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Eamonn

Why Send DEs To Camp ?

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Every year we have our DEs spent the daylight hours at sumer camp. They toddle off each day for two weeks and toddle home again each night.

This to my way of thinking is about really Dumb.

The DE, that serves my district does an outstanding job With our district.

Without being sexist, she is a Lady that before being employed by the BSA,was very happy to play bridge and golf at the Country Club. Her only contact with the Boy Scouts, was that her son is an Eagle Scout.

As far as admin. Goes she is the greatest.

FOS,she has all the right conections and so far this year we are the only district to reach our goal.

Summer Camp, is under the direction of the Assistant Scout Exec. It employes a Camp Director, Program Director and a Business Manager.

I fail to see what good sending the DE, to camp does.

It's not like we haven't got enough stuff in the District to do.

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I can see having a new DE spend time at camp to see that part of Council operations. I can't see having them all spend every day at camp, especially if there is a camp staff to run things...who's minding the store back home?

 

This is happening at my COuncil this year, too...although it's the first year they have been ordered to. All of the DEs have been assigned to be on camp staff. Maybe it's a trend?

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I guess we're darned if we do and darned if we don't.

 

Usually I hear criticism that the DE's aren't spending enough time in camp, and now I'm reading that they're spending too much time in camp.

 

I've been in three councils now and I was a DE in camp, so perhaps I can shed some light on this.

 

Actually, Eamonn, I think all day every day is too much time in camp for a DE. Having said that, let me tell you that in my current council, which operates a full-time Cub Scout camp and a full time Boy Scout Camp, all my DE's are in camp all day, every day. One is the Camp Director for the Cub Camp, and the LFL executive is the Program Director for the Cub Camp. One DE is the Camp Director for the Boy Scout Camp and the other DE is the Health Officer/ Assistant Camp Director for the Boy Scout Camp.

 

We do this for several reasons -- 1) we save on camp staff salaries and it allows us to keep the costs down, 2) it's as close to being a Scout Executive as a DE can possibly get and a great career-building experience, 3) they're able to get to know their unit-level volunteers and parents far better during their time in camp than they ever would on a daily basis, 4) it's great exposure to the program for those that don't know the program on a personal level and a great refresher for those who do konw the program on a personal level and don't usually get to dive into it in the midst of FOS, membership and manpower recruiting.

 

As to why a council would want it's DE's to spend time in camp when they're not on staff, it has to do with getting to know the parents and volunteers as well as a kind of quality control over the program.

 

I don't know why Eamonn's DE has to go all day every day for two weeks unless she's on staff in some fashion. However, I think that DE's spending some time in camp has benefits for them and the folks in camp. If the only time someone sees their DE is when the DE is asking for something, it doesn't take long for anti-council/DE sentiment to rear it's ugly head. If they share a cup of coffee or some cobbler together, they're more likely to enjoy a good relationship.

 

We have our Junior Leader Training Course going on next week. I'll drive the one hour (each way) on Monday, Wednesday and be there for the feast on Saturday -- so I can a) get to know the volunteers b) assure them that their program is important enough for me to spend some time with them c) charge my own batteries d) collect any bills or receipts for re-imbursement e) enjoy the outdoors.

 

And I'm not even the staff advisor. I'm the Assistant Scout Executive.

 

DS

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Ok, I'm all for our DE, getting out and having a good airing.

But Dave, dear Lad.

There are no Parents there.

She is not the DE, to two thirds or more of those in camp.

If those who are employed at camp are doing what they are to be doing - They really don't need, or have time to stop and have tea and crumpets.

We have a paid camp staff - Do we need to pay all the extra travel expenses, for what is not such a good PR,job.

The really important people in camp, the Scouts,

have no need of her services - I do.

We have so much stuff to be done in the early fall, it is just not funny.

This is the time to be out and about in the community, doing a PR, job that wiil have merit and better still make things better for me !!

To my way of thinking it would be much better if all the staff Scout Exec. On down came to camp for the parents night. Heck they could car pool and save a few cents.

I do see how your set up is not the same as ours.

Your DE's have something to do. Mine has been told to fill in where needed - Whatever that means??

Oh Great Man Of Steele, you will have to try harder to make me stop thinking that, my DE at camp is about as useful as pockets in my underware.

As a District, we do hold a joint Commissioner, Committee, and treat the FOS Captains to dinner meeting at the camp, the week when our district has the most units in camp. This seems to go over well.

As a council we invite the Board to go along with the Camp Inspection Team, and then have a Bar-B-Que.

At the end of the day, I suppose that it is a matter of what is right for each Council.

As far a Summer Camp goes, the District has done what we were to do. We promoted the camp and got the Cubs and Scouts to attend.

We now ought to be working on all the other important things : School Sign Up - Pop Corn - The Corn Roast. The Nominating Committee.

As if there isn't enough to do, we are such nice people that in August, she is off on paid vacation !! Bah- Humbug.

Have A Great Day.

