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Major Changes For Our Council - District, Venturing, Troops, Cubs, and etc.

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Major Changes For Our Council - District, Venturing, Troops, Cubs, and etc.
As of Feb. 2020.

1) No More Roundtables
2) Merit Badge Counselors will be now be picked by a select council panel and Merit Badge Counselors will now be available to every scout/scout troop in the entire council area instead of just a local district option..
3) All committees within the district are to be dissolved and taken over by just one committee at the council.  Example; District Committee, District Activities, District Membership, District Webmaster <<< All dissolved.
3) Only one requirement/point will be left from the original Wood Badge Training Course. Everything else, will be brand new.
4) Districts can no longer have slogan/chant names. They will be known by Alphabetical Letters ONLY.

Huge power grab by the Councils.  Is this all coming from the Executive Board? Because of Lawsuits/Payouts?

Edited by Midwest Scouter
needed to a a word and small sentance.

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24 minutes ago, robert12 said:

This sounds like the changes that the Northern Star Council has implemented.

 

 

Yes it does. I'm wondering if this is another council taking this terrible approach. Sure hope it's not gaining ground.

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This has been coming down the pike for a couple of years. Nation-wide fewer packs have been sending their leaders to round-tables. With some districts now the size of councils, travel to RTs has been a limiting factor.

My prediction: expect to see more issues discussed/resolved via Scoutbook forums and more home-grown online training. There will be some interactive online forums, but that will vary with the volunteer pool and access.

Also, expect to see packs and troops within reasonable travel distance forming ad hoc districts.

 

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16 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Also, expect to see packs and troops within reasonable travel distance forming ad hoc districts.

 

That's an interesting idea. Success will depend on who manages the ad hoc organizing. 

I'm going to keep an open mind, but I tend to measure these things against the unit adult's ability to run a quality Boy Run Patrol Method program. So, we will see.

Barry

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Ugh!  These are awful changes.

Unless you had some sort of tiny council, what can be gained by removing local, hands on support for unit leaders.  Whether it's training, advancement, camping, or something else, centralizing things is only going to lead to further distance between units & councils.  Units that need support will be less likely to get it.

The reason we have districts is to provide local Scouting contacts to units to strengthen their programs.  If districts are becoming too weak to function, then that's what we need to solve - not get rid of districts.  No organization manages their way out of a problem by cutting support resources.

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I disagree.  Much of the district structure has been broken and broken for a long long time.  People expect quality and it's not there.  Today, you can one chance.  Maybe two.  Then, people move on.  

I often think about why I attend round table.  I really do it to see my friends.  Beyond that, there is no reason to attend.  In fact, I have several reasons to NOT attend.  One main reason is it can be a monotonous, re-hashing of the same content.   ... Years ago ... 18+ years ago or so ... I did anything I could to avoid going to cub break outs.  They were bad.  Bad created poor attendance.  Poor attendance meant if I left the room, 25% to 50% of the audience would be leaving ... in a district with 20+ packs.  

What some may call a power grab, I see as addressing quality failures.  ... in fact ... the most important district role is done the worst:  unit commissioner.  Eighteen years as a unit leader (in different roles) and we've never had a unit commissioner visit.  Maybe a slight interaction, but absolutely zero useful.

IMHO, districts should be relieved because for far too long districts have looked for warm bodies to staff roles, training, activities, advancement, etc.  IMHO, that was just wrong.  We need to look for quality or re-engineer to create structures that promote quality.  

From what I see, districts are not going away.  It's just that everything in the district will be targeted at direct unit support.  aka commissioner service.  

          http://www.northernstar.org/Portals/2/Documents/2019-11_Putting-Units-First-Presentation.pdf

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6 hours ago, Midwest Scouter said:

Major Changes For Our Council - District, Venturing, Troops, Cubs, and etc.
As of Feb. 2020.

1) No More Roundtables
2) Merit Badge Counselors will be now be picked by a select council panel and Merit Badge Counselors will now be available to every scout/scout troop in the entire council area instead of just a local district option..
3) All committees within the district are to be dissolved and taken over by just one committee at the council.  Example; District Committee, District Activities, District Membership, District Webmaster <<< All dissolved.
3) Only one requirement/point will be left from the original Wood Badge Training Course. Everything else, will be brand new.
4) Districts can no longer have slogan/chant names. They will be known by Alphabetical Letters ONLY.

Huge power grab by the Councils.  Is this all coming from the Executive Board? Because of Lawsuits/Payouts?

