Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Fri, 23 Apr 1999 09:22:43 -0400
I have been out of pocket for a couple of weeks and feared that
perhaps I would miss something new in the group. Nope, didn't.
Here we are back to 3gs etc.
There was one that did catch my eye and that dealt with 'dumbing
down' of publications and the number of new publications. Thoughts
are many here.
When I look at the increasing number of publications in scouting
I reflect on how a set of 10 rules and 1 book on a persons life have
been expanded to multiple theological empires supported by
thousands of theological institutions staffed by armies of theological
experts all of who have done their best to confuse, divide, and
control all in the name of doing it the best (their) way. It
appears that scouting is heading down the same road.
I can make the same observation about the federal government
where we took the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution,
and the bill of rights and expanded it into a huge ruling monster
that has not the slightest idea what it is doing!
What some folks call dumbing down I would call simplification.
The old advancement guide was confusing and full of outright
contradictions. Although not perfect, the new one is a lot clearer.
I attended a meeting last week that perfectly illustrated the point.
The meeting focused on the new Venture program. Many aspects
of the program are not spelled out in great detail and left a lot of
decision making up to the units and people involved. This caused
a lot of consternation. When dealing with the gold and silver awards
a lot of judgement as to what is adequate was left to the units and
the crew members. This caused a lot of discomfort. The adults at
the meeting expressed a lot of serious concern that at upper levels
in the council they would not have 'control' over what was going on.
In other words, they were afraid that the units were not executing
the program in the manner that they, those who would control,
And that is really the point. There are those among us who
feel that they have been anointed with the vision as to how a
program should be run...their way. They work to get to a position of
authority and policy making so that they can control the program.
We soon see their handiwork in new policies, procedures, and
publications which reflect their vision. Unfortunately, that is
human nature. Don't think it is true? Look around you. Go back
to my reflections on religions and politics.
Anything we can do to simplify and strip out unnecessary
procedures will only help to improve the program. If we fail to
do this scouting will soon be crushed by the weight of the
increasingly burdensome and cumbersome bureaucracy.