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Everything posted by Marcheck

  1. I suppose by now everyone knows that due to the unsavory findings of an independent audit, the SE in Atlanta, GA, has resigned. My concern is that this problem may be more widespread than any of us would like to acknowledge. What can be done to root out of the professional Scouting culture the notion that it is okay to exaggerate and or falsify numbers of Scouts and Scout Units? I think that as long as every Dec. 31 each DE is judged primarily on numbers of kids, this will go on. What do you think?
  2. Choice Point was hacked in October and the story is just breaking this morning on all the news outlets. This firm handles all of BSA's background checks on adult leaders. Scouters should be aware that this could lead to identity theft.
  3. Choice Point, the company which handles BSA's background checks, was "hacked" back in October, and the company is just now letting their customers know. Scouters should be aware of this, as their information may be used by the hackers for identlty theft purposes.
  4. Choice Point, the company which handles BSA's background checks, was "hacked" backed in October, and the company is just now letting their customers know. Scouters should be aware of this as their information may be used by those who hacked Choice Point's database.
  5. I am confused by a step in the nominating committee process: Why does the outgoing chairman have a say in the process at all? In my experience, that has proved disasterous, as those Chairmen who exercise that right the most are the ones who the Council/District wants to get rid of the most. They simply use their input on the process to derail things out of spite and/or stubborness. Ideally it would provide a smoother transition, but I just haven't seen any of that.
  6. Right... And these kids in the Crews are learning about firefighting. That's it. No "high adventure" stuff. So shouldn't the Council, in all due fairness to the Exploring Program, see to it that they are converted into Posts?
  7. Here's a thought as to why most professional leave (and a darn good Asst. SE told me this): poor management. I the firm I worked for, being a top seller didn't meant you got more money, and maybe a promotion, but not necessarily a promotion to a management position. This was for a good reason: not everyone know, or ever will know, how to manage. Unfortunately, Scouting does not feel this way. The DE's in my area are great, but they report to the most inept FD I have ever known. How did he get to this management job: simple, he "produced" in his previous roles as a DE and Finance Director. Making the sale is great, but it does not qualify him to manage people.
  8. We have a great Exploring Exec. who, as you can imagine, is in the business of staring Posts at local Fire Companies where kids can learn about firefighting. Unfortunately, his sevice area only covers a portion of our Council, with the more sparsley populated areas leaving Exploring up to the local tradistional DE to handle. Here is the rub: in those more sparsley populated areas, the DE's are staring Crews at Fire Halls and the kids are doing exactly the same things they would in a Post. Now, some of those fire depts. are wondering why they were only told about the Venturing Program,a not Exploring. The reason is that the FD in the more sparsley poulated are "encouraged" his DE's to get more traditional units, ie crews. This seems somewhat disengenuos to me. If the kids are there to learn firefighting, should all these units be posts, not crews? Thoughts please....
  9. This discussion is great. I am learning all kinds of new things. What about Jehovah's Witnesses? Someone told me they found the term "Scoutmaster" objectionable because "no man can serve two masters" and that they think that making the Scout oath is blashemous and that the US flag on the uniform is a false idol. This sounds like a lot to swallow, but I have not been able to confirm any of it (namely because I know no Jehovah's Witnesses) (and I have heard that there are rumblings among Unitarians over Scouting's leadership standards; does anyone have any info on that?) Thanks
  10. I know that there are a number of organizations that "officiall" endorse Scouting, and encourage all of their brancehs to charter a unit (ex. The VFW, Catholic Church, LDS Church, etc. etc.) I was wondering if there are any organizations which, at their national level, officially discourage their branches to charter Scout units. Does anyone know if there are? And if so, what are theY?
