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  • #16
    Yah, hmmmm....

    OK, diannasav.

    First, thanks for your service to Scouting. Thirteen years is a long run, and growin' a troop from 7 to 40 is a fine accomplishment and a real gift to a generation of kids. Yep, there's nuthin' that can be a drag like adult personalities and politics, but then that's humanity. Try to remember that nobody who volunteers to do stuff for kids in Scoutin' is a bad person; as much as they can make us crazy sometimes they're on our team.

    Now, yeh say that da pastor/IH actually attends committee meetings? That's a rarity. Generally speakin', the pastor has lots of other things to do, and each ministry more or less is expected to run itself. That the pastor is interested enough should be a good thing. That they give yeh money to help out, allow yeh to put da trailer on their insurance, etc. is an extraordinary good thing. That's a relationship that can be built on.

    One of the ways to build on it is to increase da connection with the church. Do some service projects for 'em, have the boys who are members show up for some stuff in uniform, make a presentation to the church board.

    Can I ask what denomination the CO represents? That can matter in figurin' out how they look at things.

    Now, if I'm hearin' this right, in your opinion the troop's SM is gettin' spread too thin. Has anybody talked with the fellow about it? What did he have to say?

    Then there seems to be a matter of an election? An election for what? For Scoutmaster? Based on some 4-month-old bylaws?


    I think bylaws are a reasonable thing to have, dependin' on da CO. But for bylaws to really work they have to be in place for a long stretch and be seen by everybody as bein' fair and "the way we do things." Yeh can't jigger up a set of bylaws and then immediately turn around and use 'em to try to oust a Scoutmaster. That's goin' to look to everybody like what it is, eh?

    By and large, troop committees want to avoid contentious votes. You're workin' together for kids, and a contentious vote means you've stopped workin' together for kids. If there's a problem with a SM, individuals from the committee, like da CC and an ASM and perhaps the COR should buy him a beverage and sit and chat. Let 'em know what the committee is seein', listen to his side. Perhaps float some ideas but leave some time to think about it. People need time to adjust to different possibilities, and react badly to bein' ambushed. Face-savin' moves that promote a fellow up and out of the way are a kindness and keep a friend.

    So if I'm readin' this right from afar, this feels like it got really bungled, and da Chartered Org. has perhaps given its word on the matter. In that case, you've reached the point where yeh either pull together or, if yeh can't do that, yeh resign with honor and dignity. Yeh aren't goin' to do anything but damage to the unit and the kids by waivin' around da Commissioner Guidebook and da bylaws and all the rest. Just like any democracy, if yeh have an election and yeh don't like da outcome, yeh shrug and pull together behind the leadership. Maybe next time, eh? But what's important is that the program succeed for kids, so your role is to help it do that no matter who the SM is.

    That's about all I can offer until yeh tell us a bit more.



    • #17


      We do many service projects for the church (ie, food bank, gardening, cleaning, etc.)

      I have no problems with the pastor attending meetings on the contrary we welcome him, but it almost appears as though he purposely disagrees with us and then he makes comments like "well you asked for this -- ie, church involvement". We are asked to minimize our footprints, we aren't allowed to post anything about the progress of the troop in the church. The list goes on -- we are beginning not to feel welcome at the church.

      Several of us have talked to the SM, it appears to make no difference, he doesn't see it and feels "he can do it all" refer to other quotes I've made in my posts....

      I'm the person that pushed the charter to take ownership of the troops property because that is the guidelines of the BSA... I did the best I could to follow the guidelines of BSA, and the current TCC does the same. But when we quote from BSA guidelines to this IH/COR and SM they say that doesn't apply to us..... Well where is that coming from? It does if you signed the charter agreement, etc.

      Thanks again!


      • #18
        You have still not explained what EXACTLY the SM has done to the boys in the Troop to deserve being removed as SM.

        Why, EXACTLY, are the parents (led by you?) so against this man?

        Simply your opinion that the SM is wearing to many hats does not cut it.

        There are many folks out there that wear multiple hats and manage them all well.


        • #19
          If your changing scout masters every two years you have a problem......

          I have never met a troop that does that.......Most of the SM's I know have tenures of 10-15 years. Hopefully I will be one of them.

