Monday, 8 December 2014

Things Every New District Executive Needs to Know But Won't Be Told Part 2

Here is the next 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 6: Know when and how to say "NO". Saying "NO" is for most people very difficult to do. However as a District Executive (DE) not knowing this will only cause mistrust and hurt. If you are going to say "NO" make sure your willing to stand by your decision. Do NOT give in as if you give in you are only setting yourself up for trouble. Being known as the DE that always steps up and saves the day at the last minute is one of the most counterproductive actions you can take.

Item 7: If something can be sent to a leader or parent in an email, send the email before trying to contact the person on the phone. The only exception to this is if you know that leader or volunteer won't read or respond to the email in a timely manner. Email must become your friend. Check it often and check it regularly is key. Always, when providing information cite or refer to your sources in each and every email.

Item 8: Accept that Murphy was a Scouter and that in Scouting Murphy's Law always is present. Even the most prepared person learns to accept that Murphy's Law is what Scouting is all about. In case you didn't know Murphy's Law here it is:

"Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong."

This is not to say that your allowed to be a pesemist but it does at least help you be mentally prepared for changes. Planning is extremely important, however being able to change plans quickly is a must have trait to be successful as a DE.

Item 9: Continuing more with the Murphy's Law theme, there is another great saying to remember which is:

"If X is the number of items needed your number of items available
will always be 1 less than what is needed."

To put this as an equation:

"Where X is the number needed and
Y is the number you have."

More than anything Murphy's Law is just something that will get you through the event or meeting. It is just a dose of humor to keep things in perspective. Because keeping things in perspective will help you keep your sanity.

Item 10: Lastly to say something about the weather. If you don't like bad weather, then being a DE might not be for you because Scouting must just go on. In Scouting weather doesn't stop us and the sooner your realize this the better off you will be. FYI............."Bad Weather"...............May refer to sleet, rain, snow, hail, lightning, thunder, ice storms, wind, or any combination of the above weather conditions. I personally think that the Swedes got it right when they said:

Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.

To translate the saying:

"There's no such thing as bad weather, only wrong clothes."


"Any weather is tolerable as long as you have the right clothing."

Well that is it for now. Coming up by the end  of the week I will have posted the next 5 items. Hope you enjoyed this and as always feel free to comment or share ideas on this topic or any other topic you would like to see covered.

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.

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