scouts-l Mail Archive for September of 2000: Over-reliance on professionals (used to be youth and such)
Dalton, Lloyd P. (Lloyd.Dalton@UNISYS.COM
Thu Sep 07 2000 - 10:54:02 CDT
There are some really good points being made on this thread. Let me
give some concrete examples to support some of them.
Our district (and council) don't have as many events as I would like, and
the ones they have are much bigger productions than I am comfortable with.
(high prices, tons of scouts, not much youth leadership, exhausting
jump-through-the-hoop activities all day long). This has been the case for
Rather than complain and wait for the council to improve, we have been
In May of 2000, our troop invited other scout units to a joint campout. We
asked the council to put a notice in the newsletter, and they did. 3 other
troops and a den of webeloes showed up. Each troop planned a part of the
weekend program, and it worked out great. I mean really great. We didn't
call it a "camporee" because it wasn't--camporees are district events, and
we couldn't have handled all the troops in our district. We called it a
"jumbo campout," and we are going to do it again for sure.
We got the idea from a neighboring troop which has a "basic skills" weekend
every year, where the focus is bringing new scouts up to speed in camping
skills and rank requirements. They invite different troops to join them
We have done our own high adventure activity for the last 3 years. It isn't
that hard to plan and execute. (no harder than a week-long council camp).
This summer, we did the council camp too. The most interesting result has
been a bunch of scouts with *very* high interest in going to Florida Sea
In a few weeks, we are going to follow the suggestion made a while ago by
another list member, and have scouts stationed at local grocery stores
during the scouting for food drive pickup. They will ask incoming customers
if they'd like to purchase an extra non-perishable item and drop it off on
the way out. Our DE was more than willing to give us permission to do this.
There are more examples, but the point is this: Good program comes from the
units. It's very hard for the council or district to run your program. Are
there things they could do better? Sure. The key to addressing those
things is to work *with* the council, not against them.
Even though the council is driven by impulses (occasionally misguided) from
Irving, they are also driven by impulses (occasionally misguided) from their
local units. It is up to us, the local units, to make our desires visible
to the council, and to do it in a firm, but positive way.
Similarly, it's up to the scouts and patrol leaders to visualize and work on
making the troop program happen. If we, the adults step in and run it for
them, we'll remake it in our own image (boring). Likewise, it's up to adult
volunteers to visualize and work on programs on a larger scale (high
adventure, multi-troop stuff). If the council steps in and runs it for us,
they will remake it in their own image (vehicle for finance).
My 2 cents worth
SM, Troop 28
St. Cloud, MN