I was at a Scout luncheon last week where several of my council’s prominent officers and executive staff were invited to attend. In the hour and a half they were in the same room with 60+ volunteer scouters, I was pretty disappointed that they didn’t do much to mingle with the other guests. I suppose with all the presidential campaigning going on during this election season, maybe I mistakenly thought these council dignitaries would act in a similar manner. You know… walking around, shaking hands, thanking participants for their service, appreciating the staff for their commitment and recognizing the sacrifice it takes for so many to spend so much time away from their families to be involved in this program. Perhaps the brand new scouters in attendance didn’t know who these folks were, but those of us who were clearly identifiable as volunteer staff members sure did! Am I wrong for expecting these higher levels of local leadership to extend themselves in this way at such scouting events??
In my opinion, if you hold a prominent position in Scouting, please take every opportunity to let other scouters know how important they are. And I don’t mean speaking in general about a large group during your presentation, but individually and personally as you attend social functions where there’s time before or after to “make the rounds”. Isn’t this how you become connected with the people, hear what they have to say and humbly acknowledge that if it wasn’t for us doing what we do, there wouldn’t be anyone to lead?!
I understand the point you’re trying to make, but you seem to imply that the only people working and doing things in Scouting are unit leaders.
I am an Assistant Council Commissioner among my other responsibilities. I am also a Scoutmaster. (I know, don’t need to start that discussion.) From what you are saying, I don’t work as ACC and should go around thanking the “little people” below me. First off, I do thank all the little people and the big people and the in-between people, but NO ONE is below me.
I was asked a question last Summer Camp from a group of Scoutmasters doing training, where was I in the chain and who worked for me? I told them my position and said no one works for me, I work for everyone in the council. They all looked at me like I was from another planet. I had to explain, I am not superior in position to anyone. We work together for the same purposes. Some are out front of the kids. Some work behind the scenes. And some of us just don’t know when to say NO.
There seems to be a belief there’s a chain of command similar to the military. In some instances, someone needs to be the “go to” person and I’ll admit some of those people let it go to their heads, but most leaders understand what we do is for the kids. Some might need a refresher from time to time. We all work for the same goal, but we may come at it from different directions.
I can tell you from being around Scouting people a lot, everyone deserves a huge THANK YOU everyday, whether you are a volunteer or professional, a unit leader or commissioner, a parent or youth, a board member or Scout Executive. Everyone is doing something great for Scouting.
BTW, THANKS for all you do for Scouting.
Thanks for sharing this perspective Rob, I appreciate it. I guess I kinda looked up to these decision makers and people of influence when in reality, they are just like you and me but with a different set of responsibilities.