scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Consistant "rules" of Scouting (2/2) - part 2
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blackeagle@SCOUTER.NET
Fri Nov 26 1999 - 16:25:11 CST
Tom Lynch felt, like a couple other Scouters felt, a bit slighted:
>I haven't kept up with this post from the beginning, but just reading the 2
>parts of your comment, on stupid volunteers just sitting back and accepting
what >is happening offends me.
What I stated was:
"We've all raised our hands and arms high and turned to our professional
counterparts YEARS ago and told them "I can't -- no, I don't WANT to do
this. YOU do it. You get paid to do this -- to deal with stupid people who
won't listen to reason; to answer the same eighteen questions over and over
and over; to have to deal with parental squabbles and "I WILL have my child
in front, in charge, with all of the awards" mentalities; and to deal with
other volunteers whom don't want to do their job, just be around for the
handing out of the pats on the back! YOU get paid to deal with all of this,
and more. You do it! You make the decisions and I'll back you as long as it
doesn't impact ME. Just give me the papers and I'll sign. But LEAVE ME ALONE
with having to make decisions or having to talk about this all...I don't
want to put in the REAL TIME it'll take to accomphish this." Which is
"Of course, I DO want to be a volunteer! I like to work with kids. It looks
good to my peers in my community, church, and workplace. Can't you do the
work and I'll help as long as I don't get involved in the decision making or
complaint ends?" "
Of course, not ALL volunteers have done this; some of us have been like you
and I and other volunteers, in there "fighting" and "wrestling" for
volunteer control over the program and its content. Some of us were morally
wounded in the process, because some of those professionals used that
"maintaining standards" thing against US and we had to either "retire
nicely" or be tossed out with no more than a "thank you very much but we
don't need you anymore." Others of us knew when to fight it and when to let
it go......but most didn't even raise an hand, eyelid or temple when control
over program and content shifted from the volunteer committees and chairs to
the professional manager.
But what I feel that Tom and a couple others REALLY took issue with is what
I'm sure many professionals said when we did "give up":
"Our professionals didn't complain, didn't mumble about "you stupid
people...dontcha know this is YOUR program and that I come along with the
uniforms and badges and nice books?" "
> I have spent half my life in this program, and have been very active on
what >happens. I am not one who sits around on my duff, and agrees with
>everything that comes from the council office. I have joined the
committees to >have my say. I get tired of the wasted meeting, that plans
are made, and things are
>agreed to but never followed by the council.
We all do, Tom. That's why I've always asked of volunteers to sit down and
not just reflect but THINK: Think about their role in Scouting, whatever it
is. How are THEY making that role more than just another "hour a week"?
How are they influncing their peers into getting off their duffs and working
TOWARD THE GOAL, whatever the goal happens to be?
I'm NOT talking "us against them," Tom. Our professional managers have a
valid place -- they are to "take up our slack" when we CANNOT do what it is
we've obligated ourselves to do. Their job is NOT TO REPLACE US when we
CHOOSE NOT TO do whatever it is we signed up for. That's OUR job...to find
our replacement when we discover that we don't want to do the job we signed
up for. It is the professional's job to coach, enthuse, and motivate all of
us toward meeting the District's piece of the Council's goals for the
year...and in the process to make the program that much more meaningful to
our youth involved in our three programs!
I'll give you a good example related to your subsequent comments. Every
District should have a Camping and outdoors committeemember, a subset of the
Council's Camping Committee. Besides the OA stuff, the Camping and outdoors
committee is responsible for promoting the national, council and local
camping programs and may be the person in charge of putting together outdoor
activities for Cub Scouts and Venturers in addition to Boy/Varsity Scouts.
They do training on Leave No Trace and workshops on High Adventure and Cub
Family camping programs. They help set up Cub Day Camp and WEBELOS Cub
Scout camping opportunities in the District. They might even serve as
Camporee Chief or co-chief.
Most of the Camping committeemembers I've seen have OA "blinders" on.
