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  • Wanting to be a DE

    So back in December I went through the process of filling out the application and going through the interviews to be accepted by the national council to be included as an approved candidate. I was told that once I was approved I would be put into a pool of applicants to be chosen from. I was also told that any council with an opening I found I would be able to contact and tell them I was approved etc. Well after my application getting lost and spending 4 months trying to get it found which didn't happen and so I redid the app and resubmitted it working with the national council so they would get it personally.

    Well now that I am have been approved and I am in the pool of applicants I am told by nationals that I am not allowed to contact councils with openings or contact councils to inquire if they have an opening.

    What am I supposed to do to be picked from the pool so that I have a chance? It seems that I had a better chance getting an interview before being approved. Any advice appreciated.

  • #2
    1) Do you have any friends that are pros to advise you? I ask because not contacting councils wasn't around when I tried to be a DE UNTIL you agreed to an interview. Once you accepted an interview, THEN you had to stop calling.

    Be advised, if you get accepted for an interview, be prepared for the possibility of an offer, and be prepared to accept.

    I did 3 interviews.

    First one I did horrible in as I was going through a personal crisis at the time of the interview. My mind was on the crisis, and not on trying to get the job.

    Second one, the one I later wished I would have gotten, I was told they were going to talk to one other candidate and I would hear from them within a week. Long story short, he got the job, and I was in PDL-1 with him. He had an "in" since it was his council growing up and he had time away form folks courtesy of ROTC and US Army.

    Third one was the "charm" as they put me in their winter conference. Long story short, I was told if I was getting interviewed during the conference, I would be offered the job and I better accept. I did.


    • #3
      j good

      Used to be on the National BSA website there was a section that listed DE positions available with the councils SE's email included, that was taken off shortly after Mazzucca became CSE.
      Now it looks like you can no longer be proactive officially, I would suggest you pick a few councils that you would really like to work for, go to their websites, and send them a quick email, to the SE, and include your resume as an attachment. If you wait for National to do anything for you it may be quite a long time


      • #4
        BP is correct, you wait for national, it will be a while.

        He reminded me of a story my former DE told me. After his divorce, his ex moved down here,and he wanted a job a close to the kids as possible. He apparently followed the policies and didn't hear for a few months.

        Well the guy is a retread, i.e left the profession for a while and comes back. But he still had a lot of friends in the profession, including some in pretty high places. He starts talking to friends, and within two months he's down here.


        • #5
          When our council was filling a DE position for my district, I suggested that they look for someone with familiarity with Spanish and Hispanic/Latino culture to help recruiting in my district, which has a lot of Hispanics but few Hispanic Scouts.

          To what extent can councils look to recruit people with those qualifications should they wish to do so?


          • #6
            Thanks for your quick replies.

            To answer some of the questions brought up:
            No I have no friends that are pros and don't know anyone currently even involved. Also the impression I was under was I could contact councils and if one of them wanted to interview me then I wouldn't be able to contact another council until I was not going to be considered.

            The council I grew up in is the one in Kentucky that is merging, this is also where I did my application and interviews for approval.

            The website still does have a list of councils with an opening, but all it does is list a place and you have to go find the council information for that opening. I was considering contacting the councils anyway but was afraid that I may have my approval revoked for doing so.

            I am having a hard time finding work right now I didn't even know that BSA had professional positions until last year. I just graduated college in Dec. 2009. I am about to be 24 years old and when I saw these openings I really felt drawn to it, but I don't believe I am being given a fair chance.


            • #7
              Frankly, I don't know what council look for when recruiting new District Executives.

              My theory is that people interested in that position would benefit by volunteering as district leaders, especially as District Membership Chairs and District Finance Chairs.

              District Membership Chairs learn to do effective recruiting campaigns, and District Finance Chairs learn how to conduct effective Friends of Scouting campaigns.

              Membership and raising money are two major responsibilities of a District Executive, so I would suppose learning to do those jobs effectively would be a big plus for someone interested in a job as DE.

              I would suppose that many District Executives and District Chairs would be delighted to have an eager volunteer interested in filling one of these positions. Helping do both of those jobs well would lead to some good recommendations and support by your District Executive and his Field Director, I would suppose.

              You can come and work in MY district, anyway!


              • #8
                A few comments.

