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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/12/20 in all areas

  1. 11 points
    It's ironic that the BSA claims it knows how to develop leadership.
  2. 4 points
    When I was a scout, one of my mentors was a DE. Outstanding gentleman, scouter, humorist. He was waterfront director each summer, attended camporees, involved with every OA function, and well thought of by all. He got things done. Though he never said anything, I also noticed (even as a lunkhead teenager) what his job entailed. Many long hours, mostly performing duties that were a long way from the campfire. I also noticed that the SE was not very scout-like toward the DE. Again, nothing was ever said by the DE to us scouts, but I saw the SE/DE dynamic as a multi-year camp staffer and lodge VP. When the DE got married, he resigned from scouting. So that was 40+ years ago. Nothing has changed. Unfortunately, I'd say the DE's lot in life has gotten worse. And it won't change, barring wholesale updates in council structure. After all, so the warped tradition goes, today's SEs (and above) ran the gauntlet and ate a lot of crow. The SEs' empathy level for reshaping DE duties probably isn't very high. Instead, they'll ensure the DE's apprenticeship will be equally as miserable as theirs.
  3. 3 points
    Ugh! These are awful changes. Unless you had some sort of tiny council, what can be gained by removing local, hands on support for unit leaders. Whether it's training, advancement, camping, or something else, centralizing things is only going to lead to further distance between units & councils. Units that need support will be less likely to get it. The reason we have districts is to provide local Scouting contacts to units to strengthen their programs. If districts are becoming too weak to function, then that's what we need to solve - not get rid of districts. No organization manages their way out of a problem by cutting support resources.
  4. 3 points
    I think you are looking at it wrong. As you’ve said many times, if the volunteers did the tasks they are supposed to do, the units would be running quality programs. But that comes down to training and guidance from district volunteers. Districts aren’t doing their tasks correctly because Council (DE) aren’t recruiting the right talent and/or training the volunteers. DEs aren’t doing their tasks correctly because Council (DFE) isn’t training or directing them correctly. I don’t think the DEs job was designed to require more than 40 hours, but their bosses are doing it wrong. Find and Fix the problem, not the symptom. Barry
  5. 3 points
    When your organizational leadership acts as if the "customer's" desires are wrong, you get Sears.
  6. 2 points
    I think this council is saying that MB counselors can no longer limit themselves to just their own troop or district - not that you have to take on every Scout who might come your way. MBCs can change their availability in Scoutbook if they think they do not have the time to take on more Scouts.
  7. 2 points
    Hmmm. Of course cleanliness is a virtue and one of the a points of the Law, but ya'll sound as if you've never been on a Boy Scout camp out. Barry
  8. 2 points
    Well.. you would need to actually see the first 4 on the list. That is not likely in the real world, you know...on a camping trip, where there are actual youth. The wood badgers are harmless and humorous; just let them wear their kilts, beads, pink hankies, carry walking stick with 30 lbs of trinkets, etc and they are easy to spot and avoid. There are many who like to wear the 7 rows of knots, medals, ribbons, and cords; gives them a South American dictator look. One of my Scouts asked me what all of that stuff was on one Scouters pockets, told him I had no idea. He asked what mine were; told him Arrow of Light, Eagle, Training award, that's all you may need.
  9. 2 points
    Don't be ridiculous. A lot of people work very hard for a lot less money and no benefits. There are plenty of people who would see these jobs as a step up from what they currently have. At the very least, the work experience could be used as a stepping stone to get a better job.
  10. 2 points
    I think the goals of increasing membership and funding get in the way of trusting volunteers. Our DE recruited a local successful business man for District Chairman specifically for fund raising, leaving the district committee to be directed by the District Commissioner. And the DE spent a great deal of his time time with our District Membership Team to insure we did everything possible to get the maximum membership. If their jobs weren't so reliant on numbers, they might indeed spend more time recruiting and training talented volunteers who they could trust. Barry
  11. 2 points
    Just a little update ... this year starts with WOSM officially welcoming as it's 171st memo: Afghanistan National Scout Organization (ANSO) https://youtu.be/TQX0GjqbOrA
  12. 2 points
    Apologies for the incoming rant, but this strikes a nerve. The Scoutreach program is an embarrassment in it's current form (which is a shame because in theory it could be a great program). Yes, you are correct in how the recruitment works. Unlike traditionally paper apps, scoutreach apps do not need a parent signature or a unit leader signature. In the big metros, a DE will ask for a school roster, and all it's needs is a School Administrators signature. Most of those kids don't even know they are in Scouting. The membership fees are paid for by councils. Some will even wait to pay until Decembers when the fees are the lowest (if your council has a membership spike in December, that's why). You are absolutely 100% correct, it SHOULD be its own category for membership, but its not, and it's wrong that we count it as traditional membership. I will never work in a council that has a Scoutreach program. I refuse to cheat membership.
  13. 2 points
    According to Linkedin the average salary for a DE is $40,000. At 55 hours a week that's under $14 an hour, which is a tad more than my kid gets at Best Buy part time.
  14. 2 points
    So, I have to wonder why we feed into this as volunteers. I've made it a personal rule to never call our DE at night or on the weekends. I would almost never ask a DE to come to a unit meeting in the evening. I'm fine with the DE coming to a camporee or other event for a portion of the weekend. No way would I ask a DE to camp at camporee. I would never ask a DE to pick something up at the council store or make me photocopies at the office. I ask my DE for advice on how to get something done, I don't ask them to do it for me. A good DE is an amazing resource and they do a lot to help us. It's of almost no consequence to me to do these things myself.
