Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Annoyed at National
Re: Annoyed at National
Thu, 22 Apr 1999 12:40:49 -0700
Several times in the past some very informed folks like Mike Walton and Paul
Wolf and others try to lead the way to how this activity we call scouting
works at various levels.
Their efforts are in the archive.
Many of us have lost or never learned the structure of social and commercial
congress and over the years have replaced polite but wisened and firm
oversight with professional management whose goals and objectives are very
much different from the volunteer managers.
We must take back this obligation to become informed and participatory
We spend a great deal of time and treasure espousing this leadership thing
to others lets, individually , start walking our talk.
Think Global, act local .
The media is the message..
Without volunteers, scouting is just another "gimme program".
(These are comments I have seen or heard in scouting.)
What is National to me?
Considering the rude or indifferent responses(usualy letters, redirected
back thru the local SE) I have received over the years from that august
group in texas, I still see National as a mirror of your local council.
Is it Political? (isn't everything.)...Ex Speaker Tip O'neill was quoted
once as saying "all polytics is local....So get involved with your local
district/council and find your way to a regional activity and work your way
to the National spotlight.
By that time you have lost contact with your troop (and probably the real
world) and are now just another political animal....currying favor and
What to do.....
Self Study. Ask for things like the Annual Report of the BSA. Ask for the
IRS 990 report for the National; BSA and your local council. Read the upbeat
and headdy doins about the Annual convention (where ever it is this year) in
What were the issues and how were they addressed or rsolved. Ask your DE
about "All Hands" and what went on. Attend your local or next door council
commissioner college and other training activities like "Key Three".
Post messages like the one you just did and see how others feel about the
Does National do things to deliberatly set us off...probably not... but
scouting is highly interpretive and dependent on representation from people
of the right sort.
Right now we,IMO, we are corporately managed due to several factors.
A...The loss of interest by many volunteers for the big picture of scouting
and the enourmous time and energy requirements. TV & Golf and funding the
401(k) seems more promising, right?
B...A litigious society bent on blaming every moving thing except those that
pepetrated the (outrage of your choice) which forces on us a vigilant
management trained in the arts of MBA and J.D. Knowledgable Scoutmasters and
Commissioners are necessary nuisances to be tolerated.
C...Cognitive eliteism which mandates complicated ,overly structured and
indifferent responses to transient stimuli (public opinion and the press)
generating more administrative rules , regulation and regimentaion for the
good of the program.
D...No active promotions of the scouting traditions of
Baden-Powell,Seton,Thompson et al and the promulgating of smokeless campouts
and discouraging people over 50 from attending BSA events or summer camps
where stenuous activity might occur.
There are root causes and root solutions. Lets get on with discovering those
things at the local level but become familiar with the National oversight
structure and National costs of scouting.
Ask the Questions that need to be asked.
Thanks for the chance to soap box.
I ordinarily dont do it but some of my hot butons got pushed writing this.
And by all means, keep asking questions.
And by the way...make campouts happen for the boys in your neighborhood.
Never do a Job a Boy can Do....
Commissioner & Pesky Owl
From: Paul Thompson <pack287@YAHOO.COM>
To: SCOUTS-L@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU <SCOUTS-L@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU>
Date: Thursday, April 22, 1999 1:50 AM
Subject: Re: Annoyed at National
>As long as I can recall, I have never seen anybody
>explain exactly who it is that runs the BSA. I have
>seen obscure references to "National", but no real
>explanation as to who that is.
>Apparently, "National" sets the policies and
>procedures of the BSA which we, as paying members, are
>free to follow or leave. Do we have any real say in
>the policies of the BSA? Is there a referendum held
>every so often to gauge the sentiment of the members?
>May the head of the BSA be likened to a corporate CEO?
>If so, who comprises the board of directors and how
>did they acquire their positions? Is the BSA head more
>like a president, elected through popular vote? Is he
>appointed for life, like the Pope?
>Who are these mysterious people we call "National"?
>I have seen many complaints about uniforming,
>religion, sexual preferences and such. We've been
>warned off from the so-called 3-Gs because the
>arguments go nowhere. Why? Does "National" listen to
>the majority of the members or not? Is the BSA a
>democracy or an autocracy? Are we, the volunteer
>leaders of the BSA, really just children in a
>I want to know who the people are setting the rules.
>Paul S. Thompson, CC
>Pack 287, Romeo, Michigan
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com