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  • #16
    Wow, quite a few responses I will try to answer everyone's questions.

    Some of the questions and concerns that were raised included the fact that the Troop had no real committee, the Troop Leader told everyone what was going to be done and how it was going to be done. No one really discussed anything and if some one wanted to do something he didn't approve of he told them they couldn't do it and he dictated who and what events would receive funding without any input from the other leaders. We questioned if that was the right practice or if there should be a formal committee to discuss such items and assist with regulating power.

    Second question was regarding the fact the Troops Treasurer is the wife of the Troop Leader. We just questioned whether this was proper or if there was supposed to be a seperation of the money spender and the money counter.

    Third concern was an ethics issue. The Cadette Leader was looking to have her group start backpacking and had found some packs online, she had approval to spend some money to get the packs. Rather than meet with the individual alone she asked the Troop Leader to come as well to inspect and make sure everything was okay and for safety reasons. Well, the Troop Leader arrived early as did the seller and the Leader proceeded to buy the majority of the packs for his personal use. When the Cadette Leader got there he told her that he too was looking for some new packs for his family and that these were such a great deal he just couldn't pass them up.

    My wife didn't ask a whole lot of questions just about how often they were supposed to have leader meetings and if there was rules about how often they could meet, at the time the Troop only met every other week and as a Junior Leader at the time and moving toward Cadette she felt it being more necessary to meet every week. The rest of the concerns I expressed via an anonymous email account to council and asked to remain anonyomous despite the fact that in the letter they said they knew it had to be me.

    I guess were my problem and anger stems from is that the Leader never said anything to either one of us. No one formally answered or addressed any of concerns although in the letter they did say the did some investigation into the Troop and found nothing wrong and that my concerns were unwarranted. As far as they had previously communicated to either of us, since we didn't want to be named nor name the Troop or Leaders involved that they couldn't do any real investigation only give us vague and general advice.

    So we both feel that the problem doesn't trully lie with us and had the council been more forth coming with information we don't really have any problems. The problem that seems to be here is form the Leader, he seems to be uspet that we questioned things. My wife wasn't attempting to do anything rather than get some clarity, honestly I think it is my comments and concerns that set the whole snowball in motion.

    At this point I don't know what we are going to do for sure. I am working on a response to the Council after reading their by-laws and some other leader policies and procedures I found on the Councils website. I am going to seek a sit down to work things out and have my wife re-instated and I will no longer email, express concerns and will minimize any contact I have since I seem to be the aggressor in the situation. If that doesn't work I will seek to meet with the Board and have them examine everything and make a decision. All I really want at this point is to have my wife back as a leader and that seems to be what a lot of the other parents and leaders want.

    I don't agree with the fact that a Leader can just become the Leader and that there is no way around him/her and that if they don't want to step down they don't have too but I guess I will have to get over that. It seems weird to me that their is this dictatorship in GS but I realize that I may have to live with it or work to start own Troop rather than seek to change things. I am in shock that no matter what the Troop members want that it really doesn't matter as long as you know the right people and hopefully this will shed some light on the matter because I have a feeling this is not at all what those who designed the structure had in mind when they designed it.

    Comment


    • #17
      From your last post it seems that what you have is a multi-level Group, not a single level Troop. Your Troop Leader is the over-all leader of the various smaller, single level groups.

      I can see why he wants to be the final say on anything that is done. He is the one responsible to council for the whole she-bang.

      All in all, I can't say I am a big fan of a multi-level Group, however I know of a few that seem to work. How many girls, and levels, are there in your Group?

      As to the ethics involved in having the Troop Leader and the Treasurer married, while it is not really a good idea, it is not banned by GSUSA either. Perhaps they find it to be easier since the Troop Leader is responsible for all of the financial reporting to council every year.

      The backpack issue was a bit sketchy. However, there is nothing wrong with the Troop Leader using his own, personal funds, not Troop funds, to purchase backpacks for his own personal use.

      With the fact that any equipment purchased for a Troop/Group belongs to the local Council, not the Troop/Group, we generally did not use Troop funds for equipment. We used our personal equipment, or borrowed from council, or our local Boy Scout Troop.

      Any Troop Committee is there to support the Troop, and it's leaders, not to vote, or otherwise make decisions for the Troop. Most Troop Committees are made up of other involved adults doing specific jobs (Treasurer, Cookie Manager, record keeper, drivers, etc).

