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SemperParatus

The High Cost of Scout Executives

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LH,

Since I've never been to Chicago and don't know the history, I can only guess. Maybe it is because the UW and other groups cut their funding to the BSA after the 2000 court decisions. I'm pretty sure we (AAC) took a pretty good hit from UW (and others) funding then, as well as in 2004 with the membership numbers problems.

 

Do the pro's make FOS presentations in your district? Here, we usually have volunteers from District (like me) make them. Maybe we are just out in front, but it's not the pro's pushing FOS, it's the volunteers.

BTW, we just lost both our DD and DE this year. Both were promoted, and one became our Field Director. Our new DE is doing great, and our new DD starts later this month, moving in from California. We are in the opposite situation from you - we lose our pro's because they work well with us and are successful, hence they get promoted. That's fine - we wish them well and thank them for their service. If we get good replacements, they will be successful as well, and get promoted, and the cycle will repeat.

 

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I can't say how much I appreciate our DE who has been here a long time and serves us well too. Maybe, this being his second career, he has no need or desire to play the BSA game and "move up, move on" because his roots are in this community. His boys went through troops here and he was once a volunteer scouter here too. Whatever the case may be, I'm really glad we have him.

 

Our SE does seem to change every couple of years and I have no idea whether any of them are any good because I don't get to see them in action (and haven't really sought out this info, not having time to do anything about it anyway).

 

I will say this though. Brent, you may not realize how unusual your area is - at least from what you've posted. First it seems like you are in a very affluent area if 38 families can and will pay upwards of $12K in Family FOS. That wouldn't happen much where I live. Second, it sounds like your council has made some extraordinary commitments to ensuring access to facilities. We aren't charged a terribly high rate, but all units ARE charged, for using council property. So it is a little harder to "sell" the argument that we should pay in FOS instead of paying user fees because we DO pay those fees plus paying for the programs that take place at the camps. Still, I will agree that people who complain about camp facilities and are then unwilling to help improve them in some way are missing the point. Third, in councils that have a troubled and lengthy history of misuse of funds (such as CAC where LongHaul is), I am not surprised that there is a much greater level of acrimony surrounding any requests for donations. The trust just is not there and isn't going to be for a long time to come.

 

 

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Lisa,

Yes, this is a pretty affluent area, so our numbers might be higher. There may be another difference, one that I'm interesting in discussing. OGE hit on it in his thread about the schism.

We do not expect our pro's to do the heavy lifting in FOS. We don't expect them to go out and start new units. We don't expcet them to go out and recruit for us.

Our district FOS chair asks the units for dates when either he or another volunteer and one of our pro's can come out. When setting up the Golden Eagle breakfast, it was a district volunteer who searched out table hosts, set up conference calls to see where we stood, and followed up on progress. Our pro's would participate in the calls, but they are there to help and provide resources.

As district Membership V-C, it is my responsibility to look for new units and coordinate School Night for Scouting events. The pro's help and provide resources and ideas, but it is up to us volunteers to make it happen. It's our district, after all.

We know the pro's have goals to meet, and we try to help them. In return, they will bend over backwards to help us succeed. It is a fantastic relationship - right out of Wood Badge!

Is everything rosy in our district? No. Roundtable attendance has dropped off, partly due to some communication problems we are having with our Scouters (we primarily use Yahoo groups, but many don't know about it). We have an extremely dedicated group of "seasoned" Scouters who fill most of the district positions. They do most of the heavy lifting, and seem to really enjoy it, but I worry about them getting burned out. We need to convince others they can also fill a district position while still serving their unit.

We (me) need to do a better job with Webelos to Scout transition. Our BS leader training staff does a great job; we need to offer more CS leader training opportunities.

Getting back to our pro's, I can't think of a single time when they have refused a request from me. That includes everything from running copies to making telephone calls, to even staffing my Webelos Woods campout. The latest request was for the SE to attend our B & G last Saturday. We have never had the SE visit one of our events before, but this was a special occasion. We had 2 boys in the exclusive "$2,500 Club" for selling over $2,500 in popcorn. Out of 26,000 Scouts in the AAC that sold popcorn, only 24 made the "Club." We were the only unit in the entire council to have 2 boys in that Club (the boys were also in the same den). I asked our pro's if the SE could come out and recognize those boys, and to present 4 Trailblazer (district award) to 4 of our leaders. They set it up. When the SE arrived, he told me it was his birthday, and he couldn't think of a better way to spend it. We sang Happy Birthday to him; it really turned out well.

We work together, with the goal of making Scouting the most exciting activity in our sons' lives. It is definitely a team, not "us" vs. "them."

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After reading through many of these posts, I can only assume that there are lots of keyboards screaming for mercy out there! Personally I don't know or care how much our SE earns. Our council is growing, we have wonderful properties, and lots of people-pros and vols, who want to make it succeed for the good of the youth we SERVE. I am happy to write out that FOS check. Some kid out there needs the BSA because without it what do they have? Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant, even in my remote patch of the sphere. So I gladly give that 50 cents a day for a good cause.

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One thing I find unusual is the wide disparity in pro salaries. In the govt system I'm in, a supervisor usually makes about 6-10% more than the person he supervises. If supervising blue collar workers who get overtime, the supv can earn less!

 

In my council, the SE makes twice as much as the next guy in line, and about 4 times more than an entry level DE. Is that justified?

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