RE: BSA Organization Communication
Wed, 9 Sep 1992 14:56:23 CDT
Glad to see you on here! Unfortunately, Jon (the list owner) and several
other of us have tried many times to approach BSA National or one of the
six now four regions to get them to have some input or to establish a
BBS, but with no avail.
There are several reasons why, but it all boils down to three:
1) The BSA has stated publicly and privately that their basic lines of
communication with volunteers and professionals in the field are their
external communications (Scouting, Boy's Life, NESA News, BSA Family
Alumni, Direct Service Scouter for Volunteers; Prospeak (Professionally
Speaking), Supply Division News, Scout Executives Update, and Public
Relations Tools Monthly for Professionals and Technical-Professionals).
That is all they are interested in doing right now.
2) There are five hundred + local councils each council with its own
Executive Board and its own local policies in addition to those of National's.
Would you believe, Leah, that some of them have actually FORBID their Execs
from participating in any kind of outside communication without approval from
the Executive Board?! Yeah, this is America, but as Chris Haggerty said
earlier, litigation does kinda run the show now-a-days and there are many
Execs that have said the wrong thing at the wrong time (and caused a lot
of embarrassment and loss of income).
3) Believe it or not, there are lots of Field Execs out there that don't
know the power or the capability of e-mail and mediums like this. My recent
answer to a puzzling question prompted me to call one of the people at National
and we spent more time talking about the list than we did in answering the
question...*laugh* Ummmm, they'll come around, but it just takes time, like
In the meantime, myself and others on this list that have either served as
either full-time or part-time professionals or are serving as full-time Execs
answer questions based on our experience and BSA policy. Many other volunteers
like Don Izard, Kathie Cervany, Chris Haggerty, and Keith Garbutt, base their
opinions and answers on their current position in Scouting and again on
National policy. When we have problems with interpretation of those policies,
we're not afraid to pick up the phone and ask someone or to fire off a letter
to the appropriate division at National or at one of the Regional offices.
Just because, Leah, there is no "official" representation on here, doesn't
mean that problems that we encounter don't get to them. As Kathie can
probably tell you, we solved a long-time problem that her council has had
involving Roundtable Staffs. We have also solved many other problems for many
other local councils and units.
Besides, if we had some "official" representation on here, I think that this
list would become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the BSA instead of what
it is...a medium where information, opinions, and comments can be exchanged
without the risk of offending some official or the program in general. If
you've been following this list over the last seven months or so you would
have seen that we talk about a wide variety things and not just things
involving the BSA, and that's what makes the list REALLY neat!
Mike Walton (on my honies account)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City