No. of Recommendations: 7
Monday was the pack committee meeting for my son's Cub Scout pack. There were more than three people there this time at least. I turned in my Adult Leader application and told the guy acting as Committee Chair and Cubmaster that I was interested in the Asst. Committee Chair position. He then smiled and said that there was just one catch... they didn't need an Assistant Committee Chair, they needed a Committee Chair.

The reason they want me to do it is obvious: my son is a Tiger Cub, meaning I'll be around for at least the next four years. Getting a Wolf or Bear Cub parent would be less advantageous, and a Webelos parent (unless they had a younger child in the program too) would be pretty much useless.

The guy holding both positions now was only expecting to be the Committee Chair, but the Cubmaster had to bow out for personal reasons so he's been trying to do both, and it's really two separate jobs.

So it looks like I'm going to be the effective CEO of a group that I wasn't even a member of in August of this year. It's a bit of a scary prospect, but there is training (some of which I just took, Youth Protection Training, though there's no verification that I took it which is odd) and the Cubmaster will be sticking around for at least another year to show me the ropes.

The only other hurdle is that I have to be approved by the chartering organization (in our case a Methodist Church) which shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'm not a member of that church (which is encouraged) nor any church at the moment (which may have to change) but I can do that if need be.

On an interesting side note it appears that the father of our crazy neighbor woman (the one with a son just younger than mine) was a former Cubmaster in the pack. That means that Ditzy (as I refer to her, if you met her you'd agree, trust me!) and her son will likely be part of the pack next year. THAT will be a challenge! Her son is a tad bit... uncontrollable (to put it mildly). I'm convinced he's somewhere on the Autism spectrum. He does listen to some people but NOT his mother, which could be a problem during pack or den meetings. But having me as the Committee Chair might help a bit since he somewhat listens to me, and I'd be there. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I have to call the Cubmaster tonight to set up the meeting with the Chartered Org rep. I may also need a laptop sooner than I thought... wouldn't do me any good to try to run things from my iPhone and my desktop isn't any better (Acer refurb running Vista with a nearly-full hard drive). At the very least I'll be able to improve upon the filing system the current guy's using. Evernote alone will fix that!

I'm nervous but excited. Nervous because it's a lot of responsibility (a lot of kids will be depending upon me to not let them down!) but excited that I'm going to help good kids be better kids and hopefully responsible adults. And I get to wear a nifty uniform with some neat patches. Should work on this gut a bit though...
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
One thing I noticed is that once you volunteer for a kids program in any capacity, you get sucked in. Too few parents get involved at all, so the ones who do volunteer wind up doing everything.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
fleg - should I find my old post on volunteering? <g>

arrete
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
One thing I noticed is that once you volunteer for a kids program in any capacity, you get sucked in. Too few parents get involved at all, so the ones who do volunteer wind up doing everything.
______________________________

Heck I got caught by my neighbor playing basketball down at the park quite a few years ago. I ended up coaching basketball for a decade before I had a kid!

On the one hand it is a shame so few parents are involved. On the other hand the parents who do it solely out of obligation, often ruin it so bad for the kids IMO, that it is a crying shame.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
One thing I noticed is that once you volunteer for a kids program in any capacity, you get sucked in. Too few parents get involved at all, so the ones who do volunteer wind up doing everything.

That's true. My wife spends almost as much time at my son's school as he does, and she isn't getting a dime for that. She is running the clothes closet where families can donate clothing for less fortunate families. She helps with the monthly restaurant PTO fundraisers by making and passing out fliers. She spends pretty much all day in my son's class on Thursday. She's the hall monitor on Monday mornings. She helped organize the Thinkstretch activities over the summer.

Tonight we're going to some math thingy from 6pm-8pm at the upper elementary school, no doubt my son and I will be doing math stuff while my wife helps run some aspect of it.

If only she had a paying job for all this work she's doing, lol!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
wolve
One thing I noticed is that once you volunteer for a kids program in any capacity, you get sucked in. Too few parents get involved at all, so the ones who do volunteer wind up doing everything.


