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Colonial Va Council troubles


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#21 desertrat77

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 10:27 PM

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I think it would be a great idea if we made it part of the job requirments that each month the council executive / ceo go on an outdoor activity with one of the troops from the council.  See how it is really done.  What boys are really like.  What resources our leaders really have available.  How well (or not) is our Boy led program going.  Mix it up with different troop sizes, locations served, types of activities.

 

Gumby, I agree, it is a great idea.   But the truth is many pros are better off staying away, for the good of the pro and the unit.  They won't fit in, or they'll try to boss everyone around.   Or both.


Edited by desertrat77, 14 October 2015 - 10:28 PM.

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#22 T2Eagle

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 05:33 AM

I guess I should defend the pros in my council.  The top guys have scout age sons and camp with their troops.  The DEs camp at the District Camporees, and most Scout Execs have to make their bones running and living at a summer camp for a few summers on their way up the ladder.


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#23 blw2

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 07:08 AM

I had a couple really great talks with our council's Director of Field Service last year while our sons were working on their round robin activities at a council campout. I think it was the WEBELOS AKELA weekend....

 

I'd say he was genuinely a nice guy and trying to right by his WEBELOS aged son.....  He struck me as as an old average "dad the business man" that's involved in scouting.  I have no idea how good he does his job.  As unit level scouter, I feel very out of touch to what those folks are doing.... One thing I noted was his surprise at some of my opinions about the program... nothing earth shattering, and I can't remember for sure what it was...  Regardless, my point is that he was a nice guy but by no means was he any sort of super scouter.  I enjoyed getting to know him a little bit.

 

Another comment about the previous posts regarding professional scouters and the disconnect.

I have had the opinion that many of them are misguided.  As Proscouter06 pointed out, their jobs aren't to go camping.  I would argue that it might be a better program if their jobs were refocused as to get into the trenches a bit more.  I would like to see the low level pros more involved in things like facilitating training.  

Instead of relying on volunteers (who have other non-related jobs and no time to do it right) to do all of the coordinating, arranging for rooms and supplies, setting agendas, and the rest of it involved with putting on say a BALOO course.... I say let the pros do it.  Sure, let the experienced volunteers be the brains behind content and even be the presenters, but give those volunteers with so little time available support by facilitating these things.  I'd guess we could end up with more consistency and maybe a better program..... ONe Program

 
Now all that being said, I don't disagree with DavidCO
 

I could not disagree more.  Scouting would be far better off if we were an all volunteer organization.

 

The structure of the organization, the complex and sometimes unrealistic or out of touch rules, and the rest of it... all do a disservice to the program and do get in the way.  There is just too much business, and I'd guess too many meetings and committees going on up at national.

 

My personal opinion is a downsize to a more limited and refocused professional organization could do wonders....

 

Oh, and we need a Bear Grylls type at the head of it all to get a weekly TV show where he's routinely doing really cool and exciting stuff.... rappelling, caving, making survival shelters, and the like... all while wearing the Scout uniform.  Someone for boys to latch onto as a hero of sorts.... "Wow, I want to be like him!"


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#24 ProScouter06

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 08:08 AM

@gumbymaster professionals are not spending their time chasing donations. To think that way and to spread that assumption is harmful to Scouting volunteers and employees alike. Also I’d suggest calling your council to ask for a breakdown of the budget. I’m sure they would invite you in to share. You may not get a hardcopy but they can discuss it. We were always happy to as it cleared up misconceptions. 

 

Here is a professional scouters year in a nut shell. This is based on my experiences and the experience of others in the Northeast Region.  This may be known to most of you, but maybe it’s not and will help give a slight look into the job.

 

January-March- This is FOS season. The FOS campaign is a massive undertaking with a huge amount of time for a relatively small return. These dollars are critical for camperships, financial aid and operating costs. However, it is usually a small part of the budget, maybe 10% in most councils. Probably not even worth the time and heavy lifting it takes, but that was never up to me. In order to be successful one must coordinate with hundreds of volunteers, recruit volunteers to do presentations and then support them through these months, often covering and filling in. Also time to start preparing for the spring. It’s a busy month with a lot of pressure. It’s frowned upon to take vacation during this time. (While also attending round tables, commissioner meetings, district meetings, unit meetings primarily for troubled units which creates more time intensive needs, recruiting volunteers for events, setting up events, working with vendors, scheduling training, logistics for events etc... Meeting with potential sponsoring organizations, looking for new sponsors, answering calls with questions from uniforms, to events, to trouble with a den leader etc... all with a smile).

