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Mystical and Magical Powers of the DE,

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Got to thinking about the other thread, no sense diluting the discussion over there.


Soooooooo, I know a number of DE's that have a god complex and stomp all over volunteers for in my opinion minor things.


So other than answering questions regarding procedure and policy , maybe the occasional boy talk......does the DE have the authority to remove volunteers, fire people on the district committee??????


I guess I am looking for a better understanding for what HE IS SUPPOSED to be doing. Our guy notified us that the district needs to make a profit, 50%, on every event. What the #@$%$#@.


Can he force that????

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Thank God! I felt alone in this boat.


I have had my BSA membership threatened and told it was within the SE and DE's authority to do so. I have checked every publication I can find but the only person I found that has the ability to do so is the COR. Unless there is a youth protection violation (criminal act) involved.


Professionals get their pet projects, and even long time volunteers; they run a committee so long that it becomes kingdom. They believe this tenure grants them (in their egos) king like powers. From time to time situations need to be re-evaluated from the outside just like many corporations do.



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Without getting into the right or wrong of what you did, the Pros should not be "running" anything. But that means the volunteers need to do their jobs, too. The District Chairman runs the Disctrict Committee. The DE's title on the committee is "Staff Advisor". And I have never heard of a volunteer having their membership revoked over something this trivial. Usually that's reserved for a background check issue or YP issue. I HAVE heard of them being "not asked" to continue to serve at the District/Council level. That's why all District/Council volunteer positions are one year terms. Neither side is obligated to continue the relationship. Same applies at the Unit level, but the CO decides that...not the DE.

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The text quoted below was represented, by a reliable source on another board (who may or may not want that disclosed in another context, hence the anonymity), to be the "official" BSA job description for DE. The parenthetical remarks are commentary of the person who posted it originally.



TITLE: District Executive (note: there's a DIFFERENCE between this title and "District Professional", "District Representative" and "District Director"....mostly tied to level of responsibility and supervision and to compensation (money))

POSITION CONCEPT: Serve as an executive officer of the District and be responsible for the effective organization, operation and promotion of the Council's programs within the District. Responsible for the achievement of District objectives. Give staff guidance to the cultivating, recruiting, training, coaching and inspiring of key volunteer personnel for the District. Coordinate the work of District volunteer personnel so that their efforts will strenghten and extend the program offered by chartered organizations and their units. Assume additional Council-wide responsibilies as (outlined below) may be assigned. Reports to (Field Director or other intermediate supervisor; in this particular job description's case, she reports to the District Director of the Central District).


1. GIVE LEADERSHIP TO ALL DISTRICT VOLUNTEER PERSONNEL which will result in the District expriencing growth, continued improvement and acheiving accepted critical acheivements ("critical achievements" are a set of goals jointly coordinated and developed by the volunteer District committee and the professional; and finalized and quantified by the supervising Field Director and the professional. It's like Management by Objectives (MBO) or like the military's evaluation report support form, for those that understand either of those two concepts).

2. REVIEW, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE DISTRICT CHAIR, THE DISTRICT COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION and recruit and train/coach personnel in order that assigned committees will be properly staffed and function effectively.

3. WORK WITH THE DISTRICT COMMISSIONER AND COMMISSIONER STAFF and assist in recruiting, training and coaching to provide unit service, on-time registration of all units, and regular roundtable meetings (this is the reason why the professional also wears the "wreath of service" that all Commissioners wear as part of their insignia; the profession arose from the volunteer service of the Commissioner).

4. RECRUIT, IN COOPERATION WITH THE FINANCE CHAIR AND DISTRICT FOS (Friends of Scouting, what is still called in some Councils "Sustaining Membership Enrollment") CHAIR, LEADERSHIP FOR SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP ENROLLMENT to raise assigned share of the Council goal.

5. INSURE THAT REGULAR YEARLY VISITS ARE MADE TO THE HEAD OF ASSIGNED CHARTERED ORGANIZATIONS to review unit leadership and promote a quality program as explained in the Annual Service Plan.

6. ASSIST CHARTERED ORGANIZATIONS IN THE ORGANIZATION AND REORGANIZATION OF UNITS in order that all boys will be given the opportunity to participate in the Scouting program.

7. PROMOTE PARTICIPATION IN DISTRICT AND COUNCIL EVENTS, including summer camp, Scout show, Council parade, and adequate Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Exploring and Learning for Life activities and events. Develop and distribute a District calendar to aid communications with District and unit personnel.

8. MAINTAIN AN ACTIVE AND EFFECTIVE ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY, REPRESENTING THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, in order to fulfill the Council's obligations to the community.

(9, 10 and 11 are job-specific tasks of this particular executive. They include serving as advisor to the Council's Order of the Arrow program and outdoor camping events; being a positive role model for youth in the communities he or she serves as an outward sign of responsible Scouting leadership; and living a community, personal and professional life consistant with the Scout Executive Code. Some local Councils do not include additional items in the "generic" job description, but rather leave it to the supervisor and field executive to work out "the specifics" and to document it as part of the "critical achievements" for the first year.)

