Re: Friends of Scouting - Yes/No
Jim Miller Jr. (jmillerjr@LSFCU.ORG)
Tue, 26 Sep 1995 10:31:00 +0000
Norman J. MacLeod<gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM> wrote:
>When it comes to the idea of FOS paying for the salaries of professional
>Scouters, please indulge me a moment and allow me to ask if it would be a
>bad thing to downsize the size of the BSA's professional corps (those who
>get paid for this)? After all, Baden-Powell was adamantly opposed to a large
>professional hierarchy in Scouting. He felt volunteers should do the lion's
>share of the work, since that would provide a leadership structure more
>directly responsive to the Scouts the programme was being delivered to.
>BSA has far and away the largest per capita professional leadership group of
>all the Scout Associations that I am aware of. In most other countries, many
>of the tasks given to the BSA "Pros" are handled by volunteers - including a
>lot of the policy-making.
Wonderfully said, and absolutely true. Any Council where the Executives
are having to pick up the slack for volunteer duties really needs to look at
their committee structures and the volunteers who fill Council and District
>Does the BSA really need the financial overhead incurred by the
>professional structure it currently has?
The current structure? No. For example, I read in a post yesterday that
there exists a division of the National Office that serves as a liason
between local Councils and the Region Offices. Who needs a layer of
upper management which only serves as a go-between for Front line staff
(local Council Execs) and middle management (Region Offices)? This
is a lesson BSA needs to take from private industry, and pretty quickly.
>Does a service organisation like the BSA really need to be paying the
>enourmous salaries at the top (I understand the Chief Scout Executive's
>salary is well into the six digits...)?
Here I'll disagree with you. Six digits certainly doesn't sound unreasonble
to me at all. Consider what this man is required to do for a living. Take a
look at the circles we've asked him to travel in. This is not a man who can
be taken seriously in a $200 suit and a '72 VW Bug. We're asking him to
deal with people who have salaries well into the seven digit realm on a
regular basis. If you compare the CSE's salary to that of the National
President of the BSA and his contemporaries, we're getting off pretty easy.
>While the local District Executive doesn't get a whole lot of money, is
>there really a need for a paid professional at the District level?
Sure is. Unless you have full-time volunteers to serve as the control
point for a District, someone needs to be the one by the phone all day.
We need that central control point and consistancy provided by having a
Council Office staffed by people who know the details of what's going on
from day to day. I don't have that kind of time, and nobody else in my
Exploring Division does, either. Without that EE there, the program would
suffer as a casualty of phone tag, answering machines, and waiting for
pagers to be answered.
>Are there aspects of the services provided from the professional staff that
>your Pack or Troop could get by with not having? If so, what might they be?
>How would everyone feel about a larger share of the donated dollar going
>more directly to serving the kids in the programmes?
I guess this depends on your local Council's budget. I know (because I'm
looking at it now) that Executive salaries are less than 30% of our total
Council budget. Of course, since we're fully staffed, raising more money
would just serve to lower that percentage. I'd rather set the objective at
raising ten times the staff salry cost than hiring staff at 10% of what we're
raising anyway. Since FOS/SME is the primary way of raising the funds
we need for program, I support it and ask others to do the same.
|Jim Miller, Jr. <email@example.com> Esquire-BPOE #434|
|Systems Administrator Eagle Scout - '88|
|Liberty Savings Federal Credit Union Vigil Honor - '94|
|Jersey City, New Jersey USA Meechgalhukquot-"Redheaded One"|
|Advisor, Explorer Post 348 Hudson Liberty Council, BSA|
| http://users.aol.com/jmillerjr/home.html |
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