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FrankBoss

Am I the only one?

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I'm doing a series of post (On FaceBook ) with some observations on my Council and District experience.

I was wondering if I was the only one for a while then I started getting emails from local members with the same complaints.

So now I wonder if its local problem or a national issue.

Heres my First Post... The Key Leaders Letter

 

FrankBoss

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For those of us that don't do Facebook or that cannot access such through work computers, mind a simple copy and paste?

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I just came back from one of the most depressing District meetings I had been to in years.  There was a proposal to create a council wide camporee for Cubs through Boy Scouts, with a goal of 1,000 Scouts .  The council voted it down as it was not in their best interest.  Now the Districts are left hoping they can pull something together.  Another topic came up regarding councilwide service project... no support from council.  FOS ... well, that is the focus for them this year.

From my limited experience, the order should be Program - Recruiting - Fundraising.  If you put on great council events, it will improve your ability to recruit and then you have more people and excitement to donate. Putting all your focus on squeezing that last bit of juice from your current membership is not a great long term play.

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If you don't facebook .. it should still show up as if your not logged in...but the information is still there

I'll see what I can do other wise.

FrankBoss

 

Edited by FrankBoss

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We are a successful troop because we have good program and execute it week in and week out.  Also we have and support the feeder packs at the CO who do a good job of providing program to the local area.  We are successful because of our experience and what we do.  The district and council do little to bother us.

 

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21 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

I just came back from one of the most depressing District meetings I had been to in years.  There was a proposal to create a council wide camporee for Cubs through Boy Scouts, with a goal of 1,000 Scouts .  The council voted it down as it was not in their best interest.

Was it they just wanted to focus on FOS?  (and popcorn and camp cards and golf tournaments and and and)

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3 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Was it they just wanted to focus on FOS?  (and popcorn and camp cards and golf tournaments and and and)

Not clear.  It was just the fact that I saw no engagement from council on several matters other than FOS (and other fundraisers).

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24 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

From my limited experience, the order should be Program - Recruiting - Fundraising.  If you put on great council events, it will improve your ability to recruit and then you have more people and excitement to donate. Putting all your focus on squeezing that last bit of juice from your current membership is not a great long term play.

Yeah, well...   Another Scouter in my troop foolishly in the spirit of service to the larger Scouting community, volunteered to be on the committee planning a district Cub Scout camping event.  He told me that the financial planning for the event includes a fairly healthy profit for the council, and that the importance of this has been emphasized repeatedly.  Apparently this is true for every council/district event or program - Cub family camping, Webelos camping, camporees, Klondike Derby, first aid competition, etc.  I realize this is the way things work, but it seems a little sleazy to, in effect, exact "contributions" from people when they don't even know they are contributing.  I am sure most unit-level Scouters, and certainly the vast majority of the parents/Scouts who pay the money, have no idea that this goes on.

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1 hour ago, FrankBoss said:

I'm doing a series of post (On FaceBook ) with some observations on my Council and District expe

I recently stepped down after many years as a unit lead. District tried to suck me in. I was warned off by a dozen or so folks (previous district volunteers). I turned them down for my own reasons.

My council/district also focuses on the high-revenue events for cubs and families. Also FO$ and recruiting. Sadly all of these things are done quite half-arsed but they still make $$$.

You are not alone. I think what you observe is symptomatic of how BSA manages things regionally.

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If I've got this right, the District (Council) sent out an e-mail inviting the district volunteers to a meeting where they would answer (or try to at any rate) the questions they posed in their letter, then you (without apparently attending the meeting) made up your own answers to the questions based on how you think/assume the District/Council is going to actually answer those questions - and now you post on that face-thingy thing and then in here and you're looking for what?  Validation?  Confirmation?  Sympathy?

Did you go to the meeting to find out what their actual answers were?  If so, care to share?

Otherwise the answer to your thread question is no, alas no, you aren't the only one, not even the only one in this forum, to get e-mails and letters and notices and see announcements from District/Council/National and read in to them whatever you have decided to read in to them and then work yourself and others in to a frenzy of negativity because you somehow just intuit what is going to be said without even bothering to attend the meeting.  And because you aren't the only one, you will get plenty of folks giving you validation, confirmation and sympathy for something you have essentially imagined.

 

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You are somewhat right... I did receive the email.