      Our girls were all the same age/grade/level. We never had an "official" Troop Committee of any kind. While the leaders (01/02) would get together every so often to sort out the particulars of what was being done at upcoming meetings/activities, and who was doing what, most of the program decisions were NOT made by adults (leaders or parents). They were made by the GIRLS.

      Even when they were in 1st grade, the GIRLS were given options to choose from on what they would be doing/working on. They (the girls) made the decisions, then we (the leaders) would make it happen.

      At the Junior, and Cadette, levels, it should be the girls, not the leader, that decide if they want to backpack or not.

      At the Cadette level, and above, the girls should be doing most of the planning/running of their Troop. The GIRLS should be the ones with the biggest input into how often they meet.

      Again, I suggest your wife take the Council up on it's offer, and start a brand new, single level (perhaps single grade) Troop, for your daughter and her friends. At the beginning Cadette level (6th grade) the girls need to spread their wings and start to take over. A brand new Troop, just for them, might help them to do that.

      One last thought - any fighting with council should be done by your wife, not you. SHE is the registered Girl Scout leader.

      Comment


      • #18
        Anonymous e-mails alleging wrongdoing against someone who is a valued volunteer in the eyes of the council? That's not going to turn out well.

        I would advise you as a husband to drop it and let your wife sort out her relationships with this troop on her own. If she decides to start a new Cadette troop in the fall, I hope you will fully support her and register as an 03 (general volunteer) and perhaps volunteer to organize an event or do something else at your local area level.




        Comment


        • #19
          Yes, the Troop is quite large and very multi-leveled. We have groups and leaders at every age level and overall almost 100 girls.

          As far as the backpacks are concerned in my eyes it is border line stealing from the Troop. He was only invited as an advisor and he knew the back packs were supposed to be for the girls not his family. He deliberately bought them for himself rather than wait for the other leader who initiated the dealings in the first place.

          I appreciate all the comments and direction but I can't fully agree with everyone here. The original letter mentions me by name and the email was directed to my address not my wifes and directs a lot of things toward me not her. So yes I do take it personal and despite the fact that I am not a registered member I am very much involved at this point and will continue to pursue things on behalf of my wife. Honestly I believe that if it weren't for my emails she might still be a leader and I intend to offer myself as a sacrifice to have her re-instated.

          Comment


          • #20
            To be blunt, if the anonymous emails is what got your wife kicked out, the sacrifice you should be making is to butt out entirely. Fall on your sword. Get out of the way.

            Putting your need to make things right ahead of your wife and daughter is just digging a deeper hole that they ultimately will be stuck in.

            Comment


            • #21
              Good grief! Over 100 girls!

              And this is considered to be a single Group, with one number? Is this at a school?

              We had about 100 Girl Scouts at our parish school, but that was not one single Group. We had separate, independently run, Troops in each grade level from K thru 8, and then the high school age girls in 9-12. There was a School Coordinator, but she was not in charge of the separate Troops.

              I really do not understand why your wife would want to be "reinstated" as a leader with this Group. It would seem to me to be a much better option for her, and your daughter, to form her own Cadette Troop.

              Comment


              • #22
                >


                You might want to investigate the American Heritage Girls as an alternative to GSUSA. AHG is like Boy Scots in that chartered organizations have ownership and control over appointing leaders.

                There is currently an active thread on AHG in this forum, and there are a number of other threads on this board you might locate on that group.

                I'm considering starting a program for girls to supplement our Cub Scout Pack, and my inclination would be to choose AHG over GSUSA. I'm imagining that the two could dovetail more easily than with GSUSA.

                Comment


                • #23
                  IF, the OP is interested in alternate activities for his daughter there are a number of them out there beyond just AHG.

                  Some other programs to look into are: Camp Fire, Indian Princesses, 4-H, and Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas.



                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I will look into AHG, another mom that is in our Boy Scout Troop that has a younger daughter had mentioned it before because our area doesn't have one. Perhaps I will have my wife speak to her and some of the others that have expressed interested in supporting us if we move. We have enjoyed GS as a whole and I know they have a lot of options are far as camps and activities in our area but if they fail to meet our needs then it may be time to change venues.

                    Eoleson, since the emails were anonymous they can't actually use that as proof of anything, there isn't anyway for them to trace it back to me. Although they are saying it was me and despite the fact the comments point to me there is no actual proof which according to the Councils Policies, Standards, and Procedures for Volunteers they need in order to force a resignation. Since this is my daughter I will not simply bow out unless absolutely necessary.

