Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
5thGenTexan

Burnout - Its Hit Me

Recommended Posts

I was a Tiger DL, I was a Wolf DL, and this year and I am Bear DL + CM.

Last year we had one Tiger, so he sat in on my Wolf Den Meetings most of the time, I also had our one Tiger and his dad DL sitting in as well as tagalongs.  I was also sending out most pack emails and communicating with all parents.

Also, last year our CC mentioned he was ready to cut back and be less involved.  (He has been with the Pack for years, so I understand).  So... our CM last year was going to move up to CC, and I was moving up to CM.  All well and good.  Transitions were supposed to happen in August.  

Back up just a bit more... We had Blue and Gold in May.  It was planned by a parent and the CM last year went along with everything she wanted.  It was costly.... ended up charging parents to come see thier Scouts advance, etc.  Rank advancement was not special, rank badges were just placed in goodie bags, cards not signed.  It was in my opinion a disaster.  I told him as much and he pretty much ignored my concerns.  We had one DL and ACM leave over the Summer in part due to this.  The DL didnt even show up to B&G because it was such a crappy plan.

CM (last year) was program director for Resident Camp over the Summer, so from June 1 I was the sole leader trying to make sure the Pack was active enough for Summertime Pack Award.  We made it, almost 100% of Scouts.  :)  

CM wouldnt communicate at all with me and kept saying things like it doesnt matter, his opinion doesnt matter anyway to the entire committee when he did talk to us.

Anyway, its now November.  Remember, our transitions were supposed to happen in August.  He still has not turned in an application so he can change over to CC.  When I submitted my CM app and it was approved he was bumped down to ACM / Webleos DL.  We had a campout a couple of weekends ago, he did not show up and I suspect it was because he didnt like the location.  (It was a District level event so new Scouts could get a good feel for things).  We had a Halloween Party / Pack Meeting last weekend that he didnt show up for.  I found out his wife wanted to come but he didn't want to so, they didnt come.

 

The Lion DL this year is the one I have mentioned before with the no respect for the uniform and vapes in camp.  He has signed off on 4 Lion Adventures since Sept 26 and he has had one Den Meeting.  I know in the past he just likes to sign off on stuff so they Scout gets something.

The Wolf DL is a police officer and has a weird schedule so he doesnt always make it to meetings.

The Webelos DL is the guy above that doesnt want to talk to me or participate in our events.

I also have NO ACM at the moment.

Additionally I have been trying to form a Scouts BSA Troop for girls since August and its not going well.

I am leaning towards just not paying and dropping off the charter for next year.  I am tired and really dont want to do it anymore.  We are rural so just going to another Pack means going to a different city entirely.  And, since we are rural I can take my kids out to shoot in the back, we can fish at my dads for free, we can do a lot of "Scouty" things without being in Scouts.  He will just miss out on being with other kids.

  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everybody has their own personal reason for volunteering, and they are all different. What did you want from the program when you joined. 

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not recharter your kids and you just sit there as a parent?   Sometimes stepping back shows others just how much you do.  Take the chance to enjoy the activities with your kids. 

Edited by Jackdaws

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Everybody has their own personal reason for volunteering, and they are all different. What did you want from the program when you joined. 

This is what I periodically ask myself....it's basically the question "Why?"

For me, it's a realization that every parent in the unit needs to pitch in as a team to really make it work. Parents can't sit on the sidelines and magically expect a wonderful program to just happen. So I pitch in and do my part so that my SON has a functioning unit in which to grow his leadership skills and personal values. It helps that I see his friends' parents chipping in and filling other roles, overseeing different activities, helping to make things work.

It's still a lot of work.  For the "key 3", good leadership skills make the difference. Develop a vision. Communicate. Delegate. If all 3 of these things aren't there, don't expect the parents to fall in line. Many parents need to be asked (or perhaps informed that "they are expected to do " --- sometimes referred to as, "voluntold"). 1 person CAN make the difference, but he/she does that by building a team. 

Good leadership is why you sometimes see troops doing amazingly ambitious things.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@5thGenTexan, you're clearly not having fun. One important question you haven't addressed is whether your son is having fun.

If he is then he should stay. And you'd have more fun if you stayed with him. If he's not having fun then by all means, take a break. The real fun starts in scouts.

But let's assume he's having fun and so you have to stay. Now the question is how do you have more fun. What it all boils down to, from the little I've seen, is that you're letting a lot of stuff bother you. This is not a critique of you, we all do this. We all want it to run smooth, and fun, and great. We've invested our heart and soul into this program because we believe in it so much. But that can be counter productive. The truth is we're all a bunch of volunteers with varying skill levels. Just an example: the parent that planned the B&G. It was expensive. Some things were wrong. People were upset. You could have done a better job. However, this parent tried. She volunteered. I bet she can learn and do better next time. And if not, so what? Do the scouts really care? I bet they don't. If you stand up front and make funny faces and they laugh, will anyone really care whether the cards were signed? Look at all these events from the level of your son. That's what's important.

Other than the vaping guy, I'd say make peace with the rest. Sometimes community is the most important part of the program. Whether you keep volunteering is up to you, but I'd encourage you to figure out how to make scouts fun with your son. Trust me, one day he's going to leave home and then you're left with memories. Make them good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@5thGenTexan, though it may look a bit odd, I hit the "thanks" button to show my gratitude and respect for all you're doing for scouting. 

As a rural scouter myself, I believe there are more leaders in circumstances similar to yours than the BSA recognizes.  Especially in rural areas, where there are limited numbers of adults who could or should work with scouts.   Often the rural leaders do double and triple duty, and must put up with long-term dysfunctional circumstances simply because there are no other options.  This can be very draining on a number of levels.

