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Eamonn

Tough Love

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In another thread Laurie stated that it seems that her DE. Seems to be carrying a lot more of the weight then he/she ought to be. The reason given was that no one would take on some of the work. (Not in those words.)

In our District I have a hard time keeping our DE. from trying to do all the work.

For example. Every year about a month before the school sign up night we have a training for the event. It is presented at a ice cream social.This year I received a frantic phone call from the DE. Telling me that the twit of a FD had called a staff meeting at the other end of the council and she wouldn't have time to pick up the cakes and ice cream. She was also going to fax the meeting plan to my office.

Picking up a few cakes and a ton of ice cream is no big deal and I could have said yes. But I said no way. I instead explained to her that she should never have got involved and asked her what the Membership Chair was doing. She hadn't even asked. I said that I would give him a call, which I did and he took care of everything.

Sometimes we need to learn to deligate.

We also fell into the trap of doing things at such and such a time because we always had. We used to have a district dinner every year on either the last weekend in Oct. Or the first weekend in Nov. Over the years we have seen the numbers dwindle. First we thought it was because it was held on a Saturday, so we went to Sunday. Then we thought Sunday didn't work because of the Steeler games. What didn't help was that October is one of our really busy months. We have all sorts of leader training, the popcorn comes in and there is all the membership stuff going on. When we asked the activities chair to find out why people were not coming the main reason given was that they were just too busy. My feeling is that we are asking a lot from our volunteers and the time that they have to spare for Scouting.We brought the matter to the District Committee and cancelled the dinner. As of now we don't have a chair for the Mall Show. Already the DE is saying that the key3 could take this on. My feelings are that it is up to the activity chair to find someone, do it himself or not hold it.As for the key3 chairing it this isn't even an option.

Eamonn

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Eamonn:

 

My friend, you have just outlined the reasons for my deep respect for you and my admiration. I shall (I'm using one of them-there English words) give you my orders -- which I'm sure you won't obey, but what the heck?

 

You have two choices:

 

Choice number 1:

 

Move to Southeast Wisconsin and accept the duties of Council President at 10:00 AM on Saturday, January 17. I'll still be the Assistant Scout Executive, but you'll like the Scout Executive, so it's okay.

 

Choice number 2:

 

Move me to Greensburg, PA as Scout Executive and become the Council President. I agree to work for the same salary your Assistant Scout Executive was making and the current Scout Executive can go on to National as Director of something-or-other.

 

This is my way of saying that I agree 100% with your post. Your DE was trying to do too much. The twit of a Field Director (and I agree with your assessment based on what you've told me) was correct in that your DE's place was at the staff meeting and that volunteers (the right volunteer) should handle the training and the cake and the ice cream.

 

Actually, I'm not entirely sure I was kidding about option number 2. I've been to Greensburg. My wife's family is from the area (did you get my private message about that, Eamonn?) and I think I could persuade her to go there.

 

Dave

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Professional question - I've seen "job" descriptions for den leaders, cubmasters, committee chairs, assistant scoutmasters, scoutmasters, commissioners, etc. but I really have no idea as to what the are the responsibilities of the professional scouters. Now as a volunteer, some may say it is none of my business. However, I would like to know the proper individual to go to if I have a question, comment, etc. Where can I find generic job descriptions for Scout Executive, Field Director, Development Director, Finance Director, etc.?

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" Now as a volunteer, some may say it is none of my business."

 

I'd argue that it is your business since you are the member and they are the employee. You are the organization and they work for you.

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The professional scouter does not work for the volunteers. They work with the volunteer. They work for the BSA. A local volunteer committee helps to select and hire some professional positions but that does not make us the employer, just the selection committee. Volunteers help manage a council, that does not make them the employer of the professionals.

 

As DSteele has explained before, the specific responsibilities of a professional depends on the size and structure of each local council. There is certain work that must be accomplished in every council, and some work that is council specific. The Council Scout Executive decides who will be responsible for what and how the council administration will function.

 

Bob White

 

 

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This thread has taken a strange, but not unwelcome turn.

 

Acco -- what professional scouters are supposed to do is definately NOT "none of your business." It's not readily available because it changes greatly from situation to situation and the average volunteer has no interest in the area or does not interact regularly with professionals. Often-times, I see volunteer's eyes glaze over when I try to explain the particulars of the profession, and the BSA doesn't publish much about them for this reason.

