Scooping the Professionals and Zaire
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Fri, 12 Aug 1994 23:17:28 -0400
I had a discussion with one of our professionals on the issue of Internet
Scouters scooping the news ahead of National releases to Councils (after I
passed out some copies of Kathie's summary of changes to Cub Scout Leader
Training before Council had the release - not an entirely happy camper). He
made a valid point that is some cases BSA wants to test market an idea with
some limiting conditions, evaluate the results, and then decide how best to
procede. The fear is that by broad dissemination, an idea may be damned or
demanded by volunteers before it is properly formulated. I can see where
this could be a problem in some instances.
On the other hand, I don't believe for a moment that it would be
reasonable for National to expect that eager volunteers will stop trying
to get the latest and best information to serve their units. And it might
be well for BSA to consider volunteers to be consumer/customers. Maybe
the answer lies in a cooperative venture where some of the test marketing
happens in places like Scouts-L with appropriate cautions and disclaimers.
Then it would be clear what is policy and what is up for consideration.
In an era of empowerment and team-building this would seem to be a logical
extension. It also would require a certain amount of trust.
I think that the situation in Zaire offers all of us an opportunity to
demonstrate that we can and do use the information for the good of all.
What better way than to take that information and republisize it in every
Council and District newsletter we can to get the word out to Scouters
about the terrible need for help in Zaire in support of Scouts there.
In training we are all encouraged to promote the idea that we are part of
World Brotherhood of Scouting. Here's a real chance to promote that idea.
And when a Scout asks why do we wear that purple World Crest on our
uniforms, we can point out that it is because we are an active part of
that brotherhood by helping our fellow Scouts wherever the need may arise
as in Zaire. It may also make a great Scoutmaster's minute to explain
briefly that the equipment and money that our Scouts have shared with
their brothers in Zaire has meant life instead of death by arresting the
spread of cholera, etc.
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City