self destruct mode.
ski holidays
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
esaw1 wrote:
And if the loss of Leaders wasn't a bit of nail in the coffin they're now telling the reps that they're going to have to pay for their ski passes, accommodation etc. SCGB seems to have gone into self destruct mode.


But isn't that the point - a true club wouldn't need to bribe some members to hang out with other members - there would be mutuality of interests.
latest report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Dave of the Marmottes, Can't argue with that.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Pruman wrote:
On 'the other forum' Gerry describes this place as:
Quote:
snowHeads is not a democratic club but more of a personality cult (self described) full of cliques (a fact admitted by many there). He could put his own house in order by re-forming as a not for profit club. It's not v2.0 at all because it's not better.


Interesting view.

It's actually quite hilarious tbh.

As they say..."jealousy will get you nowhere"

Pruman wrote:
Stop the rot now because the end is inevitable. Close it up. Give the residue to The Uphill Ski Club or similar. Every dog has its day.

I don't think it will fold. Eventually someone will figure it out. I couild be dead by then mind.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:
...As they say..."jealousy will get you nowhere" ...


As any politician will tell you, it could definitely get you elected. Politics of resentment works well, especially at the local level, to mobilise the plebs.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
esaw1 wrote:
And if the loss of Leaders wasn't a bit of nail in the coffin they're now telling the reps that they're going to have to pay for their ski passes, accommodation etc. SCGB seems to have gone into self destruct mode.


Presumably unless the Leader's gig is as a rep on a Freshtracks Holiday?

The SCGB will soon end up as nothing more or less than an up-market holiday company
ski holidays
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
On the rocks wrote:


The SCGB will soon end up as nothing more or less than an up-market holiday company


There are a lot of similarities between snowheads and the SCGB

Both are principally a package holiday business.

One oriented to a so called "upmarket crowd" with poor social meejah penetration but with pretensions of grandeur. You may get to have a drink in the bar with one of the inner circle.
The other more multiactivity but downhill skiing oriented and definitely not upmarket even if many of the acolytes are well heeled. It has the UK's most popular ski forum attached to generate some buzz. You will definitely have to drink in the bar with the inner circle.

One has over 30 staff.
The other has 1 full time staff member and a few folks who help out.

Both have an aging demographic that may prove problematic long term but then in the long term, we're all dead anyway.
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I enjoy the Freshtracks holidays In my experience the grading system is a good indicator of the sort of skiing and terrain to be enjoyed.socially with a couple of exceptionally weird people the majority have been good company I keep a close eye on the SnowHeads trips but so far have not managed to fit any in,I am sure they will be just as much fun
I dislike some aspects of Freshtracks which look like a throwback to olden days like the unwritten rule to buy lunch for guides and not clear why a rep is needed who ski with each group
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