What is a District?
All Scout Units (Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venturing Crews, etc.) are a part of a District. Districts are a part of a Council. A District is a geographical sub-unit of a Council. A District serves the Units within the District, and does other things.
What does a District do?
The District is a conduit for the delivery of the Council’s Scouting program to Units and their youth. The District provides training, Unit support, membership services, advancement opportunities, information, and programming to the Units in its geographical area. At a District Level, opportunities for Units include Roundtables, Camporees, Cuborees, Merit Badge Midways, Cub Scout summer day camp, and other opportunities in which Units participate, share fellowship and experiences, and help each other. The District is also the conduit for support, financial and otherwise, to the Council. The District helps the Council with its Friends of Scouting Campaign yearly to gather the funds necessary to operate Council service centers, employ professionals who help oversee the program, and support and pay for physical assets, including camps, and other things.
Why is the District important to each person, Scout, Leader, and Family Member?
Among other things the District provides community, common purpose, and support for Units. Units (Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venturing Crews, Sea Scout Ships) cannot act in isolation. A Scout cannot get the best that the Scouting program can offer without the aid, assistance, support, fellowship, training, activities and other benefits of the District. As a physician cannot focus on one part of the body without taking into account all of the other parts, so should parents and leaders not focus exclusively on their Pack or Troop without taking into account: the resources of the District, the District’s own needs in providing those resources, and the parents’ and leaders’ involvement in supporting the District to provide those resources.
What is OUR District?
Our District is “Cahuenga District,” one of six Districts of the Western Los Angeles County Council. In metropolitan Los Angeles, Cahuenga District covers the area generally east of the San Diego Freeway in the San Fernando Valley and west of Burbank.
Who runs a District?
A District acts through a District Committee which provides service in the areas of finance, membership, training and program, etc. The District Chairman heads the District Committee. The District Commissioner, and his or her staff, provides direct Unit service and support. The District Executive is the Council’s liaison to the District and is a paid Professional employee of the Council. The District Chairman, the District Commissioner, and all other positions in the District, are volunteer positions. The District Chairman, District Commissioner, and District Executive comprise the District’s “Key Three.”
How are the functions of the District carried out?
All Districts are responsible for carrying out four standard functions: Membership, Finance, Program, and Unit Service.
What is the Membership goal?
As a function of the District Committee, the membership goal is growth through the organization of new scouting units and growth through new members joining existing units. The Federal charter from Congress charges the Boy Scouts of America to make its program available to all who are eligible, while recognizing that young people must become members in order to derive the benefits available from the Scouting program. Those who administer this program serve by actively recruiting new chartered organizations (our partners) and new members.
What is the Finance goal?
As a function of the District Committee, the finance goal is to see that the District provides its share of funds to the Council operating budget. Each district within the council has finance goals based on a fair-share formula. Financing within the district is by participation in the campaigns conducted by the fundraising committees of the council. Successful financing of the council is the direct result of conducting the fundraising programs within each district.
What is the Program goal?
The program goal of the District Committee is to concentrate on helping Scouting units with camp promotion, to sponsor and conduct special activities, including community service, to provide training for adult volunteers; and to support, encourage and oversee youth advancement and recognition. Volunteers who work within the program function concentrate on one or more of these specific areas including camping/outdoor activities and civic service, training, and advancement and recognition.
What is the Unit Service goal?
The Unit Service goal is to provide direct coaching and consultation by District volunteers for unit adults to help ensure the success of every Scouting unit. The Unit Service function is carried out by the District Commissioner, his or her staff, and/or the District Training Staff. All members of these staffs are volunteers.
What is the objective of the Commissioner’s staff?
The primary objective of the Commissioner's staff is to make good Scouting happen in the lives of youth members. As friends and counselors of unit leaders, unit commissioners provide the resources of the district and council to the units they serve and the chartered organizations which operate those units through charters from the Boy Scouts of America. Service to units is critical to unit success and longevity.
What are Roundtables?
Roundtables are monthly gatherings of District volunteers, unit volunteers and parents who are interested in knowing more about the Council’s and District’s activities and events, in learning more about leadership, in obtaining training, in receiving program ideas, in helping other leaders, and in enjoying the company and fellowship of other adults doing similar volunteer work. Separate Roundtables exist (a) for Boy Scout leaders and parents, and (b) for Cub Scout leaders and parents. Under the direction of the District Commissioner, the Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner and the Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, and their staff, lead the monthly Roundtables.
Who are the best people to help on the District level?
There is really only one group of people that can help – those adults who maintain a strong interest in Scouting, with strong connections and commitment to enriching the lives of their children and other children. Generally, these are adults with youth now in the Scouting program and adults whose children have outgrown the program.
What if I am already active at the Unit level?
Being active at the Unit level does not disqualify a person from giving volunteer effort at the District Level. In fact, being active in the Unit Level is better, because it gives the adult volunteer the firsthand knowledge of what the program can provide via the District.
Why should I commit to more volunteer time to work on the District level?
There are two good reasons: (1) The District needs you; and (2) your Scout deserves the best possible experience in Scouting. That experience comes from the Unit of course, with some overlap from the District, but the Unit cannot act without support of the District. A District without sufficient volunteer help cannot support the Units well and the Scouts may not get all they deserve from the program. So to help your Scout in your Unit, you need to help the District.
How can I help?
Just ask! And choose what you want to do.
Who do I ask?
Ask any of the Key Three, the District Chairman, the District Commissioner, or the District Executive. See http://cahuenga.bsa-la.org/ for names and contact information.
What if I want more information?
To join our e-mail list, please click here for our Yahoo Groups site.
Come to a District Meeting and to Roundtable!
See you there,
CAHUENGA DISTRICT COMMITTEE
© 2007 Cahuenga District, Western Los Angeles County Council, B.S.A.