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SeattlePioneer

Attending District Committee Meetings

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The problem with all the grand planning and occasional navel gazing that goes on in this forum is that out in the real world only a very small percentage of people involved in scouting truly understand and care about scouting. Maybe "care" isn't the right word, but there is only a small percentage out there who make scouting their passion.

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>"Units tow the line to do rechartering, a council function.">

 

 

Just what I said. Rechartering is a huge nuisance that is imposed on units by the council and national.

 

But they do it because they MUST.

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SP, you said: "Just what I said. Rechartering is a huge nuisance that is imposed on units by the council and national."

 

Rechartering is a necessity. Should National just bill the Council for all the people on the old Charter or are you personnaly going to go to all the Troops/Packs/Crews/LFL Units and count people for National?

 

Not exactly sure what this has to do with "Attending Disctict Comittee Meetings" as Recharter is covered in Roundtable and various other venues as well. The "Ditrict Committee" jsut checks to see if it was done and who needs help to assign people to it.

 

My $0.02

 

Rick

 

 

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Hello ghermanno,

 

 

I'm just pointing out that units will do burdensome tasks that are nuisances when they need to do so.

 

I think we need to convince units that extends to a broader array of things.

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>>"I'm just pointing out that units will do burdensome tasks that are nuisances when they need to do so.

I think we need to convince units that extends to a broader array of things."

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What district committee meetings? Don't have them. What roundtables? Don't have them.

 

Perhaps in Seattle, things are done correctly. Perhaps the Seattle council is strong and has an adequate volunteer staff. But that is not the case in other areas of the country.

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Hello Abel,

 

 

>

 

 

Unfortunately, Abel provides us with an illustration of WHY district activities are important to units.

 

To the list of things his units don't have that districts provide we might add:

 

training

camporees

Cub Scout Day Camp

Assistance in recruiting and forming new Packs, Troops and Crews

Unit Commissioners

Merit Badge Universities (whether you like 'em or not)

Council fundraising

Advancement (Eagle Scouts and recording unit advancement)

Camp promotion and outdoor activities

Service Programs (Scouting for Food)

 

 

 

I suggest that if the district volunteers were really up to doing their job THERE WOULD BE NO NEED TO EMPLOY A DISTRICT EXECUTIVE!

 

 

 

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SP -- I don't want you to take this personally because I know of the work you are doing on membership recruitment and that your service in your pack came as a result of being involved in the district level and trying to jump in a save a struggling unit. So I understand you are one of the good guys and have a sincere interest in delivering the program to boys at the unit level. And neither do I mean this as an indictment of district volunteers in general. I was our district's CSDC director for five year, so I've done my time.

 

But I think your proposal is the first step in the wrong direction. Underlying it is an assumption that the unit leaders need to support the district. That's exactly backwards. Districts should exist to support the units. If every unit were well staffed and had a full, well-rounded program, there would be no need for districts at all. Districts are there to provide program support for those units who maybe don't have the resouces to plan big time campouts or who don't have the volunteers with the expertise or training in areas such as climbing, shooting sports or aquatics.

 

The problem I have with your proposal is it is pulling volunteers away from the unit programs. I don't have one handy, but is attending district committee meetings even in the COR's job description? If a COR has an extra meeting night a month he/she should be attending the committee meetings of their units. If they still have spare time, they should drop in on troop and pack meetings and even den meetings, to see how their unit is functioning and get to know the parents and leaders.

 

And this is the part I really don't want you to take personally because it's purely part of my bias based on my experience moving up through and eventually back down and out of district operations: I think too many people serve at the district and council levels for the wrong reasons. They look at the typical org chart and naturally assume that being on the district committee is a "promotion", that they are somehow working at a higher level and that district committee is a stepping stone to a council appointment -- all of which will look great on their "Scouting resume" and eventually on their Silver Beaver citation.

 

Others see it as a way of extending their influence and building their empires. Their Scouting Genius is just too much for one troop; their brilliance needs to be shared with the world, whether the world wants it or not.

 

I know some really great folks on our district committee, too. Our advancement guy is terrific, a really well-grounded Scouter who understands the responsibility to both the program and individuals. Our program chairman is a good friend and has tried to steer the district programming toward supporting all units, but just can't do it with the career and empire builders pushing their own agendas. I think he has stepped down. Interestingly, both of these guys remained Scoutmasters during their committee tenure with their primary focus at serving their units.

 

The district committee should be like service in Congress: get elected, serve the folks from your district, keep your day job, and after a few years go back home to your usual pursuits. But instead we get career politicians .... well, you all know.

 

SP, my very sincere advice is to stick with what you are doing. Your work with Hispanic recruitment is great. Seems like your service to the pack is winding down, so maybe you want to take a break from that but pick up another pack to help out somewhere down the road. But I've been down the committee road and don't recommend it.

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"is attending district committee meetings even in the COR's job description?"

 

Yep (see bottom of page 10), http://www.scouting.org/filestore/commissioner/pdf/33118_WB.pdf

 

I would love to see more participation all the way around from the COR's. Most Units I know are left to fend for themselves with little to no help from the Charter Org. Getting them to attend the District Committee Meetings I Think would be a step in the right direction.

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>>"I would love to see more participation all the way around from the COR's. Most Units I know are left to fend for themselves with little to no help from the Charter Org. Getting them to attend the District Committee Meetings I Think would be a step in the right direction."

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...I suggest that if the district volunteers were really up to doing their job THERE WOULD BE NO NEED TO EMPLOY A DISTRICT EXECUTIVE!...

 

in order to have district volunteers, you have to have units in the district to serve. that's where a district finds its officers - within the units.

 

Allegedly my district currently has 44 units. personally, I know of over 35 traditional units that have died out in the past 25 years. currently I am only aware of 8 traditional units in my district. This includes packs and troops.

 

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SP, Twocubdad is right. I think you've got it backwards.

 

District needs manpower? They need to recruit from elsewhere, and not siphon folks from the units.

 

Is the district interested in what the unit leaders have to say? Then the district folks need to go to the units, via unit commissioners and roundtable (in many places, but not all), and cracker barrells at camporee and summer camp.

 

Nothing, in scouting, should distract a unit scouter from serving their unit.

 

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Hello Two Cub,

 

 

Thank you for your thoughtful post. No reason for me to take any offense.

 

I'm struggling in a district that has provided excellent services for units, but that has been dwindling away as volunteers have left an few replacements found.

 

I'm trying to figure out how to reverse that situation before there is a general collapse.

 

 

I have a question:

 

 

 

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I'm in a different district than SP, though in the same Council. I think from the Troop angle, our district functions pretty well. I notice that most of the District level volunteers are what you might call "semi-retired" Scoutmasters. They were very active in troops years ago, but their sons aged out long ago. Many are still active with their units as ASMs or committee members, but for the most part the day-to-day unit program is someone else's job now. Meaning the district folks have time to devote to their district jobs without taking away from their units. And being mostly former unit folks, they have a pretty strong unit-centric view of things and maintain a strong focus on the District helping units rather than the other way around.

 

On the Cub Scout side of things though, it's not quite the same. You don't get many "retired" Cubmasters. They move on and become SMASMs if they stick with Scouting. From his posts, SP is generally more involved in the Cub Scout program, so I can understand why he might have more struggles. We have a huge dearth of Pack UCs in our district (but our Troop has two great district guys sort of fighting over who gets to be our troop UC). I think it's just plain harder to find Cub Scout level volunteers, and quite rare for Pack unit volunteers to wrap up their tenure with the Pack and move on to District roles. And yet, the BSA program continues to put more and more emphasis on Cub Scouting, needing more and more program support...

 

 

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