"They" is us
Craig Bond (CraigB1051@AOL.COM)
Wed, 26 Apr 1995 11:38:47 -0400
Jesse Cross, III, (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes: "...now
the policy exists to protect the BSA, not the youth, not the adult
volunteers ... Be prepared, the BSA will leave you hanging if they
even suspect you at some time violated the written policy."
Ouch! What makes you think the youth and adult volunteers are
not the BSA? People, you are accusing an enemy that is us (you as
a volunteer, me as a professional *and* a volunteer).
What happens if BSA is sued out of existence? (The program will
survive and come back in much the same form, after awhile, but at
immense to as much as a generation of youth).
Let me state, unequivocally, that "suspicion" is not sufficient
cause to be left hanging. The word that I've heard most often is
"The questions you have to ask yourself are: Are the risks I'm
taking worth what I'm trying to accomplish? Am I taking too many
or too big a risk? Am I putting the object of my efforts (i.e. the
youth) in danger?"
These are great questions and I wish they were asked more often.
They were certainly asked plenty of times as volunteer leaders
throughout the USA contributed to the development of the Youth
"Your best defense is to speak openly and frankly with the boys and
the parents of the boys involved. Let them know what risks you're
taking. *MAYBE* they will even help you. At the very least,
you've established an open line of communications!"
I'm always in favor of opening communications. I'd suggest,
moreover, that in opening the line of communications, you open the
line of solution: let the boys and their parents know that you need
one of them to come with you or you cannot go. Y'know, too often
we let people off the hook by making their decisions for them. We
*assume* they won't/can't go and we don't tell them they must.
(Let's all say, in unison, what assume means...).
Salespeople call the opposite the "assumptive close", as in, "So,
which parent can come with me on this trip?" Or something like
that. Then, silence is your best friend (other than your
Roundtable Commissioner, who is always your best friend). Wait
them out and let the boys' long faces at the prospect of not being
able to go do the work for you. A son's far more adept at getting
positive action from his parents than you and I will ever be.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City