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svendzoid

Getting elected to Executive board

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I am not aware of any rule requiring District or Council meetings to be open to anyone other than Committee members and invited guests.

 

On the other hand I have never heard of anyone not being allowed to attend who was not a member, unless there was a concern that their presence would disrupt the meeting.

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So either your DE is being kind of a goofball or they really aren't interested in your services (or maybe both). Without knowing you, your DE, and others involved it is impossible to tell so I'll leave it to you to determine which is more accurate. But assuming it is the former and not the latter, hey you probably still have the district membership chair's contact info since you used to be on that committee, right? Why not just contact them and ask?

 

Seriously, if you found school intervened too much for you to serve actively mid-year, are you sure you want to get into the e-board? I know for myself that it is temptingly easy to over-commit to things during my "slow" times of year at work, and then wish I hadn't when the pace picks up again.

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Svendzoid,

 

This reminds me of a topic I discussed with my DE some years ago. An adult leader in a unit near my own told her in no uncertain terms that he wanted to be on the executive board. It was surmised that this need was dictated by his resume and how it would be affected by a board membership. There was no other reasonable explanation why this man would want to be a board member, as he had never served in a leadership position for the District or on any committee.

 

She politely told him that the only way he'd be asked to join the board was to prove himself at the District level first. It may seem that the Executive Board is full of seat fillers, people who purchase the seat licenses so to speak, but there is some hard work being done at this level, outside the monthly ra ra meeting that is. An executive board would be hard pressed to accomplish the business that is Scouting with seat fillers.

 

From my own experience, I had no compunction to be a member of my council's executive board, but was asked after I was successful in my District job and noticed by the incoming board president. While at 20 years old you have a definite skew on program, I'd venture to say that you will have that same view in a couple of years or so.

 

Work at the District Level. Attend Roundtable, serve as a commissioner, help with Camporee, Day camp, other high profile events where it's hard to find adult volunteers. Your contributions will be noticed, and accepted. You'll find yourself being asked to do more difficult jobs, where organization and people skills are terribly important. Most people don't start out at the top of any game, art, hobby or career. They have to work their way up, which in my mind is the most honorable way to get to the top of anything.

 

Good luck, work hard, and keep with it. Don't let minor setbacks interfere with your love of Scouting.

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I might be mistaken, but people correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Would not the council executive already have a good grip on how council and district events are faring, in terms of popularity and appeal to scouts? I'm not sure that the board would benefit from hearing one young man's opinion on "what scouts think" as opposed to what council staff can report, what adult leaders say, etc., in other words, a broader spectrum of scout opinion.

 

I would think the council executive already should have a more varied and deep communications pipeline.

 

I'm also not sure whether the council executive board really should get into micromanaging events or even grassroots recruiting efforts. My sense is that in most cases, the executive board's contribution is not so much concern with ongoing program. . . as it is in generally making a positive case for boy scouting across the whole geography of the council.

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You know, really, the way to treat this thing is thusly: it's vastly better to be ASKED to be on the board, rather than strive to get yourself on it. Being asked to join gives you the right kind of credibility to other board members. It certainly shouldn't be considered like getting yourself elected patrol leader. .. or U.S. Senator. These things work better when you're WANTED, not when you push yourself into them. This means the board will have some respect for your skills and your suggestions and input.

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"You know, really, the way to treat this thing is thusly: it's vastly better to be ASKED to be on the board, rather than strive to get yourself on it. Being asked to join gives you the right kind of credibility to other board members."

 

Actually, I have to disagree.

 

IMO, part of the problem with the BSA is that too often positions above the unit level are filled by people with this sort of view: that THEY will determine who will be in those positions, and no one need (or should) ask.

 

The problem is that for every 1 person they know and pick, there are probably another 5 or 10 or 20 or who knows GREAT people who might be able to do as good OR BETTER job as the annointed ones, but who got passed over because the PTB weren't aware of them.

 

And who says that those who are picked are in fact the best choices or even that dedicated to the position as those who are unknown but who would like to help out.

 

Quite frankly, the BSA is kind of different from other orgs who are much more transparent as to who is involved at different levels and making it possible for people to seek out AND OBTAIN involvement in those orgs at different levels. And I think the BSA is the poorer for it. (I blame James West and some of his screw organizational decisions on this).

 

"It certainly shouldn't be considered like getting yourself elected patrol leader. .. or U.S. Senator."

 

Why not?

 

If people know what the positions are that exist out there, what the duties are and there is a means of 'throwing your hat in the ring' to be considered for them, its that better for the group?

 

Do people think that a PL or a US Senator should be choicen in the same manner you think that an Exec Board should be filled?