That's the ONLY thing they're concerned with. Don't want to deal with
promoting Philmont, or the Jamboree. Don't want to deal with promoting Lake
Medina's camping area, which is large enough for a Troop of 125. No buddy,
all they want to do is deal with and talk about OA. Yes, the promotion at
the District level of the Order of the Arrow is important, no doubt about
it. But that's NOT the SOLE job of the District Camping and outdoors
Another example -- Vice Chairs for Finance or Finance committeemember/chair.
Put a banker in that job, tell him or her that the only thing you need to do
is hand out streamers and plaques to units that meet the Council's Family
FOS/SME goal, and say a few words about financing Scouting at the District
Banquet...and buddy, you've got *someone*!
So who ends up doing the Popcorn sales? Another Scouter, or the District's
Executive. Who ends up approving all of the tree sales, car washes and
candy bar sales? The District's Executive. Huh? What happened to the
Finance guy or gal?
"Don't have time to do it...." So when the District Executive refuses to
approve the car wash because he's working on the car wash owner (who owns a
string of them in town), we all want to tar and feather the District
Executive!! (Or at least call him some nasty names under our breaths!)
The guy or gal we REALLY need to "give it to" is the volunteer that "didn't
have time" to review the forms, part of their job description; but have time
to give out plaques and streamers during a three-month period of time. And
if the finance campaign goes well, who do you think gets the credit for
it...the hard-working District Executive or team that everyone's near "fed
up with" because every time we see him or her or them, they are rushing off
to "talk with and raise more money".... with "no time" to even answer the
simplest question like "Where's my charter packet?" or the District Finance
guy or gal, smiling brightly as the strobe light goes off and their photo is
(and the District Executive does get some credit for it, but it's NOT his or
her job to raise the dough...its his or her job to MANAGE the raising of the
dough through effective leadership and influncing volunteers to do so...and
that's why we have DEs and other field professionals with shortened tempers,
who don't have a clue about program but can tell you the percentage rate on
a T-bill, and whom later leave the profession because it's "not about the
fun but rather about the benjamins," to coin a song.)
That's what I mean, Tom.
> I have been trying for the past 3
>years to have something done about our so called summer camp. It is a
>safety hazard. All I get from the professional level, is that the land
>the forest service, They just let us use it, therefore we can't be dumping
a lot of
>money on it. But every year the costs go up for the boys, thousands of
>collected, and the camp declines. Each year I have done a self inspection
>camp at the beginning of the season. I pass this list to the scout
>pats me on the back, then lays the list down, and that's that.
What happens when the Regional Camp Inspection team shows? Have you
provided a copy of the list you provide the Scout Executive to the Team
Chief of the Camp Inspection team?? Why not??
>I'm trying now to
>decide if I won't to turn this over to the State and county health and safety
Okay...before you do that: If the camp property belongs to the Forest
Service, turn it over to the District Supervisor of the Forest Service and
cc the Scout Executive. That way, if any health or safety issue comes up,
they cannot beg igornance of the facts which makes the camp unsafe or
unhealthy. Understand that this MAY mean that the Forest Service backs out
of their agreement with the Council and your Council doesn't have a summer
camp facility any more; but I would venture a guess that the Forest Service
will take a look at what needs to be done and will want to work with the
Council to resolve those problems.....
>I also think that I may ask OSHA if there is any thing that they can do.
>For doing this, I'll probably be thrown out of Scouting, but at least it
>some child from being injured or killed in an unsafe BSA Camp.
You may just be tossed out for "not playing with the rest of the gang," Tom.
But as you've stated, if this is a job in which you've been asked to do, you
need to do the job until they either replace you or until you tire of the
job...and do your best in that job.
>To me Scouting has definitely become a big business venture. I intend to stay
>in the program for as long as I am allowed, and if I am forced out, then
I'll act on
>it as a concerned citizen.
> So, Mike not all of us are stupid people just sitting back doing nothing
To many of those like Tom, I do apologize if those comments are stinging still!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or email@example.com
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