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DE changing dates...

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I know from time to time we all have challenges with our DE's. Ours is a decent guy who means well and whom I respect and have befriended. He usually works hard but as most young people makes bad decisions from time to time. I try to support him publically and help him recognize these things privately. He's not bad.


However, since about April he has taken it upon himself to start changing dates of events and activities that have been planned prior. Our council sends out a yearly planning calendar and "we" (cubmasters in our area) use this to plan our year and promote events in council, district, and in the unit. The last 3 major events in our District have been changed and created conflicts. he says the program belongs to the volunteers and claims he is hands off - yet date changes are being made 2 weeks prior to an event, being made without the event chairs knowing it, etc. Further, he has not shown up and delivered items he promised to bring (i.e. climbing wall for a day camp). This has become increasingly frustratrating for me and others.


Do you folks in other areas experience the same things? I want to be fair to this guy, keep him as a friend, and continue to grow in our relationship. I'm just feeling some real challenges to this right now and can't seem to get him to understand. He will likely read this and that is fine - as I approach this from a heart felt concern - not blowing of steam or placing blame. I can accept changes but change is becoming routine and it's affecting our programs.


So, is this common in other areas? Please help guide me to remain scout like and patient.

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When I was a DE, I know that I had to cancel and postpone a few things, usually meetings but once or twice an entire event, at the last minute, but on a regular basis? Praise in public, mentor in private is good, but maybe amember or two of the Key 3 needs to have a cup of coffee with him? 9times out of 10 once something is on the calender, it's set in stone, even if the planners of the event created the conflict!


Oh and the two events I cancelled last minute were weather related

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What are the reasons he's giving for changing the dates? Were there conflicts with other, "more important" events? Were facilities or sites not booked by the volunteers who were in charge? Seems to me there'd have to be a pretty good reason for changing stuff that close to an event.


Especially if this fellow's young and inexperienced, he just may not realize just how much he's undermining your plans and programs. That sounds silly, but it's possible.


Canceling or rescheduling a district event, absent a huge unrealized conflict, death or weather event, affects probably hundreds of Cubs and families in your area. That's not a good way to create and strengthen relationships. Has anyone sat this guy down and told him this, in polite, simple, clear language?

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I have to admit that I find it very odd that a DE can change the date of an event.

Dates do change and at times do need to be changed.

But a DE doing the changes?


Coming up with a date for an event is no easy task.

Back when I was District Chairman planning events and planning the calender was a real chore. (Well kinda of!)

To be honest most events on the District Calender remained the same and were held around the same time.

The way we did things:

Sometime in October the DE and I would meet and look at the calender and have a little chat about what things we might want to add or take out. We might pencil in a new event or talk about things that we might want to take out.

In November the Professional Staff would have their planning meeting. Not sure why? But this was a 3 day meeting!!

It was here that the DE got all the news from the powers that be about things that were happening at the National, Regional and the Council level. Dates for things like Wood Badge would be added to the list of Council events. As a rule National and the Region didn't have dates just ideas.

This came to the District Committee in about January.

At the District Committee Meeting we penned in the dates for all of our District events and activities.

Some poor person in the Council Service Center was tasked with looking this over and ensuring that we didn't have any real big conflicts or clashes.

Sometime in about March the District Committee received a draft copy of the calendar and it was then that any last minute changes were made.

Somehow? Someway? This all made its way to the printer and was handed out to all the volunteers in June.

The calendar ran along the lines of the school year starting in September.

There really never is a real need to have a DE at a District event. As a rule they don't do much and tend to get in the way.

Volunteers are the people who do the real work.

If I were the organizer of an event that needed equipment I'd make sure that it was where it was supposed to be when it was supposed to be there.

As District Chairman, I would have contacted the organizer and asked him or her "How are things going? And what do you need?"

If they had said that the DE was bringing something? I would have offered to go get it.

DE's are not program people.

They work for the Council.

Volunteers work for the youth.




