Narragansett CouncilNew Delivery Structure and Organization

New Council Service Delivery Structure and Organization

In a June 22, 2010 memo we announced that a task force had been working to evaluate the effectiveness of the Council’s organizational structure in providing support to Scout units in local communities. At that time we noted that the task force had shared its preliminary report with the Executive Board which authorized the group to move forward. We are happy to report that the task force has completed its evaluation and has presented a formal proposal for reorganization to the Executive Board, which the Board approved at its July 2010 meeting.

We wanted to take this opportunity to share the specifics of the new council structure with you as well as the implementation plan. We realize that this information is the most important piece to most of our unit leaders and local volunteers so we’ll cover it in this memo. However, we also wanted to provide you with detailed background information about the reasons behind the decision to re?evaluate the existing structure, the process used for the study, and the conclusions of the task force that led to the change in organization. If you are interested in this material it is included in a separate link.

The goal of the task force was to create an organization that:

(1) Is more focused on the quality of the Scouting program in local units, and local neighborhoods

(2) Dedicates more staff and volunteer resources to local unit service

(3) Provides a more consistent quality and level of support – support that units and families need;

(4) Takes advantage of economies of scale in activities

(5) Provides a vehicle to expand our network of volunteers and engage leaders in each local community.

New Council Structure and Community Focus

The new council structure submitted to and approved by the board will be centered on local communities. It is based on the premise that people are most concerned about – and attuned to – what happens in their local neighborhoods and communities. Under this new structure our efforts and resources will be focused on supporting and improving the quality of local Scouting programs, enhancing Scouting’s presence and visibility in the local area, and connecting with local community leadership.

The task force has identified approximately 20 “communities” composed of cities, towns, and neighborhoods in the Council that naturally relate to each other. For organizational purposes the communities will be grouped into three “service areas”, each of which will be generally based along county lines.

Each Service Area will be led by a Council Vice President, who will be a member of the Council Executive Committee; a Service Area Commissioner; and two Service Area Executives.

The volunteer and staff structure will be organized along separate “sales and service” functions. The “sales” function can be broadly defined as reaching out to the community to create awareness of the program and for financial support; to potential chartering organizations to start new units; and to educational institutions to build partnerships. “Service” is quite simply providing resources to existing units to help them provide a strong and growing program.

The “sales” element will be coordinated by the Service Area Vice President. “Advisory” groups composed of local civic and business leadership will be organized in most communities. These groups will meet as needed to harness community resources for benefit of local youth. Some of these groups will be based on the current Salute to Scouting Breakfast committees. Additional volunteers will be enlisted to assist with local marketing and publicity; identifying new potential chartered organizations; community Friends of Scouting; and maintaining educational relationships.

The “service” element will be composed of a “service team” led by a Service Area Commissioner. A “community commissioner” will be named for each of the approximately 20 communities with additional unit commissioners recruited based on the needs of the units in that community rather than an arbitrary 1 to 3 formula.

Each “service team” will include locally based lead volunteers for leadership development, recruiting, advancement, Cub Scout outdoor program promotion, Popcorn fundraiser, and Family FOS functions. Monthly “service team” meetings will involve community commissioners as well as lead volunteers responsible for these other service functions. The focus for these gatherings will be unit support. This will allow for direct, timely communication between commissioners who identify a unit’s need and those who can provide that support at a single monthly meeting without the need for additional meetings, referrals, phone calls, e?mail, etc.

Overall coordination responsibility for leadership development, recruiting, advancement, Cub Scout outdoor program promotion, the Popcorn Fundraiser and Family FOS will continue to reside at the Council level. Lead volunteers in each of these functions will participate on the appropriate council level committee. The number of participants on council committees from each service area will be flexible and based on the needs of the area. Consistency of program delivery and support will be directed by these council level committees.

Activities (Camporees, Klondike Derbies, Pinewood Derbies, etc.) currently conducted in seven different districts will be provided through a council level Activities Committee, composed of volunteers from local communities. These activities will be coordinated with current council level Cub Scout and Boy Scout program activities. A new Activities Committee will provide an annual program of activities based on the demand from local units. Activities will be promoted council wide and will not be geographically limited.

For example, given the current level of participation, there may only be two or three Fall Camporees but there could be five or more Klondikes – with units from any service area attending any one, or even more than one, event.

Staff support will be provided by two Service Area Executives who will “specialize” in either sales or service, based on their particular talents. This will enable the Council to better apply the strengths of our staff members and in turn will allow them to be more effective by concentrating on tasks in their respective areas of responsibility. This does not mean that staff members will be in “silos” – both service area executives will be accessible to unit leaders as needed.

Implementation Plan and Timing

As you can imagine, a change of this magnitude cannot happen overnight. While the new structure will become effective September 1, 2010 the implementation has already begun and will be completed in stages over the next several months – the goal of the implementation plan is create a “seamless” process with the only change at the local unit level being increased support!

At the August 21, 2010program launch we will be announcing the key leadership in each service area. Shortly thereafter, we will confirm unit commissioner assignments, which will probably only change slightly. In the meantime, please continue to contact your current unit commissioner.

Along those same lines, going through the fall recruiting season our staff will continue supporting their current service areas, so please contact your current District Executive as needed. We will be announcing new staff assignments that will become effective January 1st by the end of the year. During the transition period this fall this will allow staff members to gradually begin spending more time in their new service areas as the areas plan for 2011.

Carl Papino, the new Council Activities Chair, has started to build a committee that will reach out to volunteers currently involved in providing program across the Council. For planning purposes, there will be no immediate changes to the fall and winter program calendar that was recently released. Program activities and events will be conducted as advertised in that calendar.

Under the leadership of Jeff Taylor, the Leadership Development Committee is identifying and assembling geographic training teams and will soon be publishing a list of courses available across the Council. These teams will also be available to provide training in local communities as needed.

Similarly, for the immediate future most Roundtables will continue to occur in their current locations. Any changes will be reflected in the Council Calendar on the web?site. Bob Fricker, Council Roundtable Commissioner, has been meeting with commissioners and staffs of our roundtables to coordinate the monthly programs for the coming year. These monthly programs will follow a similar agenda so a unit leader can attend the roundtable of their choice and received the same information and resources.

For now Eagle Boards of Review will continue to be coordinated by the Advancement Committee as they have been. Your point of contact will not change for the immediate future. As we move forward, the committee will be working to provide additional advancement support to units.

In advance, we thank you for your patience, cooperation and support as we work together to build a new organization that enables Scouting to grow and thrive in communities across the council! Very shortly, we will be releasing a complete list of volunteer and staff assignments, including those mentioned above. In the meantime, please feel free to contact any one of us if you have questions.



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