Thu, 29 Aug 1996 17:41:09 -0500
Dee, it's GREAT to hear that you got your car fixed....as a passenger in it,
tell folks, she REALLY needed to get it fixed *heheheee*.
After coming back to work this evening and originally deciding to write to my
wife and get her permission to go out of town over this long Labor Day weekend,
I was met with three postings from Scouters that felt that my comments to Fred
Weber were inappropriate. I've wrote to Fred and apologized for any
I have taken out of context and I told him that I would do the same here.
So I am.
I guess I haven't been doing my "job" as "head cheerleader and dishwasher"
small band, here lately, and this posting is to remind us all of why we are
here....and hopefully to inspire and motivate some of us sitting along the
"outside" of our mighty "fire" we have here daily...to have them to put a
log in the fire, watch the
sparks fly upward and to tell us about themselves, their questions and
concerns and to
ask as well as to take information from this forum we call "the
international Roundtable meeting which NEVER ends".
I want to extract some of my comments to the three guys, without names of
because I was retyping those same lines in three times and it MUST be
important; hence, I'll use my "cut and paste" feature to post them here so
that EVERYONE can
take advantage of those thoughts:
Why are we all here??? Many of us are here because someone told them that
"this is the place to get those hard-to-answer questions answered". Others
have told our new folks that "it's such a different tone and feeling than
over at (insert your own name of
electronic forum here)".
The majority of people here simply get Scouts-L to supplement their agency's
monthly magazines, in our cases _Scouting_ and _Boys'_Life_. The discussions
are mostly adult-oriented, with a good dose of good humor, coupled with personal
concerns, thoughts and reflections. Those that choose to post, are either
response to something that someone else posts and they wanted to "chime in" to
feel that they are part of the "campfire" or wanting to ask a question or
concern that they have in regards to their youth program. ALL which are
and encouraged here.
Then, I was forced to explain if such "trivial postings" are allowed here,
how in the WORLD can anyone else get their "thoughts, feelings and emotions"
in edgewise, when a few folks are "Bogarting" the list? (I had to explain
what "Bogarting" was:
My Scouts call "Bogarting" the act of "not letting anyone else to get around" a
particular item or thing...for instance, I "Bogart" my coffeemug and keep it
by my person because it's something I "treasure").
First, let me re-emphasize that ANYONE who subscribes to this list can post
at ANYTIME and be read by EVERYONE. There's not a "time period for
postings". Yes, we as a GROUP, have 50 messages a day, but that DOESN'T
MEAN that you
and I and everyone else will ONLY get those 50 messages...if I send a
this evening (afternoon there), and the listserver software has already sent
out the 50th
posting, my posting will just "wait" at TCU until after the list has been
released, somewhere after midnight local time at TCU. Then, we will all see
my postings, along with everyone else's. It may FEEL like you don't get a
chance to "cut in edgewise", but believe me, EVERYONE gets a chance to post
(if they choose to do so) and everyone gets a chance to be heard about a topic.
We've had people to, once they have subscribed to our band, to go back and
previous month's log (recommended to get the "feel" of the group and to
avoid asking for the sixteenth time this year "What do you guys mean when
you say "...I used to be a (whatever)??") and respond to something we
"closed out" TWO or THREE MONTHS AGO! The MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO ASK!!
While yeah, there will be folks here that will grow alfully tired of seeing
some of the same questions, you must understand that we pick up new members
every single day and the vast majority of them want to "get into it now"
while they "still have the gumption to do so..." It's like being at a
campfire and after a period of relative quietness, someone
will come up and say "HEY!! What'll doing??"
Second, there is NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. We all have lots of
questions about our youth program and how it's run, why it's run and who REALLY
runs it...so ask. That's the ONLY way you'll get an answer. Which leads me
to "getting the operative answer" (the answer that seems to be the
consensous, the answer that *could be* the answer you're seeking):
As I mentioned above, ANYONE can post....anytime. Just because their
posting doesn't get there on the same day as mine, don't mean a
thing....because it is the READING and RESPONDING of the posts here, not a
"race to see who can be first or best with an given answer" that matters.
*laughter* Don't worry about whether or not your posting is "right".
There's nobody here "keeping score", or else *I* would have been sent to the
Minors by now!! *heheheheee* There's been MANY times in which my postings
hit the list long after someone else (most frequently in the past year, it's
been Mike Bowman ("Professor Beaver"), Kathie or someone else that "got to
the book or material") before I could and could make the posting.
