Re: Forwarding Mail
(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 29 Feb 1996 11:46:48 -0600
Hi Vince! I hope that your server problems are over soon!
(Vince's Pack invited the District Executive to attend and
"pump the boys up" during their Blue and Gold Banquet; the
Executive failed to confirm the appearance with the Pack,
and (apparently) got a volunteer Scouter to "take his place".
So far so good, but when the person arrived, instead of
something more in the lines of what I or other volunteers
would do, reflecting on youth membership in Cub Scouting or
something similiar, the event turned out to be an approach
for a "half-baked" presentation on contributing to the Friends
of Scouting (some places still call it "Sustaining Membership
Enrollment", but FOS is the *current name* for an additional
fund-raising campaign for the local Council. It is ALWAYS done
between the last week of Janurary and through the months of
February and March, because of the possibility of high visiability
of the local Council's Scouting program.). Vince's Pack is livid
because of the approach by the "Council" to promote the
fund-raiser rather than reflection.
>The questions/problem I have are as follows:
>1 What do I say to the DE about this?
I would start out by stating "We missed you, Chuck. We had an extra
place for you (and your wife), but you didn't even tell us that you
couldn't attend. What happened?"
Let him (her) explain their lack of concern to you in person.
He'll probably "weasel out" by telling you that he had a previous
commitment in connection with the SME/FOS campaign...don't press him
on it, because he's talking HIS JOB here. Late winters/early springs
are EXTREMELY STRESSFUL for many professionals, including those that
have been around for years...with today's chartities all practically
standing on top of each other to attract the same pool of contributors,
you cannot blame him or her if they "got a hot lead on a thousand
bucks", and ditched your Pack's Blue and Gold to sit and eat stale
food, listen to stale off-color jokes, and to leave eventually with a
check for the Council in the amount of $850 instead of the $1000
At the same time, don't let him use "FOS/SME" as an excuse to have
NOT CALLED or informed anyone that "I would love to be there...
BELIEVE ME...I would rather listen to silly songs and funny stories
told for the upteeth time...but I have to go and see if I can help
raise some money for our District. I'm sending..."
>2 Yesterday the DE called to ask the SM if he could have someone
>come to our troop meeting to do a FOS presentation to our parents
>we said no
*placing ParaPro hat on* Please reconsider. Every professional has
a amount that they must meet from each of the SME/FOS catagories,
including the "Family" campaign. That's where your unit and all units
come into play here....we need the parents and guardians to help us meet
the goal so that it's not all "business and corporate" contributions
and to supplement the contributions by "volunteers and those in support
of our volunteers". Please also remember that a great part of that
money goes to support the outdoor program of that Council, to include the
Camping and Order of the Arrow programs.
Also please remember that your DE cannot be everywhere at the same
time...it may *seem* that he's not too busy, but this time of year
he (or she)'s more busier than practically any other time of year.
>3 The only time that we hear from the district/council is when they want
>money from us.
One of the most frequent statements I've heard, as a volunteer and as a
professional (and sent to me in more personal postings than any other).
It's a true shame that SOME professionals don't even know by recognition
whom are all of the unit leaders in his or her District. It's also true
that some professionals (and some volunteers)do not want to be perceived
as "spying" on your unit's activities, so they stay away unless they
REALLY need to visit. But your DE is supposed to visit your unit (and
every unit) once a quarter. It's supposed to be documented, and his or
her boss is supposed to document that documentation. While a LOT of
Councils turn their heads to this...it's supposed to be done. Now
what a LOT of pros do, is to see you at Roundtable or at the Camporee and
"count that" as a "visit". Technically, they're right...*inside*, a "unit
visit" is a "visit with the unit at the unit's meeting place (I know...I've
left out "...or other suitable location".)
What you need to do is to cause a reason why your professional should
visit YOUR unit...and make it an honest invite, not a hollow "I just want
the boys to see what a DE looks like" kinda thing.
