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  • Running Crew Troubles

    Maybe someone can help me on this forum. I posted the question to Yahoo Answers, but I think this site would be better suited:
    I am in the process of starting up a "semi-discontinued" Venture Crew.
    Currently there are 17 members- all of which are from my troop. (Really only 4 or 5 are truly active) We have a President, Vice President, Secretary, and I am the treasurer. Due to the lack of leadership quality, I have generally assumed the responsibility of all of the positions. I manage the website/ Facebook page, I run the meetings, and I communicate information with the crew. We have a very good crew advisor (our troop's scoutmaster), but I have felt extremely reliant on him and I want to show that the "boys" can take control, even if the help is coming from the general public. Our crew runs a little different than most. For each activity, one or two crew members take the lead and plan and coordinate the activity. That way, the crew members get a better understanding of what it really means to plan an activity. We decided as a crew that we would not worry about uniforms and advancements, but that may change.


    Sorry for the long introduction... Here is the problem: as I said above, really only 4 or 5 crew members are active, which makes it extremely difficult to make crew decisions and vote on minutes and activities. I have tried numerous ways to get the crew more involved: I tried making a survey to see why people weren't showing up to meetings. The only people who filled it out were the active members. I call and email and send Facebook messages regularly. I asked the crew members what they would be interested in doing so that they would be more inclined to participate. We have really only had one activity since December. I planned a bowling day and all of the crew members showed up. That was our first event and from there it went downhill. Our rock climbing trip never happened because our crew leader waited until the week before (we meet every other week) to tell me that he wasn't ready. Our XC ski trip only had 3 crew members attend, Our "Wonderworks" trip was postponed and never rescheduled. Our biking trip turned into a non-crew activity because there were only 2 crew members and one adult. My problem is that I'm not sure how I can gain "control". I have been in scouts for 7 years so I have heard all of the methods to leading, but, as far as I know, I've done everything I can on my side and I'm not getting anything in return. I am leaving for college at the end of this Sept-Aug year so I want to get everything ready for next year before I leave. "There is no success without a successor." I send messages out and ask questions, but I never get responses. So far I have receive 1 letter of intent for 1 of the 5 leadership positions and that has me concerned. I usually can handle stress, but there is only so much I can do before the fall and I know it won't be enough. If things continue where they have been going, we will be right back where we started: a crew that meets every couple of years and recharters every 5 or 6 years.

    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to support my struggle!
    Last edited by acwgxc; 05-02-2013, 03:28 PM.

  • #2
    Wow. It's like my crew has an evil twin!
    There's a lot here, but I want to suggest two things.
    1. Do your job maybe a little bit more, but lean on other folks to do theirs. If the books are balanced because you've fulfilled your treasurer role, take responsibility for your pet activity and be the chairperson for that. Your one guy, get him trained and make sure your supporting whatever activity he wants to do. An attractive crew is one where a handful of guys actually take care of one another.
    2. God bless your SM for wearing a second big hat, but a different adult leader in that position stands a better chance of helping your crew grow. I advise and another adult SM's, and both of our lives are better for it. Is there a mom (maybe even a den mom who thought she was going to retire) who can help you bring a few young women into the mix?

    There's plenty more to say, but as complex as your problem is, I wanted to pick two things that you could try in the next month or so.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow. It's like my crew has an evil twin!
      There's a lot here, but I want to suggest two things.
      1. Do your job maybe a little bit more, but lean on other folks to do theirs. If the books are balanced because you've fulfilled your treasurer role, take responsibility for your pet activity and be the chairperson for that. Your one guy, get him trained and make sure your supporting whatever activity he wants to do. An attractive crew is one where a handful of guys actually take care of one another.
      2. God bless your SM for wearing a second big hat, but a different adult leader in that position stands a better chance of helping your crew grow. I advise and another adult SM's, and both of our lives are better for it. Is there a mom (maybe even a den mom who thought she was going to retire) who can help you bring a few young women into the mix?

      There's plenty more to say, but as complex as your problem is, I wanted to pick two things that you could try in the next month or so.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, as it stands right now, our crew has no finances. I was talking to the other youth leaders and unfortunately I think we might just get rid of the crew. The members seem interested in being part of a crew, but not really interested in doing the activities and participating. I think they are more concerned with the title of crew member than actually participating. We have our elections in two weeks and so far only one member wants to run for one of the positions. We tried it out for about a year and it didn't really work out. Maybe in a couple years (assuming we end now) the crew will be revisited. I think I'll address the crew and see if they'll respond with any opinions.
        Thank you!

        Comment


        • #5
          IMHO (and keep in mind I've only been and advisor for 7 years and have watched about 8 crews very closely, others have more experience). The challenge of Venturing: vision. How do you boys see yourselves? As a venture patrol of the troop? A leadership team? A youth group? An outdoor club? A chance to "catch up" for your friends who missed out out scouting?

          Sometimes when you go down at list you realize: "hey, we could just do all those activities as older guys in the troop". Sounds like that's where you're at now.

          Sometimes you say "what about pistols? Go karts? Our girlfriends and sisters?" Then you press on. Now, not every event has to attract more than five people, and not every position has to be filled. (Let's face it, you're a treasurer with nothing to treasure!). If there's just two of you leading, plan two activities this year. Wait for someone who's taken a back seat to say "I wish we would do X". Then you reply "hey a position just opened up for activity chair of X!"

          Is it dysfunctional? A little. But, it's amazing how when you shut the doors, someone will ask "what's the crew doing next?"

          Comment


          • #6
            That's a pretty good idea. I think I'll talk with the other leaders and see what they think. All of our leaders are seniors so we'll be leaving at the end of this year. I have worked with the two guys for quite some time now so I'm pretty sure that they would be willing to take the extra step to work something out. Thank you!

            Comment


            • #7
              Moderator Note: A spam post at this location was removed from this thread by me. If anyone has anything to say about it, I'm your guy.

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