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  • #16
    JMHawkins- it was a school conflict. The troop was leaving while my son was involved with school. I cannot pull him early to attend a campout the first two weeks of school.


    • #17

      The troop needs to arrange transportation for all the Scouts that are signed up to go. It really shouldn't be up to each kid to figure out his own ride.


      Do we expect the troop to arrange transportation to weekly meetings?

      A scout troop is not a bussing company. It is incumbent on each scout/family to get the scout to various activities. That can include driving their scout or arranging to carpool.

      If the troop leaders are nice enough to put together transportation arrangements, good for them.

      In this case, EagleMom can be upset with the other drivers for not holding up their end of the bargain (which is debatable, as it appears there was still room but it was just agreed the boy would not go). It is not a troop level problem and certainly doesn't merit airing at a committee meeting.


      • #18
        Let the incident inform future decisions that might involve reliance on this person. But don't let it upset your state of mind for one second. Life is too short.


        • #19
          "Besides, maybe you don't realize it, but it's really obnoxious for the trip leader to have to deal with Scouts coming and going other than with the group."

          While as a trip leader I strongly agree with this, it sounds like this was unusual case, with school (correctly) being a priority.

          However, I don't buy the argument about the small backseat. As long as there are enough seatbelts, you can cram kids in a vehicle. We've had many trips where gear was packed on and around the kids. Sure, they may not have as much room as they typically do in the back of the family's ginormous SUV, but they'll be fine, even for five hours.


          • #20
            Many of us here have been leading units and arranging outings for years. You're not going to get a lot of sympathy for not being flexible and accepting the travel arrangements offered. Especially when your son was coming a day late. (Is your unit scheduling camping trips during school days?)

            It doesn't sound like anyone took preference over a Scout, sounds like your unit was trying to accommodate everyone.
            Signing up the day before by the Venture girls seems to be a troop issue, maybe your unit needs to review it's camping trip sign up policy. That's a committee problem.
            You were concerned about your son riding with two girls in the back seat even though there were enough seat belts. That seems to be your problem.

            Sorry, but if you came to me with this complaint I would offer you your money back? By the way did you get a refund?


            • #21
              As a leader, I would be questioning why these two mothers were driving up a day after the Troop left on the trip in the first place - the Troop must have had enough leaders and drivers to accomodate the trip schedule so it wasnt to add any neccessary leadership support. If they showed up with two crew members when the crew wasn't part of the trip (and it wouldn't have mattered if they were girls or boys not in the Troop), I would have told them we couldn't accomodate them and send them on their way. The crew issue is a committee/program leader issue - let them deal with it.

              You're unclear on whether the driver made the determination that your son couldn't fit in the car or if you did. If the driver made the determination, you are certainly justified in being disappointed, but she should get the benefit of the doubt that she made that decision based on safety issues and nothing more. And as unfair as it was to your son, there are family dynamics at play here too - though it may have been last minute, there are very few parents who will tell their own children no in order to take someone else's child to camp. If, on the other hand, the driver was still willing to take your son up to camp and you said no, then don't blame the driver for your choice.

              It was also your and your son's choice to skip going up on Thursday for a school activity - now here's the thing - the typical school activities this time of year are sports and band practives - and I know that missing these things can have future consequences on being allowed to participate in these things later - but you still have a choice - and more importantly, these activities are highly likely to cause conflict with Scouting activities in the future. My troop, and many others, had members of the football team and band who had to be at games on Friday nights (and some that had to be at games on Saturday afternoons - JV squads). It was not unusual for some Troops to run transportation on two shifts - the first shift bringing up the bulk of the unit starting early evening and the second shift leaving directly from the high school parking lot either after the game ended or after the away bus got back to the school (if the football players were playing away games, they couldn't leave directly from the away school - team rules - everyone rides the bus to and from the school - no exceptions (not even Grandma died - no funerals at 10:30 at night).

              I understand how disappointing it is for your son - but choices get made, and sometimes the best laid plans get waylaid. There is some sound advice here on taking this situation as a learning opportunity. and ask yourself this - you say one of the reasons your son was really looking forward to this trip was to "make a strong impact on his new troop." What kind of impact on his troop is going to be made if either of you make this into a huge issue.


              • #22
                It sounds like your SM wants to get to the bottom of this on your son's behalf. That's a good thing.

                My SM welcomes our crew on nearly every activity, I've insistend that if the SPL hasn't extended the invite personally to the crew president - youth to youth, in a timely fashion - the crew is not invited. My youth would be VERY upset to learn that another youth was left out because of their imposition on the program. Clear communication is imperative to make that happen.

