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mrkstvns

Who would ever want to be a "Scouting Professional"?

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I used to think that "Scouting Professional" would be a dream job:  get paid to do things with scouts and go to camporees, summer camps, and other fun things?  Awesome!

As I read some of the discussions in these forums, it doesn't sound so good.  Folks talk about...
* low salaries
* long hours
* boring jobs (meetings, budgeting, marketing with little real hands-on "scouting")

In the past, I've been switched off by "Commissioner College" that was nothing of the sort....just really boring topics.  Now I see a couple of legit university programs being offered that look like they might be fun, but that seem to focus a whole lot more on boring managerial content than on the real meat of what makes scouting (or any outdoor adventure) fun in the first place. For example:
* Scouting degree program offered by WVU
* Adventure Recreation Management degree program

IMHO, volunteering in scouting is probably a heck of a lot more satisfying than doing it for the money.

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13 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I used to think that "Scouting Professional" would be a dream job:  get paid to do things with scouts and go to camporees, summer camps, and other fun things?  Awesome!

As I read some of the discussions in these forums, it doesn't sound so good.  Folks talk about...
* low salaries
* long hours
* boring jobs (meetings, budgeting, marketing with little real hands-on "scouting")

In the past, I've been switched off by "Commissioner College" that was nothing of the sort....just really boring topics.  Now I see a couple of legit university programs being offered that look like they might be fun, but that seem to focus a whole lot more on boring managerial content than on the real meat of what makes scouting (or any outdoor adventure) fun in the first place. For example:
* Scouting degree program offered by WVU
* Adventure Recreation Management degree program

IMHO, volunteering in scouting is probably a heck of a lot more satisfying than doing it for the money.

I can personally attest that is in fact the case.  Lasted a couple of years.  Immediately went back to volunteering with units and never looked back.

You become a DE and Professional Scouter to (naively thinking) work with units, camp, become the Scouting expert.  In reality you are pushing paper, have key 3 meetings with volunteers, doing a lot of planning, raising money, sweating membership numbers, following up on what volunteers haven't done, etc etc.  Never really see a Scout, at camporees and summer camp it's all about the problems or a volunteer bending your ear over some issue.

Scouting fun is best experienced at the unit level.  That's where the best times are.

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Don't be ridiculous.  A lot of people work very hard for a lot less money and no benefits.  There are plenty of people who would see these jobs as a step up from what they currently have.  At the very least, the work experience could be used as a stepping stone to get a better job.

 

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

I can personally attest that is in fact the case.  Lasted a couple of years.  Immediately went back to volunteering with units and never looked back.

You become a DE and Professional Scouter to (naively thinking) work with units, camp, become the Scouting expert.  In reality you are pushing paper, have key 3 meetings with volunteers, doing a lot of planning, raising money, sweating membership numbers, following up on what volunteers haven't done, etc etc.  Never really see a Scout, at camporees and summer camp it's all about the problems or a volunteer bending your ear over some issue.

Scouting fun is best experienced at the unit level.  That's where the best times are.

It's a good job for the right kind of person.  We often assume that people who are involved with Scouting find the most enjoyment in working with you.  I think that's a false conclusion.

I'm not a professional and have no intention of being one.  My own career is a better fit for me personally.  However, as a volunteer I made the shift a while back to become a district volunteer.  I recognized that in order for our Scouts to have a great program, we needed to have strong units.  I felt that it would help our units to be more successful if we had a strong district support structure - so I got involved there.  Today I enjoy working with other volunteers to make district activities happen.

Yes, you could look at what I do in Scouting as meetings, planning, and paper pushing.  But, most of it is working with other volunteers to help them be successful.  If I'm successful, we'll have stronger district program which can then result in better support for units.  It can also help result in better membership programs in our units - meaning more Scouts in the program.  So, while the mechanics are a lot of meetings and paperwork, I see benefit from it and value in it and so I keep doing it.

I think a DE is the same way.  The DE role can have a big impact on Scouting in a community.  Is it working with Scouts and doing traditional Scouting activities - no.  But, if you enjoy the program it can be rewarding work.  But, make no mistake - if you want to be a paid professional who is still doing unit Scouting activities - be prepared to volunteer on the side in a unit.  It's a different role.

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I do make an effort to get introduce our senior scouts to executives. I think it is important that pro's see the "end product."

DE is a discouraging job in the face of shrinking membership. It is definitely not an end in itself for most pro's. But, it can pay a few bills, and if one sticks with it for a couple of years it demonstrates that you are willing to work harder than average. Future employers value that in managers. And, it is one of those rare jobs where you talk face-to-face with a lot of people, and help them navigate a complicated organization on behalf of their kids. Some of those people run business, and need employees to help their customers navigate their complicated company, so the opportunity to network is not trivial.

Honestly, the only way to make a DE's job easier is to show up at HQ with a pile of membership applications and maybe the address of an interested donor that you met without his/her assistance.

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