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Basementdweller

So what in the world are they supposed to do?

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Doc your perspective an mine are totally different, The youth I serve are poor inner city youth, most go to camp on the generosity of the CO. The two parent household is the rarity in our pack, troop and crew, many youth are being raised by grandparents. Not complaining just saying.

 

I am fighting the good fight, I provide the best program I can with the resources available. I cross district and council lines to go to worth while and interesting events.

 

This FOS fight and the BS going on with the District is something the youth will never see. Our District leadership have been in position some for more than 20 years. They are not flexible and will not allow new things. They need to retire and let some now ideas and blood on the committees. Only the COR, IH, and SM are aware of the issues with district. The COR is also asking questions at the council level. I have not involved the youth or Parents in the struggle.

 

 

Too many district events????? Other than Roundtable a spring and Fall BS camporee there is nothing scheduled for the district. There were ZERO cub events scheduled.

 

I wanted to plan a fall family camp out.....NO

I wanted a spring family camp out.....NO

I wanted the District Pinewood derby......NO

 

 

Initially the District activity committee said I couldn't plan these things because I had not been to camp school, well I did it. then it was woodbadge.......did that too.

 

Now the pinewood was going to be a fundraiser for our Pack, we were going to act as host and keep the profits from the snack Bar. the top three from each Pack raced free with trophies for the top three in each rank plus over all. We were going to include a buy in race with trophies for the top three.

 

We had the gym, we started publizing it. I had an aluminum track and wood track. And cub activity chair called every cubmaster to inform them that it was not a sanctioned event. That ended that, I was stuck for $230 worth of trophies out of my pocket. We used them over the last couple of years within the Pack so it wasn't a complete loss.

 

In a nutshell, I provide the Program as described in the books, I follow the G2SS. The boys are having fun.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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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

 

So, as a Cub Scout leader - most training is on-line; we have no need for the camps although we did make some very sporadic use of them; registering and chartering is (or should be) on-line; never used any council facilities for unit functions and the district functions like roundtable and training are always at churches; never had any problems that needed attention from the UC let alone anyone higher up.

 

Someone does have to make sure the training chair is in place, and I have no doubt that there are lots of other behind-the-scenes things that have to take place - but those particular examples aren't the best way to get the value of the council across, to me, anyway.

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skeptic.. Personally I think alot needs to be said in Basement's situation..

 

A youth should have fun.. The volunteers though should not be forced to swim through quicksand and spend (as much of) their own personal funds in order to give their kids that fun..

 

If the District can not be of service to a unit in providing some of the program, due to not having enough volunteers to provide some of the program.. Then they should step out of the way of the volunteers that provide it at the unit level rather then stand in their way, and put up roadblocks and other barriers..

 

I appreciate my Council and district and the services they provide.. People like Basement who suffer under a poor district (be it the paid district staff, or the district level volunteers), give me the opportunity to appreciate my Council/district even more, and not that them for granted..

 

Basement - Your District/Council does not deserve FOS from you, they are not your friends, you are not theirs... They don't like you, you don't like them, and they are definately not supporting the program you provide your scouts.. But... you have to understand that not all of us have Councils/District that are run as yours do.. Let us hope I am correct in saying very few of us do. So when you go off on a rant, don't be surprise to find that people look at you as you are just a complainer, who wants to play victim and that you are the probably the troublemaker.. (Which I do believe some (not all) is due to your now negitive attitude.. But, I don't think your started out with a negitive attitude, you developed it over time while seeing some of the crap.. But regardless you and your districts relationship are on a self defeating downward spiral..)

 

Everyone else - If your District/Council is run way better then Basement, then they deserve your support during FOS. If you can afford it, you should donate what you are comfortable with.

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Oak

 

All I can say to you is no man or unit is an island but it sounds to me that's what you view yourself as and believe me you are in the minority. Like it or not you and your unit are part of a council that provides services and facilities to all units whether you use them or not. Online training is just for the very basic stuff, the more advanced training can not be done online and you know that. Rechartering online most councils still don't have that ability, but who do you think processes the online charters? Your pack doesn't attend cub summer camp and other camp experiences offered for them, then it sounds like you are depriving your boys of some fun experiences and that is just sad.

 

In all honesty you sound a little out of touch with how the scouting program is supposed to work. You can be as independent as you like, but in the long run all you are doing is depriving your boys of some activities that the pack alone can not provide.

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I have to stick up for Basementdweller here. I have a Council a lot like his and understand his frustration. It often feels as if they try to make your life more difficult. I am not sure you understand the frustration unless you have been there. For those of you who have councils that provide assistance, Bravo!! and thank them. But people like us who not only do not get assistance but sometimes feel like they purposely try to annoy us, it is hard to open our wallets.

