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Can Someone Explain To Me........

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1. Why reaching the goal of Quality Council is do or die?

2. Other then the recognition of your peers is there some prize that is unknown by us mortal volunteers? (Yes I know about the plaque.)

3. How a Council with four districts, none of which are a quality disrict can be a quality council? Only one district met it's financial goal. This was the district that needed the least number of youth members for quality district. It needed 82 Cubscouts. The other three districts needed more. So it is safe to say that at least 331 youth were needed, more if they were not Cubscouts and the goal was the two percent growth.

4. How one meeting with a school the day that the school breaks for Christmas vacation can bring home over 331 youth members?

5. The membership fee for this "Crew??" will be picked up by the council. This will cost a little over $3,300.00. $3,300.00 which could be put to use for real members. How do I in good conscience ask people to donate to the FOS campaign when I know that the money is lightly to be frittered away?

6. This is the same council that has a pay freeze with no chance of a salary increase for any of its employees. The very same council that has just done away with its Assistant Scout Exec. All this due to lack of funds. I am supposed to be over the moon about this good news - Why?

7. Am I wrong in thinking that when the goal becomes bigger then the health and welfare of the council that it is doing more harm then good?

Please don't get me wrong, in the past I have moved heaven and earth in order to ensure that our district was a quality district. Yes some of the stuff that I have done has been near the mark. Still at the end of the day I have never lied or cheated and my integrity was intact. Sad to say I don't feel that way about what we have done and are doing. Worse still will be when people stand around patting each other on the back saying what a challenge it was and how well we have done.

As yet I am unsure what I want to do about all this. This really hurts I keep telling myself that this is the Boy Scouts and if you can't trust them who the heck can you trust?

Of course I might be missing something. But so far I can't see it. If I thought for one minute that these new 331+ youth members were going to get something out of the program I might be able to get past my misgivings. But while I hate to say it right now I doubt if they even know that they are the latest new members of the BSA,or in fact if they even exist anywhere other then on a school directory.

To my mind we have lost sight of where we are and where we ought to be going. As a volunteer I would love our council to be a quality council, but the way that I feel right now I'm ashamed to even say that I belong to this hideous,disreputable rabble.


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From the several posts you've made regarding this, I take it that all your protests have fallen on deaf ears. You've been up and down the chain of command, worked all the proper channels, now how about this for an idea:


If your council does it the way ours does, the QD awards are given to the district chairman at the annual council awards banquet. When they call your district, make your way to the mic and announce the following: "In my opinion this award is being made under questionable circumstances and is unearned. I have made my specific reservations known to the council officials but they are more interested in meeting numerical goals than they are overall good of the program. While I wish to express my deep appreciation to our DE and volunteers who have done their best to deliver a quality Scouting program to the boys in our district, I cannot accept this award in good conscious and respectfully decline to do so."


I bet that gets their attention.


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That would be a great idea only none of the Districts are Quality - Only the Council is?

Kind of like winning the war after you have lost each and every battle.

The sad thing is that while everyone knows that this is wrong the powers that be want it to happen. The Region wants to be Quality, the area wants to do what the Region wants and the Council wants to please the area. The big loser is the end user our youth, not only have we lost all credibility, not only has the Scout Law been pitched out with the dirty dishwater but there is the matter of the money. Money that ought to be spent on the real members. Then what happens next year? Do we fork out another $3K or will we need to enlist another 300 youth and pick up that fee as well?


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Eamonn, I have read your past posts about the 300+ students who suddenly became Venturers, but it was not until I read this post that that I understood that the council (not the new Venturers, or the CO, if there really is one in this case) are paying the registration fees. This just seems like plain old fraud to me. Was this really approved by the volunteer body that supposedly governs the council (I am weak on the terminology at that level), or is this something the Scout Executive can approve on his/her own? If it is the latter, it is my understanding (partly from reading this forum) that the compensation (and continuation) of at least some professionals is dependent on "making numbers," though I don't know whether the Quality Council Award figures directly into this. In a logical world, the same numbers that a given professional would be given as a goal would also be the goals for the quality whatever award. However it is, in this case the logic of the numbers seems to have obscured the actual goal of getting a Scouting program to these youth. In another post I think you said they didn't even fill out applications (though maybe I have that wrong) and it was not clear what kind of program they will be receiving. It also seems likely to me that if they rounded up 300+ students of high school age and said "You're all in the Venturing program now" and didn't explain to them exactly what that means or give them a meaningful chance to "opt out," they may have swept up at least one atheist in their "net." I'd be surprised if they didn't. Not to mention other types of persons who are unwelcome in the BSA. (I'm noticing this is not Issues and Politics so I'll just leave it at that.) But I guess that's no problem for whoever is actually driving this -- you probably get to keep the award and whatever extra $ you (not you, Eamonn) get no matter how many letters of termination you have to send out months or years down the road.


