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christineka

Volunteer Leaders

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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?  

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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?  

 

  I am not LDS and was a scout leader for 15 years and had a family and job. In the 10 years I did as SM I missed 2 activities. Our troop did 10 activities and 1 summer camp each year as well as a HA trip every other year. It all boils down to how much time a volunteer has or is willing to give as a leader. But I don't always get the LDS side of scouting Sorry it is not just LDS volunteers that have family and jobs.

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Hmmmm       I seem to remember having a one year old,  putting an addition on the house on weekends,  a job that required 45-55 hours a week,  church on Sundays and Thursday nights, and being a den leader.  Oh, we were also home schooling at the time. 

  I could have done a better job with more time to prep, planned some den meetings on the drive home,  but the cubs seemed to like it.

 

So yes we non lds people also have crazy busy lives

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  It's just too hard for them to do a decent job at scouts, too. 

 

Then they should politely bow-out of the job.  Why do it if you're going to half-ass it?

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Then they should politely bow-out of the job.  Why do it if you're going to half-ass it?

 

I think they generally mean well.  Or they're afraid to tell the bishop "no".  Our 11 year old leader shows up just to be the second adult, but only sometimes.  I know his wife really gets on him about doing things outside the home, when he's not at work.  The active and amazing 11 year old leader is actually from a neighboring congregation.  Our two have joined up efforts for the kids 8-11.  The really awesome guy not only has a job and kids, but he is also the assistant commissioner (or something like that) and helps run a community pack.  Somehow he manages to have time.  Maybe because he loves scouting and so does his wife.

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 Can I ask this, no offense. What did YOU think non LDS troops and packs did for leaders?

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Something's always gotta give.

I have the rattiest lawn in a neighborhood full of meticulous gardeners. (Think victory garden gone manic and you get the idea.)

Lots of other extra things fall by the wayside. Half of my vacation days involve being outdoors with youth.

 

Nowadays folks are pulling double shifts to make ends meet. But some of those folks are buying season tickets to their favorite sports teams, concert tours, classic cars, high priced vacations, or even missions.

 

On the other hand, there are dozens of young men and women who consider me their friend. I think I've made the better deal.

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 Can I ask this, no offense. What did YOU think non LDS troops and packs did for leaders?

 

My dad was a scout leader when I was a kid.  He worked a full time job and still managed to go to scout meetings every week, frequent campouts (I didn't keep track of how often), and counseled boys with merit badges.  I don't know when he retired from being a leader, but when he did, he still remained a counselor and would go to scout camps to cook and run merit badge classes.  He retired sometime after I married and after my youngest sibling had been in college.  I was quit certain that traditional packs and troops had guys like my dad.  I just thought it was a crazy comment from an lds mom and apparently wife of a "voluntold" leader.  Perhaps those who choose to be in scouts can more easily figure out how to put it into their schedules than those who are "voluntold"?  I was a den leader for awhile and I believe wholeheartedly that I should do my best at whatever I'm told to do at church.  I managed to carve out time, even with my 6 kids, whom I homeschool.  

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We had the rattiest lawn in the neighborhood growing up - but then we also had the only green lawn in August when the hot sun was beating down on folks lawns while there were watering restrictions in place.

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I don't understand the parents who say "oh, I just don't have time to help".   We're all busy---you are not anything special.     I'm sure my family would like to sit down to a homecooked meal on Scout nights, but we just don't have the time to make it from work to home to Scouts (where we have to be 30 minutes early, to set the room up, etc).  Or, even better, we'd like to be able to leave camping before 1pm (like the rest of the pack, who leaves by 11am), but there is a kitchen to clean up and break down, a site to "police" for trash and items left behind, and our own gear to store.

Even worse are the Cub parents, who actually come and sit through the meeting, but "don't have time" to talk to the boys about their job or any of the character traits.  It's not like we're asking them to teach complicated knot tying, for crying out loud.

My husband was the den leader for our son from Tiger to Webelos 2.  The only meetings he missed were the ones where he was out of town for work (maybe 4 or 5), the ones when he was sick (a dozen or so) and when he had his kidney transplant surgery (no meetings even---and he still got up and made it to their bridging ceremony).    He managed to work full time, do dialysis every day for 3-4 hours a day, be their den leader and help with council events.   If he can make time, so can his parents. 





 

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I think the biggest difference between LDS and non-LDS units are the leaders. 

 

In LDS units, you are "called" or appointed to be a leader, whether you want to be one or not. So there may be no interest in doing a "decent job."

 

In non-LDS units you have volunteers that, for whatever reason, have some motivation to be a leader. It can be their sons, it can be that scouting is their passion. The volunteers have the motivation to do a "decent job."

 

I have a job, in which I am subject to having my schedule changed on a minutes notice, and yes I've stayed late without prior warning several times. I've also had to deal with family health issues which have dramatically impacted my family for the past 12 years. So yes, I understand work and family commitments.

 

But  I'm also involved with 2 units, the district committee, and am a RT commissioner. I do a "decent job" because I have a lot of kids, including my three hoodlums, depending upon me. Could I be a better leader, absolutely. But where I'm at, there is a lack of volunteers willing to help out.

 

Someone needs to help the youth.

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It boils down to this:

Some people do scouting like it's the Almighty's work;

others, like some high-minded bishop doled out more busy work.

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The weekend is a standard camporee weekend.....

 

The ASM and myself are watching the boys....

 

The CC comes out for 3 hours to take my place.....

 

My daughter and son-in-law came to visit in town for the weekend....

 

So now I can go into town and meet my new granddaughter for the first time....

 

No one can ever find time, one has to make time....it's really not all that hard.

 

People who say they don't have time are really saying, "You are not a priority so I'm not going to make time."

Edited by Stosh
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Decades ago, when I started a Cub Pack, one of the parents I approached to be a Den Leader, replied, "I couldn't possibly do that, I WORK full time."  Others thought that "Cubmaster" was my chosen profession and I worked for the Council.  During one angry phone call about something I've forgotten about, a mom asked to speak to my "supervisor" so I put my wife on the phone.  I don't blame them...they are ignorant of how Scouting operates.  Like the others above, Scouting was something I did in my "spare time" while maintaining a full time career (including travel), actively serving on the Church Council and my professional association and raising two boys.  At least a week of my annual vacation time was spent at Summer Camp, plus evening meetings for troop, OA, District Committee, and training functions.  Volunteering is best when it is, well, voluntary.  That way, you know the volunteer is doing it because they really want to and believe in the mission.  Most LDS leaders I've met and/or trained were fine people and did the best they could, just like the rest of us.

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Decades ago, when I started a Cub Pack, one of the parents I approached to be a Den Leader, replied, "I couldn't possibly do that, I WORK full time."  Others thought that "Cubmaster" was my chosen profession and I worked for the Council.  During one angry phone call about something I've forgotten about, a mom asked to speak to my "supervisor" so I put my wife on the phone.  I don't blame them...they are ignorant of how Scouting operates.

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?

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