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Burn-out, and we're not talking drag racing here.


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#21 Stosh

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 05:12 PM

If one is merely providing opportunities for the boys and then seeking out expertise for them, the well will never run dry.  Trying to do it all by oneself will drain the well rather quickly and provide a poor program in the meantime.  If I need someone to provide expertise in carpentry for a bird building project, why would I go and research plans, find wood, round up tools, when I may have an adult or two in the neighborhood that could toss that together in a heartbeat.

 

One also may have never developed an assistant that can watch your back and getting blindsided will take one out of the game rather quickly.

 

Find out what you do best and then let the others around you, parents, assistants, other DL's know your weak areas.  Then if another DL is poor in woods tools and you really enjoy whittling, but you're weak in compass and the other DL is a master of maps, why not switch for the night instead of two people doing a lousy job and burning themselves out all at the same time.

 

I flat out tell people in my units that if they want someone who can handle finances well, they had better step up and take on that job.  Otherwise they have to settle for what I can eke out.  Same for paperwork.  I do well working with the boys, if they are good too, I have an assistant, otherwise I might get a good treasurer or secretary.  But to take on the jobs of 10 people only means one is going to burn out ten times faster.


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Stosh

 

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#22 hicountry

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 12:54 PM

1....BSA Overburden. Would have been worse but we mitigated a lot of this. Our council does not require Tour Permits or whatever they call them now so we stayed in district and avoided that paperwork. Ridiculous picky G2S2 rules and related, we kept the boys safe but ran a reasonable program and sometimes ignored stupid rules(must be 14 to use a wagon, no squirt gun wars, and other nonsense that makes you shake your head and drains you if you think about it too much). Troop had NEVER filled out a unit money earning form in their history so we continued that tradition too. Kept Council at arms length, out UC was a really decent guy so he was a joy to have visit, the meddlers we kept away. Still there was terrible hassles regarding summer camp a couple times, pushy FOS people and bad experiences, waste of time nonsense with council on various issues that were only resolved when I had to take a hard line. It wears on you, Council and national add more burdens to your life than any help they provide. Negative net gain.

2....Totally unruly, out of control scouts. Ussually accompanied by jerk parents of some unsavory flavor. Always a new crop of them every year but we did our best to weed these people out ASAP so they did as little collateral damage to the troop as possible. Sometimes lost a few good scouts and families here and there due to the behavior of the idiots but we kept that to a minimum as much as possible.

3....COR.....created some issues and one or two times pulled the rug out last minute on promises they made that we had to scramble over to mitigate. They provided a meeting space but made up for it with occasional, un-necessary heartburn.

4....Lack of help and some help that was there in name but did nothing forcing the doers to default into damage control far too often. Wears one out and sucks at your soul. Troop volunteers that were do nothings or created drama were dropped from the position next recharter. Folks that stepped up to do something then bailed last minute, frequently with no communication and never apologized or had any clue of the problems they causes.

5.....Lazy or whiney scouts who wanted to do nothing, complained non stop when made to do the smallest thing, expecting advancement when they did squat etc. The SPL and Patrol leaders dealt with it mostly but frequently boiled up to the adult leaders when the lazy whiners didn't like what the youth leadership had to say.

6......BIGGEST REASON.....the adults. We've all been there but is adults that wear you out and wonder why you did this. Difficult people at summer camps and council, snow plow parents, helicopter parents, parents that volunteer to help and don't show, don't know communications fail to get the message (Swim tests or other stuff) after numerous attempts then complain they missed the event, Parents with jerk kids that complain constantly how their little precious got cheat out of something, parents wanting to be MBC's so they can sign off their lazy kid on all the Eagle MB's so they can get to the trophy easy, people with wacko ideas on committee that cause disruption and politics because they cannot force their convoluted schemes through, the phsychotic/delusional CC I had to have removed by district and CO, parents that fail even though you coach them and then have the nerve to blow up at you when they cannot figure their way out of a paper sack even when you assisted them all along, people that expect to camp but never want to pay or raise money but whine about how it is all unfair, people that couldn't come up with a medical form in 6 months despite over a dozen face to face and phone and email reminders that were aghast when their son got redlined off campouts as a result, and I'm only getting started

7. The backbiting, politics and alternative agendas of many people. Wears you out over time.

 

I strongly suspect that people were more civil back in the sixties and seventies but we have come into the me age where everyone has their "right" to be who they are and express and insist on their opinions and act like luntics and dammnn the greater good. Not only in scouts but little league and many other things. I have to put up with enough turkeys at work, I don't need more in my free time.

