Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: "Wisdom of the List"
"Wisdom of the List"
Wed, 9 Jun 1999 04:43:53 EDT
I've seen several posts in the last week or two asking for the "wisdom of the
list" on FACTUAL issues.
The list is a wonderful resource and can rapidly obtain advice and counsel
from all over the country on a myriad of Scouting related (and even
non-Scouting related ) topics. Most posters are scrupulously careful to post
references when they know them or to state that matters are "in their
opinion" when they do not have references.
However, for each of us, the prime responsibility for our unit and our
Scouting rests with our local council. We are doing ourselves, our unit, our
council and the list a disservice when we do not make our local council the
prime source of information, particularly factual information.
When we have a question about something on a registration, that question
should be directed to the registrar at the local council, our DE or the
professional in charge of registration.
When we have a question about advancement, that question should initially be
directed to our district or council advancement advisor or advancement
When we have a question about training, that question should initially be
directed to our district or council training advisor or training team or
When we have a question about camp or policies at camp, that question should
initially be directed to the camping department at the council. If we are
going out of council, then the question should be directed to the camping
department at the place where we are going. Long distance phone calls are
now very cheap.
The reason is that, in each case, the responsibility for interpreting the
policies of the BSA rests with our local council and interpretations do
change from one council to another. We could do a disservice to the youth in
our unit if we get a legitimate interpretation from a person on the list,
only to find that our local council uses a different but also perfectly
The list is fast, modern and extremely responsive. Sometimes our council
office can be much less so, for a number of reasons. It is perfectly OK to
get a reading from our local council and say "Here is what our local council
says, is this the interpretation everywhere."
But we should, and really must, give our local council the opportunity to
serve us. It really is both their duty and resposibility.
I hope that this is not perceived as flaming any of the posters who recently
have asked these questions. If I am flaming anyone, I apologize. But,
council and district volunteers and professionals are people too. Our little
psyches can be hurt when people ignore us or go around us :)