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My district and council are doomed.


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23 hours ago, MattR said:

This all assumes you have more volunteers than open positions. "We haven't had that spirit here since 1969."

 

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I also feel the same way after learning of my local councils plans.  If it were not for the boys I would almost  feel like leaving.  Local council had 2 zoom calls the 1st during the week that we held

Ditto.  What if all the units just said NO?  Let the SE chew on that for awhile...

It's the old adage...Do we raise money to enable a community to have Scouts OR Do we have Scouts to enable a group to be able to raise money. Agree that way too many volunteers feel the "Council"

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I think there are a bunch of factors as to why many Scouters do not care about the new district in my neck of the woods.

1. We have had lousy to non-existent customer service from the council. We have not had our own DE in about 8 years now. And the last one we had was useless. He would not do anything to help get us back in the schools for recruiting, nor did he go after volunteers to serve on the district level. Worse still he and a few other pros actually ran off volunteers. And if help was needed, nowhere to be found.

2. Pros at the council have interfered with events, and ran off volunteers. We have had folks spend months planning events, and no sight of a professional at the planning meetings. Then with no advance notice, and ignoring what the volunteers who have planned and organized the event want, they add additional events and activities causing problems. I've mentioned my camporee that had a Cub Scout event added to it with a weeks notice over training chairwoman and my objections. We had folks plan a workday to prep a camp for camporee, and told in no uncertain terms that there will be no workday. We had events planned out, organized, and ready to go, only to have it announced at a meeting the event was cancelled, WITHOUT EVER NOTIFYING THE VOLUNTEER IN CHARGE OF THE EVENT PRIOR TO THE ANNOUCEMENT (emphasis).

3. Pro have ignored the input of Scouters, have been rude to the Scouters, and have yelled, screamed, & cursed  out Scouters. 

So with all the garbage that has happened, why do I want to save the new district?

A. We are dying. When I was a DE in  20+ years ago we had 10 active Packs, 10 active Troops, and 2 active Explorer Posts/Venturing Crews in what is the old district. Today we have 3 Packs, and 7 Troops in the old district's territory. By working together, we may be able to turn things around.

B. There are opportunities for the youth that we need numbers for. By working together, we can provide them,

C. IF things turn around at the council level, and I have a feeling we will be merging with other councils in the future, working together may show that the new district can support itself.

I admit i am an optimist.

 

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14 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Ditto.

Here, our district has two major challenges.  

1.  No Commissioner Corps to speak of...  (There is no one to help units know what "right" looks like.)

Never really seen commissioners, concept is great, just never really seen on in many many (oh so many) years as a leader

14 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

2. The District schedules too many events, if you can believe it...  

Who really cares.  Do what is BEST for YOUR unit.  The most poorly attended events for our unit were the camporees and council events.  They did not resonate with our guys, so, the Greenbar leadership dropped them.  They did ask if they could and we advised they decided on the program, so that's what we did.

14 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

And you are castigated if you don't attend/support the events.  It is like the district is planning a whole Troop program year so the Troops don't have to.  When I am asked why we weren't at such and such an event, I simply say, "Because the PLC decided they wanted to do something else."  And, unfortunately, that answer is not acceptable to most in our council.  smh

Who actually cares what the district or council thinks about how YOUR Scouts run THEIR program.  If you get grief at roundtables, don't attend those events.  Who needs that in their life.  

Our focus is on the Scouts in our unit.  

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3 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Never really seen commissioners, concept is great, just never really seen on in many many (oh so many) years as a leader

I thought I was the only one who had that opinion.  I have never seen the unit commishioners as effective at all.  

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I tried my best.  I took the best stuff from others and passed it along.  I loved my job.  Kids happy, parents beaming, God is in his Heaven and all is well with the World.

After thinking about it.  If I could, I would pay the Council up to $1,000 a year if I could just help Packs go.  Not to be someone important, just to be available to help deer-in-headlights parents get back on their feet.  Ya, I'd pay a grand to be part of the solution.  -The wife would be pissed as hell though.  She hates all of it.

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6 hours ago, fred8033 said:

I thought I was the only one who had that opinion.  I have never seen the unit commishioners as effective at all.  

I'd sign up to be one if I saw a way to make it work. It's an impossible position as described. As implemented it's a group of people that answer simple questions about council policy. My troop's commissioner goes to most of our committee meetings but is solely there to answer questions about policy. If there's a bigger purpose they're not interested.

