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At Your Service.

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Talking with our DE on the phone last night. It seems that our District Commish is once again having ideas of his own importance. As ever this really gets me very hot under the collar.

Like it or not. Trendy as it may sound we all lead using "Servant Leadership".

The youth, be they Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or Venturers, along with those who have yet to join are the people that we serve.

A unit leader,serves the youth in the unit by delivering the program and following the methods in use for that program. Along with the ideals of the chartered organization.

The District, serves to support the units in the district and the Council. While the District does spent a fair amount of time dealing with finance and membership it is also there to serve the needs of the units within the district and everything it does is for the good or the betterment of the end user; the youth. The Council supports the districts and so on.

To my way of thinking we all work hand in hand to fulfill the mission of Scouting.

Most of us do the job that we are best suited for or that we can find time to do. There are people in the District that I serve who know far more about this program then I ever will. Some are happy to serve as Unit Leaders while others are life time Assistant Leaders, they are happy doing what they do and have the distinction of being very good at it. There are new people in the District that seem to have a knack of having came on board and just "Got it." They interact well with the youth in whatever program they are in and seem to have the vision to get the job done and done well. Changing the color of their epaulets won't make them any better, in fact they might not be suited to do something else. They are performing a really good service where they are at and are just as important to the program as each of us are.

In the past I have had to take Unit Commissioners "Behind the wood shed" and explain that they are there to serve the needs of the unit. I have had words with new DE's who thought that just because they worked as professionals that they could impose their will on the volunteers or use their position to bypass the correct way of doing things. At times this can be small things such as cutting in line at the dining hall when there is no good reason. At other times they have wanted to start interfering with the program of a unit.

We are all like pieces of a jigsaw there is no one piece more important then any other, but if you take one piece out you don't have the full picture.


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There's another angle to this, too. Most of our families, and some of our volunteers, haven't the foggiest idea how BSA's organized above the unit level, and there's some who don't understand it at the unit level for that matter. I have parents who think the SM and CC are interchangeable, the the Council is just the Scout Shop, don't know what a District is, and if they happen to stumble into a roundtable or District meeting at Council, they note that every other person is some sort of commissioner -- looks like a gathering of South American field marshals.


Our people aren't stupid; most of them work for or have worked for vertically-organized outfits and would understand how we're set up. So what, you might ask? This "ignorance", if I can use the term, rears up at FOS time, at unit/District/Council fund raiser time, and so on (why is XX% of the $$ going to a..."district"? What's that?). We just had our annual FOS pitch from the DC on Saturday. He very lucidly explained FOS, and although I was focused on other things, it appeared that many if not most of our families turned in pledge cards right there.



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Not sure where you wanted this thread to go but Ill weigh in trying to understand the workings of our larger structure.


I find it relatively easy to understand and explain what the various Commissioners do and how they function. I wish I could say the same for professional and office staff. We have huge expenditures in salaries, and although I do understand some of what happens in the office, I honestly cant reconcile the salaries with the product. Many questions are always reflected back at volunteers. Year in and year out, and with a long history, registrations and training records are a mess. On top of it, many of the paid staff are also volunteers whose efforts sometimes seem to blur the lines for me.


Thats my two cents.

(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

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I think that the reason for me starting this thread was to make everyone aware that there are no VIPs in Scouting.

We all do what we can as best we can.

Not wanting to rehash any of the stuff that we covered when we looked at Awards, but some people are great working with youth members, others are good working with adults, while others just don't have the time and support with finances or other donations.

I happen to think that "Real Scouting" (Whatever that might be?) Happens at the unit level and us people on the district, council or any other level are just there to support them and bring in more youth members.

As to the stuff that is happening in the Service Center. At times I scratch my head when there are six letters all in different envelopes in my mail box.

At the end of the day the running of the Service Center is down to the Scout Exec. No matter who he may have in the office (We have an office manager) The buck stops with him. At times members of the board will bring matters to his attention. Also the budget for the Council is presented to the board. In these days when money is tight I know that the guys on our board don't let much get past them.


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