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Eamonn

The Council / District Calendar.

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It's that time again. Time for me to go over the calendar for 2004.

The professional staff, have already done their bit, they went away for almost a week, for a planning conference. So the draft of the calendar is done. My part is to add anything that they might have missed, and more dates that our district may want.

Here lies the problem, we don't want to add any, in fact we would like to see the entire calendar, gone over with a fine tooth comb, with the idea of removing as much as possible. There is just too many dates and too much stuff !!

Lets say there is a troop, that holds a scouting activity every month. That is 12 weekends or part of the weekend gone. Add 3 district camporees. 15 gone. Add 4 Order of the Arrow weekends. 19 gone. Scouting for food and Scout Sunday. 21 gone. A district dinner (normaly for the leaders only.) 22 gone. Summer camp. 24 gone.

Take out the holidays, add committee meetings, roundtable meetings, and hope that this poor leader is only wearing one hat, if not add a lot more meetings. You might want to add some time for training, add some more for planning.

How the heck do we get stuff removed from the calendar?

Please don't get me wrong, I love Scouting, but when we get so many dates, people don't come, and we wonder why !! The people who organize the events feel bad.

It has got to the stage where we dare not try anything new, if we do and it works, it will be stuck on the calendar for ever.

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Why would a troop have a separate weekend campout the same month as a district camporee or summer camp?

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Eamonn:

 

Do you want to come to my council? I'd be thrilled to have you!

 

I've worked with the council calendar for years and it seems like people want to fill every available weekend with a district or council activity. I disagree with them, but end up losing quite frequently.

 

The best Scouting occurs at the unit level (at least that's my belief.) Council and district activities are good supplements to unit activities, but if there's too many of them they run the risk of substituting unit program.

 

I think you'll find that your professional staff is supportive if you voice your opinion during the calendar process. Have good reasons why activities shouldn't be held and make them known. I think it's a very valid point that there aren't enough weekends for units to have their own activities without blowing off a council/district activity. Your professional staff will probably support you for the right reasons as well as the fact that they might get a weekend off.

 

DS

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This gets to the heart of a quality program. There are so many things we can do, having the courage to tell people that their special interest isn't going to continue is a tough job.

 

I would love to have you in my Council as well!

 

Some logic to help you:

 

We are here to assist unit program, not to replace it.

 

So many programs are spreading volunteer support too thin. We must decide what is important to us and make those programs of the highest quality possible.

 

RMV

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OK,maybe a unit might not want to hold an activity, the same month as the district is holding a camporee.

But, lets us for a minute think that this is a well ran unit,that is working a planned program following a theme, and the district camporee is not along the same theme ? Also please note That I was very careful, to say that it was a unit activity, which might not entail camping.

But to tell the truth, I was being a bit over the top, in order to make my point.

In another Thread, Bob White gave a really good listing of what makes a great scout troop. In his listing he had (I don't have it, at the moment) That a great troop participates in District and Council Activities. He also made a very sound argument,as to why.

I really do think that, both the district and council would do a better job of serving the needs of the units, if there were less Council and District activities.

By the way, Her who must be obeyed,is very happy here, where we are at. So far we have done more then our fair share of moving. and she would not be a happy camper, if we folded the tents yet again.

I'm blessed with the one of the best professional staffs, we may not always see eye to eye, but at the end of the day, we know why we are doing what we do. It is for all the youth, the ones that are in the program, but just as much for the youth that we have to bring into the program. To this end we all work as a team and try to have as much fun as possible. This way of getting the job done has along the way helped us to become really good friends. At this time I don't see any of our professional staff going anywhere in the near future, but I will let you both know, if any opening should crop up.

But thanks for the offer.

Come to think of it there are one or two units that might be willing to pay my way, to move !!

 

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If you have activities that aren't working the committees in charge should be able to help. The District events should be set by the District Committee. These volunteers should be able to remove any they feel are in excess or have little following. The training committee should be able to remove or consolidate any they feel are not needed. Our Troops usually plan around the Council calendar, which comes out in August. It's great to meet the other Troops at these activities.

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Camporees are a great way for the Scouts to find out how they are doing with their skills compared to the rest of their district.

 

We don't attend all district events. And sometimes we do go camping the same weekend a district event is scheduled. It's up to each unit.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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