Seascout-Net Mail Archive for June of 1999: Attendance, Recruiting, Etc.
Attendance, Recruiting, Etc.
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 19:37:04 -0400
Sounds like you're making excellent progress, Robyn! Keep up the good
My opinions, FWIW / YMMV ...
"adult run" vs. "youth run" ...
Define "adult run". Define "youth run". Define "proper adult
leadership". Define "train them in what a good program is". IMO, these
terms are subject to interpretation. It's not black vs white, it's a
continuous spectrum with many shades of gray. IMO, with "proper
leadership" (my interpretation, and note that "adult" is omitted ... you
need committed youth leaders as well as committed adult leaders to make
it work), you should be able to jump start a "youth run program" (again,
my interpretation) in 6-8 weeks. Two steps: (a) Make the decision to
do it! (b) Then do it! IMO, the training and experience of the youth
leadership have little to do with "youth run"; the committment of the
youth leadership, the committment of the adult leadership, the training
and experience of the adult leadership, and a common understanding of
the expectations and methods embraced by your interpretation of "youth
run" have everything to do with it.
(I'll be glad to share my interpretations and methods, but before I do
I'd like to get a feel for what others may have for their
1. Program ... Now, it's true that we met with some resistance from the
crew, and a few kids don't come around as much. ...
Don't let them get away. Give them a call and give them the phone
numbers of the other skippers/boatswains in the area (with the
permission of the skippers/boatswains concerned of course), and get
their permission to give their names/numbers to the other
skippers/boatswains. Encourage them to look for a better match to their
needs. If they are no longer interested in Sea Scouting at all,
encourage them to call the council office and ask about other Venturing
programs they might be interested in.
2. Adult Leadership Attitude. ...
IMO, you've hit the bulls-eye.
Unfortunately our successful program is causing resentment between ship
leaders in our fleet.
GREAT! (What's the icon for "tongue in cheek"?)
The fact that you have a T-boat (the biggest in your fleet) may be a
factor with some, but not all of them. I don't suppose you could find a
few more spare T-boats around and get them donated to the other units?
(In other words, it may be a factor, but I don't think there's much you
can do about it. Some people like power boats, some like sail; some
like small boats, other like big ones.)
Likewise, the fact that you are co-ed may be a factor for some, but not
all. Why aren't the others co-ed? Sponsor policy? Or just lack of a
female leader? (I don't suppose you could recruit a few female leaders
to share with the other units? :-) How strictly does your council
interpret the leadership requirements? Few, if any, require a
registered female mate. Some require a registered female over 21,
either mate or committee member. Some accept any female parent of a
youth member, even if un-registered. Some accept the female spouse of
any registered leader. Some accept any female over 21. Some accept a
male parent of a participating female member. Some accept the male
parent of EACH participating female member. Some accept the lack of a
female leader if the permission slips for the activity specifically
acknowledge that the parents are aware of this lack. Some require co-ed
leadership only for overnight activities, some require it for all
activities away from the regular meeting place, some require it for all
meetings and activities; some have three different standards: one for
regular meetings, one for overnights, and one for all other one-day
activities. Some councils will allow one set of alternatives for one
unit (with several leaders over 35 who are all multi-year Scouting
veterans for example), and not allow the same alternatives for another
unit (with young leaders with no prior Scouting/Venturing background for
example). I suspect that many units that are single-gender "because we
don't have a female (male leader) leader" simply haven't discussed it
with their district/council executive to explore acceptable alternatives
that meet the intent if not the letter of the co-ed leadership policy,
as interpreted in their local council. (Yes, I'm sure there are all
female units out there who are single-gender only because they have been
unable to recruit a male leader. The same considerations apply.)
WHY are these "defecting" members bored with their own unit's program?
If the majority want to make it primarily a social gathering, it is
natural/normal/acceptable for the minority who want what you have to
offer to "defect". If the majority wants more than they are getting,
- the youth haven't made/kept the committment to make it "youth run",
they are looking for a "free ride", and the adult leaders haven't set or
have inadequately communicated any other expectations (which can be
- the leaders haven't made/kept the committment to make it "youth run",
haven't set or communicated any other expectations to the youth (which
can also be corrected);
- or the unit just doesn't have the necessary resources to satisfy the
needs of the youth members (which may or may not be correctable if
recognized, and for which "defection" is the natural result if not
NO, you should NOT ban guests who happen to be members of other units
from participating with your unit.
I suspect you didn't quite say what you meant ... TRUE they can't hold
office in your unit unless they are a registered member of your unit ...
their membership in another unit is totally irrelevant.
While you didn't mention the subject, you also should not sign off any
advancement requirements for them unless you have the consent of the
leaders of the unit where they are registered. If/when appropriate, you
may (and should) give them a written note to their leadership/committee
saying that in your opinion the requirement has been met.
... we said that if they practice for Regatta with us then we expect
them to compete with us.
Who is "we"? This should be decided by your YOUTH! What ... give away
our advantage, our "trade secrets", help them win against us? Or ...
even if some of them have our training, ALL of us have our training, and
there's no way we can loose ... and the tougher we make the competition,
the better it feels when we win! Either position is acceptable. It
should be a "standing rule", not a case-by-case "hidden blackball", and
should "stand" for at least a year. But there's no reason it can't be
reviewed/revised from year to year. Simple majority vote should suffice
... not a "bylaw" (needing 2/3 vote to change).
NO, don't force kids to choose between units. That's a lose/lose/lose
deal (them, one unit or the other, and any hope for cooperation between
NO, don't stop sharing cruises. Do give preference to your own registed
members, over guests who are not members of any ship, with members of
other ships that have not been on a (recent) cruise with you taking
preference over those (members of other ships or non-members of any
ship) who have. Offer everyone a taste of what Sea Scouting has to
offer, and encourage them to take ideas back to their own unit.
Encourage other units to share their plans with you, preferably
youth-to-youth through your council quarterdeck or Venturing Cabinet, or
informally between classes, by e-mail, etc. Let your kids know it's OK
to wangle an invite to particpate on a cruise with another ship.
(Surely you have kids who must work the weekend of your cruise but have
the preceding or following weekend off, or must spend the weekend of
your cruise with their non-custodial divorced parent, or ... whatever.
Hopefully you won't lose very many to another cruise the same weekend as
your own cruise. If so, turn-about *is* fair play ... for whatever
Mark Ritter - RitterME@stny.lrun.com - Committee Member
Sea Scout Ship 90 - The S.S.S. North Star - New Milford PA
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