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The Latin Scot

On making a graceful transition ...

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Well ...

over the holiday break I spent the better part of two weeks in the hospital's intensive care wing after a severe illness and other incidents left me unconscious for five days. I survived the ordeal, and I feel much better now thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, but it did leave me in a seriously weakened condition, and for a few months I will be dealing with a rather delicate constitution as I work towards restoring my health to what it was before the sickness. After much prayer and consideration, it was decided that I should let go of my duties as Webelos Den Leader for a time so that I can fully recover. I have been filling this role for three and a half years, so I've had a good long run of it, but still, it's a saddening change for me. I will be volunteering as Pack Trainer for a few months so that I can still play a role in pack activities, but I am basically taking a few months' hiatus to ensure a complete and proper recovery.

I have been sorting all my materials to make the transition as smooth as possible. The new leader will get a progress record for every boy detailing every requirement for every adventure he has completed, clear and easy-to-read charts and records showing the progress of the den as a whole, family talent surveys with notes on each boy and his family circumstances, and copies of important documents, all sorted by colored tabs in a neat, organized binder. I have contact information for key leaders at the pack and district level, a calendar with all the important events for the year, and a list of activities we have traditionally enjoyed at various seasons. I have his new patches and loops (he was an Assistant Scoutmaster until now), his Den Leader Guide, some posters, and other useful items to ensure that nothing is lost through the cracks as the boys transition from one leader to another. I have sent letters to the families expressing my love and optimism for the new year's changes, and I have personally spoken to every boy to let them know that while I may not be their den leader, I will always be their friend, and they can always come to me with Scouting questions or stories of what they have accomplished. I want to make the transition quiet and unobtrusive so that I don't step on the new leader's toes as he assumes the mantle for this position; it's his show now, and I want to respect that by avoiding any undue attention directed towards me so that he can escape the annoyance of people saying "well, our last leader did things this way ..." I will announce the changes at Pack Meeting tonight, and it's a little heart-breaking just thinking about it already.

So ... it's a hard change for me. I have always been 100% driven as a leader, and I had all kinds of plans for this year (the last year our Church will be involved in Scouting). I don't want to cling too hard to the past, but I also want to find ways to stay connected to the boys in the pack. Pack Trainer will be a good position for the time being, since I have been training for the district and council for the past few years already and it's not a taxing job for me, but how much distance should I keep so that the new leader can make his own mark while still finding ways to stay involved with the pack? And what else can I do to make sure the transition is successful? Obviously, I have a lot of emotions to deal with, and I feel deeply for the boys who have to deal with such a big change in their lives, but I appreciate any thoughts and comments that might help me as I make my first major transition as a Scout leader. My thanks to anybody who can share something that might help me deal with my very tender feelings.

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Wow, I’m sorry to hear this news.  I don’t pray often but I did for you.  I’m glad to hear you are on the path of recovery and hope and pray it is as quick and full as possible.

Your examples and stories on how you run your den put the bar extremely high.  I certainly hope the new leader is thankful for the information, organization and leadership you display.  

I can’t think of much more you can do, other than letting the leader know you are there to answer any questions or provide recommendations as needed.  

Again, wishing you see a full recovery soon!

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I am very glad to hear you have survived your ordeal. My hopes for a full recovery. All I can offer to you as help through this transition is to remind you of all your efforts, given in love to those in your ward and the knowledge that these efforts will continue to bear fruit long after you step away. Much like that of the planter of an orchard. You have grown the seeds, tended to the young saplings and pruned away that which inhibits. You have done great work and now can be proud to witness the results. Feel not sadness for your changing role, but gladness that because of your efforts your role has changed. Be well, and enjoy the path which lays before you.

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Take a break. Scouting will be here with plenty to do, AFTER you fully recover.  

~ Rx from RS

 

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Good to hear from you, our electronic "pen" pal.   I am glad you have recovered sufficiently to tell us about it AND we are flattered that you came to us so soon to share.   