My take on all of these.  I don't think this has to much to do with lawsuits and all that hullabaloo.  My guess is membership #'s down with new rate increase and losing LDS.

1) Round tables is usually the same old faces month in month out.   I haven't been in several months due to taking a breather from my husband's health issues but am wanting to get back in the fold now that I am CC for the troop.   I gleam a little bit of info from each one I go to but like another said its a chance to see friends and network on some levels.   They need some way to get the info out to more units and entice people to come.   I have suggested raffles or a points system to where at the end of the year, an auction for goods is had. 

2) oh man I see this being an issue.   Yesterday on Scoutbook I ran a MB counselor list for counselors w/in 50 miles and it was 28 people(1 of whom I know just passed away).  The beauty of the MBC application is being able to control at what level you can commit to.   For certain badges that are rather involved or can be somewhat difficult to achieve you may want to limit how many youth you actually take on.  If council keeps throwing youth at you and you can't help, you will get kicked to the curb pretty quickly.   Our council is 1/4 of Florida and serves over 17K youth.  I am a Truck Transportation counselor, there are not too many of us in the council.  Can I handle working with potentially over 100 or more youth?  Heck no.  Scouting is not my full time job.  

3)this will in turn take ages to actually get an answer on an issue or question.  Plus certain issues pertain to your particular area of the council geographically.

3/2) So are you saying that all MBC's and other "trained" adults must be Wood Badge trained?  Sounds like a money grab to charge for trainings and will quickly wear people thin.  Its like pulling teeth to get people to do the required training now as it is (speaking as a former Dist. Training chair)

4) "So where are you from?"  "Oh we are from B."  Talk about confusion.  10 Districts alone in my council.   I live in the largest city by area in the continental united states.   

Sounds like a bunch of cut backs about to happen at councils starting at the D.E. levels and working upwards.    Not sure about other councils, we have D.E.'s and Field Directors and others upwards. 

Burn out galore will hit councils along with frustrated volunteers leaving. 

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

I disagree.  Much of the district structure has been broken and broken for a long long time.  People expect quality and it's not there.  Today, you can one chance.  Maybe two.  Then, people move on.  

I often think about why I attend round table.  I really do it to see my friends.  Beyond that, there is no reason to attend.  In fact, I have several reasons to NOT attend.  One main reason is it can be a monotonous, re-hashing of the same content.   ... Years ago ... 18+ years ago or so ... I did anything I could to avoid going to cub break outs.  They were bad.  Bad created poor attendance.  Poor attendance meant if I left the room, 25% to 50% of the audience would be leaving ... in a district with 20+ packs.  

What some may call a power grab, I see as addressing quality failures.  ... in fact ... the most important district role is done the worst:  unit commissioner.  Eighteen years as a unit leader (in different roles) and we've never had a unit commissioner visit.  Maybe a slight interaction, but absolutely zero useful.

IMHO, districts should be relieved because for far too long districts have looked for warm bodies to staff roles, training, activities, advancement, etc.  IMHO, that was just wrong.  We need to look for quality or re-engineer to create structures that promote quality.  

From what I see, districts are not going away.  It's just that everything in the district will be targeted at direct unit support.  aka commissioner service.  

          http://www.northernstar.org/Portals/2/Documents/2019-11_Putting-Units-First-Presentation.pdf

I think roundtable is a good example to consider.  Roundtable serves a few purposes:

  1. provides ongoing training and problem solving for unit volunteers.  It helps improve volunteer readiness
  2. serves as a networking and social gathering point for volunteers.  It helps to build a stronger Scouting community
  3. provides an opportunity to distribute information to unit volunteers.

We tried discontinuing roundtable and saw: 1) fewer and less trained leaders, 2) increasingly disconnected local units, and 3) less engagement by local units in district activities.

My take away - having a meeting called "Roundtable" isn't that important.  Having a poorly planned and organized monthly meeting because the Council Commissioner said you have to do it isn't productive.  Having some sort of vehicle where unit leaders can network, get ongoing training, and get the latest news is very helpful in building Scouting in a local community. 

This is why I dislike these kind of changes.  We're getting rid of the very structures that help build Scouting in a community.  First it was local training and in many places roundtables.  Now you've got people getting rid of district camporees and local merit badge counselors.   Yet, in all this time I've never seen anything of real substance from anyone in the BSA - whether it national or council level that is really focused on strengthening local teams.

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41 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Now you've got people getting rid of district camporees ...

