(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 8 Dec 1995 13:25:52 -0600
Professor Beaver (Mike Bowman) wrote:
>Mike Walton wrote of his recollections of Exploring in NCAC and poised a few
>questons. Times are a changing for Exploring here and perhaps elsewhere.
>Because some of the answers may be of general value, I've posted to the list.
I'm glad you did, Mike...thanks! I wasn't aware that NCAC followed two other
Councils (Chicago Area and Seattle Area) in "merging" their Exploring operations
into the general program, making many of its Districts "full-service" Districts.
>NCAC used to have three geographically based Council run Exploring
>Divisions. This has been replaced by a single Exploring Division for Sea
>Exploring and Career Exploring. For Districts outside of the District of
>Columbia Exploring is back squarely in the hands of the District.
>How'd we handle it? We integrated service to Exploring into the
>Commissioner Service. The commissioner in charge of Exploring service is
>known as a Deputy District Commissioner for Exploring and in reality is
>registered as an Assistant District Commissioner. We did not create an
>Exploring chair as Mike described, because our District is organized a
>little differently than the model he likes to use. What we did was to
>pick an organization that worked for our needs. (And Mike yes I do know
>about this and what you are talking about - I was the DDC-Exploring and
>on the Council Coordinated Exporing Committee).
This is the way it SHOULD have been from the start, in ALL local Councils.
I have really disliked Exploring "demanding" a separate organization for
everything except Career Awareness Exploring (CAE). To me, Exploring is a part
of a District Executive or Senior District Executive's professional
development and NOT a "specialized area, demanding a specialist (the
Exploring Executive or Senior Exploring Executive) in a Council to manage it.
>As to patches - well the position titles probably say it all.
>Is this the only right way? Is Mike Walton's description the only right
>way? The answer is that almost every District is organized a little
>differently because of its geography, the number of active volunteers,
>the number and types of units, etc. BSA has some models of how to
>organize large, medium and smaller districts that serve as guides, but
>only just that. The District has a lot of leeway in deciding how to
>perform the services delegated to it by the Council. When it comes to
>Exploring, the variety of organizational approaches seems to be endless.
>Here we tried at least half a dozen varients before settling on what we
>have, mostly because there was a lot of negotiation between the Council
>and Districts as to how best to serve the program.
No. Walton's way (the way the Exploring literture recommends) is NOT the
only way, and there are many local Councils that have variations on what
your Council is doing. In some Councils, for instance, the New York
Councils, the Exploring Division is divided by speciality, with the
Exploring professional (career) staff concentrating on Law Enforcement, or
Law and Government, or Medical or Outdoor Exploring programs. In this way,
units all over the Council with the same speciality are allowed to be
"grouped together" for service and support.
In other localities, its a matter of the District handling EVERYTHING the BSA
has in it's inventory. This required the career executive to learn and be
familiar with ALL programs...most importantly, to be able to work with and
advise ALL of the chartered partners in his or her geographic area, instead of
"handing off" "things I'm not confortable with" to someone that does not even
live within that area.
>This is to say that, if you are involved in Exploring, there is growing
>room for creativity and more acceptance of the notion that Explorer
>service team members can also be commissioners. As the old saying goes,
>"The rigidity is built in, the flexibility is all yours."
As part of a group of Exploring leaders advocating that the entire Exploring
"Service Team" concept be finally put to rest in favor of the tried-and-true
Commissioner concept, complete with an "Exploring component" to the existing
Commissioner Basic Training, and yes, the wearing of the Commissioner insignia
as opposed to some "generic Exploring program patch", I applaude the
National Capitol Area Council and others that have taken such a great step
for their Exploring program and for the Explorers living within their Councils.
Thanks for keeping me (and everyone else) up to date, Mike!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Servics of Kentucky __)_
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