          Now you have an adversarial relationship with the IH...which there is no winning. When he gets tired of the drama your gone as is all the troops assets and there is not a thing you can do about it.


          • #20
            From observing the Baptist ministers among my wife's family, It seems that the "all by myself" mentality is a virtue. Your SM might be trying to model the "righteous" role model. I certainly have never met a Baptist minister who felt bound by anyones set of bylaws.

            Here's the thing ... Are the boys hiking and camping? That's all that matters. (Well the oath and law and rank advancement matter, but outdoors is where it comes together.). If the boys our getting that, then the primary need of e troop is being met.

            My guess is the CO wants a youth ministry that's doing right by the Almighty and giving the church a good name. You might ask the pastor to come by for vespers on a camp out, or ask him to suggest ways boys could lead devotions.

            Point is, if you all are sitting down at a table once a month, you all have just acknowledged everyone's right to be there. If that's not what's going on, you may want to find a different table where there's the mutual respect you crave. Hopefully your son will follow you there.


            • #21
              "We are asked to minimize our footprints, we aren't allowed to post anything about the progress of the troop in the church. The list goes on -- we are beginning not to feel welcome at the church."

              To quote the 9th Doctor: "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!"

              What you are describing is not a good sign at all. My old troop went was on it's 3rd CO when I left. The first CO started did what you described, asked us not to post stuff as well. Plus after 15+ years of having the same rooms on the schedule we started being asked to move to different, smaller rooms away from our supply closets at the last minute, i.e. we show up for our meeting and are told we need to move tonite.

              Then the vandalism occurred. Our supplu closet was broken into, supplies stolen and strewn all over the place. CO wouldn't let us fix the problem, so we got an outdoor, fiberglass, storage shed. Within a few weeks of us having it, the shed was used as a dartboard for the church fair, and several thousand dollars worth of gear and supplies destroyed.

              Second CO's IH was a scout and loved getting an established troop at his church. But when he left, the new IH had an anti-BSA bias, and actually called the police on us for trespassing when we were late cleaning up after an Eagle COH. Luckily the IH didn't specify who was trespassing, and when the policeman showed up, it was one of our ASMs who asked us if we saw anyone messing around since he got a trespassing call.

              We found a new CO shortly after that before anything else happened.


              • #22
                If you aren't feeling welcome, maybe you should just ask. Why do they want to run a Scouting program? If they don't really want to run it, then find someone who does.

                Keeping a Scoutmaster can be contentious, but firing one can be even more contentious. I would definitely recommend talking to the Pastor outside of the committee meeting. Does the entire committee agree the Scoutmaster should leave? Do all of the parents feel that way too? Is there a good candidate for a replacement? If so, someone might need to have a conversation with the Scoutmaster about whether or not he can really do the job well, and if he agrees he is being stretched thin, how it is therefore maybe time to move on.

                There is a lot of drama here. Or at least, there is according to your description. It doesn't sound like the Pastor thinks things are all that broken, and the SM doesn't appear to think so. If others don't think there is a problem, or at least there isn't enough of one to cause any action, then I'd suggest you either decide to live with it, or move on. Lots of complaining about things that aren't going to change isn't going to help anyone.


                • #23
                  to Basementdweller: our council advocates the rotation of a SM every 2 - 3 years to keep things fresh and to prevent burn out.

                  to Oak Tree. I'm one person amongst many that have these feelings,we are a small community and the pack is chartered at the same location but many people chose to drive out of town to attend another troop rather than deal with our present SM. I am the former TCC/Treasure/Den Leader and am also trained as SM and after 13 years in scouting I've witnessed alot of drama. The IH/COR (pastor) only attends the TCM and thinks he knows what's going on. I think we all welcome his interest but not to become a dictator when he truly isn't seeing the whole picture. You are very right it may be time for those who are not happy to move on, start another troop in this community if anything it will benefit the community by having two troops....


                  • #24

                    YOUR COUNCIL ADVOCATES ROTATING SMs EVERY 2-3 YEARS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!