 

FOG is not entirely correct when he says that professionals work for the volunteer. That is true in a few cases that I will outline later in this post.

 

Bob White is techincally correct when he says that professionals work with volunteers and for the BSA, but I'd like to fine-tune his words a bit.

 

The Scout Executive is employed by the executive board of the council with the approval of national. Every other professional in the council works for the Scout Executive. There may be other professionals in the middle (Field Directors, Assistant Scout Executives, etc.) but the ultimate professional's boss in the council is the Scout Executive. The Scout Executive's boss is the volunteer body called the Executive Board.

 

The same applies to the Chief Scout Executive and the National Executive Board, but every professional in the national council works for the Chief Scout Executive.

 

Of course, the Chief and Scout Executives involve their boards, or at least key officers, in personnel decisions.

 

But that's who works for whom.

 

In my next post, to come as quickly as I can type, will be a position description I had as a Senior District Executive, multiple person (the dumbest title ever created by the BSA) but edited to reflect a DE position description of the time. The only things that have really changed are some physical requirements.

 

I would post a more current version, but I only have this one at home and ain't about to run in to the office on this Thanksgiving Eve to get it.

 

Talk to you later,

 

Dave

 

 

(This message has been edited by dsteele)

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Acco asked for a position description for a DE, Field Director, etc.

 

All I have here at home at the moment is one that was written for my specific position in the Chippewa District as a District Director (the title at the time was Senior District Executive, Multiple person.)

 

I'm going to cut out the parts that applied to the non-DE aspects of the job and give you an idea of what a professional's job description looks like.

 

Bear in mind that these are job requirements for a paying job, in fact a career for many. We don't get to pick and choose which parts we will do, which is one of the differences between professional and volunteer positions. That's probably for a different thread.

 

DE POSITION DESCRIPTION

 

POSITION CONCEPT:

 

Serve as executive officer of the XXXXX district. Responsible for the achievement of district objectives. As a key member of the district, give staff guidance to the cultivating, recruiting, training, and inspiring of key volunteer personnel for the district. Coordinate the work of the district so that volunteer efforts will strengthen and extend the program offered by institutions and units.

 

PRINCIPAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

 

1. GIVE LEADERSHIP TO ALL DISTRICT PERSONNEL IN ESTABLISHING A PLAN OF ACTION that will result in the accomplishment of district objectives.

 

2. REVIEW, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE DISTRICT CHAIRMAN, THE DISTRICT COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION RECRUIT AND TRAIN ALL PERSONNEL in order that all committees will function effetively.

 

3. REVIEW COMMISSIONER NEEDS AND ESTABLISH A RECRUITING AND TRAINING PROGRAM to provide unit service, regular roundtable meetings, and on-time re-registration of all units.

 

4. RECRUIT, IN COOPERATION WITH THE DISTRICT FINANCE CHAIRMAN, LEADERSHIP FOR THE fos CAMPAIGN, PRODUCT SALES PROGRAMS AND PROJECT SALES to attain the district's share of the council finance goal.

 

5. INITIATE A PLAN OF ACTION FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND REORGANIZATION OF UNITS in order that all eligible youth will be given the opportunity to enjoy the programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.

 

6. ASSUME ALL OTHER DUTIES AS ASSIGNED BY THE FIELD DIRECTOR OR SCOUT EXECUTIVE in order to advance the level of professional skills."

 

Like I said, this is not a current position description, although not much has changed. The professionals critical achievements are the specifics of the job, but they all fall under the general position description.

 

Please notice that it does not spell out that the professional is the one who should run the roundtable, run the popcorn sale, recruit every individual position, etc. Their job is to give guidance to the volunteer who's job it is and to provide every bit of good information, advice and experience as he/she is able.

 

Ultimately, your professional will be held accountable in raises and continued employment for the performance of the volunteers he or she works with. It works the other way around as well, which is why some people believe that the professional works for them.

 

Let's face it, when you're working with a professional who doesn't meet your needs, eventually you're going to stop caring about his/her needs and the whole ball of wax will melt.

 

Harmonious relationships -- profesional to volunteer and volunteer to professional are what is needed. Divisiveness only hurts the boys.

 

That's not to say we can't agree to disagree, but we need to keep it civil and move on for the better of the program.

 

DS

 

 

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" They work for the BSA. "

 

I am the BSA, hence they work for me just as they work for you. Who signs their time cards is irrelevant.