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Our DE is the best we've had in a long time and he does not set or change dates. Coming up with a district calendar is more of an art than a science. We've got one senior scouter with tons of experience at the district level that does it, after consulting with all the other key district people, of course.


Having gone through one or two bad DE's, I understand adamsdwa's frustration. All I can say is, wait a year or two and this DE will probably move on. And, hopefully the new one will be better.

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I appreciate everyone's replies thus far. Each of you make great points and I agree with pretty muech everything offered. If you will allow - let me add a few things now and see if this takes a different route.


Again - this is a pretty good DE - are there better I'm sure - are there worse absolutely. He has shown much growht in 2 years and let's most things roll off his back. Thus, the reason I respect him. He really isn't that bad just aggravating at times.


He are specifics.


1st date cahnge was the District Pinewood derby which remained the same weekend but on friday night instead of Saturday. This was mostly a committee decision due to a NASCAR event in our town. A lot of locals work the races as unemployment is a real issue. Still, he promised to get a special patch made for the event designed by the boys. A patch won, based on committe's vote, and we never got the patches. He went on to promise one of the designed patches to the scout who won. This has never happened - since March - tough to explain this to a cub....


2nd was Gold Rush - our Spring Cub Overnighter camp for teh district. There was conflict with the original chair thus he found a new one who changed dates within 4 weeks of the event. I didn't have a real problem with this as it was a result of a conflict. Somethings happen right?


3rd Day Camp was cancelled because of registrations - only 4 boys. I accepted the Director position 4 weeks before the event because he literally could not find anyone else. It was promoted poorly by Council and the DE - thus the registration issues. The District DE, District Chair, and Activities chair approved of me having an event fo rthese 4 boys for the week to offer them something. We did - except he failed to show up on wednesday with the Council's climbing wall - as promised on 2 prior occassions. When asked by someone else he said "I figured he didn't want it". later found out that the Director of Field Service told him we shouldn't do this camp and just cancel the whole thing. Had I known this before I would have honored the Director's request as he is really a stand up guy. I feel bad but I only found out 2 weeks ago that he said not to do it. So, truth be told they probably wouldn't let him get it - but I don't know this for sure.


Lastly, the DE decided to change recruitment training night from Aug 20th to Aug 11th. the 2 largest packs have events planned. He said he needed to do this to get in schools quick before they get hit with everything else. Thsi date has been scheduled for a year almost. He said he didn't know 1 county went back on Aug 12th - but his District Membership Chair is the Curriculum Director for that school district. Plus, the District Cubs Activities Chair gave him calendars for every school district in the winter when they sate down to plan the year ahead.


There is aso one other change he made which is huge - he changed date and time of the popcorn kickoff with council and sent everything to be published. he even listed a place. Problem, here is my wife is teh district popcorn chair and knew nothing of it. So, she and I had to run around and secure the place as it is teh NASCAR track and I am the one who has a relationship with the President of the speedway. Lastly, we had planned a trip that weekend that we now can not go on.


Not to mention hardships in prmoting all these events and others with such last minute changes.


All - please remember that this is only one side of the story and I have tried to be objective because I do like this guy and want to help him. He will listen to me usually and I plan on talking to him - but just have to get my ground work done. My wife has a meeting with him tomorrow about popcorn and has been texting, calling, emailing all day to confirm and has had no response.


In his fairness - this is a screwed up district. Some people have WIFM disease, complain about every little thing, and hold grudges for 10-15 years. they are never happy with any DE and some even work privately to undermine him. Sounds great doesn't it? That's why my heart goes out to this guy and I try to help him - but he sure is making it hard for me. Him to I'm sure because I relies on my support and friendship as an outlet.


So how do you feel now? Similar approach, ideas? Even what can we do to stop the in fighting in the district. I was at PTC earlier this summer and some were amazed to hear of some of our local adults antics. Let me have it....


and thanks!

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What is your position in the District?


The right two folks to work this are the District Commissioner and the District Chairman.


They are also the right two folks to have a "come to Jesus" with assorted and sordid Scouters about adults in the District playing nice.

