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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. ParkMan

    BSA Executive Salaries

    What do you see as the relationship between the district volunteers and the DE? For example - what is the DE supposed to do compared to the district finance chair? The DE compared to the membership chair? The DE compared to the District Chair? I appreciate that to the othet professionals, the DE has accountability that stuff gets done. But - if things are functioning correctly and the district committee is doing it's job - what's the thinking? I probably should have been clearer when I said problem solver. Generally I turn to the Unit Commissioner for volunteer issues. My questions for the DE are generally more about dealing with the council staff. I figure the DE has better insight into council operations than my unit commissioner.
  2. I think the quote is: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
  3. ParkMan

    BSA Executive Salaries

    I really appreciate your insight into the DE role. I appreciate working with my DE as he's been outstanding. I expect you'll see some pushback on this comment. I get what you're saying. I find the majority of Scouters view the DE like other district & council level scouters. Those higher level Scouters are ultimately there to help units succeed. So while yes, we all want to help each other - most volunteers are not looking at how they can help a DE out. One thing that I think would help here is the development of a "purpose statement" for the DE role. What is the primary goal of the DE? For example - the DE is not there to do all the work of the district or to even lead the district. That's the purpose of the District Committee. The DE is there to advise the District Committee, but not replace it. In my mind, the role of the DE can be summed up as: - professional advisor to the district staff - second level problem solver for units in the district - champion for growing Scouting in the district - district level representative for the professional staff of the BSA Not sure if that's really how it works, but that's always been my understanding. I went looking for a better definition, but couldn't find one.
  4. Moderators, Got to admit. I'm not sure why you locked and then hid the thread. Was it because of the "adult nature" of the content? Was it because of the debate over values? The comment and you'll lock future threads just has me wondering what to stay away from. Not complaining or questioning, just looking for clarity.
  5. ParkMan

    Condom Distribution at World Jamboree

    I'd just be upfront with my families about it. Something like: This is a World Organization of the Scouting Movement (WOSM) event and these are their rules. The BSA under the terms of the agreement to serve as host is bound to implement the WOSM rules. The BSA is working to implement those rules in a way that is consistent with the BSA's values - but ultimately the BSA will comply with tho WOSM rules. The however, does not indicate a change in the rules of the BSA itself. This is a unique situation due to the nature of this specific event. We as parents and leaders may have preferred for the BSA to withdraw from the event, but ultimately the BSA did not. If you (as parents) are uncomfortable with this decision, you should not send their Scout to the World Jamboree.
  6. To me - I've always felt that Scouting was about developing self confidence and leadership skills. Over their time in the program they go through all kinds of life challenges that they overcome - camping, earning awards, etc. In the process, they develop the skills and tools that stay with them for life. I've always used the example. Because I was a scout, someone could plop me down anywhere - in a city, in the desert, in the middle of the forest, and I felt confident that I could find my way home.
  7. Feels to me like we've got an impass on some of these topics. Both sides believe their positions. Both see national decisions as significant enough to leave the movement. Given that you have to make a choice on these topics - girls in Scouting, gays in Scouting, religion in Scouting, we appear trapped as a movement. Choices either make the traditionalists/conservatives happy or make the progressives/liberals happy. My preference would be for local choice - don't impose your morals on me and I won't impose mine on you. But, even that is controversial. In my mind, Scouting is so much bigger than these choices - as important as they are. I would have my kids in Scouting regardless of whether they allow girls, participants who are gay, or require a belief in God. My community generally matches my views and the people I Scout with generally do as well. That's good enough for me. It just feels like we're pulling ourselves apart as a movement. I grant that our society is in a time where these issues are not settled nationally. I just wish Scouting could stay outside that fray, let us do our own thing, and let me just focus on having a good program for my kids.
  8. ParkMan

    Cub Girl Uniform

    Nah - you don't need to spend that money every year. The pack should buy new neckerchiefs for every scout. Make it part of the program. Add in $10 to the dues at the beginning of the year. Don't require the hat. Each den should make their own neckerchief slides. The scouts buy one belt buckle when they start cubs, one when they get the tan uniform.
  9. ParkMan

    Required Worksheets?

