Re: Professional Scouting
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Sat, 14 Aug 1993 23:04:00 CDT
(the comments are on professional Scouting....I replied to a note that
Olan forwarded asking for some "Ann Landers"-type advice.....)
Olan Watkins <o.watkins@GENIE.GEIS.COM> writes:
>Let me add that what you posted from Mike Settumanque was GREAT stuff, the
> "real world of Professional Scouting" as he saw it! Much needed.
>One correction: He stated that professionals were required to attend Wood
> Badge. Wish that 'twere so. Most I have known have not done so. Our
> Council, for instance, has about 20% pr less that have.
Since 1973, District Executives (code 41), Exploring Executives (code
44), Neigborhood Executives, Educational Executives and Associate
Exploring and District Executives (all which I don't have the code
numbers for...sorry...) ALL MUST complete either Wood Badge _or_
National Camping School (program or administration sections) (or
both) BEFORE attendance at NEI III (the final phase).
In 1978, the BSA formalized the requirement as part of the
Professional Training Award for all commissioned professionals to
earn. "Executives with no supervisory responsibilities for other
Executives (primarily DE 41 and EE 44, but others that DO NOT
supervise another professional as part of their job description) may
use BOTH Wood Badge AND National Camping School to meet this
In 1980, the BSA restated the aim of each professional member to
complete Wood Badge and National Camping School BEFORE he or she
completes NEI III and in notes to each Region, stresses that
"professionals that do not complete such mandatory and neccessary
volunteer training risk not being accepted..." as full professionals.
>Othr than that -- all I can add is that a professional is often taken aback
> (we have had many resign due to) by the emphasis on what the professional
>sees as the wrong things -- statistics rather than quality.
>Job evaluation statistics, raises, job levels, promotions, firings -- THE
> SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT STAT IS # OF UNITS! IOW, NEVER LET ONE DIE, EVEN IF
>IT IS COMPLETELY LOUSY! Some incompetent leaders are thus perpetuated as
>"Mr. Scout" in their areas as professionals really cannot dig in and force
Nope...sorry...the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT STAT is NOT that of the
number of units...it is THE RATIO OF THE NUMBER OF UNITS TO THE NUMBER
OF YOUTH IN THE DISTRICT AREA!!!!!! A good professional can rack up
impressive numbers of units...but if the total available youth is
still high in relation to the total number of youth in Scouting
Closely second to that most important stat is that professionals have
to keep HIGH LEVELS OF YOUTH MEMBERS....it's not enough to have 44
units in the District....you need to have 44 units with 38 Scouts in
each unit....or 1672 Boy Scouts.....
>Well, the same reason that the "chartered organization" theory vs.
> "sponsorship" does not truly work. IF a pro tells a CO Headm what the
> responsibilities of a CO ARE, the CO Head may back off and -- voila', a
> deceased unit and the DE's head is on the carpet, lopped off by his or her
I've NEVER had a Chartered Organization to *back off* from my asking
them to charter a Scout Troop, Explorer Post, or Cub Pack....I have
had one chartered partner to back off from organizing a Varsity Team,
but only because they wanted a Explorer Post instead and didn't know
If the professional is upfront and open with the potential chartered
partner and tells the organization UPFRONT that THIS IS YOUR
ORGANZATION'S Scouting unit.....and stresses that the chartered
partner is responsible for this organization just like if it was a
part of the organization's structure....the organization takes a more
proactive role and REALLY runs the program....(and I do mean REALLY
RUN the program...)
>Next, many do not realize that a PRINCIPLE job of a DE is to raise money. If
> you do not like that, both from a direct "asking" and from organizing others
> to ask, don't bother to get in the profession. 'Nuff said.
Nope...my PRINCIPLE job as a Associate DE and as a Paraprofessional
has been to PROMOTE, ORGANIZE AND EXTEND the program....yes, that DOES
involve some fund raising.....but it ALSO involved organization of new
units, promotion of key local Council and National events, and
staffing, training and recruiting volunteers and youth members for the
units.....and the local District and Council as well....
I don't like raising money, but it didn't keep me from being effective
in my role....it *did* get me in trouble with my boss, the Field
Director of the area that I was part of...but as long as you are
trying and your volunteers are trying, very few professionals get
fired over not meeting SME/FOS (Sustaining Membership
Enrollment/Friends of Scouting....yearly local Council fundraising
events that are sanctioned by the local United funds agenices...)
...on the other hand, if you haven't met your SME/FOS goals for THREE
STRAIGHT YEARS, then you are either transferred or asked to
leave...but by then, *you'd surely know* if you are "retention
material" by your volunteers and your professional peers.
>Finally, some do not even begin to imagine the dunderheads that often are
> clogging the volunteer ranks. Folks who say "OK" and never begin to act.
>Even at Council Officer levels.
>Realism! The "follow the DE for a while" advice was the best part of the
> piece. We need good ones in Scouting, ones who really KNOW the job before
> committment and, thus, truly committed
Not only that, Boyd...but it makes for good training for the
professional and the volunteer that wants to serve as professionals.
I would only like to add two other small items to the list that I gave
One is that professionals, by the nature of the game, generally deals
in the numerical aspect of the program. As an administrator, I am
asked how many of my Scouts are First Class or better; how many are
Arrowmen; how many live in the city versus the county; and how many
youth are being serviced in my District as a whole. I have to be
ready at ANY TIME with the most current (and correct, if possible)
figures because THAT IS MY JOB....Other agencies depend on those
numbers, the local Council needs those numbers to get rechartered, and
the District volunteers need those numbers to base new programs and
new decisions on how to improve the District with.
So don't smack us for spouting off numbers faster than you can say
"Jack Rabbit". This too, is part of the training and coaching that ALL
professionals, be he or she parttime or fulltime receive. If you
haven't noticed, many of my postings have lots of figures to support
what points I'm making....its one of those habits that is hard to stop
doing once you're used to doing it (but I can stop anytime...okay, at
least 98 percent of the time *smile*)
The other point is that volunteers forget that the professional is a
person too...we have "bad days" from where our boss is on us with both
feet and hands...we have "superior days" where we could be tooling
down the road with no hands on the steering wheel and STILL nothing
goes wrong....however, to many volunteers, we pros are "not doing
anything to get the money that we make"..."don't really work at a
job...I mean, how *hard* is it to organize a new Scout Troop??"
(those that complain with me about that, I ask them to help me
organize a dead Scout Troop or Cub Pack...they find out REAL FAST
how really *hard* it is to do it, and that it takes literally MONTHS
in many cases to do.)
One of the things that I constantly had to remind myself of while
serving as a parapro was that I was doing what many volunteers would
LOVE to do if the opportunity arose...and I was loving the job.
So, any time I worked with the volunteers and even unit leaders, I
would tell myself that "I am a volunteer like they are...only thing is
I get paid to volunteer my time..." That attitude of placing myself as
a player-coach and not as the coach enabled me to get more support
from the volunteer teams...and kept me from being isolated from the
volunteers as "oh him...he's the professional...he's from Council."
I also managed to make some great friends whom just happened to be
the people that I work with...through Scouting!
Mike L. Walton
former Paraprofessional Executive
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
( (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation/Leisure Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
( Phone 502-782-7992 (home) 502-842-2274 (office) |-=-|] )
( 3201-D Cave Springs Avenue -- Greenwood, KY 42104-4439 -------- )
( WALTOML@WKUVX1 / "No such thing as strong coffee, only weak people" )
( KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM (America Online) / (available Scouting speaker) )
( "I don't speak for Lifeskills, Inc. or WKU...but man, do I speak!!!!" )
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City