Re: BSA: Executive Board Requirements
Jim Miller, Jr. (jmillerjr@LSFCU.ORG)
Tue, 22 Nov 1994 17:05:16 EST-5
Mike, as usual a more than complete response :)
>This is from a memo sent to Council Executives dated 2 March 1984.
>Let me shed a little background on this, since some of you may not be
>aware of this, and it's relvancy to the issue posted.
[tale of better days with greater youth input snipped]
>Some of those APO chapters and some of those Exploring officers took
>advantage of their new power and there were some VERY ANGRY Council
>Scout Executives, one of which wrote the National Director of
>Operations, saying "I will resign before taking direction from a 17
>year old child" (back in those days (wow...1979...those days...), a
>Area or Regional Exploring chair had about as much say in how a
>Council did their Exploring program as the Area Director did...and
>they had the backing of the Area Director!).
If I could wish anything to all CE's it is that they should realize they
work for the youth (in the managerial sense) through the executive board
of the council. If a man has that little repect for the opinion of a 17
year old, elcted representative of the very people he is there to serve,
I fail to see why he would be in the job in the first place.
>*HOWEVER* , there's NOTHING that keeps a local Council from having
>as many youth or adult members on its ADVISORY BOARD, whose members
>advise and work with members of the Executive Board and whom are
>"movers and shakers" in their communities.
This, of course, defeats the purpose. I also have to wonder how long it
could take until someone tries to decide that the same logic should
apply to all volunteers, not just youth.
This could be a great two way learning process. I learn things from the
youth in our program every single day. I'm amazed how out of touch I am
already at a mere 25 years old. I'm sure many CE's could make great
things happen with this constant reminder of what the youth want. I am
also sure that be restricting the number of youth on a board, we are
restricting some of the very things we espouse in the program -
responsibility, leadership, and adult-like recognition of
[another big snip]
>Youth input was never that important, Jim, to the Council's success.
>Remember that the purpose of the Executive Board is to formulate
>decisions and give the Executive Secretary (the Council Scout
>Executive) authority to carry out their wishes. Of course, a GOOD
>Council Board is going to consider what youth in their Council wants
>to do as far as Council-level programming, but they don't have to have
>the youth present to make those wishes known.
>Remember also, that this body is formed of those people that naturally
>don't "have time to listen" to youth members or for that matter, adult
>members with "new ideas". This is one of the reasons why many
>seasoned Scouters don't really want to serve on the Executive
>Board...because when they dissent about something that they've
>experienced, there's not many there that even understand why it won't
>work the way they choose it to work.
I have to wonder, though, what correlation could be made between
membership numbers at that time, and the result of these changes on the
number of youth in the program.
>>5 - If the Bylaws read as stated, how does one begin the process of
>>having them changed to mandate a minimum number of youth positions on
>At your level, you cannot. This needs to be brought up at a National
>meeting, and the Rules amended. There's simply too many Council
>Executives that remember the late 70s and early 80s *too well* and
>don't want to return to that prosperous and powerlosing period again.
>This is also the reason why many exercise a chokehold almost over
>their Order of the Arrow Lodges.
Don't we have National Council Representatives for just this purpose? I
realize that those things actually brought to a vote at a National
Council meeting are pretty much voted in as a formality, but they must
have originated somewhere. I can only hope that most of these ideas
originate with volunteers.
>Besides, other than the Order of the Arrow Lodge Chief and the
>Explorer Association Chair/President, whom else COULD serve? APO
>folks are NOT part of the Council's operation; there are no youth
>members allowed for the National Eagle Scout Association any more.
>If you would look back into your Council's history, Jim, you will see
>that what I've stated earlier beared out and why he don't welcome
>youth involvement on the level that you (or me, for that matter),
>would want it to be.
How true! I've been there and had the battles with this man. Luckily, I
wasn't the youth who threatened to not sign the OA Lodge Rechartering
application (it happened once), so there are those he has more
difficulty with than me, but not many. :)
>Settummanque! (former youth and later adult member of Council Exec.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City