scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Volunteers vs. Professionals
Daniel Hammond (danhammondsr@YAHOO.COM
Sun Jun 25 2000 - 01:01:56 CDT
G. John Marmet wrote in part:
"regarding strife between volunteers and professionals.
My first comment here is that all conflicts between people are
individual (unless of course we have open warfare between nations).
Which is the same thing as saying that conflict is between 1
volunteer and 1 professional. That being said the next question is
how do you avoid this? <snip>"
As usual, Mr. Marmet is right on target. His process for developing
a good relationship with the professioanl Scouters in your life would
work well just about anywhere.
I also think it's incumbent upon both parties to endeavor to work
together in the best interest of the boys. This can be a bit tricky
for the professionals, since their income and livelihood are
dependent upon that which for us volunteers is an avocation. But I'm
sure they can do it.
That being said, I have personally seen different levels of success
in this regard. One professional I worked with did little for me. I
was non-plussed by his abilities. I had asked repeatedly for some
help for my unit (I was new to adult scouting then and didn't know
who else to ask) and he neither provided any help, nor got me help
from elsewhere. I now know that my first line of defense for the
problems we had was my unit commissioner, but he didn't even provide
me that bit of information. He was very good at making sure we had
our FOS presentations done to meet his deadline.
Another professional with which I have worked is a prince of a man.
He helps me with whatever I ask, and naturally I am inclined to
reciprocate. I have been so impressed with this fellow that I have
been the Membership Chairman for the district and would gladly
continue in this capacity were I not being reassigned by the Army.
I'll miss him dearly.
Yet another volunteer I know has nothing but bad things to say about
this man. The two of them are like oil and water.
I also happen to work periodically with another professional here
that I wouldn't give the time of day. He's arrogant and overbearing
and lets no opportunity pass to make sure we know he's a professional
and we're *merely* volunteers. Yet I have been able to get this man
to help me when I needed his help. And I go out of my way to be nice
to him and show him just how competent I am in what I do in Scouting.
He probably has no idea that I could live quite nicely without him.
So I guess that I try to turn my adveraries into allies in this
regard and work hard to get along with the professionals wherever I
may find myself. I'm not sure I'll ever go to the lengths that
G.John recommends, but that's only because I change locations more
often than the professionals I've known do.
I happen to think that even as an adult it's important to try to live
up to the ideals of Scouting, and I just don't feel I'm doing my best
if I don't try to work with professioanl scouters, even if I don't
like them. I believe that Abrahm Lincoln said words to the effect
of, "If I make friends of my enemies, have I not destroyed them?" It
makes sense to me.
Daniel D. Hammond, Sr.
CM Pack 225, District Committee, Army Major, Olympia, WA
I Used to be an Owl...
We should prepare boys for their future, not our past
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