I have been really enjoying the Voluntold Scouter's recent series of "Owl Posts." This one about "Reaching Beyond Your Goals" especially struck a chord with me, because I have found myself doing something I did not think I could do. So I thought I would share the story.
I was recently contacted by our DE and informed that the nominating committee had nominated me to be the new District Commissioner. The position becomes official next week, and I have spent the last two months getting ready, trying to recruit some more staff, and learning as much as I can. I have already experienced a lot of frustration, sprinkled with small bits of progress.
Occasionally it crosses my mind that in a room full of District Commissioners, I would probably stand out just a little. In fact, I attended a Commissioners Conference on the other side of our council last year, and I definitely stood out. The other seven participants were gray-haired men who introduced themselves with things like, "I have been involved in Scouting since I was a Cub Scout 60 years ago." When my turn came, I did not have much more to say than, "I have been involved in Scouting off and on for 10 years. I have three boys. The oldest is seven. We have many years of Scouting ahead of us."
I know that in our district, you often have to take what you can get. Sometimes I wonder if that is what I am - what the District Nominating Committee could get - the first sucker to come along.
I have to remind myself that it does not matter if that is why I am in this position. It does not matter how many Charter Reps or Scoutmasters roll their eyes when I try to say something. All that matters at this point is what I do with the position now that I am in it.
For the last several years, I have had a wish that there was something I could do to help as many units as I could in our area improve their programs. That was the main reason behind creating this blog, as well as several resources I have put together. It has hit me that this position (though not something I would have chosen for myself) is exactly the opportunity I have been wanting. I cannot change programs, but I can put together a good commissioning staff and train them and send them out to help the units in our district. Even if it results in just tiny changes here and there, it will be a great thing.
Just like the climber in the story, I know I am not alone. I have been reminded from the beginning that I have the power of prayer. This may not be a church calling, but that does not mean I cannot ask for God's help and allow him to guide me. I also have a supportive husband, a DE who is a great mentor and encouraging friend, a friendly and helpful District Chair, and another friend who I can sound off to when I need.
It has also occurred to me many times in the last two months that Scouting is about doing hard things. That applies to the adults as well as the youth. In addition to making full use of my support system, I keep in mind what I think is the most important thing they taught us at Wood Badge: OMHIWDMB (On My Honor, I Will Do My Best.)