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Basementdweller

So what in the world are they supposed to do?

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DE?

 

SE?

 

UC? I finally have one, met him, he has no clue what his job is other than acting as liaison for the DE to our unit. Of course we don't really interact with our DE so no idea.

 

I am sure there are a million more. I understand the office staff.....well wait a minute no I don't about a year ago they required me to fill out my tour permits and rank advancement on line......why are they needed?????? I haven't been to the service center in a couple of years, so why is that needed?

 

Camp rangers....I understand that.....As for the rest of the Paid staff, I am not so sure.

 

The way I see it, the DE and SE are using the BSA fundraising the pay themselves. Maybe a narrow view, but calling it the way I see it.

 

Just a sec here

 

The day events I attend are run and staffed by volunteers.

The Roundtable is staffed by volunteers

The training that I attend is staffed by volunteers in building owned by Churches

 

 

 

Still looking for what the paid positions in scouting do????????

 

 

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I know I as a district volunteer rely on my DE for all sorts of things. For training it is getting me projectors, and today I ran over a whole bunch of copies for him to run off for an upcomming training..

 

Last night I emailed him 3 times.. On the 3rd time at 10:30 at night he emailed me back and said "They only pay me enough to talk to you two times per day"..

 

I sent him a whole list of things for them to do for me.. Inquire about this or that, cut me a refund check for a training I had already had and given him the reciepts for.. Copies of things that I also needed copies for, for the upcoming training that the council only has the paperwork for.. One training is BALOO.. I need the councils most current list of acceptable sites for Pack camping (some other one, can't remember..)..

I am constantly asking him for Excel updates of the computer data from the council Computer systems..

 

 

Outside what he does for me, I know he does the following:

 

Recruiting he will get what you need to have a successful recruiting night.

 

Our district is looking for a Popcorn chair.. I have a college student in mind, asked if he had to transport popcorn from unit to unit.. (Our district is a lot of distance, and college students can't afford the gas.) Answer was NO.. I am traveling all over our district all the time.. If anyone needs popcorn delivered, I will do it..

 

Husband does Advancement. He had the task of the District Awards dinner. Who he found a restraunt chef to oversee.. But the chef has anxiety problems (yes I know, not the right field for that).. Both my husband and the DE were constantly on the phone with the guy for about a month before the event, up to the day of the event..

 

If I had time I could list more..

 

 

Our Council Registrar is still hard at work event with the on-line Advancement system.. The Rechartering has to be hand keyed in.. The YPT training was a royal mess.. Hundreds of proofs they had the training, but not in the system.. All had to be hand fixed.. The merit badge counsilors.. This software is a royal headache, as he can enter stuff in, and delete old MBC's out.. Next day have the system readjusted itself bringing back in the old MBC's and deleting out the new ones he just entered..

 

Our Front desk receptionist is a peach.. I constantly talk to her for information..

 

Our Accounting clerk, is always quick to process the money correctly for my trainings, and for anything I am paying for.. Giving me extra reciepts of proof, and typing extra notes on the reciepts..

 

I could go on, but I have to get going.

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It sounds like you have a highly operational District and Council!

 

Congratulations, your professional staff has achieved the ultimate goal of putting power in the hands of the volunteers!

 

Some districts and councils do start failing though, and so professionals need to step in all over the place, stretching themselves too thin and ultimately this hurts the program all around.

 

There is so much organization that you don't see, and should never have to see if the professionals are doing their job right.

 

Your district and council should be highly commended, because they've achieved success. They are able to swim like a swan. Above water you see that they're floating along without a care and are a rare sight to you. However, I guarantee you that under the water their feet are still gnashing about violently, such is the illusory grace of the swan.

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BS-87.. If you are talking about Basement's council as highly functional.. I doubt it.. There are also Councils and/or districts that are not doing what they are suppose to be.. Well, or not well.. I truely do believe that Basement, does have a problem council & district.. I do feel for him. I have heard from others who also have problems.. I am also not that Naive to think that everyone in my council is picture perfect.. We had another DE when I started, and I walked into my first district meeting where there was a civil war going on between paid professionals & volenteers that was not pretty.. That DE got move to another district before my 2nd district Committee meeting. I hope he learned from his mistakes in ours, but you never know..

 

But, Basement does have a tendency to view his Council as if it is the way all our councils run.. That we should all be as upset with the service we get from our Council staff.. I may have been singing with Basement, had the DE not been moved.. More likely, I would have just left the District position by now.. What I tried to make Basement see is that there are districts and Councils that have flaws as anyone and anything, but overall, they work hard to provide us the support we need to run a good program..

