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  • Drop and Run parents

    I am an ASM of a 27 boy troop. We have parents who just drop and leave their kids. They don't attend trips and rarely participate in troop activities.I understand they are busy but who isn't? We are having a hard time moving kids and gear to the various events.The few parents that do help are getting burnt out hauling these kids around.Do you folks have a mandatory participation level?How do you folks handle this? I want to have a parents meeting asap saying these events won't happen unless all participate... The committee is hesistant on having the parents meeting.Ideas?

  • #2
    First of all welcome to the forums. Secondly you are an ASM. This sort of issue needs to be handled by your committee chairperson. Arguably you don't want a ton of parents on the trips. But you do need them to drive. As far as a parents meeting goes, there doesn't need to be a committee vote. It's up to the Committee Chair and the Committee Chair alone. In my unit the CC and SCM encourage parents to volunteer for things. We rarely have issues where there aren't enough adults to conduct a trip. Perhaps the CC needs to more individually reach out to parents. Phone calls not mass impersonal emails. Volunteerism spawns more volunteerism. -Sentinel947

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    • #3
      As Sentinel stated, let the troop committee handle it as your job is to work with the Scouts.

      Communication is a key, if the committee does not let folks know they need help, it won't happen.

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      • #4
        I am with what others have stated. Yes, there are Troops that have guidelines of helping out here and there as needed. The CC and Committee need to handle this. If the CC & Committee are hesitant, then they are not functioning to support the Troop and what it wants to do.

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        • #5
          Bit of an Irony ain't it...we complain when Parents hoover and participate and then we complain when they don't.

          Sadly it is not required for parents to be involved. It is the parents responsibility to get the Scout to the Drop off point. It is the Troops responsibility to get the Scouts to the events.

          I know many people complain about a Trailer but they do help move gear easily.
          I would not start "ransoming" events...your gonna run away those that do help and attend because they fear events will be canceled and will move to a Unit where events are not canceled.

          Your Best off asking for Transportation Volunteers..ask how many Scouters can they Carry...Find your Max Number based on the Transportation..don't forget to figure in transporting equipment in...Announce the event and ask scouts who wants to go..If over the Available seating...Announce how many can attend. based on Known Drivers..Ask for Volunteers to drive the additional attendees..If No One Volunteers announce a Sign Up with Scouters with Parents Transporting getting Priority and the rest of the seating based on Availability. Hopefully Additional Drivers will step Forward.

          Does your Committee Have an Events/Planning Chair person?

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          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            There are many different understandings of the program.

            I understand it is for the boys and generally speaking parents and leaders tend to interfere in the goings on. Parental involvement for transportation to campouts and outing is required for all but the lucky troop that has a big bus or a CO owned van.


            Personally I am good with Drop off parents at the BS level.

            Or do you want them hanging out in the back of the room on their ipads making a bunch of noise.

        • #6
          As Juan Sanchez villa-lobos Ramirez once sang, "B-A-L-A-N-C-E, balance." You have to have a balance between parental involvement, and parental interference. That's a hard one for new scout parents, even old fogeys who know better, especially for former, or in my case current, Cub Scout leaders. CS leaders must 'Unlearn what you have learned," as Master Yoda would say.

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          • #7
            I've generally been satisfied with the amount different adults have contributed to the needs of our crew. In our troop, however, from time to time the SM or CC has had to make clear to parents we were coming up short on transportation.

            But do make an effort to recognize that times are tough:

            Reimburse drivers for gas. Consider feeding drivers for free. Have the boys calculate the mileage and other costs in advance. Make sure activity fees account for that. If a driver doesn't want the $, consider it a donation to the troop treasury.

            Camp locally. Maybe one or two of these "not drivers" have some property you could use? Consider community parks or conservation lands. Someplace within hiking distance. Find out if the boys could do a service project while they are there.

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            • #8
              Any way you can simply force the issue?

              For any given camp a note goes to parents simply saying "we are camping at location X, scouts need to arrive there at time Y" and its up to any given family to get their scout there and leave it at that. That puts the ball straight back into their court.

