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  • Where would you complain?

    I am writing the question for my husband.. He would like to complain to whoever sets the DE number goals for things, but not sure if that is the SE at the council, or someone in National..

    Last week we had a big blowup at our District committee meeting.. I think(hope) through emails and such that is mostly ironed out, we may still loose a few volunteers.. Bottom line what it came down to is the DE was given basically an unobtainable goal to raise the number of scouts in his district by 500.. Me, if given something unobtainable, I would not even try, you get what you get.. If they gave me a challenge that was obtainable, then I would strive to reach it, but if unreasonable it would do the opposite.. Anyway, I guess our DE (or really the membership chair, with the DE's blessings) trying for the unobtainable, pushed the District Committee a wee bit too much, and they kindof bolted.. I drove home with 3 family members miffed about how things were handled at the meeting.. (basically the DE was going to assign the other district members to some membership tasks..) Small things, but still people took offense. I was one of the few not upset, what was asked was a few minutes on the phone to two units asking questions from a questionaire..

    Now that things have settled down, my husband is somewhat seeing things through the DE's eyes (somewhat).. He doesn't want to do membership work, but he sees the DE felt squeezed to do something to try to optain his goals. As the DE says, he has been in the position for two years, and our district has over that time been raised from a very low position to one of the top districts in the council and in total, he has not brought in 500 new scouts.. He seems, desperate to try, even though if the same unreasonable goals were given to all districts, i doubt any district is going to make those goals..

    Anyway, now my husband has decided he wants to write a complaint letter to who ever came up with thes bone-headed goals.. He just doesn't know who that would be. Anyone have an idea who makes up these District / Council goals???

    As for the district finding people to work on membership, I suggested some of the stuff could be done using the Unit Commissioners rather then the District board members Alot of it is reaching out to get information from the units and take it to the District.. I told them as a UC, I see my job as the go between of unit & district and making sure communication is smooth between the two groups.. But, I don't see that as a job for a training chair or Advancment chair guy.. From some email that went out I think that is now the direction they will be going in, although I bet it will be more a "This is the problem, we hope some of you will be willing to help", rather then "Surprise! You have been voluntold!"..

  • #2
    If I really liked my DE, and he was given such a bone headed goal that I didn't see how it was possible, I would write a glowing letter to his boss, if he has one, Council Membership Chair and the SE and maybe the Council President about how wonderful it has been to have DE Dan in our district. I would give examples of all the times he has really gone above and beyond, all the times he has clarified and soothed, and just make him out to be a hard working guy who had helped to lead and advise the district from where we were two years ago to today. And then I'd ask who thought this goal was accomplishable and had that person bothered to talk to DE Dan and the Key 3 and maybe some other volunteers with their fingers on the pulse of your area, because as a long standing Scouter and resident of the area, I just didn't see where we were going to get these 500 extra bodies. I could see X number, but not 500. And as much as I would like to see every child experience the great program in our local units, district, and councill I also didn't want the whole thing hollowed out and ruined on the altar of pure membership and/or revenue stream. I'd conclude that I hoped to see a healthy, reasonable rise in our district numbers and continue to have DE Dan serve our area.


    • #3
      I would work through the council volunteers. Contact the council president personally. In theory, the district committee is answerable to the council committee of which the president is chairman.

      The truth is the SE is the one calling these shots and setting the goals for the DE. But I think complaining to the SE will only cause more problems for your DE (unless that's your intent). In addition to not being able to meet his goals, he will get dinged for not being able to control his volunteers. Bottom line the goals are for the DE not the committee. You are volunteers. What, you won't get your bonus at year end?

      Been through this with fundraising goals. Council gave us crazy goals which were a huge increase over the previous year AND percentage-wise higher than the other districts. When the district committee balked, we were politely told the council set the goals and they would find volunteers to staff the district committee which were committed to meeting the goals. We told them to go ahead. (Actually, I'm quite sure that message was never delivered.) In the end, we did what we were going to do any way, of course the council didn't replace a soul (I'm still chuckling at the thought) and we raised a little more than we did the previous year in line with what should have been a reasonable goal.


