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christineka

Volunteer Leaders

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ROFL...so that's exactly why our first meeting of the year is a parent meeting where we enlighten them on how scouting works. ;) We remind them we are not day care, we exist through everyone participating. We'd have a sign up sheet for various activities, told them we'd train them and said no one leaves until they signed up for at least one activity. Most know this coming in. At the cub level we would have 1-2 folks leave at the end of the meeting and never come back. Those who stayed got the message. Those who left were not missed as they were likely the drop-and-leave types....and who need those people?

 

Totally agree with you with one little caveat.  Self-centered parents raise self-centered children.  One must always remember that the drop-and-leave parents' children could greatly benefit from Scouting so they have a chance to see how community minded people can operate as an alternative to the message of mom and dad.  

 

It kinda reminds me of the people in my congregation that would occasionally question why I would baptize so-and-so's baby when they make no effort to come to church and be active.  I would always tell them, that I baptized the baby for it's own benefit, not the parent's.

 

Kinda rough putting up with the sluggard parents, but I see it as a personal mission to do the best I can to help the boy overcome them.   :)

Edited by Stosh

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I'm sure this is a really dumb question, but I'll ask anyway.  In a group of lds moms, I asked about their sons' lds troops, etc.  (Most stated that their troops were very active- either camping or having an activity at least once a month.)  One lady stated we should not be hard on the lds leaders, since most of them have jobs and families.  It's just too hard for them to do a decent job at scouts, too.  Am I right or am I wrong?  Do totally volunteer leaders tend to also have jobs and families, too?  

 

Well, I'm a volunteer with a job and family, and while I don't make every campout, I go on enough so that our troop has an active program.  I have changed plans because the Troop needed another adult.  Most of us volunteer leaders have jobs and families. My SM has two jobs and a family.  He camps more than I do--heck he camps more than any other adult leader. 

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We all have jobs and families we have to juggle. It is a matter of priorities. Some put the job first. Some have to put the job first. Some put one kid ahead of the rest. Some have too many kids to manage any of it well. We all struggle with health, family, job, etc. Point is, we all have these personal battles that take our time.

 

I can only answer as to why I put in the insane amount of hours in to the program. I'm selfish. I want to spend time with my son. I want to spend as mush time with him as I can. I gave up a very high paying job (with tons of travel and perks) to take a lower role that allowed me to stay home and spend tons of time with all my kids, so my reasons are purely selfish. I want my kids to have fun and learn, so I put in many, many hours a week so that their various activities are well-run, well-funded places where they can learn and grow.

 

Am I tired? Oh yeah! Been doing this now for 15 years and there are times I have to pull myself along. Most of my exhaustion and frustration is NOT from the kids, but from pulling the weight that those other parents refuse to pull. And just when I am about to get bitter, a kid comes along and asks me a question that reinvigorates me to continue doing my "job". Then I get outdoors either in the mountains or somewhere else, and I remember why I continue to do what I do.

 

In one regard scouting is a bit like golf. Anyone who has ever played golf knows this axiom. You can play 18 holes, duff your way around the course and get totally frustrated. You SWEAR as soon as you get to the parking lot you're DONE with this sport!! Yet, on the last few holes you either par or birdie and string together several amazing shots, leaving you elated and dying to come back next week and "improve". That's scouting in a nutshell for me.

Edited by Bad Wolf
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As a single adult who has been a Scout Leader for 38 years(28 as SM),  I can attest to the fact that if you are fully involved in Scouting then there are lots of times that you put your personal life second.   I have a full time job, I own a house and have other committments outside of Scouting and there have been times over the years when some are of that have gotten ignored because of Scouts   Every leader I know had the same issues so the LDS folks aren't any different than the rest of us except to most of them it is a job they have been ASSIGNED to do and for the rest of us it is a job we WANT to do.

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I think they generally mean well.  Or they're afraid to tell the bishop "no".   ....

 

You hit the nail on the head.   It is a key difference between LDS and non-LDS units.  Effectively in LDS units, the bishop says "you're the new scout leader."   Maybe some choice, but generally you are expected to step up to the appointment.