Comparing that reality to the discussions here about commissioners being an important way to help units develop - I see a gap.

 

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3 minutes ago, MattR said:

I'd sign up to be one if I saw a way to make it work. It's an impossible position as described. As implemented it's a group of people that answer simple questions about council policy. My troop's commissioner goes to most of our committee meetings but is solely there to answer questions about policy. If there's a bigger purpose they're not interested.

Comparing that reality to the discussions here about commissioners being an important way to help units develop - I see a gap.

 

The other side of the coin is that unit leaders need to be open to the guidance Commissioners give.  Many unit leaders I know think that when a district or council person (vol or pro) shows up at their events, it only means trouble.

Leaders must be continually developed.  Youth and adult.  I do not get the sense that this mindset exists in our council.

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3 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

The other side of the coin is that unit leaders need to be open to the guidance Commissioners give.  Many unit leaders I know think that when a district or council person (vol or pro) shows up at their events, it only means trouble.

Leaders must be continually developed.  Youth and adult.  I do not get the sense that this mindset exists in our council.

Good point. The reason for the mistrust is because most of the actions unit leaders see from commissioners has the perception of authority. Right or wrong, commissioners are perceived as disciplinaries for the districts.

Most participants of adult leader training classes express that a major benefit of the classes is making new friends. How many of those participants or teachers are  commissioners? Commissioners don't mingle enough within the activities to build a friendship and trust. 

If we choose to recruit experienced scouters for the role of commissioners, then they need to show their skills to units to build a trust as a resource. Theoretically, commissioners are also supposed to be trainers. But, we don't see that much these days, mostly because the district committee chairs aren't trained well and don't work together. Ironically that is the part of the duties of the District Commissioner.

We could go blame scouters responsible for neglecting their duties, but we have to step back and remember they are just volunteers. If we want the right person for the right job, we need to get better at recruiting. Something most district are poor at doing.

Barry

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8 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Most participants of adult leader training classes express that a major benefit of the classes is making new friends. How many of those participants or teachers are  commissioners? Commissioners don't mingle enough within the activities to build a friendship and trust. 

In my district most of those instructors are either members of the District Committee or are Commissioners.

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5 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

In my district most of those instructors are either members of the District Committee or are Commissioners.

That is rare, but the way it should be. How do you rate your commissioner corp.?

Barry

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4 hours ago, Eagledad said:

That is rare, but the way it should be. How do you rate your commissioner corp.?

Barry

We are no different than many of the districts we see discussed here, in that we do not have enough of us, but our core group of commissioners and district committee members are extremely active, and are right there in the trenches along with unit leaders.

I consider myself to be lucky to be a part of what many look at as the best district in a well run council.  Just an example of how our council leadership is looking at the big picture:  when it was announced that councils could charge a program fee up to, but no more than the national membership fee, they institued that fee with a caveat.  There are no longer any fees charged for district events.  District camporee is free to all scouts and scouters.  Cub family camp is free to all Cubs/parents/siblings.  BALOO/IOLS free to all leaders.  When national then raised the recharter fee late in the year, the council leadership told us that since we announced to units back in February 2020 what it would cost per scout to recharter, they would absorb the national increase.

This is not to say that we do not have problems from time to time, but overall, I think the vast majority of scouters at both the district and council level are in it for the right reasons, and work to provide the best possible program to our scouts.

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Done correctly, commissioner is both fun and rewarding. But, that kind of program requires good leadership. District Commissioner was my dream job after I retired from Scoutmaster, but council and district burned me out the next few years and I retired completely from scouting. They came to my door and offered me the job 3 years later, but I developed to many new habits with the family to jump back into the program. My loss.

Barry

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45 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Done correctly, commissioner is both fun and rewarding. But, that kind of program requires good leadership. District Commissioner was my dream job after I retired from Scoutmaster, but council and district burned me out the next few years and I retired completely from scouting. They came to my door and offered me the job 3 years later, but I developed to many new habits with the family to jump back into the program. My loss.

Barry

Barry, thank you for all you did for scouting...

Wanna do a 50-miler with us on the Delaware River in August?🤪🤪🤪

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1 hour ago, MikeS72 said:

district committee members are extremely active, and are right there in the trenches along with unit leaders.

I consider myself to be lucky to be a part of what many look at as the best district in a well run council.

Again, I would pay money to be part of that environment for a year.   Right here, I'm trying to practice democracy in Moscow.

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