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I've never heard of a DE who was in charge of an event's patches - that should be something handled by a volunteer. It sounds like this guy has bitten off a bit more than he can chew. Perhaps he's a bit ashamed to admit it - doesn't want to lose face. But as we all know, ignoring a problem doesn't mean it'll go away or that other people will forget.

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John - short answer - 1 of the few people the guy trust because others have stabbed him in the back numerous times. Long answer - cubmaster, unit commissioner, roundtable commissioner.


Our key 3 has a new dist chair whom I think will do well and have come to jesus meetings once he is able to get his head wrapped around things. Old District Chair had positive attributes but come to jesus meetings were not one of them.


Dist Commissioner is in another county and also limited by job. But does a great job and I think si just wating to let the new committee get up to speed.


AS said, most of the dist comm has at some point worked behind his back and thrown him under the bus to council unnecisarily, so he is very careful with whom he trust and rightfully so. I'm one of them and happen to remember being a young man who makes mistakes and have tried to use my school of hard knocks to ease his pain.


He's also recently married and I believe he's having trouble managing the new marriage and his job. His wide supports him and is a great young lady - but he sometimes puts her before work in my opinion. Of course, family comes first, but we have to manage the load unless it's an emergency or other situation (common sense approach here).


Shortridge - spot on in my opinion.

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John - "they" already tried that...in an attempt to hurt us both.


Fortunately, the "powers that be" were aware and stood behind us both. It was a great learning experience that strenghtened my belief in the BSA, my christian faith, and my relationship with the young man. Hence, why I am so passionate about wanting to help him now.

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Regarding the patches: Our DE took this over for a while. Same set up, let a Scout design it, then order the exact amount we need (no expensive leftovers for sale for a quarter) Keep in mind the design needs to be cleaned up, because I doubt it was clear and camera ready. So, you have a design bouncing back and forth between the artist, someone at council itself, and the company. Then the order is processed. Suddenly it is Program Launch in June and then no roundtables. Yep - it is lousy to wait until fall, but that part sounds realistic to me. Especially if there was any hold up in the process.


I've seen events cancelled the night before due to lack of interest. It stinks.


I can't imagine being a newlywed and needing to share my hubby with meetings almost every evening, office hours during the day, and a few weekends a month as well. Throw in a week at training here and there and, well, hubby better pick me over fun times at work.

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I hate to say it, but if the district is stabbing him in the back AND he is a newlywed, he may not remain long in the profession. I was being stabbed in the back by the council higher ups, and my intention was to remain in the council long enuff to transfer the heck out of there. My bride of 2 months eventually enuf, it's me or the job. I am happy to say we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary this month.

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I should state that I do not in any way buy into the "Poor DE!" Tales!

This is complete and utter poppycock!

Each and everyone of us who works for a living knows what we are getting into when we take on a job.

I'm sorry but if a DE doesn't like the hours that he has to work? The time to move on would be about yesterday!

Yes I do believe that DE's do have a tough job trying to keep the guy who signs his pay check and the volunteers that he has to work with and for happy.

But that's life.

I work with people who all have their own cross to bear.

Some have spouses who are battling addiction, some are raising kids ho have all sorts of challenges and handicaps.

Still they are expected to show up to work and do their job day in and day out.

Faced with what these guys face a new bride? Come on!!


If things in a District are that bad?

The volunteers in the District need to contact the Council President (A volunteer.) Lay out the facts and ask for a report back telling what is going on.

The Council President is a member of the Council Key 3.

He will talk with the Council Commissioner, who is the guy who selects the District Commissioner. He also has the ear of the SE, who might be willing to turn a deaf ear to a District volunteer but will make time to hear what the Council President has to say. The SE can also look for ways to support and help this staff (The SE.)

COR's can attend the District Meeting and voice their displeasure with what is going on in the District.

Again Councils do not like to have unhappy Chartered Organizations and are more lightly to take heed of what they are saying than maybe a few volunteers who at times are cast aside as just being "Busy-bodies".

The hard truth is that if you all keep on doing what you are doing, is that you are going to keep on getting what you got.


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