Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Professional Volunteerism

I am a stay-at-home dad.  My wife makes a good income as an accountant and it allows me to stay home and raise our son.  A few years ago I decided that if I was going to stay on this route I needed to give back to the community and I chose Cub Scouts as the means to that end.

Cub Scouts offers so much for young boys.  Aside from the many useful skills (knots, camping, building pinewood derby cars) they also learn how to grow up in a positive way.  One of my fellow Scouters says "We are raising men."  We teach boys how to protect themselves in a very dangerous world of online predators, and predators at home and at school.  Bullying is dealt with firmly but with an attitude of instruction to make both the bully and the bullied better people.  We teach that to live in a community one must give back to it through service.  Our Pack has many community service projects throughout the year that give the boys a foundation of giving that will last throughout their lives.

When I sat as a parent in my son's first Pack meeting and they put out a call for a Tiger Den Leader, I jumped at the opportunity.  I determined then and there that I was going to embrace Cub Scouts, not just for my son, but for my own betterment as well.  I'm going into my third year as Den Leader and also am an aggressive voice on the Pack Committee.  Our Pack has a phenomenal program with unbelievably dedicated leaders and I'm so thrilled to be working with them.

Last year I decided it was time to move to the next step of service.  That would start with training.  The Boy Scouts have a leadership program called Wood Badge.  It is an intensive series of meetings and a series of personal, pack, and community betterment projects.  I will be attending the first 3 day session at Camp Fire Mountain in a couple of weeks.  I am both excited and a bit intimidated.  This is a big step up because it moves me out of the Pack level of Scouts and into a larger one.

Just as I was getting my head wrapped around Wood Badge, I was approached to be Camp Director of the 2014 Silver Lake Day Camp. I had told myself a month earlier, inspired by the movie, "Yes Man," that I would accept any job that Cub Scouts offered.  Wow, was I not expecting this!  Day Camp is held over 4 days and can have up to 200 kids and dozens of adults and Boy Scout helpers.  Together with the Program Director and other key staff I will be responsible for organizing fun and exciting programs for kids going into 1st through 5th grades.

Part of taking the job as Camp Director is that I must attend National Camping School.  So this is the year that I move up in my volunteering level and take on more responsibilities than ever before.  I know I am capable.  I know the cause is awesome.  There is some trepidation, but overwhelmed by excitement.

Remember to do something good for someone else every day.