                I think you can be honest with the mom and let her know you can't take her at her word. It sounds like she was the one who told you there was no room. Frankly, I've been known to forgo my own gear if that last seatbelt was needed for a warm body. But that's just sleep-under-tarp me. Other adults aren't so accomodating.

                If you have other issues about girls tagging along, (or boys from other inits for that matter), a last-minute culture etc..., you should admit them while respecting the fact that there may be cultural differences that you and your family can adjust to. Don't expect much from the troop except another campout soon.

                Other solution (for future reference, and I know this is a huge leap of faith for some folks): swap vehicles. If yours is larger, everybody goes. Fill the tank, and you can still claim the deduction. (Or reimbursement if your troop does that sort of thing.)


                • #23
                  Thank you for the frank and honest replies.

                  I guess I should have included in the OP that my son declined attending the campout during initial sign up due to the school conflicts. It was only after the parent offered the ride that my son agreed to go on the campout. She said she was going up anyway so she would take my son along.

                  And I would like to reiterate - the issue isn't that the girls went. I am uncomfortable with crew members taking precedence over troop members at a troop outing.

                  To the poster who inquired why the moms were going up a day late - they have newly crossed over webelos and I believe Scouts is more like Webelos 3 at the moment.

                  We are just going to chalk it up as a learning experience. My son is the only high schooler in the troop and I guess we will be anticipating many more conflicts in the future as the elementary and junior high boys will have different school schedules(and possibly more flexibility) than he will.

                  Thanks again for helping me work through this.

                  After spending the day outside I feel much better and less stressed.


                  • #24
                    So should scouts take precedent over family and friends??


                    • #25
                      The boy's in HS? That changes everything! The crew owes him a campout! He deserves a chance to sit with the venturers and adults away from the Webelos IIIs and figure out this dynamic and how he can fit in it.

                      BD, prior commitments family or otherwise take precedence, IMHO. Now this could be a situation where the mom said yes to too many people, and didn't figure out until the last minute.

                      Unless these girls were seasoned leaders (competent big sister types - it happens), I bet the SM would have preferred to have his oldest scout there, especially if the boy is new and needs opportunities to fit in.

                      Regardless, everyone needs to work towards maximizing the number of youth on the field. We all can win, but everyone needs to know that that's the game were playing!


                      • #26
                        Yes, I would be upset by the driver making a last minute change. I agree the SM probably would have rather had one of his older scouts than some girls who arent members of the troop.

                        It sounds like your family did everything right as far as compromising and still making camp. Our patrols did this all the time and we encouraged it because given the choice of some scouting or no scouting, we took what we could get.

                        The lesson learned here is you have a better understanding of the adults involved and will know how to work with them next time. Learning who you can count on and the skills of your adults is the Scout Masters more difficult jobs. Developing that skill has made me better at work.



                        • #27
                          If he is the only member of the troop who goes to a different school (HS vs Jr or middle school), and he's new to the troop, the item I as his parent would try to get on the Committee agenda wouldn't have anything to do with Venture Crews, but rather with perhaps reviewing the schedule to see if there are future school-scouting conflicts that could be adjusted now so you can avoid these problems down the road.

                          I'm guessing the current schedule was made before your son joined, and so did not take into consideration his school schedule. It's perfectly reasonable - if done in a polite, non-demanding way - to ask if it's possible to try and retrofit the troop schedule to accomdate his school schedule. It may not be, depending, and if so, well, it's back to "you have to make choices."

                          Is your son in a year-round school program?


                          • #28
                            I am guessing it is either band, football or crosscountry.....we are losing boys to those activities currently


                            • #29
                              I'm still not sure I understand who made the decision not to go. The original post says "it was decided."

                              Did the driver rescind her offer of a ride or not? From what I read, she did not. If she actually backed out on her commitment, I'd be upset. If she didn't, and just said it was going to be crowded, and you or your son made the decision to back out, then I don't see how you could justify being upset. Did she initially promise a spacious ride?

                              We would have just let her borrow a car-top carrier, and they could take whatever they wanted. We've seen five people crammed into a Honda Fit for a long trip. It's astonishing how much stuff can go in a car if you really want it to work.


                              • #30
                                I think you have a right to be upset over the circumstances under which your son lost the chance to go. I also agree that having people arrive in stages at an outing is a complication for everybody, but many units accept it.

                                I also think your SM has a greater right to be upset at unexpected youth showing up for an outing. How did this affect the headcounts for food among other things? Regardless of the transportation planning aspect of the situation, people who do not sign up timely should not be allowed to jump in at the last minute.