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" I don't know and I'm starting not to care"

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With Her That Must Be Obeyed being sick and me doing my Florance Nightingale impersonation, just doing what I can do for the Ship is about as much as I can do. She doesn't like to be left home alone, so I don't get out that much.

Where as I used to be a frequent visitor to our Council Service Center, stopping in almost every week. I haven't visited since June.

Our District doesn't have a "Real" Venturing presence and we are the only Ship in the Council, so to be honest even if getting away wasn't such a chore, I kinda think attending R/T meetings wouldn't be high on my "Must Do List."

Nearly all of my Scouting pals are busy doing what they do and don't have time to look in and shoot the breeze. I understand that, at times I don't like it but I do understand. What time I now have is spent doing stuff with the Ship and they are not into Sea Scouting.

From what I do hear, which is Scuttlebutt, things in the District are not going that well.

However the truth is that I really don't have the numbers, I have no desire to even look at the numbers (Other than the Ship's numbers) and I'm almost happy to let "Them" get on with it.

We have a new Scout Executive, I know of him from the Area Meetings, but I don't know him and have not met him. Meeting him is not something that I see as being of any importance.

Still every now and then I receive phone calls.

Today it was a call from a Cubmaster, he was upset that the District Dinner had been canceled. He was upset as he thought that the person that him and the people from the Pack had nominated for the District Award of Merit, wasn't going to receive the award. I explained that I had nothing to do with the dinner or the award. I wasn't planning on attending the dinner, and had heard that it was canceled due to not enough people signing up to attend. He said that the Lady in the Office had told him to call me and was fairly insistent that I knew more than I was telling!!

Last week it was a call from the local Lutheran Church Preacher. A super nice fellow, he was upset that the Pack which the church had chartered was no longer operating.

I knew they were going through a rough patch, but didn't know how rough. It seems that the Pack folded and no one took the time to talk with him!! All I could say was how sad I was, but the truth of the matter is that I didn't know and this wasn't my job. I was doing a lot of ducking and diving so as not to point fingers, because the fact is that I really didn't know.

Someone called and asked I was going to the Council Annual Meeting in January to ask about the Council finances? I said I wasn't planning on it and I had no real idea what shape the finances are in.

A Scoutmaster called me to complain that Summer Camp had been cut back from seven weeks to six weeks, of course the week cut was the week he had planned on going. Again I knew of the cut, but I didn't have the facts.

I spent over ten years as a District and Council Scouter, I like to think that I gave it my best.

But now I'm happy doing what I'm doing. The people who are now doing what I used to do are welcome to the job.

Sure I'm not happy with the stuff I'm hearing.

But I really don't know, I don't have the time to do anything about it, I'm not going to do anything about it and what's worse is that I'm starting not to care.

I'll do my bit doing my best for the Scouts in the Ship and if that sounds Un-Scout like? I'm sorry, it's about all I can do.



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I'm with you, Eamonn. I just resigned my District Committee position after getting a glimpse of how the pros view volunteers via an e-mail I probably wasn't supposed to see. It's clear that they think THEY are in charge and we volunteers are just there to do their bidding so they can "meet the numbers". I'm relieved not to have extra meetings to go to, and am focusing on "my" unit, which I formed 15 years ago. Our CO is in name only...they only provide a place to meet (a portable classroom), which is in such poor repair, we often share the space with rats and rabid mosquitoes. The heat and A/C quit working about two years ago. Our feeder pack went under (which I also formed), and we've received no new Webs the past two years. (there are about 10 other troops within a 5 mile radius, only one of which has more than 20 active scouts). After the current crop either ages out or makes Eagle, the troop will probably fold, since I don't have the energy to hold it up any more. None of the current parents are interested...they will provide transportation, but that's about it. I enjoyed sitting on EBORs, but not being a "silver looper" any more, probably won't get asked again. I was hoping to be around for the 2010 festivities, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards.

