scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Consistant "rules" of Scouting (2/2)
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blackeagle@SCOUTER.NET
Thu Nov 25 1999 - 01:48:01 CST
(This is the second of two parts:)
Saying all of what I stated in the first half, here's what Ed asked in an
>As you all know, I've been a pro scouter for 13 years, and removed after
>that time. I've got a few questions to ask the group, and get your
>1) Does a pro need to follow the same rules that we teach in Boy Scouts?
To me, it depends on the professional involved, as I've just finished
explaining to a reporter from San Fransisco this evening. There are one set
of rules that all members of the BSA follow, and that's the application of
the Scout Oath or Promise and Law in their work. Field professionals, those
working at the Council or District level, are the volunteers' role model.
They are the ones in which as a volunteer, I look at to assist me with
guiding my personal behavior and attitude toward what I'm doing in Scouting.
When a good professional gives 100 percent to whatever it is, whether it's
raising cash or presenting an award, you can count on his or her volunteers
to likewise give TWICE or MORE that amount in what they do. They have a
good model to emulate and follow.
Does our national-level professionals have to be such "models"? No. They
don't. Why? Because we down here, where it counts, don't see them much, if
at all. They are more adminstrators and managers of our overall program.
They are still examples to their volunteers that they work alongside, and
should still maintain the ideas of the Scout Oath and Law in their daily
lives. But at the same time, they are dealing with volunteers at that
level whom are not altogther "perfect examples" of what Scouting is
about...they don't have time to be "perfect examples." Some try and do a
great job at it...others don't and are embarassments to their firms as well
as our program. But that's for THEIR ORGANIZATION to determine, not me down
here in Minnesota, not aware of their personal plight, not even aware of
what crimes they have alleged to have committed or when....with regard to
our national-level professionals, the Chief Scout Executive is "hired and
fired" by the National Executive Board; all other national-level
professionals are appointed or removed by the Chief Scout Executive. If
there's a problem with someone's character at *that level*, I am very
confident that the resources exist to investigate, evaluate and if
neccessary, remove or replace the individual.
Two standards?? Yep. That's how *I* see it. We -- the volunteers of the BSA
wanted it that way, through our inaction and action. So as my mother would
say, "now we stew in it."
>2) Is it important that the laws and rules of civilization count to Pro's too?
Yes, the laws and rules of American living apply to all of its citizens.
Nobody, even the President of the United States as we found out last year,
is immune from such "laws and rules" of American life. And as we all
observed, for good or bad, he received a hearing, all sides of the situation
was explained (in some cases, in some very painful and very "colorful"
detail) and a decision was rendered by individuals after a long and very
complex set of decisions and implications were "hashed out."
>3) Does this affect adults in Scouting or is it "beyond" our
It does affect us all, Ed, but let's face it: it doesn't REALLY affect us
until WE are the ones experiencing it. We all would love to say what we
would do or what shoudl be done in various situations....but as Jessi
constantly reminds me, "You don't know WHAT you would really do or say until
it comes up on YOU."
>I ask these things because I am still at a loss for understanding as to
>why with a good record-(13 years of growth!) I could be set aside for
>rules-like age 40 being OK to drop people and save money. Either agree
>or be gone! I chose to obey the law, obviously a mistake!
I don't know, Ed. I don't understand why our Scout Executives have so much
"ultimate power" as to remove hard-working volunteers and those that have
given so much to the program with the completion of one form and the signing
of two pieces of paper (and the cutting of the membership dues check). But
they do. We have to deal with that, and hope that somehow from INSIDE the
program, that we can effect change upon those "in charge" (both our
representatation to the National Council and those individuals serving on
national-level committees and on the BSA's National Executive Board). I
will grant with you and all of those others whom have equally been slighted,
intentionally or accidently, that it's not right, it's not fair, and
something needs to be done about it. But there's something I've learned
during these many years: you can either beat your fists against the door,
making as much noise and clatter as you choose; or you can find another door
or window, get inside, and calmly but with great emotion make your case,
persuading others that what happened is wrong and should be righted...for
you and all of those others out there that "haven't caught the clue yet" and
are still banging against the doors.
That's a personal choice, a personal decision, and there's many ways in
which your viewpoints and others whom share your pain and anguish can
respond, just like there's several "doors and windows" in which to re-enter
and re-establish yourself within.
>4. Are we as Scouters supposed to set aside the federal laws and do as
In my opinion, nobody has the right to set aside any federal or state or
local laws. We do have the right to break them, in which cases there are
penalties to pay either physically or emotionally. We have the right to
change those laws, which do take some time and engeries to do so. We also
have the right to protest those laws, to stand in or sit in or otherwise
peacefully and proudly object to those laws.
Again, those are all personal decisions, personal choice, and in which
there's several ways to do those things. Every time I talk about "personal
choice" I go back to those brave college students sitting side-by-side in a
soda shop in the Deep South.
They endured stuff that I admit I wouldn't be able to deal with without
getting physically ill, physically angry -- I mean REALLY angry, or just
getting up and walking out.
No, they sat there and had stuff poured on them, people hitting them with
whatever was handy, being spat upon, and being called all kinds of vile and
stupid things. And they sat there, looking at each other and I'm SURE
saying inside "What in the world MADE ME want to endure this?"
Without them, I couldn't today walk into a Dairy Queen and ask for a bananna
milk shake and a large coffee and walk out with my items in my hands and my
wallet that much lighter in the exchange for those goods.
>5. What should I do, as a college trained Scouter who can get no reference?
As we've talked in Atlanta three months back, Ed, I would be proud to
provide you a reference. But life --in your case without professional
Scouting (which you were trained as I was in college) -- does continue; you
need to take the same approach that I took when I was released from Active
Duty back in 1986: take a look at your life, see what you are truly good at,
and go out and find those jobs -- with or with references -- that you can
tackle. The Army was all I knew, was a great part of my life, but I had a
college degree. I can sell things, I can write, and I can teach others. I
just needed to find those firms that wanted a salesman, a writer and a
teacher. And even in little Augusta, Georgia, I found a brand new mall
needing a lead salesman; I found a community newspaper that needed an
editor; and I found a junior college that needed a teacher. And I did all
three things at the SAME time for a while.
Made life a little rough, and if you asked my former wife, she'll truthfully
tell you that I was gone from the time I walked out the door at 6:20am, rain
or shine (we had no car for a period of time, so it was the "brown shoe
taxi" to the Mall, four miles -- something I did as a Scout many years
before, walking from home to where the Scout Hut was) and not back until my
ride dropped me at the house at 9:50pm.
(It's all in the last two chapters of "Patches and Pins", coming to a
bookshelf near you...shameless plug!)
And Ed, as a fellow Eagle Scout, I have that same amount of confidence in YOU.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or email@example.com
professional inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org
-----FORWARD in service to youth and the nation-----