Thursday, November 19, 2009

My resignation letter from scouting

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yep - after 11 years - I've done it. It feels right.
Below is the report letter to our AGM. - And thanks to all involved or I have worked with - you were and still are a fantastic team!! Go the 3rd largest Scout Group in New Zealand.

I got a lovely farewell present - a huge picture portrait of various scout events / people / camp!! Liz - You are a treasure!!
And then there is Vinnie!! He's adorable, just great. will need to take a picture and post later . . .

Anyhow - without further adoo - -

Group Leaders Report to the 44 Annual General Meeting of the Bishopdale-Harewood Scout Group

This will be my last report to the AGM. I can report that the sections have enjoyed a varied and challenging program. Scouting has made some big changes in how we do things. We finally have the long anticipated new Award Scheme and some new branding. The uniform is under review again. Along the way we have continued to grow in youth numbers.

It is hard to believe that 12 months ago I spent some time in Europe and saw family and friends. Scouting also was part of our personal itinerary visiting some people we got to know via IRC chat – on Scoutlink no less. Then we had the tri-annual Staveley camp, which was enjoyed by all. Well before then some youth from our group participated in the Zone Camporee out at Omaka. It will be hard to forget the experience to be ringing Roger in the middle of a cold snowy night and hearing that he was in the middle of a water fight!! Larry the Lamb got duly cooked and eaten late at night by some senior scouts in Feb. Then there was the Anzac parade / Zone soccer Cub tournament/ Cub trolley derby/ Annual geek camp as precursor to yet another successful and growing Joti camp. Keas celebrated their 30-year birthday and some of us went ice-skating. 12 scouts attended the annual mid winter camp on the Westcoast and learned how to extract gold from the ground in Reefton (and yes the ventures learned how volatile a mix of Diesel and fertilizer can be)!! A small numbers of scouts and leaders became part of the gang show – which was enjoyed by all who went and saw the performance! There must be other highlights – but I am running out of room.

During the year we said hello to our new leaders (Robin & Gary [Mon Keas], Christina [Mon Cubs], Gary [Thur Cubs]), while saying goodbye to Clinton, Mike and Guy. The Committee has had a changeover too – with Kathy stepping back as secretary and we welcomed Gay and Debbie. This year we will farewell our Treasurer Mark and I am pleased to be able to say that Gilbert has agreed to take on this role. Gilbert has his son in Keas and will no doubt be a valuable asset to the committee and the group. Stepping back after 8 years of outstanding service and leadership will be Liz from Tues Keas. I am sure you will agree she will be greatly missed for her enthusiasm and an always-happy disposition in Keas. Sadly I have not been able to convince a parent to take on a warrant for the Tuesday Keas.

The Group is in good health, thanks to all who paid their subs on time and the Cub cookie fundraising. It makes balancing the books and the treasurer’s role easier. With the funds from the cub cookies we can go and purchase a Container – (which ******** Primary school has generously agreed to let us store on part of their grounds) and this will go a long way towards sorting our ever increasing need for decent storage.

I wish to thank all who have contributed to make this Scout group THE Scout group in Christchurch to belong to. We might not always appreciate this fact – but we are one of the leading shining lights in NZ Scouting, something I often get reminded of, when chatting with scouts and leaders from NZ.

On a more personal note - It is time:

By the time I took out my warrant in Feb 1998, I already had my two boys in Scouting and my wife had already served a year as Secretary and was becoming the Treasurer to the then Bishopdale Scout Group in the Omaka District.

The Scout Group itself had experienced a rough journey across the uncharted waters of new scouting and Districts. We had 5 kea children and no Kea leader for them. The single Cub leader managed to hold 30 cubs but had previously resigned twice in writing and once verbally to myself. Our 14 or so Scouts where busy fund raising for their upcoming Jamboree and their Troop leaders worked pretty much in isolation from the rest of the group. It was literally make or break time for our Scout Group.

From these state of affairs, we journeyed along with a lot of hard work and huge amount of luck to be the third largest scout group (as of National Census data 2008) in New Zealand – with more then 140 youth and 2 each – Kea clubs / Cub packs / Scout Troops and lately a venturer unit in the Bishopdale-Harewood Scout Group. Along the ride there have been many, many highlights and also a few lows.

In the last few years Scouting NZ has embarked on a direction that I feel unable to follow. It seems that corporate conformity and the “one size fits all” approach is much more important then anything else let alone the expression of individuality. The core substance of Scouting – “for the youth by the youth” with guidance from adult leadership -- is in my opinion being slowly and gradually eroded. The ability as Group Leader to manage effectively and more importantly creatively, or as some would say – to put my own stamp of leadership and culture on our Group - has and is being severely curtailed. We created a scout group that was and is fun to be with and often did some really weird left field stuff. While this has raised a few eyebrows and set us apart from many other Scout groups it has and is contributing to our success. The fun of being the captain of the great waka that is Bishopdale-Harewood Scout group has gone and lately it has become increasingly more of a chore to maintain someone else’s ideal of how a scout group should function and be run. I have never been one for blindingly follow directions on where some else thinks I should go. This of course puts me on a collision course with the higher powers to be.

Now is the right time. My decision to resign was not made lightly and has been made in March (09) this year and has been reviewed every 4 weeks or so from then on in. I feel there is still some unfinished business (establishing a solid link between our venturers and the Rover section). I would also have to acknowledge the tremendous amount of loyalty and long-term service by some of our Leaders, which they have and continue to offer our scout group. Indeed it is that faith and loyalty given to our group by same leaders, that has been the hardest part of my decision making. There is a sense of betrayal – or abandoning ship on my part.

For myself - I shall endeavour to join the “Scout Associates” (a sort of retirement club for aging or resigned scout leaders). I would also like to further develop the NZ Joti (Jamboree on the Internet) experience and of course I am still involved with Scoutlink – the permanent 24/7 online world of Scout chat rooms. I am also aware that our Group is in desperate need of warranted leaders – for both the Kea and Scout section. I would consider taking out a warrant for the Scout section sometime next year if no help is forth coming for Tuesday Scouts.

Now is the right time to move on. I have offered my resignation to our Zone leader and my duties as Group Leader will finish at the end of this term. I will hand over whatever resources I have to my succesor. Sadly succession planning is a myth in Scouting and (at the point of writing) I am unable to present the group with a successor. May he or she have as much fun as I had in steering the Bishopdale-Harewood Scout Group through the coming years. The great flag ship of Bishopdale-Harewood Scouts needs a new Captain.

Go well Bishopdale-Harewood

Yours in Scouting

Reinhold Muller

aka Papabear

Hmmmmmm Post script - Mamabear wants to know what I am going to do now that I got oodles of time - :) Weeellllllllllllllll ^^ *grins*

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