Jump to content

Experience should matter but that's just me . . . . . . . .

Recommended Posts

I need to vent and it looks like the forum will get an eye full.


This is just my opinion. I know BSA has thier own hiring requirements. This is in no offense to those professionals doing an outstanding job with the Scouting Movement.


IMHO, I believe that the BSA needs to rethink their policy regarding hiring professionals with no Scouting experience either as a youth or adult volunteer. They need sometime in the program to understand the program. It is really hard working with someone who has no idea of the program. It is not my job to train these folks. That's the Council or National's job.


I understand that the pro's manage the admin side of the house while we the volunteers take care of the program but that's where it should end.


I tried for over a year to make it work. But when the DE gets upset because the Volunteers decide to cancel December camp for safety reasons. He needs to back off.


When the DE plans a last minute district event (like a month before) and wonders why the troops and crews can't make it. These units, especially mine, are youth led. Yet, he makes comments and compares units like mine to other units that do show up and make it. Well, those units are adult led. Those Scouts don't have a choice.


Two weeks ago, our DE made a comment that really burned me up. The day before our district banquet. Many of my Venturers were to be part of the entertainment. They were supposed to do a Hula show and two of them were to sing some island reggae songs.


The Thursday, before the banquet, I informed him that my venturers will not be there due to a death in the family of one of my volunteers. My venturers and other volunteers wanted to spend time with the family in mourning before the funeral on Saturday. We were supposed to have about 30 people attend the dinner. Instead of showing any type of compassion, he was more concerned that the district will take a loss on the number of seats not paid for. I was not only flabbergasted but also dumbfounded at his comments.


I tried to explain to him that many of my venturers and senior scouts are close to this volunteer. Who happened to lose his first born son a week before the dinner due to complications from birth. The baby boy was 6 months premature when he was born. He was 2 months old when he passed away. I didn't find out about the loss until our Tuesday night scout meeting. I also didn't talk to the family until the following day, Wednesday afternoon. Anyway, my explaination didn't sink in. He was more concerned about the loss the district will incur. Also, he did not care to make his comments private. He just commented in front of the scout office manager and another volunteer doing scout business in the office.


My other issue is in the Summer Camp Thread titled

"Camp Requirements in ??????".


I've lost much respect for this DE. I am seriously thinking of resigning as the District Commissioner and just concentrate my efforts on my units. Yep, and I just started in this position.


Thanks for hearing me out,


Matua(This message has been edited by matuawarrior)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you, Matua. But, on the other hand, if 30 people cancelled from our District Dinner, the event would be cancelled. No event can sustain that kind of unplanned loss the day before. I think the fair thing to do would be to pay whatever cost the district has incurred and would be lost, whether that's the full ticket cost or not. The money has to come from somewhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As is well known by many our Council is blessed with a Field Director who is a first class nit wit. Somehow someway he is an Eagle Scout. To be very honest the fact that he breathes upsets me.

Our DE on the other hand is female and is the parent of an Eagle Scout. Before working for the BSA she was employed by a dentist. She is by far the best DE in the council and from all accounts the best DE that our district has ever had.

Experience is fine but it can never mask being a nit wit.

You may well have landed a nit wit.

I do have to disagree with you about training. Even if this DE is a nit wit you as a Scout and as a District Officer do have a duty to train them if not for the person do it for the good of the district.

The way you are allowing him to run the district seems odd.Why is a DE planning a district event? Where is the key3? Worse still if this person is a nit wit why allow him to get away with this stuff?

While I know that I don't sign our DE's pay check and I'm aware that some of the things that she has to do have come down from "Above" either from the executive board, the region or national or even in our case from her boss the Field Director. There is no way that I will allow anything she does to harm the very people that we are there to support. Yes we support the council and council policies but when something is coming down from "Above" and we know that it doesn't work in our district we go out of our way to find a way that does work.

For example the Field Director came up with this plan for a Council wide Tiger Cub Safari to be held in June. Each district was to hold this event on the same day at one central location.

Our kids get out of school in May and the district has three School districts. We are holding three community Tiger Safaris near the schools in May. We are doing this because it will work for the district and the units not just to be a pain in his neck - Although I have to admit that is an added bonus.

Scoutldr does make a good point about the money which I feel sure you can see. Sad to say the way that the DE handled it may have to be chalked up to him being a nit wit. You might want to have a word with him at the right time and place or bring it up at the key3 meeting.

As for you throwing in the towel.

You may remember not so long ago I posted how upset and perplexed our Field Director had me? I got as far as writing my letter of resignation. I was really mad. Still when I sat down and thought long and hard about it I came up with a lot of reasons for not sending it. One was that I'm going to be around a lot longer then he is !! Another was that even a clock that has stopped is right twice a day. But the big one for me was that as a Scout in London I made the English Scout Promise to keep the English Scout Law and one of them is A Scout is a Brother To All Scouts. This guy is a nit wit we are never going to be close and his ideas and idea of Scouting is poles apart from what mine are. Still he is a Scout and I have to do my best. I am really trying to either work with him or avoid him. But no matter what my first loyalty is to the district and the units we serve.


