RE: Survey??? Scouting??
(no name) ((no email))
Sat, 24 Oct 1992 14:32:31 CDT
Let me add a brief afterthought to my previous posting:
If you were a relatively new Scoutmaster of a Troop and someone from the
National Office came to your meeting place, first off, you would probably
fall over. I mentioned a national survey that BSA did in 1986-87 asking
about the relationship between membership and leadership and I wanted to
pass along a couple of statements from it. I don't have the survey results
in front of me right now, but have talked to enough Rotarians and Scouters
to remember the gist of it.
First off, our professionals DO NOT DO WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO. Its
impossible in most areas. A professional, according to the National Executive
Institute, is supposed to have physical contact with the key leaders of EVERY
UNIT MONTHLY. The survey indicated that although the pros say that that
happen, only 5.2 visits per YEAR (as opposed to 13.9 what the professionals
report) were reported in the average unit. You should know the name and
address and phone number of your DE/DD/EE and he or she had better know YOURS!
Second, after the initial shock of seeing a professional has worn off (and I
know of Scouters that *still* talk about the evening that their DE showed up
at the Troop or Pack meeting for the first time, so that shock is longterm),
most Scouters are reluctant to "rat" on the local Council, even if the Council
"sucks big rocks". Why?? "Because the Council has the ability to remove me
and my members from Scouting, and I don't want to be the person that did that!"
Third, even when you tell that "we're not getting a lot of support from the
Council or the District", the question then comes up "Are you trained??"
"Well...I don't believe that training crap is gonna help..I'm a Eagle Scout.
I was a member of a Troop before, and I know how its supposed to be run. But
I'm getting no help from the District or Council" (Please, if I had $1.25
for EVERY time I've heard that as a volunteer and as a Paraprofessional, I
could take ALL of the members on this list out for White Castles (local
hamburgers chain, small hamburgers for .35 each or so)!!) The National
guy or gal writes this down as "failure to understand relationship between
District and local unit" and moves on.
Finally, when we get past the three obsticles above, and the Scoutmaster is
beaming proud of his Troop and how well the program seems to work, the
National person turns to the kids and asks "What would you do to change the
program??" The answer, again according to the '86-87 survey, is NOTHING!
NOT EVEN TO "ADD GIRLS". Scouts are happy even in programs that are "not
doing nothing but babysitting" because they are with their friends and they
are away from the parental influnces. Scouts are also happy because of the
overall nature of the Scouting programs, which, unlike many school systems,
allows each Scout to go and progress at their own speed ( I disagreed with
that, because I've seen "merit badge factories" where everyone earned the
same badges every month--where's the individuality there??).
The survey is part of the BSA's attempt to update the program and resulted
in the Scoutmaster Award of Merit and the Bear Enrichment program and
several other marketing ploys (which failed in the successive years). The
best part about that survey was they took advise from volunteers from ALL
Regions (instead of the two Regions that traditionally did such things) and
from ALL Quality Councils and not just the ones in the best Regions.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City