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Sometimes Council Staff Really Bug Me :)-

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  • Sometimes Council Staff Really Bug Me :)-

    While this is a serious problem, this post is in jest, and is to make fun of the original thread. And it is also blow off some steam.

    It really bugs me that after 6 months, 3(possibly 4) applications with YPT cert attached (one of which was hand delivered to the DE), and completing a Webelos Den Leader Specific Class (yes class not online)the pack's Webelos Den Leader is still not registered.

    Ok Serious now, know how to handle the problem and will be dealing with it shortly.

  • #2

    Aren't you a former DE like myself? Then you should know NEVER give the DE any registration forms, except as a desperate last resort. They seem to misplace paperwork if it is not part of meeting their goals. Your DE will probably blame the council registrar. Thats why I always walk all our crews paperwork into the council office and hand it directly to the registrar, as well as keep a copy for our records, just in case. Good Luck on this one!


    • #3
      They change staff around here so much it's hard to figure out who to go to when you need something. They never last long enough to bug me.

      Now council management, that's a different story. The only way to get rid of them is to promote 'em and our guy apparently just missed the Chief SE job so I guess we're stuck for a while longer.


      • #4

        It use to be that the 3 best ways of insuring something got delivered were A) bring it yourself to the office, B) send it certified mail, and C) give it to the DE so he drops it off at teh weekly meeting.


        • #5
          I've only been a CC for about 7 months (and I'm coming up to my first rechartering) and I know that there are others that must share the problems I've had. I think I've had a problem on each and every single adult application I've sent in -- every time, there has been a problem that originated in the office. They would stop processing the application and not let me know there was a problem. So I'd discover the problem a few months later when I ask about status. The answer would come back about how I haven't paid (when I did) or hadn't turned in a CORI (which I had). In one case, they sat on a CORI for over a month, and then the state required a new type of CORI form. So they'd tell me (months later, after I ask) that I have to get a new CORI from the applicant because the old one was invalid.

          Or, the non-payment -- one check cashed, but not credited. Another adult leader was in the office to pick up an Eagle advancement kit, and he was forced to pay (again) the same charge before he could pick up the kit. Again, it wasn't credited properly, because a month later they asked for payment again (after I inquired why an adult still hadn't been registered). When I finally figured out the paper trail (which they didn't), I pointed out that we'd already paid twice and I should have a credit. Shortly afterward, I file another adult app, hoping to use that credit. They tell me there isn't enough in the account. I sent them my "evidentials" and heard nothing. Another month later, I hear that the application isn't being processed because of the lack of funds in "the account." Their solution -- I should be keeping at least $50 in the account with them so I wouldn't have these problems. My exact words to the DE (who was always requested to send the bad news): there is NO WAY I am going to keep an account with you where you can withdraw at will whenever you feel like it.

          So, with a DE switch, a newbie, I finally got angry enough with him that he went to look at the paper trail himself. The reason why I didn't have full credit (for the double-paid application)? They took the payment from our account for another unit's adult leader. Hmmm. So, why is it you want me to keep $50 with you?

          Coming up to rechartering, I've got two adult leaders that aren't showing up on our roster. One was a Cub mom that transferred to our committee in April. The other is a committee member, where I filed (and paid for) an application back in June. Despite multiple queries, I still haven't heard why they aren't on our roster. Meanwhile, a new mom (a middle school science teacher) files a merit badge counselor application through me. She's still not registered either. And no answer about the status of her application.

          I started a thread here a few month ago (and also on Scouts-L) about this: the single biggest time-waster I have is with applications. Not so much the Youth Applications, but the Adult ones. The "membership model" is little changed from when I became a Boy Scout in May of 1971. Back then, the form was much smaller, but it was the same format with carbon paper in between pages. 41 years and counting.



          • #6
            Hello GK,

            Sorry to hear about all the problems.

            I guess I shouldn't feel sorry for myself about the two applications I personally filed to appoint new Chartered Organization Reps that were completed as Committee Members, probably for the good reason that the applications for COR need to be signed by the Institutional head.

