Re: Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Phi Omega
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Mon, 5 Jul 1993 10:50:19 CDT
G E Hedrick <geh@A.CS.OKSTATE.EDU> writes:
>I would be careful in using members of either fraternity for anything other
>than specific short term projects. You might find some individuals
>who continuously will be helpful in either one, but remember these
>are transient populations. The fraternity members are college
>students who must necessarily put their studies ahead of their volunteer
As an former Explorer Advisor for the nation's first collegiate
Scouter Explorer Post, I can agree with you and disagree with you at
the same time...yes, the populations are transitory in their nature,
but today's college student makes schooling practially a year-round
venture...and Scouting, as a recreational and community service
program, makes for well-rounded (and not so bored) adults.
Many of the Explorer Post members have time for the things which
interested them. Members of the Post served as Assistant Scoutmasters
and I served as Scoutmaster of one of the community's Troops while a
college student. Other members served as Unit Commissioners, as Den
Leaders and Assistants and as members of the local District Committee
(which as Carroll Hale can tell you, needed the extra hands then as
now really, really bad...other than the city of Richmond, there's not
that many people involved in Scouting in the five other counties
around the central county-- so help IS needed.)
Of course, some of them are there because their significant other are
members, and there's a constant "coaching process" that must be done
to reinforce the need for continual leadership, not one that is going
to go away after two weeks or a month. I've found such on-site
coaching, while draining for the volunteer and professional advisors,
is worth it as *most* will stick around to see what impact they can
have in the lives of youth. Three of our Post members over the years
carried over their Scouting adventures to other areas of community
involvement, something that I've very proud of.
With *anything* you will have those that are there because "it sounded
good at the time" or for other "self-serving" reasons. You can quickly
and quietly filter that out before the risk of losing a unit or part
of one gets large.
There HAS to be confidence in the college student's ability to lead
and confidence from the District that the students WILL BE TRAINED.
Carroll can perhaps speak to this better than I, as that District's
training chair, we had problems in the past two-three years in getting
some of the members of the Post to attend Scoutmaster Fundamentals.
Because we were dealing with "former and present Scouts", many of them
thought as many adults think, that "Hey, I was a Scout...I know how
this is supposed to be run...why do I have to attend some stupid
training course out in (the middle of nowhere)?"
>I have served as an APO advisor. Even though they believe in the scouting
>principles, most of the students cannot make the weekly commitment
>required to be a unit volunteer. If they are over 21, they can be used as
>committee members, merit badge counselors, or commissioners. (I have no
>college age commissioners on the district commissioner's staff.)
>Most APO members have scouting backgrounds, so they have
>no trouble with the BSA policies and procedures.
As a APO member, I can also agree with you and disagree on a couple of
key points. Depending on the college or university involved, there
may NOT be a emphasis on Scouting service as opposed to service in the
"generic sense". Most of the college students CAN make the weekly
committment, but only if they are willing to bypass the "traditional"
fraternity activities and those activities of the local College.
Unfortunately, when you are talking "weekly committment", we are
really talking about an average of 8 meetings during a month period
no matter WHAT LEVEL of leadership we are talking...and it does take a
effort of the fraternity AND the unit to emphasize that "we need your
help, and if you are wanting to be registered, we need you
consistantly. So, don't sign if you're not going to be consistant".
The COR and the Chapter Advisor can help this process greatly, as well
as the Scouting Advisor that many APO chapters have.
>Alpha Phi Alpha is a similar, but different story. I detect a real
>desire to be helpful. I think I lost several volunteers when I talked
>to some of their officers and told them they would need to complete
>the adult applications before they could work with the scouts. I'm
>not sure what I did, but no one from Alpha Phi Alpha has returned to
That's understandable, but I'd wouldn't give up on their support.
While APO is strictly service, APA is social by nature and does
service projects only as a by-product. The problem is not in filling
out the applications (and I would steer clear of ANYONE that refuses
to fill out an application, fraternity member or no), but rather in
the committment of TIME ...and they see the application as a
committement in time...some education needs to be done with the
chapter and the unit both.
>There is a great deal of potential among our college students, but
>we must develop it and channel it where it will do the most good.
I agree..but most college students today WANT that challenge..if you
present it as such....if you present it as "something to do because we
know you don't have nothing else to do", you'll get a lot of inital
volunteers..but not many that will meet the challenge head-on.
Mike L. Walton
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
( (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
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