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48 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

But, make no mistake - volunteers and senior paid staff largely make the big decisions in a council.  

Fixed your last part

 

Does your council not have an executive board? 

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1 hour ago, PACAN said:

@Eagle94-A1   As long as your son has completed his Eagle requirements and submitted his application, he does not need to be registered at the time of his EBOR. GTA 9.0.1.1

Thanks for the reference. Knowing my council however....

6 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

Does your council not have an executive board? 

I've seen how SE's will manipulate the executive board membership so that only "Yes Men" get to serve. You try to be "Loyal opposition" and try to work on alternative and you are gone.I have seen several dedicated longtime Scouters go through this. It also happens at lower levels. 

 

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10 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

Does your council not have an executive board? 

Oh yeah.  But with a CEO SE that makes close to $500 grand and a Deputy SE, other various directors, multiple development directors. multiple field directors, it is pretty obvious who calls the shots.  Council President changes every 2 - 3 years, so the continuity lays with the pros.  

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Popcorn sales...more popcorn sales.  That stuff isn't shilling itself. 

It takes a well trained professional to actually believe and convince others that the Chocolate Lovers Collection is worth $60 and a Large Bag of White Cheddar Cheese popcorn is a GREAT value @ $20.  Let's not forget the 18 pack of microwave popcorn for $20 (which is $1.11 per pack) while a Pop Secret package for a box of 30 can be had for $13.50 (which is $0.45 per pack).  The salesmanship lessons led by the dedicated DE are something to behold

This is one of my personal irritations with the way they run these programs.  If you ask the Council popcorn reps how we are supposed to sell popcorn that is priced at 4-6 times retail value for the product, they'll say something like "You don't try and sell them popcorn, you sell them the program and ask them to help support the program by buying popcorn".  But at the same time, scouts are forbidden to solicit donations directly.

So... it's against the rules to overtly solicit a donation, but tacitly soliciting donations via popcorn is just fine.

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58 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

But, make no mistake - volunteers and senior paid staff largely make the big decisions in a council.  

Fixed your last part

 

I fully acknowledge I'm getting pretty far off the original topic.  But, since the comment is out there in response to mine, permit me to add my perspective here.

I know this is a common perception out there.  Perhaps this is different council to council. 

I should probably have defined "big decisions" a bit more.  If I look at programming, I find that almost all decisions are made by senior volunteers.  These are your event chairs, council VPs, district program chairs, etc.  Most of these positions have a professional advisor who do impose some rules on money and facilities.  But, beyond that, most of the big decisions in events come from those senior program volunteers.

The really big decisions come from the council's executive board.  This is a group of volunteers who really lead the council.  They set budget, control policy, hire and fire the Scout Executive, etc.  Sure the Scout Executive provides a lot of guidance here and has tremendous influence. But, ultimately the executive board makes the decisions.

There's a bunch of operational stuff in the middle. What goes on the website, when are payments due, etc.  They seem like big decisions - and maybe they are.  But, I find they are really just more of the day to day stuff that has to get done.  In many of those instances the professionals due tend to dictate terms.  For example, the professionals are going to have to handle all the money and are held accountable for tracking money.  So, they get to set some rules about how money is turned in and handled.

There are lots of places where the two groups overlap.  Membership is a great example.  DEs are expected to drive membership - so too are volunteers. A professional's job rating is often measured by their results on membership.  So, it's not uncommon to see a greater sense of urgency from a professional than a volunteer.  This in turn results in professionals working in parallel to volunteers, which in turn leads unit volunteers that think that the DEs are in charge of membership.  But, in actuality, they are not.

Finally - many volunteers think that professionals are in charge.  That in turn creates a self fulfilling prophecy.  I see countless volunteers in positions of authority who are fully empowered to make decisions who think that they need to call their DE to get approval.  But, they really don't.  

Thanks for indulging my comment here.  We should probably get back to discussing the fee increase :)

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14 minutes ago, elitts said:

This is one of my personal irritations with the way they run these programs.  If you ask the Council popcorn reps how we are supposed to sell popcorn that is priced at 4-6 times retail value for the product, they'll say something like "You don't try and sell them popcorn, you sell them the program and ask them to help support the program by buying popcorn".  But at the same time, scouts are forbidden to solicit donations directly.

So... it's against the rules to overtly solicit a donation, but tacitly soliciting donations via popcorn is just fine.

In my opinion, popcorn encourages hucksterism in scouts. The product is of dubious quality and outrageously over priced and most scouts know it. They hear the feedback from people who say they can buy better product at a fraction of the price and yet National keeps exhorting them to peddle it. In any other youth organization my scouts have been involved with, the fundraisers offered something of value that didn't feel dishonorable to sell. Don't know why BSA can't find another fundraising partner. 

