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Pint

Bad volunteers are like a cancer, says UK Scout Association director

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Heres something thats doing the rounds in the UK..

Taken from here http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/Finance/article/1132691/bad-volunteers-cancer-says-scout-association-director/ ( full article )

 

Bad volunteers are like a "cancer in your organisation", according to Stephen Peck, operations director at the Scout Association.

 

 

"The biggest risk to your organisation is that youve had someone there for 30 years and theyre a pain," he said. "They annoy others or theyre rude to customers in your shop.

 

"Weve all come across volunteers who are blockers. You get rid of them and lots of other people immediately offer to help. Those people are like a cancer in your organisation."

(This message has been edited by pint)(This message has been edited by pint)

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I completely agree with Mr. Peck.

 

Nothing like a bunch of self-entitled bores that think that their scout unit/district/council OR church/civic organization is their own private self-admiration society..."New People Will Not Accepted As Peers"....

 

A quick path to obscurity.

 

I think alot of people would like to be involved in scouting...but they don't want to be associated with the public perception of a scout leader. Or they tried to join and found themselves treated like second class citizens by The Old and Very Best Scouters.

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I agree with the article too. Too often I've seen Scouters that stay for one reason or another, sometimes because they tell themselves that no one else wants to do the job or that they are the only ones capable of doing it. Then after a while their superiority complex starts to breed resentment and pessimism toward other volunteers and participants. I also see times when volunteers do not receive enough training, reinforcement of training, and then begin to free lance. Without supervision and peer pressure they continue to free lance, sometimes resulting in negative events.

 

So yeah everyone should have term limits, and everyone should receive on going training. I really think CM, SM, and Committee Chairs should be required to take at least 4 hours of focused annual training at the district level. ASM, DL, and Committee Members should be required to take at least 2 hours at the unit or district level.

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In my council, the problem isn't the volunteer scouters. It's the way the volunteer scouters are treated by at least one of the council staffers. Honestly, in my dealings with him as a volunteer, if I weren't a true believer, I'd tell BSA to take a hike. This man is abrupt and rude, and if he treats "lay parents" the way he treats volunteer scouters, no wonder we lose a lot of scouts.. (and, yes, I have addressed this to the council in a recent survey).District staffers are ok.

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I'll just comment that this isn't just a problem in Scouting. Its probably an issue in every organization that deals with youth.... sports, school music programs, PTA's/PTO's/PTSO's and the like.

 

Most sports organizations have it. It usually involves someone with an agenda to push. Once that person gets to the top of the heap, look out...mass changes are coming. He or she will use the position and organization to influence or peddle himself/herself to the next level up the chain.

 

When they finally do jump ship, you are left with a lot of damage control and rebuilding.

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I agree with the quote as well, or at least the general spirit of it.

 

The only thing I'd add is that bad staffers can have the same effect.

 

Now, I don't think that a lot of these people have any ill intentions. They do support the cause. And they don't necessarily need to be cut out entirely the way a cancer might be - there are often ways to re-assign them.

 

And there are others who aren't exactly rude, but aren't welcoming either. They continue in their role doing things the way they've always done them, and things gradually go downhill due to an absence of new blood, new energy, new enthusiasm. I do think this would happen fairly dramatically with Wood Badge, if it weren't for the requirement of bringing in new staff every year.

 

But even if this is a fact, and it's sometimes easy to identify the troublesome individuals, is there a way this should be handled systematically? Should every position automatically time out, so that people can't stay on indefinitely and become blockers?

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Will I will agree to a great extent of his issue with 'bad volunteers', I would also say there are also 'bad professionals' as well.

 

Further, one needs to be careful in determining who is the 'bad volunteer'. He spoke of: "Weve all come across volunteers who are blockers." Oftentimes other good volunteers find they need to push back against these 'blockers' (whether volunteer or paid), and often times THEY get labeled as being 'bad volunteers' when they aren't.

 

 

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Yah, hmmm....

 

I reckon the tone of the author is a bit too harsh.

 

I think da risk of negatively-engaged staff is a risk for every organization, eh? They can do a lot of harm. Mostly, they need to be shifted to an area where they can better use their current talents to re-engage positively.

 

I think most organizations consist of a majority of passively engaged folks who are mostly drag, or at best low-grade help. This is the set that keeps some of da negatively-engaged folks around, because they perceive (correctly) they can't hand things off to these folks.

 

Da question I think matters the most is how many positively engaged folks yeh have, eh? These are the people that drive things, and they're really the ones yeh need to focus on and encourage.