 

So anyway, BS-87 - you did bring to mind some other things our DE is currently doing.. We have a few vacant position.. Membership,& Finance committees mainly.. So who do you think is filling the roles that should be performed by volunteers.. If the volunteers are not doing it, and the DE wants his district to succeed especially in two areas they look at for his performance evaluation.. I will give you one guess who is doing those vacant jobs.. Our DE..

 

Another person on staff that has been helpful to me.. The person who does summer camps. I dealt alot with her on the unit level organizing our scouts for summer camp, get the money into her, getting the scout count right & the money.. Figuring out strange requirements for the year.. Now I am back to dealing with her sometimes if I book my IOLS or OWLS training at one of our camps..

 

There is a lady that I can rent out projectors and other equipment needed for training.

 

So Basement, yes the staff at the Council office has benifited by unit by the work they do, or by helping me offer training to the leaders in my units of my district, they are helping the individual units, although those who take my course may never know what service they provided in order to bring the training to them.

 

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With some of the attitudes exhibited here, it's no wonder the executive staff ignores some of you.

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Doc-Meyer - Ignoring an individule, for an attitude, I can understand..

 

But a district that does the following:

1) not only refuse to organize a District Pinewood derby, but denys anyone the ability to orgainize a Pinewood derby for the District..

2) Not fixing the camps to have running water, and swimming.

3) Not organizing things like Chuckwagons, or Camporees or any type of program for the scouts..

4) This one individual but still.. Telling you, that you are not allowed to volunteer you skills at district level because you have not taken woodbadge, then after you take woodbadge for the sole purpose of being able to service your district telling you to your face you still are not allowed to offer your services to the district.. (Yes and some of it may be due to Basement opinion of them.. But, still they could have told him that up front, rather then promise him something to get to go to woodbadge and spend money and time at it, and then tell him to his face, it will not count)

 

These are a few things I have known Basement to have to deal with.

 

So would you say they are not offering all the scouts of the district/council a good program to get back at Basement personally, or are they angry at everyone in the district??

 

Besides Basement, who is showing an bad attitude? The only two to speak are BS-87 & I.. BS is 100% pro Council.. I am 90% pro Council.. What is wrong with our attitudes that Council should ignore us..

 

Surely you can not consider it a bad attitude to see that although your council does alot, the people are only human, and are not always perfect.. And be able to acknowledge that there are just a few bad apples in the bunch..

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Doc, some of those attitudes towards exec staff are well deserved....

 

I too have been in a council, years past, that had poor service to the units, summer camp falling part, and the council's top concern was moving into their new office suites, conscending attitudes by council/district folks towards the unit folks....

 

If the council has a poor image, it's up to the council to solve that--by service to the unit, not by a sense of entitlement.

 

I've also been in a very poor council, I'm talking church-mice poor...they didn't offer much to the units, but there was genuine respect and concern from council to the units, and the units knew it and appreciated it.

 

 

 

 

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Basement

 

Yeah I know it seems like DE's and SE's seem to spend all their time asking for money but in all honesty many councils in this recession are fighting just to stay open. If the council closed tommorrow what would happen, no training, no camps, no scout supplies for your unit, no one to get your unit registered and re chartered, no facilities for unit, district or council functions, no one to trouble shoot unit problems beyond the scope of the UC, etc, etc. All that stuff costs money to organize and maintain beyond the abilities of most districts and units. Scouting units do not exsist in isolation but are part of a dynamic on a district, council, and National level.

 

I was a DE for almost five years, got to work at National one summer during that time and learned the inner workings that go on there, and now a volunteer for over 24 years. There are bad professional scouters who have done some real damage to the program, and they do need to be dealt with quickly and decisively, that is one area that National has done a very poor job. I have seen scouting from both sides and the system is far from perfect but without the professional end of scouting the volunteer/unit level program would be much less than it is today.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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Base,

 

Trust me DEs work their tails off. Back in the day, one of my coworkers calculated that we made less than minimum wage with the number of hours we worked and were on call.

 

Yes some district have smooth sailing with a bunch of volunteers doing everything. That aint my district though. Yes we have gone with long periods without a DE, but everything suffered: recruiting, program, volunteers burnt out, and yes fundraising suffered. Overall morale was low and the district was hanging on.

 

As to what DEs do? Depends upon the time of the year and what their outside assignments are. Jan 1- June 30th was primarily FOS, but in my case I also had to prep for round ups in the fall, go through training, start rebuilding my district committee (5 folks did everything and they were burning out), and prepare for summer camp. I also assist had to scout out new charter organizations, act as a UC for some units that were hurting since we only had a District Commissioner (doing double duty as District Chair since one quit after getting a new job and couldn't do it and another resigned for family reasons). I also had to work with the COPE Chairman with training, program improvements, etc, since I was his adviser.

