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Am I too lax, or is this guy too tightly wound.

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  • Am I too lax, or is this guy too tightly wound.

    We had a meeting last night. As part of the meeting, the boys who were there (about 60% of normal crowd) played manhunt on our COR property. They do this quite a bit. One of our other ASMs (who's not there often due to work) basically chastized me and my son (former SPL who was leading the game), because 1) none of the boys had flashlights; 2) he didn't feel the boys were specific enough in telling adults about the game they were playing and 3) that we didn't have two deep leadership, because no adults were outside during the game. I know the boys, and it never entered my mind that we had to directly supervise the game (adults were in the Scout hut, as it was about 29 degrees last night). Am I just too lax? Should adults have been outside? Should the boys each have a flashlight, etc.? How does adult vs. boy leadership enter into this scenario?

  • #2
    I see nothing wrong with what you did. "2 deep" applies to outings, not meetings, in my opinion. As long as there was no 1 on 1 contact, you're fine. As long as the boys were on the property, I don't see the concern.


    • #3
      I agree with pappadaddy..

      But even on outings.. New scout rules just recently stopped patrols from camping overnight without 2 deep leadership.. But Adults could camp 300' away (Kudo's favorite line).. And be out of view of their youths.. Perfectly legal.. And, if the troop could get the parents brave enough to trust in their scouts, they could still do day trips without adult supervision a hike or bike ride.. Few troops will allow it though..

      Anyway.. point is, you do not have to have an Eagle eye on your scouts 100% of the time. Do the scouts need flashlights?? The scouts know what they need. If they did not see a problem, then no problem.. Don't know how dark it was, moon? stars? Street lights?.. I would imagine given 5 minutes the kids eyes adjusted to be able to see decently in the dark..


      • #4
        Poor fellas ... 29 degrees. I'd fault ya if nobody stepped out every 10 minutes or so. Kudos to your boys for not using flashlight. All the better to see the moon's waxing crescent.


        • #5
          At least your boys got their time, the Safety Nimrods in my troop overruled all of the outdoor components of our meeting tonight, and the boys ended up doing some lame doodoo that I didn't force myself to sit through.

          As for your tightwad's specific complaints/charges:
          1. Flashlights. So what? Is the CO butted up against a rocky ravine or something?
          2. Specificity. Again, so what? The Scoutmaster is responsible for the program on the adult side, and if he is satisfied that's that.
          3. Two Deep. The Guide to Safe Scouting's wording on 2 deep and 1-on-1 are very plainly written, so of course 98% of people have no idea what they mean. 2 deep applies only to outings, and to outings only. Not to troop meetings, not to SM conferences, not to PLCs, not to breakaway portions of an activity. Outings only.
          Now, for the sake of argument only, because he is wrong, but say 2 deep applied to troop meetings. OK, you were at the meeting, he was at the meeting, that's 2 deep. When 10 boys go around to the other side of the building, they have not suddenly become their own activity requiring 2 adults. How stupid? Does he think there need to be two adults at every station of a round robin? Does he think there need to be 2 adults with every patrol during patrol meetings? No. Each thing some scouts are doing during an event does not magically become its own event.

          I have no patience for these sort of people who quote policy without the slightest idea of what they're talking about. It's written in the simplest language possible. I had a guy try to tell me the same thing in a game situation one time, so I handed him the copy of the GtSS and told him to show me, when he couldn't find it there, he insisted we pull out the Scoutmaster Handbook, when he couldn't find it there, he insisted he was right just because. I told him the solution was simple: If he thought I needed a second adult to watch me while I watched 15 boys playing their game, then he was welcome to leave his chair and follow me. Guess who's butt stayed planted inside.
          The GtSS is cheap, it's worth it to buy your own copy and carry it around when you're dealing with people like this guy.


          • #6
            Sounds like everything was operating the way it should be. The SPL was exercising oversight, the scouts were active outdoors and showing resilience in cold weather. Mr. Safety ASM is being too overprotective.


            • #7
              To Be the Devils Advocate...Who would be responsible If one of the Boys got hurt and Froze to Death ?
              Quote this Quote That..sometimes it is best to play Safe on Both sides..What exactly is an "Outing" and What is a "meeting"?