From time to time on this forum and elsewhere I have heard hints about a "scandal" within the BSA at some point, where councils were creating fictitious units and members in order to "make their numbers." I don't see how this is different, and maybe it is worse, because it sounds like someone has decided to use funds raised by Scouts and donated by others in order to obtain a benefit for themselves.


Unless I'm missing something.

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Sorry I cant help with your question, but I have one of my own. Ive followed your posting about the Venturing Crew and I still dont get it (Bobs words). How does someone go into a school and say, Im going to sign everyone up with the BSA.. Did the kids go home with a note on school letterhead that said, Dear Parent, Tomorrow your child will be enrolled in The Boys Scouts of America? I cant possibly fathom a situation that would result in 300+ kids voluntarily coming to a meeting to sign up for Venturing from a single High School in this area


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"1. Why reaching the goal of Quality Council is do or die?

2. Other then the recognition of your peers is there some prize that is unknown by us mortal volunteers? (Yes I know about the plaque.)"


Being a Quality Council is a signpost that you are providing more support for more units and more scouts than you did last year. The goal of District and Council Committees is to help make quality scouting available to every eligible youth in the community.


Quality District and Council, shows that you are achieving the minimum tasks needed to reach that obligation.


The requirements for the recognition spell out the responsibilities of the District and Council committees. Meeting those requirements is the self-evaluation of your effectiveness.


The recognition itself is just the BSA's way of thanking you for your leadership in providing a growing scouting program to your community.

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Bob White says:


Being a Quality Council is a signpost that you are providing more support for more units and more scouts than you did last year.


Unless you are cheating, of course.


And if one council cheats, and people find out about it, that seems to devalue the award for every council that wins it legitimately. It makes it look like an award for "making numbers" rather than enabling more Scouts to get the program. And if what Eammon describes happened in one council, it is difficult to imagine that it has never happened anywhere else.


I also want to make clear, having re-read my last post, that this is NOT about a council (or unit) paying registration fees for boys/girls whose families cannot afford the fee. We all know that when a boy cannot pay a fee for something (I have never seen that situation for a fee as small as a registration fee but I am sure it happens), quite often there is money "available" from one source or another. I think most of this happens at the unit level but I know my council also has a donated fund available for this purpose, usually for larger dollar amounts such as Philmont. But that isn't Eammon's situation. There was nothing in his posts about these boys/girls being unable to pay the fee, either individually or as a group. It sounds like the council just decided to remove a barrier to the registration of boys/girls who had never expressed any actual interest in joining the program. As he describes it, they were not actually "joining," they were really "being joined" with almost no participation by them, so of course one wouldn't expect them to fork over the $10.

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This does not sound like a battle that you can win. If you become a whistle blower, you will be the person who caused the council to not get the Quality award, and probably will be out of your scouting "job" shortly after. I believe that would be a very bad thing, from the quality of your posts.

Whilst I think you need to put this behind you and continue to fight the good clean fight.


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Why the recognition exists and why some people cheat are two separate and distinct questions. One has nothing to do with the other.


Mile markers exist along the highway to help you know where you are. Whether or not you move them is a different matter all together.


The question was asked, why do they exist. I answered that portion of the question.


As to why some individuals are manipulating those markers, it is a question best asked of the individuals doing the misdeed. But, their behavior does not alter the reason for the existence of the recognition.


The problem here is that we are trying to vilify the recognition and its requirements, whose only purpose is to help guide a community to a stronger scouting program. It is not the recognition at fault here. It is the individuals misusing it that need to change.


