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Eamonn

Back Off A Little

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Here's a quick question for everyone.

How do you get some of your volunteers who think the council is just out to make money, to "see the light"? I've been trying to let these folks to see the big picture and it is working a little. Also a few years ago there was some heat between some of these volunteers and the Pros, before I came on the scene. Any tips to mend these bridges?

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The question came up of who sets the council goals.

 

The answer is that it depends on which goals we're talking about.

 

Goals for Quality Council, district and unit are set by the national council of the Boy Scouts of America (which is a mixture of professionals and volunteers like any other council.)

 

Other goals are driven by the council officers (executive committee if you prefer) and/or the council budget. For example, at our camp we usually camp 400+ Boy Scouts per summer. We're a small council. If we were to have 400 Scouts in camp this summer, we will end up offering a great program without worrying about losing money.

 

However, we currently have only 300 Scouts signed up for summer camp. That means we can only afford to run with the minimum required staff, watch every dime on food spending and program supplies, etc. Even with the best fiscal management, the council operating budget will end up having to cover financial losses from summer camp in addition to the normal losses it covers for costs of maintaining the property in the off season.

 

So what's our goal for Boy Scout summer camp attendance? Minimum 400 -- driven by budget. Our executive committee's goal for camp -- 500. Driven by a desire to do even more for the Scouts.

 

As to getting volunteers to "see the light" of why funding is so vital, I think you do it one piece at a time. Some will never get it. It takes patience and good communication to start mending the bridges.

 

DS

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Eamonn,

 

I used some examples that might have been why a DE would consider something busy work. I don't mean to imply that your district has those problems. They were examples of things that DE's have told me were busy work that I had given them. It sounds like you are running a great show.

 

The whole point of my post is that it isn't you that is the problem. It is probably not the Field Director. It is the DE. If they feel they are getting too much busy work, they then need to work that out with their Field Director or that persons supervisor. I stand by the statement that instead of whining, the DE should be doing something. Instead of delivering something at the last minute, they should have planned ahead.

 

The camp promotions example was a great one. Critical Achievements are agreed upon at the start of the year. They are not pie in the sky goals, but are realistic goals that are set to make scouting better. If you were to look at the DE's critical achievements at the beginning of the year, I would bet they would sound very fair. If they don't, then the Field Director has set unrealistic expectations and that would be the Field Directors fault. What is wrong with setting a critical achievement on the number of units that have a camp promotions presentation? Sounds like it would better the movement if more youth went to camp. The problem came when the DE figured out that they hadn't done enough in advance. Poor planning does not excuse poor performance. At the same time, their poor performance should not be your problem either, and they should never try to hand it to you in such a way. As a Field Director, if I found out the DE was making their CA's your problem, we would have a counseling session on that subject.

 

Again, sorry if I implied that your district was the problem. I truly meant no offense!

 

RMV

 

 

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