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BSA Executive Salaries

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1 minute ago, FormerProfessional said:

I worked with many of those kinds of DEs. There are bad ones. I agree. 

 

Some aren't "bad", I would say they are naïve or, well, let's just say they aren't the brightest light in the harbor.

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3 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

I understand. I have held key district committee positions for several years. I know how DEs get put on PIPs, and I know what their office environment is like when they are under FOS goals.

Then again, when a district is doing well, too many professionals act like it is magic or as a result of their "guidance", and they fail to acknowledge the role of volunteers' efforts.

Unfortunately many with that attitude are the ones that get promoted and become sr managers, Scout Executives, or work at national

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3 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

Some aren't "bad", I would say they are naïve or, well, let's just say they aren't the brightest light in the harbor.

Bad meaning opposite of good...every district has had the DE that you are glad they are there and miss them when they are gone.  The bad ones you just wish they would quit and then you have the hope of getting an enjoyable one. Know what I mean?

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1 hour ago, Gwaihir said:

No, I did not say that.  You felt volunteers feel that it's just a hobby.  I was addressing this sentiment alone. 

I don’t want to start this again. 

I never said, if I did it was not my intention, that volunteers feel Scouting as a hobby.

Absolutely not. Many of the volunteers I know have a deep love for Scouting, a passion. It’s part of them. It’s embedded in them. I understand that.  

My previous post,

My point is if the district doesn’t do well it has no effect on the volunteers personal well being or the volunteers family.  You still can pay the bills, eat, all of the basics of life.

For the DE it could cost them their job and therefore effect their family.

The DE has more on the line in the big picture than a volunteer.  

Volunteers can walk away, drop the ball, don’t complete the task and life goes on for the volunteer.  For a DE their job may not.

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Yes - let's not get into debate of who cares more - volunteers vs. professionals.  That's will never end.

It's pretty clear from the structure of the BSA that volunteers are designed to run things.  The phrase I've heard time and time again is "volunteer led, professionally guided".  

The challenge of course is that someone has to keep the lights on.  The professional staff, by the nature of being paid staff, is in a unique position to fill in the gaps left by volunteers.  I suspect many professionals find it easier to skip the volunteer role and go straight to just doing it themself.  I think this has been compounded by the fact that the district committees have been neglected for many years.

I tihnk this creates the impression that the DEs are in charge, but they really are not supposed to be. 

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7 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Yes - let's not get into debate of who cares more - volunteers vs. professionals.  That's will never end.

It's pretty clear from the structure of the BSA that volunteers are designed to run things.  The phrase I've heard time and time again is "volunteer led, professionally guided".  

The challenge of course is that someone has to keep the lights on.  The professional staff, by the nature of being paid staff, is in a unique position to fill in the gaps left by volunteers.  I suspect many professionals find it easier to skip the volunteer role and go straight to just doing it themself.  I think this has been compounded by the fact that the district committees have been neglected for many years.

I tihnk this creates the impression that the DEs are in charge, but they really are not supposed to be. 

Well said. I agree 100%.

A DE should go to a training in Westlake TX after 3 months of hire. When I went it was 2 weeks. I understand now it is only 1. If they successfully complete the training,  some DE’s have overslept the commissioning ceremony and do not have a job when they return to their council, the DE will be commissioned as a District Executive.  

I am not a lawyer, and do not claim to be but part of the commissioning the DE is a legal representative of the council and can represent the council to Charter Partners and future CP and other organizations like United Way etc. This is one example where the DE “fills the gaps” and volunteers can’t do per National BSA membership standards.

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I should add I was referring to unit/district volunteers. 

Council Presidents, Council Treasurers, and other executive board members are not Commissioned like professionals but have other authorizations that unit/district volunteers do not have.

There were times such as Summer Camp where I had to get authorization from the SE, and Council Camping Chair.

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1 hour ago, FormerProfessional said:

Well said. I agree 100%.

It seem to me the implication of the fact that the district volunteers really run the district is that there really shouldn't be much the DE does directly for units.  Yes, the DE needs to be an ambassador of the professional staff.  But, expectations like the DE arranging programming, informing units about activities, etc. are really beyond the role description.

Now, I would expect the DE to have developed relationships with the primary outward facing volunteers in the units - the CC, SM/CM/Advisor, and the COR (if they are active).  A DE probably doesn't need to know the ASMs, den leaders, etc., but it might not hurt.

It certainly would not hurt the BSA to develop a couple of jobs for a DE that endears them to unit level volunteers.  Not quite sure what those would be, but it probably would help the image of the DE role.

57 minutes ago, FormerProfessional said:

I am not a lawyer, and do not claim to be but part of the commissioning the DE is a legal representative of the council and can represent the council to Charter Partners and future CP and other organizations like United Way etc. This is one example where the DE “fills the gaps” and volunteers can’t do per National BSA membership standards.

I've heard this as well - they have a special status that allows them to represent the council to the COs.  That's why they do the CO visits and not a district volunteer.

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3 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

It seem to me the implication of the fact that the district volunteers really run the district is that there really shouldn't be much the DE does directly for units.  Yes, the DE needs to be an ambassador of the professional staff.  But, expectations like the DE arranging programming, informing units about activities, etc. are really beyond the role description.

Now, I would expect the DE to have developed relationships with the primary outward facing volunteers in the units - the CC, SM/CM/Advisor, and the COR (if they are active).  A DE probably doesn't need to know the ASMs, den leaders, etc., but it might not hurt.

It certainly would not hurt the BSA to develop a couple of jobs for a DE that endears them to unit level volunteers.  Not quite sure what those would be, but it probably would help the image of the DE role.

