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Eamonn

In or out ?

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My mother God rest her, used to tell me when I was younger that I was contrary!

This was her Irish way of telling me that I was unhappy with myself and maybe being a bit of a pain in the neck at the same time.

Over the past few years I have cut back on the time I spend doing things with and for Scouts.

At times I feel like I'm in a catch 22 situation. I'm not around so I don't know whats going on, so I'm not around.

I took on the District Membership Chairman role, mainly because a pal of mine asked me too and I wanted to support him and the new DE.

I have to admit that I was disappointed with not getting unit reports, disappointed that the Executive Board has never filled the position of Vice-President of membership, disappointed that the Council has no plan or even a sense of direction when it comes to membership.

I did write to the District Chair, Council President and SE expressing my disappointments.

Over the winter, I looked for and managed to find reasons not to attend District Committee Meetings. It was too cold, it was snowing, I was tired, it was the holiday.

I know deep down in my heart that my reasons weren't reasons they were just excuses.

I even have found myself not attending things that I used to enjoy. I missed the OA banquet and volunteer recognition dinner and the Council Fund Raising Dinner.

I have a cupboard full of uniforms, but have not put one on this year.

 

My back yard has four boats in it. I kept my Ford Explorer in case it was needed to take the boats where they needed to be. I haven't used it in over six months. I'm thinking of trading it in on a nice little M-B convertible, which has all the bells and whistles. Of course that will mean that I'll never be able to help out if needed.

 

The sad thing is that I miss being active!

I'd kinda like to do something and do it well.

Only I'm scared that I'll end up being over active again.

I was asked to think about being District Chairman, when the nominating committee met last October. I very quickly said thanks, but no thanks.

I knew that if I took that on I'd never be able to find reasons or excuses to not attend meetings.

 

You would think with me doing so much less that I'd have lots more time on my hands and get a lot more things done.

This isn't the case. I'm not sure where the extra time is going. I thought I was maybe watching more TV, but I'm not.

I thought maybe I was sleeping more, but I'm not, I'm not even as active here in the forum as I was when I was busy.

 

The only reason I'm coming up with is that I'm lazy.

I'm almost sure that I don't want to remain as District Membership Chair.

I am sure that I don't want to be a key 3 member again.

I'm almost sure that if I were to become an Executive Board member that I'd end up upsetting someone by being not nice to them.

In fact I'm not sure what I want to do.

I kinda think if at this time I were to walk away and take a break, that I'd be done and would never return.

All the time I hear my Mother sitting on my shoulder telling me that I'm just being contrary!

I'm wondering if there are other Forum Members in a similar situation and how are they dealing with it?

Eamonn.

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Maybe feeling a bit the same, but not for the same reasons.

 

Been suffering with lupus for three years now. I am tired. I am very tired.

 

I absolutely love being involved with Scouting and have for the past 15 years. But, again, I'm tired. I am very tired.

 

Maybe it's just something in the air or maybe because I've been in some ways ignoring the pleas from my body to take it slower, my normally thick skin and let it go nature is weakening. I take things much too personally these days.

 

The Troop is at a place I envisioned several years ago. A good set of junior leaders that know what they're doing, the middle school scouts coming of age in leadership, and lot's of new Scouts and adults in training. Time for me to spend the year becoming less involved and handing off to the next generation.

 

I am a very goal oriented person. I've accomplished what I set out to do. What do I do next?

 

Makes me sad to think about stepping down, but it's something I will have to do. I think I would still remain active in Scouting in some way, is some less demanding role, but I can't say that for sure.

 

Did I say I'm tired, I'm very very tired?

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E,

Maybe it's time to step backfrom all district/council resposnibilities, and get back involved on the unit level. hard to do yes, but maybe, just maybe, you will become re-energized by seeeing why we do all the hard work that we do: making sure our youth have a great learning expereince.

 

I know stepping away is hard. I stepped down as chapter adviser last month, yet i'm still on board as an associate adviser, and doing alot of the same things until the new guy feels comfortable. But I need to be with my TC son starting in June.

 

But here's the thing, I see challenges and want to get involved. We have a major problem with an inactive CS RT. We do not have a training chair for the district at this time. Things that I know I could do or try to do, yet I do not want ot be overwhelmed as I'm told being a DL is the hardest job in scouting.

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I am reminded of George Burns. I think he is the classic example of somebody who just refused to slow down.

 

Whether you are forced to slow down or just burnt out, I hope there are ways to stay involved at a level you are comfortable with.