            I have relatively few issues with completing Adult Leader applications that I don't cause myself with errors of one kind or another, and I've gotten pretty good about avoiding those for most purposes.

            The bottom line appears to be that council staff can do the job of processing adult leader applications well or poorly. My council does the job well, and yours does it poorly.

            BSA appears to be responsible for this problem mainly by creating an overly complex administrative process that is difficult for volunteers and council staff to operate reliably.

            Again, my condolences. I would be having emotional melt downs if I was experiencing the problems you describe. I imagine it's a lot worse for volunteers in your council who can't make the system work and have no idea why.

            Or perhaps ignorance is bliss.


            • #7
              Here's what I would do if I was dealing with service that bad:
              Allow adults to function in whatever position they chose but only register them at recharter.
              Have the DE come and pick up your recharter and applications personally.
              Make copies of EVERYTHING.
              Write the check for registration for the exact amount and keep 0 funds in the unit's account.

              I have had problems with council TAKING funds without authorization. I consider this stealing when the mistake is reported but not addressed for months.
              Last year I told my UC that we had our recharter ready to turn in at the first turn in time but that we would not be paying until our account issues were addressed. Sure enough everything was taken care of in less than a week. Money talks!


              • #8
                I wonder how much the paperwork hurdles have weeded out the woodsmen adults in favor of the patient plodding bureaucrats?

                Few competent men will bother to fill out the same ridiculous form multiple times every year. You don't want me to give my time to your organization? Okay, see ya!

                I'm pretty sure that BSA is not intentionally losing forms in their quagmire. That would imply an ability and thought process that I don't think they have...


                • #9

                  Sometimes even the copies are not enough!


                  • #10
                    What's the alternative to copies? At least you can prove you had them.
                    Maybe have whoever you hand the documents over to sign for them or send everything by registered mail?


                    • #11
                      Let me fill it out online......
                      Let me pay via paypal......

                      No papers to lose.......
                      No trips to the scout office......


                      • #12
                        Poor office management is a constant in BSA council offices.

                        Those grand ladies and gents of yesteryear, who typed and filed, had work ethic and organizational skills that are no longer found in the BSA. They knew where everything was at, and the background on any topic. Unsung heroes. Computers and people who operate computers don't even come close.

                        Perhaps they should add an "office management" block to WB.


                        • #13
                          I'm with B-dweller -- online registration, with online payment (yes, I know -- many members of Scouts-L shouted me down with a "you are underestimating how many people in this country don't have internet" -- to which I reply, "so what? The IRS has definitely promotes online filing, and that is certainly a more secure act than anything related to the BSA, and old paper IRS forms have not disappeared").

                          I freely admit that I got kind of nasty with a new DE (and bombarded him with snippets of email conversations) when I found out that an ASM was still not registered after a year with us. He was a transfer, from the council in Puerto Rico. His wife, a committee member, transferred just fine.

                          Eagle732 -- that's exactly what I've been thinking, but I'm just coming up to my first recharter. At the moment, I don't think I have any non-registered adult leaders, but by next year I might.

                          BTW, yes I keep copies, and I've kept copies of all communication with the office. What I haven't done is visit them in person -- the hours are way too limited, considering where I work and where the office is located.

                          One question for the group -- do any of your Council "service centers" have Saturday hours?



                          • #14
                            I wonder how much the paperwork hurdles have weeded out the woodsmen adults in favor of the patient plodding bureaucrats?

                            Bureaucracy Scouts of America. Slogan: "We don't let youth cut down trees to make pioneering projects, but we slaughter entire forests for the paperwork we fill out!"

                            In all seriousness, JoeBob is right about that - it's not just the applications, but the paperwork for going on outings too (which properly considered also includes the paperwork associated with verifying required training, etc.).


                            • #15
                              Paperwork saving suggestion: Scan your troop's/pack's health forms and save them onto a flash drive. MUCH easier to carry on trips than a six inch tall pile of paper. And easier to pass off via eMail to the leader of the next outing.