Being a scout leader can be amazing. It can be one of the most fulfilling, most up lifting, most worthwhile things you can do. Anyone that has seen a kid smile the first time they throw themselves off an abseil tower despite being convinced they couldn't do it, or been to a major jamboree will tell you that.
It also has its moments when it is utterly crap.
Right now I have reached the end of my tether with parents who don't support me and my team and what we do. Parents who have to be chased every time, every time with out fail to pay over subs or camp fees or hand over health forms. And its not through lack of cash, half the time it's bone idleness. They simply seem to have no idea, no idea at all about what the hell it is we are actually doing for their kids.
I wrote down today all the different roles that I perform, have a look at these, can you spot anything I've missed?
Chef, accountant, party planner, entertainer, writer, administrator, photographer, janitor, decorator, mechanic, debt collector, surrogate parent, first aider, health and safety officer, navigator, driver, courier, tent errector, fire lighter, artist, diplomat, policeman, public speaker.
I do all this, for other people's kids, every week, in fact most days I do one of those things or another. The kids appreciate it, they are great (ok, one or two don't, but that's part of growing up), but half the parents don't. Half don't say thank you, and is it a surprise that these are the ones I'm always chasing? Every term and every camp? Is it fuck!
I feel like standing on top of a tall building and screaming, very loud, "I'm a volunteer, cut me some fucking slack, for once, you selfish barstards".
I've just asked my GSL and treasurer to send out a very stroppy letter because frankly I've had enough.
I don't want to start saying kids cant come to things but if that is what it takes to get some of them to change then is it how it will have to be.