 

April-June- This is spring recruitment season. Working with hundreds of volunteers, school, principals, superintendents etc… Getting materials out and encouraging units to participate, often against their wishes because why take kids in the spring when there is no summer program. A good argument but one that your boss will tell you to ignore, or suggest you ask them to have a summer program, because they are volunteers and have all the time in the work right? Not really. You are also wrapping up for FOS campaign because you did not meet your goal, and your boss is telling you this does not look good for your performance… Ok, maybe summer will be better. It’s time to start finalizing the plans for summer camp. (While also attending round tables, commissioner meetings, district meetings, unit meetings primarily for troubled units which creates more time intensive needs, recruiting volunteers for events, setting up events, working with vendors, scheduling training, logistics for events etc... Meeting with potential sponsoring organizations, looking for new sponsors, answering calls with questions from uniforms, to events, to trouble with a den leader etc... all with a smile).

 

July-August- Summer is here! The best part of scouting is to see it in the outdoors happening. You can finally put on shorts, and enjoy the weather with your “scouting family” you have no time for your own family because you are at day camp from 7 am to 7 pm, or living at a boy scout resident camp for 8 weeks, with one half day off for laundry. But the scouts and leaders are having fun so it’s all worth the sacrifice. It’s also time to start planning for the fall recruitment drive. You are expected to have all of your rally dates ready by end of August, so when you get home each night make sure you make your phone calls. It’s also frowned upon to take vacation in the summer. (While also recruiting volunteers for events, setting up events, working with vendors, scheduling training, logistics for events etc... Meeting with potential sponsoring organizations, looking for new sponsors, answering calls with questions from uniforms, to events, to trouble with a den leader etc... all with a smile).

 

September-November- Fall recruitment season, same as spring but busier. Hundreds of leaders, schools, various school districts, logistics, materials over hundreds of miles of territory again. Every unit leader you speak to has a problem that needs answered and your the professional you should know everything. Don’t dare try to answer quick bc then you don’t care and clearly must just be looking for a donation somewhere which is why you can stay to hear about the dean leader who won’t wear her uniform. Anyway back to the fall, if you’re good, you go to as many rallies as possible to support volunteers, not hound them for applications. They told me to do that but IMO volunteers had more to worry about that the application that night. I’d get them when they were ready the following week. This month = lots of fast food, lots of fuel costs, and little time to be home. Sure your lawn needs cutting and fall cleanup, but not time, sorry… We are also in popcorn season so that takes a ton of time and effort. It’s frowned upon to take vacation during the fall. But the holidays are around the corner, maybe you can take some time off then. (While also recruiting volunteers for events, setting up events, working with vendors, scheduling training, logistics for events etc... Meeting with potential sponsoring organizations, looking for new sponsors, answering calls with questions from uniforms, to events, to trouble with a den leader etc... all with a smile).

 

December- The most wonderful time of the year, or so you thought…. You did not make your membership goal, so your boss says unless you do, no vacation time this month, and no days off except December 25. So you hit the pavement trying to recruit more kids, for units that do not want them because they started their program in September and these kids will be behind, so you are fighting a losing battle. (While also recruiting volunteers for events, setting up events, working with vendors, scheduling training, logistics for events etc... Meeting with potential sponsoring organizations, looking for new sponsors, answering calls with questions from uniforms, to events, to trouble with a den leader etc... all with a smile)

Then the year starts again, and every year is almost identical to the last. You get into a rhythm. Some get jaded, I did. Some make it long enough to get out of the field, and start a family, you can’t do that in the field, or it’s hard to do it. Many get divorced along the way. But ti me we are in the trenches, not the fun trenches. I wish I could spend my time with one unit, and go camping and face the good times and bad in one town and one unit, but the professional does not have that luxury. They are in the trenches, just a different kind of trench.

 

This is why I can’t say I agree that camping should be mandatory. Like I said we lived and breathed it every day. It’s also why I am of the belief that the success of scouting (on a larger scale not down to the weekly unit meeting) depends of volunteers and professionals working hand in hand for a common purpose. It makes it more fun that way when we are in it together and when we both understand the struggles and challenges each group faces. (Of course there are bad applies on both sides which ruin this concept but I’m an idealist and a realist) However a mutual respect is badly needed. Perception is reality and new generations of scouters being told that professionals only chase donations will be quickly tainted and the misconceptions will continue.

