Re: Info is at the Scout office
Mike Walton (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Sat, 5 Apr 1997 07:38:45 -0500
Katie commented on getting information through your local Council
>I see lots of questions on here that are simply answered by going
>to your local service center and picking up the booklets that have
>all of this information in them.
That's a super idea, and one which I endorse. But let's be
realistic about this:
* some Councils "restrict purchase" of booklets to "those that have
a need to know the information or those holding the position". This
is eventually the way that much of the newer information is being
sent to "the field". It doesn't make sense to print 5000 copies of
a advancement booklet if there's only 1000 or so people that
"should have the information"...and in some Councils....
* the Scout Executive (or a well-meaning District Executive or key
volunteer) "restricts access" to the information within the
booklets. Their reasoning is that we should "ask me, and if I
don't know the answer, I'll find it for you, let you know about it,
and you can use me as your source" (like we can't read)...which
brings us to...
* misleading or absolutely WRONG information (not that I or others
HERE are guilt-free with this point; but at least WE APOLOGIZE and
offer the CORRECT information and don't leave you "hanging in the
breeze"), mostly to "shut you up" and "send you on your way"
because either they do not have the time/energy/willingness to look
up or call and get the correct information for you; and some folks
are just downright insistant on "keeping their powerbase" which
includes keeping OTHERS from knowing about "the stuff that makes me
whom I am" to the Council.
* the information just isn't there. Your Council office cannot
and does not want to stock information on EVERY aspect of Scouting
and Exploring; they can't. There's a large variety of
publications, tapes, booklets, and insignia that they just can't
afford to keep onhand "for the one or two people a year that asks
and as several people already posted, the long travel distance, the
inability to get to the Council office (particularily in rural or
urban areas) and the "convience that technology gives us".
There's also a large variety of "interpretations" that your Council
there will give to the various documents as well. I've had, Katie,
as an example, someone to post me privately and explain why her
District Executive MUST "initial off" on EVERY advancement report
that they send to the Council office. There's NOT a requirement
for that anywhere, but somewhere the DE interpreted the procedure
for submitting Advancement reports as "must be reviewed prior to
posting" to "I must see the reports before I turn them in". After
she complained to the Scout Executive (after I suggested that she
might ask him "what's the deal?"), the DE stopped the practice and
everyone started getting awards on a more timely basis.
Imagine if EVERY DE did that, Katie?? Talk about "backlog"?? Those
things are NOT explained in a BSA publication that's "easily
located or can be obtained". There's other BSA pubs that are
"coded for the position or division", and can ONLY be obtained now
through Council Scout Executive "approval". This ranges from fact
sheets to applications to *basic manuals* for leadership positions
at the District or Council levels.
This list provides a valuable resource for LOTS of Scouts and
Scouters out there that need access to the information, but for
some reason or another, cannot get it (or has it, and despite their
best attempts at trying to find it out themselves, can't find it).
While yeah, we sometimes get the information wrong, at least
there's three or four others here that will come out and say "No,
Mike. You're wrong. Here's the line in the book and the page
number. I'll send you a copy if you don't have it."
EVERYONE learns, including *me*, Katie, and we all grow together
with the additional knowledge and experiences. And no matter what
the BSA or other organizations say, there's just SOME THINGS that
you nor I can "bind into a book" or "record on tape"!!
*I do encourage everyone to get out and visit their Council
offices. It's a neat place, even if you've been there yesterday!*
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City