To be fair this email could have matched the last 7 years of email for this even just change the name of the sender.!

 No! I did not go to this event this year! But! my responses are not with out merit, I did follow up with others on what I missed at this years meeting ( I have been staple at these in the past )  and I do have well over 12 years as a district and council volunteer serving in several positions.  District Vice Chair, Assistant District Commissioner and F.F.O.S. Chair to name a few.

 If you read my post.. I state most volunteers (District and Council) in my area are afraid to comment publicly, for they will be Bullied by the Council Heads in a closed door meetings or Black Listed by the Council's very own Talent Committee.  "So is this a regional phenomenon or is it national." We have very unhappy volunteers in our district, and most are walking on egg shells just to stay in the game and some are walking out....

Our Council has put off requested District training for Years... most of the Districts are fumbling around being lead by this years DE (High turn over of course) and not able to function (as the district program manuals state) with out being micro managed by Council. Focus on money drives who is recruited to District positions (A game of Who and How much $$ are they worth ) no joke.

So read into it what you will but my question stays the same and if this is not a place for such a question to be aired, then tell me where...you'll be the first to answer !

I have resigned from the Council and District programs, and have chosen to only help the units directly. So I now have freedom to inquire with out penalty...

If this is a common problem we are in trouble.. if it's just my area hopefully it can be turned around.

I'm not here to polish my halo , just air out what is a major concern.

FrankBoss

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I'm so very sorry to hear your frustration.  I fully understand being frustrated and burned out.  I've had such a frustrating experience in my role in the troop.  It wasn't until recently when I decided to walk away from the troop and focus my Scouting energy other places that I've even begun to get some excitement back.

I'm also sorry to hear about your experience with money & the council.  I've got other non-profit volunteer experience and one thing I've learned is that money is always important.  A council consists of full time paid employees - folks who don't have a job if the FOS presentations don't come in.  Summer camps close when the money doesn't come in.  This isn't a for profit entity, but they have to pay the bills.  The scouts in my troop pay $0 every year to the council.  Yet, we have a DE, a professional staff, and a camp to use for free.  When we helped organize a camporee a few years a go, the adults were incensed the $3 a scout was going to be council for overhead.

Your council does sound a lot more political than mine.  Our council leaves the district alone.  Short of someone really awful, I cannot imagine the council pushing back on any volunteer appointment.  They are just  happy that anyone is showing up to do the district jobs I think.  Yeah - they don't provide much in the way of training - but I'm OK with that.  We adjust.

Again - sorry to hear about your really awful experience.  Scouting needs all the dedicated volunteers it can find.  Driving folks off is a shame.

 

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Wow, I read things like this on here and I learn how lucky I am to be in my little council.  I also volunteer at the district level and I have heard the SE tell the DE's (and carry through on it) that if they ran a district event and showed a profit he would fire them.  His theory being that if your event showed a profit, you didn't offer the kiddos enough program.  We may be struggling for funds, we may be spread out all over a huge territory of rural counties, but at least we don't have to deal with the kind of stuff I read about on here.  I feel for you guys, hang in there and find a role where you can maximize the experience for the scouts and keep your sanity.  Also, I promise not to gripe so much about stuff that goes on at my council.  :)

Edited by KYScouter
it made it look like I am only a district level volunteer.
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My council has eliminated FOS.  Instead, "loyal" Scouters are to commit to a life-long monthly automatic withdrawal from their bank account to be paid to Council.

 

The SE has told his troops the focus is on the health of units, which he attributes to strong program. 

 

Unfortunately, I think, he sees training as a problem to solve by cutting the time scheduled (which has already been cut for Scourtmaster's from 145 hours (Wood Badge was originally to teach Scoutcraft through First Class [IOLS] to 22 hours in our council [except for  as little as 18 hours if they take the consolidated course at Summer Camp]) ,  not by upgrading leadership, staff and syllabus.    

 

He also opposes anything "old."   This is not the same as "Change is good," as we are far from the old ways today.  

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As a parent I pay my son's annual registration and any costs pertaining to an activity he wishes to participate in.  At the annual scout banquet, we do get  a push for funding the program as a whole.  Because this does not deal with my sons pack, I always assume it was an option to pass on.  If the Boy Scouts are not charging enough to cover the cost of the program, increase the annual fees to cover those costs.  Then let everyone decide on their own if the program is worth the cost.

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