Do you ever wonder what we do all day? I was asked to share some of what goes on in a typical day at the council office. And the answer is that there isn't a "typical week," but here's a sample of how varied any week can be.
On Monday, I was in the office working on board materials, which were late. I had arrived early, and a few minutes before 9 a.m. I heard a great deal of commotion upstairs. The next thing I knew I had folks in my office; they had turned on the heating unit and smoke started billowing out from everyone air duct. We called 911, I returned upstairs with a fire extinguisher, in case we needed to put a fire out. I sent most everyone outside to their cars with their laptops, since we don't want to be losing equipment. The fire department arrived, and found nothing on fire, but it was clear something was smoking, so they told us to call our HVAC people. While outside with the fire chief, I found some of the staff posing on the fire truck, so I joined in. No need to miss a good opportunity, when presented.
In the middle of the smoke episode, someone called to see if we were interested in the donation of a 1979 Volkswagen Superbeetle convertible.
A bit later a volunteer came in and wanted to discuss leaving a geocache at the office.
I had to discuss some employment issues with a staff person.
I returned to my paperwork, trying to get minutes, reports, financials and agendas out to the board. I was only in the office during the morning because I had to drive to Camp Humming Hills on Monday afternoon. I looked over the camp, which we recently had drum chopped so we can replant there. I spent the night at the ranger's cabin at Humming Hills because I needed to be in Pinckard on Tuesday morning at 9am.
Tuesday morning, two of us interviewed two potential board members. At lunch we met the Boy Scout executive for lunch, discussing possible Eagle projects for Humming Hills. It is a 3.5-hour return drive from Dothan to Mobile, so most of the afternoon was spent in the car.
Wednesday I picked up a staff member at the office at 7:30 a.m. so I could meet heavy equipment guys at Camp Scoutshire Woods. We arrived early, so the ranger and I went over other projects he is working on and equipment he needs. We spent time with the bulldozer operator on how he is going to work on the roads, so we can manage the erosion problems there. They had some good advice on who to contact to give us some expert advice on the lake. We also need to cut down a few dead trees there.
We return from Scoutshire to do some work. At this point I am returning e mails from Monday afternoon, Tuesday (because I was out of the office all day) and Wednesday morning. I usually read the e-mails on my smart phone, but many responses are too long for the phone.
Thursday will be a "normal" day in the office. Friday morning we will get all the materials gathered up for the board meeting, drive to where we are holding it. The board meeting will start at lunch on Friday and extend through dinner Friday evening. Then it will resume Saturday morning at breakfast, ending Saturday at noon. I will stop by the camporee at Camp Scoutshire Saturday afternoon. Sunday I will probably check on a Boy Scout working on a boathouse at Camp Sid.
Through all of this, I missed our cookie trainings. I also missed a meeting in Montgomery that was scheduled after my calendar was set to meet folks in the Wiregrass, so I sent a substitute to that one.
This is a typical week: more meetings and events than hours in the day. This week I will log about 20 hours in the car, 1 breakfast, 2 lunches and 2 dinners on business. It's all worth it, though, if it enables girls to participate in Girl Scouting and benefit from our programming.
Liz Brent, Ph.D.