I've heard this as well - they have a special status that allows them to represent the council to the COs.  That's why they do the CO visits and not a district volunteer.

Exactly

Rarely did I have a contact with a Den Leader or ASM unless they also had a key district function. Den Leader also Day Camp Director. ASM as MBU coordinator etc.  I had an ASM who was District Commissioner. Talked to him a lot about the district but his Troop stuff was in passing

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I have read this whole thread and I must admit from my position as a UK Leader I find the number of professionals involved in BSA very surprising and quite baffling as to what they all do. In the UK The Scout Association employs relatively few people directly, almost all based at our national HQ or at HQ owned activity centres. Most Scout Counties employ 1 or two people for administrative support and if the County own a large enough campsite or activity centre they may employ staff to run these.

However for the most part UK Scouting is volunteer led and the volunteers are in charge of any employees not the other way round. The Scout Association does employ a Chief Executive but they run the business side of Scouting (The Scout Association owns Scout shops, has its own insurance brokerage and runs several activity centres). The volunteer UK Chief Commissioner runs Scouting in the UK, they set the strategy and direction in conjunction with the volunteer board of trustees. There are professional support staff based at HQ who are in charge of things like programme support etc but again they answer to volunteers not the other way around.

Info about how The Scout Association is structured locally can be found at http://scouts.org.uk/about-us/organisational-information/local-structure/ and nationally at http://scouts.org.uk/about-us/organisational-information/national-structure/ 

If BSA is facing drastically lower numbers due to The Church of LDS withdrawing then I really think they need to fundamentally look at their structure and decide if employing so many people is really justifiable and financially viable in the future. You really don't want to go down Scouts Canada's route of ever increasing membership fees imposed on a lower and lower number of youth members to the extent that the fees are so high it puts people of joining so affect numbers of youth members and so on in a vicious downwards spiral.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Peter1919 said:

then I really think they need to fundamentally look at their structure and decide if employing so many people is really justifiable and financially viable in the future.

That would be great, if it were actually possible. Unfortunately, the employees are in control of BSA. The volunteers can't fire them.

This is nothing new. The man who founded BSA got run out of the organization by the Chief Scout Executive. BSA has a long history of having powerful, highly-paid executives who can't be controlled by the volunteer members who supposedly employ them. BSA is a dictatorship, not a democracy.

 

Edited by David CO

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Baden-Powell himself thought that the BSA was too bureaucratic, and I'm sure it's only grown more so in the decades since his death.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, David CO said:

That would be great, if it were actually possible. Unfortunately, the employees are in control of BSA. The volunteers can't fire them.

Yes but the senior executives could decide to reduce the number of employees below them in order to protect their own high paying jobs in the long run. 

I would be very interested in a comparision between the ratio of employees to youth members in BSA and TSA

I know TSA has roughly 450 000 youth members and around 50 000 adult members. I would guestimate that there are under 1000 people employed in Scouting in total in the UK

Edited by Peter1919

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Whenever I think about those guys in national... the high paid ones... I don't think so much about over or under paid.  Hey, people are in high paid jobs leading all sorts of companies...but considering the pressure they are under, the hours they probably work (even when it looks to us like they are playing), maybe it aint' oh so bad.... I do get that it can be hard to swallow though from my perspective down in the lower end of the spectrum....

anyway, what I think about when I think of them is image of BSA, recruiting, etc...  I keep going back to Bear Grylls and his TV show.  I've heard the rumors about his cheating and faking survival situations.... but hey, he's out there in a very visible place doing some very adventuresome stuff that in theory at least scouts could do.  I still say that's the kind of folks the BSA needs in that leadership position...showing what scouts could do and routinely having fun.  Wouldn't it be great if you had a show with Bear or someone like him and a few scouts, instead of a celebrity.  (two deep compliant and all of that)...but doing some truly adventuresome stuff, maybe some quality one on one face to face interviews on mountain tops like Bear does in his show....

If those guys did more of that, don't you think membership numbers would be helped?  Would we generally be a bit more open to those high salaries for taht, instead of teh guy in the Board room all day?

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, blw2 said:

Whenever I think about those guys in national... the high paid ones... I don't think so much about over or under paid.  Hey, people are in high paid jobs leading all sorts of companies...but considering the pressure they are under, the hours they probably work (even when it looks to us like they are playing), maybe it aint' oh so bad.... I do get that it can be hard to swallow though from my perspective down in the lower end of the spectrum....

anyway, what I think about when I think of them is image of BSA, recruiting, etc...  I keep going back to Bear Grylls and his TV show.  I've heard the rumors about his cheating and faking survival situations.... but hey, he's out there in a very visible place doing some very adventuresome stuff that in theory at least scouts could do.  I still say that's the kind of folks the BSA needs in that leadership position...showing what scouts could do and routinely having fun.  Wouldn't it be great if you had a show with Bear or someone like him and a few scouts, instead of a celebrity.  (two deep compliant and all of that)...but doing some truly adventuresome stuff, maybe some quality one on one face to face interviews on mountain tops like Bear does in his show....

If those guys did more of that, don't you think membership numbers would be helped?  Would we generally be a bit more open to those high salaries for taht, instead of teh guy in the Board room all day?

Not sure if you are aware but Bear Grylls is actually the Chief Scout in the UK, he is just a figurehead he has no exectutive role at all. He does publicity events and getting around big Scouting Events meeting as many Scouts as possible in the weekends he gives up his time to do this in. He does all this as a volunteer, no salary or anything (The Scout Association do pay all his expenses including the hire of a helicopter to fly him around multiple events on the same weekend)

Edited by Peter1919

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