Re: HEAD in the sand observations
(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 12 Oct 1991 16:52:00 EDT
Yes, there are lots of National volunteers that know this problem...and
those are the same ones that developed the Varsity and Venture programs.
Unfortunately, as several of Kathie's posting provide, many Councils are
not sinking any monies into nothing other than the "bread and butter"
(read that "proven money makers") programs of Cubs, Scouts and Exploring.
No Varsity means that (other than the LDS units), if a 13 year old Life
Scout wants more of a challenge, he will have to get it at a special program
at summer camp. If a 14 year old Eagle wants to do more, he has to look at
the OA (using your son's example!!), the NESA or a great outdoor Explorer
Post that he can get into.
When National (through the Area Director beating the Scout/Council Exec
on the head with a wet newspaper!) says "Hey look here...you're losing a
large number of youth..why haven't you instituted the Varsity program??",
then the Council gets into high gear and, again using Kathie's explaination
of the three year start-up period for the new WEBELOS program (which I know,
is *not* new any more!), messes up and skips two or three "minor" (read that
as "crucial" steps, then the whole program dies before it even starts.
Councils have to face facts: When we do program changes like this, it has
been tested someplace before. Do it right...and if it don't work like its
supposed to, then modify it to meet your Council's youth needs. Don't \
"put your head in the sand" and think that it will be "all over and things
will go back to normal soon".
The biggest problem we face as volunteers is adapting the program as we
knew it to face the youth challenges of the next ten years. We can use the
existing program as a jumping off point--but we must be ready to adapt the
program to meet our youth's (Council-wide) needs as we go along.
Remember the "program helps"?? National once told Councils that ALL troops
must use them to be successful. It wasn't until 1968 when Art Schalook(sp),
the then Chief Scout Executive, wrote a memo to each Scout Executive
reversing the decision. "Our program helps are a waste of time to the
experienced Scoutmaster", he wrote. "Instead of trying to make the program
more like the military, uniformity and exacting, we need to make it more
diverse, to reflect the true spirit of the American boy..and his Scout Troop
and Patrol" (back in those good ol' days, Patrols did things almost
independent to the Troop...and the Patrol Leader was really trained in his
role as a leader and trainer!)
The National Executive Institute still teaches new DEs and Associates that
"the program helps are a very important part of the Troop's operation. if
a Troop operates not using them, something must be wrong with the Troop or
with the conduct of the program." (statement attibuted to a former national
trainer who has since retired from the profession, Thank Goodness!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City