District camporees are only going away in name only.  Camporees will still exist.  It's just that council activities team will host camporees.  IMHO, this is better because camporees were never well coordinated between districts and some districts did not do them well.  IMHO, this is also good as you will ... hopefully ... get better attended camporees and a larger mix of camporees from which to select. 

Also, this might better leverage council camps.  For example, our council has six camps.  Three local.  Two within reasonable drive.  One that is three to four hour drive.  Instead of each district reserving part of the local camps and running separate camporees, the whole camp could be leveraged for a camporee.  Instead of a strong inference that you attend your district's camporee that happens once a year on a specific weekend and usually at the same place, you can now select the right location and right weekend that would be a better fit.   

Edited by fred8033

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51 minutes ago, Jackdaws said:

2) oh man I see this being an issue.   Yesterday on Scoutbook I ran a MB counselor list for counselors w/in 50 miles and it was 28 people(1 of whom I know just passed away).  The beauty of the MBC application is being able to control at what level you can commit to.   For certain badges that are rather involved or can be somewhat difficult to achieve you may want to limit how many youth you actually take on.  If council keeps throwing youth at you and you can't help, you will get kicked to the curb pretty quickly.   Our council is 1/4 of Florida and serves over 17K youth.  I am a Truck Transportation counselor, there are not too many of us in the council.  Can I handle working with potentially over 100 or more youth?  Heck no.  Scouting is not my full time job.


I think this council is saying that MB counselors can no longer limit themselves to just their own troop or district - not that you have to take on every Scout who might come your way.  MBCs can change their availability in Scoutbook if they think they do not have the time to take on more Scouts.

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2 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:


I think this council is saying that MB counselors can no longer limit themselves to just their own troop or district - not that you have to take on every Scout who might come your way.  MBCs can change their availability in Scoutbook if they think they do not have the time to take on more Scouts.

True.    

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Again, ""the work is done by whoever shows up".

What I hear is the drum beat of the present age.  Service clubs (Lions,  Kiwanis,  Rotary, etc. ) are seeing fewer young folk  show up, see the NEED to show up.  PTAs often see/hear the parents want the "best" for their kids, but that's for the teacher, the coach , the youth pastor to take care of.  

I think the souls active on this electronic typing practice page for the most part came from families , parents, that jumped in and saw the need to BE parents, to set an example of community activity for their kids.  I still meet folks who knew me growing up, and who are/were the Lions, Kiwanis, that ran the annual fundraising festivals, dinners, movie nights,,,,   Our hospital was built on ham and turkey and fried chicken dinners,, and the chicken didn't have far to walk to get to the dinner table. Our VFire dept was built by waffles and creamed chicken.  Such things are mostly funded now by regular fees and tax money (the volunteers and pro-fire fighters have learned to respect each other, grudgingly).  The Woman's Board for the hospital raised millions (with an M) of dollars with the annual Bazaar and Picnic.  When the new hospital (which replaced the old one that had been thrown up thru community efforts with the 1918 flu epidemic) was opened, and the new Director announced proudly that they should be justly proud of their efforts and accomplishments, he was loudly lauded. When he suggested that the Woman's Board and it's picnic was therefor no longer needed, he was "resigned" within 6 months.  The new new DIrector said he "liked fried chicken". 

The annual Hospital Bazaar is still a "big thing"  around here, but the service clubs and such scratch for the folks to make it run.  Tons of fried chicken and corn are still served up, but very little (if any) comes from close by and the cooks are all from the hospital kitchens.  It is the children and grand children of the original folks that make it run and recruit the more to make it run.   It doesn't seem "automatic" anymore.   The Scouts and kids that help EXPECT Student Service Hours, it's not done because it's  "fun" or done to be seen or meet your friends and feel good about being a help.  It seems the few kids that learn to make change selling snow cones and sodas have come with the parents who came with THEIR parents, many years ago.   I still look for my old friends, but when they come, their kids don't.   

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2) Merit Badge Counselors will be now be picked by a select council panel and Merit Badge Counselors will now be available to every scout/scout troop in the entire council area instead of just a local district option..

Other than what is a "select council panel", this is essentially Chapter 7 of the Guide to Advancement.  It didn't say if they were going to eliminate MBCs which would be foolish.    The Council Advancement Committee is the approval authority for MBCs.  There are badges listed in the GTA with specific qualifications needed.   Most times approval is passed to the District Advancement Chairman and the app is signed by the SE or DE.    They are eliminating the Troop only option which is good especially for badges that there are few MBCs.   MBCs always have the option to tell a scout they aren't available right now.  

 

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