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OldGreyEagle

Perceptions about Scouting Professionals

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Our roundtable belongs to us as Scouters. The DE is there because, 1. He needs to be there. 2. He is our liason as a district to the council. 3. He gets paid to push membership and fundraising. Our Roundtable Chair runs the meeting along with his committee. All the different areas of scouting are addressed by the chair of that committee. To make the district run smooth, everyone has to do the job he volunteered for. Yes, that August roundtable is a big meeting for the DE. Its the only time he can push those things like Popcorn and Roundups.

Doug

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Bob White, I'd swear the DE/CE role was explained to me in training along these lines: the role of the DE/CE is to ensure that unit volunteers have available all the resources they need to deliver a superior program in their units.

 

Using your description of the DE/CE roles, then I need to take my concerns to the District/Council committees responsible for those areas: camping, training, etc. I'll let you know how it goes. As always, I sure am glad this forum exists.

 

I'm off to training tomorrow (New Leader Essentials and Pack Committee). I'll report back how the DE/CE role is explained.

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OGE, I may take my shots at you but your thoughts are your own. You should realize that Bob White thinks no original thoughts about Scouting, he can only spout what BSA has poured into his brain. Have you ever tried to discuss religion with a born again Christian? 99% of the time, all they do is quote the Bible at you. No original thought. No understanding of what they believe. Well, that's Bob and BSA.

 

As for my thoughts on professional scouters, I think that the disease runs much higer than the DE level. Everything that I see is "grow, grow, grow." Why? Money, money, money. Keep those boys from leaving. Don't make things difficult or they'll quit and we'll lose their money.

 

Unfortunately, just about any large organization gets to be like that. Those at the top get to be driven by greed.

(This message has been edited by yaworski)

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Yaworski, you say to use old methods, use old tools, don't grow, don't change...and you consider those "original ideas".

 

This program is constantly adapting to a changing youth. To know and understand the scouting methods is about thinking and processing new ideas. Change takes effort and thought. Whining it seems requires little more than an ability to keyboard and Internet access.

 

This program is developed by the input of several hundred volunteers across the country. I'm thankful you are not one of them.

 

Bob White

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Bob,

 

You have proven yourself to be excellent at two things: avoiding the issue when someone disagrees with you and spouting BSA dotrine.

 

Ta!

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In the many years I have been involved in Scouting I have seen good professionals & bad professionals. The bad one always focused on the money end of the program & were kiss ups. They were never around when you really needed them for program help. Sure they showed up at roundtables but usually to push popcorn or another fundraiser. However, my current DE is excellent. He was my Cub Pack's site guide the 1st year I ever went to summer camp. I really got to know him well & he is an exellent professional Scouter. He is currently helping me keep our feeder Pack up & running.

 

In general, I feel the perception of the professional Scouters is bad. To me, and there are exceptions to this, they are more concerned with the money a unit raises than the program a unit delivers. I realize they are evaluated on this but if their individual units are running terrible programs then all the $$$ in the world won't help.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Gosh, I have a totally different perception of scouting professionals. In the bunch I hang out with they help us in myriad ways - providing training, many program resources including a lending library and craft and camp equipment to borrow, and fine camp facilities at very reasonable cost. Yes, they push the fundraising projects pretty hard, but those same fundraisers help our troop do all kind of fun stuff with little out-of-pocket costs. When I call for help they are always tremendously kind. They greatly assisted me through a traumatic experience where I had to report a very upsetting child abuse case.

 

Another time when my troop had an riding accident requiring an emergency room visit for one of the Scouts and other minor injuries I called the 24-hour emergency number - on Sunday - and had a call back within 5 minutes to help me with the paperwork and the incident report. They offered to mobilize the emergency team of volunteers to come to help with the traumatized troop, (ETA 45 minutes) and a professional scout took over calming the parents of the injured parties.

 

On balance, they provide excellent service to support my programs.

 

Oh, I should make it clear that these are GIRL SCOUT professionals.

 

The local BSA guys seem confused on a regular basis. Infighting within the council office appears to be common. It is nearly impossible to get an actual human on the phone when you call, and if you have a problem it is a guessing game on which extension to push to get the person you need. Based on the responses to ordinary queries I would not want to have to ask for any serious support from these people at all.

 

If I didn't have the other example, I wouldn't know that this was poor service.

 

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Sager,

Most Scout professionals I know will do anything they can to assist a unit. But bear in mind that is because of the type of person who gravitates to that job. But job performance needs to be measurable, and goodwill is difficult to put a ruler on. Manpower, membership and money, however are concrete, measurable, trackable, figures. thay also have an affect on program. You cannot have a strong program without the adults to guide it, the youth to benefit from it and the finances to support program events.

