Introduction and help needed
Mike \ (inyo@AOL.COM)
Sat, 12 Feb 1994 23:45:27 EST
Having reaped many benefits from this network, I guess it's time to introduce
myself. I was a Scout as a youth and achieved the rank of Life Scout with 21
merit badges. Not being able to swim kept me from being an Eagle Scout.
I have been active as an adult for the last nine years serving as ASM for
five years and the last four as Scoutmaster of Troop 88.
I have been Woodbadge trained ( I used to be a Beaver) and received the Vigil
Honor in 1991.
The reason I chose this time to introduce myself is because I need help with
a problem and I know I might find the answer here. I'll try to keep it short
but there are alot of factors involved.
First of all, I need to explain where my district is located. I live in
Bishop,CA which is 225 miles from Bakersfield, CA where the Council Office is
located. Most,if not all Council events are held in the Bakersfield area.
Even our summer camp is 259 miles away. We see our DE once a month and are
never visited by anyone else from the Council. We are usually informed of
Council events only a week in advance if at all. In short, we are strangers
whenever we attend a Council event. Of course, we always win the long
A couple of us have volunteered to help with Council events but have been
turned down because we "don't live in Bakersfield". Our most last District
Chairman recently volunteered to be the new Lodge Advisor. He has been in
Scouting for the last 56 years, a past Section Advisor for another section
and nominated twice for the DSA but was turned down because he doesn't "live
Our District has no Chairperson at this time and no Commissioner. We have no
roundtable or training chairperson. In fact most of the recent training has
been conducted by the DE by himself.All district are planned, organized and
executed by a very few of the unit leaders.The DE has told me for the last 4
years to give him names and he'll recruit them. A good example of this is the
woman I recruited to chair the Scouting For Food drive we just completed. I
gave the DE her name and phone number in November. She's still waiting for a
In our district, we have 5 active Troops with an average of ten scouts per
Troop and 4 Packs. Granted, the population in our county is only 50,000 but
only 50 Boy Scouts??The AYSO soccer program has more boys involved just in
Last December, the Council sent out a survey to all unit leaders. I gave the
Council poor marks on everything except summer camp. I included a 4 page
explanation citing various examples. I closed my letter with the way I truly
feel,"I want to do a First Class job but I can't with a Second Class
organization!" So far, I haven't heard a word. I hope my efforts were at
least read by someone.
This is my problem in condensed form. How can I improve Scouting in Bishop
under these conditions? Should I try to take my complaints to a higher
authority? Should I just give up and have a troop that just "does it's own
Thank you for letting me sound off here. Any help will be appreciated by me
and other Scouters who feel just as frustrated.
Yours in Scout Spirit
Mac McElvogue Scoutmaster Troop 88
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City