Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Beavering away, again.

After the rather unexpected turn of events back in May which resulted in my elevation / election to our local Scout Group's Executive Committee I attended the my first committee meeting last night.

I must admit I was ever so slightly apprehensive beforehand and indeed during the meeting.

Normally I tend to pitch into group conversations without reservation and spray comments, constructive or not, around all over the place.

Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, always certain!

Last night though I was considerably more circumspect. I sat back, asked a few questions, made a few observations and generally observed what was going on desperately trying to play catch up on all of the issues. Follow-on conversations about the collection of Subs and other monies and retrospective claims of 'Gift Aid' provide quite a hard landing when you don't know the history or the circumstances.

I think that the other (obvious) factor is that when you are a newbie joining an established group it takes a little time to figure out the group dynamics. That's not to infer that there was any politicking going on. Completely the opposite. But trying to ascertain who leads or has particular knowledge in certain areas of activity and what the personalities are and how they all interact.

And so we dived into conversations about fund raising, repair and maintenance of the building and grounds, payment of ground rent and all sorts of administrative issues.

And I tried to join in with the limited information that I had. And they were all very kind to the new boy.

What struck me was on how much of a shoe string this group (and presumably so many others) is run. The economic arguments about 'opportunity cost' really do hit home. It's micro stuff to be sure but decisions as to whether to buy tents or replace climbing equipment do seem to suddenly be pretty important when working with such limited resources.

And my action to take away? Well I have to design a sponsorship form for a sponsored walk it was decided will be held in September.

It's not a huge task and indeed I found creating an initial draft a way of filling a few minutes of the lunch break I don't usually take.

Obviously I wouldn't be doing any of this if my children aren't (or possibly will be) involved with this group. But that said it's nice to be doing something to help a section of the local community without automatically calculating exactly what it is that I will get out of it.

Of course working within the NHS I should be imbued with an ethos of service. When of course in reality it's just another job. A source of income and no more than a means to a financial end.

But last night I toddled home thinking of all of the things I wish I had thought of to say at the meeting but feeling, I must admit, rather pleased with myself.

I think that this might be fun.


CherryPie said...

I can understand the holding back. I think it is the best way in these circumstances. It can make all the difference later :-)

I can totally understand how you feel about doing something for the local community!

ThunderDragon said...

Well done! It always takes a little while to understand the dynamics of such a varied group of people as those who volunteer as Leaders. But you'll soon get there!

Most groups are run on a shoe-string! That's why we need lost of volunteers! ;)

Liz said...

I bet your boys are dead chuffed that their dad is involve too!

Womble On Tour said...

There are literally thousands of groups like this all over the country, run by volunteers in their spare time, making the best use they can of sparse funds and doing it for what they see as the wider good. I've been involved in the local junior cricket and football clubs, like you because my kids are part of them. These organisations get minimal state help (which is right, in my view) and essentially look after themselves. I never cease to marvel at the goodwill and dedication of those at the middle of it all. My faith in human nature is revitalised every time. I'm proud to live amongst such people, and proud to play my small part in the good that they do.

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