RE: Survey??? Scouting??
(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 24 Oct 1992 13:54:24 CDT
Yes, the BSA surveys those Councils/Districts AND those units within those
Quality Districts and Councils for various program developments. I agree with
you, that the BSA should concentrate on the areas where the program is NOT
doing well...but follow me through with *their logic* (not mine!):
When a survey is done, lets say in the Kentucky River Valley District of the
Cardinal Council, the national staffers are seeing what *they* did to improve
upon the program and what *they did not do* to make the program work. They
may or may not introduce a "pilot program" there, saying "Well..your District
has done unbelievably well in", say, "retention of WEBELOS into Scout Troops.
See if this effect (change, modification, etc.) works in half of your units
and the other half does whatever it is you're doing. Have you DE and his/her
Field Director to send the results to our offices (at the end of the year,
at the end of survey period) and compare notes then."
The District, which is not going to lose a significant number of WEBELOS
already, tries the "pilot program" and it bombs big-time. The units that
used it lost more WEBELOS than before the District's Transition Committee
was established to meet this critical need. So, the National staffer(s)
decide to use the District's Transition Committee idea in say, Los Angeles.
In that way, they are not "reinventing the wheel" every time they go to
another local Council and the impact on "stupid ideas" are not as hard as
it would be in a floundering District (where it could potentially destroy
the entire program for that year).
About talking with adult leaders: the collective experience of the national
staff has been that when going to local Councils, you want to go where the
program works the best, where the kids are getting the most from the program
(and where the money continues to flow into the Council). No matter who you
are on the national staff, your prescence is not going to do anything if
the local Council is on its last toe trying to raise money for a program year.
so, talking with the "locals" and getting their impressions are 1) going to
anger the local volunteers even more, since all they are hearing is "we have
to have your help (financially, personally, time-wise) 2) anger the professional
staff even more (because they are already getting extreme pressure from the
professionals at their Area and Region) which will turn into not-good times
for the volunteers in the District/Council and 3) will make the many "good"
supporters "nervotic" (sp) because of the "interest" the national office
has on the local Council (even if the national people/person states "All I am
here to do is to listen to your volunteers and some of your professionals to
make the program better". (Man, if *I* heard that, I would be guarding my
checkbook even closer!)
I agree with you and many others that National should be listening to the
"real" workers out here, and not the boardroom types. They need to come to
our worst Troops and Packs and Posts and listen to us. They also need to stop
trying to "transpose" Scouting programs to be used in every aspect of
American life. The program was NOT meant to do that. That is why we have many
of our problems...not from the "traditional programs" but rather from the
modifications to our programs to meet the needs of several other areas of
our society (not societial groups, I am talking here....for Scouting HAS met
the positive needs of the handicapped/challenged, rural Scouts, Scouts in
the innercities, on Reservations and in foreign lands. Scouting adequately
has addressed the needs of women and girls and has also addressed the needs of
"non-traditional" settings for its programs.
What I am talking here, is the need of Scouting to make itself available in ALL
churches, ALL schools, MOST community groups and on and on and on. Scouting
is first and foremost, an outdoor recreational program. Secondly, its an
educational and citizenship development program. If the national staff can
remember those things, we would not have such a time dealing with Cub Scout
Sports and Cub Scout Academics or Varsity or Venture Scouting or Career
Awareness Exploring or all the rest of the "spin-offs" from our traditional
programs (leave Tiger Cubs alone for this discussion...this is a good precursur
for the Cub Scouting program and we really needed it!).
I had started to make the other posting about the Quality Unit process, Rick.
But, I wanted to repost the original posting that I did (and am having some
difficulty with locating it). As soon as I find it, I'll repost it because
I think that that posting would help in this discussion!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City