 

Beavah

 

 

 

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I will probably be ridiculed for saying this, but why do people have to say that things that are "bad", such as those that make the Scouting experience less valuable for some, are "like cancer"? To me, something that's like cancer is something that actually kills a person, slowly and cruelly. (Sorry for the twinge of emotion here, but this hits a little close to home.) Something that wastes money, time, denies or delays opportunities, and things of that short, can be analogized to other non-deadly things, but I don't think they should be analogized to "cancer." If a bad volunteer spoiled your Scouting experience, that's a bad thing, and it should be prevented and/or repaired, but you're still alive and your loved ones still have you around. So I'm not trying to minimize issues like this, just suggesting it would be better to leave "cancer" out of it.

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I think cancer is a legitimate and actually rather accurate analogy.

 

And I say this as a cancer survivor.

 

Thing is, cancer is usually a slow process. It doesn't knock on your door announce itself and start working full blast in the middle of the spotlight.

 

It sneaks in, does it's thing all nice and quietly and in the shadows. It takes it's slow sweet time. Nothing fast and nothing that stands out.

 

Usually, by the time you discover it, it has sunk it's tendrils deep into whatever it had it's eyes on.

 

You can beat it, but sometimes at a great loss and after losing alot of what you had.

 

How many units lose great scouts, great parents, great volunteers, great leaders and committee?

 

Did it just suddenly happen over night or was it a process that - at first- you didn't even know it was happening. A vote here or there, a disagreement there. somebody deciding to do something else instead. Maybe somebody just "slightly" changed the way something was done.

 

Whatever it was that was the start...nobody noticed it. Nobody saw anything that caused alarm.

 

Nah....it wasn't until a bunch of small tings together were causing problems and people were dropping out, things weren't getting done, the unit was the opposite of what it should have been. In fighting and cliques. Disagreements that went deeper than just disagreeing. It is often barely noticable at first, but as time goes by, the unit will die a slow, agonozing death. It is not pretty, it is not painless.

 

Yeah, just like cancer, by the time you notice it, the damage is wide spread and alot of times, irrepairable.

 

If you are lucky ( like me) you recover and do better than before - at least from your own viewpoint.

 

 

 

In case you were wondering: I was diagnosed with Melanoma ; Stage III-B on Nov 12, 2009 after having a lymph node the size of two chicken eggs removed from my neck. Lymph nodes are supposed to be about half the size of a garden pea.

 

This was the result of my immune system finding and attacking skin cancer somewhere on my body, dragging it to my immune systemn and killing all but maybe one or two cells. The Drs still have no idea where the original site was. My immune system attcked that early.

 

I had two surgeries: Nov 9th and Dec 15 2009 Lost my Sternocledomastoid Muscle, 19 lymph nodes and part of my right side spinal accessory nerve.

 

I was told that I had a 3 to 5 % chance or survival and that given the choice, I should want brain, lung, colon, or prostate cancer sinmce they are readily treatable.

 

Melanoma on teh other hand, does NOT respond to chemo or radiation. There is no regular/ standard interferon treatment that works for people. You can try it, but wether it works or not is a total crapshoot and the odds are heavily against you.

 

Me, all I can say is that God had his eye on me and other plans as the drs cannot find a single trace of the cancer in my body.

 

Nope! Not cured. I will never be cured, just in remission . If I live to be 100 years old, and die without the cancer ever coming back, you could say I was cured, but technically, I was just still in remission.

 

 

So, I only said that to give a background on why cancer ( in my opinion) is indeed an accurate analogy .

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Standing UP raises hand proudly

 

 

I am a bad volunteer and horrible person.....Just ask the DE and District. I don't see the bigger picture and will not blindly follow or believe what any professional scouter says...

 

I speak my mind when it come to nonsense I see and read.......

 

I have volunteered and been told by the ruling junta.

 

So I no longer try......I stay at my home units Troop has Tripled in size, Pack has Quadrupled in size and we started a crew.....

 

Bad Egg, Cancer and general pain in the ass....

 

Ya probably, Ya know I don't really care what they think...... I enjoy giving boys who society forgot a chance to be boys withing scouting.

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Nah Basement,

 

I think he is also pointing out your district/ council professionals - even if he didn't know it:

 

"Peck, whose organisation has 120,000 volunteers, told delegates at the Charity Finance Group conference in London yesterday that problems most often arose when volunteers did not receive the level of management required."

 

"Peck said another major problem was when volunteers fell out. "When that happens, its often because they arent getting enough management support," he said."

 

You are different because you kept at it instead of giving up....... Your professional staff is the cancer.

 

You are just hardheaded! :)

 

(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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same situation as basement, other than the fact im not with a pack.

 

the real problem are the pro's at national. they are the ones who have been putting their own interests as well as a few influential groups above the scouts themselves failing to maintain the program BP created for the world.

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Scoutfish,

I'm glad you're doing well and I hope and pray you continue doing so.

You are a voice of reason and civility.

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Naw fish....

 

 

Just to stupid and idealistic to quit....

 

 

Every boy deserves a chance to be a scout.....I believe that beyond anything else I know. Some take to it others do not.

 

Years ago I thought that the pro's and district folks believed that too....

 

Now I know better......

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