                    (and that is shouting in disbelief)

                    I would respond to your council with Gen. McAuliffe's quote


                    Even with a fully trained leader, i.e. SM Specific and IOLS completed, it takes time to develope the necessary KSAs to be an SM. Heck I've been in scouting 30 years now in a variety of positions, including training SMs, and I still don't think I'm ready for an SM position, or as my pack keeps trying to get me to do CM position.

                    3 years is just getting started IMHO as an SM.


                    • #25

                      Since you have a practice of rotating SMs every two years, I wonder: Where are you in that cycle, now? It might be worth it, to just bite your tongue and bide your time. (I think I'll spin off a new thread on this whole idea of 2-year rotations.)

                      In my experience, COs tend to be conservative - by that, I mean, they like the status quo and they like to avoid a lot of upheaval. So I am not at all surprised that the COR backed the current SM. If he was acceptable enough to become SM in the first place, then in the COR's eyes, he's probably just fine.

                      You DID ask the church to get more involved, and now they've done so. Other than backing the SM's continuation in position and asking you not to post stuff in the church, are there really other specific issues here? Or are people just generally unhappy that the COR is now exercising his voice in ways that never used to happen?

                      Was there any sort of explanation given for the request to stop posting stuff at the church? There could be underlying concerns that just haven't been effectively communicated (for example: the troop's stuff is taking over space that the Sunday school program wanted, or the displays aren't updated and look sloppy, or the displays never seem to include pictures of any kids whose families are also church members, and so some church members are upset about funding the troop, or the displays are roiling church politics regarding something entirely unrelated & the pastor is just trying to avoid this, etc.)

                      Are there any members of the troop who are also church members? They may have a better time talking with the minister about their concerns, since they have a stake in both groups.


                      • #26
                        First of all everyone is misunderstanding.

                        It is suggested but we haven't been doing the 2 - 3 year rotation of SM. The current SM has been in place since at least 2008. Not changing in the past is for the very same reason some of you stated in your posts. (ie, 1. availability of replacement, 2. experience, etc.) But as we grow we are gaining other adults that do have experience and are willing to step up... The COR is conservative I agree with that and I also agree with the fact that he likes status quo. We have never been given permission to post anything at the church. Several parents in the troop are unhappy with the current SM, and no there are no longer any members of the church in the troop.


                        • #27
                          Ah, sorry for any misunderstanding about the suggested 2-3 yr rotation. So what I'm getting now is that:

                          1. The SM has been in position for a while, shows no sign of stepping down, but some parents think he's not sufficiently focused on the troop level because of his district work.

                          2. The COR thinks the SM is just fine and is backing him, but the COR might not be seeing the full story.

                          3. Some folks are frustrated about not being able to post stuff about the troop/pack in the church that sponsors them (and other signs of lack of interest in the program).

                          4. There aren't any church families involved with the troop.

                          5. The COR has become somewhat active as per your request, but isn't taking direction from you as well as you might have hoped.

                          So ok, what to do?

                          1. I can get that people might be ready for a change, but if the SM has the COR's backing, then you don't have anywhere to go with this unless the COR has a change of heart. Make your peace with it (possibly it is a good time for you to gracefully step back?), or find a more suitable troop.

                          2. Trying to force the COR to have a change of heart will be messy. You've said the unit is losing members; a bitter leadership struggle will cause mass exodus, I guarantee it (been there, seen that, have the patch). And you need a more compelling explanation for why it should happen in the first place, other than that the SM seems too focused on district stuff. I realize it is probably more complicated than that, but you know, there are worse things than a SM who knows how to get things done at district and council levels. Maybe what you really need are a few trusty ASMs who can work with the SM to fill in his gaps.

                          3. Yup this is a bit irritating - but could probably be dealt with better, if you were to approach the COR to understand why. By the way my son's troop doesn't post anything in the church where they meet, either. Minor irritation, not a huge deal.

                          4. Why not? Are there no young boys in the church population? Does the church run its own youth program that competes with scouting? Do they just not know you exist? This seems like another good topic of conversation with the COR, to get his perspective on whether he thinks this is an issue (and if so, what he would like to work with you to do about it).

                          5. Give your active COR some helpful places to channel his energy! Recruiting youth into the pack or troop from the congregation would be a great place for him to help. So would getting you a bulletin board for display. Or inviting your boys to participate in a Scout Sunday service at the church (to raise visibility).