Re: Upside Bobcats & National Policy (long)
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 11:54:47 -0500
*THIS POSTING IS GOING TO BE LONG*
I've tried three times this morning to post this; between my wife's software,
my mother's phone calls (she wanted to talk and I can't type and talk at the
same time...and she called TWICE today...I was glad to talk with her,
though) and CNN's "Breaking News" (I've got to blame SOMEONE, you know
*heehhehehee*), this posting never made it. Hopefully, this time it will.
I'll post an elongated response to this at the following site AFTER 5pm
today CT, since this question has come up either privately or in the forum:
Richard Fletcher asked:
> Where can I find the written directives from National where it
>was stated a new Bobcat should not be turned upside down and the
>practice should be halted?
At *your Council Service Center* and specifically from *your Council Scout
Executive*. He or she should have some *specific guidance* from the
Director, Cub Scout Program Division, to him or her addressing this
practice; as others before and as I've mentioned here several times, it is
UP TO HIM OR HER TO INTERPRET AND ENFORCE (or not) THIS AND ANY OTHER
NATIONAL POLICY IN HIS OR HER TERRITORY.
>There is so much I hear claiming to be National's position (not just
>regarding this topic), yet I cannot believe it until I see it in print.
That's because, Richard, as I've been saying since I've started here on
Scouts-L back in the early 90s, the BSA and your local Council does NOT
do a good job of letting you and me and all other "field workers" know of
those changes UNTIL one of two things happen:
* until you or I come into the office with a copy of a posting from Scouts-L
or some other forum, asking the Council Scout Executive (because our DE's
"don't know anything" we think...or know!) "Hey! I've read here that the
policy has changed...you have a copy of it??"
(in which they will politely take a copy of your copy, call or fax national
or their neighboring larger Council and ask for a copy of "this form" or
"this policy statement", get it and all of a sudden "they are the most
knowledgable folks in the land" about the topic)
* until someone gets hurt, killed or sues the local Council, or until
someone starts stomping "I know it's true!!!!! You are SUPPOSED TO HAVE A
COPY OF THIS!!"
(in which they will politely ask you to control yourself, while staff
members are looking through filecabinets, garbage cans and again asking
other Councils that *may have it* to send them another copy of the policy or
program change...and in the meantime, they will apologize to you and some
*might* ask for your registration card because they have just been "upstaged
by some volunteer that doesn't NEED TO KNOW as much as they do"!)
I know both extremes, Richard, because both has happened *to me*. This is
part of the reasoning why I have come here to Scouts-L and why I have since
the start have shared the "BSA side of things", even though it sometimes
doesn't place the brightest lights onto our program.
This is a professional AND volunteer problem....so this is NOT "Council
Scout Executive" bashing...but rather reality as I've seen it (and as you've
probably been used to it).
Usually by the first working day of each month, your Council Scout
Executive/Council Executive (title's only a compensation determinator; this
is the senior-most administrator of Scouting in your local Council) gets a
packet of information anywhere from a quarter to a inch and a half thick,
from National. It's called the "Council pouch" because back in the old
days, the information came in a pouch. Some call it the Council Packet.
(the website has examples of what's in the Council Packet)
The Packet is sent to the CE. He or she does one of three things with this
* takes an entire afternoon and evening to review the information, makes
notes and then distributes it to his field staff, program staff and others
in the Council for their action and sharing with volunteers
* gives it to his Assistant or the senior Field Director less those things
specifically addressed to him or her; the Field Director or Assistant Scout
Executive then takes the "good stuff" and then gives the rest to his or her
field staff for sharing
* or places it in a filing cabinet less those things he or she has to take
action on immediately; when someone asks about it, they can find it in the
cabinet; he or she shares with the field staff that stuff that he or she
WANTS to share and WANTS to let volunteers know about.
Once a month, a full staff meeting is called in which ALL of the
professional staff of that Council comes in from all directions and gives
and gives information to each other. That's when in the better Councils,
that information is shared between the Field Director or Scout Executive and
the field executives (District, Exploring, program executives, the
Registrar, other employees)
Those professionals ARE RESPONSIBLE but may CHOOSE NOT TO share that
information with their volunteers in their respective areas.
Many do, in a responsible way by providing them copies of the National or
Regional information that they have received from their boss. Some only put
a summary, along with the "boss's guidance" in the Council's newsletter or
through Roundtables. But some DO NOT SHARE ANYTHING AT ALL; or PICKS AND
CHOOSES WHOM THE INFORMATION IS BEING SHARED WITH, and therefore those two
things happen above that I've mentioned with regards to "why don't we get
So, as you can see, Richard, it's NOT just the professionals...it's some of
our volunteers, especially Commissioners and Committeemembers at the
District or Council level that gets this new information but doesn't do their
part to SHARE IT with ALL OF US in the best ways possible.
Significant NATIONAL policies (which as I've stated above, may or may NOT be
your Council's policies) are also announced about 60 to 90 days after the
policy has been sent to the Councils (to allow for mailing to Europe and the
Far East and for the sharing...or supposely sharing to those volunteers in
far off places like Spain!), the same announcement is made in _Scouting_ ,
_Boys'_Life_, and _Exploring_Journal_ magazines.
In that way, those that haven't been told or were late getting the
information are "told". Most of the time, those items are listed in
"Scouting Around", "News Briefs" and "Pedro's Hitchn' Rack", although they
may appear in other places within the magazines.
There's a lot more to this that I'll explain on the webpage.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 email@example.com
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