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Eamonn

Is the partnership coming undone?

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AvidSM:

 

I certainly understand your prospective. DE rentention can be a huge factor. But let's just break this down a minute and understand the problem. Today is a beautiful June Tuesday evening. As I respond to this message, I have just completed 30 hours of work for the week. During that time I have been challeged and exhilerated. I love my job. I have been to day camp, I have raised money, I have worked on membership and prepared for upcoming summer camps. I will have three very long days yet to work. But, I am not tired of my job. I love it. I draw energy from what I do. My wife meanwhile is taking care of the homefront, without me. I have directed camp for many years prior to this, requiring me to be gone from home completely for 7-9 weeks. Again, I loved it. Combine all of these hours with a profession that is highly demanding. Success is expected and you are expected to do it in a quality way. Then add in recruiting volunteers to help you and taking the brunt of the negativity from those inside and outside of Scouting. I have had people call me on the phone multiple times just to scream at me about our membership policies and hang up the phone. Many volunteers will not even give us the time of day, because we are "paid" and they are not, we have the "wrong" priorities to them.

 

Now, put a fine young person, right out of college into all of that. Put an experienced professional who has a dream to serve into that. It takes a lot of personality, energy, excitement, intelligence and plain determination to deal with that. It isn't an easy job. But those of us who succeed, love what we do. We see the angry volunteer, and we see a chance to build a relationship. We see the camporee that is falling apart, and we see an opportunity to save a great program. We see the FOS campaign that hasn't gotten off the ground and we see the opportunity to raise more money for Scouting than ever before. This doesn't describe many people in the world. The vast majority of people go to their job, do what is expected of them and go home. Very few are able to lose themselves in service. That is what it takes. There is no professional vs. personal life. It is one.

 

Sometimes the optimism cracks. Sometimes things don't happen as they should. But a true professional always shines through. In the end, they will be the ones spending time at Roundtables and Camporees. They are the ones dreaming of a better camp and desparately asking you to attend your council's. They are the ones driving from school to school for three months straight to ensure that are able to deliver this great program to another generation.

 

The next time you hear negativity about your professionals, please stop it. Take a few minutes and get to know him. You will find a large percentage of them are Eagle Scouts, maybe not from your Troop, but one like it. Many of those were Camp Staff members, they were active in Order of the Arrow. Some even hiked Philmont or attended National Jamboree. There are many that are fathers of Eagle Scouts. They have served as Cubmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, Committee Members and Den Leaders. My point is: They love the program! Professionals don't what to harm the program, ever. In fact they want to pass on a more vibrant program then they inheirited. Unfortunately, it often is our job to be the bearer of bad news. We are paid by the board to keep the council financially solvent, to ensure that we can grow the program, that we can support our properties adequately. We are paid to ensure that our youth are with the right people when they head out on an outing. We are paid to ensure that the nessary business of a non-profit is handled. It isn't always glamorous or popular, but damn is is gratifying. I hope you have as gratifying job as I do!

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QUOTE:  My point is: They love the program! Professionals don't what to harm the program, ever. In fact they want to pass on a more vibrant program then they inheirited. Unfortunately, it often is our job to be the bearer of bad news. We are paid by the board to keep the council financially solvent, to ensure that we can grow the program, that we can support our properties adequately. We are paid to ensure that our youth are with the right people when they head out on an outing. We are paid to ensure that the nessary business of a non-profit is handled. It isn't always glamorous or popular, but damn is is gratifying.

commandopro,

Thanks for sharing what you do.  I never really understood what DE's did, but I do understand that professionals usually have to take alot of unfair criticism from negative-minded volunteers.  Thanks for your dedication and hard work.  I wish the best for you. 

QUOTE:  I hope you have as gratifying job as I do!

I don't, but I do love Scouting and receive a great deal of satisfaction working as an Asst. Cubmaster.  Scouting is great stuff

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Commandopro,

           I guess you can't get more professional than National HQ right? Well as you noted CAC has been a mess for a while. We contacted National in the beginning and were told it was a local matter. We contacted National in the middle and were told it was still a local matter. We finally took the local matter to Civil Court and got rulings favorable to our cause and vision of scouting. Now it's a National issue and National has decided that if we continue to fight in court it will refuse to recharter the Chicago Area Council and all assets will revert to National. Couldn't get help when it was needed but soon as the CORs and volunteers get the upper hand National steps up and wants status quo. Read the whole release at  http://www.fortdearborn.stalphonsusscouts.org/  Bottom line is sell the land, bank the money, and go with LFL over traditional scouting. How does this fit in with your understanding of what the professional staff is supposed to do? Where is this hand in hand stuff you talk about? This comes straight from National, sell the land MONEY, support LFL at the expense of traditional units NUMBERS. Writing is on the wall for those who can read.

 LongHaul

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I like to think that nearly everyone who posts in this forum would like to see the BSA do well.

I have never worked professionally for the BSA.

I've seen DE'S and SE's come and go.

Some were really outstanding and some were just not so great.

I can live with that.

My big concern is it seems to me that we the volunteers are for some reason losing the trust I think we once had in our professional staff.

I don't see this as a person thing. I think it has more to do with the goals set by "The Man"

Maybe the problem lies with me not knowing and not sharing the goals as the powers that be may have?

Membership to me isn't about numbers on reports, it's about kids having fun and hopefully learning something along the way.

Reaching financial goals isn't about beating up on the people who donate their time, energy and are already sticking their hand in their pocket.

It should be about having the local community seeing and knowing that we provide a good and worth while program that each community wants to support and is willing to support.

Eamonn.

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Thank you for the lively discussion

I think that of all the people at the council the DE is the one that is working best in my area

it is the rest of the council staff that I would like to know how they can help my district event.

The scout shop and the tour permit and advancement parts I know. But what about the rest of the

staff. Are there trainers that I can call to help when my district trainning staff is under staffed.

or are there trainers to train the trainers. Is there an activities commitee person I can call.

Is there a camporee expert I can get advice on how to make our district camporees be great.

 

What resources does the council provide to a new district (1.5 year old) get on it's feet. Does the DE have to do it all?

 

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Bearfootscout

You bring up some very good points.

I hope you don't mind if I spin off.

Eamonn.

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