Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Importance of Goals (Update)
Importance of Goals (Update)
Fri, 4 Jun 1999 13:00:19 -0400
This just goes to show you what can be accomplished when you use your
district chain of command. First off, I attended the district
committee meeting last night and had many opportunities to discuss my
troop's problems with many very experienced Scouters. As a result,
many more people know what state the troop is in and several things
will be done between now and October to correct the situation.
Before I get into details though, I'd like to address another issue
that came up in response to my earlier post. Even though I am a well
trained Scouter with lots of experience (district training staff, 12
years as a unit Scouter, 3 years as a commissioner), that doesn't mean
everything I touch turns to gold. I may be well versed in how Scouting
works and how to organize a troop, but I've never been able to make it
work alone. I've tried. Please don't be surpassed that I'm the one
having so much trouble. Every Scouter regardless of their position,
should be aware of their limitations. They should also be very aware
that it is impossible to run a Scouting unit all by yourself. It may
work for a short period of time, but what happens to the unit when
you're gone? Our goal should be to build a unit that can function
nearly that same without us as it does with us.
Now the results. As I suspected, the Webelos transition rate for our
district this year was absolutely terrible. No reasons were given, and
there wasn't much discussion about the problem, but it seems NO troop
in the district picked up more than three Webelos (there are 15 troops
in the district and 14 packs). This means the transition rate was
somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. We didn't address the results of
the spring recruiting effort.
This is obviously something that needs to be addressed by the District
Commissioner and his staff, but her is attending Camp School this week
and wasn't at the meeting. Those of you who asked about our Unit
Commissioner should know that we haven't had a UC for at least four
years. I WAS the UC for Troop 381 in 1997, but only for the recharter
effort. For quite some time now the district commissioner staff
consisted of 3 people who mostly concentrated on problem units. I have
more to say about that, but it doesn't belong here.
There are now three things that will be done:
1) The fall recruiting effort will be monumental. The district staff
will make sure that every effort is made to turn over every rock in
Copley and get every Scout-age boy and his parents to our open house
2) With the DE's help, and one or two parents of present Scouts,
invitations will be sent to families from the 5th grade drop list.
3) With the help of the district staff and several interested parties,
an effort will be made to find one energetic person to serve as
committee chairman and do whatever is necessary to recruit adults.
Now for some responses to the many notes of encouragement and advice
I've received. I'd like to thank everyone very much for their
encouragement. After last night's meeting and all the notes I received
yesterday, I AM feeling much more optimistic about the situation.
About the goals we set: The goals I mentioned were very specific goals
that should have been easy to accomplish. The wording I used in my
earlier post was only a paraphrase of the actual goals. Also, we set
the goals as a troop so the Scouts had goals they set and the adults
had goals for themselves. We tried to keep them as simple as possible.
What we failed to do, obviously, was gauge the commitment of the
committee (even though they expressed support for the goals).
My earlier post may have been dark and dismal, but I've never been on
the verge of giving up the ship. I've been through this before. That
time, however, I didn't have the professional and district support I
have now. I also have the benefit of hindsight to let me know what
mistakes to avoid. Occasionally, though, even I need a swift kick in
More updates will be forthcoming when something is actually
accomplished. For now, I have summer camp to look forward to...
A. J. Mako
Scoutmaster, Troop 381
:-) He chuckles to himself as he escapes yet another district
committee meeting without being recruited! ;-}