 

And before you all have a cow, in our district there is no Roundtable. The Spring Camporee was just cancelled. The winter event had nothing there that was advertised just a tour that we could have taken on our own any weekend. I do not have a UC. When I asked about a merit badge counselor for coin collecting I was told I would have to drive to Council an hour one way to get a name. When I got there, they handed me an old binder with unsorted pages. Some of those people were dead!

 

In our old troop, we had massive problems - way too many to list - I spoke to the DE who said he could do nothing for us. If we weren't happy, start a troop. So I found a sponsor, and a committee and boys. Then he said whoa, we should talk about this. Too late.

 

He has never handed me a single sheet of paper except popcorn material. At camp, he walks around the last day to ask how it went. My boys pay their own way to camp. A council camp that has tent platforms that are rotting and cots that collapse. But we go to council camp. At the last camp work day, our troop and only one other showed up. My DE was too busy to say thank you, he was painting a sign while my boys set up all the tents.

 

I recharter and do advancement on line.

 

I wanted a pair of pants for my son so went to council store. They did not have the correct size so said they would order them for me. It took 4 months to get the pants. I should have ordered them on line.

 

In the interest of full disclosure, there is one woman who works in the store who has been very helpful. She is on the committee of another troop and has shared tons of information with me. Everything from forms, planning, COH scripts. Not because she is paid to do this as part of her job, but as one volunteer to another.

 

So no, I don't contribute to FOS. Every penny I have to give to scouting goes to things my troop needs because that is the only way we get anything.

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I can relate to basementdweller.

 

We just had our council annual dinner and meeting. I was surprized that our district made quality district. For the past year, the district has had a key 2, the DE and the District Chair.

 

There were no visits to units, yet we are a quality district. The volunteers have been told by the DE that they are forbidden to contact the district chair as he is only been on for a year and they do not want any volunteers scaring him off.

 

Yes, in my council, the DE can still fudge his way to quality district.

 

By the way, it is the middle of April. We re-chartered in December. District units still await their charters. Anyone else out there still waiting for their charters after 4 and a half months?

 

 

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Ours registrar usually needs to March to enter not only our district, but the whole council into the computer.. The Youth protection that My BSA recorded, but did not get sent to council, (90% I think is people did not put their Council & Membership # into their profile of myScouting, but there are other computer glitches) Any way this year hand entering all those was an extra burden and slowed him down.. I think with our district he finished about 2 weeks back.

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I have not recieved my charter yet and we had to turn it in December 1st.

 

I guess the best thing I can say about my District is they leave us alone except when they want to come and beg for money.

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When I started volunteering and got to know our DE, I was very plesaed with his availability, commitment, and hard work. That guy worked 60-80 hours a week doing practically everything and anything that needed doing in order to help units stay afloat and ensure decent district programs. Basically, anything that volunteers did not/would not do, or follow through on, fell on his shoulders. He was at everything from webelos-scout transition planning to cub day camp to training to boy scouting events to who knows how many evening meetings. He was the first to arrive and last to leave, always. Volunteers came and went, but Frank was the key to it all. I was really sorry when he retired.

 

Our next DE, fresh out of college with no scouting experience, also worked really hard. She was less skilled and also less well connected, but she had a lot of energy, I'll grant her that. For the less than $25k they paid her, the council & district got every penny's worth. She went back to school and then moved on to a job where she could afford to stop eating mac & cheese 4 nights a week.

 

I haven't yet met our current DE. I assume he's doing his job since he hasn't been fired.

 

We have a few others - district & field directors - with whom I do not see eye to eye. It isn't that they're lazy (they aren't), but that they are overly aggressive in ways I find distasteful. They're playing the numbers and targets game, while I'm more interested in program and quality. But I see what they do and don't begrudge them their paychecks.

 

As for UCs - there actually is training out there (I've been through it) and it can be pretty good training, too. But UCs are volunteers, like you and me. Some go to training, some don't. Some take their role to heart, some don't. Some are gifted communicators, problem-solvers, and mediators, some really are not. A few seem to view their UC roles as doing a favor to somebody by agreeing to put their name on the dotted line, but never intending to really do the job. Don't know why they bother, or why we continue to act like that's ok.

 

 

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Lisa's description of Frank is great. That's the kind of thing that resonates with me. Even if the DE is spending his time with weaker units, helping them, I can understand that.

 

All I can say to you is no man or unit is an island but it sounds to me that's what you view yourself as and believe me you are in the minority.

 

I wouldn't call us an island. More like we're steering our own fairly standard ship (units). Things are going well, we don't need the Coast Guard (professionals), even though it's nice to know they are out there if we need them.

 

Like it or not you and your unit are part of a council that provides services and facilities to all units whether you use them or not.

 

Yep, that's a good sales pitch. "We're going to offer this function whether you want it or not, and now we'd like you to pay for it."

 

Online training is just for the very basic stuff, the more advanced training can not be done online and you know that.

