scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Zero Tolerance & Uniforms
Thu Jun 08 2000 - 10:15:22 CDT
I may have problems with the way Rick Seymour couched his comments about
the subject matter, and used the CSE as an example. But, underlying
that are serious questions that should be answered about Scouting and to
the community of "stakeholders" at large.
I may do little better, but it would be, IMO, healthy to shed some
sunlight on the internal workings of this private
organization/interstate business/public institution which most of us
"love" but sometimes do not "like". BSA is like a family member or
close friend who sometimes acts irrationally or in an indefensible way.
It would make me feel more comfortable and the BSA professionals more
accountable if BSA opened its(our) books and reported to the Better
Business Bureau's Philanthropic Advisory Service.
Even the United Way, which came under attack some years ago, didn't
withdraw to the shadows. The President of the United States's salary is
$200,000, and whose "staff" well exceeds 3,000. The CEO of the 1999
Nobel Peace Prize winner - Doctors Without Borders is $70,000.
Shouldn't we stakeholders (and contributors) know where the money is
going? Money is power, and money (could) buys program. It's not just
the CSE, but subordinates, and within the Supply Division, etc. We
might conclude that the money is well spent, fiduciarily and otherwise,
but openness would make everyone enlightened if not more circumspect.
Mike wrote: "I was told by two senior professionals (one of whom
still reads the list!) that the retirement and the Scout Executives'
Alliance funds are "self-supporting" from income pooled into the funds
from good investing of those funds."
Ah, the faith of a mustard seed! Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who liked to
quote a Russian proverb: "Trust, but verify."?
Is it unreasonable to know how much money there is, and where it flows
(or flew)? If the "books" are open, then where are they?
It is legitimate, I believe, to know the statistics of the "markup" and
how the "general fund" is disbursed. I know that if I was accused of an
illegality (even while traveling on business) it would have been my
responsibility to pay for my defense - not my former (I'm retired)
Mike, also, wrote: "...manage, with a staff of 3000 or so... close to
150,000 volunteers....yes, you too would ask for five or so grand a
month to retire from.
Remember, Rick, a million dollars SOUND like a whole lot of money, but
in today's times, that money, unless he invests it soundly and gets good
advice and makes the right decisions, will be gone in a little more than
Somehow, as a volunteer, I don't sense that I'm "managed". If many of
us felt "managed" there would be fewer of us. The only overbearing
"management" centers around the 3Gs, unless I'm insensitive. So let's
not give credit where none is due.
Somehow the CSE's financial distress doesn't resonate with me either.
Most persons, of retirement age, don't have such an entitlement. And,
if you blow a million in liquid assets in ten years the teachings of
Personal Management MB weren't learned.
On the Uniform front, Ron noted:
"Think! There's a heck of a lot more BDUs than BSA uniforms made.
Additionally, the government has a lot better leverage in negotiating
contracts than the BSA does.
"...BSA has to fit a lot more different sizes than the Army does, since
doesn't have to outfit children or obese adults. And do BDUs come in
same variety as the BSA's uniforms (Cub Scout, Boy Scout,
I suspect that the leverage is (or should be) about the same. It is
probably true that BSA has to provide for a greater variety of sizes,
but there are more Scout(er)s (at any given time) than those in the
military (not just Army), and they grow out of uniforms with greater
rapidity. As diverse as Scouting uniforms may be, there are 4, 5, or 6
(depending on how you count) uniformed services. (I keep wondering
where Scouts Canada, which is so much smaller, hides its fulcrum.)