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MaineScouter

Registration Dilema

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I am seriously considering making a change to my registration and becoming a District Scouter instead of a Unit Scouter. (FScouter assured me that this is possible, if it's not, what are my choices?). My question is to anyone with experience as a District Scouter... are there any major disadvantages, other than the obvious one that I won't be part of a Unit? Staying with my current Unit is simply no longer a viable choice for me. I do have many Scouter buddies in other Troops that would welcome me, but until/if my son decides to join a different Troop I'd prefer to hang my registration at the District level. I would want him to choose a new Troop based on his needs and interests, and not just go where I was. I'm really not interested in us being in different Troops, either. I would transfer my membership to his new Unit when transfering him.

 

Experience... suggestions... advice. All needed and accepted.

 

MS

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It really doesnt matter a whole lot about where you are registered. Register wherever you want to spend the most of your time. You can be registered in more than one place at a time, but should be active in whatever capacity you register for.

 

Unit Scouters can participate in a district capacity without being formally registered. For example you could be invited to be part of the district training team without necessarily being registered as a member of the district committee.

 

There are various adult leader recognition awards that require registration in a particular position. For example if you were working towards the Boy Scout Leaders Training Award, you would need tenure as a registered leader in a troop. If you drop your registration in the troop, you would not be able to earn that award.

 

You must be registered somewhere to be permitted to wear the Scout uniform.

 

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The Scouter's Training Award can be earned as a Boy Scout leader, or as a district Roundtable / Varsity Huddle staff person. The requirements are different and the tenure for one cannot be used for the other. If MaineScouter drops her registration in the troop, she cannot use that tenure towards the tenure requirement for the district position. The tenure does not have to be continuous and if she registered with a troop at some time in the future the tenure would then continue.

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As long as you are registered with the BSA, you can participate fully in the Scouting program.

 

Having said that, a lot of mailings that you get or don't get are determined by the position of your primary (paid) registration.

 

In large part because councils and national got tired of people complaining when they received as many copies of the council newsletter as they have registrations, the system now only prints mailing labels for multiple (unpaid) registrations when it is told to do so.

 

For example, if I tell the office staff to send out a letter to all the commissioners in the council, the only ones who actually get the mailing are those who's primary registration is Unit Commissioner.

 

It also makes a difference at the unit level. A person registered as a Den Leader gets Program Helps in their Scouting magazine, as does the Cubmaster and his Assistants. Committee members do not receive the Program Helps because they're not running the program.

 

I would suggest you have your primary registration in the position you spend the most time in and be a multiple registrant in the others.

 

DS

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I don't know how it works elsewhere, but all the people who serve on our District have been invited or nominated.

They all have a job to do.

Some are in Commissioner Service. Some serve on the District Committee.

The District is not a place to hang your hat, more a place to put your car in overdrive.

Units and Unit Leaders deliver the program to the youth, while the District supports the units and the Leaders.

It is also very important that even though we at the District level may have the odd moan and the odd groan, we are charged with supporting the Council and the policies of the Council.

Some people have the wrong idea about what "Being on the District" is all about.

We are in no way the boss.

We serve.

We don't tell people what to do.

We offer friendly advise.

In most cases we never interfere.

The big disadvantage is that a lot of your troop buddies have no idea about what District Service is all about.

If one more person tells me that I'm only interested in numbers, I will go nuts.

If one more Commissioner over steps the mark I will go more then nuts.

If the Scout Exec. Tells me that the District FOS,Popcorn and Project Sales goals that I set for our District are not high enough. I will tell him to go pound nuts.

If we can't get two new units started by the end of the year so that we can be a Quality District, the DE, will join me on the nut pile.

Eamonn

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"The District is not a place to hang your hat, more a place to put your car in overdrive."

 

Eamonn, I agree and I appologize if my message implied otherwise.

