an encouragement for many Scouts/Scouters
William J. O'Connell ("William)
Wed, 20 Sep 1995 12:55:18 -0600
Hello! As some of you may know, I worked at Phillips Scout Reservation in
Haugen, WI during the summer. I was the director of the First Year Program.
As many of you were great in giving me information about the program. BUT
I'm not here to write about the program, but what the summer meant to me as
a staff member, and I would encourage you as a leader to recommend to be a
staff member at their local camp or other camps! WHY!?!?
1) This summer, I really felt the other side of life. This year we had a
lot of storms that come in (Tornado - Thunderstorm Warnings) that we has
staff members had to get 200 + Scouts to get into cover. I remember one
storm when we had parents night. Just when we were doing the OA ceremony,
the storm came. A parent came and told that she was missing her son. I was
in a vehicle with a buddy, so we went searching. Remember that there is a
server thunderstorm warning going on. The winds and rain was incredible.
Later they found their son. Then going into campsites during storms so the
Scouts can be safe.
We are also a search and rescue post at the staff. We had to do one search
and rescue for a person (that is all I can say about that). But that
incidence made me look at life different.
The whole situation in where life maybe in danger is frightening.
2) Now I talked you out of being staff, I will tell you why should a person
be staff. 1) You are a team and a family. You live with the staff for the
whole summer. During the storms, etc, we had to work as a team. There were
no directors or labeling, but a team working to together for the better of
the boys. Like a sport team, when one person let down, the whole team did
and that didn't happen at all. I never experience (not even in college)
where complete strangers in the beginning of summer can become as close to
you as your family members. We were a family in the aspect that we cared
for each other and we did a lot of things together. We had 50 members on
staff and I made 50 new friends. We helped each other in many different
ways. THAT IS WHAT WE NEED EVERY TROOP TO HAVE! Scouting should be a team.
Everyone needs to work together and everyone needs to know that one
shouldn't let go of the team. I really I never had this imagine of this
until I experienced it.
2) Also you influence kids. As a staff member, I was a role model for
them. At an average, I had 50 Scouts in my program during 7 weeks - that is
350 Scouts just in my program. Then I had to communicate to an average 2
Adults per Troop. I met around 150 adults. Then with Cub Scouts - I was
involved with close to 200+ Cub Scouts = 700+ people I had to work with. I
don't know how much I influenced the Scouts - but I knew I did by when
Scouts come to me and give me hugs or "I'll miss you". That is what
Scouting is all about - we are here for the Scouts and have a positive
imagine on them so they can take that in their life.
A camp staff member was a priviledge, not work. I did a lot of work and put
many hours in, but I did it for the Scouts and the Scouting program. I know
summer is far away, but camps are already thinking who they will hire for
next year. Think about it, a summer away from parents and a chance to meet
new people and learn at the same time.
If you have any comments/suggestions, please write them to me.
1995 Phillips Scout Reservation FYC Director
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City