                    After doing a lot of research I realize that I have enough evidence to support my case and am reaching out to meet with the Council and the Troop Leader to try to work things out. However, if that doesn't work out if they refuse I have some pretty major grounds for an appeal.

                    I realize it may sound dumb that my wife wants back in, but we do have a lot of friends in that Troop and it would be a lot of work to organize a new Troop. She really just enjoys working with the girls and wants to focus on that rather than all the other stuff this obviously involves. Plus our Troop being so large has a lot of options and resources that we wouldn't have available if we started from scratch.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I realize it may sound dumb that my wife wants back in, but we do have a lot of friends in that Troop and it would be a lot of work to organize a new Troop. She really just enjoys working with the girls and wants to focus on that rather than all the other stuff this obviously involves. Plus our Troop being so large has a lot of options and resources that we wouldn't have available if we started from scratch.

                      Indeed, the best thing for you and our wife might be to stage a coup and take over the troop.

                      But would that really be the best thing for the other 100 girls in it?

                      This isn't about you, your wife, or "justice." It's about 100 girls. You should be very reluctant to take any actions that jeapordize their program. Those resources are not yours. Those resources aren't meant to give you options. They're meant to give 100 girls opitons.

                      Start your own troop - if there are over 100 youth in the current one, and several families are willing to move with you, then that seems like the right choice. Let the current troop go it's own way and use it's own resources. Don't look at what's there and think it belongs to your family. It doesn't.


                      Comment


                      • #26
                        "This isn't about you, your wife, or "justice." It's about 100 girls. You should be very reluctant to take any actions that jeapordize their program. Those resources are not yours. Those resources aren't meant to give you options. They're meant to give 100 girls opitons. "

                        That may very well be, but at the same time this thread brings to question the quality of leadership for those 100 girls.
                        Granted, this thread is polarized, but if I were the OP I'm quite sure that my daughters wouldn't be going back to a troop that would unilaterily fire me for something like that without discussion or trying to work it out....
                        I think that I owuld get a feel from your friends in the troop, AND from you non-friends in the troop too what they all think should happen. It may be that a majority would like a coup, in which case taht may be the answer. If the majority want you to let it lie, then you may very well be a fault.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I'm going to put on my semi-pro hat and ask:

                          Why does this troop of 100 even exist? Why weren't older/younger groups spun off into their own troops? Just because you have different unit numbers doesn't mean you can't work together.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Well I heard a little something back from Council, the Director of Membership Services said that she would forward my request to meet with the Troop Leader and the other members of council since they seem to have issues with me.

                            Thanks to the advice from those in the forum my wife and I have talked and I believe that we will probably be working to start our own Troop in the fall. We have some information that we need, because we are not sure if we can just meet at the same location and be seperate or if the Council will allow us to hold meetings at our house. Either way I think that several will follow and we are going to try and keep things to just Cadettes at the moment and those that don't wish to follow won't bother us in the least because we are going to focus on the girls and strive to give the best program we can.

                            Even though we will may be moving forward without the Troop I will still attempt to try to reconcile with the former Troop Leader. I want to set the example to my daughter that you always try to work things out and despite what some one may do to you, you are responsible for your actions and reactions. I want her to know that we can choose to forgive others and move forward without any harse feelings.

                            Well the last part of what my wife and I have decided to do may go against the advice of those here, we are going to seek to sit down with the Board of Directors of the Council and attempt to try and have some of the policies ammended. I realize that the policies are there for a reason but I also know that when they were devised it wasn't designed to be used in the manner we received it. Perhaps it will make no difference but I think it is important to try to set things right for the future and point out some flaws in the system so a situation like this doesn't occur again in the future. Besides, some of the members of council are not following their own policies and procedures, the very thing they justified removing my wife for, I believe they need to know that what is fair for one is fair for all.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Just a quick question if anyone is still reading.

                              If we choose to set up a seperate Troop can we do that at the same Charter Organization? I saw some one say they had multiple Troops at a school but I didn't know if this was different and I realize there may seem to be a little strife if we are both operating out of the same building (even though we won't cause any problems, it might come across that we might).

                              Second question is can we use our home as a CO? I realize that most churches, schools, etc. have insurance that we don't have but I know the GS as a whole have insurance so I am just not sure if it would be covered. Since we perceive the Troop may begin rather small and just first year Cadettes doing things from home might be easier.

                              Please let me know any thoughts or if you have an answer to either question.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                >>"If we choose to set up a seperate Troop can we do that at the same Charter Organization?">"I saw some one say they had multiple Troops at a school but I didn't know if this was different"

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