 

 

@blw2 agreed a refocus of the job would be great. Professionals have to complete the job they are asked, and it can only be changed from the top down. But I won’t hold my breath. Scouting is slowing losing ground everywhere which only increases the pressures of the business. I knew some old professionals who worked in the 1950’s and 60’s. They did have the luxury of camping more, but their jobs changed over the years as volunteers became less available due to work and family and so the job changed. There is no way on earth they could take on more than they already do.

 

Also we do need a Bear Grylls! We need to get back I the spotlight to feature the great things scouting does in every corner of the nation. 


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#25 gumbymaster

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 08:46 AM

Moderator's Edit:

 

See this thread instead:

 

http://scouter.com/i...ional-scouters/


Edited by John-in-KC, 16 October 2015 - 09:46 AM.
Topic separated into its own thread

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#26 blw2

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 09:35 AM

thank you @ProScouter06 for taking the time to type that up.  

It's pretty much what I have imagined after almost 5 years of volunteering....

I assume it's from the perspective of DE or maybe one step or so above that.

 

Regardless..... what I see in every step through the year are a bunch of non-helpful goals, pressures, and requirements from the professional side....

 

the majority of those pressures really don't seem to do much to make a better program for the boy.... except maybe one could argue the fundraising push to get money to pay for the council camps and programs..... but nobody on our end want to hear another FOS pitch.  We're already giving our money and even more valuable time, in support of the BSA.

 

These pressures or job descriptions, from my perspective anyway, are so very misguided from where they should be.  It's clear to me (my assumptions) that someone up high somewhere in professional scouter land and a series of very long meetings to make some of those directions....


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#27 John-in-KC

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 10:56 AM

Why Don't we do that?

 

Our professional Scouters work for us, not for themselves.

No, they don't work for you.

 

They work for the Council Board of Directors.  In turn, the BOD works for the Voting Members of the Council:  That comprises the whole of all the Chartered Organization Representatives in the Council.  Your local Council, as mine, is a non-profit corporation registered under the laws of your State and chartered by the Boy Scouts of America National Council.  Each of the Directors has a fiduciary duty.

 

Like most corporations, the BOD has the authority to operate in the name of the voters during any recess of a membership meeting.


Edited by John-in-KC, 15 October 2015 - 11:01 AM.

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#28 John-in-KC

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 10:56 AM

Moderator's Note:

 

Moved to Council Relationships.  Trailer left.


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#29 Krampus

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 11:03 AM

No, they don't work for you.

 

They work for the Council Board of Directors.  Your local Council, as mine, is a non-profit corporation registered under the laws of your State and chartered by the Boy Scouts of America National Council.  Each of the Directors has a fiduciary duty.

 

As a non-profit corporation aren't they chartered with one of three specific purposes: 1) to serve a public interest, 2) to serve a specific group of individuals or 3) the non-profit's membership?

 

So wouldn't we (members) be in category 2 or 3?


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#30 David CO

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 12:02 PM

Anyone who followed the Owasippe situation in Chicago a few years back got a real eye opener.  The chartered organizations refused to vote in the Board of Directors slated by national.  The execs at national responded by threatening to pull the councils charter.

 

Yes, on paper, the chartered organizations vote in the council BOD, who then hire the executives. In reality, the execs choose the slate for the BOD.

 

We need to have real elections.  We need to have real oversight of the executives.  We might even learn that we don't really need the executives.


Edited by David CO, 15 October 2015 - 12:59 PM.

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#31 desertrat77

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 02:42 PM

Question:  Who do BSA pros work for?

 

Answering a question with a question:  who raises the money to pay their salaries?


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#32 Stosh

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:06 PM

@desertrat77

 

:) That's not a fair question.... Ministers work for the Lord but get paid by the people...   Most of them don't think or act that way, but that's the theory....  :)

 

I'm thinking that according to no-for-profit corporations the employees are answerable to the BOD's.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#33 desertrat77

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:15 PM

@Stosh, that is a good point.   I understand org chart/wiring diagram/chain of command.   But when the leadership of a non-profit org collectively starts conveying a disdainful attitude towards their very people that are a) executing the mission and b) raising the money to pay pro salaries, it signals something is wrong.   A disconnect.


