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shemgren

New District

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I was just informed that our district will be split into two districts and was wondering if anyone has advice on a smooth transistion into the new district structure. The change will take effect May 1st.

 

Thanks for your attention.

 

Scott

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Recruit and train District Committee members NOW.

 

Talk about running some events as joint events until both districts find their legs. Examples are training, Camporee, and Klondike.

 

 

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Everything FOG said, with bells on.

 

Our Council had four districts last year, and decided to split into five, by taking a piece of district b and a piece of district d. The new districts would be more in line with local school districts, so there was some logic behind the decision.

 

The problem was and is staffing.

 

No professional was on board until September, so the new district calendar still isn't finalized.

(Not the new DE's fault).

 

Most Boy Scout and Cub Scout district events are staffed by the same twenty or thirty people. Splitting two districts into three means you lose some of this critical mass of volunteers. Recruit adult volunteers early, to help staff things like Camporees and Klondike.

 

Training - There are four district training teams, and for the same reasons, a fifth has yet to be constituted. Not enough trained trainers to build a fifth team without raiding the existing teams.

We are not really hampered by this yet, but one of the reasons for the split was to give better/closer support to units, including more opportunities for training.

 

Roundtable - Half way through the year, the new district's monthly meeting day was changed. Attendance dropped. Firm this type of stuff up early - district roundtable meeting date, date of district Camporee/Klondike/PWD Championship/Webelos Woods/Cub Olympics/Tigermania, etc. Waiting just causes havoc with unit calendar coordination.

 

Don't forget all components of the program. We have a somewhat established Boy Scout series of committees in our new district, but nothing for Cub Scouts or Venturers. Our Pack stil plans on attending our old district Cub Scout events through the end of this year at least, and probably next year too. The district was supposed to be running it's own events as of January 1. Not happening yet at the Cub level.

 

Good luck.

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People are funny shemgren, some do not learn to adjust to change. There will be folks who will probably have hissy fits for years to come over this. I have seen it happen in three different councils.

 

Remind everyone that districts are imaginary lines that help to simplify council administration and serve local communities better, nothing more. Their membership is in the council. Moving district lines has no effect on the next pack, troop, or crew meeting and that is where the program takes place.

 

Get a new District Committee formed as soon as possible and get your Roundtables running, then get a district activity scheduled and planned and go from there. The majority of volunteers will handle everything just fine. Do not sweat the curmudgeons.

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Our district did a 1:3 split a little over a year ago. The biggest problem is in staffing the district infrastructure, which in my opinion should be in place prior to the split. The number of units and adult scouters remained relatively the same, however now you need 3 of everything, DEs, District Commissioners, district chairmen, etc. Somehow all of the experienced training staff ended up in one district, so as the new Training chair, I had to start from scratch. One of the other new districts still has no training staff, so they are all coming to my courses. A year and a half later, I am still personally doing all training with little assistance, we have no BSRT commissioner or staff, very few Unit Commissioners, yada, yada, yada. On the plus side, camporees are almost pleasant, since we no longer have over 1000 people trying to camp in the same place. Oh, and we made Quality District our first full year in existence, due in no small part to a District Director who worked far harder than anyone should have to. Where we didn't have volunteer chairmen in place, he did the work himself. I hope he was rewarded well.

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Due to a mother-in-law birthday dinner I feel a little bit overfed at the moment.

If the powers that be came up and said that we had to form a new district what would I do?

In no special order.

Set about getting a strong and knowledgeable Nominating Committee ASAP.

Invite all my FOS community captains to lunch or some other informal gathering.

Plan to go with the DE to meet all the Chartered Executive Officers within 30 days.

If new schools were in the new district have the DE meet with all the School Secretaries and introduce herself.

Find the best location that can be found for the District Committee meetings.

Plan to meet with the other two key 3 members at least once a week and set goals for the recruitment of Unit Commissioners, Round Table Commissioners, and Assistant District Commissioners. These Commissioners would be selected for the service that they were going to do not as any form of a thank you for past services.

Hold training's for the new District officers. Making sure they understand the role of the District and what part they play in it. Set goals for these new District Officers and let them know that they are accountable for meeting these goals.

At the first Round Table invite the Council Key 3 for a Fireside chat. To explain what and why the new district has been formed and too explain the financial burden a new district puts on the council. Along with the great opportunities it offers.

I would try and get as many invites to visit unit meetings as possible and follow up by visiting. This would take some time as I would be busy doing the other stuff and I wouldn't want to step on the Commissioners toes.

In my spare time I would get a copy of the Council Long Term Strategic Plan and read it looking for where the new district fits in and where we ought to be heading.

I would do everything that I could to ensure that the first new District Event was outstanding in order to set the benchmark really high.

Of course I am looking at this from a District Chairmans view. If I was the District Commissioner I would be looking more toward Unit Health and making sure that everything was ship shape in that area.

From my point of view the areas that I would put most of my effort into would be developing the District Committee with a watchful eye on membership and finance.

Eamonn

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