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What do you consider the "extra mile" of service from professional scouters?

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I was at camp a couple years ago, having a cuppa Joe and BSing with the Scoutmaster when this fellow wanders into the campsite. He was the Council Camping Director and was visiting every troop. We chatted about things that we liked and things that we didn't like. Much to my surprise, some of the things that we didn't like were fixed the next year.


Not really an extra mile but very good customer service.



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Laurie -- thank you for your kind words. I like to think I'm a nice guy, but I'm also the guy who seems to get stuck saying "no." when a rule has been or is about to be broken.


I take the Scout Oath and Law very seriously. In fact, when I joined the Presbyterian Church, the pastor mentioned that I would have to agree to live by the Apostle's Creed. I told him I had no idea what the Apostle's Creed was, but if what he was about to make me agree to wasn't covered by the Scout Oath and Law that I wouldn't agree to it. The Scout Oath and Law do not specifically mention Jesus Christ, but they have no problem with him. I had no problem agreeing to the Apostle's Creed.


FOG -- I agree. The Camping Director didn't go the extra mile. He went the mile.


Can we agree that, in that case, to have called you and said, "Fat Old Guy, I just wanted you to know that because of our conversation, we're going to change XXXXX?" IMHO, that would have let you know that you do make a difference.



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"In fact, when I joined the Presbyterian Church, the pastor mentioned that I would have to agree to live by the Apostle's Creed."


Hmmmm . . . interesting since the Creed isn't a statement of conduct but a statement of faith.


It would have shocked the heck out of me if that fellow had called me.

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Well, what can I say, I'm not much of a Presbyterian.


And, actually, I would have called you. In fact, I couldn't find enough information in your profile, or I would have called you to tell you that you do make a difference.


I ain't afraid to use a telephone.


Back to work for all of us.



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Had the pleasure of receiving a call from dsteele last night and got me thinking. Dave made a comment that if the volunteers took care of their District Exec, the Exec could take a lot of heat from his boss. I agree with this. We just received a new DE in our district and one of the first things we did was to donate money into a coffer to purchase a gift certificate for $75.00 at a very fine restaruant for the DE's new wife. He graduated from college on the 15th of Sept. Got married on the 30th of Sept and started his job in our district on the 15th of October. We've been without a DE for about a year. Prior DE has cancer and had to bow out of the profession. We are going to give the gift certificate to her at roundtable Thursday. I have had many DE's who have been friends over the years, and I know how lonely their wifes can be. I don't know if this will help our new DE, but I don't think it can hurt.


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I've been mulling this thread for a couple of days before jumping in. I'm a little hung up on the "extra" part of this. I see it as more of a difference between doing a job and doing a job well. I don't see doing a job well as being an extra.


The SE cooking steaks, the camping chairman walking through camp, even Dancin's committee springing dinner for the new DE are all examples of folks doing their job well.


My DE (technically, he's a DD) does his job well. He earned by ever-lasting admiration this summer at day camp by staying late after dinner Friday night and helping mop and haul out trash. Did he take comp time for the four hours the following week? I couldn't care less. But when he calls and asks me to help go classroom-to-classroom making Roundup presentations or to help follow up with some FOS cards, I'm happy to pitch in. It is about building relationships and trust among you co-workers and customers.


My SE, on the other hand, does a lousy job, in my opinion. And I make that statement with the full understanding that I can't list more than two items on his official job description (one of which he does poorly, the other I have no clue). But in four years I've laid eyes on the man maybe three times (other than just passing him in the hall at the office) and have spoken to him twice. One of the "conversations" related to the afore-mentioned performance and the other a quick handshake at a FOS patron's lunch. I don't understand how you run a business without talking to your customers now and again.

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We had a Scout Exec. Who was very much like the one that Twocubdad has described.

He was with us for a good while but he never seemed to warm up to us.

He did a good job with the budget.

While from what I hear from the other staff, he would never win a popularity contest. He did for the most part get the job done. At least from where I was standing.

However his lack of communication skills did not sit well with the executive board and in the end they dismissed him.

This might have had more to do with him and the Council President not seeing eye to eye then was ever said.


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In my opinion professional scouters are way under paid for the service they provide. From my experiance they put in way more time than 40 hours a week. And for that I give you a big "THANK YOU"


All I ask is that professional scouters put the Venturing Program on the front burner instead of the back.

Venturing is an awesome program for the youth. Well worth the effort that is put into the program.

Venturing is not to be considered as something after Eagle it should be considered as an alternative program in order to work towards Eagle and other more adventuresome Awards


Just my opinion

Advisor Jim


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Advisor Jim makes an intersting point.


I think most volunteers would advocate for the importance and quality of the program they support. We would all like to be able to recieve more support from the district/council pros and volunteers.


