Re: Rumor Control
or blackeagle ("Settummanque)
Tue, 7 Apr 1992 17:30:00 EDT
I have talked off-lined with several BSA executives about this rumor (whih
which has been around for at least the past four years) of consoldating
Councils into larger, more managable areas.
(What's a Council??? A Council is a "geographical area in which the programs
of Cub Scouting, Boy/Varsity Scouting, and Exploring are executed and carried
out. It is headed by a volunteer Council President and a Council Commissioner.
The professional staff giving day to day management is headed by the Council
Scout Executive (in larger Councils he/she is the Scout Executive; in smaller
Councils, he/she is the Council Executive...semantics dealing with pay scales
that's all....) and his or her professional staff. Councils are subdivided
into two or more Districts, each with a volunteer staff and one or two professio
nal executives (urban areas may have a differing staff structure which also
consists of several paraprofessionals; some rural areas have this setup as
well....). " )
The problem with the current 418 Councils is that some of them are not doing
well financially. ALL Councils are obligated to provide a baseline program
and for that baseline require a baseline financial amount. Unfortunately,
many Councils are not meeting their financial "quota" (if you will) and as
a result, are either merged into larger Councils or split up among several
Councils and do not exist anymore. There is usually a two-three year period of
time in which this process occurs.
As a result, several Councils WILL merge by the time of the National Council
Meeting this spring. There will also be a proposal that the BSA slim down
its regional and area support staff (there are six BSA regions currently;
each region having a set of regional professionals/specialists in many areas
and a volunteer structure comprised of regional "experts" in dealing with
various areas of the BSA's programs. Likewise, there are 29 Areas in which
Councils are grouped together for mutual support and programming. These Areas
are led by a Area President (volunteer) and one or two Area Directors. Most
Area Directors are former Council (Scout) Executives and this serves as a
intermediate leadership rung to the Regional or National levels of professional
service.) as well....
In talking with the pros that I know at various levels, they all agree that the
BSA WILL do something about "non-productive Councils" and consoldate. At the
same time, the BSA in their (and my) opinion will do very little because most
Council volunteers are VERY supportive of THEIR Council and do not want to see
it a part of (or gone from completely) ANYTHING ELSE!
Now, if we can only get them to talk with their wallets and purses as well!
I know that this is *very* germane and not full of details (as my responses
usaully are) but the simple point is that right now, everyone is more concerned
about meeting their SME ("save my employment")/FOS ("figure out something")
goals right now and the very thought about consolidation or elimination drives
many up the wall.....because when you eliminate or consolidate, you also cut
professional slots too....at the District level and at the managerial level
(field director, program director, director of support services). Councils
just don't have that money that was pouring in as before to keep tenured peoople
on board until the economy gets better!
Settummanque!@HEY!!! I went through merger once and I HATE IT!!!!!!!
(former Paraprofessional Executive, Lonesome Pine Council BSA)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City