Re: Computing in BSA
(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 12 Sep 1992 21:16:29 CDT
You're exactly right! A Scout is trustworthy, however, there seems to be
a big disconnect between that statement and the one that area and regional
and national professionals tell the Scout Execs of their councils. It
starts out with "I understand that things are tight right now..." and ends
with "...otherwise, we will have to merge your council or split it up into
sizes which can be manageable (and profitable)...".
Local councils are very weary of giving you the true, entire picture. In a
lot of cases, they're embarrassed, because what they've been saying to the
public and to agencies that are giving them large sums of money, is that
everything is alright...everything is fine...we're having a great time. On
the other hand, they're fighting...literally fighting a host of other youth
serving agencies for their share of the youth, the resources, and yes, the
money to continue Scouting.
I don't expect you or anybody else to run into your council office on Monday
or any other time and demand to see the books. If you do that, you will
probably be met with a lot of reservation, some anger, and in many cases, a
defensive attitude. Let's face it, no one likes to be wrong! And in lots
of council's cases, although they're trying as hard as they can, they're
great efforts are not hitting exactly the way it is...
By all means, ALL SCOUTERS in a local council SHOULD KNOW what is going on in
their council!! It is THEIR council...they hire the professionals, the
office staff, they raise the money (or a large share of it) on behalf of the
council, therefore they should have a proper accounting of where it is all
going and how it is all going. Most councils will open the books to ANYONE
that comes in with a legitimate reason and explanation. At the same time,
however, do understand that the execs that you hired also have a responsibility
to the national organization and to its local "Board of Directors" (council
exec board). Therefore, their allegance (if you will) will be strongly leaning
over to them and less over to the volunteers in the street.
The thing about councils padding their books have been around for years and
the national office has several tools at their disposal to take care of those
problems, to get rid of execs (including council Scout execs) that do those
kind of things, and to bar from membership those volunteers who have partici-
pated in such events. It works and although I'm not privy to the actual number
of cases, there have been several execs and volunteers that have been asked to
stay away from the BSA because of such practices. It's not a common thing.
I hope that I have instilled a lot more confidence in the ability of your
council's professional staff to "do the right thing" and "tell it like it
really is". Most of them do, but please understand they do so with the
understanding that their job may be the one to be cut the following year.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City