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KenDavis500

The Point at which you hand in your PatchH

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I am it when it comes to the scouting program for our troop.

 

Both of my potential ASM's were declined membership. reasons unknown.....but they still attend as parents and they have not done anything in my presence that worrys me. Some times you just can't escape your past.

 

No prospects for a new scoutmaster even in the cub pack. So I am IT for the forseeable future, at least 5 years.

 

the youth I serve, most are from single mom households or are being raised by their grandparents. I have posted over and over again asking where the 30 something men have gone? Why aren't they active with their sons?

 

I am just shy of 50 with bad knees and wonder how many more backpacking trips are in my future, when I can't do it any more who will take the troop? I am wondering when I will get to the point where sleeping on the ground isn't possible with out significant pain.

 

 

I have often asked myself,

If nobody cares about our Troops scouting program, maybe it is time for it to go away?

Would anyone actually miss it? or even notice?

 

I don't know.

 

After the on going drama and name calling from parents over the last week, it just might be time. I am tired to my bones, hopefully the couple of week break over christmas will get me going again or at least help me forget.

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Thank you, Base, for being a Scoutmaster even when some folks treat you poorly. (I'm guessing you don't have a unit commissioner to help you.)

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I leave Scouting positions when they are no longer rewarding for me. I've left many Scouting positions over the past 1/3 century.

 

In recent years I've left all my district positions, which included Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, District Membership Chair and Unite Commissioner. I left those positions in favor of being Chartered Organization Rep with a goal of getting new District leadership --- and I've played a role in getting a highly effective new District Commissioner and the recently appointed District Nominating Committee is searching for the best District Chair right now.

 

So I think you need to identify what makes you happy and in what ways you are being effective. As a volunteer, I aim to do things I am either good at doing or things that I want to do, and I encourage volunteers I am recruiting to consider using those guideline as well.

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When others who I must deal with in a position are either preventing me from being effective, or are aggravating me so much that I can no longer deal with them, and I have tried and failed to improve the situation with him/her/them, and it becomes evident that THEY are not going to go away, that is "The Point" for me. Since there are a couple of different steps in there, as you can imagine, it takes awhile to reach "The Point." And actually, not counting Cub Scout positions that I left behind when my son moved on to a troop, I have never actually "quit" a registered position. I did, however, step down from being advancement chair/coordinator and am now just an "unassigned" committee member, having gone through the progression described above, about which I do not wish to be more specific.

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I too am stepping down from my district job to be unassigned committee member....

 

Bottom line: I was not performing at the level I needed to, by my own assessment. Too many things going on in life outside of scouting. Sure, the other district folks were kind, too kind, assuring me that whatever I did was better than nothing or just letting the position go vacant. I thought about it and decided it was better to step down for conscience sake. Never liked it in the past when someone was a patch-wearer, a name on a piece of paper. Sure, it helped the district (on paper, for recharter time) to have my name plugged into the position, but that still doesn't make it right. The vacant position will have a better chance of being filled by someone who will do the job properly.

 

And if no one steps up? So be it. Scouting will carry on.

 

PS My concern is at the unit level, the place where true scouting takes place. Lots of people in Basement's shoes, where they are the sole person bearing the burden, the difference between keeping the unit alive or folding altogether. Because there are lots of units just dying, outright, when the solitary leader gets sick, tired, burned out and has to step down. Not a soul will step up, though the scouts really want what the BSA has to offer.

 

As I get older, I'm realizing that there are limits to what a leader can do--or should do--to keep an organization alive. Never would have admitted that even a year ago. There is a point, for sake of family and mental/physical health, where you cash in your chips. The game will either continue or close after you leave. You can only stay at the table so long.

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""~~And if no one steps up? So be it. Scouting will carry on.""

 

 

Desert: I have been there, done that. When I took on the CM of the Pack, everyone applauded. My Good Wife became the CChair, seeing the benefit of Scouting to the son. We urged other parents to take the training, be the DLs, and so our Pack was active and participated in District things, got newspaper write-ups. Unfortunately, as I got educated about Scout things, we discovered our CO was only a "paper" CO. We planned a recruiting one year, and had 14 (!) possible Tiger Cubs attend, with parents. We spoke of the program, (parent partners), the fun, the possibilities. The kids had a good time, they all laughed and yelled. But at the end, not one family signed up, every adult said "too much time" "I cannot take that much time off work", "I do not know anything about Scouting" . No amount of explaining would persuade them. We had no Tigers that year. The next year, I enlisted the help of our DE. Pretty much the same result. We soon had 8 Cubs, 2 of which (with my son) were Web2s, 2 were Web1s. When Scoutson crossed over , wife said "no more Cubs" and so the Pack folded. Not letters, not phone calls, not personal appeals convinced any that they should (could) continue the Pack. I handed over all the Webelos material to the Webelos1 dad, and we never heard from him again. 7 plus years later, Scoutson earns Eagle, leads the VCrew, and attends Jamboree as a Staffer. We regularly see some of the exCubs in other Scouting venues and the local store .They remember me, much to my gratification. I'm ultimately satisfied we did the right thing by our family. I am now a Commisher and teach IOLS, among other things. I "do my best" to pass on my knowledge and legacy.

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One of the best times to turn in your patch is when you recruit ANOTHER ADULT to take your place so you can go on to something else that needs to be done.

