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Shell in WA- USA

What to do with an "Overly involved" DE?

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I've served the District for 9 years, and worked very hard at making it a quality District (as well as many others). I've be told by many that everything I'm involved with turns to gold. When I became the Program Coordinator for our daycamp, our Cub Scout numbers doubled! They really liked the programs I and out committees created. When I became the District Dinner Chair, they were having 30 leaders, if they were lucky and giving only a pat on the back with awards. I chaired it for four years and took the attendance to 150 leaders with a "theme" and a night full of fun. Awards were still done, but they had meaning for people! The old joke I was told was "no more Ice Cream soup with Michelle involved!" I chaired the Merit Badge Jumboree last year for the first time and in one year I had 128 boys attend (They were lucky to get 20 before for many years) and 14 MBC, mostly because I made it an event that people could trust.

 

I don't say any of this for pats on the back, but to explain my involvement and how people feel about me being involved. Then comes a new DE. For one year and three major events I've done with him, I really tried to work with him. But he's someone who wants to micro manage or to be the "chair" of every event. And like in my case, every time I'd pull a committee together to run an event, he's undermining it by making sub committees, asking people do to things, making details discussions, and without consulting the Chair of the event. Or he'd get me to do the "nitty gritty" then take the credit or knock it down if blame was needed.

 

It became very stressful for me, and after trying REALLY hard to make things work, I gave up. I send a LOR to the top four people of the District and letting them know why I'd be backing away form the District until the DE steps away. He's basically one of these youngins who doesn't have much respect for the people around him. I basically am wiping the footprints off my back and moving on. I was hoping that the key "three" which for us is four, would take it and help our DE through some of this to make it better for others. But they probably won't.

 

I love the Scouting program and I probably would have stayed with it for many years to come, even after my own boys moved on. I've even looked into the Girl Scout progam to see if I could jump ship all together, but I'm sorry, I just don't like the Girl Scout program as well! And I was a GS! Now I probably ask the question too late, but how do you thing I should have done it? Some are telling me that I should go to the SE about it and they would even come with me. I don't really want to stir trouble, but the problem should be addressed.

 

What do you think?

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As a District Committee Chairman, I would have hated to lose such a dynamic Scouter like you. I would have preferred meeting and knowing you at the District Committee. There, you would have been able to voice your concerns and the problem could have been resolved in an honest and open manner. Did you try this approach?

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I didn't bring it up at the District Meeting. But I did try to talk with the DE directly and I tried to talk with just the Dist Chair and DE together. But nothing was done. So I sent off a letter to the "Key 3." And mind you this was a year's process, I worked around it from every angle I could think of and didn't seem to get anywhere. The DC just said that he's young and it's the way he is so I had to live and bear it. But I just couldn't any longer. Even if my own Boss acted that way, I would have found another job.

 

I"ve been consulting for other Districts, maybe I can just do more of the work for other districts now.

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You may want to consider being a Unit Commissioner. You can use your magic where it will do the most good. He will move on and then you can ease back into something else.

 

FB

 

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How strange. Less then ten hours ago I sent our Field Director an E-mail which in a way goes with this thread.

Tomorrow I am meeting a young man who is applying for the DE job in our District. I don't know very much about him only what the Field Director E-mailed me. His E-mail said that he is an Eagle Scout, can read and write French and has worked at a summer camp.

My E-mail to the Field Director said that I wanted him to ensure that this new guy understands that we in the District have the program covered. I want and need some one with strong administrative skills. Someone who knows what is needed and what it takes to help the District reach Quality District.

While I do wonder where you get the time to do all the stuff that you have done? I do have to wonder why the DE is so busy micro-managing events? The guy must have all the membership and finance stuff in great shape. He must be up to date with all of his meeting with the IHO's.

If the guy is that good please send him to me ASAP. I was hoping to get a good guy, but Superman!! I could retire!!

Eamonn

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Well, then I won't tell you that I haven't listed EVERYTHING I've done. ;) That was only an example of some of the things. And I'm a Single Mom of three boys AND I hold a full time job AND I do things for the Church and school as well. ;) But I'm no different than anyone else.

 

And no, the DE also struggles with Membership and financing but we do hold a Quality District. He's not all bad but really hard to work with. My decision was not a light one.

 

IS that who I should talk to, the field Director? Maybe when I get my reciept reimbursed (we're fighting over that too) I'll take it further. Especially if the key 3 don't do anything.

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Eamonn is correct...the DE's primary job is to help the volunteers make Quality District. His piece of that is to generate more youth members, more units and more money (from corporate donors). Everything else should be covered by a volunteer...it's the District Chairman's job to see to that. As a former professional member of these boards was fond of saying, however, "What the volunteers won't do, the Professionals must." I have had a similar problem...when I wasn't doing the job the way the DE thought it should be done, he would step in and "take care of it." My response to that is to step back and say "have at it, Bud...knock yourself out." My pay's the same, either way.

 

I have seen many young men come up through the scouting program, go to college, and come back as a first year DE. After all, I'm an Eagle, OA Vigil, and had a blast...what better life than to do all that and get paid, too! They don't last a year when they find out what a DE is really supposed to do...and that you are expected to work unlimited hrs a week for what amounts to little more than minimum wage (and no overtime).(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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Shell

 

When I was a DE I had so little time to devote to programs that I was so grateful for two real proactive district program committees who did a fantastic job. Then I could join in as the district council rep and participant and just have fun. I did approve the events in advance, but let my scouters do their thing. Then I always made sure that they got the proper recognition for their efforts at the district dinner. I had two great districts and wonderful scouters in both that made my job much easier. Now I am a scouter and I understand your concerns. I hope you work it out.

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