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Thanks to Korea and Gidget for their great posts. Thanks for the warm feeling you gave me.


Korea, I see no reason any Scout should need to know who his DE is and what he/she does. The only reason I was aware as a Scout that we even had a DE is that the DE had a son in the troop and came on camp-outs with us. The Scoutmaster feared no one, but he seemed to defer to this guy. For example, the Scoutmaster had a rule of no radios on campouts. I remember lying quietly awake in the wee hours of the morning on a cabin campout. I was on the top bunk, and the DE was below me. The DE's radio was playing quietly and driving me nuts. Finally, in the depth of the night, my Scoutmaster, who was lying in the bottom bunk next to the DE reached over and switched off the radio.


Don't know why that story jumped into my brain, but it brought a smile.


I pay my registration fee with pride and carry my BSA membership card in my wallet, just like the rest of you probably do. No reason anyone should have any concern over it.




PS -- I don't know why people like to gang up on professionals, either. But I've been called lots of bad names over the years, up to an including a short one that begins with a "W" and ends with an "e."



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dsteele muttered, "PS -- I don't know why people like to gang up on professionals, either. But I've been called lots of bad names over the years, up to an including a short one that begins with a 'W' and ends with an 'e.' "


Woe? Wye? We?


Why do we gang up on professionals? Probably because most of the time it appears that your goals are widely divergent from ours. When the DE or his boss speaks to us, it is usually about money or membership numbers which are money as well.


I was just flipping through our council newsletter and there was an article exhorting us to give to some fund. The article ended with a statement that if we gave to this fund we were still expected to give to FOS.


Quite honestly, most of us get tired of hearing about money. It is especially galling when someone gives a pitch about giving more money when you're sitting in a room full of people who put in countless hours into Scouting in addition to their regular 60 hours a week for their full time job. I spend at least seven evening a month at some sort of Scout meeting. Add in the time spent at home and then the weekend excursions. The last thing that I want to hear is that I need to cough up $300 so the DE can get paid, this being the DE that doesn't answer phone calls or emails.



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Have just returned from Oglebay Park winter festtival of lights. Have TO admit to not being over the moon about going. It was a fund raiser for a hospital and Her that Must Be Obeyed signed me up.

If you are in that area it is worth going.

So where was I? As I think Dave is aware I am in no way anti-DE. In fact I like to think that I go out of my way to help make the system work. I do think that the system we have in place can and does work if we work at making it work. While I have never viewed a Scout Professional as working for me. I do have to admit to looking at the Council budget and seeing how much the council is paying out in wages and benefits. It is a lot of money and I would like to see it put to good use. I don't begrudge spending it. I do agree with Dave the DE is a District Executive who ought to be doing the work of an Executive.

I also strongly believe that each and every unit deserves the support and service that is promised. If they are not receiving it something has to be done. I think that there is a lot of material out there that will point anyone who needs or wants to know on the path to enlightenment. However maybe just maybe when something isn't working we have to ask what can I do? What am I willing to do to make things right? How do I make the team stronger? While I can't speak for anyone else in my case. I seen that our Commissioner Staff was a real mess and thought that I could do something to "un-mess it". I did have to give up one part of Scouting which I dearly love that being the close one on one relationship with the youth. Knowing that I'm not Superman or Superscouter was ok admiting it and putting aside the unit for the District was not as easy. In the end it comes down to service. We are all here to serve the youth. I happen to think that the most important person in Scouting is the Unit or Crew Leader. Others will take me to task on that. I knew that if our district didn't start doing a better job in supporting the unit leaders the youth would suffer.So I joined the Commissioner Staff went and took all the training that was out there. Sad to say I should have spent more time in training the next District Commissioner, but our District Chair left before his term was over. Dave used the term work smarter not harder. I agree with this. I might add that we all might take the time to see where we fit in best, where our sevices could be best put to use. I do feel very strongly that we all admit that we are not Superman or Superwoman and we do not need to keep on taking on extra work. One of the things we need to keep doing is building strong foundations. We need to keep bringing new people on board and giving them real and useful things to do. That way if we do step away to do something else it is not going to be at some horrendous cost to the youth that we serve.


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Why do we gang up on professionals?


I'm not sure "we" do. I think some volunteers gang up on some professionals and I think some volunteers gang up on all professionals.


There will always be a certain small profession of people in any profession that just aren't good at it. Why are some of these people allowed to become professional scouters? Do you know what the call the medical student with the lowest passing grade? DOCTOR. Hey no matter what the profession there are some people who are not good at it.


Why do some people not like any professionals. Well as was pointed out they often seem to have goals different from our own. In alot ways they do. But the goals of a Scoutmaster are different from those of a District Commissioner. A DC goals are different from a Scout executives.


What we share is the same mission. But our tasks and our goals are different. The problem I see is that some volunteers never take the time to understand the difference. Or to appreciate just what the professional side of scouting does.


It is far easier to whine about the professional service than to ask "is this their responsibility" or "What roles do the volunteer and the professional serve in this instance". Some scouters believe that since they "volunteer their time" or "invest personal income" that it is distastefull to get "paid" for scouting.

But the work done by Professionals and the time involved you could not get a volunteer to do.


So why don't some volunteers get immediate service. Two reasons. Priorities is the main reason. Remember that pros have employers that have to satisfied. Some pros have pro employers some have volunteer employers but both have to please their employers in order to provide food and shelter for their families. If you r choise is between keeping your job or satisfying a volunteer what is your first priority?.


The second priority is the volunteer who is the most in need or the most productive. If you are a pro serving 1100 volunteers and in any given week only 2% of your volunteers want something from you that is still 22 peaople in a week you are trying to satisfy. Who gets called back first?


It's a ballance between helping the volunteer who is neediest, a new unit leader, a parent who want s to find a unit, a scout in need. Next is the scouter who is helping you meet the needs of scouting. A day-camp director who does their job, a membership chair who just recruited 300 new cubs, A FOS presenter wh raises a thousand dollars a presentation. A Scoutmaster who has the best program.


So who gets pushed to the bottom of the call list? The grumps and whiners. The scouter who never supports FOS, who doesn't use the local summer camp, who doesn't earn quality unit, who doesn't attend Roundtable or District events. The Old Guy who just belittles the pro, the voulunteer, the uniform, the handbook. No professional is going to put another scouters needs ahead of that persons. When there is nothing else to do, when the goals are met, the productive scouters helped, the scouts happy and the desk is cleared, maybe then the whiny old guy will get his phone call. MAYBE.


Bob White


(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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