Bob White


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The scandal that you mention happened in the early 70s. I remember hearing it was widespread in the Chicago area but other areas around the council had it happen. Professionals were under pressure to make their membership numbers and enrolled 100s of scouts in the last month of the charter to make their goals. These were the days when you could become a Boy Scout for a buck or less and one month prorate was like a dime. It added up to 100,000 's of nonexistent Scouts. Many heads rolled over it.


Now for the money to pay for the registrations that Eamonn mentions. They might be coming from a fund or special grant that is to be used for some specific narrow aim. This would be outside FOS and general operating funds. Not to say that their use in this situation may be stretching the purpose of that funding.


I know our council has a bunch of money in its campership fund that it would love to give away. Sitting there it does no one any good, but sending a scout to camp does him good and helps pay for the camp. We find it hard to get parents to apply for it. But it is outside of FOS and the general budget and can only be used for camperships. Our camping director would love to it empty at the end of each summer and refilled every year in time for summer. More scouts to camp equals more money for camp program.


I would think maybe someone in your council saw some money sitting somewhere that they could use to fund the new unit.


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Suffice it to say that Eammon's council is not the only one offering free registration as an enticement to grow numbers at the end of the year. Nothing sneaky about it, though...it's advertised on our website. Just the normal recruiting methods...no herding them into the corral and locking the gate.

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Bob White is of course right in what he has said. I of course already was aware of what Quality Council or for that matter Quality District really means.

As far as Quality District goes, our District has been a Quality District six years out of the past seven. Just like any other volunteer my pay check remained the same. However at her annual review one year Pam our DE was a little upset as her performance was rated as only marginal and when she asked how a DE of a district that was quality could only be rated as marginal she was informed that Quality District was expected performance. I have no part in what goes on at these reviews that is between her and those who sign her pay check. I am just a volunteer.She may or may not have met the expectations of her duties outside of the district, that is none of my business.

Over the time that I have served on the key3, we have strived towards the goal of Quality District because it was the right thing to do and yes maybe at times ego has played a part. We do want to showcase our district as being a winning team.

A couple of years back when we were three Boy Scouts short of the goal and were over the number needed in Cubscouts I did go to the parents of three boys from my old pack and ask if they would cross over a month early. They were of course of the right age and everything was in order. This was as near as I have come to cheating. Yes I did collect the Quality District plaque and yes I had given all the members of our district noise makers so that they could feel part of what was going on and be part of the celebration. Of course I was aware that I had nearly crossed the line. But it wasn't for me. I sure as heck do not need another plaque and I don't wear the patch. I have always viewed the fact that we made it as a pat on the back to all those who made it happen, the units that went the extra mile to recruit and sell popcorn, the community FOS people who I think are the unsung heroes of the district. I also have to admit that when I got the three apps I made my way to the Council Service Center and didn't spare the horses, I also paid the $1.00 transfer fee out of my own pocket.

So while Bob White is 100% correct and while I agree that the goal is a worthwhile goal. Along with the fact that some of us will never understand why cheats act the way that they do. What I want to know is there something that I'm missing. Is not making Quality the big black mark on a professional job application?

For my part I know that I have lost all respect for the people involved in this misguided effort to do what? I do know that I will be making a donation to the endowment fund not the FOS. This will mean that we will not meet our district FOS goal and may result in the District not being a Quality District. I will also go out of my way to try and get all the money that we raise as a district from special events to go the same way. While it may seem a little petty it is the only way at this time that I can see of getting my point across without doing too much harm.


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I am not ignoring this thread. I need some time to compose a reasonable response.


In preface, I do not have enough information to defend or decry what the council in question is doing. Eamonn, I trust, but he is a bit emotional on the topic.


Bob White is correct, as usual, in his assessments about what quality council/district mean as well as echoing my sentiments about cheaters.


Please understand that I need to tread carefully here, but I will respond.


From time to time I need to think about things. I've learned that I give better responses when I think things through . . . which doesn't come easily for me.


When people ask me, "Hey, Dave! What do you know?" I answer, "Not a darned thing! If I knew anything, I'd have a real job ;)"





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