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That is all well and good.


But in reality does all that really happen?


My DE does little for me but sniff around for money and new youth application. He has been sending me a large number of "refugee" scouts, who are being displaced by poorly run Packs and troops. I believe this is simply about his retention numbers.

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The profit for every event thing is coming from the SE, it seems to have become a National policy ever since I was a DE, but 50% is plain ridiculous. The main responsibilites of any DE are MONEY and MEMBERSHIP and in that order, that too is National policy. If a DE has anytime leftover he can devote that to his district/s.


Every district has their Key3 = Dist Chair, Dist Comm, and Dist Exec, these three working together have pretty much most of the power and can remove any district level volunteer they wish if they feel that the individual is not doing their job.

As far as unit volunteers are concerned usually it is only if there is some kind of child endangerment or criminal activity will someone be removed but that is decided on by the SE after he has consulted the council legal advisors. The sad thing is that many times the SE will tell the DE to inform the volunteer and give him the letter of termination of his membership from the BSA. I had to do that once in my five years as a DE and it was not pleasent. The termination of any unit volunteers can only come from the SE.

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WOW I wish I had "mystical and majical powers" when I was a DE. ;)


Ok joking aside. On the unit side of things, unless things hit the fan, i.e. YP and G2SS issues involved, then no a DE or any other pro can dismiss someone, and actually it would be membership revocation.


That said, I have seen one leader have his membership revoked. Even though the leader was in my district, and the court case (pre-DALE) occured while I was a DE, the powers that be did not tell me anything, even the fact that the court ordered his membership reinstated while it heard the case (had to find that one out when he showed up at a RT in uniform and I called the SE). Again I do not know anything, but heard rumors that A) it was because he violated G2SS, B) there was an accident and the council's insurance wouldn't pay and he pitched a fit, C) he constantly questioned council policy and actions, and D)he confronted council executive board members publically in a resteaurant about council policy. But again I stress these are rumors and I do not know the exact reason why.


Now if you are on the district committee, I can tell you that the DE and other pros will try to influence the nominating committee to take people off the list. My SE didn't want some long term scouters who were doing an excellent job in their roles to continue b/c "they are anti-council." Another reason why I was on his list: I said I couldn't find another person with the individual's KSAs to do the job even half as well, and we really needed him in the role.


NOW playing Devil's Advocate. I have met folks who are so into themselves, that they forget why they are in their jobs: for the youth. Sometimes folks want to do everything, and you need for them to focus on one specific activity to do right. Also seen folks play politics, also detrimental to program.

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Point of order, the SE DOES have the right to rescind membership of anyone involved in violation of National policies or involved in criminal activity. As I said if the membership is revoked by National there is no voting it is a done deal and that person is out. The CO is then sent a letter telling them to remove this person from their roster.


This is usually only done in extreme cases where the youth are put at risk by this individual.


(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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BP, thanks for the insightful explanation of the process for revoking a membership. Isn't there some guidance given to pros about when to exercise this? I'm guessing that, since National is also informed of this, there must be a form for reporting it. I'm also guessing that there is a spot on the form for the reason for the revocation, and that "doesn't play well with others" is not one of the choices.


I suspect that these reports of DE's threatening to revoke membership over what amounts to differences in opinion over programming, are hollow threats. We hear several of them anecdotally, but does anyone know of such a threat being acted on? Would any SE really consent to revoke a membership for something like this? This is, of course different from removing them from a district committee position, which is basically an "at will" appointment by the committee.


Does National do anything to look into the merits when a membership is revoked? Sure, an unscrupulous executive could manufacture any number of reasons, but if an SE really forwarded something that said a membership was revoked over disagreements on a district committee, would it be accepted?


In trying to look into this, I came across reference to a publication titled "Scout Executive's Manual." It does not appear to be available publicly online. This would be an interesting read.(This message has been edited by the blancmange)

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Correct the SCOUT EXECUTIVE (caps for emphasis) is the only one that can REVOKE a person's membership. DE's are sometimes placed in the position of informing the individual, like you had to do, or blamed for the removal.


Even though I had become DE after the incident and after the individual brought a lawsuit against the council, I was viewed as the villian and was persona non grata with folks from that unit. In fact 8 years after the lawsuit, the unit folded, I left scouting professionally, and had left the area only to return due to my mom-in-law's health, I was still blamed for the situation by someone I ran into who was involved in the unit at the time.



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You are correct, the SE only gets involved if there are charges of child abuse, endangerment or serious criminal activity. A DE can not and does not have the power to revoke membership, if he is informed of a scouter involved with the above mentioned it is referred to the SE for investigation. There is no place to view the procedures the SE follows, as far as I know. To protect itself from a lawsuit I know they must substantiate the charges, in my old council the local police actually conducted part if not most of the investigation.


As far as child abuse, etc, there needs to be an official police report verifying the charges. In the case I was involved with the scout leader additionally admitted to the charges as well.

That was 20 years ago, so I can not tell you of the current procedures.

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