What if the coach of a basketball team let eight or nine players play at a time? Or let them shoot into both baskets? Have you ever seen a baseball game where the batter could swing at as many pitches as he wanted to until he got a hit, or keep running the bases after she was tagged out? Would a band director let the trombones play the flutes’ score if they liked that music better?
These are all absurd situations. The rules of various sports are clearly defined, and the game has to be played by those rules. A band or orchestra has to play the score pretty much as it was written, or cacophony would result.
So why do some Scouters fail to understand how a troop works, or disobey the rules because they think they know better? Continue reading
Back when most of us were teenagers, what we now know as “social media” consisted of long hours tying up the family telephone chatting with our friends, or perhaps time spent cruising the boulevards or at the town soda shop. Times have changed and so has the technology, and our teenagers communicate by all manner of instant electronic means.
Early commercial online chat services such as Prodigy and Compuserve eventually gave way to the king of instant messaging, America Online. It seemed like anyone who was online had an AOL account, and when Internet connectivity became widespread, so did AOL Instant Messenger. Continue reading
December can be the most hectic month of all, with holiday preparations, family visits and vacations, shopping, cooking and cleaning. Fortunately, if you do your Scouting duty to “be prepared”, your workload will be lighter and you’ll have more time to spend with your family.
Your biggest concern right now will be with the annual charter renewal process and tabulating your Journey to Excellence scorecard. Continue reading
Last week we discussed ways to keep from taking on too many jobs. As a follow-up, let’s consider ways to keep the one job you supposedly have from being overwhelming.
I realize that many of us have multiple responsibilities in Scouting, as well as being very likely we’re involved in other pursuits. But taking on a major responsibility like committee chair doesn’t have to feel like you’re sinking in quicksand. Successful people learn to deal with multiple priorities and deadlines by compartmentalizing their areas of responsibility and handling each task in a systematic manner. Continue reading
Many of us got into Scouting leadership because we wanted to share in the fun and adventure with our sons and wanted to help our pack or troop provide a great program for the boys. “An hour a week,” we were told, and soon found that it’s not always an accurate estimate, “but who’s counting?” we reason, because it’s for our sons and those of our friends and neighbors.
As we climb higher up the tree of adult leadership, though, we may find ourselves taking on more and more responsibilities. “Sure, I’ll do that,” we say, when someone asks us to handle a fundraiser, plan an outing, or serve on a district committee. It will be fun, and we’ll learn new things and meet new people, and we’ll be helping others.
As the chairperson of our unit committee, for instance, we realize that there are almost always more things to do than there are people to do them. Continue reading