 

I started with Cub Scouts 10 years ago where I gave 100% of myself for 7 years. 5 1/5 years ago, when my older son joined his Troop, I also gave 100% there (did double duty with the Pack/Troop). For the last 4 years I have devoted my time and energy to the Troop Committee, MB Counselor (3 required), YPT trainer and our local Boy Scout Camp. I have NO interest in being a Scouter in name only. I have a passionate commitment to this program. If I "hang my hat" at the District or Council level, you can be assured that they will get a volunteer who helps in every way possible.

 

I'm in a sticky situation in our Troop and I've made the decision that I need to leave. If I stay involved I will put my son's relationships with the SM/ASM and advancement at risk. I recently read the thread written by the father whose entire family was told to leave the Troop. I can easily see that happening to us. If I stay, I'll have to keep my mouth shut regarding training, procedure and policy... I don't think I can do that. Suggestions for training have been met with a "mind your own business and let me decide/handle it" by the CC. The SM adds to the requirements of rank advancement and with-holds conferences at will. I'm told he can do that, it's "his Troop." ASM's and adults not registered with the Troop are sitting on BOR's, restesting Scouts and with-holding advancement because the boy doesn't know obscure trivia questions. I'm told, "That's how we do BOR's, it's how we always done them, it's how we will continue to do them." When I ask why, I'm told "because the SM is sending us Scouts without basic skills." Hello??? So talk to him. Can't, he won't like being criticized. I ask that the Troop at least TRY to move toward a boy run Troop. I'm told, "The SM runs his Troop the way he wants. Our boys aren't ready to lead themselves." What's the most popular reason for a boy not getting a SM conference or advancing at a BOR (besides knot/map skills)? He doesn't demonstrate leadership skills. BTW, this Troop is the one where the SM and CC are twins.

 

If I didn't have a son in this Troop I would be the proverbial squeaky wheel and I wouldn't stop until everyone at least knew how it was supposed to be done. New parents are joining and learning from the existing leadership. They are not encouraged to seek training. The current leadership, including the SM/CC/and all ASM came after I did. They have turned it into something it should not be. The last parent I came into the Troop with when our older boys joined just resigned as Advancement Chair. I wish my son would change Troops, but that has to come from him. He's talked about it and I offered to help him find a new Troop when he was ready. I'd like to see him "vote with his feet" and find a Troop where he is encouraged to think for himself, make decisions and actually learn some leadership skills. He is 14 1/4 and so long as he doesn't have to demonstrate any more skills or answer more trivia questions, he just might be a Life Scout now. We have to wait and see if the Adv Chair agrees to put him in for it. Yes, his book is signed and dated... nevermind, it's just another example of how it "doesn't" work here.

 

Now you know why I'm looking for a new "job" in Scouting.

 

MaineScouter

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I am registered as a committee member with the troop. I am also on the district training staff, the roundtable staff(although they are trying to get me to be Cub Roundtable Commissioner), the District committee, am a unit commissioner. My main title is UC. I like being at the district level. They appreciate me and what I do. You can go to the unit meetings, and all the events that come under scouting. I encourage you to stay with your unit, but also get involved at the district level. You can learn more,and will have more friends that can help in whatever you have a need for. Being at a district level does generally involve more meetings to attend, but it is well worth it. I enjoy the whole experience.

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Mainescouter:

 

Now I'm remembering the post about the Star Badge.

 

You've already talked with your DE at least once. Call and make an appointment for breakfast, lunch, whatever fits both your schedules.

 

Then explain the things you like to do in Scouting -- whether at the district level, or another unit, or commissioner service, or finance, or activities -- whatever it may be.

 

Then let him/her tell you what the district's needs are. I had an adult in a similar situation in his troop, but all the key district slots were filled. Where this man truly turned out to be needed was as a Scoutmaster at a community center not far from his home. It worked out well for all: him, the boys, the council, and me.

 

If you prefer, you can meet with the district chairman or district commissioner or all three. I only suggest the DE because they share a common thread with all aspects of scouting in the district.

 

DS

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