The FACT THAT YOU FELT YOU NEEDED TO POST is more important....as it should
be to you and everyone else....if *you* feel that you have something to
contribute, good, bad, or indifferent to what has been stated, by ALL
MEANS....POST IT and don't worry about whether it's "good stuff". Most of
us aren't looking for "good stuff" or even "what the Books say"...we're
looking for "But how do YOU do it?" or "Why is it THAT way??", and the MORE
answers (even if two or three of them say the exact same things!!) the
better it is for ALL of us.
If we all wanted just to read what Kathie or Chris or Mike (as examples of
"frequent posters") thinks about it, we could have wrote them personally
(and I have done so on many occasions...yeah, Mike Walton writing to find
out information from someone else!!) and waited for the reply from them.
No, we all want to know what they think...but also what YOU OTHERS think and
feel....and if it takes three days to get impressions from those that WISH
to respond (remember, even though you may feel that way, nobody says that
YOU HAVE TO ANSWER EVERY PIECE OF MAIL POSTED!), then it takes three days to
get the "consensous answer".
We have "traditionally" allowed ourselves ten calendar days to get some sort of
"operative answer", but we've never held to that informal "rule". To be
are some topics that really hit us *where it counts* and as a result, we
spend quite more time "working it out". There are other times where the
"answer" is a straightforward, "here it is in the book, magazine or flyer
and here's how you can
do it" kind of thing, taking up all of maybe two or three postings. So
don't let those
"day constraints" keep you from posting too.
Finally, we are somewhat of a happy lot, and don't mind getting a little
personal with each other as time goes onward. I started this posting, for
instance, with some glad tidings for a fellow Scouter that was truly having
some family problems which did
overlap into her role as a Scouter. My wife got a letter from another
that has invited her to visit their family in California when Jessi's ready
(go girl! *hehehee* ...but from what I've heard, you need to carry my
earplugs, because Gary
snores LOUDER than I do!!).
As far as the joking around, haven't you been at a campfire program and you
a significant period of time chatting about, teasing about, and even making
your fellow Scouters or some Scout??? We had, from the start of the list,
we weren't going to completely take ourselves seriously....that yes, indeed,
Scouters and those of us in youth agency work have a LIFE outside of what we
do for others,
and that life includes being ill, having family members being sick or
leaving us, and
the stresses and strains from working for a salary and then coming home and
working for our futures. I do, and I'm not afraid to let others in my
"circle" know that for instance, I miss my wife deeply, that I'm afraid of
leaving home for someplace I may
not return from, and that while Scouting is important....highly
important...to me, I have three children and somewhere out there a fourth to
become adopted by us that I care about just as much. This too, is part of
youth agency work, which is what this
list is all about...NOT JUST SCOUTING!!!
So, most of us put up with the comments about the difference between "pop"
and "coke" (I've called it "co-cola" myself for years), about the various
Wood Badge and
other training course "particulars" and hearing about family members whom
or Scouters whom have passed onward, only to be reminded from someone that they
have set up a web site for such items (and yes, it IS a waste of "a posting"
for something like that...but we always get new people, we always get people
that information to be repeated and it just makes us all PEOPLE instead of
addresses on a computer screen), and we don't mind the occasional distractions!!
After all, aren't we as Scouters supposed to be concerned about those around
But we are foremost known for the way that we tackle problems and issues,
the way that we have always welcomed EACH and EVERY person that subscribes.
Not with a "no, you can't come around here. How do we know you?" but
rather, "Hey, pull up a stomp. The KYBOs are over there, and over here is
drink. Hungry? Know a new song? Want to know about the history of this
here badge I'm wearing? Want to know how come Pab wears a kilt?? Want to
neat tricks to try at your next meetings? Want to know how to get them to
COME to the next meeting?? You came to the right place!
Lastly, "conservation of resources". I am hoping that someday soon we can move
upward from 50 postings a day to 75 or 100, but based on tracking the
average number of postings to this list over a period of time, there are
some days we don't
even get 20 postings!! The point I'm making is that yes, we need to do a
better job at
stating our topics...it makes it easier for other to "filter" specific
things. Yes, perhaps
some of our musings could be held for private postings between each other.
everyone here are equals...there are no "superusers" or "people who have
except for our listowner. So everyone has the opportunity to post, answer
and followup on our daily discussions as they should. After all, that's the
idea of having
a daily mailing list!
So all of you people over there *pointing in the shadows of the fire*, you
need to step up, tell us a bit about what you do or want to do or try to do,
ask those questions that have been burning inside, and come join us...the
ones doing all of the talking and
"taking up most of the heat up front". You can't stay warm back there!!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
Deputy Public Affairs Officer, 21st Theater Army Area Command
Kaiserslautern, Federal Republic of Germany
"everything I say is "on the record"; speaking ONLY for myself unless indicated"
personal inquiries via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
professional inquiries via email@example.com
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