Scouter Spotlight: Meet Elaine Francis

ElaineFrancis Ready to meet another great Scouter who has given her time
and effort to the program we love? This week, we’re spotlighting Elaine Francis, a committee chairperson
for Pack 75 and Troop 527 in the Detroit Area Council.

Elaine is on the council’s executive board and serves as the
vice president in charge of programs. She’s also held many positions at the
unit, council, area, regional, and national levels. In fact, the list of her
past leadership roles is quite impressive—and we aren’t the only ones who think
so. The Detroit Area Council recently recognized her for 45 years of Scouting

Elaine’s husband, George F. Francis III, is involved in
Scouting, too. As is their son, George IV, who’s an Eagle Scout. If you’re
curious to learn more about this stellar Scouter, follow the jump for the
complete interview.

What was your
proudest Scouting moment?

Being with my son when he received his Eagle and being with my
husband when he was awarded the Silver Buffalo.

Why are you a
Scouting volunteer?

Young Scouts today are the men of tomorrow. Volunteering
provides me an opportunity to influence the type of men young Scouts become. Today’s
youth who grow up understanding and living by the Scout’s Oath and Law make our
world a better place to live. As a Scouting volunteer, this is my way of
contributing and giving back.

What do you have
planned for the BSA’s 100th Anniversary?

I’ll participate in our council’s efforts to reconnect with all
of those individuals who previously volunteered in the council but are no
longer active. It’s an effort to kick-start the next 100 years of the BSA.

How do you make
Scouting relevant over the next 100 years?

The programs must interest and engage the boys. Boys seldom
walk away from situations in which they’re fully engaged and psychologically
attached. This might mean seeking greater Scout input in program planning. For sure
it means programming that’s fun for the boy and not just fun for the volunteers.
Also, seeking out other youth-oriented programs and organizations and forming
creative alliances with them, as opposed to appearing to be in competition with
them, would improve Scouting.

You’ve been in the
program for 45 years. What is one piece of advice you wish you had known early

It would be to focus early on training. Training will assist
the volunteer in:

  • knowing
    him/herself better
  • knowing
    the unit and Scouting better
  • knowing
    the Scouts and other volunteers better, and
  • knowing
    how to communicate better.

Thanks to Elaine for her great answers. Forty-five years is
quite a legacy, and we don’t see her quitting any time soon. If you know a
great volunteer for Scouter Spotlight—whether he or she has been in the program
for four months or 40 years—e-mail us.

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