“Unit Focused Scouting”
The Scouting Movement provides the finest in values-based youth development. However, Scouting has not kept pace with concepts of lean, focused management. The Area Project creates a dramatic update to delivery of Scouting in Area 2, while remaining true to the values and aims of the Movement.
The work of over 110 volunteers and professionals over a nine month period, this Crossroads Recommendation, Unit Focused Scouting, recognizes the pervasive negative trends in membership, manpower and financial support for Scouting across our 11 Councils over the past 20 years, and creates an ideal structure to promote Scouting to a new generation of youth and their parents in our second century of Scouting.
The Crossroads Recommendation proposes the organization of Scouting in Area 2 so as to (1) substantially increase the number of Scouting professionals; (2) focus both professionals and volunteers on unit service, retention, and membership growth through formation of new units; (3) consolidate almost all administrative functions and governance at an area-wide level; and (4) re-purpose what are now called Councils to facilitate these efforts.
Community Scouting Districts
The recommended structure will increase and improve relationships at the local community and charter organization level by increasing the number of Unit Serving Executives in Community Scouting Districts. These professionals and their volunteer partners will be specifically tasked to: (1) build relationships with both current and potential chartered organizations; (2) identify key community leaders to engage in the Scouting movement; and (3) enhance local funding efforts for Scouting.
Field Service Councils
Community Scouting Districts will be supported by Field Service Councils with a minimum of 90,000 Total Available Youth per council. Led by a board of community and Scouting leaders, each Field Service Council will focus on: (1) growing membership; (2) supporting units; (3) delivering relevant programs; and (4) funding local Scouting programs.
The recommendation redefines the career path of our professional Scouter partners. Scouting needs more sales personnel than it needs managers. Instead of an "up or out" model of professional development, it is recommended that we develop professionals who see themselves in the long term as primarily the face of Scouting in a community where they live and work. A professional's expected tenure in a community should increase to several years rather than months of service, and compensation should be performance based. Over time, a good salesperson of Scouting will develop community relationships that will enable him or her to recruit and retain the right mix of volunteers to assure success in both program and fundraising.
Local Scouting managers would be tasked to coach and mentor unit serving, growth-oriented Scouting teams. Volunteers, supported by re-tasked professional partners, can assume many program support and fund raising functions often expected of Scout professionals. This would free professionals to focus on building relationships that lead to more Packs, Troops, Crews, Teams, and Ships.
Field Service Councils will be supported by an area-wide legal entity governed by an Executive Board, comprised of Field Service Council representatives, and focused on: (1) Field Service Council support; (2) business operations of Scouting; (3) facilities operations; and (4) funding efforts.
Duplicative administrative functions can be eliminated. A new generation of nationally operated Scout Shops will be conveniently located and well stocked. Prudent use of information technology should enable us to effectively and securely consolidate recordkeeping, provide on-line forms access, and enhance our communications and marketing efforts. Centralized property and camp management would be more efficient, effective and consistent. Governance at an Area level will enable standardization of policies and procedures.
With the adoption of the Crossroads Recommendation, we will ensure that Scouting continues to prosper. We will bring more youth to Scouting and more Scouting to youth. As guardians of the Scouting Movement, we owe our youth nothing less.
Detailed information on the Crossroads Recommendation, “Unit Focused Scouting” is available on the Area Project website.
Crossroads Recommendations - Compare & Contrast