              By Not Observing Activities your opening up to Potential Claims...Johnny was Harassed, Johnny Was Assaulted, Johnny was Hurt and It was Not Reported.

              If It was to Cold outside for Adults, it was to cold outside for the youth.

              Scouter99 Wrote "3. Two Deep. The Guide to Safe Scouting's wording on 2 deep and 1-on-1 are very plainly written, so of course 98% of people have no idea what they mean. 2 deep applies only to outings, and to outings only. Not to troop meetings, not to SM conferences, not to PLCs, not to breakaway portions of an activity. Outings only."

              They Apply to all things scouting. I am a MBC and It Applies to me. one of the reasons why Merit Badge Colleges are getting so popular. Many Merit Badge Counselors can't over come the 1 on 1.

              He is saying Scoutmaster can hold a Conference in a Closed Room by himself. There are adults at the meeting after all.
              Why does it not apply to meetings and it does to Merit Badge Counselors..We are Not outings. If a Sm can Hold a Conference by Himself a MBC should be able to Teach a Merit Badge 1 on 1 Right?

              No Matter what Not every Single situation can be written..and Explained in full detail in Scouting literature.
              We Stress The Buddy System for Youth why Don't we Stress It for Adults?
              There will always be a situation where the Rules and situations Cross.

              Example: Adult Scouter is Returning From Latrine passes a Single youth Scouter on the way to Latrine..Youth Stops and Says to Adult "Hey Mister Scouter. Your a Merit Badge Counselor for Nature right?" "Yes I am" Mr Scouter replies. " I want to get that Badge." Mr Scouter replies " Talk to me when You Get Back to Camp." Does that situation Violate policy...As Written Yes it Does..No 1 on 1..In spirit No because the Situation was not planned. Can people argue both ways yes...BSA like the Rest of the Society we are getting to legislative and overly paranoid.
              Last edited by jpstodwftexas; 01-08-2014, 07:01 AM. Reason: spelling and grammar


              • moosetracker
                moosetracker commented
                Editing a comment
                1 on 1 can be two adults or two boys.. Why can't anyone overcome the 1 on 1 situation? All it takes is an interested parent supporting their child. I sat it out on the sofa in the living room of many a MBC in listening distance but not participating distance while my son worked in another room with the MBC on something.Or I drove him early to a troop meeting so the MBC could meet him before the meeting started, or waited for him after the meeting ended so he could work after hours with an MBC.. Most his scouting career I had to drive him there and back anyway..

                You need some work with the boys in your troop if you think all of them would kick an injured or freezing to death scout out of the way and ignore him while they continue playing kickball..

                I don't think he is stating y can hold a conference in a closed room, because if not two deep, then no 1 on 1 is at all times.. But.. But those 3 people could be 1 adult and 2 youth or 2 adults and 1 youth.. And youth can buddy up and just go as two.. Like to the latrine at night, you need to take your buddy. And two adults can go as a twosome, with no kids, or as a onesome without a buddy, if just to the latrine, or down to the mess hall.

                For the casual meeting in the woods, if the latrine was so far off that there is no one else within view of latrine, then I need to ask, where was the scouts buddy?? But, you are right. In the spirit of scouting "No".. Just move it so you are not 1 on 1 ASAP..

              • Scouter99
                Scouter99 commented
                Editing a comment
                You are conflating two separate rules/policies: "2 deep" and "no 1-on-1." They are different and they address two different things.

                As a MBC, you cannot be alone with a single youth because of the no one-on-one contact rule, not because of the rule that requires two-deep leadership on outings. You can meet the requirements of no 1-on-1 by having your MB student bring a buddy, or by holding your MB session in the Starbucks, or by having your student's parent sit in view of the scout in another room. But by introducing a second person (youth or adult) you are not fulfilling no 1-on-1, not 2 deep.