 

Summer was spent at camp doing whatever it took to support the program. Whether it was being the Camp Commissioner dealing with problems, filling in for the injured Business Director when he was out, working min the dining hall when that director quit, or teaching Lifesaving MB, it was a crazy summer.

 

Fall was Round Up season going to schools in the mornings, and round ups at nite. I also worked on getting SCOUTREACH set up in my district, until I was told to stop, and get the Exploring and Venturing reestablished in my district, which started out great until I handed over the reins to the Exploring/Venturing Exec who dropped the ball. Also dealt with more unit problems and worked on recruiting district committee folks.

 

Throughout the year I help staff various trainings since we were short on training cadre: SM Fundamentals, COPE, Explorer and Venturing leader, etc. Plus I had to help plan events like camporees, cub family camp, and Cub Health Day, and I had to do the district banquet all on my on. I

 

Now I did admit I did do two fun things my first year: an OA Ordeal where my volunteers were impressed that A) I actually did "cheerful service" to the point of being soaking wet and covered in mud b/c of the project I was doing, B) I knew a little about ceremonies and helped out the ceremony team, and C) I some one who made some rude comments about me sleeping in the mud in his spotless uniform "In my old lodge, they said a clean Arrowman was a lazy Arrowman," which did not endear me to that council executive board member (he was in unit uniform, not council one so I didn't know :) ). I also attended a section conclave.

 

 

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Bad attitude? I suppose, but you know I spend 5 days a week in my scout uniform and I bet more time scouting a week than most of the paid professionals.

 

I just want to know what I get for my dollar?????

 

Well that answers what a DE is supposed to do.....I have never seen anything like that.

 

When I hold training, I use a projector and lcd/dvd I purchased to teach with, our district or council does not have things like that to loan out. I have to make my own copys often paid for out of my pocket.

 

 

 

I make sure my scouts have a great program, but we cross district and council boundarys to do it.

 

Thanks moose for explaining, but it is irrelevant.

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Basement - I think you cross posted with Eagle92, look above your last post to read his, I think he explained the functions of a DE better then I.. I only see parts of it, he is living the nightm... uuhh .. dream job :)

 

PS. I just purchased my own projectors too. some used models.. We tested them out for someone who got a whole mess of them from buying a lot of office equipment.. She was more into the furnature, but we tested them out.. Majority had problems.. But then picked out 3 and got them real cheap.. One I gave to my son, two I kept for me..

 

The projectors loans were nice, but they only have 2 for the whole council to loan, (others for district buisness) Sometimes they were all out on loan. Also one time, one was not acting right and I was worring about it for the whole training.(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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BadenP is right. There are plenty of bad executives, but most are pretty good and many are involved for the same reasons that volunteers give their time. They recognize the benefits of the program. Most employees aren't making the big bucks that most decry.

 

Proclaiming you spend more time Scouting than the paid staff makes you sound out of touch. Why should any member of your council staff hear your concerns if you can't keep things in perspective?

 

That said, I know there are plenty of people like you who make the best of out bad situations. Fight the good fight, but go about it in a positive way.

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Moose,

 

That should be "LIVED the nightm... uuhh .. dream job :) " past tense ;)I wised up and saw the light and returned to being a Volunteer. Although I am voluntold to do things alot ;)

 

Seriously though there is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that isn't seen. PLUS if a unit isn't asking for help, the DE may not see them much. In my limited expereince, if a unit was asking me for something, and they were turning in advancement and attending district and council camporee, I thought they were moving along and didn't need me.

 

FORGOT TO ADD, Base, sounds as if your pack is kicking butt and taking names without a lot of help from the pros form all of the posts you write. B/c you are not asking for help may be the reason you don't see the DE too much.

 

AND EDITED; in reading BP's post, I agree 110%.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

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Moose,

 

Referring to your District Pinewood Derby example, if I were an executive, I would be reluctant to schedule too many district events. Some people would have a district event every weekend it they could. At some point, units need to plan program, not districts. By councils and districts scheduling so many events, units are weakened.

 

Every council has their own philosophies about program. Just my hypothesis.

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Basement can relay the story better, but actually Basement did plan it and promote it, because his district would not. His district people then passed word along that he was running an unapproved event, and that the other units should not attend it.. And you can't have too many events if you don't have any.. a District run Pinewood derby is a classic event.. it is like saying someone who celebrates Christmas will celebrate a holiday every day of the week..

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