Very much true. I was part of a youth sports association in Little Elm Tx back in the day when my 2 oldest started sports at the age of 5. One thing led to another and I was coaching year around. Whether it was football, soccer, basketball, baseball or track....I did it. It was particularly challenging during spring when my daughter played softball and my son played baseball. I would coach baseball and help with the softball team (which my wife coached) when I could. But to make matters worse, I was the Track & Field commissioner/coach (pretty much did everything). Track started in May so I was pretty much gone every night and every Saturday. Only had Sunday off, which meant I went to church early in the morning and did not get home until afternoon since I was a church elder and the treasurer. Whew! I got burned out after 10 years.

I liked coaching. But I should have kept it to just basketball and track, which is what I really know best and enjoy. Problem was, in Little Elm Tx, not exactly a bastion of sports, there was nobody that could do it worth a flip except just a few people. When I was not coaching, I'd go to my son or daughter's practice and just cringe. Even a sport I don't know squat about like soccer. So I'd end up helping the coach...which turned into organizing the practices (I would watch videos and go to other teams practices who knew what they were doing)...then usually end up running everything because the guy/gal that was running it did not really want to do anything anyway.

That's how you get sucked in.

I was so glad when JH started and could hang it up, except for summer track which I continued to coach a small group of kids all the way until the 12th grade.

decath
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
One thing I noticed is that once you volunteer for a kids program in any capacity, you get sucked in. Too few parents get involved at all, so the ones who do volunteer wind up doing everything.

That's what I was thinking. You have one guy working as both Cubmaster and (current) Committee Chair? How long do his kids remain in Cub Scouts? There's a good chance that when that time is up, the new Committee Chair will also become the new Cubmaster.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
That's what I was thinking. You have one guy working as both Cubmaster and (current) Committee Chair? How long do his kids remain in Cub Scouts? There's a good chance that when that time is up, the new Committee Chair will also become the new Cubmaster.

His kids are my age. He has someone in the Pack (grandkid maybe?) but basically has been with the pack for nearly its entire existence. The pack was founded in March of 1977, so the pack is older than I am (I was born in December of 1977). He put all his boys through it, was with the pack for awhile, left, came back a few years later and was shocked to see how much it had changed in his absence (basically all the committee structures he put in place disappeared). So he is rebuilding them.

Most packs don't last 35 years. They burn out after 12 or so on average. So really this pack has lasted about three-times as long as it would be expected to. Not to mention that the area of Ann Arbor we're in is one of the lower income parts with lots of apartments so while it is more stable than the student areas it isn't as stable as the rich side of town.

The pack is just muddling along at this point. It's a shadow of what it once was (over 100 cub scouts in the earlier days, 25 or so now) but smaller does help in some ways (less expenses) but hurts in others (less income, fewer parents to volunteer).

Yeah, I have a feeling I'll be doing a LOT of work for the pack. Stuff that larger packs can delegate will be hard to delegate as... well, who would I delegate it to? I'm the only Tiger Cub parent (other than the Den Leader) who has volunteered for anything yet. There aren't many of us to volunteer (only five or six Tiger Cubs, one hasn't been to the last several meetings). One told me his wife is back in school so he doesn't have any time to volunteer. Another one never responded to my e-mail. Another is a single mom who seems to be spread quite thin, so I wouldn't expect too much from her. And the other parent, of course, hasn't been at the last several meetings. So it's just me and the Den leader (who hasn't been at any of the committee meetings I've been to, though I suppose his car breaking down in another state is a good excuse for the one missed meeting, d'oh!) The wife of our Den leader is coordinating the Blue and Gold Banquet, the Pinewood Derby is all squared away and our Den Leader's in charge of awards so at least the kids are not getting shafted.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
One thing I noticed is that once you volunteer for a kids program in any capacity, you get sucked in.
--------------------

Once you volunteer for anything you get sucked in. I do my darndest not to get sucked in, but sometimes the organization wouldn't exist if I didn't do stuff.