 

In non-LDS units, the volunteers choose to step up.  It becomes a hobby and a passion.

 

You might get lucky in an LDS unit where the appointed leader makes it his hobby too.  But if the man is busy with wife, kids, business, etc and then the bishop appoints him a scout leader, then I'd imagine the troop will have some issues.  

 

PS - All scout volunteers I know work, have family and many outside commitments.  

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In non-LDS units, the volunteers choose to step up.  It becomes a hobby and a passion.

 

 

Totally, totally disagree with this statement.  When a volunteer steps up it becomes a way of life and a mission to serve.

 

Kapeesh?  :)

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One lady stated we should not be hard on the lds leaders, since most of them have jobs and families.  It's just too hard for them to do a decent job at scouts, too.

This is just an example of something that to some degree is part of human nature, but I am seeing it more and more: A lot of people believe they have it tougher than everybody else. They use it as an excuse not to do the things they don't want to do. I remember asking someone if they would join the committee, mainly to do BOR's. Oh, no, this person said, I've been on the board of my older son's soccer league for five years (or something like that), and I've had enough. This person had (and has) TWO sons in the troop. Oh, so it's okay for me (who by that time had NO sons in the troop) to help support the program and do BOR's for YOUR sons, but you won't do them for anybody else's? (I didn't actually say that, and to be fair, this person has since taken on the job of coordinating our major annual fundraiser. But at the time I was a little taken aback.)

 

As for being "hard" on someone, it is not asking too much to expect someone to do their "job", however it is they came to be in that job. You use the term "voluntold," but there is still a choice being made to be a member of an organization where the leaders have the power to tell you what volunteer position you are going to perform.

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“But I don’t have time for Scouts!â€
Well, let’s see....                                                                                (Balance)
Over one year… 365 days times 24 hours equals 8,760 hours.       8,760 hours
(we’ll give you 29 February every four years)
Oh, you do understand that all this is theoretical right? RIGHT?
*In no particular order*

• Gotta sleep. 8hrs/day x 365 = 2,920 (-)                                  = 5,840 hrs left
Therefore, 1 day = 16 hrs available.
• Family vacation, 2 weeks? “â€Quality timeâ€â€
14 days x 16 hours = 224.                                                               5,616
• Religious observance (include some travel time,
atheist advantage? Don’t forget on vacation!)
4hrs/week x 50 weeks = 200                                                           5,416
• Gotta go to work! (inc. some O.T., travel)
10hrs/day x 5 days/week x 50 weeks = 2,500                                 2,916
• Hygiene 1hr/day x 7days x 50 weeks = 350                                   2,666
• Health Care (Drs, dentists, etc.) all prescheduled, of course!
Estimate 50 hrs/year = 50 (no emergencies allowed!)                    2,616
• Gotta eat! Family time… & cleanup…allow some flex…
2hrs/day x5 days x 50 weeks = 500                                                2,116
• General “homework†(mow lawn, fix faucet, kid’s homework,
wash car, vacuum, etc.) 1hr/day x 6 days x 50 weeks = 300           1,816
• Veg out with TV with family (you deserve it)
(“hey! I was watching that!â€) 2hrs/day x 5 days x 50 weeks = 500    1,316
• Special Spouse Time (SST) (you define!)
4hrs x 50 weeks = 200                                                                       1,116

Okay, that covers all the important stuff. Now about Scouting….
( Note: eating, sleeping, hygiene, etc. all already accounted for, mostly.)
(“Fudge factor activatedâ€)

• Troop/Pack/Den/Crew/Ship/Committee meeting
3hrs/week x 50 weeks = 150                                                               966
• Plan an activity to help with (visit museum, zoo, dayhike,
sell popcorn) 6hrs/month x 10 months = 60                                          906
Balance
• Summer Camp? Cub Day Camp? Cruise? You’ve got the van!
Boss sez “OK†6 days x 10hrs = 60                                                       846

• Overnight campout, Friday thru Sunday (adjust as necessary)
Dirt, campfire, hike, rain…other stuff (sleep, eat, etc.
already included)
Fri: 3hrs + Sat: 10hrs + Sun: 5 hrs = 18
Twice a year! = 36                                                                                    810
• Help with service projects ( Eagle, at CO, Scout for Food, etc.)
7hrs x 3 times = 21                                                                                         789

 Whoa! Why that’s …that’s over 10 weeks available! ((10hrs/day x 7days/week))
You could reorganize that spare bolt drawer in your workshop! Instruct your spouse how to load the dishwasher! Watch “Plan Nine†again!
And you thought you didn’t have enough time for Scouts … Hah!

