Michael Smith (msmith@EMST-DC.PLANSYS.COM)
Fri, 28 Apr 1995 09:50:45 EDT
I made a BIG mistake in trying to "encourage" parents to volunteer that I
want to pass on.
While we have tremendous parent involvement, we are a large pack and have
many committees for various events. We were a little short on help for a few
of these committees so I gave a "hardball" talk to the parents. I used the
"Boy's Eyes" poem as an intro (very good by the way) and started my plea. I
basically brought up the fact that these are YOUR boys and "if we can't give
our time for our own boy, how can we expect someone else to do so". Nothing
bad so far, but my BIG mistake was in my presentation. Unintentionally, I
apparently came across as saying "if you don't volunteer to help the pack
(read YOUR BOY) you are somehow a bad parent".
I realized this only after a mother came up to me and felt she had to explain
in detail why she couldn't volunteer. She is on the PTA board, on two
committees for her church AND an assistant coach her daughter's soccer team.
THIS IS A GREAT MOTHER!!!!! She cares tremendously and gives of herself not
only to her kids, but to the community. I felt really bad that I made her
feel the way she did.
So while we do need to play hardball sometimes to get volunteers, please
don't make my mistake. We need to make a distinction between the active
parent (though maybe not active in the pack) and the passive parent. Make
sure your efforts are directed at the passive parent and don't imply that the
only way to be a good parent is to help the pack...it isn't.
I feel very fortunate that this parent actually came to me. I have used the
same technique before. How many parents have I "hurt" who didn't come to me?
If this mother had not come to me this time, I probably would have done the
same thing in September. MEA CULPA and friends, please learn from my mistake.
Committee Chairman, Pack 160, Herndon, VA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City