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svendzoid

Getting elected to Executive board

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Well if the executive council truly has nothing to do with program and only finances, then I would agree with Bob that this is no place for youth unless the youth is a trust fund baby.

Where are the council policies and program elements managed? That's where I think youth involvement would be justified.

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On the other hand, if the young adult wants to be in on the Executive level, waiting a few months until he is 21 and starting his campaign now to get on the Board may not be such a bad idea. Rather than have us tell him what would likeley happen, perhaps it best to let him have the experience himself. So, svendzoid work hard at letting the Council know your skills and abilities. If the deep pockets issue becomes an issue, well, you are a scout, perhaps you will find a better way to handle it than I did.

 

Good Luck wherever scouting takes you, or you take scouting

 

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Hey, folks,

 

Think and look at your own Councils...

 

The Executive Board has operating committees... Advancement, Activities, Camping, Facilities, Finance... It's the support side of Scouting, the business side.

 

It takes REAL MONEY to operate a Council each year. That clerk helping the registrar? She can go get a Secretary III or IV position somewhere else. We have to pay her a competitive wage.

 

What about the Reservation Ranger? I know a guy who is an AIA architect. He works with the National Engineering Design Bureau on projects. I know another guy who is a fire captain in his city fire department (volunteer).

 

The Scout Executive? Go look at the area peer organizations. See what their COOs are being paid. He's hopefully just competitive.

 

My immediate boss is on the board for the neighboring Council. He's been hit up for real money more than once ... another friend is on our exec board. Yes, he's "comfortable." Yes, he gets hit up for real money every year or so.

 

If you look at major philanthropies like the Lied Foundation or the Mabee Foundation, they have rules on how their target organizations receive funds... and those rules can include a minimum percentage from the recipient BOD.

 

The best place for svendzoid to provide the youth input to his Council's Executive Board is to become Chief of his OA Lodge. Many, not all, many... councils include that young man ex officio.

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So it appears that the Executive board does have a strong impact on the council program delivery. Without direct youth (or young adult) involvement in implementing that program, it teeters near the edge of becoming irrelevant to the very demographic it is designed to serve.

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Gern,

 

I don't know about your Council,

 

But in mine I see members of the Executive Board, at Scout Camp, working directly with youth. I see the senior members (District Commish, Assistant Council Commish) of our Commissioner Service at Cub Day Camp and all our Council Camp programs.

 

I'm not talking one-day visits, I'm talking about guys wearing camper or staff shirts, there for the full session.

 

Maybe my Council is outside the norm, but we have folk doing their Scouting jobs.

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John-in-KC - The best place for svendzoid to provide the youth input to his Council's Executive Board is to become Chief of his OA Lodge. Many, not all, many... councils include that young man ex officio.

The only problem is that I am a Registered Adult (Assistant Scoutmaster), and I am turning 21 in a few months.......so I think OA Lodge Advisor is out. It's weird because young men in the 18-21 age bracket can both be youth, or adults....it's a grey area.

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You have a point about the twilight zone between 18-21. Part of it is the program (Boy Scouts vs. Venturing) that defines people of the same age as either youth or adults, depending on where they are registered. Part of it is our society, in which increasingly, 21 and not 18 is the threshold for a lot of "adult" activities.

 

And I would not argue that you are unfit to be a board member based on age alone. Nor do I think having a stronger youth or young adult voice on council boards is a bad thing, and that's why many councils allow the OA representation on the board (however I question the effectiveness of this - it certainly appears to be a token representation at best, at least in my own council).

 

However, I think that Bob White and John and OGE, and others have some good points when they suggest that

a) you need to acquaint yourself in detail with what the board actually does and how the board in YOUR council functions before attempting to become a member (just like you'd do your research on a company before going for a job interview); and

b) that you should consider whether you'll be able to live up to the widespread, if unwritten, financial expectations of board members. Even though we might have an interesting discussion about whether deep pockets OUGHT to be a criterion, reality is that they appear to be in most places. Inability to meet the group's expectations and norms of behavior will make you a powerless member of the group even if you do gain a seat; and

c) the council board really may not be the best place to focus your energies, given what you hope to accomplish.

 

You mention you are on a district and council committee as a non-voting member. Does this mean you're an at large member? Or are you part of a specific committee like, say, program committee/cub outdoor committee/membership committee/etc.?

 

If you aren't in a specific committee position, my recommendation to you is to think hard about what your interest is and where your strengths and talents are. For example, maybe you're interested in seeing the council build up a better climbing program - in that case you might want to get into the program committee. Or maybe you want to help with training new boy scout leaders in how to teach outdoor skills to scouts (and young adults who were scouts are often excellent teachers of new adult volunteers in this realm), in which case the training committee might be the place for you.

 

And if you persist in your desire to gain a spot on the board, well as you said, you're nearly 21 and your SE indicates that 21 is the minimum age for your council. So sure, start campaigning. It can't hurt and I am pretty sure it is going to take some time and effort to convince skeptical folks that you should have a place there anyway. Please don't take that as discouragement, but simply as an acknowledgment that you probably are fighting an uphill battle.

 

I wish you the best, and I can tell you that if you were in my district and sought a spot on the committee where I serve, we'd welcome you with open arms - youth and energy are highly desirable commodities on most committees.

 

 

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Thank you Lisabob.