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Not an LDS, but served with plenty over my military career.  I don't believe I could call one a slacker, though I have heard them use various terms for the less involved members of their religion.

 

So the LDS religion/culture is a little different than some other folks may be used to. Their culture demands one be heavily involved in the church, and live their faith.

 

IIRC, one of my old LDS colleagues told me it's like this with scouting (could be wrong, but like I said, IIRC):

- every boy is supposed to participate in the BSA.

- the bishop (an LDS bishop is like a pastor in the heierarchy of things) is either the scoutmaster, or directly appoints the scoutmaster. 

- the bishop/sm then appoints committee members, ASMs, etc. sort of depending upon their position within their local church (stake, I think they call them).

 

Thus, if you are a devout Mormon, and are called upon by the bishop to perform service as an ASM, you don't refuse. 

 

All this said, we're all volunteers, regardless of faith, most of us work unless we are fortunate enough to be retired, an do the best we can with the time we have.

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I have heard, and over the years I have found, that the best volunteers & leaders are the busiest people.

We all work for a living. We all have family members to care for, homes to maintain and tons of other responsibilities.

The difference between good Scout Leaders and the "I don't have time" crowd is that good Scout Leaders MAKE THE TIME.

The "I don't have time crowd" will never know the great things they are missing.

.

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You might get lucky in an LDS unit where the appointed leader makes it his hobby too.  But if the man is busy with wife, kids, business, etc and then the bishop appoints him a scout leader, then I'd imagine the troop will have some issues.  

 

Well, y'know what?... too bad!  

 

Perhaps the Bishop should do a better job of selecting the right man for the job?  Just because he has the power to assign someone the task shouldn't let HIM off the hook for making a crappy selection.  If the guy's legitimately "too busy", someone else should get voluntold; otherwise, suck it up, Buttercup.

Edited by MrBob

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Most people feel they are called by their God to do the ministry they have the gifts for.  That decision cannot be made by another.  If one pounds hard enough they can get a square peg in a round hole, but in the long run it's going to work out very well.

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About half of the units in our district are LDS.  I have seen some really good unit leaders.  I have seen some really bad unit leaders.

 

Kinda fits with what I've seen in the non-LDS units. 

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When a person is called to a position in the LDS church, the person feels a lot of pressure to accept.  They are asked to fulfill the calling, not required.  You are welcome to go home, pray about it, and tell the bishop no, if that's what you feel is right.  I, honestly think a lot of people say "yes" because they have good intentions or because they feel pressured to do so.  We also believe in "magnifying our callings", which is basically- give it your all, do your best, etc.  There was a time when I felt I couldn't do that.  I had sunk into depression, attempting to teach several special needs 4 year olds with no help.  I finally told the bishop I couldn't do it any more.  I needed to not be depressed.  He let me out of all of my callings and I wholly believe that was the right decision.

 

As for scout leaders, I know there are some great ones.  My father in law is both lds and a scouter.  He got into it when he was called the first time and probably because he's so awesome, he keeps getting scout callings, no matter where he lives.  My son's music composition teacher is another of those guys.  He's a huge scouter and lds.  My congregation, however has had some difficulties over the years.  While in Utah it's normal to have huge congregations (the other that meet in my building are even huge), ours is small.  There's a high percentage of not active people, too.  There are not so many active boys.  The scouting program has floundered over the years.  (Cub scouting, too.)  Things get better with some leaders and worse with others.  Still not really very good at all.  Also, we have trainings in our area about every 2-3 months, yet very few of our leaders attend.  The trainings aren't announced and if you don't go looking for them, you don't know about them.  It's hard for the program to run how it should, when the leaders don't know much about what they're supposed to be doing.

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