Eamonn

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Eamonn:

 

I appreciate your response -- and I should probably appreciate the reference to being a lad (at 37 years old, I find it difficult to accept, but I suppose it's better than being called an old man. :)

 

From what you've said, I gather it's different in my council than it is in yours. Also from what you've said, I have no idea why your district executives are being required to be in camp. That's something you'll have to ask the Scout Executive or Assistant Scout Executive.

 

I wish my council were large enough that my DEs could spend the summer cultivating relationships with donors, assisting in recruiting, getting ready for school night and all the other things you mention in your post. That's what DE's should do in the summer . . .

 

That and take a well deserved paid vacation and no humbug. We don't pay them the world with a fence around it -- although I wish we could. Heck, I'm not paid that much either, but we all want to take advantage of our vacations -- although we usually end up working during them in some form or another.

 

DS

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Eamonn,

 

I think we go to the same summer camp you are talking about (Heritage). If so, I agree that DE's being "asked" to go to fill in where needed is probably not of much value. They are staffed perfectly, I think. They might get by with a couple less, but the program wouldn't be as good. They certainly don't need any more, IMHO. That staff really jells as a unit over their weeks together. The addition of a couple of added bodies who only stay during the day can't be much help, and might actually be a detriment.

 

I do disagree about the fact that parents aren't there. At least in our Troop, we historically have had no more than two adult leaders, but at least 4 and as many as 9 other parents there. Now, your DEs don't need to spend time with us, as we come from out of Council. But my experience has been that plenty of parents go to summer camp.

 

Dan, Way to go getting to JLT as much as you do. I am coming to believe that a well run Council JLT is the best offering the BSA makes to boys. It's value to an attendee is only surpassed by its value to the youth staff. Thanks for your support on behalf of the boys in your Council (as if I could ever really speak for the boys in your Council!).

 

Mark

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Mark,

Heritage is owned and ran by Greater Pitt.

We are the poor Council next door.

We have camp Conestoga, in Somerset Pa.

Maybe one day if you have time you could come up for a visit.

Both Heritage and Twin Echo, which are Greater Pitt. Camps (And are really nice) Are in our Council Area.

Camp Conestoga, is within the Penns Woods Council.

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Mark:

 

Thanks for the kind words. The name is actually Dave, not Dan, but I've been called worse. Probably am being called worse things by the youth staff of JLT. I just got back from my visit and was very impressed as I usually am when I go to those things.

 

There was only one little problem -- a 25' high platform up in some trees that the staff had lashed in staff city. I told the SM that it was too high and the boys couldn't go up there. The first level is only six or so feet up, so that one's okay.

 

I'm getting hungry for the feast on Saturday already!

 

DS

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Dan? I have no idea where I can up with Dan. Sorry!

 

To make it up, you can call me anything but Late for dinner. NO ONE calls me late for dinner!!

 

Mark

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Eamonn,

 

If your DE has nothing to do at camp, I agree it is a waste of time.

 

I do see the importance of them getting that experiance though. If a DE stays in the profession after there first 3-5 years, they usually make a decision of what they'd like to do - field work or program - and start that career path. Experiance at camp helps them and the Scout Executive to make that decision and mentor them.

 

I was the first Camp Director with a paid staff at the camp DS talked about. It is an experiance that did affect my career. I only hope your DE can make grape juice from the sorry grapes they may be feeling.

 

Bob H

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Maybe I'm just not getting it.

I don't see any DE,having the choice of Field Work or Program.

First and foremost as the name of the job states he or she is a District person.

I think that is where they ought to be working in the District.

I have some idea what we pay camp staff and what a DE (in my case a senior DE)earns. Paying an Executive to be a camp staffer seems very silly.

The future of the camp lies at the mercy of: Membership - If we don't have enough members to send to camp the camp will have to close.

Funding - We need money to keep the camp going.

I see the role of a DE, as more of a salesperson, who will deliver the membership and help find the money.

The program at camp is in the hands of the camp staff.

We hire a camp Director to ensure that this is done.

As a District we have done our job, by trying to get the campers to attend the camp.

Some years back it seemed that the people who were hired to be DE's were the Eagle Scouts stright from school. These guys thought that the job was "Playing Boy Scout".

They had little or no understanding of how a non- profit organization really worked.

There are several hundred volunteers in my district who are very good at delivering the program to the youth that they serve. This year we have a council budget of $1.3 million. What would you put your executives to on ?

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But Dave, dear Lad.

There are no Parents there.

 

No parents at camp? What you talking about, Willis? No adult supervision other than the camp staff?

 

 

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Ok, I know that most of the Lesders at camp are parents of the boys.

At times, I don't even think of myself as a parent.

In the past (When I worked on camp staff) We did try and put on a bit of a show, when the parents were coming to camp. In fact I remember on Parents Night we always served Roast Chicken. It was the best meal of the week.

There is at times a "Thing" about making DE's more visable.

This is not a bad thing, but other then Parents Night, the people at camp, for the most part have seen the DE's. But even then they really only want to deal with their own DE.

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I can see having a DE spend some time at camp because there may be troops in his District that attend the camp. It is an easy way for him or she to contact them. It is a good way fore him or to be seen

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