RE: [Settummanque, the blackeagle : Re: Bill Hillcourt's passing]
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 16 Dec 1992 19:29:13 CST
G E Hedrick <geh@A.CS.OKSTATE.EDU> writes:
(my comments to Kathie reference allowing volunteers to know
everything that is going on at the local Council office)
>>>>Kathie...please be careful here....there are LOTS of professionals out
>>>>there that will SHUT THE DOOR on volunteers that "get too close" or
>>>>"tell more than you are supposed to know".
for the monetary benefits only and fail to look at the impoact upon
the youth and adult members of the Council.
Its really unfortunate that there are many professionals out there
that have used their role as administrators to "quell" those of us out
there that are more knowledgable about OUR program than they are. Some
do it out of jealousy; others out of self-preservation. I know
personally of nine volunteers that have received letters asking them
to leave Scouting because they "do not meet the high standards
expected of our volunteers" (wording from boilerplate statement that
local Councils are authorized to send to volunteers that they don't
want a part of their Council anymore).
A small summary (with Council names and locations deleted, because
four of them read this list):
* in one case, a former Scoutmaster was told to stop having any
association with the BSA because he failed to "go with the flow" and
have the DE decide on which volunteers in his unit get training
awards, instead of allowing each person to earn their own training
award as they earned it. When this volunteer appealed to the Council
Field Director, the Field Director turned and said that "it won't
matter, because you won't have a Troop to lead".
* A District Executive told key members of his District Committee,
including this lady, that "either you help me to meet my goals or your
days as a Scouter are numbered". She refused to spend the extra time
to help him to raise monies, and she was asked to leave Scouting.
She appealed to the Regional Director, and was reinstated but she then
left BSA for another youth agency.
* in two cases, professionals told members of District Committees to
stay silent when it was revealed that "extra units" were created with
youth dual-registered in other units and led by key members of the
District Committee, all of which were registered as multiples in this
unit. In other words, these were non-existant units with members
already registered in other units and adults already registered as
* in another case, inaction by a volunteer got him "relieved". This
happened when a volunteer, registered as a Assistant District
Commissioner, outshone the District and Council in all areas and
recruited a staff of commissioners to serve a local area, which has
not seen commissioners in years. When the Council Scout Executive
asked the ADC to get rid of the commissioners because "they were not
needed. That's why I have DEs for", the ADC did nothing. The unit
Commissioners were not re-registered as commissioners and the ADC got
his "walking papers".
* and in yet another pityful case, a former District Chairman was too
successful and managed to exceed the unit and membership goals for two
consective years, exceeded ALL Quality District goals for both years
and managed to raise 143% of their SME goal in the second year. He was
shown the door outward, because he complained to the Scout Executive
that "his district should get Quality District because we worked hard
for that distinction." The Council Executive calmly told him that
since he is the final authority, he wasn't going to get Quality
District for his District...and that he felt that NONE of his
Districts were deserving of Quality honors. When the District Chair
went to the Region, and that Area's Director came down for a visit,
the District was named a Quality District but afterwards, the Chair
was replaced and told not to work anywhere in Scouting because his
name is now on a list to bar membership in.
>>>>And the policies of the local Council is what drives the train.
I cannot get any more plainer than that. The local Council has the
authority, under the Rules and Regulations of the BSA, to bar from
membership ANYONE it deems not up to the standards of the BSA, as THEY
SEE IT. There is, as we all know, NO set of "standards for leadership"
other than the citizenship and morality statements. Therefore, local
Councils and their Scout/Council Executives can remove "troublemakers"
from their Councils at will with little recourse at the Regional or
I stated an example here, that really did happen in yet another case.
Despite the efforts of the volunteer to bring this to the attention of
the Region, the local Council got rid of him quickly before the next
scheldued trip by the Area Director to the Council.
See, the BSA is NOT a public agency, despite what courts are trying to
decide, and that is how they can do this with no harm to the program
or to the local Council. Those things are NOT public knowledge and
making them public knowledge can ruin the Council's ability to raise
monies successfully and to attract corporate and other volunteers for
other programs. It also makes it increasingly hard to promote new
programs when the public berates you for having "two separate
programs" in a local Council.
>>>>If a local Council (and this happens a whole lot, mostly in the South)
>>>>has a policy whereby a community will have two Scout Troops or two Cub
>>>>Packs, each serving a racial group and is for the most part
>>>>inexclusive of the other unit, and you come in, realizing that somehow
>>>>this is wrong and attempt to organize a unit whereby ALL members of
>>>>the community will be welcomed as members or leaders; YOU are treading
>>>>on thin ice because the policy is there....this has been going on for
>>>>years and you can't change it.
>I think we have an obligation to try to change such policies. I prefer to
>work within the system. It might take longer (than my lifetime?) that
>way but it keeps scouting avialable to the boys.
Woody, I too prefer to work within the framework of the local Council
but there are many that want to do that, but before they could raise
the issue, they are silenced by professionals that are looking out for
their own personal/professional interest at heart and not the program.
So, how do you deal with this?? How can I, as Kathie suggests, go out
and tell everyone about this bad policy of the Council to present
training awards ONLY to those that have supported the local Council?
In the real world, this is extortsion!
Good thing that this doesn't happen everywhere and that given time,
the DE/CE/SE gets sloppy and gets fired or replaced or both. As a
former part time (I have NEVER worked fulltime for Scouting--would
love to, though!) executive, I have witnessed lots of situations
whereby the professionals staff basically made ALL of the critical
decisions for the Council and then turned to their volunteer structure
and say (*moving their heads up and down*) "you guys support this,
right?" and the volunteers to a man, reply, moving their heads up and
down, because "We trust that you guys know what you're doing or else
you wouldn't be professionals, right?"
I wanted to make sure that I clarified myself on this issue, because
it speaks close to me more than any other issue in Scouting. This is
the one issue that makes me cautious about even wanting to enter the
profession of Scouting. We are supposed to be the managers of the
program for the volunteers, and in lots of places, this is happening
and the pros are doing a thankless job of this.
In other places, the professionals are running our program by default
because we as volunteers are scared stiff about confronting them and
telling them that the BSA, the organization that according to the
Scout Executive's Code, is supposed to come second to the volunteers
and the youth, says that *this* is the way its supposed to work.
That was the reason why, Kathie, when you said that we have an
obligation to go out and share information, I was right behind you.
But when you stated that we have the responsibility to do this, I
had to apply the brakes a little. Some Councils don't think that this
is the responsibility of volunteers to give out information--that's
why they have DEs, they'll say. But we ALL have obligations to share
information about Scouting with each other.
Just be careful, that's all.
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
((MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( (insert good paying job here with lots of benefits!) ___)_ )
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