Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Things Every New District Executive Needs to Know But Won't Be Told Part 1

Here is the first five of 50 things that every new District Executive needs to know but their Local Council Executive Staff won't tell them. This is list is based off of personal experience and in no way represents what a the BSA at either the National or Local Level would be willing to share. Additionally, each and every person is highly encouraged to add to this list. Please include your name and unit number, otherwise the comment will not be complied and posted at a later date. If you have comments that you do not want to share far and wide comments can be emailed to And now for the list:

Item 1: This is NOT a 9 am to 5 pm job. On a regular basis you will be expected to attend functions on evenings and weekends on a regular basis.

Item 2: Significant time will be spent traveling around the area covered by your District. The size of your District can range from very small to extremely large. To give you an example on District Executive covers the entirety of Southeast Alaska or it could be as small as a single city/community. Other points to mention about travel:

  • Having an SUV or at the very least an AWD vehicle would be of great benefit.
  • Travel may include dirt roads on a regular basis (Varies by Council).
  • Knowing the locations of various churches is very helpful.
  • Having a knowledge of your local school district and locations of schools will allow you to better serve your district.
  • Your vehicle on a frequent basis will serve as your office.
Overall be comfortable with regular travel in all sorts of conditions will reduce travel difficulties.

Item 3: If you want to get things done without interruption either work from home (if allowed) or after regular business hours. Do NOT expect that your office at the Council Service Center (Council Office) will allow you to get things done.

Item 4: Having a significant other or spouse that understands and accepts complicated work environments is essential to maintaining a strong and successfulf relationship. Same idea applies to your kids (of course you aren't able to be as flexible but you get the idea). Things to consider include:

  • Odd Hours
  • Frequent Evening and Weekend Commitments
  • Acceptance of Spouse/Significant Other
  • Age and Needs of Your Children
  • Times of Year that Make You Have No Other Life

Item 5: Keep your kids and spouse/significant other as a priority in your life. Know when to say no to projects/functions and be willing to stand firm on your choices. Don't let other colleagues or volunteers guilt you into committing to projects/functions that are NOT essential to your job.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Eagle Scout
Assistant District Commissioner
Critical Need Unit Team
Assistant Cubmaster Pack 0125

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a Professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, you are called a Scouter.


  1. Anonymous7/12/14 00:19

    If the council president is pulling the Scout Executive's strings like puppet-master, then expect to get your strings pulled, as you will be a puppet also!

    1. Of course, 90% of District Executives are puppets, the few that are not puppets either don't last long or are treated as an outcast.


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