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#34 Stosh

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:54 PM

I totally agree, there are churches and not-for-profits floundering and collapsing every day. 

 

Once the Ivory Tower becomes disconnected, the program will fail.  

 

One never seems to realize the dynamics that make a for-profit business successful are NOT THE SAME dynamics that will make a not-for-profit business successful.  They have different missions and different functional expectations to accomplish those missions.

 

A for-profit organization exists for only one reason to make a profit.  Wow, now there's a profound statement.

 

A not-for-profit organization exists for many reasons but one of them is not to make a profit.....

 

And yet there are those out there that think that both organizations can be run effectively under the business dynamics of just one business philosophy.  It ain't never gonna work, people!  :)

 

The Board of Directors of a for-profit corporation exist to please the stockholders.

The Board of Directors of a not-for-profit corporation exist to fulfill the mission of it's existence.

 

There are no stockholders in the BSA and when the BOD no longer remembers the mission of it's existence, then no one really knows why it is justified to continue existing.  Once there is a complete disconnect, the last remnants of the original mission will die off due to the lack of support.  From the comments of some of the forum, this disconnect has already happened.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#35 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 05:05 PM

Hah. Imagine if full-time Council employees were required to camp a weekend every month.  :D

 

I actually got in trouble when I was a DE because I camped a lot. In addition to district and council camporees,  I did OA events and IOLS training, or whatever the outdoor portion was called at the time. But I was single at that point.  Like ProScouter06 above, once you start spending 12 to 16 hour days, longer if you are assigned summer camp duties, you need time to away from Scouting. Especially if you have family.

 

BUT there are pro's out there who care and go above and beyond.  I have a picture to prove Hell froze over because a SE was in work clothes and actually doing cheerful service at an OA event. Blew a lot of people's minds.


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"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#36 SeattlePioneer

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 06:08 PM

<<I actually got in trouble when I was a DE because I camped a lot. In addition to district and council camporees,  I did OA events and IOLS training, or whatever the outdoor portion was called at the time. But I was single at that point.  Like ProScouter06 above, once you start spending 12 to 16 hour days, longer if you are assigned summer camp duties, you need time to away from Scouting. Especially if you have family.>> 

 

 

 

My personal aim is for district volunteers to do all the things they can do,  so the DE only has to do the things only he can do.

 

My theory is that it's important for DEs to have free time to socialize so we can look forward to a new generation of Tigers in a few years.

 

 

Regrettably,  we are quite a long ways from achieving that aim....


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#37 Stosh

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 08:00 PM

I worked with a DE for 2 years part time.  I was responsible for the Exploring program  in his district.  At first I thought that being an "assistant" while going to school full time would be fairly easy.  Well, it wasn't I was doing more than my 20/week and expected to do things way beyond my scope of job description.  I was given credit for starting 43 different Explorer Posts.  My work brought in enough scouts to cover the shortfall of scouts both in the Cub as well as Boy Scout quotas.  This was the era of declining membership struggles of the mid 70's.  I was also corralled into working on the council Bicentennial observances as well.  Like I said, 20/week would have been a nice job, but the pressure to perform coming from above the Council kept everyone pretty busy. 

 

Fortunately for me I did have volunteers that bailed out my butt on many an occasion.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#38 John-in-KC

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 09:42 AM

As a non-profit corporation aren't they chartered with one of three specific purposes: 1) to serve a public interest, 2) to serve a specific group of individuals or 3) the non-profit's membership?

 

So wouldn't we (members) be in category 2 or 3?

Krampus:  Are you a Chartered Organization Representative?

 

If yes, you are a voting member.  If not, you're not.  You're a member of a unit chartered (licensed) by the local Council.

 

Words have meaning.


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#39 John-in-KC

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 09:47 AM

Moderator's Note:

 

@gumbymaster's comments on Professional Scouters have been given their own thread.

 

Roles of Professional Scouters


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#40 Krampus

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 10:53 AM

Krampus:  Are you a Chartered Organization Representative?

 

If yes, you are a voting member.  If not, you're not.  You're a member of a unit chartered (licensed) by the local Council.

 

Words have meaning.

 

Then why does BSA count me as a member? They should more correctly count my CO as a member, and me as a member of the chartered unit.

 

Words should have the same meaning, not just be convenient when someone wants to count "members" to artificially bump up their numbers.


Edited by Krampus, 16 October 2015 - 10:54 AM.

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