“A committee is a body who keep minutes and waste hours,” so said Milton Berie. Alec Issignosis was equally unenthusiastic, “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” While Charles Kettering was brutal,” If you want to kill any idea in the world get a committee working on it.”
Committees, it seems, are not that popular and in reality there are those that have fallen foul of committees and their rulings- planning committees in particular occasionally get bad press, at times justifiably so. Others consider those who sit on committees to be aged, busy bodies poking their noses in where not needed, having nothing better to do.
Certainly I never thought I would be a committee kind’a gal (and I still rule out those committees connected with politics), but I have learnt just how out moded and incorrect some of the above notions are. It can be a godly amount of work, and I don’t mean that in a saintly kind of way, presumably you pick your committee because you believe in the group or event – so you can’t whine about it.
But there is a huge amount to be gained by joining a committee; friendship or at least comradeship, a sense of doing something- call it what you will- for community, others, your soul, ‘putting something back’; those are the feelings of the majority of committee members. You’ll always get those who want to be seen to be doing, but they might well bail when the going gets tough.
The fact is, in the towns or villages where you live there are probably many events to partake of and enjoy, but behind the scenes there is an army of volunteers who get the job done over preceding months to deliver your community a great day and, more often than not, with a charitable element.
The smaller events may need to co ordinate stalls, refreshments, entertainment, collection of items for re-sale and advertising which takes a huge amount of organisation. While larger events have to negotiate with local authorities about road closures and signage, portable loos, rubbish collection, health and safety, risk assessment, health and hygiene, transport, media and marketing before they make a start on entertainment. The lists are endless.
Perhaps the noticeable absence from the world of the committee is youth. Why are they not more involved? After all they have a lot to offer, social media is the greatest marketing tool there is – one click and your event is out there – and it’s second nature to them. I can see that there are some committees that are obviously unappealing to the younger members of our community, but what about music festivals, beer festivals or sports festivals? For any young person wanting a career in Marketing, Business or Events Management these local events are a gift, giving serious experience at a local level which ticks the voluntary work boxes on a CV or Duke of Edinburgh scheme. It’s not nerdy it’s the exact same experience their degree course will expect them to get involved in later.
So it’s a duality of those on ‘behalf of the committee’ embracing youth and all it has to offer and youth getting over itself and volunteering. There are benefits for all.
What do you think?