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Going it Alone? Or Active with Distrct/Council?

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I agree with your post 99.9%, except for the part "the BSA is not a cult". I think these days with many units, especially troops, getting smaller and volunteers becoming scarcer that is exactly what it has become for too many leaders. Whether it is from having an unfulfilling job or trying to recreate their childhood scouting experience, scouting has become an all about me, look at all my patches, awards, and WB beads aren't I special type of thing for many leaders.

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Seattle P.


As most of the topic is based on "paid" positions in Scouting I was rather taken back by your statement: "I'd guess that without district and council support and programs, perhaps 3/4s of the units in the district would fail within ten years."


That again is a Volunteer doing a Volunteer job. Did the District provide the transportation, documentation, personnel to assist you with the support you gave as a UC? Or, as I suspect, did you have to contact other volunteers to help with training, coaching and support? This is where a LOT of people are wodering why they should support District/Council.


As far as Camporees, these are volunteer planned and executed events. I do NOT know why District/Council gets accolades for it. It is planned by the volunteers, paid for by the attendees, staffed by volunteers, and the District/Council gets credits?


My $0.02



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> The answer is quite simple, the Troop does whatever the PLC decides.


It is funny how many scouters at the district level responsible for teaching people how a PLC works then completely ignore it when they are planning events. District volunteers will instead just send out an email to a bunch of adult leaders advertising a camping event and fail to even attempt to contact or build a contact list of the youth unit leaders in the Boy Scouts.


Likewise for Cub Scout units. District leaders assume that the units have a duty to support them and instead of approaching it from a marketing/advertising/sales perspective, they instead assume everyone is required to go and get mad when they choose not to.


No one in BSA has to attend anything. The training is optional. The meetings are optional. The camping trips are optional. Advancement is optional. The uniform guide is optional. There are very few actual requirements of leaders and youth in the scouts where failure to comply will result in any consequences for those so choosing.


District leaders who understand their role as servants of units and youth have great events. Those who believe they have been promoted to the grey colored loops are fools.



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Hello BSA24,



I doubt very much that unit leaders are going to take kindly to district or council activity leaders maintaining files of youth leaders and sending them messages.


I know I would not do that --- I notify unit leaders, including Den Leaders and Committee Members when appropriate and they decide what action to take, if any.

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We go at it alone I many of us feel we are a much better units doing so.


I present the district and council activities to the troop/PLC and they shoot it down every time. I was hopeful of this last district camporee when the theme was a catipult competition. Our boys were all into it up until they learned that our partols had to build the exact same machine as all the other partols. Plans provided by the district. So much for boy led. For some reason they don't think the boys are capable of thinking and doing for themselves.

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The previous SM went to all the Council and District events and then filled in the holes with his own favorite camping spots to produce camping 12 months a year.


When I started as SM, the next year the Commissioners decide that to revitalize "Scouting" that if you went to Klondike they would burn your sleigh( to ensure you built a new one each year - actually a good thing, but it was presented horribly, think various socialist dictator style) at the closing campfire - my boys threw the revolt flag that very day. We help at recruiting events(Webelos Woods), put out DL's, do Scouting for Food, do all the Troop level stuff one expects, except go to Council or District organized Camping events other then Summer Camp.


Six years later as we get together for our Annual Planning conference with only 1 or 2 of the original "HEck No, We Won't Go" members remaining, I will once again(I've always made it an option) introduce the Council Calendar - and they do organize about half of your year if you let them, and we'll see if they bite - but frankly we get a lot of great campouts in and go to different locations and re-visit some favorites.


And most of it IS that the DE's see different goals and sell MOST of the Commissioners on those goals, who then come to the Troop and do things like embarrass a SM in front of the Parents of his Scouts and then wonder why the SM isn't as cooperative as they might have expected.

Or a DE who agrees to a certain specific financial arrangement(Deposit of funds in Camp store for MB related purchases - unused balance to be returned - it' be fine if he hadn't agreed to the arrangement but to agree and then keep the overage?!), who then refuses to return the deposit when the rest of the provisions of the agreement were lived up to on the Troops side - then wonders why the SM and Treasurer are grumpy when they see him and wants a FOS appointment - you already took it pal!

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