Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I do this for free!

There is something that I want to get straight, and I think it is very important to say it.

I do NOT get paid for being a scout leader. That is not to say I want to be paid, or that I think I should be paid, it I simply the fact that I don’t. I do it because it is FUN! That’s right, I do actually enjoy it!

It is important because it never ceases to amaze me the number of people that ask me how much I get paid. Very few of them seem to realise that I am actually a volunteer as are the rest of us. Although it hasn’t happened to me I have even heard of people being TOLD that they are paid and even how much on the basis that they are either a teacher or a social worker.

In addition I would like to comment on the attitude of some parents. Firstly the vast majority of the parents of my Cubs are very supportive and encouraging. There are a handful though who get right on my tits. Cubs is treated as simply a cheap crèche and as if there child is the only one that matters and they can ride rough shod over how things are run. I wont give examples as eventually one of them is bound to read this and that is an argument I really don’t need!

The one that got away

I am lucky in the area I draw cubs from, most of them have loving caring and stable families and I have never a second’s concern about any one them. There are always one or two though that I look back on and wonder what ever happened to them.

I’d like to tell you about a kid I’ll X.

When X’s mum called to put his name down I had a taste of things to come. She said that they wanted him to come because “he’s a little shit and we want him to do something constructive”. My first thought was that this was just going to be another ”challenging” individual who we get from time to time. When he turned up though X was different. True he was a little bundle of mischief with the attention span of a gnat but he was also a genuinely nice kid was capable of dishing out as much love and affection as he could trouble. The trouble was never nasty though. He interrupted because he wanted to ask a question or tell a relevant story. He would run off with the ball simply because he was desperate to play, that kind of thing. There were times though where he was impossible and the time came when I had to talk to his parents and frankly I was shocked at the way they spoke to him. A whole string of expletives came out his dad’s mouth and that wasn't the last time either. In all the time he came to Cubs I never once heard them say a positive word either to him or about him. When he was praised though he could be fabulous. He used to respond particularly well to E, a leader who has since moved on to become a nun. I never saw it with his parents though.

Now I wouldn’t want you to think for one moment though that I ever suspected he was abused or was in any kind of danger, it was simply that he seemed to have no positive influence in his life other than Cubs.

And then he quit, out of the blue he just stopped coming and his parents said he had simply started refusing to go. And now I wonder what ever happened to him, where is his positive influence now?

The one that got away, I guess we can all think of one of them.

1 comment:

Katie said...

It's so sad when that is the case... I realise that Cubs and Scouts can be such a positive influence on children and should be encouraged. My Troop is in a relatively poor area, with a lot of my kids being in foster care, which makes it doubly hard, because you know that when you get close to them, they often have to move on. That's the hard part.