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Management for free

September 16th, 2009 at 02:27 pm

Between the two scouts I do a fair amount of 'management'. Lots of paperwork which is just deadly dull, but also getting folk to do a job.

The hardest part is finding out who is good at what. I have folk who are willing to help, folk who are jumping at the chance, and folk who drag their feet. And I have to find what job they will be best at. Generally whatever you offer to do I will take, isn't necessarily the best position for you or the scouts.

Take leaders. I am sure National has some things to say about accepting whoever will do the job, but let's face it, I have limited resources! I often put someone in based on warm body vs height requisite. Meaning if you are alive and taller than my son you just might be in charge.

IE "Here Mr (or Mrs) parent I planned XYZ for the meeting here is the book, there are the boys, have fun."

After I do this once or twice with a variety of folk I find which parent becomes a dump and run to avoid the responsibility, which will adapt the program well, and which will barely slog through. Of course I prefer the adapters, but will settle for a slogger. (the dump and run folk I try not to speak of, if you can't say anything nice...). Sloggers I keep as backup and/or try to find committee jobs for them. They make wonderful assistants if they are good at discipline, then you get a goofy guy for lead.

The real trouble comes with folk who offer to help on the committee, no leading boys, but a whole slew of jobs. I have to get you in to a leaders meeting and find you a few jobs, out of 100s available, struggling to not overload you, but also not underwhelm you (volunteers are like muscles, use em or lose em, overwork em and you strain them, only dedicated folk continue when overworked, or ones you beg mercilessly)

The most annoying part...finding a volunteer job that matches their paid job is usually the WORST position. The PR person is terrible at newsletters, the Tech guy can't fix the sound system, the teacher is the worst leader, the banker the worst treasurer. I mean really if you can't trust folk to be good at what they are paid to do/ schooled in what can you trust! (positions named have been changed to protect the IRL folk, so if you are one of my scouts don't think I am talking about you)

And then comes the manager nightmare, how to get the job to someone else, without insulting the first person, and making sure the second is a better fit....

Oh and try to make all this look easy, cause you can't get many new recruits if you act like you have a rough job, they have to think it is easy enough they can do it in their spare time.

Now off to slog through some paperwork. (need me an adaptive secretary!)

3 Responses to “Management for free”

  1. mrs. Says:

    Boy, do I admire you! As a non-volunteering parent in the Boy Scout community (DH usually does it), I am finding trepidation about wood and power tools when I get to help assist at the Den meeting next week (when DH happens to be out-of-town chaperoning the oldest's Outdoor Education Experience). I incidentally am taller than most of the second graders!

  2. princessperky Says:

    Your willingness to slog through is enough. You will do great I am sure!

  3. Petunia Says:

    You have really nailed it in working with scouting groups. It's been a real challenge to figure out who (which parent) is good at what. We have "carried" (not required the parent work of them) some families due to their individual circumstances.

    The girls in our scouting group are starting to outgrow me. Smile

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