November 1, 1999
by MaryAnn Gardner
"In Cheerful Service -
The Fall Scouting Season
got off to a great start. But, as things are falling in place and a routine is established
finding yourself becoming a bit discouraged? Are some of the people who promised to help
you slowly drifting away from their responsibilities? Is your assistant more interested in
visiting with other parents than with helping the Scouts? Is discipline a problem at your
den meetings? Did you end up doing all the calling for the last pack event? Is the Troop
parent committee more interested in complaining than solving problems? Some days does it
just not seem "worth it" anymore? This happens sometimes in new Packs and Troops
that are trying to build a program. It also happens in well-established Units.
There is an alternative to turning your back on the program and walking away.
First of all, it's time
for self-evaluation. Ask yourself: Am I doing my part? Have I explained to those involved
exactly what is needed from them? Have I encouraged everyone to go through basic training?
Am I trying to do too much with the resources I have?
Then it's time for group
evaluation. Sit down with your assistant, with your commmittee, with your leaders, or with
your Scouts. Talk over the year, so far. What is working? What isn't? How can problems be
Ask your Unit Commissioner
for help. The UC help you think through the problem, give some possible action you can
take, even sit in on your meeting and help discuss the problem and its solutions with the
Talk to your District
Executive. Encourage your adults to attend training. Invite them to roundtable. Enlist
more parents as volunteers, if needed.
Then, talk to your Scouts.
Ask them what they like about the program - and what they dislike. Ask them why they are
in Scouting. Then, talk to your own son or daughter about Scouting. Remind yourself of why
you chose to volunteer in the beginning.
Then, try it one more