I know in my district it always seemed like the cub scouts got the lions share of the attention. The Venturing program did not (and to my knowledge) does not exist. However, the DE is frequently pushing charter orgs (through the unit leaders) to establish Crews, or even change Troops into Crews. So, no matter how you figure it, somebody gets moved to the back burner if you move something else to the front burner. Maybe a DE can put all program issues on the fron burner, but then something like FOS will slip, and next thing you know you will be sharing a DE with the district next door. I think we need to acknowledge that DEs can only do so much. Though we should be careful to not let that become an excuse for not getting the job done well.

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I agree that more attention should be paid to the Venturing program. One reason is that it's a terrific program for High School aged youth. A second reason is it's a huge growth market.


However, Proud Eagle also brings up an excellent point. There's only so much work any of us can do.


As to the attention paid to other programs, let me share some current membership numbers from the council I currently serve. We're a small council, so the numbers may be very much lower than your council, but the percentages are pretty much the same across the country.


Our council as of 11/13/2003 5:51 PM had 4,639 registered youth.


This youth membership consists of:


3,223 Cub Scout aged boys -- 69%

1211 Boy Scouts/Varsity Scouts -- 26%

205 Venturers -- 4%


Unfortunately, it's tougher to get Venturers to join, although we're getting better at it. I have to remind people that we've only had 5 years of practice at growin Venturing (as a movement) I also mean the new Venturing -- it existed in a different form in the 50's.


We've been growing Cub Scouts for over 50 years -- and the young ones are pretty easy to recruit and program for.


We've been growing Boy Scouts for 90+ years and it's our first program that we're all pretty proud of and best known for, even though they're harder to recruit than Cub Scouts.


I applaud those who make sure Venturing stays in the forefront, even if they have to be vocal about it. Back when Cub Scouting started, the "old timers" were against it and many people didn't understand it. Now it's our largest program.


Keep on truckin' (as they used to say back in the day.)



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What I would consider the extra mile is if the professional scouters contributed 100% of thier wage to FOS.

Now that would be an extra mile. LOL

In my opinion Councils need to have a professional in charge of Venturing not just put more work on the DE's.

The Venturing program is growing in leaps and bounds, what was it something like a 50% gain in Crews in one year. If councils want more youth Venturing is the way to keep older scouts and get more of thier friends

and female friends involved


Well worth the effort


Advisor Jim

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Advisor Jim said:


"What I would consider the extra mile is if the professional scouters contributed 100% of thier wage to FOS.

Now that would be an extra mile. LOL"


That would be the extra mile for professionals, Jim. But I don't find it funny at all.


You and I live within 15 miles of each other, and, if you're ever in Racine, do give me a call. I'd like to meet you and we can have a nice talk about Scouting -- just as we do on these forums, but in person.


What I'm about to say isn't directed to you. Not really. I'm still mad at the volunteer who was running a National Camp School program about 12 years ago. He was chatting with me in line for registration and was about my age and very friendly. Then he saw my left shoulder and relized I was a DE. This was in the program director section for Boy Scout Camp.


At the end of the week, after he'd had a beer, he suggested that professionals are little more than (he used a different word) ladies of the evening to do for money what the volunteers do for free.


Your joke suggests I should donate 100% of my salary to the BSA. Do you work for free? Should you donate 100% of your salary back to your employer?


I agree that professionals should set the lead in giving to FOS. That's why, since 1988 I have given to the council FOS. In 1992, when I made a whopping 24,000 a year, I gave $1,000 bucks to the council in the form of payroll deduction. I increased it every year until my personal contribution reached a high of $3,750 in 2001. Changes in personal situations have lowered it again to $1,500 this year.


Some councils do have Executives in charge of Venturing, but not many. In my example, you see that only about 2% of council membership is Venturing. The DE's are the ones with the contacts (from the professional side) to make Venturing grow.


But I can tell you, as can Bob White and many others on these forums, the volunteers are what makes it go. The De's are there to supply the volunteers with guidance and materials that they need. We do the minor day-to-day stuff, but the overall picture is a partnership.


I like you, Advisor Jim. I'm not in any way angry with you. It's just a hot button of mine when people suggest I should work for free, when I'm putting in long hours each week and earning not a lot of money and expected to give a chunk of it back.


Believe it or not, I have turned down raises (actually portions of raises offered) because of the effort I know it takes on the part of volunteers to raise those funds) and have taken a more than 20% pay cut just to stay in the profession I love.


What's left, I'm going to keep.




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"I gave $1,000 bucks to the council in the form of payroll deduction."


That's the extra mile. That's way beyond anything that I'd do. $80 a month is more than a few lunches.


If I was an underpaid employee, I'd be quite aggrevated if they expected me to lead the charge and donate money. I'm quite perturbed when they come to the volunteers to not only have to PAY to belong to BSA but put in one hour a week (twenty or thirty times each week) and put the screws to them.

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