 

So indirectly the De's work has a major impact on program. But directly, day to day and year to year program is the responsibility of Council, District and Unit level volunteers.

 

Bob White

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BobWhite -

 

I guess I should also have included my opinion that it IS perfectly appropriate for the paid professionals to focus on fundraising. It is their job, after all, and I'm glad they do it and I don't.

 

 

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OldGreyEagle Without commenting on our district executives interest in the quality of the program, or lack thereof, my observation is that he is very much concerned with the number scout units in our district. When our troop was small and struggling, he called me one evening and almost begged me to start a venturing crew. He said venturing was so great for the boys, they would love it, and he would fill out the application and all I had to do was sign it and could I please come in tomorrow morning to sign it. I tried to explain that we were struggling as it was, had only 6 boys in the entire troop, and had only one boy older than 12. He said that was no problem at all, we could just recruit some more boys later, but could I please come in tomorrow to sign the application. I found out later that his numbers were due to the council the next day.

 

Im sure theres no connection, but our district has had a number of failed units during his the tenure. I guess there must be a problem with the program volunteers.

 

Our DE has a lot of good points, he gets a lot done, and can be very helpful. But his fixation on numbers made me see him in a new light.

 

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Asctually Fscouter what you had was a DE doing his job badly. But at least he was doing HIS job badly and not doing a volunteers job badly.

The DE is responsible for growth in unit numbers, but they have to do it well. His actions will likely costt him his career. So you see it had nothing to do with a problem with program volunteers.

 

Now, about why you only have 6 scouts, no one over 12 and struggling......

 

Bob White

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On Saturday, I went to New Leaders Essentials, followed by Cub Scout Leader Basics. The trainers used the new, national, video format and explained that its main benefit is consistency of presentation. 90% of the people at this training were new, unit volunteers gearing up for this fall.

 

Well, then, on a national basis, scouting's new unit volunteers are NOT hearing that growth (membership and $$$) is, indeed, the most important responsibility of the professionals. Instead, they are hearing that the primary role of the professionals is to support the unit volunteers so that they can provide a quality program.

 

So, yes, many unit volunteers have the perception that professionals are focused on growth instead of program support. And we are often frustrated with our professionals because the training we attend perpetuates the idea that their focus should be program support.

 

I'll be contacting my district training committee to raise this concern. Every professional I've met so far is dedicated and truly supports Scouting. For us volunteers to be misinformed about their role is something that needs fixing, and that needs to start with our training.

 

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BobWhite

Our numbers DE is no longer our DE. He accepted a council executive position in another state. I dont mean to demean him at all, and I dont have any knowledge about his recruiting habits other than my personal experience with him. OGE asked about scouters perceptions of their DE, and I simply offered my perception of our DE.

 

I am extremely proud of our boys and our troop. Our troop was started from scratch with three 11 year old boys and two fathers that wanted a troop in our community. There was lots of struggling. We have grown and made worlds of progress since then, but are still not ready to start a venturing crew.

 

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CubsRgr8,

You are absolutely right..."the primary role of the professionals is to support the unit volunteers so that they can provide a quality program.

 

The DE makes sure you have the support (Members, manpower (on the District level) and youth members). But the Quality program is the responsibility of the unit volunteer. How you deliver the program at your den, pack and troop meetings is in your control.

 

Bob

 

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Bob White, we're not communicating. Two years ago (and last Saturday), I left basic training with the understanding that the professional's job is to provide me, the unit volunteer, with support. To me, and I dare say the overwhelming majority of new volunteers, that means his job includes the following.

 

1) Make sure the right training is scheduled at the right time (that includes some evenings, for volunteers who work weekends).

2) Make sure that District activities (Cub events, camporees, etc.) are scheduled BEFORE our annual planning meeting in August and don't tell me to come to the September RT to get info on September's Cub Event.

3) Make sure we have a competent Unit Commissioner.

4) Make sure the August (and every) RT focuses on program and doesn't consist of a 60 minute presentation on Trails' End popcorn.

5) Make sure the Council has an up-to-date website.

 

If his job is to handle fund-raising and unit growth and it's the volunteer District and Council committees that provide support, great. But national training doesn't explain this. It tells us that the professional is responsible to provide the support we need. That's why I had a poor perception of the professionals. No one ever explained their real job to me before this thread. And Saturday's training perpetuated this for 25 brand new volunteers.

 

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