                I most certainly did not say that an an adult can hold a conference with a scout in a closed room--that is your personal misunderstanding of what I said about the application of 2 deep based in your conflation of two different rules. SM conferences must be held within view of others, and that is, again, in fulfillment of the no 1-on-1 rule, not 2 deep. Those "others" can be youth or adults.
                I am saying that there are two rules, and 2 deep does not apply to meeting scenarios. No 1-on-1 applies to any/every Scouting situation. 2 deep only applies to outings, and the definition of "outing" is not complicated, either.
                Last edited by Scouter99; 01-08-2014, 01:12 PM.

              • moosetracker
                moosetracker commented
                Editing a comment
                Good point Scouter99.. I forgot about the meeting in public view of others even if they are not part of your party.. I met a scout who could drive himself at a bookstore with a coffee area, My son once held a meeting with a MBC for golf on a busy populated golf course.. They were only putting. so many people around, we were in the associated restraint, where we couldn't hear, but we (husband & I) sat near a window that we had sight of them.. The Golf MBC was a little worried that we weren't going to stay right with them, but we explained why this was not a 1-on-1 situation.

            • #8
              Too tightly wound. Like a bull's butt in fly season.

              One of my guys favorite activities is playing capture the flag just as you describe, except they do it through the wee hours of the morning with all the adults asleep. They know where to find me if a problem arises.

              Does your CC or someone else in troop understand the difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts? If so, have them talk to Mr. Bull's Butt. The conversation needs to focus on his chastising your SPL. His opinion about the meeting aside, that was out of line. Since the SPL is your son, that conversation would be better coming from someone else.

              Manhunt with flashlights? Sheesh. Maybe all the boys could wear their old blink-blink shoes from kindergarten.


              • #9
                And when the smoke settled, it was determined that all the boys had a great time. That's all that counts.



                • #10
                  We don't watch the boys during their activities. We might go watch just for our own entertainment or participate for enjoyment like on biking and rappelling activities, but not to monitor or babysit. Young men won't act like young men until they are given the room, independence and responsibilities of men. That being said, maturity and experience have to be considered for the activity. I think your adult just doesn't have enough experience with the boy run philosophy. I've said before that I think a SM needs to spend 50% of his efforts with guiding and teaching adults the program so that they understand and buy in to it.

                  Last edited by Eagledad; 01-08-2014, 10:42 AM.


                  • #11
                    We had some of our boys head out for a game in the park next to the meeting place. After about 15 minutes the boys dragged one of the boys in who had been rolling around on the ground and got a nail in his leg. We could have had 50 adults out there and the boy would still have found that one nail. It made no difference. The older boys applied first aid and hauled him back into the meeting hall and the parent whisked him off to the ER for a tetanus shot. Stuff like this happens and everything worked as it was supposed to from the boys' initial handling of the injury to getting him to the ER. BTW, the boy survived with no long lasting impact other than his parents harping on him that it was just 2 days before that incident that he had the cast taken off his broken leg.



                    • #12
                      Thank you for all the responses. I was kind of flabbergasted Monday night, as we'd done similar things the other 4 yrs I've been with the troop. In fact, the way they did it was pretty much SOP--the boys know the boundaries, and most know the church property fairly well. It's flat ground, without a lot of hazards, IMHO. The other ASM is a trained WBer, who has been trained at Philmont, and may have even instructed there. He works offshore, so he is an intermittent presence with the troop. Very knowledgeable, but gets on my nerves as well as those of the boy leaders. I will discuss this incident with the CC and the SM (who wasn't there Monday due to illness) probably next Monday night.


                      • Eagledad
                        Eagledad commented
                        Editing a comment
                        We had a scouter similar to your adult and we were always having discussions about his style of leadership. He didn't care for mine, but I was the SM. He isn't going to change, so keep him balanced or in check during activities with other adults. Lesson learned is "never" allow him to be the adult in charge at an activity. Barry

                    • #13
                      No need to get upset or fight about rules and regs verbatim...

                      TW (tightwad) - "Its too cold outside for the scouts..." Me-"OK, do you have a substitue activity ready for them indoors? I'm all ears. The boys wanted to go outside. They'll come in if they are cold."

                      TW - "They need flashlights / supervision / etc..." Me-"Great, can you go stand outside and SUPERVISE the activity for me? Do you have any flashlights in your car you can loan out?"