 

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svendzoid,

 

I do not want to offend you in any way or squash your enthusiasm but I suspect that if you did manage to get on the CEB that you would not be "welcomed with open arms" by the current members. Maybe I'm speaking from my own personal experience with my local council's board and the way they operate but they appear to be an "ol boys club".

 

Just last month I was asked by our new SE to sit in on a popcorn "steering committee" to brain storm how we could continue the sales increases we have been lucky enough to have over the last several years. My invitation was extended as I was the ditrict chairman for our councils largest district the last several years and our district had pretty good increases each of those years.

 

I was thrilled to be invited and had a long list of things that I felt would help us (both the council and units) do even better many of which came straight from the unit leaders in my district. I had written these items up in a nice proposal format, brought copies for everyone to the meeting, etc.

 

As I arrived at the meeting I found that this meeting consisted of several of our CEB members, our new SE, our new ASE and myself. The first question I recieved was from one of our board members who asked "what are you doing here?" to which I promptly repled "I was invited...." I spent most of the rest of the meeting having to explain why I was "Qualified" to be there and the list of ideals ended up on the cutting room flooro to speak. As a side note, the ASE did ask that I send it to him as he thought some were pretty good.

 

For the record, I am almost twice your age and have been involved in scouting for almost 30 years if you combine my time as a youth and Adult leader. Also, as the son of a ASE, I have seen the "behind the scenes" politics that goes on in Scouting and the scouting program has never been a "one hour a week" gig for me or my family but a way of life. I have and continue to serve at the unit at District levels, etc..

 

As I said in my opening comments please don't be offended but you may not be welcomed if you do "push" your way (if that is even possible)onto the board and worse than that the whole experience may ZAP some or all of your enthusiasm. IMHO this enthusiasm could be better served in the trenches. After all, in the trenches is where the "rubber meets the road" and offers you the best chance at making positive changes for our youth, increasing membership, etc.

 

I will disagree with you on one point. I believe the only way to increase membership is at the District and unit levels in that a quality program = Increased members.

 

Best of luck!!

 

(This message has been edited by awesome1_in_cc)

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svendzoid, I do not want to offend you in any way or squash your enthusiasm but I suspect that if you did manage to get on the CEB that you would not be "welcomed with open arms" by the current members. Maybe I'm speaking from my own personal experience with my local council's board and the way they operate but they appear to be an "ol boys club".

That doesn't bother me, although for an organization that promotes friendly, courteous, kind... it sure is unsettling!

The first question I recieved was from one of our board members who asked "what are you doing here?"

- This seems to be the attitude that some high ranking executives and board members have towards lower level volunteers. It is, in my mind, the tradgic flaw of the BSA. As it holds back unknown potential and sure doesn't make volunteers feel welcome or appreciated.

I spent most of the rest of the meeting having to explain why I was "Qualified" to be there and the list of ideals ended up on the cutting room flooro to speak.

-So sorry to hear this......having to explain yourself as a volunteer (especially one trying to help increase money flow) is unnacceptable. If you would like to share your ideas for increase popcorn sale with me, my district and council would surly appreciate it. Doesn't it stink when you spend hours putting together proposals, only to see it be tossed aside.....it's happened to me many a time......again tragic flaw of boy scouts

As a side note, the ASE did ask that I send it to him as he thought some were pretty good.

- A sign of hope!

I have seen the "behind the scenes" politics that goes on in Scouting

- Why does there have to be politics in scouting? (rhetorical)

As I said in my opening comments please don't be offended but you may not be welcomed if you do "push" your way (if that is even possible)onto the board and worse than that the whole experience may ZAP some or all of your enthusiasm.

-I'm not offended at all! I welcome all criticism. I know many people think I'm crazy for wanting to join the executive board. However, I'm very serious about my intentions. I know people have questioned my "jumping" to this high level without "paying my dues" at lower levels.

For those interested my scouting "career" has included being a Boy Scout, becoming an Eagle Scout, being a venture crew member, working with my district on membership, recruiting venture scouts to help my district achieve quality unit, advertising for local cub packs, I also serve on the camping committee, I was on a sub committee to look into purchasing new equipment for our boy scout camp, I receive a scholarship from the council for college, myself and our district executive are currently pursuing a troop in a local Hispanic community, we have made contact and will be continuing to pursue the troop there, I'm an assistant scoutmaster for my troop andcurrently oversee the transition of the new webelo scouts to becomingboy scouts,I've also served on summer camp staff as a senior waterfront instructor.....all this before my 21st birthday......not to boast.