  11. I feel as though some of you haven't actually thought about my analogies or the historical context in which the uniform was initially adopted. Rather, you are immediately seeing red and crying heretic. This should not be a matter of "my country love it or leave it". Can't we accept that the uniforma was created to attract boys in the first place. And at the time it was created, the military look appealed to kids in days gone by. So, as volunteers, lets generate a healthy discussion of what attracts kids in this day and age. There will be no easy answer, but I can tell you this: most professsionals I speak to are in far greater agreeement on this with me than most of you seem to be. Its the package, not the wrapping that is critical to our success.
  12. But.... The CO is ASKING the Council to remove the person. No one is in disagreement that the guy has to go. But the CO wants Council to say "you're outta here". If the Council can't do that, then, guess what, you have a CO that thinks that Council is useless, the CO will not act (and maybe dump the whole program), and Mr. No-Good-Leader laughs it up with his buddies about how "no one can touch him" and "they're all afraid of me."
  13. Ha Ha. Seriously, the same kids who won't think twice about wearing a sports uniform cringe at the thought of wearing their Scout uniform. Can anyone deny that most kids shy away from wearing their Scout uniform in public. They are not embarrassed by the fun program and the things they learn, or camping, or even being called a Scout. But the reality is that the times have moved beyond the uniform. This shouldn't be heresy. There was a time when the Cub oath said "to be square" instead of "to help other people". Why do you think that changed? Because in cultural parlance, the term "square" went form meaning "honest" to "dorky", (just as "aweful" went from meaning "something that inspres awe" to "terrible") Our uniform, like language, must evolve. I love Scouting. I want kids to say "hey, wow, look at them" no "ha ha, look at them".
  14. Sorry to disagree, but I do. I know for a fact that the SE has stated that he thinks that this volunteer is "trouble" and has told each successive DE to "get rid of him". But this apparently means convincing the charter partnet to get rid of him. And all the talk in the world about charter agreements doesn't help the Dist. Chair, Dist. Commissioner, or DE when the IH looks them right in the face and says "but this is a SCOUT program and you are the SCOUT people, so what are you dumping this in my lap. Most charter partners have scouting more as a courtesy to the community and a sense of doing something nice for the town. When a new IH arrives in town, he or she inherits the Scout Unit already at their institution. They suffer it, as it were, to exist. If it goes, what loss is it to them. But to Scouting, its a serious blow. Scouting is the organization with the most to lose here, so Scouting should act. And we are not talking about petty disagreements among leaders. We are talking about a history of repeated wrongdoings by one individual. In such a case, isn't that the time to say "the Council, for the long term good of this program, is stepping in".
  15. White or brown pants. A blue polo shirt. All emblems in one unified crest (flag, world crest, unit #) There might, and probably is, something better than this. It has to be better than what we have, for I have been mistaken for, (no joke) a forest ranger, a county cop, and a World War I re-enactor. We need to get the discussion going.
  16. I (and I am sure there are other and maybe better ideas ou there) is this: A pair of regular khaki pants (without all the pockets and a shade of white) and a standard button down shirt (maybe blue). Stick all insignia in a single crest (flag, world crest, unit #) Simple, utilitarian, recognizable, and not immediately mistaken for a forest ranger, World War I re-enactor, or county cop (all things that little children and adults have hoenstly interpreted from my uniform.)
  17. I have heard a lot of talk about Scoutreach. My question is this: what qualifies? Some have told me "poor people" but I have heard the term used in relation to Asian-American Scouting, and Islamic Scouting. Many of these folks aren't "poor" by any means. So others have said "groups that are not historically" a part of Scouting. But many of the disadvantaged black and rural white kids that are covered under Scoutreach are part of groups that have "historically" been exposed to Scouting. I may be naive, but it seems to me that Scoutreach is just another way of saying "Scouting for anyone other than folks who are specifically middle-class and white". What is Scoutreach really supposed to accomplish and who should it target?? (I can tell you this, a lot of folks think that it means Scout-welfare, and I am sure that is not the intent).
