Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Eamonn

Move That Charter ASAP

Recommended Posts

I have read a good deal about Scoutreach, I am sold on the idea. However I'm a little unsure if what we in the Council that is stuck with me, is the direction that I think we need to be heading.

A couple of years back the Field Director hired an Americore Volunteer. He was to work with our Scoutreach Packs. Soon after we got this guy we started a couple of packs in low income housing areas. Having signed up HUD as the CO.

Halfway through the year the guy quit. It turned out that he had not been to any of these packs for months.

This year we got another Americore Volunteer, he went and signed up every child that he met: Boy, Girl, anyone under the age of 18 was signed up. Then he quit. The Council found an under-employed Scouter that they paid to go into these units. It seems that he goes in once a month with a craft, the kids do the craft and he is on his way. I was preparing a Scoutreach presentation for our OA banquet, so I called the guy to find out what OA members could do to help. He tells me that they don't have a lot of kids. He goes on to say that all the kids are girls!! There are no boys.

The memo that came out a few weeks ago about Schools and Government agencies not chartering units came as a bit of a surprise.

The FOS Community chairman I have is a super nice guy, he is a member of the Lions Club. This club and its members make up a good part of the District community FOS campaign.

Talking with the new DE, he is under orders to get this Lions Club to become the CO for one of these packs.

This pack has no leaders, no committee and no boys. Due to the transient nature of the people who live in these apartments they more than lightly never will have any real leadership, at least not with the set up we have now. The Lions Club is no where near the unit and I don't see the members ever even entering the area where the apartments are. Our last DE wouldn't even drive there, she had her 80 year old Dad drop her off and pick her up, because she was worried about her car.

Do the kids in this area need Scouting? You bet they do, but lets work with real CO's. Maybe spend some money uniforming and training local people, heck while we are at it a few male cub scouts might be a good idea.

Eamonn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get upset with Councils when they try setting up units in housing projects. Two years ago they did a day camp in one. Ended up not having a director or any staff. I offered to include these boys in my camp. Council didn't want to do that for some reason. What I didn't understand is these boys are confined to the innercity all the time. Why not get them out and a nice environment.

 

Another problem with adults in housing projects is most probably wouldn't pass the background checks. I hate to say that but in one of the project houseing developements here criminal history is at about 95%..

 

And the saddest thing is that the boys in these situtations probably need scouting more than anyone else.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lynda:

 

Why do you get upset when councils try to start up units in housing projects? I agree with you very strongly that these boys need Scouting.

 

I'm not sure why the council didn't want to include the boys in your regular district day camp. Perhaps it wasn't financially feasible to arrange for transportation.

 

I also agree that it can be very difficult to find the leadership in these Scoutreach situations, but it's not imposssible. The biggest difficulties are that some lack organizational skills, some have criminal backgrounds, etc. I think the larger problem is that there is a lot of turnover in subsidized housing. Many of those with the kind of skills we all hope for in Scout leaders are using their resources to get out of the development.

 

I'm one of those people who believes that some Scouting is better than none at all. I love the ideal, but I think we owe it to every boy with a beating heart to serve him to the best of our ability.

 

Unc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi There,

 

It has been awhile since I have made a post to this forum, my new job has been keeping me very busy.

 

I have been involved with lots of Scoutreach units in projects. Some I am proud of, others didn't work out the way I had hoped. In one project I started the program with a day camp for the whole housing project. The first day, we had 12 kids, on the last we had over 200. Transportation costs would have prevented me from bringing the kids to a traditional day camp location. Also, I would have only touched the 12 that came that first day, and even they may not have had parents that would allow them to travel with a stranger in a uniform. It has been so long since we were a part of these families lives, they don't know who we are.

 

On the last evening, we invited the parents, and many came. It was our first touch of Scouting to most of these families. Did we change all 200 of these lives? Maybe, maybe not. What we did get for sure was an entry into the community. We started paying a leader to put in Boy Scout program on a weekly basis. The college student that did this talked his church into helping out. His church troop would go camping, and so would his Scoutreach troop. Every quarter we had a council meeting in that church and there was an advancement chart on the wall. When I left that council, there was a boy that was a life Scout, working toward Eagle.