 

Between cubs and Boy Scouts I volunteered 8 years, did 11+ as a volunteer fireman until politics ruined a great department so I have about done my time. Oldest son Eagle 6 palms) did Volly with me a year or so and moved on to another dept that was pretty much also destroyed by politics and he has soured now on volunteering as a result. These days family and friends volunteer as safety workers with an area vintage road racing club but the drama from several idiots is wearing on me (And some others) and soon now that younger son (21 eagle, 3 palms) and I both got our competition licenses, I think I will just be a driver, wife has had it with the volunteer side drama too and says from now on all she wants to be is the wife of a driver.

 

It is a shame what is becoming of so many good organiztions and causes in our nation due to the luntics, the arrogant, the selfish, the big mouths etc. I honestly do not know whay anyone in their right mind would ever volunteer to coach or referee little league anymore with what is commonplace there. I was scoutmaster of the year in 2010 in our district and asked to become involved in district or council but was so relieved to be one I turned it down politely and walked away, have had KofC and Rotary ask me to join fairly recently too but at this point I think I put in my time and have joined the NAVY (Never again volunteer yourself)

 

On a light hearted note, maybe it's time to start a thread on crazy experiences, always good to vent and laugh at ridiculous things I know we have all had to deal with.


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#23 Stosh

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 02:15 PM

 

On a light hearted note, maybe it's time to start a thread on crazy experiences, always good to vent and laugh at ridiculous things I know we have all had to deal with.

 

99% of what I do in scouting (and according to my wife, outside of scouting) is considered crazy experiences.

 

Just last night at a troop meeting a Webelos boy and his father (WDL of a neighboring pack) came for a "Visit" to check us out.  The boys in the meeting were working on Whittlin' Chip requirements and were carving soap.  Of course I invited him to have some soap and carve it too.  He said he already had the Chit.  I said it was great and handed him a bar of soap.  Then I started telling him about my 3 rules of scouting #1 Safety first.  With his WDL dad (eagle with palms) looking over his shoulder I glanced out of the corner of my eye and saw him brush a sliver of soap off the knife blade with his fingers.  I went over and "yelled" at his dad!  I accused him of everything I could think of short of child abuse!  :)  The kid thought it was hilarious, but got the message on safety really quick.

 

When I was done I told the dad, in my troop it is my #1 job to make sure all the boys are safe with no exceptions.  One of the other boys asked me if I was going to tear up the boys Whittlin' Chip card like I always threaten to do, I said that was up to his Dad to do it,   but I told him I would rather tear up his father's card because he was sitting right there and didn't do something about being a good safety person.  Being Cubs, the dad played along and the boys all enjoyed the "show".  I did know this WDL from where I used to work and he was aware of my sense of humor and understood what I was doing.

 

Before the night was over, I had two new adult parents signing up for the troop ..... both of them Eagles!  :)


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#24 blw2

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 11:18 AM

I've recently started saying no, but it's taken a long time, and it's still really uncomfortable to me. 

 

.

yeah, me too.

Just the other night I was handed a bunch of stuff that really should be going to the troop secretary I think, not the treasurer...

but it's the same old guilt that I put on myself....

well, the CC doesn't have a secretary and NEEDS the help

I was grasping for some idea of how to tell her that I would take this file, but not those... & somehow just couldn't come up with a way I felt was nice enough.

So I made it really clear that I'll hang on to them for now, but we really need to hire a secretary and an outdoor activities chair pronto.


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#25 Stosh

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 12:34 PM

yeah, me too.

Just the other night I was handed a bunch of stuff that really should be going to the troop secretary I think, not the treasurer...

but it's the same old guilt that I put on myself....

well, the CC doesn't have a secretary and NEEDS the help

I was grasping for some idea of how to tell her that I would take this file, but not those... & somehow just couldn't come up with a way I felt was nice enough.

So I made it really clear that I'll hang on to them for now, but we really need to hire a secretary and an outdoor activities chair pronto.

 

Okay guys, here's the obvious, elephant in the room, snake oil solution, to your problem.

 

If you make it obvious you are lousy with bank statements, they will never ask you to do the treasurer job and you don't have to say NO in the first place.

 

If you make it obvious you are lousy with paperwork, they will never ask you to do the secretary job and you don't have to say NO in the first place.

 

See a pattern here?  :)

 

When they get desperate and ask you anyway, make sure that because you are obviously really bad at it, you will need some help.  Okay, they get another person who can't say NO to help you.  Problem solved.  At least you have someone to share your misery with.

