BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

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Professional Scouters

I have been a leader within my pack for six years. Until a few days ago we never had a paid scouter visit our pack during my time there. While I appreciate our DE visit, I was actually looking for the council CEO since that was whom my complaint was addressed.

Am I wrong to expect more interaction from our professional scouts? I was in the military for 20 years. We routinely had visits from all sorts of senior leaders, all the way up to the president. When they visited they took the time to speak with all of us as well. Is that just too much to expect?

We have professional scouts at National, then 4 different Regional staffs, then 28 different Area staffs. These staffers made a bit over $85M in salary and benefits in 2017. Is it too much to expect them to take the time to visit local packs and troops on some routine? If you look at travel expenses paid out, you would think they are out beating a path to at least attend a district Roundtable here and there.

Unless we respond and demand more out of our professional scouts, we deserve what we get. We are paying for their salary, we are the customer. We do the hard, and truly the most important, part of the scouting program and we do it for free.

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I am confused. You had a complaint and sent it to council? Was this something that needed to be addressed in person?

The council key 3 are the council president, the council comissioner, and the scout executive. Although the scout exec functions as a ceo, there is nobody with that title.

Sorry Kevin, I submitted a letter to my council executive requesting that they attend a meeting with my pack to explain the new fee increase. I do not feel it is my responsibility as a volunteer to sell the fee increase. My parents are very upset about not only the timing but the huge jump; they want to understand why it was necessary beyond the PR from National which doesn’t explain anything.

While i agree with you that national and council both owe us better explanations and transparancy, i also know we are never going to see it. Best of luck.

I don’t imagine that Scout execs are going to meet with individual units. We had a council roundtable where the increase was discussed and they’re open for everyone to attend. I don’t think any parents went, but it was available.

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That is the sort of thing the SE would delegate to the DE. The DE is the person paid to deal directly with units.

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It is sort of like sending a letter to your senator. He might send his representative out to meet with you but good luck actually meeting the senator.

On the point of an explanation, i dont know a single scouter who believes the explanations being provided by national but none of us will ever get more than the party line.

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Well, you were barking up the wrong tree to begin with. That’s like being upset that the state government raised your income tax, so you wrote a letter to the mayor demanding he come explain it to your HOA. Your council Scout exec didn’t have any say, and wasn’t involved in national rasing the fees.

Moreover, the DE and Field director for your area are the Unit Serving Executives for your unit. Those are the people you should expect to make an appearance first. You can’t jump straight to the top.

In general, DE’s rarely visit units. BSA relies on its volunteers, specifically the commissioner corps to provide a unit commissioner to touch base with your committee and visit your unit routinely. If that’s not happening, it’s a problem, but unfortunately it’s a very common problem.

But, the DE would be first in line to visit and address this sort of thing. There are advantages to this. Often the DE may be aware of how scouters in the community may be handling the same problem. (E.g., a new fundraiser, special scholarships, etc …) Things like that don’t often trickle up to the SE for some time.

As councils have become to cover geographically large areas, the opportunities for direct contact with SE’s have diminished. And for this issue in particular, an SE is not likely be of much encouragement.

@kevinwindisch, you know one now. Glad to meet you.

I have no doubt that the primary impetus for the registration fee increase is the increase in insurance premiums. The increase is not for the purpose of increasing staff compensation or any other reason that has been imagined and judged wasteful.

On the whole, professional Scouters earn far less than they could if they were employed elsewhere. They dedicate their lives to the BSA, because they believe in the program.

No responsible people managing a membership organization like the BSA would ask for a fee increase this dramatic unless it was absolutely necessary. By itself, the size of the increase makes it difficult to project how much they will collect, and that makes it harder to manage the organization. They cannot truly know what they will collect, because they have to build in assumptions about the number of members they will lose. Some losses will be people who simply cannot afford it. Others will be people angered by how it was handled, These are very difficult to predict. The fact that they made this decision indicates to me that they didn’t believe they could make other options work.

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