 

I have tried to do my due diligence on this issue; I have poured over by-laws, looked over training manuals, looked up stuff on the internet, and even called the National Scout Office. It really comes down to the Council. Im sure that if my council wanted me on the Executive board at 20 years of age, they would find a way to get me on.

 

As for the financial aspect, my philosophy is a bit different. I believe that promoting scouting, its camps, program, and opportunities, will increase membership and increase cash flow. At the same time as getting more money from membership dues, it will expose scouting to more people (both youth and adults) and perhaps increase the number of adult volunteers.... (something money cant buy) I see it as a cycle, high membership leads to more money, more summer camp participation, more adult leaders; In turn more money helps to up-keep camp properties, and promote scouting. High summer camp participation leads to retention in youth members, then those members tell non-members about their experiences in scouting and more youth join scouting. (Our troop alone has seen youth join because there friends tell them about summer camp and the camp outs.)

 

While donations are important, they cannot directly buy more volunteers or more scouts. I believe a solid program (delivered at the unit level by scoutmasters) and a solid camping program for cub and boy scouts is the best tool for retaining and attracting members. Unfortunately, I think my council is lacking on the summer camping program, (but they are doing a good job trying to repair the damage.)

 

I realize that my views differ form other peoples, and I appreciate being able to get others points of view. Just as no two people are the same, no two councils are the same, and what works for one wont always work for the other.

 

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I'm not sure your vision and your goals match up.

 

A great place for a young man to impact on program is to be an area head or assistant head at your Scout Camp, putting on superior program. Then, you can be in position to be a Camp Program Director ... where choosing people becomes part of your job.

 

If you want to affect change, that's a great place to start. It's also a fantastic place to earn a reputation as a man with energy and maturity. Then, if you also know your numbers (are you a finance major in college?), you have a shot at achieving your goal on ever-broader scales.

 

You might even find a career in Scouting is right for you...

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...I did work on staff at a boy scout camp...as a Senior Aquatics Instructor....I'm currently a Program Director at a Ymca Camp.

I used the camping aspect as it is really the key place where the council interacts directly with scouts. (meaning that council employees (camp staff) and their policies from the camping committee affect the scouts.)

Then, if you also know your numbers (are you a finance major in college?), you have a shot at achieving your goal on ever-broader scales.

-Well i'm not a finance major, but I am a math major.....hopefully I know a little about numbers. I will be looking to take an accounting class as an elective.

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Interestin' responses. I didn't want to comment at first because I've had a lot of time on Council and other NFP boards.

 

One of the "rules of thumb" of NFP boardsmanship is "One third work, one third wisdom, and one third wealth." To do a good job as a board, you need folks who are hard workers committed to the cause, folks who are ideas people who bring vision, and folks who bring support in dollars and in-kind donations.

 

BSA council boards sometimes drift too much toward da "wealth" end if the SE and nominating committee aren't being smart. Gets driven by the damnable evaluation metrics. I've had to pull at least two SE's aside in recent memory to teach 'em a better way of lookin' at things. I succeeded with one. We fired the other. :(

 

svendzoid, I think yeh should pursue exec board and exec committee membership if yeh feel that's your calling to serve Scouting. I'd certainly welcome yeh. I think most good board members would. We need young people who have an interest in NFP and corporate governance to step up, eh? It's important work, and yeh should be encouraged. You'll learn a lot, and you'll bring a perspective dat us old bankers and lawyers and politicians need to hear, eh? ;)

 

Yeh should be aware that in da NFP world there is an "expectation" that board members contribute both time and treasure. When I do board orientations, I tell folks that we expect a donation... it can be $10, it can be $10M... that's up to their conscience. But it should be enough so that you have credibility in the eyes of the Scoutmaster in the field who is putting in more hours and putting in a lot of his/her own money out-of-pocket. It should express your commitment, within your means.

 

Otherwise, yeh leave it to da "wealth" people on your board, eh? :) Be a good "work" or "wisdom" person and make that your primary contribution.

 

Beavah

 

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Being a member of the Exec. Bd. is not always a question of $$$. I've been on our Councils Exec. Comm for 10 years and do contribute to FOS annually, but not at a high level. I was asked to serve by a former Council Chair that wanted some front line Scouters on the Board to talk to the heavy hitters about what was what.

 

I have enjoyed my tenure on the board very much. I have learned a great deal about Council operations and problems in this time. I would tell our young Scouter, however, Council Policy is like sausage. You will enjoy the end product more if you don't see it being made.

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One thing we have to remember is that the only adult position available to someone under 21 years of age is Asst. Scoutmaster. Thus, if you are under 21, then you can not serve on the Council Exec. Board as this is a registered position in Scouting. There are two positions on the Exec. Board that youth can fill. The Lodge Chief and the President of the VOA for Venturing. Money does not have anything to do with serving on the board, but talent does. There is someone that is the VP for Program, VP for Operations, VP for Finance, VP for Endowment, Treasurer, VP for Camp Facilities, Secretary, President, Council Commissioner and so on. In the council I serve, everyone on the Exec. Board has certain jobs or committees they serve on. These might be committees that only last to correct one problem or situation, or they might be a ongoing committee. Where money does come into play is during the FOS campaign. Each board member is asked to contribute as least $1,000.00 to FOS to set the example for the rest of the council.

 

David Harrison

Council Commissioner

Lake Huron Area Council

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Bear in mind that all of those elements mentioned by Dancin Fox are Council specfic, and while they may be true in the council he serves they do not necessarily exist in each of the the over 300 councils in the BSA.

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