 

I agree, and I did say that making sure the training chair is in place was the one obvious valid duty that we encountered (and remember, I'm talking from the pack perspective now - the troop has a bit more interaction with the council. We've had a fair number of people take BALOO and a few go to University of Scouting. So there is indeed a little bit of value there.

 

Rechartering online most councils still don't have that ability,

 

That goes back to my complaint about inefficient processes - it cannot be that hard to do chartering online.

 

but who do you think processes the online charters?

 

Processes? Mails me a piece of paper? Again, can't be that hard for a computer to do.

 

Your pack doesn't attend cub summer camp and other camp experiences offered for them, then it sounds like you are depriving your boys of some fun experiences and that is just sad.

 

Sigh. I'm not depriving anyone of anything. I always informed everyone about the day camp options, the Webelos resident camp options, we even tried a district Cub Scout camporee once. A few people went to day camp, and it was OK. I think I was the only one who took my son to Webelos resident camp, and it wasn't too bad. We never tried another pack-level district event with the Cubs after the first one. It's not that it was bad - it's just that our unit events were better. We offered a great program, we did tons of stuff. We doubled the size of the pack. I had parents come up to me years later and tell me they really appreciated what a quality Cub Scout program we ran.

 

In all honesty you sound a little out of touch with how the scouting program is supposed to work.

 

Just smiling to myself over that comment.

 

You can be as independent as you like, but in the long run all you are doing is depriving your boys of some activities that the pack alone can not provide.

 

Again, not depriving. Actually, I think it's very difficult for a district to offer opportunities that are equivalent to what a pack can offer. A pack can set up events where there are no long lines, where they can visit very cool places that hold limited numbers of people, where they can be flexible and adjust their activities as the day progresses, where they can get everyone together for a quick moment and communicate, where the Cub Scouts can all have a turn up front without it taking three hours to get through everyone, etc.

 

There are hard-working professionals out there, and I get along fine with mine. But their work is mostly behind-the-scenes, and quite honestly, a lot of it is focused on problem units and new units and fundraising, and I do think it's the case that well-running units, and packs especially, don't make a lot of use of the professionals. And that's ok. But I don't think it makes sense then to come into the unit and try to sell me on how much the council is doing for us.

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>

 

 

Ummmm. I wonder how THAT happened!

 

I don't think it was the council professionals whipping up some JavaScript.

 

I know National does stuff. We also pay dues to National. The question asked at the beginning of the thread was what DEs and SEs do.

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So Oak, your Cubs never got to shoot archery or BB guns? I'd say that is depriving them of some of the most popular Cub activities.

 

drewASM wrote, "A council camp that has tent platforms that are rotting and cots that collapse."

Where do you think the money to repair and replace those items comes from? FOS. So keep your money, and see where that gets you.

 

None of your dues goes to council. Council basically gets funded through a cut of popcorn sales and FOS.

 

If you don't know what your DE is doing to earn his pay, then you aren't paying attention.

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Jeez, I keep saying I'm happy with my professionals and yet...

 

"tent platforms that are rotting and cots that collapse." Where do you think the money to repair and replace those items comes from? FOS. So keep your money, and see where that gets you.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the council should price their camp so that they can provide tents and cots as part of the standard fee. Heck, we go out of council for summer camp. I don't think that council's people should be donating money for the cots that we use.

 

your Cubs never got to shoot archery or BB guns?

 

This is a long story, and it goes back to our first time at a district cub-o-ree. They did get to shoot BB guns and bows and arrows there. They just had to stand in a line that was a hundred people long, wait about an hour (and dang, it was hot), and get to shoot five arrows or BBs after listening to a safety lecture that took about eight times longer than the actual shooting time. This was part of the reason that we decided not to go back...even though it sounded cool, it wasn't worth it.

 

We did end up with some other opportunities later, but it's a complicated story and again it was better because it didn't involve a whole district of Scouts. I think if I were to do it again, we'd just take the Cub Scouts to an actual shooting range run by a shooting club and pay a $5 or $10 fee per person and shoot BB guns or bows and arrows.

 

Look - I'm not saying I don't get any value from the district. Talk to Abel or BasementDweller if you want to argue with someone who seems to be receiving negative value from their professionals.

 

My former two DEs I liked pretty well and saw regularly. This new guy I haven't seen at all in something like five months since he took on the job. I literally do not know what he is doing.

 

Maybe he's working with problem units or new units. Maybe he's trying to replace a membership chair. Maybe he's raising money. I don't know. I didn't see him at the district camporee. I'm the Scoutmaster for one of the biggest troops in the district - I would just think I might be seeing a bit more of him - but I'm OK that I'm not, because I'm assuming he's working on things that are important, and also because, and this is key, *I don't really him to do anything*. I would just be curious to see a summary of a month of his time and how much was spent where. Not because I don't trust him, but because I'm honestly curious about how his time is split up.

 

 

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