Oh, and when he or she *doesn't show*, invite his or her boss, the Field
Director or District Director.
>We never get any other info in a timely manner (the Klondike the
>council just held, we recieved the info on it 2 days AFTER it was held)
That is part of the reason why attendance at Roundtables, Huddles and
Leaders' Exchanges are so very important. You can get that information
and "hold that team to the fire" if you don't. I had to literally chase
my DE around the Roundtable site for almost an half-hour before he coughed
up a Council calendar and an application for summer camp staff that he
stated "I have it in my car...let me have a few minutes and I'll get it
to you." (I did that the month before, and lo and behold...he forgot it
and left before giving it to me).
Please remember that these men and women are people, and again, this
period is REALLY stressful for them, as they need to raise what I consider
a LARGE sum of money (almost equal to their yearly salaries) within a
relatively short period of time (the actual campaign should be no more
than nine weeks long; some Councils do this year-round!).
*Parapro hat off*
>4 FOS should not be pitched to parents and Volunteers, we already donate our
>time and money to the program willingly and don't need the council guilting
>us into giving more
That's true and it's false. While we give sums of money to the program,
what we are giving it for is in many cases ourselves, just like any other
participant, youth or adult. We do give a large amount of our time and that
time could be considered as "payment". However, our time doesn't get the
electricity paid at camp, nor does it pays for the supplies and items sent
to the local Council from the national organization. Our time is important
to us, but we do it not because of "eventually payment" but rather because we
want to "be around" for the end result...kids grown up with a good sense of
citizenship, with strong characters and pretty strong bodies. I contribute
because I can see where the money goes...and as Kathie would say here, "we
have a right to know where it goes..." by asking. They, your Council, has
the responsibility to let you and everyone else know where it goes by issuing a
report which you as a contributor (and volunteer) is entitled to.
To be honest, a LOT of parents don't do anything more than drop their kids
off and pick them up when "we're done with them"...so if for nothing else,
the annual FOS/SME drive reminds them that this all isn't done with smoke and
mirrors, that it really COSTS to run an local operation to develop kids and
we don't get "federal money" to run our programs.
>5 The FOS presentation should be well thought out and informative,(not the
>half baked and poorly presented job I saw at the B&G) and should be pitched
>to the business community( along with the benefits they will get from
IMO, it should also be "pitched" to ANYONE that can contribute to the
furtherment of the Scouting program in your communities...I've done FOS/SME
presentations to churches, to civic groups, to school boards, and even to
city councils in my days. I've also done them to parents of Scouts and Cubs,
but it was always with another volunteer that can speak to how that money is
SPENT, not just "open your wallets and purses and give me your dough, and
thank you for supporting Scouting."
You have to GIVE THEM A POSITIVE REASON why their money is needed to support
the Scouting program in YOUR Council and in YOUR communities. None of this
"pie in the sky" stuff, no lofty "developing good qualities..." stuff. I
don't open my wallet (or convince Jessica to let go of a signed check!)
without knowing HOW it would benefit me, and HOW the amount I write (or get
Jess to write and sign) would be spent. A GOOD District professional will
have those answers ready to give you.
>Well there is more, but, I just want to open this up to discussion and see
>how you all feel. Sorry to always seem to be opening a can of worms when I
Not at all, Vince...a lot of Scouters feel this way. I kinda expected that
this discussion would have started earlier this month, but what you've
stated is what a LOT of other Scouters are thinking when it comes to
Friends of Scouting/Sustaining Membership Enrollment (also called "Save My
Employment/Financing 'o Scouting" and some other "endearments" that I won't
post here *hehehehee*).
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Servics of Kentucky (502.826.7046) __)_
174 Chapelwood Drive, Henderson, Kentucky 42420-5036 | ** |]
(H) 502.827.9201 (F) 502.826.7046 (W) (to be announced) coffee? anytime!
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