Re: International representative
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 17:07:26 -0500
Henry Tan asked:
>I have been wonder through something what is the real responsible or
>function of International representative where more of our council have!
The BSA in 1989 decided that it was not doing a very good job with their
Direct Service Council and with the implementation of the International
program of the BSA. They decided that in addition to the BSA's national
volunteer stucture and senior professionals "doubling" as Direct Service
Council Scouters, that they would encourage local Councils to appoint a
volunteer to serve as that Council's "conduit" for International activities
and information flowing from National to the local Council.
This person would also be called upon from time to time to serve as part of
the Direct Service Council's volunteer staff.
The Direct Service Council is the BSA's "catch all" Council, which serves
youth and their adult leaders in 134 of the world's countries without a
local Council (that is, outside of most of Europe, the Near and Far East,
northern Africa, and much of the Pacific).
While the "Direct Service Council" part didn't really catch on, the
International Representative (IR) position did, and as of last year, 72
percent of all local Councils have one (mostly on paper, but there are some
like Tom Turba and Dan Coberly -- hey, how come you guys haven't posted a
response here!!) that are doing a lot of great stuff in their Councils to
meet the International Division's mission.
I served as International Rep for the Bluegrass Council from 1990-92 and
here's what the job description and qualifications are:
(from the BSA Council International Representative Resource Kit, under the
section "COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES")
The individual should have, or wish to aquire, an active interest in the
program enrichment values of international Scouting as a means of advancing
the ideal of World Brotherhood and providing extraordinary Scouting
activities for Scouts and Explorers. The Representative should have
sufficient stature within the Council structure, preferably membership on
the Council's Executive Board, to be able to work at the various levels of
the Council's operation involved in unit service. The appointee should be
able to attend the international training and information seminars conducted
at the Biannual National Council Meeting and Regional meetings.
*In coordination with the Council's leadership, make an effort to see that
an international emphasis is included in unit and Council programs
*Become familiar with all international program enrichment services
available to Councils, such as youth exchange programs, European Camp Staff
program, International Camp Staff program, Council international camporee,
twinning projects, international Scout exhibits at Council-wide events, and
international training seminars for adults
*Promote and communicate the international program enrichment services to units
*Advise unit leaders who are planning international activities
*Promote the World Frriendship Fund at summer camps, Blue and Gold banquets,
training courses, etc.
*Recruit an ad-hoc committee as may be neccessary for a Council
The patch that the IR wears symbolizes National Service. It was orignially
though that IRs would serve as part of the BSA's International Committee,
but that was shelved off for some reason (never could find out why)!
A local Council can have but ONE IR per year, and in many Councils, this
person is appointed by the Council Scout Executive or by the Council
President. In others, he or she is appointed by the Council Commissioner
and serves as part of the unit service arm of the Council. Once the
appointment is made, the Council Scout Executive provides the name to the
International Division and the mailings and other materials are sent
directly to the IR as well as to the Council Scout Executive.
Other Divisions also send items of interest to the IRs (for example, the
Supply Division frequently sends IR a listing of materials and emblems that
can be purchased for usage at the Council level).
>In some extent, more of them are very ill inform of things happen
>internationally as well as very poor knowledge of world scouting.
True. In some Councils, this position is on paper only and the Scouter
frequently has no clue as to why he or she is receiving this material and a
poor comphension of their usage to promote International Scouting. In
defense of the BSA's local Councils and their professional staffs, however,
most of them have selected volunteers with some degree of knowledge as far
as international Scouting is concerned.
>should they being refered as professional scouter as some
>of them use to call about themselves?
Nope. Only those that are paid for their services in the United States are
considered "professional (or "career") Scouters". All the rest of us, for
the many hours, days, years, and decades we put in, are volunteer Scouters
and proudly refer to ourselves as "volunteers".
IRs don't get paid a dime for their long and hard work, nor do they get
anything special with the exception of the cool-looking fully embroreded
position patch (they we had to pay for!) to wear in that role.
Hope this answers your and other's questions about this special opportunity
to serve youth. If your Council doesn't have a IR, ask why not and if you
feel that you can do the job well in light of the description listed above,
print a copy of this and take it to your Council Scout Executive and ask
(He or she, if they don't already have someone in that position, will thank
you....this is one of those things they get "beat up on" constantly by their
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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