 

When the state decided to bulldoze the project, the families called me to a meeting to tell me that they all planned to move to nearby apartments so that their kids could stay in the troop. It was one of the highlights of my Scouting career.

 

The cost of Scoutreach is high in both money cost and human resources, but if we believe that we are a movement, it is a cost worth paying.

 

RMV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not have a problem with spending money to get Scoutreach units started, even if this does mean that we have paid leaders.

I don't have a problem with going into areas that might be viewed as undesirable.

But please don't throw the tried, tested and true methods of Scouting out with the bath water. Lets set a goal of moving these units from being dependent on the District or Council to being a traditional unit.

Lets give these Lads the opportunity to do what Scouts do: Camp, advance,have adults that care about them and the program.

A craft once a month isn't Cub Scouting!! Dare I say it is just number building.

A day camp in these areas is a real nice good turn and does help us get our toe in the door. But one Day Camp does not mean that we have a couple of hundred more Cub Scouts.

Sure a lot of these units will fail and under the present requirements for quality district or quality council, this hurts.

Wouldn't it set a great example if National refused to collect the membership fee from these units? Maybe if these units had a three year grace period before they counted in the membership totals for quality, we might see less of a rush to do something that isn't a good as it could be?

But then what would Field Directors do all day?

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not being a Field Director anymore, I would imagine that they would spend more of their time at naps. :)

 

When I started Scoutreach units, I always asked myself, what can I do to make this as close to a traditional unit as possible. Sometimes it was close, other times it wasn't. The chartering organization was often the deciding factor in how close we got it. One year I sent a group of Boys to Boy Scout Camp. Because of zero tolerance with knives, none of these Scouts could participate in Woodcarving. They couldn't do shooting sports either. But they still had a great time with great role models. The experience was a great one.

 

The goal was always to try and work Scoutreach units into as close to a traditional unit as possible. When the program got big, more than 9 full time den leaders out in projects running den meetings every week, I even hired a Scoutreach Roundtable Commisioner.

 

Her job was to get everything these den leaders would need to run program for the entire month, then teach them what to do each month at roundtable. It was great to have roundtables bringing program to life at the office once a month. I always would let my SE know when the meeting was going to be, so he could stop in or even bring a Scoutreach donor to see what was going on. Did this guarantee a successful den meeting? No. But it gave us a much better chance at sucess.

 

In the end, our mission is to help young people make ehthical choices throughout their lives. I don't want to throw out tried and true methods of Scouting, but I can tell you that those methods are not tried and true when you are talking about families with parents that have made some really bad choices. When you look into the eyes of their kids, you see young people desperate for some stability in their lives. If we give up, who will be there for them?

 

I always viewed my job as a Field Director as a teacher. My guys didn't need me to beat up on them all the time, but they did need someone to show them the way. At the same time, each DE I worked with needed to learn a lot to become succesful. Not all of them were willing to pay the price needed to provide volunteers with the support they need and deserve.

 

The past two days have made me very reflective of what I do and why I do it. Sorry this went on for so long.

 

Hope you are having a great Scouting day!

 

RMV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RMV

Thanks for a very enlightening post.

I spent a lot of time working with and serving inner-city Scouts. Not as any sort of a Scoutreach or special program, just a young (Yes I was young once!!) Scout Leader in the UK.

At the risk of being disagreeable I must disagree about the methods of Scouting. Sure some of these Lads have made bad choices in the past, some continue to do so after they join Scouting. But we I would hope will always try everything we can try to bring a Lad back into the fold? I would be interested to see what methods don't or wouldn't work?

Having finished being disagreeable, I do think that we are close to being on the same page.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lynda J mentions Another problem with adults in housing projects is most probably wouldn't pass the background checks. I hate to say that but in one of the project housing developments here criminal history is at about 95%..

 

I was told (maybe incorrectly) that the background check is for the information of the charter organization. The charter org decides if anything in it disqualifies an adult from serving as a leader.

 

Does anyone know if this is true?

 

Share this post


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
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...