“Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.
Lord, lord, lord. Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer.”
― Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
It is sometimes hard dealing with change. It is harder to help others deal with change. On my last brew day, a neighbor came by to ask advice. He had replaced me as chair of the boy scout troop committee I “retired” from after 10 years of involvement (three years after my son aged out). The advice sought was regarding the future of the troop given that is now down to six youth, very soon to be only five. This is the minimum size allowed to continue.
Since the cub pack has shown no interest in recent years to join the troop, and recruitment from outside the pack has also failed, it is now time to face the end of the troop. There are also personnel issues involved among the other adults, so none of this is simple. The options available are: to keep the troop together until the remaining boys Eagle and/or age out; or merge with another troop. The latter option is not particularly desirable as the other area troops are quite different in organizational culture and behavior. Given that all the remaining boys are near Eagle, the former option seems the likely course of action.
In all likelihood, after over 20 years, the troop will soon fade away.
This is the nature of things. Organizations evolve, self-perpetuate, or they don’t. In some cases, this is good thing. In others, it is not. It can also be very painful for those directly affected, and mournful for those watching from a distance.
When a business closes down, I rarely blink. I have kind of a hard-line conservative streak in me that acknowledges that no business has a right to existence without success.
When a troop shuts down, or a service organization, or a college, the feelings are different. There is real sadness for the loss of the community and an empathy with the loss felt by its members. It’s sad, quite sad.
But the work goes on. We have to make sure those individuals served the troop continue to be served. We need to ensure their records are maintained appropriately and they get credit for what they’ve done.
We also need to ensure that the service of troop is acknowledged and remembered.