scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Professionals vs. Volunteers
EXT-Reed, Randall C (Randy.Reed@HSV.BOEING.COM
Thu Jun 08 2000 - 11:08:51 CDT
From: jay.thal [SMTP:jay.thal@TCS.WAP.ORG]
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 11:15 AM
I may have problems with the way Rick Seymour couched his comments
the subject matter, and used the CSE as an example. But, underlying
that are serious questions that should be answered about Scouting
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
Ah, the faith of a mustard seed! Wasn't it Ronald Reagan who liked
quote a Russian proverb: "Trust, but verify."?
Is it unreasonable to know how much money there is, and where it
(or flew)? If the "books" are open, then where are they?
It is legitimate, I believe, to know the statistics of the "markup"
how the "general fund" is disbursed. I know that if I was accused
illegality (even while traveling on business) it would have been my
responsibility to pay for my defense - not my former (I'm retired)
Somehow, as a volunteer, I don't sense that I'm "managed". If many
us felt "managed" there would be fewer of us. The only overbearing
"management" centers around the 3Gs, unless I'm insensitive. So
not give credit where none is due.
I think you and I might be kindred spirits. I agree that the professionals
bear watching. Have you ever noticed that there is practically nothing of
real value on the national BSA website? And they have hundreds of pamphlets,
fliers, and training programs available. I can't help but it is to (a)
protect their cash flow, and (b) keep the volunteers like mushrooms. In this
day and age, why not put every stinkin' BSA rule and reg on line? Could it
be that information is power and the professionals have a vested interest in
maintaining that power. I think the profusion of unofficial BSA websites is
a flat acknowledgement that national BSA does not want to respond to the
information age by publishing needed information on the web. Example: That
Health and Safety Program that was talked about earlier this week: Is that
on the Web?
A skeptic might note that there is a certain natural friction between a
group that gets paid for doing something (the professional staff) and a
group that is willing to do it for free (the Scouters). Given that natural
antipathy, wouldn't more complete disclosure of information and a more open,
inclusive, "management" style be a prudent thing?
Somehow the CSE's financial distress doesn't resonate with me
Most persons, of retirement age, don't have such an entitlement.
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
contracts than the BSA does.
Randy: Not really: 8 million Scouts. Less than 2 million in the
SEVEN uniformed services? And the BSA clothing is not as sturdy or as well
made as the BDUs are... H'mmmm... From what I know of retail, BSA has every
economy of scale available to it to be very competitive in their pricing.
Or, at least in their dealer distribution policies. What do you think
Wal-Mart would charge for a uniform if they could sell the BSA line based on
the kind of quantity purchasing they can wield? The BSA operates like all
the big manufacturers used to act when "Fair Market Pricing" laws meant that
a retailer was forbidden to discount from a manufacturer's suggested retail
price under threat of being cut off from his distribution source. That is
"bad old days" history everywhere but BSA, it seems. In my troop, $70 to
$80 per new uniform is a chilling inhibition, to say the least. (Please,
save your insight about "uniform banks" and uniform recycling programs. If
the price was in line with other pricing for youth shirts, pants, caps,
belts, socks, etc. there would not be the intensity of need that there seems
to be for those types of programs.)
Jay, I say shine the light, shine the light of day!