Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1999: Re: Council Communications - Back to Pro Bashing?
Re: Council Communications - Back to Pro Bashing?
Thu, 2 Sep 1999 22:05:02 -0000
----- Original Message -----
From: eddunn <eddunn@Bellsouth.net>
> Sorry Anthony to inform you, but there are less Scouts now than in
> 1930! National won't even release the totals, that's how bad it is...so
> things are all right in your mind...only!
Did you compare today's numbers to, say, 1974 or 1979. For that matter, did
you compare the numbers to any other year than 1930? Yeah, I used to do
statistics for a living, and believe me, you CAN make the numbers say
whatever you want!
> And as a DE I have been on the committee that selects the Council level
> volunteers, so I know what I am talking about. The methods you
> recommend are fine, but they are not the same as what is being used
> today. Not even close!
I can only say I'm glad you aren't my DE. We had a DE with an attitude like
yours once and guess what happened. Membership dropped. Units folded. New
units, when there were any, disappeared as quickly as they were created.
There was no participation in district or council events. Boy Scout troops
that wanted to survive went out-of-council to participate in activities or
attend summer camp. In fact, we had a CE who had an attitude like yours for
a while. When he came to our council we had just finished a capitol campaign
and had plenty of money to make improvements to the camp, and other council
facilities. By the time the Council Committee managed to get rid of him, the
council was nearly broke,
I don't want to say your experience is invalid because it is valid, but I'm
drawing on my experience as a volunteer, and my father's experience (about
50 years worth) in Scouting. He is presently a member of the Council
Committee. He was appointed to that position by the Council President. The
Council President was selected by the Council Committee. All I can say is,
if the professionals in you council are hand picking the volunteers, they're
the ones who aren't following procedures. To say I need to wake up and see
how things are really done assumes that high-level professionals everywhere
are doing things wrong. That's not my experience. I am saddened that it is
> As for the BSA not changing policy to suit its constituants, well...it
> will be very alone with its decisions. Yes, Councils have fired Scout
> Executives in the past, but only when they fail to meet the National
What's wrong with that!? The Council Executive gets his paycheck from
National, not me! He WORKS for National, I would certainly hope he does his
best to meet National's agenda. He ALSO works for the council committee.
They have a very big voice in whether or not the CE continues in his
position from year to year.
> As for blaming the professionals, ha! They have run the program as far
> down as it should be allowed, Scouting is designed for kids, not fat old
> men who want to take every nickle they can get out of it, and give
> nothing back. If the real figures of membership were released, you
> would know exactly what I mean, and the fur would fly. But until people
> like you begin to realize that things are not "peachy", the minority
> will persevere.
I really don't understand what you mean by this. I am a Scoutmaster. I see
every week how well Scouting is working. Every month I get a chance to see
how my district and council are doing their things. The so-called "fat old
men" in my council are still very active in Scouting, making sure every
Scout has the opportunities he deserves. Making sure every unit has
opportunities for trained leaders, fundraising, program help, activity
ideas, and organized activities to attend. Is it perfect? Heck no! And I
don't expect it to EVER be perfect.
> Really, I admire your committment, but take the time to know what you
> are supporting, it's not worth your efforts.
Okay, that tears it! One of the greatest joys in my life is providing
Scouting to young men in the hope that they will grow up to be capable
adults who embrace the ideals of Scouting. I spent a lot of time learning
how to do things the right way, where to go to find out what the right way
was, and who to turn to when I can't find the answers I need. I have spent
hours agonizing over every mistake I've made; wondering if that mistake
turned a kid away from Scouting. I spend a lot of time on this list and at
roundtables and leader training sessions helping other volunteers learn from
my mistakes so they don't have to make them. I also spend a lot of time
doing whatever I can to support my DE and the other pros in my council
because I know every little thing I do for them will eventually be repaid
twice over. I also support MY pros so they don't fall into the negative,
"the whole system is screwed up so what's the point" attitude you seem to
have. As a volunteer, I know that a pro with that sort of attitude will be
of no help to me or my Scouts.
Professional Scouters in the BSA have a very important job to do. It very
often has nothing to do with Scouting in the field (one reason I'm not a
pro). I a pro doesn't do his job (or does it poorly), it makes my job a bit
harder, but not impossible. If I don't do my job (or do it poorly), there
won't be much need for the pros. Volunteers and pros need to work together
to get the job done. Pros need to be able to rely on the volunteers to make
sure Scouting is working in the field. Volunteers need to be able to rely on
pros to make sure the resources they need are available (that includes
program information, facilities, AND money).
I don't mean to get personal, Ed, but perhaps it's time to find some other
activity. If you really think it's not worth my effort to support and defend
the BSA, perhaps you need to find something else to do. I'm not discouraged.
I know Scouting works. I've experienced it, and seen it happen in others. It
doesn't matter to me whether membership in 1999 is lower than it was in
1930. There're two entirely different generations involved with two
completely different sets of social values. Don't tell me that means
Scouting isn't working. From where I'm sitting, it's working just fine
Yours IN Scouting, ALWAYS
A. J. Mako, email@example.com , Scoutmaster Troop 381
Home of the Unofficial Win95 Boy Scout Desktop Theme,
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"