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You are no more the BSA than you are the USA. You are a member of the BSA, and a citizen I presume of the USA. And while you have avenues for voicing your opinion, you not the decision maker, law giver, or controller of either. As a Scout leader you are no closer to being the BSA than a choir director is to being the Presbyterian Church. You are a member with only the authority and responsibilities that the BSA has determined to allow you.

 

Now we all know at least one thing to be thankful for tomorrow.

 

Bob White

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Fog:

 

You can get as mad at me as a volunteer as you want. You can go to the Scout Executive and demand that my employment be terminated with extreme prejudice.

 

Unless he agrees with you, he'll still sign my paycheck. A key council officer will sign my paycheck as well because we only allow one professional to sign and there has to be a volunteer counter-signature on all checks.

 

My point is that the Scout Executive employs me, not the volunteers. He is employed by some very specific volunteers and the BSA.

 

That's not a "very pleasant delusion." It's a very real fact.

 

I don't think I'm the one who's deluded. I allow the possibility, but if you think you're my boss, the possibility is removed.

 

DS

 

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I may not be your boss but you work for the membership. Just as a guy on the assembly line in Dearborn (do they still make cars there?) works for the stockholders. Just as the GS-7 in the bowels of OMB works for the taxpayers. I am the BSA as is my son, as is Bob White and Ed and KS. Unless you've paid your ten dollars to be a member, you ain't nothing but an employee and you work for us.

 

 

 

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So now is there anyone in the forum who hasn't figured out that FOG is a very unhappy person with little knowledge of the scouting program and who works on the fringe of unit leaderhip if at all, and whose only reason for being here is that he has no one in the real world who cares to engage in converstaion with him...please raise your hand......only one person? That's what I thought. Okay sir you can put your hand down now.

 

Bob White

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Ah, Bob White the Two-faced. First he chastises me for making rude comments about him and then he makes rude comments about me. Once again, Bob White shows that not only does he ignore the Guide to Safe Scouting but he also ignores the Scout Law.

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Not sure how we got to where we are?

Still.Looking back at the last two men who served our district as chairmen. Both are very dear friends of mine and no I don't have to pay them anything for being so!! One of them is what you might call my best friend both in and out of Scouting, So much so that if ever anything happened to Her That Must Be Obeyed and yours truly, he would get number one son.

Jack the one before me had served as a really good Scoutmaster. He served on a number of Wood Badge courses as a staff member in fact he was/is a good all round Scouter. Sad to say he viewed his role as the District Chairman as a "Them and Us." Them being the Council and Us being the District. Jack really did think that the DE worked for him. Which at times worked out well for the DE. If Jack thought that she was being treated unfairly he would rush to the Council Service Center and go to bat for her. On the other hand If the DE said that the Council wanted something done which Jack didn't like or approve of Jack would tell the DE that the District wasn't doing it.

Mike was the Chairman before Jack. Mike has been all through the program. Not being a swimmer he never made Eagle Scout and while I was 3500 miles away rumor has it that he was never a great Scoutmaster. He does understand how Scouting works and served as a first class District Chairman. He really understands the process and being as we are the smallest district who always got the new DE. Mike has done a lot to help train them about what the job is and who they work for. He is at present a Council Vice President.

Our current DE worked with Mike for about a year then Jack and now has little old me.

Pam our DE is by far the best DE in the Council. We have a great relationship and are really good friends. I in no way ever think that she works for me. I am very thankful that I don't sign her pay check. At times I even remind her about that. She is charged with bringing out the best of the volunteers in our district of which I am one. As a key3 we are a team that leads the district to realize the goals of the district and the council. These goals have mainly to do with: Membership, Finance, Commissioner Service. Sad to say some of the volunteers in the district think that the DE is at their beck and call and is there to deal with anything and everything that could ever and does happen. This is so wrong. We are trying very hard to get everyone to follow the correct course of action. Mostly to understand that in most cases a volunteer goes to another volunteer. If there is a problem in your unit your first port of call ought to be your unit commissioner. Not a call to the DE. If I have a problem I will call the Council President or the Council Commissioner, not the Scout Exec. One of the things that I do have to do is remind Pam of this. Even though she doesn't work for me I think that she has better ways of spending her time doing stuff for the District then trying to sort out some mess that was caused by a few adults who refuse to see eye to eye.

Eamonn

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