KEEPING YOUR EDGE.
WHO? Steven Jacober
WHERE? School, Home, and Office Products Association, Dayton, Ohio
WHEN? Since 1996
Q: When did volunteering become important to you?
A: I believe it's important to give back to society, so I've always done some kind of volunteer work. I became involved with the Boy Scouts about four years ago when one of my sons wanted to be a Cub Scout--and no one else volunteered to lead the den. Potential leaders in the Boy Scouts are reassured with the advice, "It's only an hour a week." Since that time, I've become Cub Master for the pack of 40 kids.
Q: What about the experience motivates you to continue doing it?
A: Seeing the development of the kids, watching them mature, and participating in their education through their scouting experience is a real high.
Working with the same boys for several years, I also feel a sense of continuity. Besides, the chance to develop a relationship with other adult volunteers who share the same values is rewarding. On a camping trip, the kids do eventually go to sleep and that's when the leaders can finally kick back, Enjoying the beauty and the quiet of the outdoors with friends is a real break from stress and pressure.
Q: At the end of a busy camping trip or tiring activity, what do you bring away from the experience?
A: I feel a greater appreciation for what's really important: family, friends, kids, and sharing. Volunteering also connects me to the community in a way that makes me feel I'm making a difference there.
Certain situations also allow me to apply some of my work skills to a completely different setting. The teamwork required in working with a large group, such as the 900 scouts at a recent campout, teaches the boys how to handle competition and foster cooperation.
Q: What is there about this particular volunteer experience that might carryover to your work life?
A: Many of us live and breathe our work. Scouting gives me a new perspective that is crucial to keeping my motivation and my edge. The day after a strenuous trip, I'll just feel that really good physical tiredness--and a greater appreciation for what I do and for what my staff and I can accomplish professionally. I realize that while the challenges are not the same--teaching young boys to start a fire, tie knots, or set up camp--they are directly related to education, learning, and teamwork. It all helps to make me a better leader.
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|Date:||May 1, 2000|
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