Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Outing (adj!) Parents
Outing (adj!) Parents
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:44:35 EST
A Scouter relates that he has often had to cancel trips, outings, etc for his
Scouts for lack of sometimes just one more driver. What to do?
Well, what I would do would be to set up the riders with drivers before the
trip. For every parent who will commit to drive, their kid(s) get first dibs
on a seat in that car. After that, hold a drawing with all the other kids for
the seats in your vehicle and any seats in vehicles already promised. Leftover
kids have to lean on their parents to form a carpool for some/all of the kids
leftover, or they don't go..
This may seem harsh, but several things get accomplished here: First, at least
some kids do get to go on the trip and not all are penalized. Next, parents
who won't drive are clearly identified to their peers, the parent of the kids
who didn't win the lottery for the available seats, and may respond to
pressure from them better than from you. Last, the lottery for the available
seats is pretty fair for the kids of non-drivers; perhaps if non-driving
parents feel that their kids are being penalized by a lower chance of
attendance (no guaranteed seat on any given trip), they'll get their butts in
gear to do the right thing and volunteer to drive sometimes. Maybe ask every
parent to commit to JUST ONE trip per year, and schedule it way in advance
(you do have your calendar set up a year in advance, right?) so they can plan
on it. Emphasize that they can freely trade with another parent, but that you
or your transportation chairman will NOT obtain a substitute for them.
That said, positive reinforcement goes a long way too. Award plaques, silly or
not, at Courts of Honor to parents who consistently answer the call. Maybe
have a symbol for each trip, or forshness like that. Mention their names
prominently in the Troop newsletter. Give them gas money. If the Troop stops
for a meal or snack, buy theirs. If it's a day trip to an attraction, buy
their admission ticket.
SA T47 Sandwich MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety
I useta be an Eagle...
'The staff is old and feeble, and we can sing no more,
So we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'