                      TW - "G2SS says.... the rules state...." Me-"Hmmm, can you SHOW ME where this is? If I see it in writing, we'll (the SM and ASMs) will take it under advisement and perhaps change our policy in the future regarding this game."

                      Just put the ball back in their court and make them do the footwork to prove their point.


                      • jblake47
                        jblake47 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        If it's a boy-led program, the boys are the one's deciding whether it's too cold outside or not. An adult that suggests substitute activities runs counter to the goal of the program.

                        Of course they are free to go outside and stand in the cold if they think it's important. Flashlights don't work well in really cold weather.

                        "OUR" policy? Do the boys have a place in this adult-run program?

                        While the energy is put into dumping back on TW, no much is said to support the boys and THEIR decision to hold the game.

                        By the time the third point TW makes, the argument had deteriorated down to legalese arguments. If G2SS states something, it doesn't make any difference if it's 90-degrees outside or 15 below!

                        So often we get caught up in BS arguments that produce nothing more than hurt feelings all the way around.

                        TW "It's too cold outside for the scouts...." Me - If the boys have their coats on, hats and mittens and this is what they want to do, it's okay with me.

                        TW "They need flashlights/supervision, etc." Me - The Scout Motto is Be Prepared. If they don't have a flashlight, it's their problem, not mine. Good leadership needs planning and preparation, they'll figure it out next time. BTW, if you want to go out and keep an eye on them, you can, but my SPL is doing that already.

                        TW - "G2SS says..." Me - Let me look that up, I don't remember reading that part. I'll discuss it with the SPL so he's aware of it if it's really a problem.

                        Every point made by TW is countered with support for the boys' leadership development, not a defensive argument to protect/justify ME!


                    • #14
                      Alas No One pointed out the "In Plain View" in that statement
                      It was Stated 2 Deep Leadership Did Not Apply to Scoutmaster Conference Since it was not an Outing but merely a Meeting and implied it would not violate 1 on 1 Contact. If 2 Deep Leadership does not apply then it must allow 1 on 1 in peoples minds

                      Well Yea Now Days Many establishment Allow People to sit around for Hours on End Sipping a 75 Cent Soda, so Yea You can sit at Public Places, However none around here allow me to Bring in My Critters for My Merit Badges to be Taught. And despite your Luck finding Parents willing to sit around several hours for several secessions, I have yet to have any parents do it..I have turned away Scouters because they can't find someone to come with them and stay or want to take the merit badges at the same time.

                      Like so many people and Organizations now days...Common Sense has gone out the Window in scouting
                      Rule 2 Deep Leadership...No Common Sense and you get discussions over statements like "Hey It was just the Scoutmaster and two Parents..You have to have 2 Registered Leaders at all Times...Parents are Not Registered Leaders..Argument ensues for " Leadership" actual Rules written Somewhere Else..Followed By No Leadership Because they we Not Out side or Can See Everyone at all times"

                      1 on 1 Argument ensues because 'In Plain Sight' is forgotten or Overlooked

                      and then You Throw in "What was said vs What Heard"


                      • perdidochas
                        perdidochas commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You don't need two registered leaders at all times. One and another 21+ yr old is sufficient.

                        From G2SS
                        Leadership Requirements for Trips and Outings

                        It is the responsibility of the chartered organization of any Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, Varsity Scout team, or Venturing crew or ship to inform the committee and leadership of the unit that sufficient adult leadership must be provided on all trips and outings (coed overnight activities require both male and female adult leaders).

                        Two-deep leadership. Two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a parent of a participating Scout or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required for all trips and outings. There are a few instances, such as patrol activities, when the presence of adult leaders is not required and adult leadership may be limited to training and guidance of the patrol leadership. With the proper training, guidance, and approval by the troop leaders, the patrol can conduct day hikes and service projects. Appropriate adult leadership must be present for all overnight Scouting activities; coed overnight activities— even those including parent and child—require male and female adult leaders, both of whom must be 21 years of age or older, and one of whom must be a registered member of the BSA. The chartered organization is responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities.

                    • #15
                      Simple fix for two deep leadership. all the adults go back inside the CO problem solved.