In a few short days, these are the words that I will speak as I begin my Senior Project Presentation. Every year the senior class at East Providence High School participates in creating and producing a Senior Project. At first, I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do for my Senior Project. I had been involved in Boy Scouting for about 11 years, and it was a hobby of mine that I absolutely loved. Therefore, I decided to do my Senior Project on Boy Scouting.
One of the major components of the Senior Project is a physical project. Students have to research and write a paper about what they learned. For my physical project, I wanted to create a newspaper article comparing the differences between Professional Scouting and Volunteer Scouting. I know what you are thinking; “You can be a professional Boy Scout?” Of course you can, there are hundreds of people who work full-time and get paid by the Boy Scouts of America to be a “Professional Boy Scout”. There are also thousands of Boy Scouters that work at the volunteer level of Scouting.
I started my research in October, and these is my findings. I hope you enjoy it.
Professional Scouting is a title used to define people who work for and get paid a salary by The Boy Scouts of America, whether they work at the National Council level or the Local Council level.
The people who work at the National Council level, plan and run national events, they help run those events, and they plan and test advancement for Scouts to earn Scout ranks or merit badges. They also hold training events and seminars for both professional and volunteer scouting.
When Professional Scouters plan an event for Scouts to participate in, they include certain aspects like, who is going to be targeted-Scouts and Scouters of all kinds of course. Who is going to benefit? Or what is going to be the learning or physical outcome-the Professional Scouters make a plan to have some kind of achievement or awards to be earned while this event is going on. The Professional Scouters need to plan ahead to promote the event, they have to gt the word of the event in order for people to join and become a part of this event. They also need to find event staff to run the event, whether the event staff be a general staff teaching the Scouts, or middle management supervising the general staff. The support staff are not the only staff who are considered for these events. The professional Scouters are in charge of finding staff on a higher up level, like professional entertainers, medical emergency staff, or the people who work behind the scenes making sure everything goes smoothly. These Scouters want to make sure that there is a benefit coming out of this event. That there are things being learned, being achieved, and people having a good time while also getting beneficial memories for a lifelong impact.
Another big part of what these Scouters consider is anything that relates to a financial income or outcome. How much money will be spent. What the financial income will be. How much will the event cost per person, per troop. Professional Scouters also need to consider getting companies to sponsor this event. Even though the goal of these events is to make lifelong memories for the youth of the nation, Professional Scouters also need to consider the dollars, because the Boy Scouts of America is not only an organization but it is also a business that needs to make money to serve and employ Scouts and Scouters all across the nation.
These Professional Scouters are also the people who are in charge of creating new advancement and achievement content They create new awards, new merit badges, new rank requirements in order for Scouts to expand their learning as well as to move up on the achievement latter that is Boy Scouting. When a new requirement is introduced on a rank or a merit badge, or there is an update on a requirement to a rank or a merit badge it is because there are several teams of Professional Scouters that are trained in that field to update and create new content.
There is also Professional Scouting at the Local Council level. Even though there is only one national council, and there may be multiple offices spread across the U.S. There are many different local councils. These local councils can cover from just a small area of land like the state of Connecticut, or they can cover a section of a state, or they can cover different intersections of different state, for example the local council that covers East Providence also covers all of the state of R.I. And some of Massachusetts.
The Scouters that work for the Local Councils are the people who plan and run local events, plan and run achievement seminars, plan and run training. They also run local Scout Summer and day camps, and a very important part of their job is to promote the word, idea and business of Scouting.
When these Local Scouters plan an event they also consider the same attributes as the Professional Scouters. The Local Scouters have to find all of the staff, plan the achievement goals, and consider all of the same financial aspects.
The Local Professional Scouters also run the training events that are created by the National Professional Scouters. A part of their job is to teach and enforce the rules and safety precautions that are created at that higher, national Scouting level. The professional Scouters take these training courses and then they teach them to the Volunteer Scouters.
However the most important part of the Local Scouter’s job is to promote the word, idea and business of Scouting. They have to promote Scouting to get as many people to join and be a part of Scouting as possible. Even it they are looking for youth participants, adult leader volunteers, or just a money donation to the local council. If people are not participating in Scouting, then it is their job to get more and more people to take part in the Scouting organization.
“It’s all about numbers,” said Chris Schuler, local Professional Scouter in the East Providence area. “National council wants to see that there are people joining and being a part of Scouting. People are either donating their time or their money to Scouting. My bosses tell me that they want to see the numbers being created. They want me to sell the ‘idea’ of Scouting.”
But is it even possible to sell the ‘idea’ of Scouting?
“Scouting is not a product, it is not a service, it’s more of an idea.” said Schuler. “How can you sell an idea? People want to see something being taken from Scouting, and it is possible. Scouting does have a huge benefit for all kinds of kids all across the nation. Scouting is just as big of a business as it is an organization.”
Every year, in communities just like East Providence, the word and idea of Scouting is promoted to try to recruit youth boys to sign up for the local Boy Scouting program. It is not only promoted by the Local Professional Scouters. But Scouting is also promoted by Volunteer Scouters, too.
In East Providence we have three Boy Scout troops, three Cub Scout packs and a Venture crew. These groups of Scout consist, in total, of about 125 active Scouts and Scouters. Having this many Scouts in the local program is because Professional Scouters and Volunteer Scouters have promoted the good word of Scouting.
Volunteer Scouters are the people who volunteer their time to provide safety, supervision and support to the local Boy Scout troops. These Scouters are mainly parents of their children that are participating in the Scouting program. They want to spend time with their children and help teach them new skills while also creating lifelong memories.
However, there are some people who are a part of Scouting without any of their children being active members. Basically their children have moved on from being youth participants of Scouting, but these Volunteer Scouters still want to be involved in Scouting to benefit youth boys with the Scouting Program. These Volunteer Scouters want to be able to pass on their skills and memories to other generations of Scouts.
Scouting is basically another hobby, just like every other hobby. People love to put time and skill into it on order to receive a great result. Scouting is a hobby that has lasted for over 100 years, and it will continue to last for hundreds of more years to come.
To conclude, I would like to thank you for reading my physical project article for my Senior Project comparing Professional Scouting and Volunteer Scouting. As you can see there is an obvious difference. I hope that you have enjoyed it and that you have learned something from my story. I also hope that through doing my Senior Project on Boy Scouting that the people who read my findings also have a new appreciation for Boy Scouting, like I have discovered for myself.