Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Volunteering: Only for the Brave and Stupid!


I recently found out one of my best friends didn’t listen to my advice and has decided to “step up to the plate” and become the Cubmaster for his son’s Cub Scout Pack.

Hey, I’m known for being sarcastic but it when it comes to volunteering, I’m all in.  I like being involved in a worthwhile activity.  I like being with my daughter at her Girl Scout Troop and I like being with my son at his Boy Scout Troop.

I admire my friend’s decision to become the Cubmaster.  He’ll do a great job.

But then you also have to be Brave and (a little) Stupid to take on leadership job.  I’m all for volunteering but that is way too much responsibility for me.  I prefer to help out in a support role where I can be the muscle, but not the one in charge.  If you are the one in charge, you get blamed for everything that goes wrong.  Who needs that?

(Disclaimer:  I was the Den Leader for my son’s Cub Scout Den and now I’m an Assistant Scoutmaster in his Boy Scout Troop.  And I’m also the Girl Scout Troop Leader for my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.  So I speak from experience on being Brave and Stupid when it comes to volunteering!)

How many times have you gone to a volunteer function and heard some attendee complain how much it sucked?  This could be an auction event for parents or a kid’s day camp for Girl Scouts.  These critics complain about everything: the volunteer staff, the weather, the setting, the accommodations, the kids.

They complain that the kids didn’t have fun at day camp or the staff wasn’t trained enough.  Um, excuse me, they are volunteers.  They do this job because they believe in the cause; not because they get an awesome paycheck!

If you don’t like what is going on, they do something about it.  Stop the complaining, volunteer, and help out!

I do agree that some volunteers are worse than others.  If they are goofing around and not teaching the subject (as it is with some teenagers), then I can see how the event sucks.  If the volunteer isn’t into the job, of course they aren’t going to do a good job.

Nowadays, it is hard to get people to volunteer to help.  With both parents working or a lack of childcare for the other kids in the family, it is hard to be able to volunteer.  No one seems to have the free time to help.  Some people are nervous to volunteer, thinking that they won’t be able to help in any matter.

I admire my friend for taking on the Cubmaster job; it isn’t an easy job.  He’ll have to plan meetings, deal with whacko parents, solve disputes, handle numerous meltdowns (by parents and kids), and still have a great attitude.  He’ll do all of this on top of his full time job.

So hats off to all volunteers, but a big “Thank You” to all the volunteers that hold a leadership role.  I wish you all the best in this unpaid position of parent complaints and whiny kids.

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6 responses to “Volunteering: Only for the Brave and Stupid!

  1. Shannon February 25, 2013 at 11:04 am

    One of the best volunteer jobs I like is at an animal shelter. The animals do not complain; instead they give unconditional love.

  2. crankycaregiver February 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Boy, have you hit the nail on the head. In a moment of insanity, and in my much younger days, I was Cub Mother for my son’s cub scout troop. Worst year of my life! However, the kids were great and we did a lot of neat things together. But, I now have an everlasting respect for all volunteers!

  3. Wayne Green March 12, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Great Post. I am being roped in by the wife to help a Scout Leader at her work. He needs help as he is getting to old and I think plans to step down. I have had no experience with cubs, scouts, beavers at all. The only things I learnt are from watching Bear Grylls on TV :D. Have been considering it to be honest. The responsibility doesn’t bother me. Now I don’t work I have the time for it but I really need to go see what it’s all about.

    • Kevin March 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      It is only as bad as you make it. We have a lot of fun and the kids appreciate your hard work. Especially later in life when they pass it forward. Besides, where else can you torture…er, shape the future leaders of the world? By becoming a teacher? Yikes! Then I might actually have to teach them something…no way, not me.

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