 

In ay case, I hope you still hang out here to share your wisdom.

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The more I see posted here, the more I'm sure there must be something wrong with me.

 

After 40 years of working with youth, 20+ with scouting, at age 58, I still look forward to, and am excited about going to any and all scouting activities. I am antsy that my boys are dragging their feet and not wanting to get out in the woods, camp, hike and/or canoe whitewater. We're going to a new summer camp this year and I can't wait.

 

My church youth are restoring a cemetery scatter garden and I've already been out there twice to witness seeing the daffodiles, crocus, and hiacynth's breaking through the ground.

 

Last Monday we had a COH and had a boy get LIFE and the first thing I asked him was what he had in mind for an Eagle Project.

 

My cross-country skis are still on my front porch just in case we get a late winter snow storm, yet a month ago I was already dodging ice flows to get my kayak wet.

 

Do I get tired? Sure, but I'll have plenty of time to rest up once I get to the nursing home.

 

Just yesterday I was driving down to a small town's smelt fry on Good Friday and noticed all the fishermen out in boats and along the shore that I was saddened by the fact that I need to get my fishing gear out, it's been too long since the last time I used any of it. Without the leaves on the trees, I also thought it would be a good idea to spend more time learning how to identify trees by their bark, too. The garden's calling my name too! There's just not enough time to do it all, but I'm going to give it my best shot!

 

Stosh

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I hear you, gwd-scouter, about being tired. I too have a chronic illness, and both the illness and meds cause fatigue. Not everyone understands how the profound fatigue associated with many chronic illnesses can affect you.

 

I tend to crash in the late afternoon and evening, so I am generally fine at work. I do scouting stuff as I can, and don't beat myself up if because of the illness I can't stay on my schedule to get scouting stuff done when I want to.

 

I've also learned to say No to recruiting efforts from other volunteer groups in town. I won't take a leadership or committee position in those groups, although I'll help as slave labor in their events periodically. Focusing my volunteer efforts on scouting helps. After all, it's only an hour a week.!

 

Eamonn - sounds like you would like to continue in scouting, but perhaps you are burned out of committees, etc. How about dumping all of that and volunteering to help with a pack or troop in a non-administrative position that would be FUN!!. I don't know if you're doing something on that level already, but I'll bet a unit would be glad to have you take over one aspect of their outdoor program. You'd just have to make sure you didn't allow yourself to be roped into administrative (i.e. boring) stuff within that unit.

 

Good luck!

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I too am burning out. Three of us started the troop together in 1990, and we're still at it. My sons are now 30 and 27 and the other parents don't seem to want to "take over". Of course they have reasons too...travel with work, starting new careers after retiring from military, still in military and deployed, etc. The group of scouts we have left are all Life, and we've told them that at the end of this year, they can either have an ECOH or transfer to another troop. The CO won't care one way or the other...they are not involved except to tell us not to turn the heat on in the winter due to the cost. Recruiting in this area is dismal...even the mega-Troops are complaining about no cross-overs. For my personal situation, my MIL moved in with us, and now my eldest son is moving back home for financial reasons. I will be 55 this year and was looking at retirement next year...but it's not to be due to the economy. I feel like everyone is "hunkering down" and sweating it out. Membership is down, volunteerism is down and donations are down. I did the District thing for awhile as Training and then Camping chair, but got tired of the internal politics. The DE ran the show...the other "Key2" were in name only. My job is secure, but has evolved into something I loathe doing. I'm a manager, but it's like dealing with kindergarteners, not 50-something adults.

 

As to health, I had major surgery last year (section of colon removed), and I seem to be not as "ambitious" as I used to be. I get up at 0500, get to work at 0700 and home at 1800-1900. By then I'm whipped and just eat some supper and fall asleep in front of the TV or laptop. I need to lose weight, but just don't have the energy nor the desire. Old age? Depression?...sure, maybe. Who wouldn't be? Did I mention I'm tired, too?

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Eamonn,

 

I've found it more difficult as time goes on too. Sometimes motivation is lacking, and I really have a hard time tolerating some adults in recent years. Just the time that I'm ready to give it all up and walk away from Scouting, I get just the motivation that I need to keep going. It always comes from the boys.

 

I travel in my job and sometimes miss a couple of weeks in a row. Lately, when this happens and I show up for the next Troop meeting I will be approached by one, two, or more boys to ask where I've been and to ask if I'll be at the next outing or next meeting. That pumps me up and helps keep me going. I have kind of fallen into the niche of ASM working with new Scouts. New Scouts and their enthusiasm and the way they look up to the older boys with awe really helps to motivate me to stick around to help them.