Our dulcimer group holds together only because I run the email list. Back in November we were told that the place we were holding our jams was going to close. We had 3 weeks to find a new place for jams. One guy kindly offered his house for December (ever tried to find an ampty room in December - full of holiday parties). I managed to schedule a room at my local library for January and February. One other person offered their house about 4 times a year and another a room at their condo 4 times a year. It'll all work, but someone needs to coordinate it. Sigh.

Here's a very old post on volunteering in wildlife rehab
http://boards.fool.com/volunteer-creep-19518167.aspx

The dark side of volunteering
http://boards.fool.com/the-dark-side-of-volunteering-long-18...

I don't mean to discourage Colovion - just that he should very careful not to take on too much. My son is also doing a lot with Boy Scouts.

arrete
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Once you volunteer for anything you get sucked in. I do my darndest not to get sucked in, but sometimes the organization wouldn't exist if I didn't do stuff.
____________________________

Your observation is painfully accurate.

Most folks, if they volunteer for stuff for their kids, well there is a natural escape hatch(though some of us get suckered into helping kids on a generic scale and fall into the same basic trap you mention)

The problem again, is with kids, there is a natural time when there is a good reason to justify separation, with other activities, it is tougher not ot make it an even longer term commitment, and some pain involved when you do decide to get out.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Once you volunteer for anything you get sucked in. I do my darndest not to get sucked in, but sometimes the organization wouldn't exist if I didn't do stuff.
____________________________

Your observation is painfully accurate.

it is tougher not ot make it an even longer term commitment, and some pain involved when you do decide to get out.
----------------------

I destroyed an organization once - a computer club. I was saddled with being newsletter editor (I did NOT volunteer - I was directly asked in front of a lot of people - very awkward). After a while, no one wanted to be bothered with coming up with monthly programs. Getting the newsletter together and mailed/emailed out took about 3 days a month (sometimes longer, depending on material available). If I did a program, that was another 3 days, at least. So after several years of this, I announced I was no longer going to do the newsletter and asked for volunteers. No one came forward so they closed down the club. The president was also getting fed up with the lack of participation.

So if you have a group you want to keep going - at least occasionally offer some minor help. Otherwise someone like me is going to pull the plug.

arrete - I belong to another computer club now and I haven't done squat (I'm still in recovery). I may offer a short program on the new HD Kindle once I figure out how to make it do all it's supposed to do.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I destroyed an organization once - a computer club. I was saddled with being newsletter editor (I did NOT volunteer - I was directly asked in front of a lot of people - very awkward).
____________________________________________

It can be tough, I have this errghhhh friend, yeah a friend, they kind of have a reputation for getting things done and got volunteered for stuff all the time. When put on the spot, they now flat out tell people they refuse to be punished for being competent, but will gladly be an assistant. The person is much happier now.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Yep...most 'clubs' run out of volunteers after a few years..


I was Pres and VP of the Plano radio club...got burned out after 3 years and passed on the job to other volunteers...the club has enough people to keep things going. That was 18 years ago...... now it is more 'social' than technical...... but they got lots of families involved and young folks.

I'm the current Pres of another club.....that puts out newsletter. The guy who does the quarterly newsletter and the membership has declined so much in the past 10 years that we are going to close it down. only a few members live in the area and most get the newsletter by mail...and with the internet, there really isn't much reason for a quarterly newsletter and articles. Next month it will be formally shut down. It's a 501C organization. Had a good 20 year run.

I was also VP of another radio club for 2 years....had to come up with programs...which was not always easy...but we managed...but after 2 years you run out of your ideas.... it's still going but only a handful make it run. Once a month meetings....and depending on the program, from 12 to 35 show up.

