Wanted: Scoutmaster

on June 4, 2012 in Leadership, Training

Boy Scout Troop 68 has a problem. We are looking for someone to become the scoutmaster. Unfortunately, no one seems interested in the position at this time. Having a small troop does not seem to be helping matters. Being in a community that has not been interested in having their boys in the Scout program has definitely made it tougher. (Only three of our eight Boy Scouts live in town.)

When I retired from the position after being the troop’s scoutmaster for 30 years I had a feeling it would be tough finding someone to take over. Luckily, one father stepped up to the plate. After five months he has decided to step down. I had a hunch this might happen. Why? Because he is also the Cubmaster of our Pack. Holding two “full time” volunteer Scouting positions would be tough for anyone to handle. Add to this that his sons are heavy into sports and extracurricular activities, and that he owns his own business, I knew it would be a challenge for him. But I have to give him credit. He gave it a good try. He did a good job. But there just was not enough time in the week to do it all, and do it well. He continues to serve as the Cubmaster.

So, the troop is once again looking for a scoutmaster. I have received several “hints” that a few people in the troop (Scouts and parents) would like to see me return to the position. I have no plans to do so. I am worn out and burned out. I actually began to hate going to Scout functions during my last year as scoutmaster. I do not want to return to the routine of weekly meetings and monthly activities. While I really enjoy working with the boys I do not want the responsibility any longer. I like my new position on the committee.

Sometimes I think thirty years was too long to be the scoutmaster. People got to the point where they would just assume that I would take care of things, and I usually did. People are now scared of the role. I am not quite sure why they should be. I took the position when I was a “wet behind the ear” 21 year old. I did okay with almost no experience. I had a committee that supported me. I was willing to take training, and that made a huge difference.

We have the month of June pretty well covered. I guess I will be the acting scoutmaster. Next month is summer camp, so the troop will not have any meetings. But by August we need to have someone step up to the plate. If we don’t, the council could get antsy and apply pressure to find someone quick. Or else. Troop 68 went through that in 1981. We went through four men as scoutmaster that year. (I was the fourth.) I would hate to see that happen to the troop again. I would really hate to see the troop lose its charter because no one was willing to take the position.

It would be sad to see the troop fold after 32 continuous years.

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    2 Responses to “Wanted: Scoutmaster”

    1. Mark West says:

      I sure how for the sake of the youth your Troop doesn’t fold because it is always horrible to loose a Troop especially when you are talking about a Troop in a small community. I sincerely hope the Troop finds a Scoutmaster. I do not think that having you become Scoutmaster just because you’ve done it already. Many people do not understand and realize how hard the job is because they have never been willing to do so themselves.

      I thank you for being a Scoutmaster for 30 years and for your continued involvement in the Troop as a committee member. While I have never been a Scoutmaster myself as a Assistant Scoutmaster I see enough to know that being a Scoutmaster requires a certain type of person. One thing I know is that there is more than likely someone out there who is debating whether or not he/she wants to but also thinks that he will only embarrass himself by taking on the role but in truth everyone makes mistakes, yes it maybe rough for a while, and may change many things in the Troop but the important thing to realize is that its a volunteer position therefore many people will just be glad that someone stepped up.

      I wish there was something I could do for your Troop but I’m currently living in Alaska which means I can’t directly solve the problem but I’m willing to do whatever I can to provide support because it doesn’t matter where you are or where your from we are all Scouts and Scouters. I can be reached via e-mail at:

      westybsa@gmail.com

      Thank you for your support and service to this wonderful organization that we both enjoy and I again encourage and hope that someone out there is willing to step up to prevent the tragedy of having a Troop have to fold. May the campfire of Scouting continue to burn and be with you and your Troop forever.

      Yours in Scouting Service
      Mark West
      Assistant Scoutmaster/ Camp Gorsuch 2012 Super-Troop Coordinator
      T1316- Eklutna District; T669- Tustumena District; T125- Denali District;
      GAC Program Committee; GAC Training Committee; GAC Cope Committee;
      Council Shooting Sports Committee; Council Aquatics Committee;
      GAC Year-Round Council Cope Director; Leave No Trace Master Educator;
      NSJ2005 Youth Participant- Youth QM; NSJ2010 Subcamp 7 Youth Staff;
      NSJ2013 Extreme Sports- Mountain Biking Staff;
      WSJ2007 Youth Participant- Youth QM; WSJ2011 International Service Team;
      Eagle Scout; OA Brotherhood Honor Nanuk Lodge; Philmont AA2008
      2010 NYLT Staff- Youth QM;

      If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

    2. john Arnold says:

      I also give my prayers and wishes that the troop has a rebirth. If I lived in the area I sure would take the lead.
      I just retired from the military and I am trying to rebuild a troop here in the Mountainous county of W.V. they as many had lost their charter & had not had anything going for maybe 7 years or so. someone took up the position of scout master and they have been functioning as a troop, well Cough,,Patrol I should say. the leader has a bit to be desired, but as a new A.S. I am trying to realy make it a quality troop and make them grow back into a real old fashoned Quality troop!

      Scouting needs a rebirth realy everywhere. I look at
      U-tube and see how some conduct their courts of honors and other events and it is low standards. Adult leaders need more proffessional or old fashoned training.
      The issue is people need to care more in our country.
      I hope someone like myself would come & help your troop. Not saying i am all that but someone whom genuinaly cares!!

      take care my wishes for your community & Troop.

      ~John

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