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Popcorn is lousy product, and selling it is the second-lowest form of fundraising (the lowest being car washes).   I still remember the day in the '80s when it was announced that popcorn would be "the" official product.  What?  At what prices?  You are kidding me?  For popcorn?

So even then, National's strategic decision making was questionable.

Edited by desertrat77
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Our unit doesn't sell it. We do other fundraisers. Many units in our area don't participate. The parents refuse. 

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3 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I fully acknowledge I'm getting pretty far off the original topic.  But, since the comment is out there in response to mine, permit me to add my perspective here.

I know this is a common perception out there.  Perhaps this is different council to council. 

Sadly it is not only different from council to council, but also Scout Exec to Scout Exec. While the volunteers are suppose to be in charge, I have seen the nomination process rigged first hand at the council level, and was encouraged to do the same at the district level when I was a DE. Last district event I ran, the DE overruled myself and the volunteer in charge of the IOLS training that weekend. We had been working on the events for over a year, and at the last minute the DE  added a 3rd event the same weekend at the same time. We had to scramble to get additional supplies and I had to redo several locations, and the orientation course to get to the events as a result. 

And I have seen a volunteer get their membership revoked because they discovered something a SE did that was not kosher. So yes the Pros do call the shots.

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4 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Sadly it is not only different from council to council, but also Scout Exec to Scout Exec. While the volunteers are suppose to be in charge, I have seen the nomination process rigged first hand at the council level, and was encouraged to do the same at the district level when I was a DE.

Now that we're already off-topic :), how common is it for district-level volunteers to be expected to donate a certain amount in order to maintain their position?

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1 hour ago, Saltface said:

how common is it for district-level volunteers to be expected to donate a certain amount in order to maintain their position?

HAHAHAHAHA. I mean, yeah I'll probably end up donating a hefty amount by the end, but if that were expected, they can take this job and shove it. But given that the line of people showing up to do stuff is me and two or three other cub scouters I don't think they'll happen.

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1 hour ago, malraux said:

HAHAHAHAHA. I mean, yeah I'll probably end up donating a hefty amount by the end, but if that were expected, they can take this job and shove it. But given that the line of people showing up to do stuff is me and two or three other cub scouters I don't think they'll happen.

I wouldn’t do it either, but there were enough suckers/knot seekers in my last district to maintain a $500 per year pay-to-play culture. 

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9 hours ago, malraux said:

HAHAHAHAHA. I mean, yeah I'll probably end up donating a hefty amount by the end, but if that were expected, they can take this job and shove it. But given that the line of people showing up to do stuff is me and two or three other cub scouters I don't think they'll happen.

 

7 hours ago, Saltface said:

I wouldn’t do it either, but there were enough suckers/knot seekers in my last district to maintain a $500 per year pay-to-play culture. 

There's been an ask from our district FoS team that we all donate something so that we can say that 100% of our district committee has contributed.  But, they've never set an amount and suggest that $5 would be fine.

 

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11 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Sadly it is not only different from council to council, but also Scout Exec to Scout Exec. While the volunteers are suppose to be in charge, I have seen the nomination process rigged first hand at the council level, and was encouraged to do the same at the district level when I was a DE. Last district event I ran, the DE overruled myself and the volunteer in charge of the IOLS training that weekend. We had been working on the events for over a year, and at the last minute the DE  added a 3rd event the same weekend at the same time. We had to scramble to get additional supplies and I had to redo several locations, and the orientation course to get to the events as a result. 

And I have seen a volunteer get their membership revoked because they discovered something a SE did that was not kosher. So yes the Pros do call the shots.

I'm really sorry to hear about that. 

Guess I'd ask the question - why did you listen to that DE? As this was IOLS, the couse director reports to the district training chair who reports to the district program chair who reports to the district chair who reports to the council president.  Nowhere in that org structure is the DE.  In turn, you've got 3 people who can sort out this nonsense action by the DE.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I'm really sorry to hear about that. 

Guess I'd ask the question - why did you listen to that DE? As this was IOLS, the couse director reports to the district training chair who reports to the district program chair who reports to the district chair who reports to the council president.  Nowhere in that org structure is the DE.  In turn, you've got 3 people who can sort out this nonsense action by the DE.

Actually the primary event was district camporee. IOLS was done in conjunction. At the time,  as well as today, we don't have fully functional district committee. No program or training chairs, and no district chair. Just the RT commissioner trying to put on camporee, and the council training chair doing IOLS. She was filling in since we did not have a district training chair either. We also don't have a full time DE, but instead are sharing one with another district.

We were given the option of allowing the 3rd activity or stepping down. And we were given this option 2 days before the event. I stayed to finish the camporee for the scouts,an announced a new camporee chief would be needed the next year. The event was pushed onto the DE by either the SE or DFS.

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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