Re: Weasels Lurking
Mike Walton ("settummanque,)
Tue, 14 Oct 1997 20:31:17 -0500
Greg Benesh wrote:
>I'd like to warn the list that we have weasels lurking among us!
That's not fair at all, Greg....for the record, we've had professionals both
at the local Council AND National/Regional levels reading our postings and
discussions here since 1991!! Some, as you probably remember, even POSTED
here and shared our resources with folks at the National Training Center, at
Philmont, and within the National Office!!
It's really funny.....back in 1991, I made a side trip to the National
Office and while I was waiting to sit down with a friend of mine that I
haven't seen in quite some time, I noticed one of *my postings* sitting in
one of the "breakrooms"....it even had the old address of Scouts-L on it!!
It was flattering, but at the same time if you recall, there was an attempt
to distance the BSA *completely away* from "newsgroups and email and BBSes
and all of that computer stuff".
>Two Scouters from my Council recently posted questions about liquid >fuel
policy and safety. A Council Exec lurking on the list took it upon
>himself to FAX the notes directly to our Council Executive. Apparently,
>some professionals don't want the volunteers to even have discussions
>without their approval!
There's nothing that your Council Scout Executive can do about it, just like
there's nothing that prevents him or other professionals from reading
postings on our list or any other list, Scouting or not.
Since we've started here, most of us *had some idea* that somehow some of
our postings would get out and up/over to our professional counterparts at
the local Council and at the national or regional levels. That's how a few
policies have been modified, both by those at National as well as locally.
Unfortunatetly, that's also how some volunteers try to use this forum or
other forums as a "large boulder" between their personal disagreements and
conflicts with their professional counterparts within their Council.
When we revised the WELCOME letter a couple of years back, I added the
following lines which should have been viewed as a caution by those wanting
to be a part of a forum whereby it's "us versus them":
>Finally, the list quality has been maintained by the number of
>questions that we've answered over the years. In many cases, the
>questions we've asked have also been raised by others who are not on
>the list, only to be ignored or discarded. Some of our questions --and
>our collective answers-- have resulted in program or policy changes by
>the BSA or other organizations.
>This is *your* chance to ask questions that you felt "stupid" asking
>local officials; to get the REAL answer to that policy that someone
>told you was "in the book and that's the way it is"; to resolve just
>WHERE do you wear that new award that your son or daughter or you
>received. We are MORE than willing to answer ALL questions,concerns,
>or problems that you may be having with your unit or organization.
>However, we do so ONLY with the understanding that you cannot get
>answers anywhere else. We don't want SCOUTS-L to be your ONLY source
>of information about what should or should not be done. We urge you to
>seek out the local offices of your youth organization BEFORE posting
>here...it avoids embarrassing "gaffes" between you and your
>organization and it also keeps us from coming between youth agencies
>and your unit. The advice given here is given on the same basis as
>what you would receive from a friend (which we all hope to become).
>None of us speaks on behalf of a youth organization in any capacity,
>except in the cases where we have identified ourself as a volunteer or
>A professional Scouter is (supposedly) courteous and helpful.
A professional Scouter is (*putting on paraprofessional hat briefly*)
supposed to protect the program (*taking hat off*). His or her first
obligation is supposed to be to the BSA, and this fella may have felt that
his boss's boss should know about a potential issue in your Council
("Hey...if these two have questions about it....imagine how many *others*
that have the same question??)
Scouts-L has NEVER been about "us" (the volunteer or field worker) versus
"them" (the professionals, the executive staff, the national organizations).
We're ALL on the *same sides* even though some times it requires a little
(or a lot) of clarification to insure that we're all moving in
the same directions. Sometimes it takes some harsh words or not favorable
comments about "those that work Scouting for a living" to make the point.
Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, our frustration at not getting answers the
"way the program intended" leads us to ask here....and it's why the list was
created, why it has grown and why it continues to serve lots of
Scouters...including a larger number of professional Scouters!
(I'm in the middle of sending three professional Scouters as well as some
volunteers information on a recent posting I made here.....as soon as I get
it all, I'll send it to them. They *do* read the list, sometimes at the
discouragement of their bosses, sometimes they read it "second hand".
But we *do* have a body of pros that do *read and understand* what we're
doing here and why it's so popular among their volunteers and parents!)
So, we should be continuing (as I'm doing right now) to FURTHER ENCOURAGE
those that cannot get their questions answered locally to please ask all of
us here...between all of us, there's a few answers...and hey...some of them
*may be the answer you're looking for*. Those two posters asked because
they wanted to know, I hope.....
Nope, Greg...there's no weasles lurking here....just some folks that have a
genurine interest in what their volunteers (or fellow professionals, those
brave enough to *post*!) think and feel.....everyone's entitled to their own
opionions, sure....but everyone is also free to "share the resources that
they read here with others in their Council, District, unit or youth agency."
We made the rules, Greg....we have to play by those rules. Sorry.
And sorry if their comments somehow got them in "trouble" with their SE.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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