Re: change in status of roundtable staff
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Sat, 13 May 1995 02:25:18 CDT
Let me add a few lines to Professor Beaver's posting about the status
of Roundtable Staff Members (not the Roundtable COMMISSIONER, just the
other members of the Roundtable Staff. I think this is where the
confusion comes up at.)
"Michael F. Bowman" <mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG> writes:
>As a fellow Scouter in GW District, I was interested in your posting and
>some of the response generated. This policy change was announced at the
>NCAC Council Commissioner's Meeting based on a communique from National.
The National Operations staff sent this memo to 114 of the local
Councils (those Quality Councils) back in Novemeber for their
implementation with the coming program year.
>You correctly understood that in the future this policy would mean that
>roundtable staffers would no longer qualify for the Arrowhead Honor (those
>that have it can still wear it) or Commissioner Awards; e.g. Distinguished
>Commissioner Knot. They will be able to earn the Scouter Training Award
>and Scouter's Key. If they double as Unit Commissioners they can earn the
>other awards in their UC role.
The composition of the Roundtable Commissioner's Staff was supposed to
be originally Unit, Pack, Troop (and when we had them, Neighborhood)
Commissioners. Over the years, it's somehow been bent to include
Scoutmasters/Cubmasters of the strongest units in the District, their
Assistants, and Committeemembers. There were lots of comments over
the years, and moreso over the past two years that "the entire staff
of Troop (or Pack) (or Post/Ship) 000 IS the Roundtable Staff, and the
Scoutmaster IS also the Roundtable Commissioner!! When will it be
OUR unit's turn to "coach other units each and every month" (and which
begs the additional question "If they have that much time to plan and
conduct a Roundtable meeting each month, how much time are they giving
to developing those other adults or youth members in their REGISTERED
All National is trying to do is to get this composition back to
COMMISSIONERS, so that the staff of the Roundtable Commissioner
(appointed by the District or Council Commissioner) can truly be a
staff of Commissioners.
The objective is, folks, to stop "double-slotting" unit Scouters into
staff roles too. Commissioners are either with the units,
administring the training and support, or working with new units to
get them going. (The REAL objective, as many of us Commisioners know,
is to BUILD LEGIT WORKING STAFFS and stop trying to rely on that one
or two Scoutmaster/Cubmaster team to "bail out" every other unit in
the District that has problems!! We've lost too many Scoutmasters
and Cubmasters, not because they tire of being in *that* role, but
because we ask them CONSTANTLY to go beyond what their "expectations"
are and "positively influnce" other Scouters to "get with the
program". To appease them when they tire of the effort, we gave them
a patch and told them that "you're now a part of the District's
Roundtable Staff". That patch (and the Arrowhead Honor) only can take
a Scouter *so far*, and they leave.)
ALL Commissioners (and their staffs) will continue to receive training
awards (I haven't seen the new requirements for the Roundtable
training awards or key, but I take it that they've taken out the
performance requirement for the Key which WAS to to earn the Arrowhead
Honor Award), but ONLY Unit, District and Council Commissioners and
their assistants will be able to qualify for the Commissioner Award of
Merit (the five year plaque and square knot).
This makes sense to me. I would rather recognize a Troop or Unit
Commissioner with five plus years experience with the Commissioner
Award of Merit rather than a Scoutmaster or Advisor, who's been
responsible for assisting to plan Roundtables for five years.
>I suspect that one of two things is going to happen - most likely we will
>see an affirmation of this policy in Scouting Magazine or less likely we
>will find that National was firing up a trial balloon to see what reaction
>was generated before formalizing the policy. They have a habit of testing
>ideas in a few Councils before making things a real national policy. You
>should also be aware the each Council operates a little differently (what
>goes in one Council may not go in another - remember National makes a lot
>of policy and not all Councils accept it) and that word will not get out at
>the same speed in each place.
Mike's right, and expect that the "field testing" of this new policy
will be over sometime during the summer and an finalized announcement
made at the first of the new program year.
>There is bound to be some confusion, because this is a change and it may
>not be communicated the same way or as well everywhere. For now we in
>the National Capital Area Council will operate based on the policy that was
>communicated to you.
That is the same way both Shawnee Trails and Middle Tennessee Councils
are handling it as well.
>If Kathie has conflicting guidance from her Council, it may be that her
>Council is hearing a different test version, is not yet sold on the idea
>enough to endorse it, or not communicating it the same way.
As Mike indicated, and as I've preached several times here, just
because National sends out a memo to all local Councils, it doesn't
neccessarily mean that that's the way things will be. In many local
Councils, your Council Executive may, after reviewing the information,
decide that the best course is the present one (especially if he or
she's having severe problems getting and retaining Commissioners!).
Others may decide to "go with the flow". Still others may want to
test things out, see what we volunteers think of it and then decide.
Only when policy changes in an official BSA publication should ALL
local Councils adhere to the new "law", suplemented by a visit from
the Area Director with a copy of the new "law" and instructions on how
he or she sees it being carried out: according to the way that
National wrote (the safest); according to the way he or she sees it
(next safest); or according to the way the local Council Scout
Executive sees it (least safest...he or she could be wrong, in which
their career's over; or they could be right, and a "gold star" is
added to their professional record).
Kathie _was_ correct in what she stated. In ALL of the Councils in that
area of the Central Region, the status quo is being maintained until
the start of the new program year, in which National will decide which
way will it be. It is going also to be the "status quo way" in both
the Lincoln Heritage and Buffalo Trace Councils, too.
So, "Kathie" (Kathie Cerveny serves as Council Commissioner in the
Northeast Suburban Council, BSA) isn't "wrong". She's just applying
what her Council Executive, herself and the Council President decided
to do in this case.
Again, *your local Council* will implement the policy based on what
*it sees* as the best path to travel. Right now, the policy is being
field-tested. In August, if not earlier, we'll see if it's policy or
One final note: just because a program doesn't say it's being "field
tested" don't mean that it's not. Our National Office has this silly
way of just "announcing" to selected local Councils (those that have
performed well above average in the past three years) "new changes in
program" and expect them to at least review them (which they will)
without a word about "well...we're just thinking about this for right
now...see if your volunteers will "buy off" on this (the operative
phrase is "see if it will play in Peoria"). So don't get wrapped up
about whether or not it's a test or permanent. If it's permanent,
_Pro_Speak_ (the professional magazine), _Scouting_ and cut sheets for
your local Council's newsletter will all announce the new policy. If
not, everything will return to normal and almost everyone will be
happy once more.
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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