Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: Chartering new units vs old units
Re: Chartering new units vs old units
Settummanque, the blackeagle
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 20:43:21 -0500
Hi James!! You wrote and asked:
>I am having a problem with what I assume must be National policy >regarding
establishment of new Troops. Does it make any sense to >establish a new
Troop in an area where another Troop, located less than >2 miles away, is
struggling to barely stay in existence?
No, it doesn't. But there's a few factors that you don't realize in that
new unit's organization, some of which I'll explain here. And no, this is
NOT a "national policy, but rather strategy on the part of the professional
in your District and the volunteers of your District.
>I understand that the District Executive gets paid/promoted at least
>partially based on how many new units are chartered, but to my >thinking at
least a triple demotion/cut in pay should be levied for each >unit that folds.
Nope. District Executives (or other field executives of the BSA) do NOT get
paid or promoted based on in part or full on how many NEW units are
chartered, but rather how many units ARE CHARTERED at the end of a month,
quarter or year. The basis for their merit pay (above their regular
salaries) and whether or not they have met their "critical achievement" in
this area is something called the "beat last time" cycle.
Let's say that a District Executive...me...have 44 Troops and 39 Packs
chartered and "on the books" at the time I am hired as the North District
Executive. During my meeting with my "supervisor", the East District
Director, we sit over lunch and together we outline a plan in which I take
the District from it's present 83 units (a very healthy number, by the way!)
to 100 units over a year.
"That's easy!! That's only what...17 units?? Who can't meet *that* goal??
That's like...two or three units a MONTH!"
Well, what happens frequently is that Troops like the one you mentioned just
"give up" and dies. Now, my District team and myself have to work hard to
"make up" that loss of a unit by reorganizing that unit. In the meantime,
other units die off too. Pretty soon, it's not 17 or 18 units that I have
to see to getting reorganized, but more like 25 or 30.
To "get ahead of this power curve" and to provide that growth that I'm being
evaluated against (in this case, the previous guy who would rather ski and
party than to work his District!), I organize NEW Troops and Packs in my
District area ACCORDING TO TWO PLANS.
The first plan is the plan developed during that luncheon with my boss, the
District Director. As the "field director" supevising me, she knows my
territory and she knows many of the chartered partners - existing ones and
new ones...together, we work on a plan to include new chartered partners AND
to further involve the existing chartered partners too.
This may mean, in some cases, a chartered partner that charters a Pack may
be asked to charter a Pack and Team or a Pack and Crew too.
The second plan is the plan coordinated by me with the volunteers of my
District...the District's membership Vice Chair and Commissioner, assisted
by other older members of the District whom know the territory, the people,
and the organizations. Together (with me telling some, much or none of the
plan that my "boss" and I worked together on...depending on my relationship
with my volunteers!), we work out a plan to get new and existing chartered
partners to "use the Scouting program".
It's a process that allows me, if I work it right and consistantly, to
acheive a small growth each quarter -- to "beat last year's stats" at that
point. If I beat last year's numbers in my District, it is a GOOD THING.
If I continue to "beat last year's numbers" consistantly, it is a GREAT
THING. And if I "beat last year's numbers" after a year, I'M A SUPERSTAR!
*heheheheehe* (seriously, there is a GREAT DEAL of
personal pride and satistfaction associated with setting your own goals and
exceeding them...that's why I enjoyed being a Parapro so much!!)
This explains, James, your concern and professional's pride in organizing a
brand new Troop or Pack right next to an existing Pack or Troop which is
floundering. The reasoning is that "my volunteers and I can work to get
that one Troop or Pack rebuilt; at the same time, we have a new Troop on the
books down the road and it will stay on the books for at least a year."
Remember, units are chartered for a year or 18 months at a time; and it is
the UNITS ON THE BOOKS and the MEMBERS ON THE BOOKS that determines the
strength of the District, not the number of units that are ACTIVE or
RUNNING. A District may have 100 units "on the books" but in reality only
have 60 or so of those units "activily doing something."
Don't blame the professionals totally for this "plan". Remember, although
the Executive may have some "plan of action" as part of his or her Critical
Achievement goals, that NO UNIT gets totally organized WITHOUT the
INVOLVEMENT of volunteers....and if you really want to help your District's
Executive or other field Executive, take some of those "non-existant" or
"almost dead" units and rebuild those...thereby insuring that your Executive
doesn't have to go out and almost kill him or herself every quarter for that
"one last unit".
Believe me, I know the Maalox feeling you have in your stomach and head when
you *think* that you've met *your goal* only to have another unit to "die"
on you and won't recharter...or worse, a group of Scouters holding the
chartering paperwork for 120 days and the unit's allowed to lapse and die
just because they are "waiting for one more application" or "one more
Hope this answers your question in part, James. GREAT QUESTION, by the way!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Joint Information Bureau Deputy Director
US SOUTHCOM FCE (Enhanced New Horizons)
APO Miami, AA 34042 (Soto Cano AB, Honduras)
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