    I think there's a bunch of steps that can happen here before you start calling district and council folks. As has already been shared - talk with the Scoutmaster. There's about a 95% chance that's all it will take. The conversation is simply one of "my son's going to have a hard time advancing if he has to write out these worksheets." Just about every Scoutmaster I know would say "well, then let's find another way". If the Scoutmaster doesn't work out, then you call the Committee Chair. The Scoutmaster serves as the discretion of the Committee. The chair of the Committee has a lot of sway as a result. If that doesn't work, then you call the Chartered Organization Rep. You explain how their Scout program is making it hard on your special needs son to advance. At that point, if I couldn't find a way to make it work, I'd do one of two things. 1) act as transcriber and write out the forms. 2) call the troop down the street and ask when their meeting is. If after all that, you couldn't get it sorted out, then I wonder what kind of troop this really is.
  10. ParkMan

    Be prepared - confused...

    My understanding is that the WOSM is like the United Nations. National Scouting organizations can be members and work collectively together, but they don't grant the license for a Scouting association.
  11. ParkMan

    Breaking Point

    The BSA training is absolutely lacking in the how to run unit department. The primary training for unit leaders is: - SM basic training - Intro to Outdoor skills - Leadership training There is absolutely a series of classes needed around how to actually run a troop. I can spout off the stages of team development in my sleep. But, how to make patrols function in a meaningful way - nope.
  12. ParkMan

    Be prepared - confused...

    Ohh - that never even crossed my mind. Thanks!
  13. ParkMan

    BSA Executive Salaries

    Perhaps hate is overused and we can argue whether it's the right word. But, reading over the posts it's clear that there is a negative, dismissive, hostile tone towards district executives.
  14. ParkMan

    Stepping aside

    My sense is that there is a lot you all can do at the district level. In my district I see lots of opportunities to help youth. OA, advancement opportunities, camping opportunities, etc... To me it's kinda like when a den leader makes the transition to being a pack leader.
  15. Ok- got it. Thanks guys!
  16. My church has a youth group - so do many. That doesn't prevent the kids from being interested in Scouting. I get that in general the LDS community is more insular. But don't LDS kids play baseball, soccer, fencing, etc... BTW - I'm not suggesting that Scouting will get a large percentage of LDS kids - just wondering if it will be similar in number to other denominations.
  17. A fellow scout leader once described Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as being like baseball and soccer. Yes, they are both sports, are player outdoors, have teams, and use a ball. But, they are different. I'm sure some folks from an LDS background will embrace girls in Cub Scouts. They'll look at the program on it's merits and choose. Actually, thinking about it, I don't see why lots of LDS wouldn't check out Cub Scouts for girls. Now that it's becoming just another extra curricular activity why wouldn't they? I presume LDS families participate in other co-ed activites.
  18. ParkMan

    BSA Executive Salaries

    Sounds like a guy who needed a bigger title for some reason - longevity, pay, whatever. Maybe your district has some specific needs that require a more senior person.
  19. Then help them find a new Scoutmaster before you step down. I'm stepping down as Committee Chair, but I'm helping through the search. As I see it, you've got a Troop with boys who want to be Scouts. In my book that's the most important requirement for a troop. The rest is all mechanics. Volunteers can be recruited, a CO can be lined up, camping equipment can be found. We had a troop in our district lose their CO a few years ago. They went down the street and regrouped. Did they lose some boys who were members of the original CO - you bet. But it all worked out. In my book these National decisions are important, but still not nearly as important as the simple wish of boys to be Scouts.
  20. ParkMan

    BSA Executive Salaries

    A District Director manages District Executives. It's a first line management position.
  21. I'll admit a bit of a smile here. Welcome to the world of non-LDS Scouting. There are never enough volunteers. The church is just about never behind what we're doing. No one is instructed to be a volunteer. The volunteers are out there. It just takes a little vision and persistence. We'd love to have you join the club
  22. ParkMan

    Breaking Point

    So I come from the thread on how professionals are no good to the thread about how Scouters who take Wood Badge are no good.
  23. ParkMan

    BSA Executive Salaries

    I think this is a bit unfair for us to generalize. We're making statements about who DEs are and what their motivation are. We all have different experiences. I know mine well and he was a guy who was a dedicated scout and later volunteer. He decided he wanted to make a living out of it. Yes, he worries about money and membership because he has to. But he's also first to be concerned about program too.
  24. ParkMan

    Mike Rowe: Death of Boy Scouts?

    Only to play devil's advocate... I've been given two or three pocket knives over the years and have never bothered to carry them. I have to cut something once a week or so. When I do, I grab a pair of scissors or a utility knife from the garage. To me they're just a tool. I don't carry a screwdriver around, why would I carry a knife? I'm glad we have the freedom to do it, but it's not a big deal to me at all.
  25. ParkMan

    Stepping aside

    I'd let it go. Your work as Scoutmaster will speak volumes. I'd you get dragged into it, then it just gets worse. I'd be happy with your service, take the high road, wish him the best, and just move on.