"...yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions." (1 Nephi 17:20)
Those were the words of Laman and Lemuel, as quoted by Nephi. Certainly there was nothing unusual about Laman and Lemuel finding something to complain about, and in this case, well, I think most people would consider those hard things to bear. What I find interesting, however, is that just a few verses earlier, Nephi had been saying:
"...so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings." (1 Nephi 17:2)
What others saw as trials, Nephi saw as blessings. His attitude made a huge difference in his outlook, as did Laman's.
Our attitudes have a huge impact on our experience as Scouters. I think, though, that it is even more important to realize how ours attitudes affect those around us. Laman's attitude rubbed off on his brother, his in-laws, and on at least one occasion, even his father, the prophet, had difficulty staying positive when surrounded by so much negativity. In the end, though, Nephi's optimism and faith (in his father, as well as in God) helped his father regain a little faith of his own.
I have noticed that the attitude of Scout leaders definitely rubs off on their Scouts. And the leaders' attitudes are usually affected by the attitude of ward leaders. When a committee chair, primary president, bishop,, etc. is less than enthusiastic about Scouting, it ends up showing in the leaders and boys.
Fortunately, the inverse is also true. When I spoke to the den leader from another ward recently, and she was so enthusiastic about how things were going, attitude was something she mentioned several times. Her attitude had improved (which she attributed to training). The new committee chair had a more positive attitude than the old one. The same went for the new Cubmaster and the primary representative. She kept mentioning how this or that person had "such a good attitude". When I visited a den meeting, I saw boys who were so excited to be there, you could practically feel the energy radiating from them. Several boys were lined up and ready to do an opening flag ceremony several minutes before it was time for the meeting to start. I have no doubt that those boys wanted to be there because their leaders wanted to be there
I know that is one reason I like going to district events, like University of Scouting and Roundtable. Being around other Scouters who are enthusiastic recharges my Scouting battery.
I think the real reason dedicated Scouters end up burning out is not so much all of the work. Scouters get burned out when they are faced with constant negativity and/or lack of interest from their fellow leaders and/or ward leaders. If there are any bishops reading this, please take note. I think the best way to keep your best Scouters from getting burned out is to support them. Support them in their efforts to try and run the program correctly, get them good assistants (and encourage those assistants to get trained), take the training yourself, listen when someone has an idea, take Scouting seriously. When those things do not happen, a good leader can feel like he is banging his head against the wall. When you are banging your head, it does not take long to get a headache.
In the end, it is the boys that suffer when you lose good leaders or when leaders lose their enthusiasm, and that is not fair to the boys.