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Eagle94-A1

Burnt Out

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It's official, I'm burnt out. No, the new membership policy didn't do it. Finding out about a simulaneous event at the camporee I am running with out me knowing anything about it until someone sent me an email yeasterday made me realize I am burnt out. Scouting is not fun for me at the moment.

 

Long story short I am running a camporee. Been on the books for a year now. Last week I started getting questions about Cub Scouts camping and fishing at the camporee. Was clueless until someone pointed out that the council calendar showed a fishing derby. at the same place and time as the camporee. I called to find out what was up and no one knew anything about it. So I had them take it off the website, posted on the district website that it was a mistake, and announced it at roundtable. Thought it was taken care of.

 

Then a friend forwarded the email that went out yesterday inviting Cubs to the camp that weekend to fish.I was furious at how there was no discussion on the matter and how I had to find out. I found out from a forwarded email the DE sent out. I was furious to the point that I said out loud at work "I'm done, I quit as camporee chief." And the camporee is in 2 weeks.

 

Thankfully I was able to calmed down. Realized the issue was a lack of communication, and I attempted to call the DE 3 times over a 5 hour period. Finally had to email him explained why it was a bad idea, and gave him two alternatives, a different weekend and a different location. camp is extremely small, approx 7-10 acres with 1/2 of that being a lake. And one section of the cmap is being used for training that weekend. Another section may be off limits because a bridge that was destroyed last year has not been rebuilt yet. It was going to be tight as it is.

 

Then I received a curt brief reply. It doesn't matter what the other camporee chief and I want, the fishing will happen regardless. I never stated the small fishing pond was going to be used for events in the camporee guide. and that he wished I would have contacted him before posting on FB and at RT.

 

Now my job responsibilities have changed over the years, and nights are now getting crazy. I have already missed meeting because of last minute stuff happening. And I raised the ire of my boss when I told them I could not do an event b/c I had to be at a scouting function I was in charge of and needed to be there. And that has caused a lot of stress. Plus with all the family stuff going on, that is more stress. I love spending time with the family, and with things going on, it seems as if I'm either doing Scouts, Work, Baseball, or the wife is doing school work. Sad that a funeral had to give us time as a family.

 

I made a commitment to the Scouts to be the chief, and I am doing it. But told them I cannot do it next year. Also told the DE I need to step down as RT commissioner because of work. And I hope to give them to May when the RT takes a summer break. And he knew that was coming because I have been talking about stepping down for the past year.

 

So I am making lemonade out of lemons. The response I had was a wake up call that I need to back away as I am burning out.

 

 

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Take on only essential roles for your son. Council and District folks only get our time and talents if they treat us well and make our tasks easier.

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Yep, sounds like me about a year ago. I always thought I needed to step down before I got angry. I've seen that and it doesn't look good. When you're getting your wife and boss mad something is out of balance. The good news is once you announce the date you leave (and don't let them give you the line that you have to find your replacement) things get a nice bit easier. Go take your wife out for dinner, the night of a scout activity. It'll be good. You deserve it.

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Welcome to the former scouter club. I stepped down this past summer, and I don't regret it one bit. It was time.

 

In a few months, you will probably be thinking less and less about the reasons you stepped down. They won't matter anymore. 

 

Enjoy the extra time and have a good life.

Edited by David CO

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If it is not fun, stop. We are volunteers. I know many of us feel it is a calling but maybe the Great Chief Scout in the Sky has other plans for you. I, too, am approaching that point. I suspect if I step away for a while I will not come back.

 

If you have more free time maybe you can do some of those fun scout-y things that you never could get around to. I would like to whittle more.

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Not stepping away completely just all the district/council level stuff. Am sticking with the troop my older two are in. Only district level POR will be MBC. Thinking about it, I've been on the district level in one council or another for over 20 years straight, with a brief 18 month unit only job due to grad school.

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The frustration is understandable. You likely won't receive much thanks outside of a few individuals, but take joy in knowing that you helped innumerable scouts over the years and there are many that appreciate your efforts.

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It happens to all of us...sooner or later.  They will keep taking advantage of you until you say "no more".  And as long as you keep showing up and doing the job, they will not look for a replacement.

Edited by scoutldr

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Gotta walk away sometimes. I got burned out just before summer this past year. I had to take a breather and let some other people do things for a change. It worked, and you know what, that stuff ran just fine without me.

 

I think it's a control thing, at least for me. We have spent the last 2 years building our pack up from utter collapse and I was afraid it I was not there for EVERYTHING it would happen.  At the time I was the only one with scouting experience so everyone turned to me for how to run things. It was overwhelming. But now I have good adults that want to help, and are in it for the long term.  I have said no to things I have wanted to do (camporee, district stuff, Woodbadge, etc) because I want to focus on my unit. 

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I can see this happening very easily in my near future.  Our DE is far more concerned about numbers than anything else, and is constantly annoying myself and other Cubmasters and Scoutmasters to get our numbers up and constantly run recruitment campaigns.  We live in areas where the bushes have been beaten and there ARE NO MORE KIDS.  As much as we try to argue against it, we ARE in competition with sports, but the awful truth is that it is not parochial or school sports, it is club sports causing the most problems overall.  I don't recall kids at the age of 10 going to Florida for Spring baseball tournaments when I was a kid.  So no, Mr DE, we don't have more scouts.  Any maybe if you just provided a little support aside from asking how our enrollments and/or rechartering was going I might listen to you more.

 

In our Pack and Troop we barely get enough parents to cover all of our positions.  I pushed on issues and got our Pack and Troop up to around 40 scouts in each, but the numbers are dropping in the Pack now because the new Cubmaster is not pushing the program as much.  

 

When I get the feeling that I am getting burned out I find the patrol leaders and ask them when they want to go camping next, or if they want to sneak in an extra camping event.  On purely selfish grounds, getting back to the basics of camping helps to ground things for me.

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One thing not mentioned yet is that once the commitment has been greatly reduced it's fun again.

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