  18. I know what commissioners are supposed to do. But how many of them actually do it. It seems to me that most commissioner staffs are packed with folks who are either: a) Old, and treat it as an honorific title to which they are entitled after many years of service b) Bored, and view it as another social outlet, another meeting to gab away at c) Petty, and see it as an opportunity to lord over other volunteers as an "important" person And most District Commissioners are too friendly with their staffs to get "tough" on them. How does one create a genuine, by the book commissioner staff? I would be willing to wager that most units don't know who their commissioner is, and if they do, they don't know what he or she is really there for.
  19. Ponder this: A unit (much to the consternation of the Council) gets a donation directly from some well meaning organization. The unit requests that the Council provide them with the Council's Tax ID to prove to this well meaning organization that the Troop is in fact a non-profit group. The Council replies that since the Troop is "owned" by the charter partner, they must use the charter partner's Tax ID. The units does this, gets the money, and buys some equipment. The unit then goes belly up. Now, the Council wants to claim the materials, apparently in accordance with policy. But if the Council was insistent that the money with which it was bought be donated using the charter partner's Tax ID, then shouldn't it belong to the charter partner? So, who, in general, owns Scout "stuff" when a unit goes belly up?
  20. A unit has a bad leader (no recruiting, not using scout methods, no boy run troop, flaunting policies, etc.) The charter partner wants the leader gone. The Council wants the leader gone. So who moves first? Well, the Council says that the Charter Partner owns the unit, and therefore fires the person. The Charter Partner says that it is a Scouting program, and that if the Council agrees that the guy is a poor leader, why doesn't Council say "This guy shouldn't be a leader." Both sides are scared. Period. Scared of "I'll sue!" and "I'll make a stink" Frankly all this balogna about Charter Partners "owning" units is crap. When a charter partner drops a program, the Council rushes in to save it, and move it if necessary. This indicates that the Council sees itself as the custodian of units, and is unwilling to let them dissolve. For Councils to then turn around and say "you go ahead and maintain the integrity of our program for us" is nonsensical. And frankly, many in the trenches DE's would agree. I know many who would love to be empowered to "fire" some Scouters. But the Councils won't support that. They tell the folks in the field to tell the Charter Partners to fix things. The Charter Partners then give the DE's hell for not exercising any "executive" authority. A game of hot potato ensues. I feel sorry for the Charter Partners and the DE's. Councils need more guts on this one.
  21. Reading the thread on professionals and the uniform got me thinking. Maybe (don't shoot me, anyone) its time that we *gasp* change the uniform. I think that every Scouter, and indeed, anyone involved in an organization like Scouting will agree that uniformity is the key. But what that uniform should look like is, and should be, open for debate. Our current uniform is still an echo of the pre-World War I British militray uniform. That's a long time ago. Back then it was "cool" to look like a soldier; what boy wouldn't want to look authoritative and militarized in that day and age. Baden Powell knew that it was "cool"...he used that coolness to attract kids. But now that particular look isn't "cool" Think about it -- we emphasize that we are not a paramilitary organization, as some detractor have labeled us, yet we dress our boys to look like little soldier. I mean, really, why epilettes? And khaki brown and forest green? By clinging onto something so anachronistic, aren't we putting pride before a fall. The uniform is the first thing people see about a Scouter, and for many its screams - NO WAY. The program, the merit badges, the activities, the oath and law, THEY are Scouting. I am sure that several Scouters, particularly "old time" Scouters will have a fit when they realize this. Lets make uniformity - the uniform - cool.
  22. How does a Council hire a Scout Executive? We here in Delmarva Council will be getting a new one because our current one, Jim Gentry, is retiring. So who makes these decisions.
  23. How exactly does a council hire a Scout Execuitve. I am in Delmarva Council and we our current Scout Executive Jim Gentry is retiring. I want to know how a new one is hired. Who are the real decision makers?
  24. We here in the Delmarva Council just learned that our Scout Executive Jim Gentry is retiring. Anyone heard any buzz as to who might be looking at the position?
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