      • #4
        Absolutly like the DE and is not our intent to cause him more problems.. One of the reasons, we are asking the question as to who to send it to.. Our thoughts were along the lines of Nike, in sending to the person handing out the dingbat goals, but I see your reasoning twocub that it may just cause the DE problems rather then help the matter.


        • #5
          If your SE was like the one I worked for, if you or your family complain, the DE will get in trouble. Had one friend have his head handed to him because someone thought teh membership goal he was given was not doable. I heard the SE "talking" to him through a closed door and several feet away.

          Had another friend new to council and position, who was cleaning up a mess that one of his predecessors caused, but who was working for the council. Working with his Key 3, they noticed some challenges in membership, and one of them wrote a letter of concern, That friend lost about 20-30 unnecessary pounds in the hind quarters when the SE got that letter.


          • #6
            Just a few observations as a former DIstrict Committee member...first of all, the DE doesn't "run" the district committee and assign tasks to its members. That's the District Chairman's job. The DE is one third of the "Key 3", consisting of the DE, District Chair and District Commissioner. Second of all, your CORs are the voting members of the District Committee...that is who the unit Scouters should be working through. Thirdly, the SE is the "supervisor" of all the other professional staff and can set goals and review performance as he/she sees fit. I don't think they really care what the volunteers think. They just want results. I would say to complain to the Executive Board, but in most councils, they are hand picked by the SE and are only there because of their connections with potential deep pocket donors in the community. So, my bottom line advice is to try not to make waves for your DE..."do your best", and let the politics handle themselves. If your husband doesn't like the district and council politics, then withdraw and concentrate on the kids. That's what I had to do. It also explains why there's such a high turnover rate in new DE''s a horrible job.


            • #7
              I kind of mentioned this, but will clarify.. I stated in the OP, " Anyway, I guess our DE (or really the membership chair, with the DE's blessings) trying for the unobtainable, pushed the District Committee"..

              To clarify, the person who runs the membership chair post, was the one who announced the task assignment. You could tell the District committee chair and the DE knew about what he was proposing and backing him all the way. The DC and the membership chair are close friends, are from the same troop, and came to the district committee at the same time both deciding it was time to step down from the unit and both looking for what they could still do in scouts outside the unit.. So you could say the MC had the DC's full blessing with this task.. The DE, just definately had heard about it, and was behind the effort 100%.. Don't know which of the three thought it up..

              Any way, just so you know, although our DE can get excited about things, and maybe will back things a bit heavily, he doesn't run the committee.. Sorry if I gave you that impression.


              • #8
                who cares what the DE and councils wants???? Honestly you shouldn't care.

                Run a solid program on the local level and the folks will come.

                With all of the current drama the BSA involved in can you blame folks for not having their kids join.


                • #9
                  Write something here


                • #10

                  As Eagle92 said if you complain to the SE on the DE's behalf all you will do is get the DE in trouble and make his life a whole lot worse. Now you better understand why many DE's leave in their first year, it can be a thankless job. As a DE for almost five years I was very fortunate to have two districts where the volunteers knew me, trusted me, and supported 100%, resulting in our districts surpassing all our goals each year. The three SE's I worked for saw our districts prosper and pretty much left me alone, except for them trying to poach some of my key district people to the council board. Fortunately all but one of my district people told him NO.


                  • #11
                    I'd tread carefully with this one.

                    The SE is definitely the person that needs to know the goal is malarkey.

                    If it's a cruel SE, he'll chew out your DE.

                    If it's a smart SE, he'll pass your suggestion to the Council Membership Chair, and that Council Membership Chair will make sure you're asked to participate or lead a goal planning session.

                    The problem is that the goals don't reflect capabilities for the team in a way that is sort of at the "just-beyond-the-fingertips" range. Convincing the SE that talking capabilities first is probably the smarter way to start a conversation about goals. Though being honest in that sense will probably force your committee to admit there should be an expectation from the Council and SE that your District will plan to increase the capabilities of the Membership Committee over the course of the year to achieve the goals.