Is an Exodus of DE's a sign of a unhealthy Council?
Ed Henderson (biged@SCOUTER.COM)
Thu, 11 Dec 1997 01:19:31 -0600
For many years my council has had strong membership growth & consistently
exceeded goals on FOS. Our Summer Camp Program is one of the strongest in
the region, filling up all nine weeks of camp. Under the last two Scout
Executives things have been as good as anyone could have hoped for.
I wonder however, if there are any signs that can tip off a Scouter that a
council has reached the top of the roller coaster and is on the way down?
In the last 14 months all five DE positions have switched (I realize it is
common, even positive, when DE's move on to bigger councils and more
responsibilities) but this past week three of our five DE's have all
resigned from the Professional Ranks entirely (one in particular had
excelled in his district winning the strong support of volunteers,
financial backers, and being the catalysts for Exploring's renaissance in
our council - and has achieved Quality District for several years). The
other two were newer but had put in solid performances.
I am disturbed when half of the professional staff of a council turns in
their resignation and LEAVES Scouting for good all within a week of each
other. Does anyone know if this catches the attention of Area Directors?
I can not help but think that we will be at a severe disadvantage in 1998
as FOS kick off rolls around.
At the same time I come across more and more dedicated key volunteers who
have put in years as Woodbadge staffers, District Commissioners, Council
Advancement Personnel, summer camp staff etc. who are disaffected. In my
District alone four key veteran Scout Leaders are making this their last
I guess I am just a bit alarmed at what I see as (what did Jimmy Carter
call it?....A malaise perhaps) that is settling in over our council after
10 solid years of upward growth.
At a council level it is clear that when a DE is not performing there are
all kinds of intervention, training, and when needed chewing sessions from
Field Directors & the Scout Executive to set things straight. What happens
when it is the SE who is faltering or off course? Is it the Council
Executive Board or the Area & Regional Professional staff who come in and
analyze the situation and help with corrective action?
** Speaking only for myself **
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City