 

So as mentioned, perhaps the key for Eamonn would be to hook up at the unit level for a while and work more directly with the youth... just my 2 cents.

 

ASM59

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I have a different suggestion. I'm one of those who leaves and never looks back. No anger or regrets, I just move on. A long time ago I left a great job with the power industry in the middle of a recession. People thought I was crazy. It was the best decision ever. I left home where I grew up after that and have never given it another thought. If you're of similar feelings, Pack up the boat or backpack and hit the road for a couple of weeks. Take HWMBO if she wants to go or let her stay in peace and quiet. Go find a quiet place in the woods and spend some time with only your thoughts and nature. No TV, no radio, no computer. Take a notebook and write. Eat well. Sleep as much as you want. And walk or go to any place you find interesting. And then make your decision.

 

I did this for 6 weeks with my daughter back in 2005. I quit my cushy federal job after decades of time and took on a new position that I really like. I had lived up to my family obligations so I just removed the shackle. After a couple more years, I'll leave this position as well. No hard feelings. No regrets. Just the past receding into the distance. Maybe I'll take a job in the middle East, maybe I'll just hit the road.

 

The troop had gotten to the point where it could do without my constant oversight so I returned to it after my trip, to work with the boys who needed guidance to eagle. Nothing more except a backpack trip or similar outing. I'm gradually fading into the past as the new leaders pick up the slack and it's working just fine. They don't really need me and I learned long ago that I will not change the stupid decisions that are made at the council level. The last of my cub scouts will complete eagle this year. I'm looking covetously at the AT. And then the Pacific Crest. Maybe the Ural Mountains. Or maybe take my boat to the Caribbean. Nice. Wife can come along if she wants to. Or not. The house will be paid for and she'll be far more comfortable without me. Life's good. I wish you luck.

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Man, that's a deal! It won't be for a couple of years yet but unless I wrap my 'cycle around a tree in the meantime, I'm going to do it after I wrap up this gig.

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scoutldr, sounds like you should've started looking for your replacement about 11 years ago. I think the best thing to do in that kind of situation is not to tell them to go to another troop. Just give the parents your resignation and tell them when your last day is. If they want to continue the troop, they will find a new scoutmaster. If they want to kill it, that's their decision.

 

On a side issue, I have learned that if you want good recruiting you have to invest time in the cub scout pack. Most people when their boys move up into the troop never look back and leave the pack on their own. You need to work closely with the pack and supply den chiefs.

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Scoutldr, I'm afraid the day of retirement in one's fifties is probably over for most of us (heh, heh, especially for those of us already past our fifties, LOL). But you already know I share your fate (my TSP is in the toilet along with yours) so I understand part of your situation.

It sounds like you and the nucleus of leaders who started that unit held it together in spite of everything. Sometimes it's OK to just let the inevitable happen. Think about all the good times and good memories you have from the good days and try not to think about what could have been. Reality is letting you know that you're alone in that vision.

What I CAN offer, though, is to join me on the AT in a couple of years. It'll be a great weight loss move too, as well as a way to improve one's outlook.

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Given the number of discussions about gays and scouting I was a little concerned when I saw the title of this thread. That could be a bit too much information!

 

Back on topic. I do not think I would enjoy scouting if I was working on anything above the unit level. A few years ago I was convinced to serve as a UC for a couple of packs. I did not enjoy it at all and frankly don't think I was very good at it. The experience pretty much convinced me that I will work with my troop until I am not needed or I just can't do it anymore. At that point it will probably be hasta la vista BSA.

 

Retirement? I had thoughts of retiring in 3-6 years. Now it looks like 9 or 10. I will need that to ensure that I have enough for SWMBO and I to enjoy the next 20-30 years (if she doesn't kill me in the first month of retirement). Fortunately I still like my job.

 

 

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Thanks, pack and Scouter760. I know you're right. But it's hard to let go of "the baby" that you created and see it fold.

 

Pack...my inlaws have a rustic cabin in Nelson County, VA within spittin' distance of the AT. If you need a place to bed down (real bed!) and cook a hot meal, let me know. Not sure if I'm up to the trail, but I can meet you there with a hot cup of coffee and re-provision you. No electricity, but a real outhouse and gas stove! Next time I'm up there I'll get the lat/long coordinates. Closest landmark is "The Priest".

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