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SeattlePioneer

Troop Aid to Packs & Districts

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Balancing on the head of a pin! I have actively spent the last 8 months trying to reduce my committment so that I can spend more my time with my sons. I have had two days off from Scouting in the last two weeks and it looks like it is only getting worse! LOL I know it is only because my son is on an OA ceremony team so when AOL is "over" we can get back to normal but normal is 5 days a week anymore! Don't forget summer camp is coming and I have to go to camping school and then its weeks at camp etc... Fortunately as the activities chair for teh District I am very lucky to have committe chairs that are excellent and handle the programs better than I ever could. If I had to do it myself I am sure you would find me crumpled up in a fetal position blabbering incoherently!

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Hello Hawkrod,

 

Do you have any tricks to share with us on recuiting those committee chairs?

 

We have a new Cub Scout Daycamp Director this year. I'm suggesting that we ask stronger Cub Packs and perhaps troops to take ownership of particular activities this year, and perhaps in the future too.

 

That would give units skills they can practice as units and provide an important service to the day camp as well.

 

That's my bright idea, but I'm always looking for more!

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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To be honest, I can't take any credit for the incredible people chairing our events. The people in those positions have been doing them for at least a couple of years and are very good at what they are doing. That is part of why I was willing to accept the position, I knew there was excellent leaders in place and my job would be to support them. These people are all amazing Scouter's who not only chair the events, they are Commissioners, Key 3, and Chairs of other District committees. The reality is they are already Super Scouters and every member of our District owes them a big THANK YOU!!!!

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Pioneer-

 

Thanks for the compliment. I've always been someone who had multiple interests I wished to pursue. I knew very early on that my Scouting time was limited and that my priority was to help build up my troop (we had six Scouts when I took over and after crossovers this year, will be just under forty). When I step down as SM eventually, I may take a district level position that won't be as time intensive as being the Scoutmaster of a troop.

 

My decision also was based on a couple of other factors as well. The district and our OA lodge have had very solid leadership for years, so my impact at that level would be minimal. However, my troop was near death and I knew that if I focused my time there and built a good team of leaders, the troop would grow and prosper and have a much stronger affect on other the youth members than working at the district level would.

 

Our COR at the time had been involved in Scouting for years and had a very good analogy for time spent working on Scouting. Everyone loves pie and if you give them a small slice of a good pie, they will want more. Everyone has a certain size they like for their pie and get the most satisfaction out of eating that amount. However, if you have to eat a whole pie, then you'll get sick of it. In my early years as SM, I could have eaten 3/4 of a pie all the time, but I knew I would get sick of it (that is why my predecessor burned out).

 

I am also a big fan of John Maxwell's books on leadership. They are especially good if you work in a non-profit setting like Scouting. From him, I learned the importance of building a strong leadership team and that the true measure of my success as a leader would be how well the organization prospered without my direct involvement.

 

As far as district and council leadership positions go, I thought when I was a Scout that the ultimate experience for an adult would be to wear the silver and/or gold shoulder loops. However, I've come to discover that the best experience is seeing the young men in my charge grow and learn and become quality adults.

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Hello Chippewa,

 

Lot's of words of wisdom and experience in your posts, Chippewa.

 

Most of the fun in Scouting is at the unit level. But the activities of the district and counsel are vital to keeping things working for units. There is a certain satisfaction to be had in helping to provide those services I find as a district leader. I think that was stoked by having taken Wood Badge in my case.

 

And as a district membership chair, I thank you in particular for taking a weak unit in hand and building it back into a fine unit. Too few people are willing and able to do that, but doing so is a great service to Scouting in my opinion.

 

What kind of relationship do you have with Cub Packs in your area and what efforts do you make to keep in touch with and help them?(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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As far as our relationships with Cub packs go, we don't do anything really special. We make sure that we offer to help with School Night in September, invite the Webelos to a couple of campouts a year, and try to help out during Pinewood Derby season.

 

What I've discovered over the years is that when we bring in Webelos, we try to get them into interact with our Scouts. If they get along well, we have a great chance of them joining our troop. I also sit down with the parents during the visit to explain how we do things and find out what they are looking for. If they want a babysitting service that will just blow sunshine up their sons' rear ends, then we are the place. However, if they want to make a commitment and have a good environment where their son will have the opportunity to learn and grow, then we are the place for them.

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