Re: No weasels?
Mike Walton ("settummanque,)
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 01:57:52 -0500
I am probably *acutely aware* of what Council Scout Executives can do to
volunteers and to professionals that "don't tote the (Council) line". I've
been on the receiving end since I've started posting here of notes and=20
"informal suggestions" from some folks that felt that my comments here makes
for an unconfortable time between them and their Council's volunteers. =20
So be it. I can afford to say that, Greg, because I don't presently occupy
a critical position within my local Council. I can also afford to say what
I do here, because of my long history with both the professional and the
volunteer side of the BSA's program. In other words, I know where the
"boundaries are" and what can get me bounced.
Again, *I chose* to post what I know, observed, and can find from resources
here because I felt that other volunteers like you can benefit from them. I
knew "the rules" under which I post that information over the years and
would venture to guess that those two Scouters that posted their information
also knew "how far they can go" as well in their posting.
>Mike Walton said:
>>There's nothing that your Council Scout Executive can do about it, just=20
>>like there's nothing that prevents him or other professionals from=20
>>reading postings on our list or any other list, Scouting or not.=20
>That is an amazingly naive statement! Most of us know professionals=20
>who have made things very uncomfortable for volunteers in districts=20
>and councils. The CE can do quite a lot, depending on his/her=20
>relationship with the Scouter. Volunteers can be marginalized and=20
>penalized in any number of ways. Professional staff can be disciplined.=20
Sure they can....but the bottom line is that Council Scout Executive had
*better* have more than "a posting sent to the Internet" before he or she
decides to "bring the hammer down" onto a volunteer, especially a volunteer
that have been a longtime supporter and participator of his or her Council!
Yeah...I'm *not* living in a dream world....I've got four private postings
in my inbox right now from Scouters that felt that their CE have "picked on
them"! But again, if those volunteers attempted to find the answer out
from their CE, and then came here and asked us all what we *thought, felt or
suggest*, that CE has very little to "do something with".
As far as his or her own professional staff, yeah, he can "write them up"
for not supporting the program of the Council.....but again, that
professional can seek relief through his Region or Professional Personnel.
Most professionals understand "the limits" in which they can post answers or
offer ideas.....they know how far they can go, what their Council Scout
Executive will approve or disapprove, and what they can say about the way
they do programming within their own District or Division. =20
It comes down to knowing "where you stand" within your Council...and "where
the line is" between what you say here or anywhere else (Scouting or
non-Scouting) and what you should refer to your Council professional staff
or other volunteers.
>>A professional Scouter is (*putting on paraprofessional hat briefly*)=20
>>supposed to protect the program (*taking hat off*). His or her first=20
>>obligation is supposed to be to the BSA . . .
>Mike, does that mean you think it is OK for a CE to penalize a Scouter=20
>for mentioning council policy on Scouts-L because he/she is =D2protecting=
>the program=D3? I sure hope not!
Unfortuntely, yeah, Greg...that's what I'm saying... more important that
anything *I say*, it is the way that "a lot of Council Scout Executives"
take it. The BSA has had a history of "controlling the professional cadre"
to a stronger degree than what the military or school systems or churches
would with their professionals. Because there's only close to 3000
professionals, Greg, the BSA can be *more selective* in hiring, retaining,
and of course, firing those that don't "defend the program" in a similar
manner that military senior officers, ministers and priests, or senior
school administrators can control those that occupy those positions.=20
And again, I'm talking PROFESSIONALS here, Greg...not volunteers. I agree
with you that a Council Scout Executive (or any other professional for that
matter) don't have much of a rock to stand on when a volunteer within his or
her Council merely explains what is *their Council's policy* dealing with
anything. Hey...it's written down, it's explained to them...why can't they
talk about it with OTHER SCOUTERS?? That's part of the reason why those
policies are given out in writing to Council and District Scouters and to
unit Scouters.....so that they can fully understand AND EXPLAIN THEM to
other Scouters and Scouts. If a CE decides to try to punish *a particular*
Scouter or a couple of Scouters for merely "explaining what their Council
does", he or she better be ready to do the same thing to *other Scouters*
that do the same!
The BSA has taken a more moderate stance over the past three years, mainly
because of several key senior professional changes at the National level as
well as within three of the four Regions. But the "standard" is there for
both *current* and *retired* pros....."the program may not be perfect, but
you'd better defend what we've got....because it is the ONLY thing we've
>>Nope, Greg...there's no weasels lurking here....just some folks that have
>>a genuine interest in what their volunteers (or fellow professionals,
>>those brave enough to *post*!) think and feel...
>Nope, Mike. I think your paraprofessional hat is too snug a fit. :) =20
>However much I wish you were correct, there are some folks out there=20
>more interested in protecting the status quo than listening to volunteers.
Nah....I've got to get that hair cut, and the hat fits still fine after many
years...not much have changed (other than my hair getting greyer!!)....but
that's why, as I wrote here before, this list and the many others exist.
Without our fellow volunteers and those pros that feel confident enough with
their relationship with their CE and fellow pros, this list would be nothing
but complaints about "us and them" and how unfair things are.
We simply don't have time for it....we're too busy trying to solve things
that we *can provide assistance on* and those things that we can help.
If a volunteer (or professional for that matter) feels that their question
or comment will "torque off" a fellow volunteer or their professional
counterparts, there's ways that their posting can STILL get here and they
can STILL get the answers they are seeking. I do this quite a lot, Greg,
and so has Mike ("Professor Beaver") Bowman, Gary Hendra and a lot of
others including our list owner. If this becomes a problem with a large
number of Scouters out there, we can revise the WELCOME letter to allow
those individuals that choose to, to "send their questions" to folks like us
and we'll take out the stuff that wouldn't "point it" to a specific local
BSA or GSUSA Council or other youth program. =20
I still say we don't have *any weasels* here......
(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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