                What is a council looking for varies based upon what is needed and who is hiring. Some execs want folks with specific skills and experiences, i.e. someone with heavy summer camp and outdoor skills may be hired as a DE with summer camp responsibilities or in a specific postion, i.e. campign director or program director (pros doing only those jobs and not to be confused with the summer camp seasonl CD or PD).

                Sometimes they want folks with experience as volunteers. esp. district level ones. One reason why I had my foot in the door was b/c I was a district committee member.

                And sometimes they want someone they can "mold." Sometimes ti works, sometimes it doesn't.


                • #9
                  j good

                  As I suggested go ahead using BSA councils who are hiring, look up those council's websites and email the SE with your resume telling him you would love to work for him and why you are a good candidate. National will NOT blackball you at all, and probably congratulate you for your determinism. After all National would not put those openings on their website if they didn't want prospective candidates to apply for the positions. If you are married with children though I would caution you to investigate to see how much time you will spend away from them, I can tell you from my own experience it is a lot and will cause a big strain on any marriage. Also plan on moving every 3-5 years to a new council, which is S.O.P. in the BSA.


                  • #10
                    Ditto what BP said. My wife, who dated me while I was a DE and knew exactly what she was getting into in regards to my job duties, gave me an ultimatum after 2 months and 5 days of marriage: her or the job.

                    Yes it is that stressful. see some of the other threads on this topic.


                    • #11

                      Hmmm. If she knew what she was marrying in to, that seems like marriage agreed to in bad faith to me.

                      I also wonder about the reasonableness of making such extreme demands on staff that might make divorce an expectation of the job.

                      The last two DEs in my district were both survivors, and they both made it a point to develop and use volunteers whenever possible.

                      Our current DE on the job nine months, tends to take the job on the chin, and has not been using volunteers as effectively. Unless he changes, he is making the job harder on himself than perhaps it needs to be.

                      That said, the past two DEs in my district both used volunteers pretty effectively to get district business done. The new DE, on the job nine months, tends to take the job on the chin and has been doing things himself that volunteers were doing.

                      That has got to make the job a lot harder on him.(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)


                      • #12
                        From a management standpoint, I think the DE job is a recipe for failure and early burnout. They are responsible for all functions within the District, however have no authority over those to whom the jobs are delegated. Every DE I've been associated with has run the District Committee and the District Chair was just a figurehead...often absent from the meetings. And when the members of the District Committee didn't perform, the DE had to do the work himself. The SE wasn't interested in excuses...if the results weren't there, the DE was gone. In my opinion...a very difficult job with long hours and little money.


                        • #13
                          In our district, we have a number of effective volunteers who make significant contributions.

                          We have had district finance chairs who took charge of organizing FOS presentations and presenters.

                          We have Camporee and Klondike Derby and Cub Day Camp chairs who run those programs on their own.

                          As Membership Chair I took charge of organizing several Cub Pack recruiting nights and helped with others as needed.

                          The Training Chair organizes quite a lot of training on his own.

                          We have District Committee meetings that are reasonably well attended, but not as effective as I would like to see.

                          It seems to me that IF a District Executive is effective in recruiting and motivating volunteers he should be able to cut the job down to a manageable level. If he tries to do everything himself, he will be buried.

                          Of course finding and motivating volunteers to do those things is not easy. But I'm guessing that can make the difference between being a survivor and being out the door.

                          Our last two District Executive were both survivors and were promoted to other positions in the council.


                          • #14

                            Of the three SE's I worked for as a DE all three had been married and divorced 2 or 3 times, and as far as the other DE's in my council all but two wound up either calling off a wedding or getting a divorce. The reason IMO is that councils are cutting back on personnel and DE's are expected to do a lot more money raising, unit creation, working at camps, and dealing with all the problems of one or more districts. It is not uncommon for a DE to put in an 80 hour week, including most weekends, on a regular basis.

                            That is why a new DE who is married better understand what they are getting into before accepting the position. Many councils require their DE's to live within the district they serve, this often results getting approached by unit leaders at restaraunts, grocery stores, etc to tell you their problems with their unit or council personnel, it is all part of the job. As much as I enjoyed many parts of being a DE after 4 years and 10 months it just became too much and I left.


                            • #15
                              jgood - That approved list can have an unfortunately long wait.

                              I know someone who did what you did and got on the approved list. Our local council had him on hold until a position came open, but one never did so after a few months he told them he'd be willing to move to another council. Worked serving in the meantime, but he was seriously on that list for almost a year before he started getting interviews.