aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

At the store, at the store, at the Quartermaster's store*

I was asked to be Quartermaster for this year’s NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training) Course. I was honored to accept the role. This is a very senior leadership post; since I have never before participated in an NYLT course, this is an unusual move on the Course Scoutmaster’s part. Of course, he knows my abilities from many other contexts, but still. I have a sneaking suspicion that in addition to my proven abilities (particularly with food service), he asked me to fill this role because I’d never done the course before. I look at everything with new eyes.

As I grapple with the job to be done, my experience leads me to know what I need to know. In seeking to know it, I expose cracks in the program and team that will cause others to have to work better. Example: as other adult team members with lots of experience tell me how the program works, each of them describes a rather different event from the others. They all think they’re describing the same event, but they all have different expectations, formed over many courses, some in other Councils. I pore over the written materials – the mere skeleton of the program – to discover which of them is more accurately describing the job to be done, and Lo! and behold, it’s not written down anywhere. In some cases, the draft outline is just that, and I know there are choices to be made, though where the decision points are is not indicated on the draft as published. Lots of room for confusion and wasted effort here.

Right now, I’m awaiting the scheduling of a senior team meeting with other key youth and adult staff. At that meeting, my goal is to ask explicit questions about the things I need to know and not let them wave me off. Now, I’d really prefer to just get with the SM and ask, How do you want it done? That would make my life easier. But I suspect he’s putting me off because he wants the other team members to have to wrestle with this, so that they can make the course better. That means (dear God) committee work. Which is painful, but I’ll have to trust that the SM’s aim of making the others (especially the youth leadership) wrestle with this will make the whole course better.

*Really old Scout camp song. Look it up.

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