This section is from the book "Scouting For Rural Boys. A Manual For Leaders", by Boy scouts of America. See also: Outdoor Adventure Manual: Essential Scouting Skills for the Great Outdoors.
The District Committee is a democratically constituted local group of men representing the interests of all parts of the District. Its aim is to help any and all the boys of the District through carrying out the Council plans for bringing Scouting to all of them.
The District Committee's Job in Outline
1. To Orangize the District, which includes a survey of the District, its "Boy Facts", its man-power, its institutions.
2. To Elect Officers-build District Operating Committees-help select Commissioner Staff.
3. To Be Represented on Council in planning, etc.
4. To Take Council Work-Plan (which it has helped build) and help every Committee and everyone in District to fit into and work the plan.
5. To "Follow-up" on Progress made, through monthly District Committee meetings and reports to the Council.
The District Chairman (elected by the District Committee and ex-officio a member of the Council Executive Board).
The District Vice-Chairman (one or more). The Representatives on Local Council from the sponsoring institutions within the District, as well as Local Council members at large from within the District. The District Commissioner (Volunteer field man responsible to Scout Executive).
(The Assistant District Commissioners, the Neighborhood Commissioners and Field Scout Commissioners residing in the district are not members of the District Committee.)
The Chairman of each District Committee for:
Organization and Extension Leadership Training Camping and Activities Health and Safety Advancement Finance
Members-at-large for the district, representing the various communities and farm neighborhoods of the district not already represented on the District Committee.
The District Committee has certain ex-officio members selected from within the district by other groups. These include the Local Council Representatives selected by sponsoring institutions or groups within the district, as well as Local Council Members-at-Large, from within the district.
In addition to these members, the District Committee selects members-at-large for its own membership in order to reach and serve boys in all sections of the district. The Committee elects its own Chairman and Vice-Chairmen, and in cooperation with the Scout
Executive nominates a District Commissioner for appointment by the Executive Board of the Council. The District Commissioner is a member of the District Committee.
Paralleling the practice of the Council President in appointing his Chairmen of both the required Operating and the optional Planning Committees, the Chairman of the District Committee, counseling with his associates, selects the Chairmen of the District Operating Committees. These Chairmen are members of the District Committee, and also members of the Council Committees of "like-name." In established Councils these Chairmen, after consultation with the proposed District Committee Chairman may be elected along with this Chairman at the District Annual Meeting, which is the one next preceding the Annual Meeting of the Council. This presupposes that the Nominating Committee (which is appointed a month or more in advance) has done careful canvassing of available man-power according to Scouting personnel practice.
It is essential that there be on all Operating as well as on special district committees, full and adequate rural representation of the small towns, villages and open country. This should apply to all committees.
The District Committee is not a council legislative body. It participates in preparing all council plans, then carries out these plans, in the district. While not a legislative body, it and its Operating Committees may recommend legislation, changes, policy and council plans to the Local Council, which, under the National Council and Federal Charter, has its own definite responsibility in relation to legislation and the establishment of policies effecting the entire council, as the program operates within any district.
The District Committee usually meets monthly, except July and August. The Executive, Assistant Executive, or Field Executive, serves as Secretary of the District Committee, and one-third of the total membership constitutes a quorum. The District Operating Committees meet with a frequency depending on what needs to be done.
For the annual meeting of the district, reports should be made in writing by each officer and each District Operating Committee Chairman, and these in turn constitute part (or a partial base) of the district's report to the council.
The District Committee acts as a coordinator of the work of its six Operating Committees and also of the Council or Special Committees helping within a district. These Operating Committees, with and through the Commissioner Staff, carry on the program of aiding the institutions and leader who operate Scouting ing the institutions and leaders who operate Scouting discussed in a separate chapter, q.v. (XVII to XXII).
It is their job to analyze conditions and explore what to do in the district about Rural Extension, Finance, Activities, Advancement, Health and Safety, and Leader Training. With the council plan before them, the District Committee stimulates each of its committees to work out the necessary district plan details, to cover their part of the whole council program for the year. Then from month to month the District Committee checks on progress and counsels on getting the things done.
The district should be analyzed:
1. To show where the Scout and Cub age boys are located.
2. To show who of these are reached by Scouting (and Cubbing).
3. To indicate where the "unreached" are.
While this is a phase of the job of the "Organization and Extension" Committee, it is so fundamental that it is a general responsibility of the District Committee members and the Commissioner Staff-a responsibility which merits careful attention. The facts should be simply stated and understood by all in the district. This is particularly true of the rural sections where the most remains to be done. (See Chapters II, III and XVII.)
The starting point for bringing Scouting to any rural section is the Boy-Fact Survey taken through the schools. (See Chapters XIV, XVI and XVII.)
Service to Users of the Program
As described in Chapter XIII (District Commissioner Staff And Service To Rural Groups), the District Commissioner Staff, and especially the Neighborhood Commissioners are the visitation and service representatives of the district and the council. This service is brought to the users of the Scouting Program through Rural Leader Training Courses, conferences, demonstrations, literature.