Hello and Welcome Back!
If you are reading this you are a volunteer, and probably not just for Scouting. Volunteering for Scouting returns more satisfaction and joy than we really deserve, but there’s always a danger of getting spread too thin.
It’s a running joke among volunteers who keep running into each other at different activities there must only be about ten or twelve volunteers running every activity in town (this isn’t far from the truth sometimes!).
We all have a breaking point, and it’s best not to test exactly where that is, so be sure to establish volunteering boundaries.
Over the years I have visited the ideas of effective volunteering a number of times, most of what I know I learned the hard way. Hopefully the information below will help you avoid the most common volunteer pitfalls.
Scouts and parents don’t always remember to say thank you, and it’s easy for me to say thanks for doing what you do as a Scouter, but it’s a heartfelt thanks.
Hope this helps!
2007 Annual Father and Son Weekend
Ordinary folks bring their children to a Scout meeting. Extraordinary folks are already there to make the Scout meeting possible.
Now there’s no shame in being ordinary. The world needs lots of good, steady, ordinary people to keep things moving along.
But the world would be a much less interesting place without extraordinary people who freely give themselves to a noble cause like Scouting.
Sometimes all we need to solve our biggest problems is a slight shift in attitude. What would things be like if our first assumption was goodwill?
If your appeals for help aren’t having positive results it may be that you’ve convinced yourself that no one cares, that no one will help. People can sense that and it may be your attitude that keeps them away.
Volunteer Scouters often have to explain themselves and dispel persistent misconceptions.
Frank Maynard’s excellent blog ” Bobwhite Blather ” addresses one of the most common problems in Scouting: wearing too many hats!
Volunteering is a wonderful, generous way to spend our time but we all have a breaking point. If we don’t have volunteer boundaries there’s a pretty good chance we are headed for a crisis. Call it burn-out fatigue, or what-have-you – it’s the point where it all piles up and makes us doubt whether we can keep going.
When we grow impatient or become frustrated with our Scouts we need to remind ourselves in almost every case they are trying to make good rather than trying to make trouble. Find a way to cooperate with that effort and you’ll not only make your Scouts happier, you’ll be happier yourself!
Everyone needs help, right? Most Scouters, at one time or another, find ourselves overwhelmed, discouraged and helpless. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone, and there’s a way out! See if the email answer about getting volunteers to help in this podcast helps you.
Not every Scouter is in a key position to effect change, not every scouter shares your exact understanding of the ‘right’ way to do things, so how do you volunteer cooperatively?
In this podcast a big thanks for the work you do.
Essential Everlasting Gear
I’ve sorted through tons of jingle-jangle, gimmicky camping gear to find stuff that stands the test of time. My choices aren’t always the newest or cheapest, but ones I’ve relied on it for many years.
P-38 OPENER, CAN, HAND, FOLDING, TYPE I
The P-38 can opener was used by soldiers to open canned field rations from WWII though the Viet Nam war. A p-38 hangs, at the ready, from my keyring in the event of a can-opener-less emergency, although I must confess I have yet t0 find myself in one. Another p-38 is sleeping in my camping contingency kit waiting to be called into service when there’s no other alternative.
I continue to carry a P-38 even though, in a world of Swiss army knives, it is probably not realistically practical. I suppose I carry one out of a sense of tradition, fascination with its history, and a preoccupation with the idea the day will come when I heroically open an otherwise un-openable can.
A man has to dream, doesn’t he?
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Please feel free to share any of the resources I have created with your fellow Scouting volunteers and your Scouts. I ask only that you acknowledge where you found them.