Re: New First Class Proposal?????
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM)
Sat, 1 Apr 1995 02:00:39 EST
You posted -
>The problem with your idea is in the nature of those who are likely to respond.
Well, it could be said that a totally open polling of the membership has the
potential for resulting in skewed results that are highly dependent on just
who takes the time to answer. But, byt the same token, it could be used as a
tool to identify the preponderance of opinion on any given subject. The
"cranks" are usually not very difficult to weed out - the more carefully the
poll is crafted (best done by a professional polling organisation to prevent
bias creeping in at the question level) the easier it it to cull the
>Perhaps such calls for comments in specific areas could be used as seed for
>a more formal polling of a better controlled sample.
Controlled samples do not always provide valid results - since the person(s)
choosing the controlled sample can control the general type of prospective
>I limited my sample to SMs and ASMs because they are in a position to observe
>the boys and are more likely to express themselves more exactly than the boys
Youth members are quite capable of providing valid responses to surveys -
particularly in cases where they are convinced that the answers they give
will be taken into serious consideration. Quite often their perspective is
more valid than that of adults who are sometimes many years removed from the
kids attitudes and experiences.
>I don't really think either of our ideas will get much attention from National
>(Yes , Mike and Kathy, I have broached the topic with some visiting folks
>from National). I have sensed a "Not Invented Here" attitude and a strong
>desire to hide behind the chain of command.
This brings us to a point that may need some consideration. Who "owns" the
organisation? I submit that the Scouting programme is owned by its youth
members and the volunteer adult leadership. In a very real sense - since
it's our money that goes in - we HIRE the professional Scouters to work FOR
us. Scouting does NOT exist to provide these folks with a good living. It
exists to help young people develop into mature adults with a healthy
attitude toward their lives and those around them. While we need the "hired
help" to support us, have we perhaps abdicated too much of the
responsibility for steering the Scouting programme to these professionals?
SHOULD they have as much power as they appear to?
Note that I am NOT condemning the professional Scouters. There are a lot of
highly dedicated folks in that particular line of work who we cannot do
without and who will be very hard to replace when their retirement days
arrive. What I AM wondering about is whether or not they are doing what we
need them to be doing for us in all instances. Has the relationship between
the paid and volunteer sides of the house somehow moved in the wrong
direction? Have we abdicated too much control and responsibility for
programme development and operational policy to the people we have hired to
If what I suspect is valid, what can be done to shift the programme
ownership more fully back to where it really belongs - with the youth
members and their volunteer Leaders? How do we define just who is working
for whom here? The amount of money I pull out of my pocket to support the
Scouting programme tells me that I am helping to pay them to help us. I do
not see a salary moving from the corporate headquarters to MY pocket! That
tends to make me feel as if the professional Scouter in my District, those
at Council, the Council administrative staff, and everyone in that
professional supervisory chain SHOULD be answerable to you, to me, to all
the other volunteer Leaders, and to the youngsters - not the other way around.
I hope we will be able to generate some comment with this one...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City