Monday, 30 December 2013

The Local Expert

Do you have a local expert? Maybe someone who is great at all the outdoor activities, or brilliant at organising stage performances, or is a natural campfire leader, or knows all the contacts for sourcing whatever equipment is needed?

Isn't it great that whenever something of the sort is needed, you don't have to worry about who to ask, she's sure to agree to do it, and always makes a good job of it?

Yes, but.

Sure, it is good if these things are done well, and everyone enjoys them, and the girls have a great time.

But does the 'local expert' actually want to have to run Division Camp for the umpteenth year in a row, or might she be chuffed to get the chance to do something different for a change? Is it fair to say to someone "we've stuck you down for the campfire" without actually asking whether or not they'd like to do it, or givign someone else the chance to volunteer? Might there be someone who would love the chance to have a go at running something, but never gets asked because everyone goes straight to the 'local expert'?

Is it wise to have only one person in the area who has the experience, or might it be wiser to have more people learning from them, with the possibility that they could then take on the running of an event single-handed.

Yes, if you want something done, ask a busy person. Maybe the local expert actually does love to be asked, and would be miffed if she wasn't. Or maybe not. But please be aware of pigeon-holing, and consider spreading the opportunities a little wider, getting other people involved as assistants or trainees, remembering what was said in the first handbook that it's better to have everyone able to do things, not have one expert and the rest not very good . . .

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