 

But remember that if push comes to shove and you have to take the job alone, do a nice job with a few minor oopses along the way.  Otherwise if you do a bang up job, you're going to be in that position well after you're dead.  HELLO BURN-OUT!  :)


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#26 blw2

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 02:03 PM

Clark Green did a podcast a while back in response to a question I had asked.  He didn't directly answer my question, but addressed the problem/issue very well.  He spoke about  Cooperative Volunteering (pretty sure that was the title of the podcast)

 

I've gotta say, I was really repeating that mantra in my head when the Committee Chair asked me to take treasurer.

and the other voice in my head was screaming to do exactly what you are suggesting @Stosh!

 

I enjoy scouting and doing scout type 'stuff', I enjoy the connection it brings with my son, I enjoy seeing the scouts have fun while progressing along a good path.... and so I naturally wanted to help the troop in some way.... thinking that meant signing on as a general committee member and help in little ways here and there...and transition pretty soon to ASM...

But anyway, I wanted to help and so the Cooperative Volunteer won the battle.

 

Things I don't like about treasurer include

that it's fairly far removed from the outdoors

and also it's the kind of thing that once I get going with it, it's not so easy to find a replacement, and they are certainly not likely to look to me to fill other needs when they arise... such as an ASM vacancy

The upshot is

I can participate in BOR's

and this troop doesn't discourage committee members from coming along on camp outs.... which i'm actually taking it to be part of my responsibility in fulfilling the committee's role to evaluate and advise on the program.


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#27 Sentinel947

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 10:31 AM

Just like the workplace, relationships matter. Employees get burned out if they don't like or respect their managers. Or if their manager makes boneheaded decisions. Same is true for volunteering. 


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#28 qwazse

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 10:43 AM

... and this troop doesn't discourage committee members from coming along on camp outs.... which i'm actually taking it to be part of my responsibility in fulfilling the committee's role to evaluate and advise on the program.

Importantly, you can collect receipts at the end of the campout, and -- if you choose -- tally the balance and write the checks then and there. :)


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#29 Stosh

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 11:36 AM

Just like the workplace, relationships matter. Employees get burned out if they don't like or respect their managers. Or if their manager makes boneheaded decisions. Same is true for volunteering. 

 

The number one reason people quit their jobs is because of their managers.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#30 Zaphod

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 04:50 PM

I'm a little late to this party, but I'm new, so I hope you'll forgive me. My oldest son is new to Scouts but based on Cubs I think @hicountry hit all the main points. I just want to expand on the burnout that comes from overhead and regulations. I understand that because of the society we live in we have to bend over backward and jump through hoops when working with youth. But it's taking a toll on volunteerism, IMO. This past year I had to complete 5 different versions of youth protection for my kids' various organizations. I am burnt out before actually even working with any kids!

 

I asked in another post about how to be a good MBC. After hearing the replies and reading some more information on our Council website I realized that I won't be a kayak MBC any time soon.

 

Fine... I get there are rules and boating has potential to be dangerous. But that just means BSA misses out. Today I took my 3 boys to a nearby park and before I went, I posted on one of my Facebook groups that I would bring my kayaks in case anyone wanted to try them out. 7 kids and 4 adults tried kayaking for the first time and every single one of them loved it. 

 

For a boater... this is all we want. To share our love of the sport and perhaps kindle the fire in others. Most of them left asking when we could do it again and I will be happy to do set up days like today all summer long. 

 

But ironically, despite the BSA being about outdoor skills, I have to jump through all kinds of hoops before I can do anything like I did today with the Troop. I only have so many Saturdays that aren't already eaten up with graduation parties, weddings, etc. etc. this summer. I am not going to spend one at some all day Council training when I could be out on the water! I'll get trained up and qualified eventually... but it's all a bit tiresome. 


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#31 Prepared

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:51 AM

A little late to this post as well, but just saw the reply and wanted to put my .02 cents in :D

 

I have been doing my line of work for nearly 15 years. I have changed enough in my field that when I start to feel tired of doing the thing I enjoy, it becomes interesting again. For me I am able to change my expertise in my field of work, but Scouts and volunteers can only change so much about a program.  When a program becomes stagnant people invested in those programs become bored or burned out with what they are doing. Sure you can still enjoy helping those who are apart of the program, but it only does so much before you would officially become burned out. However, on the flip side the changes have to make sense and be accepted by the majority of those invested in the program or they get burned out as well. It is a fine line of change and consistency that people need to stay interested in a program. 


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#32 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 08:11 AM

You can't save the world (or the Troop) on your own. I too have experienced BSA burn out. I had to walk away from some issues and concentrate on working directly with some boys which was very rewarding. That and going to my OA Lodge events which re-invigorated me to come back to the Troop.


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