Making a difference
Craig Bond (CraigB1051@AOL.COM)
Wed, 8 Mar 1995 12:11:03 -0500
Recently, Russel Madere wrote a bitter note concerning what he thought was a
national BSA policy on restricting membership. (BTW, this is not a national
policy). I responded in a more biting way than I intended and I apologize
publicly to him for the tone of my response. I'd asked for examples of bad
BSA policy and he responded. Here is an open letter to him on this subject:
Russel, I -- like many every professional at some point in his or
her career -- am the butt of vituperation from a volunteer.
Occasionally, I've deserved a good chewing out, and sometimes those
who've done the chewing have been kind and sometimes not; because
I'm human and I make mistakes, I expect that this will happen
again. Chewing out is not vituperation, however.
Vituperation is when the old scoutmaster stands up at my sons'
Court of Honor and goes on for seven minutes about how dishonest
the "Scouting professionals" are. One son cried on the way home
(he was 11, it was his first COH) and told me he had thought that
I had a "good" job. Let me tell you that any professional who
hasn't got a similar story hasn't been in the profession very long.
That is clearly unacceptable and other leaders told him so.
I will not accept the vituperation when it is aimed at "all DE's"
(or even a figure as low as 90% (*grin*, Steve) or at BSA in
general. I generally choose to simply ignore it thinking privately
that the person is simply having a bad day, year or life and hoping
that their next one will be better, soon.
My question to you had a somewhat biting tone and for that I apologize.
As I've said before, I recognize that there is a great deal of
discontentment in some areas of the NOAC. You have a new Scout
Executive coming and I have great hope that things will improve
dramatically for you.
I want to note, however, that of the three specific items that you
mention, three are directly related to *volunteer*
Your Council Board approved whatever happened with the proceeds of
the sale of Camp Salmen. I would strongly suspect that they helped
purchase Salmen Scout Reservation. Do you know otherwise? If not,
what non-program expense was it used for?
Your District Committee, *all* volunteers, are responsible for
administering the district program, including the Eagle Board of
Review process. Where were they? Your Council Advancement
Committee, *all* volunteers, are responsible for supervising the
district advancement program. Where were they? That cannot even
be blamed on your recent SE 'cause it was before his time.
Insofar as the advancement camp, I refer you to Mike Walton's
excellent response as to background. Was it well-handled? As my
recent off-line comment to you stated, I think not as well as it
could have been.
It might have been avoided or at least better-handled if your
district advancement chair had been closer to the situation than I
suspect s/he was. Volunteer involvement in district and council
affairs, committees, etc., cannot be stressed too greatly. If you
aren't happy with the way things are, there is a way to address the
problem. Go to district committee meetings, council board and
coordinated committee meetings, and express your discontent.
Express it well and *positively* stress your willingness to
participate in a *positive* solution to the problem.
That has, since 1781, been the way we have accomplished the *good*
things we have in this country. As expressed last November.
Whether you agree or not with the results, you have to admit that
the process was an excellent way to hold a revolution.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City