The local accordion club is doing OK...we have monthly meeting..and from 15 to 40 show up. The big deal is the annual convention which brings in over 200 people from around the country.....other than that, we don't even put out a newsletter....... the club in Austin is fading away...the Ft Worth club is fading away......not enough new folks to keep it going and the oldsters are coming less and less.


My parents assisted with scouts...my dad volunteered a lot in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts helping out on camp outs and similar....my mom helped the Den Mother.....I was in Scouts for years and years....until high school when other things got my interest.... went to Scout Camp two summers....(relatively cheap)..... I don't think they were ever the head gurus though....


but if you've got kids, you're likely to put in some time 'helping out'.....running things is a bit more than most parents want to do.....they don't need the added stress, and you've always got the libs with big ideas and few brains trying to tell you how to do everything..... and with the so much PC crap these days....it's probably hard to get anything done.


t.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
they don't need the added stress, and you've always got the libs with big ideas and few brains trying to tell you how to do everything..... and with the so much PC crap these days....it's probably hard to get anything done.

That's one thing about this town... most of the libs are so militant that they'd never bother with Cub Scouts anyhow. I remember several years back they got the local United Way to stop supporting the Scouts over the anti-homosexuality scandal (it has since been re-added, quietly perhaps). So while liberal interference is possible it actually is less likely due to the polarization. They just don't want anything to do with us. Such is life.

If there are any uber libs in the group they've made a tactical error in not volunteering before I did. Liberal indoctrination will NOT be on the agenda as long as I'm in charge of the agenda. Cleaning up a park is one thing, but praying to Mother Earf won't be part of it. These kids want to have fun, not be told that they're killing the planet, meat is murder, guns are evil, etc. You can learn to respect the natural environment without having to be told that the Internal Combustion Engine is the devil (ala High Priest AlGore). I put my kid in Cub Scouts to get him AWAY from all that stuff, like hell I'll be helping instill any of it!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
If there are any uber libs in the group they've made a tactical error in not volunteering before I did. Liberal indoctrination will NOT be on the agenda as long as I'm in charge of the agenda. Cleaning up a park is one thing, but praying to Mother Earf won't be part of it. These kids want to have fun, not be told that they're killing the planet, meat is murder, guns are evil, etc. You can learn to respect the natural environment without having to be told that the Internal Combustion Engine is the devil (ala High Priest AlGore). I put my kid in Cub Scouts to get him AWAY from all that stuff, like hell I'll be helping instill any of it!


Man, I tell you....scouts was the best thing for me when I was in elementary school and JH. My dad did not give a squat about me and spent zero time with me. In fact the only time I was with him was painful, physically and mentally.

So scouts was the 1st time I was involved with men who were effective leaders, good role models and who just flat out cared. The camping trips, the merit badge mentoring are imbedded into my memory in a very postive, special way.

I remember the 1st week long summer camp. I learned to ride a horse, canoe, shoot a bow, shoot a .22 rifle and many survival skills. It was a blast.

Unfortunately by HS in my small town, the interest dwindled down to nothing and the program was nonexistant at that level. Nobody was going to drive me to the next town so I could work on becoming an Eagle Scout, which had great interest for me.

But what I did, I'll have forever and I really believe it was the scouts that gave me the work ethic and displine to move positively on towards life instead of getting into trouble because of my crappy homelife.

For the homosexuals, feminists and athiests out there that have a problem with the scouts, you need to really think about what you are apposing. There are probably millions of men with similiar experiences since scouting began early in the 20th century.

decath
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
I wish I had been in scouts when I was a kid! I was raised by a single-mother, sometimes went years between seeing my father. When I was five or so my mom married my step-dad, but he was in his early 20's and wasn't quite ready to raise a son. He tried, we did Indian Guides (YMCA's version of scouts) but it wasn't the same. The only actual scouting experience I had was as an Explorer (in the medical field) in high school for a year.

My son's already learned things in scouts I didn't learn until I was an adult! I'm sort of reliving the childhood I didn't have through him in a way, and learning along with him. I hope he sticks with it.
Print the post Back To Top
Advertisement