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Schmoozin' with the Pro's

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First, a welcome to Dsteele, another Professional who has taken the plunge and a hearty handshake for RMV who in his (her?) short time has shown to be an asset to the forum.


Rather than continue on a thread that has follwed more twists and turns than Lord Bryon's life, I think we need a new one, so, anybody got a question to ask the Pro's? or a comment?


Pro's you can do the same


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Ok, I'll start:


When will the current uniform be redone? Do you know if the dis-satisfaction with the way the uniform shorts fit is appreciated in Irving? What about the dorky style of the uniform hat? Is that slated to change any time soon? Are you sick to death about these uniform questions? Shutting up now

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Not a pro, except in some of the skills. Wonder how many in Irving would go to work in scout short and socks?? The shorts expecially don't work. UGLY!! Socks? a joke as far as wicking, endurance and color holding. I prefer the over-calf socks, cuts down on my exposure to the sun. (melanoma ya know)


Shirts, why do so many troops go to 'class B's'. they hold up better thats why. Head gear, scouts in the troop that I am with sew bandannas into the back for a sun shield. Go figure. Maybe they know something.


Make the uniform that is useful in the 4 C's: Camping, Cooking, Cordage (knots),and Care (first aid), then you will have something.





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Got my Eagle in 76, should answer the he/she question.


I miss my socks with garters, but have a feeling they won't be coming back soon. I prefer the over the calf ones in the current version. Anyone tried the new boot socks, look cool, but will they fade to the multitude of colors that the other socks in my drawer seems to be filled with. (20 socks, all different shades of green, I keep thinking that if I just get two or three more pair that perhaps they will fade to match some of the ones I already have.)


Really, I haven't heard a word about uniform changes. When they happen, it seems to be around Jamboree. The current unitforms are way better than the plain green ones of the 70s.


I think the B's don't really hold up better, you can just buy three for the price of one class A so you don't feel bad when you destroy one on a campout. I have to admit that I switched to the wool shirts. They last forever, you can roll them up in your pack and shake out the wrinkles, and somehow still look pretty good. At my first troop meeting as a Scout, I lost all the buttons from the front of my shirt playing british bulldogs, of course I wasn't smart enough to look for the buttons, not when a game was to be played. Not sure how I survived explaining that one to my Mom.


Meeting with a guy from the Cub Scout division from national on Fri afternoon. Will ask what he knows on the uniform gig.


Topic is to be cub recruiting process and a little bit on how the new training is working.


Happy to take suggestions on what to talk about.



(Welcome Dsteele)




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I'd love to hear a report on that meeting. I'm district roundup chairman. We're trying to work on some "outside the box" ideas for Tiger recruitment -- possibly changing the focus to late spring instead of fall. I'd like to hear what's new from national.

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You should look at the "Fun at Every Turn" stuff. It is the current plan sent by National for Cub recruiting. It is very specific in suggesting spring recruiting.


The key to make it work well is the Pack leadership inventory. Recruit your leaders first, then it will lessen parent feer in the fall to joining.


Will ask how it is going with the spring recruiting. I have had trouble getting units to buy in.



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Where did the campfire go? . . . Doesn't matter. It's warm enough in here.


When it comes to changes in uniform, I don't have much say in the matter. I was a scout when we switched to the "new" (read current) uniform and was totally opposed to the idea. Like RMV, I miss the sox with the garters, too.


I've got all three styles of sox and like the new ankle sox the best. I also prefer the poly/wool uniform shirts and slacks -- although I've found they don't last forever. A 100% cotton uniform is offered, and, although they need constant ironing, they do last forever.


As to Cub recruiting, a lot of new tools have come out in the last year -- door hangers that can be printed, church bulletin inserts, etc.


One of the things I had my D.E.'s do this year is to break down each school, by grade and compare each grade (or Cub age group) that corresponds. A pack may look strong on the surface, but may be serving a low percentage of available third graders, or first graders, etc. We'll then talk to those packs and do target recruiting or train that particular den leader, etc. This will both improve the quality of the program and the number of boys served.


Thanks for the welcome.



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I have a 100% cotton shirt that I got quite by accident off of eBay...it is definitely NOT wash and wear, but when it's starched and pressed, it's sharp.


I have a question ... how much "hands on" involvement should a DE have in things like District Committee meetings and sub-committee functions...I have gotten the impression from my training and this forum that they are just supposed to be there for "advice and policy guidance", not to do things like prepare and deliver committee reports, schedule training, dominate the meeting, etc. As a newbie to the district level, it appears that the Dist Chairman is just a figurehead, and the DE is the one running the show, since a)he seems to have the time and energy to do it, and b) he's impatient with us vols who have to relegate scouting issues to a lower priority than our real jobs and can't devote 8 hrs a day. I also get the impression that his job or at least his annual appraisal may be in jeopardy if certain things don't get done (like Quality District, popcorn, FOS, etc), so in desperation, he's decided to micromanage and do it himself. At one time I had actually considered changing careers and becoming a pro Scouter, but not now...it looks way too stressful for the money.