My recommendation is a frank talk with all of the adults.  Here's what I'm observing/experiencing, here's the impact it's having on the unit and me personally, and close with an "I" message (your expectations going forward, your plans to possibly step down, etc.).  If the others can't or won't respect that, then stepping down may be the best thing for you and your family.  "Is the juice worth the squeeze?"

My personal experience:  I've stayed the course and "never say die" many times during my professional life and volunteer experiences.  But there is a line.  I've crossed that line several times to the detriment of my family and myself.  You'll know when and where that line is. 

Again, my respects and thanks to you!  Best wishes and please let us know how it goes.

Edited by desertrat77
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am supposed to go to Woodbadge in January.  Today I sent an inquiry to my course head honcho about the refund policy since I see no point in going if I am not going to be on the recharter.  Within a couple of hours I got a call from the DE asking if I had second thoughts about WB, so I told him about I was ready to quit.  I think he was a little taken back a little bit by that.  I am supposed to cal him back tomorrow after our committee meeting.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI @5thGenTexan,

If you really want to step down, then certainly do so.  Having been through burnout a couple of times in my Scouting volunteer time and it's not a fun place to be.

From what helped me, here's what I suggest from what you wrote:

  1. Go drink a beer (or other beverage of your choice) with some Scouting friends.  I've always found that the fellowship of others it really important in Scouting.
  2. Take a step back and focus on only role. Of all the things you do in Scouting, what's the most fun and rewarding for you?  
  3. Shift your focus to the long term.  It's so easy in Scouting to get overwhelmed by the "today" - the success of the next event for example.  But, I've been a lot happier when I focus on the longer term.  Is my pack program getting stronger?  Are we having fun on camping trips?  Are we continuing to see good retention?  These are just some examples.

I would encourage you to continue with your plan for Wood Badge.  There you will generally find enthusiastic, passionate Scouters.  You clearly have a passion for Scouting.  When I was a participant, I came back rejuvinated.   It can be a wonderful way to help you deal with bufnout.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

I am supposed to go to Woodbadge in January.  Today I sent an inquiry to my course head honcho about the refund policy since I see no point in going if I am not going to be on the recharter.  Within a couple of hours I got a call from the DE asking if I had second thoughts about WB, so I told him about I was ready to quit.  I think he was a little taken back a little bit by that.  I am supposed to cal him back tomorrow after our committee meeting.  

You may find that Wood Badge helps you focus on what you like about Scouting and the time spent with other dedicated Scouters gives you a shot in the arm. Or it might not. 

Regardless, it's ok to take a step back. Our involvement in Scouting should ebb and flow as our lives go along. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been at this leader gig what feels like a long time. Over 12 years. I totally understand burnout. I would say, first and foremost focus on your child and families happiness before the ‘good of the group’. It sounds selfish, but if your child isn’t having fun and you’re stressed out from wearing to many hats then they could start resenting the program and the other kids. I’ve seen it happen - in our pack and in others. Our own Kids can be fickle creatures some days - happy you’re involved but green eyed & jealous when they feel others are getting all the attention - even if it’s not the case - it’s all perception. 

Sometimes just stepping back to a fun role is helpful. I would try that and maybe ask if your Woodbadge fee could be credit it’s toward another course In the future. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @5thGenTexan,

Congrats on getting agreement with the other leaders on where you will and will not focus.  That's a wonderful way to get the role right-sized to fit what one person can reasonably do and be successful at!

Very nice job also in recruiting others to get involved in the Cubmaster efforts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you've just taken on more and more until you've finally had to shout ENOUGH!

Best thing I ever did as a scout leader was learn to say no.

Ok, I'm an advocate of "Say yes more", but also, you do need to say no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got criticized by the "CC" that hasnt turned in an app yet and has been no help the last few months over me helping Den Leaders.  Most of em are new or really inexperienced with Scoutbook so I have been contacting parents and trying to help the DLs out till I can sit down and show them how to navigate SB.  I don't know how helping could be a bad thing.

 

It was the straw... I am finished.  I am going to fill out a new adult app as Unit Scouter Reserve.  I will take my kid to Den Meetings and sit there and watch from here on out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Got criticized by the "CC" that hasnt turned in an app yet and has been no help the last few months over me helping Den Leaders.  Most of em are new or really inexperienced with Scoutbook so I have been contacting parents and trying to help the DLs out till I can sit down and show them how to navigate SB.  I don't know how helping could be a bad thing.

 

It was the straw... I am finished.  I am going to fill out a new adult app as Unit Scouter Reserve.  I will take my kid to Den Meetings and sit there and watch from here on out.

Honestly - I would encourage you to shrug it off.  

Scouting is a wonderful activity full of very well meaning people.  One of the great things as a volunteer is that we get to take on roles outside of our normal jobs.  So, you have a CC that is in over his head - maybe even a jerk. Don't let that drive you out of being Cubmaster. 

You'll learn in Wood Badge about the stages of team development - forming, storming, norming, performing.  You all are in the storming phase.  It's natural for there to be conflict as you all sort out how to work together.  The CC will learn what he can/cant' do.  You'll learn how to deal with the limitations of the CC.  It will all sort out. 

Keep at it - the reward is worth it.  In the process, don't hesitate to assert your beliefs and preferences.  As Cubmaster, you're expected to be a strong leader.  Don't feel you have to shy away from that.

I always like to keep in mind the big picture goal.  Helps me to ignore the nonsense like this,.

Edited by ParkMan
expanded the thought

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×