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When Scouters are too serious

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  • #16
    I'm just glad that I never let it get out of hand!

    " when do you consider someone being a bit too... intense in Scouting?"
    That's easy.
    You know when the wife and kid moves and don't leave a forwarding address and you have no idea where they went.
    Unless you live in a mobile home and they took the house with them.



    • #17
      Sometimes the wife has a court courier helping keep you in line.


      • #18
        I enjoy Scouting, but I also balance time with my family. I don't do everything, don't try to, and I delegate what I'm not supposed to be doing as a Cubmaster. If the delegated person does not do it, then it does not happen. Leadership is to be shared with others and not taken up by one "control freak" leader. I seriously DO NOT admire those that do their positions "full time" at the expense of family - That's stupid and foolish.

        Paperwork? The only administrative stuff I enjoy in Scouting is advancement records. The other stuff I simply tolerate.


        • #19
          I found myself in the stereotypical burn out place a couple of years ago. The people you need to watch are those like me. I had no history in Scouting personally until I went to sign my kid up for Tigers and came home with a New Leader Kit. At the beginning, it is all so much fun "I wish I had done this sooner!"

          Next thing you know, you keep saying yes to everything because "It's just so much fun and a worthwhile thing to do". I started my Scouter career thinking those that stood at RT intros and read the 13 positions they had as role models. These are the same people that told me "Sure, you can be Den Leader and Cubmaster".

          All that is to say I am still working my way back into my wife liking the idea of Scouting again. After stepping way back and letting the fire re-ignite helped me, but the over-volunteering I did may have irreparably affected my lovely wife's attitude towards the program.


          • #20
            Thanks for all the replies. I asked only because I think we have one or two of these excessively passionate individuals in our unit. Don't get me wrong. They're of great use and all. The problem is that they tend to work really hard on something, only for it to never be used. When leadership indicates they might not use the thing these people worked so hard on, they feel unappreciated. All of this causes unneeded stress. It's not like the leadership ASKED them to do the work in the first place.

            Actually, I feel like these people might lurk on the forums. And I am under no illusion that they will recognise my name. If that's the case, then please take these words with consideration. I speak from experience and I used to be more enthusiastic than the kids I'm supposed to serve. I stopped once I saw the outcome of my intensity.


            • #21
              lrsap, I was lucky, my wife is just as crazy. She went to Woodbadge with me and took on her own den.


              • #22
                Yep, those darn, hardworking, dedicated volunteers!

                I don't know about you all, but I will take a volunteer with a good head of steam any day! Anyone dedicated to BSA and the youth is alright in my book. Yes, sir! If I had one that was a mite "enthusiastic" with it, I think I will reserve my public comment to "thank you!"

                One thing I have learned all these years: never criticize someone who is willing to give it their best effort. Just be glad they showed up.

                Merry Christmas, everyone!


                • #23
                  This topic mirrors my Scouting Divorces thread. I've only been involved in scouts for 4 or so years but I see MANY people that have made scouting their lives. One guy in particular has not only gotten divorced because of it he has lost his kids too. True story!


                  • #24
                    The flip side is if your are a Scoutmaster or other similar leadership position - folks look to you to "get it right." When you are dealing with peoples kids, the parents usually don't cut you to much slack. Forget that they put in a total of about 15 minutes into scouting each year, if you don't get everything 100% "correct" - look out!

                    Yes it is a balance, but if an adult does agree to be a SA, DL or such, they should do a quality job and make sure they learn the fine art of delegation!


                    • #25
                      It is a question of balance, and that balance is different for every one of us. Never sacrifice the important interests of the your own kids for other people's kids. Take time with your spouse to do something together, just the two of you. Ask your spouse directly about his/her view of your scouting involvement and work it out. I know some highly effective scouters whom I feel are over committed. I don't know their spouses but I can't imagine their level of commitment to scouting going on forever without consequences.(This message has been edited by eisely)


                      • #26
                        I know a couple of Scouters that seem to be at all things all the time. As far as I know, they are still married.

                        I enjoy enthusiastic leaders, but we all need to take inventory of our time. Re-balance and re-focus on the things that are most important. You know, it's okay not to attend that "event" again this year. I have a daughter that has no interest in the things of scouting, whether GSUSA, AHG, or Venturing. She has other fine interests and I better stay in her world and take interest in things she is doing.

                        I would enjoy Scouting more if it were not for the administrative burdens and paperwork put on us. Yes, I do delegate these things but the frequent interruptions of "turn this in and turn that in" get old.


                        • #27
                          I work in a job where we build teams a lot to accomplish task. Ive become pretty good at building and managing productive teams, but it wasn't without a lot of maturing on my part. I learned over the years that we are who we are and that instead of trying to change a person, it is a lot easier to just place that person where their skills have the most impact and their baggage has the least.

                          That doesnt mean those who have the been there done that shirt shouldnt pass along hard earn wisdom like skipping a campout or two and take the wife out to dinner. But sometimes its best to just let folks keep themselves busy their way.

                          I admit that busybodies can sometimes make our job more difficult. We get programmerswho come in and write computer programs to do this or that for the troop. Great program until the next adult has to takeover the responsibility and use it. I learned over the years to restrict these noble task to within the limits of scouts testing the system. If the scouts likes it, go with it, but if he scratches his head, scrap it. Scouts are lazy by nature and like simplicity to the Nth degree.



                          • #28
                            There are wives (and husbands) who get upset if their spouse spends too much time away from the home. There are wives (and husbands) who relish the idea of their spouse spending more time outside of the home.

                            Some marriages collapse when one partner spends to much time at the office or on travel. Other marriages collapse when the now retired spouse spends way too much time hovering around the other spouse who was used to their "space."

                            Bottom line, do what works best for your case.


                            • #29
                              Yeah balance.

                              I resisted that message to my peril. Not pretty. Now I do not say "yes" to every Scouting demand. Funny that most of the stuff was (eventually) picked up.


                              • #30
                                "Anyway, when do you consider someone being a bit too... intense in Scouting?"

                                My barometer has always been if and when it stops being about the boys, then the scouter is being too intense in scouting.

                                This really moves it to an examination of motivation for me. Woodbadge can be great or it can be crap... it really depends on the reasons WHY someone takes it. Are they motivated because it will help them deliver a better program for the youth? If so, then fine. If the motivation is to punch a ticket and get their wobble "bling" so they can "outrank" some other adult at the round table, well... then I'd probably say their a bit too intense.

                                I'm all for safety and having paperwork in order... but when that becomes the focus over and above the youth learning some new scout skills and having a good time... well then its probably too intense.

                                Its a balancing act that even the best scouter needs to walk. I got approached by a mom at our last troop meeting (as the boys were meal planning for the up coming campout). Mom was concerned about the menu her son's patrol had come up with. Not much of a challenge, but all the meals still had to be cooked. She didn't like the fact they had planned instant oatmeal for two breakfasts in a row. I called the SPL over and asked him if he had approved (or at least looked at) this patrol's meal plan. SPL replies to me (in front of the mom), "Well, yeah, its kinda weak, but its better than the two breakfasts of pop-tarts they had down originally..." I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders at the mom... Oh the joys of a boy-led program, eh?

                                I chalk micro managing a patrol menu up as too intense, mom sees at as being a concerned parent. SPL had already found the happy medium before the issue was even brought to my attention.