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Eamonn I'm sorry to hear you are going through a rough time. And one of the things I see and do NOT like about scouting is that we tend to burn out our best volunteers by asking too much, for too long. It is time for someone else to step up to the plate in your district and council right now and you should not feel guilty about stepping back, focusing on the essentials, and letting someone else handle the rest (however well, or poorly, they may do it). If the phone calls are getting to be a pain, maybe send a nice email to your DE and the woman in the council office who is telling people to call you, thanking them for thinking so highly of you but asking them to re-route people with concerns/complaints to more appropriate sources of information. Unless they're total dolts they ought to "get it" that you're out of the loop and wish to remain that way for now. If they don't start getting it and you're feeling a little malicious I suppose you could start giving out their home phone #s to people who continue to call you.





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At the risk of sounding conceited or big headed.

At times it seems to me, very much like:

"We, the unwilling,led by the unknowing,are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much,for so long,with so little,we are now qualified to do anything with nothing."

Mother Teresa


My term as District Chairman ended a year ago, when it ended so did my seat on the Council Executive Board.

The Council was facing / is facing some hard choices as what to do about the Council Finances. The choices should have been made a year ago, but no one was willing to make them.

Sadly the District Key 3 just don't seem to have their act together and seem only to be going through the motions.

Membership is noticeably down.

Units are closing.

Esprit de corps is at an all time low.

Of course I'm unhappy to see this happen.

At times I do think "What the heck are they doing?"

When people call or stop me, I try to be as loyal as I can be. I don't want to bad mouth anyone. I feel bad for the people that call. While I can offer an ear for them to chew on, there is nothing else I can do.

I also find myself beating up on myself for not being able to do more to help them.

Part of it is that I really don't have the time and part of it is that I don't want to come across as being a pain in the neck.

Maybe I am "now qualified to do anything with nothing." But I just don't seem to have it in me to do anything?



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There's absolutely no reason for you to be sorry about the way you feel. We all have the jobs that we've volunteered for, and there's no need to worry about saying, good-naturedly, "I'm not involved in those decisions. You should really talk to Sergio Flavinhaus if you want more detail."


I've moved on from various volunteer positions, and I don't mind redirecting the occasional question. I figure it just means I was viewed as a valuable resource, and I'm sure the same is even more true in your case.


I'm sure things can be depressing at times, but there's no reason to let the district get you down. Just do your best for the ship.


Oak Tree

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I love that quote! And isn't it a good description of what dedicated volunteers in practically every type of organization must feel.


Hey Eamonn, that's one of the great things about this forum, right? Collectively, we're always here (well somebody is anyway) and you can just stop by the fire when you're interested in talking about scouting. No obligations. As for real life, I'm with Oak Tree. Just because you're not so involved at the district and council level doesn't mean you stop caring - of course you do, or you wouldn't have been so involved to begin with. But don't feel guilty. Just do what you can and want to do, for your family (first) and the ship. From all you've posted, it sounds like you're having plenty of impact right there.

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Time to take care of business/

there will be others following in your tracks and those who cannot or will not think beyond their own agendas will reap what they sow.


a scout is helpful especially when summoned BHTMBO :))





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I feel the same. We moved to a new area a few years ago, and as it is terribly rural, we decided to try to be more involved in the Council stuff mainly just to "stay in the loop" so to speak. The CE at the time was only interested in numbers and money. Boys came somewhere further down. This angered me so much that I quit doing council level stuff. Then, this CE left and we have a new one. He's not AS BAD, but I fear that bottom line is still numbers/money. I've had to ask for assistance in a couple of areas lately, and while he seems an ok fella, his first questions haven't been the boys, their successes, or whatever, but how many new recruits we had and how much popcorn we sold (which is a sore spot with me anyhow). I haven't cared on that level for several years, and it no longer bothers me. I have decided that it takes that disinterested attitude for me to be able to entirely focus on my scouts. Otherwise, I get sucked into that "other realm" where I divide my thoughts too much. I think there are just those that can do both and those that can't. Eventually, I feel those that can divide their time get tired of the hipocracy and do exactly what you did. However, is it any different than any other big business? Most big businesses believe the bottom line is the checkbook and numbers, too, so should we be shocked? I'm sure the jury is still out on this area, but I know you are not alone in your withdrawl from the fray. Many of us did the same.

Good luck with it and just enjoy the ship. That's what the "hokey pokey" is really all about anyway.

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