Re: Summer Camp Provisional Troop
John Edwards (edwardsj@ANNAP1.JSC.MIL)
Fri, 12 May 1995 15:42:40 -0400
Jim Miller, Jr. wrote:
> I love the idea of mandating training. There is nothing special about the word
There is something very special about the word "volunteer."
It is critical that everyone start understanding that.
There is no such thing as mandatory anything. You are not King, and
neither is National. If you attempt to force anything upon a volunteer,
there will be confrontation, there will be a breakdown of communication, and
there will be loss of a potentially valuable resource.
Translation -- the volunteer is going to tell you how and where to
hold that training manual, then walk. Congratulations, you don't have a
leader. Now who's got the problem now? You, or your ex-volunteer who's
home watching the big game?
Mandatory anything is a load of crap. This isn't the Third Reich.
The time you're spending trying to coerce people into doing things they have
not fundamentally accepted as worthwhile (for whatever reason) is not only
wasted, but will become counterproductive, potentially catastrophic (e.g.
open confrontation in front of the troop) if you continue.
INSTEAD, go out on a limb! Spend the time developing the
communications and relationships necessary for both you and your volunteer
to come to an agreement about what is needed for BOTH OF YOU to excel at
what you are doing. This has nothing to do with training, nothing to do
with Boy Scouts; it's basic leadership. Without it, your troop will fail --
I don't care how trained you are.
When you and your volunteers come to understand each other's goals
and values, and when you recognize where those values agree with each other,
you will find common ground, and you and your volunteer AS A TEAM will
succeed at whatever task you undertake, including getting whatever training
necessary to lead Boy Scouts. Without that fundamental communication link,
you are going to have to wrestle with this person every step of the way, and
the scouts following you will see right through any facade of leadership or
command that either of you attempt to put in front of them.
"Everything is subordinated to the relationship." -- Rick Barrera
Success has nothing to do with training. It has to do with working
together to achieve a common goal. Hundreds of troops succeed, excel,
scream with success way beyond anyone's expectations, without training
because the leaders have spent the time and effort to develop a well defined
set of goals that everyone, including the scouts, have accepted as worthy of
achievement. This is done with communication. Lots of it. TONS of it.
The rest, including your scout leader training course, is just nickels and
dimes thrown in for good measure.
Sorry about the surly attitude, but I'm finding this line of
discussion a bit looney-tunes. C'mon folks, look for problems, not symptoms!
John L. Edwards
Annapolis, MD, USA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City