Link to post
Share on other sites



Thanks for making me see that I have a bigger obligation to the district. AS for the DE making program plans, I'm pretty sure it's because we don't have a District Committee but that's his area of responsibilty. I've tried helping him with getting people as you, BW, and DS have suggested but I was given the brush off and that he'll get to it later. We'll it's been a year.


The money was never an issue with my crew. My Venturers understood the committment but they wouldn't be able to make it to the dinner. We have the funds to pay for those seats if other Scouts, Venturers, or Scouters were not able to cover those seats during the dinner. Once we get the actual number from our office manager on attendance, we will cover those seats, no more than 30 though, that were not covered.


We have 2 of the 3 for the KEY 3. I've tried explaining that if the volunteers don't plan it. Their not going to buy it and then it rolls down to the youth leaders as well. He needs to step back and let the volunteers do their work.


As per the camp Aquatics Issue, I stated my position to the planning committee. I have last year's camp manual and there are no changes as he has stated. The other volunteers have blindly sided with the DE just to make camp happen. If push comes to shove, I may have to call council and restate my position with the Council President and the Council Commissioner.


We never have played this numbers game before. We planned activities because it was fun for the boys and young ladies.


I don't mind if he plans an event, but He needs to give us time to react to it. A month or two is not enough time for youth-led units to react and support a district event, especially when it's new. Negative remarks do not help getting things done. My units have thier planning done for the year and most of our unit events are confirmed 90 days out.


Anyway, I'm glad that you reminded me, Why. We're there for the boys and young ladies.


It's going to be a tough year.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The Council hired the brother of a local politician. He had not been a Scout or an adult volunteer. He was neat clean and wore a coat. He spoke well and had good manners. He didn't carry a date planner and didn't show up at several important meetings. We found out later he was working a second job on the side at a 7-11 in another city.


They didn't fire him for one full year. We simply endured the agony and ignorance. He met the qualifications and most likely earned a few political points. People that usually were not concerned got angry. He was not well spoken of or to by anyone. Council saw the numbers slipping and how the volunteers were in a constant snit. So, a light slowly appeared to someone down at HQ and they finally asked this joke to go.


We discovered too late that he was really a pretty good clerk.


On the other hand, Council hired this shy young man that had neither boy nor adult experience. He was more of a quiet manager than anything else. Council trained him and we trained him. Things happened slowly. He did not always understand the program but he relied on the volunteers and the people over him to guide him as he went along. He made several bad decisions but they were chalked up as OJT. He stayed with us for three years before moving on to another position.


Those of us that were there to contrast the two saw several important differences. The first one is attitude. The second one is willingness. The third one is perseverance. It simply does not make up for experience in the program but it is a distant second.




Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal experience is that scouting is good experience but not the only experience in making for a good DE and certainly not the best experience.


I have worked with good DE's who are Eagle Scouts, and good DE's who were never Boy Scouts. Bad DE's who are Eagle Scouts, and bad DE's that were never scouts.


I know enough about the job of being a DE to know that it has nothing to to with the the experiences of being a unit leader and all about having the skills of leadership.


I have met some great scout leaders who would be driven crazy trying to do the work they expect of DEs. The job of professional scouting has only a slight resemblance to the job of unit leadership. I would wish neither on the other.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the past several years, I've seen several DEs come and go. Here's a quick summary:


DE #1, Eagle Scout, grew up in the program. Excellent guy, promoted to Field Director. Still a great asset to us.

DE #2, no scouting background. Made it to one roundtable, then to training. Never to be seen again.

DE #3, Female, family was scouters. Loves the outdoors. Great energy, great with kids. Promoted to Field Director.

DE #4, No scouting experience. Didn't make the first roundtable.

DE #5, Eagle Scout, Philmont Staff experience, college degree relates to scouting. Off to a good start.


I understand the difficulty in hiring people. I do it all the time. I also know first hand the cost of hiring the wrong person. While I am sure there are some great professionals without scouting experience, they are few and far between. It's the units in the districts they are assigned to that suffer during these "tests". So, I'm for hiring people with a scouting background (male or female).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the more then kind words.

I think that you need to speak to the Scout Exec. Or the Council President about enlisting the help of a couple of Board members to get a Nominating Committee off the ground. It sounds as if you are carrying a great weight. While at first glance some of the sheets that National puts out seem a little over the top - They do work. I would try very hard to recruit people from the community.

I had a lot of luck getting people to get involved by asking the Advancement Chair to invite community people to sit on Eagle Scout Boards. Once they seen what these Lads are up to they weren't too hard to enlist. I did cheat a little bit by giving the Advancement Committee a list with names, position and contact information. Thanks to that we have a bank president and a couple of school superintendants on the district committee. (You have to move fast or the Council signs them up as board members.)

I have not yet read your other posting.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...