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Basementdweller

Yet another DE

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As a former DE for five years in the same council and districts I can tell you firsthand all National cares about from its pro scouters are MONEY and numbers units and youth being a distant second. The job has its rewards but puts a lot of stress on your marriage and personal life. After five very successful years I felt it was time to move on after having three SE's two of whom were terminated for fiscal mismanagement of council funds and assets. Scouting from the volunteer side I find much more rewarding and satisfying.

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Is it productive to spend energy and time being upset about the objectives of the corporation simply because they are not our objectives?

 

I am happy whenever I find an employee who is helpful, as I am when I find anyone else who is helpful. I have encountered several such people among the employees over the years, including at National.

 

I can tell you from personal experience that other non-profits often display the same dedication to payroll uber alles. Not the Salvation Army, by the way. Definitely the Red Cross.

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It's the 3 M's, money, manpower and membership. In the professional ranks it's like a pyramid scheme with the local SE at the top. The board, the staff, the camp ...only exist to set him up for his retirement. Numbers are down in a District, off with a DE's head - many just fell off of the turnip truck so finding a new one is easy. If the problem gets bigger, fire a DD or a FD - make sure its the deadbeat burn out with nothing left to give, though. When all else fails, embark on a giant capital campaign to save the camp we might have to sell. That will distract for a good 2 or 3 years. Last resort...cook up a merger, broker a buy out and greener pastures are coming your way. If you run the Board correctly, you can hang out for a long time as an under performing SE. There's a lot of insulation (and people to fire first) between you and where the rubber meets the road

 

On another note, if you're getting consistentl poor field service - look no further than the nearest FD. It's one thing to have bad talent, its another to keep hiring it.

 

For the record, ten years in the biz. Sorry to sound cynical, but its not the volunteers that I'd ever rip. True backbone of the movement

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Yeah, I'll have to step aside and defer to your exalted place at the top of the heap for NOT sugar-coating what you think, lol. I wish I could find a way to present opposing evidence. I just can't. You may be close to the truth. The greatest contribution of a merger may be to decrease the number of administrators.

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Ya know I can't say anything bad about our local scout executive. Good guy. My only surprise is that he's been the SE for as long as I've known what a SE is. I really thought SE's were supposed to turn over every ten years or so.

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Fred,

 

Usually SEs will move every three to five years.

 

Only exceptions I've seen to that is

 

A) It's a "Sunset position" in that it's where they want to retire for whatever reasons. One retired SE I knew grew up in the council as a youth, and moved around as a pro. His council came up, and he got it. after about 10 or 12 years, he retired and is still in that council.

 

B) They are screw ups and are kept in a position until retirement or a national level one opens up where they cannot really screw up anything. My former SE boss was so bad, that he couldn't get out of my council for another SE position. National ended up giving him a position where he couldn't screw up any councils.

 

C) They screw up so bad, that they need to leave. My old DFS boss eventually got promoted to SE. Within 2 years, he totally and completely screwed so bad, he resigned as SE and was demoted to a FD.

 

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I have been involved in Scouting for about 15 years now. I have been everything from a parent that wanted to "help" to Den Leader, Cubmaster, District Training Chair and now a Training Coordinator for 3 Districts. I am also a Wood Badger (3 times on staff) but I don't wear my mug on my belt (my pants would get wet).

 

I have known many "Professional" Scouters over the years. Some have been really good, some have been really bad and some have been so-so. Over the years I have learned not to depend on a professional scouter for anything that I (or another volunteer) can do for myself.

 

Currently I work closely with one of the good guys.

One of the things that makes him one of the good guys is that he "gets it". He understands that Scouting is about THE BOYS. He also understands Scouting is a VOLUNTEER run organization and his job is to support me and the other volunteers he serves. He knows the importance of setting an example and understands what servant leadership is all about. And since he is one of the good guys I only ask for his help when I truly need it. We get along so well because we both respect and support each other.

 

There are many professionals that "don't get it" or are in scouting for the wrong reasons. And being a scout professional can be a really difficult job. I would not wish that job on my worst enemy. But the success or failure of your District does not depend on your DE. It depends on the volunteers who choose to support the program and work with the DE to achieve everyone's goals.

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Men of Schiff is an excellent book about professional Scouters from the early days. (Can you tell I like to read? My wife's a librarian...) There is some insight into the life of a pro Scouter in the late-70s and early-80s. It certainly doesn't sound like a stress-free gig.

 

One of the guys who went through Wood Badge this fall was chosen to become our new DE and I think he'll do a good job because he's been DL and knows the role of the volunteer very well. In some ways I think an outsider might be better for a DE role but in most ways I see an insider doing a better job because s/he understands what it takes to actually run the program.

 

That said, I wouldn't want to do it myself. :rolleyes:

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<>

 

 

DEs work for the council. How does National's priorities make themselves felt?

By defining success. By training. By controlling who is available/qualified to be a SE.

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All professional training is done via national. Weather your course is only done at the national training center, or done somewhere in the regions, it is all run through them.

 

And as Tahawk mentioned, national will select the groups of folks that the local council volunteers will interview and select as SE.

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I went to an Area Forum last Saturday and we discussed this topic. One of the people from National said that the average DE has less than 2 years experience in that job. He also admitted that National does a very poor job of training the new people. He claimed that National now recognizes that is a problem and they want to find a way to fix it. Any bets on how long that will take or for the local volunteer to see a difference?

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A DE with two year's service in my council would be the senior DE in the council. As a District Chairman, I once had three DE's in eleven days. One quit before her first scheduled day on the job.

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Sounds like things haven't changed a bit since I was a DE in the 1970s. I also left because of impossible goals set by National for local councils. I've thoroughly enjoyed being a volunteer ever since and seldom have had to call on "council" for any help.

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Well the New DE had a successful Fall recruitment from what I hear, Has the old fund our Salarys talks all scheduled.

 

Got promoted and now is gone. Less than 4 months in the district.

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