Im afraid many people think I randomly decided to pursue a seat on the executive board for fun, and thats not the case. Ive given it serious consideration. Some people say Im not qualified because I dont understand all the intricacies that the board faces, or that I dont understand the financial aspect of the council. And I dont think this is the case. While Im not pretending I know everything (nobody knows everything) I do review my councils IRS Form 990s so I have a pretty good indication of their financial situation. As Ive stated before, I think that for a council to have a well rounded board, it must have representation from all age groups....including the 18-21 group.

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Sven

You should understand that there are over three hundred independent councils in the BSA and that their District and Council boards change constantly and have since the inception of the council structure about 92 years ago.

 

While the attitude experienced by Awesome1 may be indicative if his particular community it is by no means a sought after standard in all councils nor is it a recommended practice from the BSA. Not all people follow the scouting values at the unit level or at the council level. These are still just ordinary people and not all people are pleasant.

 

Being a member of the BSA makes you eligible to serve at any level, but it is not a guarantee that you will be asked, approved, invited, or even elected. You offered your help and so far there are no takers, That does not mean you have to stop asking or that they will never invite you.

 

It's a little like fishing, you dangled the bait but that does not guarantee you will get a bite. A good fishman knows how to be patient, improve you bait, try different waters, go after different fish, or simply wait and go fishing another day. You cannot make the fish like you just by insisting or complaining.

 

I don't think your goals are crazy, I do however think your approach is...unusual.

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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One sure way to join the District Committee is to become a COR. They are ex officio voting members of the District Committee. One reason for the age 21 restriction may be legal. I'll defer to Beavah on this, but I think that Boards are legal entities who do legal things like buy and sell real estate, enter into contraots and hire and fire people. In our council the Lodge Chief was a non-voting member.

 

I also have to say this...on this side of the computer, sven, you sound like a nice, upstanding young man with only the best of intentions. But I have to remind you that we only are hearing your side of the story. It does seem mighty odd to me that your DE is going out of his way to keep you from attending District meetings (and you should be talking to the District Chair, not the DE). In my experience, no DE would stand in the way of a hard working volunteer, unless they were a real PITA to deal with (and I've seen more than my share of those). Sometimes what a volunteer brings to the table just isn't worth all the other baggage that comes with it. My best friend is the hardest working guy I know, but, by his own admission "does not play well with others", and does not have a very good reputation in the Council. But at the unit level, the boys love him, and he does a great job. Is there more to your story?(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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I don't know if there is a rule but my district's meetings are announced well in advance, along with location and an ivitation for any interested people to attend. If you want to speak, you need to be on the agenda or ask to be allowed to speak. I've only seen one non-member attend but all are welcome.

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Here's what I'm noticing. These boards are largely followed by grass-roots leaders, and the comments here mostly reflect this.

 

I maintain that there IS a distinctive function that is largely being ignored here: executive councils connect the organization to the community, through generating good will throughout the community, by reaching opinion leaders with a positive message about scouting, and in the course of making the case for scouting, find financial support for scouting from non-scout sources across the community.

 

Don't be too hasty about devaluing this role, even if the executive committee people have never camped a night out in a tent, or even been to the scout camp.

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I don't know if the executive committee does much for generating community goodwill. The units do that by going out and picking up trash, visiting veterans in the hospital, taking water to rescue workers at the Pentagon.

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Well I met with my scout executive and the nomination committee chairman. It was a 2 hour meeting, in which we talked about everything related to the executive board.

 

Of course, they both made it clear that they had no intentions to elect me to the exec board. There reasons varied from the age requirement, to the fact that I had no money to donate, and then that they thought I would not be able to understand the issues that the board faced.

 

While I disagree with their views on what makes a strong executive board, I was glad to be given the opportunity to meat with them.

 

Our executive board meeting and election of new members will be this Thursday, so I will see what happens then. Even though the nomination committee isn't going to nominate me, there are other ways to get nominated and voted in. I will let you all know what happens on Friday!

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Okay Sven, I am gonna presume based on your last post that you did not read the resources you asked for a week ago. There is only 1 way to get on the executive board and that is to be elected by the council body. That's it, the one and only way.

 

Your a young man still learning about life as an adult, can I offer a small buit of advice.

 

Wanting does not always mean getting it now.

 

A week ago you knew pretty much nothing about the structure of the council or the duties of the various levels of the council body.

And in the last week without reading the information of attending any council meetings you now think that you know more about what makes for a good council committee than scout executive.

 

Does that sound like a reasonable attitude to you?

 

If you really were interested in serving on the committee you would have learned more about it and been able to bring more to the table than just the attitude that they need you there.

 

Your experience is much better suited to unit service than to the executive board of a council. But again you are still very young, you still have about 3/4 of your life ahead of you, and who knows what skills and resources you will develop in the years to come.

 

PATIENCE!

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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