  15. 2 points
    I do not know about National, but it was the attitude my DFS had. I had a new, struggling unit that my church started. I didn't have an active commissioner corps to help them, so I did it myself. My DFS found out, and told me to stop.Would not hear of the reasons why I was helping: no commissioner, my church's pack, my men's club asked me to help, etc. Ditto with me going to OA meetings and events. Told me " You don't have time to play Indian." Here's the irony of that situation, me attending the Ordeal, doing cheerful service in the rain, and working with the ceremony team thoroughly impressed the Scouters from my district in attendance. That created a lot of good will, and broke some barriers. And it did it with not only the Arrowmen, but all the Scouters as word got around that "We have ourselves a REAL DE!"
  16. 1 point
    I just finished reading The Hearts of Men by Butler. I note it as adult, as it deals with real, but more mature subjects, even as it encompasses many elements of Scouting. If you get a chance, consider reading it. Take a look at the synopsis on the web through Amazon or your favorite source. I found it to be excellent; it managed to touch on many of my personal realities in Scouting both as a youth and an adult. It does not though pull many punches in its slant and made me think a bit. Take a look.
  17. 1 point
    The LDS departure is a blip in the history of Scouting. It created a false narrative that Scouting was bigger than it really was. Yes, it's painful that we have to adjust budgets to the loss of that revenue, but that is an adjustment we have to make. There isn't another group out there like the LDS church for us to loose. So, by definition we can't really have that happen again. The lawsuits the BSA is facing is the bigger deal. This needs to be problem #1 for the BSA to deal with. Problem #2 is coming up with a path to grow traditional Scouting again. Local councils need to see packs & troops grow and need to see new packs and troops started. Any plan created by the BSA that doesn't deal with that is not worth the paper it's printed on. I frankly will be unimpressed with any plan that doesn't address both of these. Reorgs, shifting of resources, etc are all just window dressing if we don't deal with these.
  18. 1 point
    And that may be the end of your honeymoon, even as he goes on one. Unless the spouse is already aware of the awful schedule and constant pressure, and they can keep the family income ahead of the game, you will lose him. I have seen many divorces over the years of struggling and really potentially excellent DE's. It destroys their marriages and often destroys their love of Scouting that led them there in the first place. Some do come back, and those areas are fortunate to get them as volunteers; but many simply disappear and even if they have kids eligible, do not have them in the program. Sad, but far too true. Or so it seems to me.
  19. 1 point
    About ten years ago, I once witnessed a DE being asked by a new Cub leader if he (the DE) would come to their meeting and speak to the new parents. His response was (quote) "I don't do that. I have people who do that. " He meant the District Commissioner(s), of which I was at the time one. The Cub leader was angry, rightfully so, and we talked later. That DE was gone in about 6 months. Is this National's attitude in a nutshell?
  20. 1 point
    I wouldn't mind it (the trolling) so much if the financial impact of the lawsuits fell on the wrongdoers. As it is, the burden of paying off the lawsuits is falling on the kids, through increased dues and fees, even though most of the kids in scouting had not even been born yet when these abuses occurred.
  21. 1 point
    I was camp health officer for day camp and here are my thoughts. 1) Take the online training. 2) Make sure you have a copy of the Council Physician's Standing Orders. If the council won't give you a copy of them, WALK AWAY! Good friend of mine walked away as Day Camp Health officer because the council would not give him a copy because they said it only applied to summer camp, when it it now part of the NCAP standards. 3) Keep some gatorade or other electrolyte drink in the frig. As others have said, dehydration is common. IN fact at my day camp it was the #1 illness. 4) Follow those Standing Orders and your certification/licensing protocols TO THE LETTER! You don't want to put your career in jeopardy. 5) Make sure you are easily accessible in an emergency. We had one health officer on loan from the US Navy. Long story short, he would take off and go off roading in the primitive camp of teh reservation in the HMMWV. Nobody knew where he went off to, until he walked back to the main camp after after flipping the HMMWV
  22. 1 point
    Jsychk most certainly did associate strong leadership as the realm of males. The one strong leader female example was grudging given praise as "getting by". To quote: "Last year, the Webelos II had 1 strong dad who took the responsibility of leading the boys and providing a rich program... Moms were there to support by decorating the B&G venue, helping with the food, etc,. I think this is what a Pack should look like." This is explicitly stating that men make better leaders and women are ok to "help setup".
  23. 1 point
    My experience with the JTE is that while it can be a good checklist to evaluate the program, it also encourages fudging to reach a passing grade. The challenge is using JTE as educational without ranking the program on a pass/fail scale. The Tour Permit (that isn't used anymore) was a good checklist for guiding units without ranking (judge) the unit. It simply gave a minimal list for traveling and perform scouting activities safely. I have watched unit leaders spend hours trying to justify passing on FTEs. Barry
  24. 1 point
    I made the donation some years ago and received the James West knot. A good friend was FOS chairman and was looking for donors. Scouting had been a major influence on my life and I was more than willing to contribute whatever I could. It's no different than being willing to give my time. The uniform I normally wear has only my Arrow of Light and Eagle knots. I do have another shirt with all of them. I wear it "sometimes". Knots are not why I am a Scouter, but I am not ashamed of my accomplishments, either. Maybe seeing the depth of my involvement might encourage another Dad to get involved. Maybe it will encourage another Scouter to get a little MORE involved. Maybe seeing the James West knot will get someone to thinking that not only rich guys can make donations. When I make FOS presentaions, wearing the West knot shows I personally believe in what I am asking others to do. So, there are many reasons to wear the West knot which don't involve bragging. Ken
  25. 1 point
    Oh one more thing about West Fellowship. I was told, don't remember who or when though, that the West Award and the follow ons ; Heritage Society and Founders' Circle, were created to recognize big donors with those awards instead of Silver Beavers. Folks in the field were complaining that big donors kept getting the SBs and not the folks in the field. Again this is what I was told.
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