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Eagle94-A1

My district and council are doomed.

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This distressing thread makes me appreciate being in Montana Council more. My District Executive does try to support units under her responsibility. Since I spend most of my time serving my unit as scoutmaster, maybe I am suffering (or is it enjoying?) from ignorance is bliss on what my council is doing. 

My council offers discounts at stores and council camps for units and the members of those units when the unit reaches fundraising thresholds for popcorn sales and ICL (FOS), so this is a carrot approach instead of the stick approach. As a result, the council does not charge scouts an annual fee. Montana Council might have significant trust funds to help fund the four camps in the state and council operations. Scouts get incentives to sell popcorn from the council (1/3 of the sales go to the council and about 1/3 goes to the unit), so this carrot approach helps with fundraising also. Last year, Montana Council changed the popcorn incentives (ignoring the district popcorn chairs input) and that reduced popcorn sales. The council learned from this and started adopting input from volunteers for this year. Montana Council seems to be customer (i.e. the units and scouts) oriented, for which I am grateful. 

My unit has been through a lot the last 5 years (2.5 years of which I have been involved). The key to getting back to health was a group of unit leaders going back to basics and support the scouting program for the scouts. This took time and dedication. The same can be done for districts and councils. Usually, they are starving for volunteers, so new blood can bring change quickly...as long as they remember who the customer is...the scout and units. Hoping this happens for the Councils being described in this thread.

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Update.

Met the "new" DE this weekend. Actually he is the DE in a neighboring district. Found out that we will be merging with 2 other district come January 1.  Ours will be the smallest geographic district with a little over 31000 square miles of territory. Largest will be almost 46000 square miles. Currently no idea how roundtables, event planning, and district Eagle BORs are going to be done. At least the bug to switch to the Unit Committee with District representation option has been mentioned to the DE.

Interesting character. If I didn't know he was a professional, I would think he is a new volunteer. Very jaded with a lot of stuff coming out of national at the moment. 

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4 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Currently no idea how roundtables, event planning, and district Eagle BORs are going to be done.

Zoom. I suspect that with mega councils and mega districts we'll see more and more that Zoom won't go away even if COVID does.

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56 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Zoom. I suspect that with mega councils and mega districts we'll see more and more that Zoom won't go away even if COVID does.

Do not know how effective that will be. We have areas of  the council with no internet service, or dial up service, as we a rural area. Some of my friends are only online at work because of connectivity. Others are using their phones as hot spots, which uses data. One of my friends is paying through the nose to get unlimted data so his 3 kids can do their online school work with their phones as hotspots.

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On 10/5/2020 at 12:02 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

Do not know how effective that will be. We have areas of  the council with no internet service, or dial up service, as we a rural area. Some of my friends are only online at work because of connectivity. Others are using their phones as hot spots, which uses data. One of my friends is paying through the nose to get unlimted data so his 3 kids can do their online school work with their phones as hotspots.

The question I wonder about is just what is the right structure for councils in large, rural areas?  What do you do when there are not enough units to be able to have enough district volunteers for in-person meetings within a reasonable drive?  I don't love Zoom calls either, but I'm not sure what else you do.  I know that I'm not driving two hours for a district meeting.

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8 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

  What do you do when there are not enough units to be able to have enough district volunteers for in-person meetings within a reasonable drive? 

I find crying to be effective. 

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On 10/5/2020 at 11:02 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

Do not know how effective that will be. We have areas of  the council with no internet service, or dial up service, as we a rural area. Some of my friends are only online at work because of connectivity. Others are using their phones as hot spots, which uses data. One of my friends is paying through the nose to get unlimted data so his 3 kids can do their online school work with their phones as hotspots.

As a DE in a rural area, my biggest fear was internet access for my volunteers. I have seen storylines. 

My district committee  has loved using zoom because they don't have to drive to "another meeting". The Chair has proposed we make this a regular thing even in a post pandemic world. 

Unit level volunteers despise it and would rather risk meeting in person than do anymore #ScoutingAtHome. And to their credit, a lot of them don't get any internet access at all anyways. 

The Comms still meet up at a bar for their meetings I'm pretty sure lol. 

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12 hours ago, carebear3895 said:

As a DE in a rural area, my biggest fear was internet access for my volunteers. 

Trust me, it can be bad. COVID really showed how poor the local internet infrastructure is. Schools have issued laptops and hotspots to students.  They also left the wifi running while school has closed so there are students in the parking lots. Local businesses have offered or expanded wifi to help students. The city owned internet provider, which can not expand outside city limits thanks to major telecom companies lobbying to stop them, has established several free wifi zones to help students. One of the reasons i was "essential" was my library was open with limited service and capacity. 100% of the patrons needed computer or wifi access.

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 It’s a pity the postal service couldn’t charge a penny per email. Internet would have been everywhere 

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Reagarding online training, it is virtually nil. One person attempted to do YPT 2.O, and stopped after spending 4 hours trying to dowload and do it. When we finally got permission to do the live version, and we went thru hoops to get it from the SE, we had a large attendance. As soon as the COVID situation gets better, we will be doing a 3rd time. Ditto all the training. COVID seriously screwed up my training achedule.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, qwazse said:

 It’s a pity the postal service couldn’t charge a penny per email. Internet would have been everywhere 

Telecom would have lobbied to stop it. We have 2 large towns/small cities in the state that have their own internet service provider companies. Mine was doing so well, they met their 5 year goals in 9 months. The city knew there was a demand. But did not realize how big a demand there was. Telecom sued, and kept losing all the way to SCOTUS. Then they changed tactics.  Telecom lobbied the state to limit how far the city ISPs could expand in territory,  essentially city limits and existing county customers, and prevented other cities from doing the same.

 

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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9 minutes ago, qwazse said:

 It’s a pity the postal service couldn’t charge a penny per email. Internet would have been everywhere 

I really like the idea but fear their implementation - more junk email, slower delivery. Maybe tax bandwidth of ISP's - email, Netflix, Xbox Live..?

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

I really like the idea but fear their implementation - more junk email, slower delivery. Maybe tax bandwidth of ISP's - email, Netflix, Xbox Live..?

The junk email would have to be worth the sending. Imagine that for each spam sent to every American account, 3 million dollars went to the post office.

But that’s just the tip of iceberg. Electronic stamps could be the thrill of philatelists worldwide.

But like @Eagle94-A1 said, existing telecom giants benefit greatly from the liberty to not be as ubiquitous as the post office.

Edited by qwazse

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The Post Office didn't and doesn't own the infrastructure necessary to be an ISP.  I suppose they could have contracted to build an entirely parallel infrastructure.  Or they could have demanded access from all the telecom, cable, satellite, and cellular companies. But, do you really want a federal government agency in control of the internet?  Reading your email, denying you access to encryption services, watching your reading habits?  Having the power to shut your access down indiscriminately?  Do you want to give that power to Trump?  Biden?  Harris?  Imagine if today's internet existed during the 60s.  How easy would it have been for Hoover to surveil King?

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