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              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                'Skip,
                Your solution works for our local sites/insertion points pretty well where parents just bring their kids there. But lots of troops have 2+ hour drives for nearly every outing..

                The challenge is the BSA reporting requirements. Our councils are supposed to know two weeks in advance who will be driving, what vehicle they will be using, and drivers are to confirm with us that they have our state's required minimum insurance. (Some parents have missed the memo on "obedience".)

                My experience is that that info rarely gets completed until the week before the event.

              • Cambridgeskip
                Cambridgeskip commented
                Editing a comment
                Qwazse - understood, I wouldn't normally ask parents to drive more than about 90 minutes.

                The reporting requirements are certainly tight! Over here if its parent drop off then we have no responsibility in that respect.

                Another solution I guess is to hire a minibus/van/trailler and factor that into the cost of the trip?

            • #9
              Forcing the issue is simple. The SM should simply drop off a driver info sheet at each committee meeting, with a list of attendees, and say "if you need any additional information for the Tour Pan let me know". Simple enough.

              The most fun I ever had with this was, due to the ongoing assumption that the SM & ASM's will always drive, we arranged a hike where the drop off an pick up points were different, and told the committee we could not leave vehicles at the drop off. There were work-arounds , but I failed to share those
              Last edited by Old_OX_Eagle83; 12-30-2013, 12:25 PM.

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              • #10
                We waived certain fees for drivers, and reimburse the trailer hauler's gas 100%. The trailer allows us to use every single seatbelt, and we have enough minivans around to help. When I was a Scout, each patrol was responsible for transportation - I tried to implement that in the Troop but it never seemed to take off. It doesn't help that the Tour Permits require all drivers listed, with insurance, DL #, vehicle description, etc. That makes it necessary to get it all listed in advance, instead of just grabbing a few parents at the parking lot on the way out.

                Emails go out about the need for drivers in our unit regularly - we list the number of Scouts and the number of seat belts needed. It seems to work.

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                • #11
                  At least one parent or guardian of a scout must sign up as a scouter reserve or a committee member. All parents are required to participate in fundraisers or activities. Those that fail to pull their weight are asked to leave the troop. Simple as that. My troop is not a babysitting service.

                  Comment


                  • SSScout
                    SSScout commented
                    Editing a comment
                    But it IS a sitting service. I woiuld welcome any boy into the Troop. Teach him what it means to be a Scout, despite his parents. The boy will figure it out.

                • #12
                  I've never minded drop and run parents. I've always been able to find enough that can stay to help ... if needed. Plus, the opposite is what I always fear: too many parents or idle parents that distract or interfere with the program. When we've needed drivers, we've always been able to get help. To be honest, give me two or three good adult leaders for a weekend. The rest are for transport and don't even need to stay. Any more than two or three distracts from how the program is supposed to work.

                  The big issue I really fear are the parents won do NOT drop and run because often they are coddling their kids instead of letting their kids integrate into the troop. "Where's Timmy?" "Oh, he's at his dad's car. His dad picked him up McDonalds for lunch."

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                  • #13
                    If you need help it's always best to directly ask for it. Rather than have a meeting where you say "we need more people to drive" walk up to a few individuals one at a time and say "hey Joe can you drive this week, if we don't get enough drivers we can't go."

                    It is a lot easier to not raise your hand then it is to say no to an individual ask.

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                    • #14
                      We have the same problem in our troop. We are always in need of drivers and it's always the same people.

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                      • #15
                        Cub Scouter here... Our families get them there. On our Tour Plan, I list Transportation Other: event begins at location, families are responsible for arrival. No problem getting my Tour Plans Approved...

                        At the Boy Scout level, tell the CC it's a problem. They need everyone's DL/Insurance info on file. For each event, contact the drivers, ask who is available. It should rotate.

                        If that doesn't get you volunteers, minimums are hard, but a credit towards dues for driving might work.

                        Is the goal more equitable driving, or more driving? The former is a different problem than the latter. If it's fairness, find a way to distribute the load. If it's just more, organize on file and ask people.

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