Rest assured, your usual log will be waiting for you here at our virtual campfire. 

See YOU , once more, on the trail. 

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Very glad to hear you have been discharged and are on the road to full recovery. Good luck.

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I was a bit concerned when your voice fell silent. I went cold turkey transitioning from an active scoutmaster to buildings and grounds committee for the council. It got real quiet. It was a big change for me.

I wish you the fastest healing.

Best regards,

sst3rd

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15 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

My thanks to anybody who can share something that might help me deal with my very tender feelings.

You have color coded tabs? In a neat organized binder? Do you have any idea how the rest of us get things done? Your scouts are going to be in great shape!

Seriously, you obviously care. But now it's time to take care - of yourself.

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This week Son #2 and I payed respects to a family whose 20-something didn't come to after a bout of flu. So, @The Latin Scot, it is with no small gratitude to the Almighty to hear of a young man who is battered, but recovering.

Regarding the hand-off. It's not the notes and binders that matter. But a teachable spirit on the part of the new DL and being a phone call away on your part. (Of course, letting him/her in on the treasure that is these forums helps too.)

Edited by qwazse

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Thanks all for your kind words. I have been working with the new leader, and while there are a few pack issues that he will have to overcome, he has been well-prepared to keep the flame going. Meanwhile I need to keep my personal flame lit, and you have all been very kind with your thoughts. Thank you!

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Latin:   One suggestion, it was something I had kinda known for a while, in the back of my mind, so to speak, then I read about the same idea in an article by a well known journalist.'

He had, as you had, been hospitalized and went home to recover. He said , on advice from a good friend, to not dwell on the "bad" stuff, the pain, the lack of motility, but to concentrate on the positive stuff to come. And to aid in this, to watch Laurel and Hardy movies, because these were the best examples of "what COULD happen"  but didn't , to him...

So out came the VCR (at the time) , and in went a newly acquired collection of Laurel and Hardy flicks, and the recuperation went a lot quicker, our writer reported.... 

You might try the same.

"Why can't you do something to HELP me....."

"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into...." 

"get a GRIP on it..." 

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Just now, SSScout said:

Latin:   One suggestion, it was something I had kinda known for a while, in the back of my mind, so to speak, then I read about the same idea in an article by a well known journalist.'

He had, as you had, been hospitalized and went home to recover. He said , on advice from a good friend, to not dwell on the "bad" stuff, the pain, the lack of motility, but to concentrate on the positive stuff to come. And to aid in this, to watch Laurel and Hardy movies, because these were the best examples of "what COULD happen"  but didn't , to him...

So out came the VCR (at the time) , and in went a newly acquired collection of Laurel and Hardy flicks, and the recuperation went a lot quicker, our writer reported.... 

You might try the same.     Laughter can be the best medicine. 

 

"Why can't you do something to HELP me....."

"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into...." 

"get a GRIP on it..." 

 

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So, first of all - I LOVE Laurel and Hardy, and reading your post @SSScout made me go back and watch a bunch of their old films again - thanks for the idea!

Secondly, I have just been made a Unit Commissioner! Specifically, my District Commissioner wants me to help with training Cub Scout leaders in the area both at roundtable and at their committee meetings. My health is almost totally recovered, and I have gained back all the weight I lost, so I am ready to get back into things with a position that will let me stay involved without needing to over-strain myself with weekly den meetings and germ-ridden kiddos or anything like that. So I am super excited! My mom was a commissioner for over a decade, so I already have the uniform items I need, and there is a HUGE area-wide commissioner college for all of Southern California happening up north in LA next month, so I'll be able to start my Bachelor's in Commissioner Science work right away! 

I am reading through all the training materials now, and I am excited for this new chapter in my Scouting career. Thanks all for your kind thoughts and generous wisdom; to those who sent me PM's, I am working on answering all those too. The doctors have given me a clean bill of health, so it's all systems go now!

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