Selection from the PEOPLE WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SCOUTING Series
Need a Volunteer"
Janet is one
of those Scouters who always seems to be around when you need them. You know
the type - you probably have someone in your Troop or Pack who is just like her. I dedicate these words to all of them.
I first met Janet on a Scout hike. Shortly afterward, her son crossed the bridge to Boy
Scouts and joined our Troop. Immediately, Janet signed up as a committee member. From then
on, whether she was needed to help wash dishes or carry supplies to a campout, Janet was there.
Troop soon discovered Janet did more in Scouting than the Troop's odd jobs -and they would
benefit.She was also a District
Scouter. As such, she was constantly needing Scouts to take part in a ceremony,
participate in a program, or just volunteer good old hard work at a District function.
For example, consider
the annual Scouting for Food weekends. Along with distributing and collecting food bags, the Troop found themselves
"volunteered" for work at a collection point where they packed into boxes, the
food that had been collected and dropped off by other Packs and Troops. Yes, it took a few
more hours, and a little more work, but the Scouts were rewarded with a free lunch. (The
collection point Janet chose for her Troop happened to be a fast-food hamburger restaurant
who was a sponsor of the event.)
The next year, the Scouts, themselves,
volunteered to work at a collection point. This time, after the food was packed in the
boxes, Janet announced that help was needed to load the food onto the trucks that would
carry it to the Salvation Army warehouse.
The Scouts said, "Sure, we can do
that." After the food was loaded, the Scoutmaster and other parents drove the Scouts
to the warehouse so the Troop could also help unload the boxes. Some of the Scouts were
beginning to wonder what Janet had gotten them into THIS time.
were rewarded, however, with an
invitation from the Salvation Army the next December. They were invited to attend the
Annual Open House, held for Army benefactors the day before needy families come to select
their Christmas items. On display was were the food items, new and used clothing items,
and new and used toys that would be part of each needy family's holiday
"shopping". Thus, the Troop was rewarded with the opportunity to participate in
the process from beginning to end. Each Scout understood where the food came from and who
received it. Each learned to appreciate his own situation - especially when it was
explained that the families who would be there tomorrow would select only one new toy for
finished with the Scouts, yet. Troop
Scouts who played trumpet soon found themselves playing for flag raisings and color guards
at all sorts of District activities. Janet even convinced those who were beginners to
participate by saying, "You'll blend in with the others - you have to start
When Janet coordinated the Scout
Show, we shouldn't have been surprised when parents who watched the news that evening
found themselves looking and listening to our Troop's Scouts as they demonstrated cooking
Later, when asked about the Troop's
television debut, Janet replied with a smile, "I didn't tell the television crew who
to film. I just mentioned that, as they were walking around the show, they should stop and
taste the Troop's good cobbler."
Even with all her District activities, Janet continued to work hard behind the scenes in the Troop. When we prepared for our first Eagle Court of
Honor, Janet sewed curtains and table skirts to provide ceremonial trappings. The three
curtains, hung from the suspended ceiling in the church hall (the center one hung