 

Actually, I don't turn in my patch. I save it as part of my Scouting scrapbooks, of which I have two.

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Been there, done that, too, SP. If folks know you won't leave until some agrees to take your place, they all start looking like my father-in-law does when the dinner check arrives.

 

That your first job responsibility is to find your own replacement is one of those BS scouting saying. Sorta like "one hour a week." In the first place, recruiting volunteers is not on everyone's job description. For units, it is primarily the responsibility of the committee chair. We've had several instances where a volunteer recruited folks wholly unsuited to the job. If any ol' warm body gets you off the hook, that's exactly who gets recruited.

 

Training your replacement is another matter. But allowing individuals to pick their own replacement is a recipe for self-perpetuating disaster.

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One of the best times to turn in your patch is when you recruit ANOTHER ADULT to take your place so you can go on to something else that needs to be done.

 

Of course that's the ideal, and that is what I did in my one instance of "stepping down." (Or halfway down.) But I have to admit there was one meeting at which I was at the stage of saying "Take this job and..." Well, you know. Fortunately, I didn't say it, and arranged a smooth and quiet transition. And luckily for me (and the Scouts!) there was someone else who had been "on the sidelines" but willing to step up when needed.

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<

>>

 

 

I do fairly well these days finding new leaders at the unit and district level.

 

My method begins with having a quality program that other people respect and appreciate. Then I look around for good people and make a point of inviting them to begin doing small leadership tasks. If they carry those out effectively, they are likely prospects to be asked to take on formal leadership responsibilities.

 

Sometimes I get turned down when I ask people to take on jobs. Other times, people have been waiting to be asked.

 

I have a pack that was down to a single boy when I took it over --- we have 23 Cub Scouts right now. One of the reasons I took it over was to support the neighboring Boy Scout Troop that had a good program but troubles finding new Scouts since "their" Cub Pack wasn't performing. Now they are doing better, and we'll have a number of Webelos IIs joining them in a few months, I hope.

 

At the district level, I watched very unhappily as ineffective district leadership let the district unwind with finding new leaders. A year ago I resolved to revive the use of the required District Nominating Committee to find new and effective leadership. After making myself VERY unwelcome at district committee meetings much of this year, the District Nominating Committee has at least been appointed and is searching for effective leadership.

 

In Cub Scouts, we Do Our Best....

 

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Pretty much done. Over a decade with this unit, pretty much running it, new SM chosen that the boys hate, parents can't stand, and volunteers won't work with. His idea of Scouting is the Mickey Mouse Club and I'm not fighting him. Been a year and the troop is pretty much dead, I go out and back between despair and (I hate to admit) told-ya-so satisfaction. I hate it for the boys, but the adults have exactly what I predicted the night they told me, and good for them.

 

I've found a new joy in saying no and having a life outside Scouting, and you guys don't have to suffer all my vitriol anymore. ;)

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Yah think that a better time to make that announcement might have been some day other than Christmas? I wish you the best for the season and the New Year.

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'99,

 

I feel for ya. I was in a similar situation in that I helped get the troop started, trained its leaders, and worked with the Scouts via MBs and OA. When oldest was able to become a Cub, we visited their CO's pack first because of the troop, and oldest joined the pack. Between him joining the pack and crossing over, new SM and committee tookover. That changed the entire dynamics of the troop, and the troop took a 180 degree turn. The camping they do, when they do camp, is either family camping or merit badge weekends. They love cabins. Before the new SM took over, they had folks staying around until they went off to college. Now they "Eagle and leave." Out of the 5 Cubs who joined them last year, 2 quit completely, 2 have now transferred to my son's troop, and only 1 remains. And they have had a bunch quit or transfer to other troops.

 

 

I admit I am a scouting addict and love the outdoors. I was fortunate in that the troop my son joined is an outdoor oriented troop. That is what saved my sanity.

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99. I think it's really important to distinguish between membership in the Scouting movement and membership in a Scout Troop. Take some time away from Scouting if you need it but you are always welcome here. A year ago I was at the cliff of remaining in my disfunctional unit or leaving for something more enjoyable. Sometimes those webelos 3 troops can be fixed and often they cannot be. Don't let that steal your peace or your enthusiasm for what Scouting is and what it stands for.

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No one ever said being a scout leader was going to be easy. It's not for everyone. As we all know everyone is out recruiting parents to fill every little job in the troop/pack/crew. If it's warm and breathing, you're offered an application. However, we also know there are a ton of parents out there that make lousy parents, let alone scout leaders.

 

After 30+ years I can say I have been hindered by tyrannical SM's, hassled by CC's, had troop fold rather than have me as a boy-led, patrol-method SM, been kicked out of the SM position because I expected too much leadership from the boys, been told to MYOB as UC, and a dozen other less annoying things along the way. I have started units (troops/crew)/posts) from scratch, and after 20 years was awarded the District Award of Merit. I have no idea how many thousands of dollars this has cost me along the way.

 

Some of the junk means one just shakes the dust from off their shoes and moves on to the next town. This not a job, it's is not a form of entertainment, it is not something someone has to do. It's a vocation. If one has the skills, one should use them. But one must remember it's not for the enjoyment, it is not for the honors, glory and patches, it is for the boys. Not just my boy, but all the boys. PEROID. Once one loses sight of that, then it's time to walk away and find something else to do.

 

Stosh

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