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The 100% cotton uniform shirt and pants are available through catalog order or Scout Shop.


As to the DE at the District Committee meeting . . . Your training is teaching you the ideal. Reality sometimes differs. Well, okay, often differs.


Realize that the only information I have regarding your particular scenario is that which is in your email and that free advice is worth what you pay for it, I'd say there may be several factors going on.


The District Chairman should be the one running the meeting. Of course the District Executive has a responsibility to help him/her develop the agenda and facilitate sub committee chairmen by making sure they have the most up to date reports, etc. If a chairman can't make the meeting to give the report, obviously they have a responsibility to find another volunteer to take his place. Quite often, however, the district executive ends up doing it.


I doubt that the DE is doing it because they have the time and energy (they really don't) and because they're too impatient with the volunteers. If they believe those two things, they'll shine with the light of a freshly lit Ohio Blue Tip and last about the same length of time. It's called burn-out.


As to his/her job being in jepordy if things don't get done, you're right. The things you listed are very important to the health and well-being of Scouting and your district executive is accountable for results. Notice that I said "accountable" and not "responsible."


There have been times in my career when a volunteer has pulled me off to the side and informed me that I was doing their job, or doing too much.


If you want to help your DE, have a meeting with his/her supervisor. They'll be able to advise and direct the DE -- that's part of their job. It won't get the DE in trouble, but will in fact help the supervisor teach the DE and save the supervisor from losing an employee due to burn out. The supervisor will also be able to direct you to the proper volunteer who can have a conversation with the District Chairman to help him do a better job as well.

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One of the things I ask a new District Chairman to help me with is helping teach DE's to become business men(or women). They are normally right out of school and don't have the saavy as to how to behave, dress or act in a business setting. Should we get upset with them because of it? Only if we have made sure that they know better.


I remember when I started. I graduated on a Saturday, went to work on Monday. One day I am a crazy college student, the next a respected member of the community. It took some time to grasp what kind of life I had signed up for, even though I had been in Scouting since I was 8.


The successful DE will be able to inspire volunteers to significance rather than do the work for them. Can they always do this? No?


Takes a while to get used to working with volunteers and getting things done.


We pro's have a saying. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, what the volunteer doesn't, the DE must."


That type of attitude is probably unhealthy in some ways, but the reality is that if we don't hold a DE's feet to the fire to achieve goals, what is the point of having them? (the goals and/or the DE's!) If they have a goal on the number of troops going to camp next summer, it is more likely that the number of troops going will be greater.


There are guys that are here in this forum that are much more capable of giving the correct answer to all questions. So what is it we expect of a DE?


I believe that enlightened volunteers pay my salary to draw a line in the sand and say, by God, make Scouting happen here.


Sometimes I take things over, better would be to spend the time recruiting, training and inspiring a volunteer to make things happen.


If I do it all myself, you guys get bored and find something else to do. (I was imagining Old Gray Eagle playing video games while I wrote that last sentence. And yes, my sense of humor gets me in trouble all the time, but we had fun District meetings!)



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Please go into your main user profile and change your email address. It is currently as mine and I am getting all of your notifications and private messages.


Thank you,

Ryan McArdle

Director, Web Development

Troop 872 Online

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It was meant good! Sure is hard to write with tone, especially with my dry humour.


From my meeting with the guy from Cub Scout division, he hasn't heard anything about uniform changes. I asked some of the pro's in my office, none of us like the current shorts either.


Our discussion was on how to use the census to do direct mail recruiting. Pretty interesting stuff. For the most part, using the census and a list service company, you can send direct mail to all households within a zip code with a boy age 7-10 living at it.


As there are a few schools that won't pass out our flyers, this is one way to get around it. The only real issue with this is cost.




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No offense taken RMV, and I understand about how dry humor is often very difficult to convey with only text (and how!)


But playing a video game? Come now, I am more into reading of the classics, Gullivers Travels, Of Mice and Men, Return of the Native, To Kill a Mockingbird (A must read), Beowulf, etc.


But with member a troop committee member, Unit Commissioner for a Pack and a Troop, Disrict Advancement Committee Chair, Venture Committee Member, and woorking on my Woodbadge ticket, my latest book Critique of Pure Reason is woefully neglected. (Oh and I am not complaining, I love evrything I do and I am aware of people in my district who do more)

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Woops! I don't know how my email got switched for yours. My address shares 0 letters with yours!


Hopefully it's fixed now. I wondered why I wasn't getting any notification and why no one responded to private messages I've sent. Did I get anything good?


Have a great day.



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