Re: Program Development
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM)
Mon, 3 Apr 1995 07:26:12 EDT
You wrote -
> As I've said here before, if you disagree with the
>situation as it exists, find out how it works in real life and positively
>propose yourself into the loop. Become part of the solution, not just a
>"carping critic, a niggling nabob of negativism", to quote a phrase ;-).
Since I am not fully satisfied with the situation as it exists, I have
joined the District Committee and have been accepted as a voting member. As
such, I am aware of how much control volunteers CAN have over the programme.
However, there are not enough volunteers doing this at present to make a
really big dent.
Still, I like to think of myself as trying my best to be more a part of the
solution than residing solely in the "part of the problem" camp. Don't
forget - those of us who point out what seem to be deficiencies from our
points of view often bring a little bit of light to bear on "discomfort
points" where improvements may just be begging to be made.
Keep in mind - I am not here to try to tear down the professional side of
the Scouting house. There are a LOT of really good folks who are being paid
for the Scouting they do, and for whom I hold a great deal of admiration.
(There is a caveat thought - I would far rather be happier to have someone
in my District who views Scouting as a profession as opposed to viewing it
as just a job. We have one from the professional camp now, which means he
will be moving onward. Hopefully he will NOT be replaced by a job-holder.)
Part of what I am trying to do with this thread is to get more folks
interested enough in how the system works at present to move in and begin
taking a hand in building some "grass-roots" programme improvement
initiatives going to actually make a difference. In my opinion, there were
far too many folks out here who abdicated too many of the responsibilities
involved in making the programme "go" to the professional Scouters and made
the situation as it stands today. Most of today's volunteers have precious
little idea of how much they COULD do and how much influence they COULD have
if they put themselves to it. (Of course, there are not enough pros who are
willing to push the point home, either...)
>And BTW, the amount of money you pull out of your pocket has *nothing* to do
>with it. It is the amount of thinking and creativity you will pull of of
>your head and how you propose it.
Perhaps not in a large way - but when I pull out of pocket for supplies to
run a Camporee and don't submit an invoice to the District for
re-imbursement, then that DOES have something to do with it.
>Almost every professional is a FOS contributor, typically at a
>level greater than most active volunteers. Most also reach into
>their pockets on a regular basis for dues, BOYS LIFE subscriptions,
>books, dues, training supplies, coffee... And without complaining
>about it, too.
But, please remember this - I am NOT complaining about spending money in
support of Scouting. If I were to feel put-upon to be spending that money,
then it would be time for me to spend my money and time elsewhere. I spend
the money willingly because I feel that it is a significant contribution to
building maturity and quality values into the lives of young people. In
terms of value for money, I feel Scouting does by far the best job in terms
of building children into good citizens when compared to any number of other
types of youth programmes.
>((Off the track, BTW, if you can find a way to make the clerical and
>ranger staffs answerable to anyone (beyond raising their pay above
>minimum wage), you'll have made as major a contribution as anyone since James
>E West! <Major <G>>
Sure - check out some of the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM).
Once you have looked into it, put the principles to work and you may be
surprised. Make them answerable to their customers (you and I) and you may
find them to be far better than you thought they were.
>Heck, Norm, I don't even begin to know the in's and out's of BSA
>program development. But there are people who do and possibly on
>this list. If that's what you want, ask, but don't let's pick on
>the DEs who are far removed from that process in the meantime. You may be
>surprised and find out that a great deal of the actual
>program development is controlled by volunteers.
I wasn't picking on the DEs. I was trying to point out that there are some
areas for improvement, including the BIG point that DEs should NOT be far
removed from the programme development process. The very fact that they are
points up the idea that there needs to be some process improvements all
along the chain. Our DEs should be a focal point in programme development,
since they have day to day contact with the volunteers, as well as with the
supervisory chain of the professional Scouting staff. You may have put your
finger on the main point of all this - that perhaps the DE is NOT empowered
from either direction to provide the support that both the volunteer and the
professional side of the house need. This may be the area we need to focus
on for an initial improvement opportunity.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City