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  • Dismissal from troop?

    Recently (last night), we were told that our son might be dismissed from the troop for misbehavior. This is the first we have heard of any type of misbehavior since our son joined the troop in March. We have not been told what misbehavior it is/was that they are referencing (because a committee has to meet with us?). Our son, like any other 13 year old boy would state, says he has no idea what misbehavior they are referencing either.

    Someone please help us understand the BSA policy or a Scout's dismissal from a troop. Also, we expressed a desire to just move to another troop. We were told the new troop has to agree to accept my son, and that my son's "history" will be shared with the new troop. It wasn't expressly stated, but the ASM seemed to be alluding to the fact that my son can't just expect to move on to a new troop, that he must be 'accepted' into the new troop instead. Is any of this true?

    We find it awfully coincidental that all of this comes after the maelstrom of the troop being found negligent in an injury my son sustained while in their care on a campout last month.

  • #2
    This thread belongs under a different topic, but I will respond anyway.

    Units have the lattitude to suspend or remove either youth or adult members. There is no prescribed procedure for doing this. Basic fairness suggests that the adult leadership at least owes you some kind of explanation.

    Another unit has the lattitude to accept or reject a transferring youth. There are no restrictions on the ability of the unit removing the youth in sharing adverse information, but prudence suggests that they should limit what they might say, unless your son engaged in some kind of truly dangerous behavior. If you and your son both want a fresh start with a new unit and your son (assuming there is some legitimate reason behind the removal) understands his issues and agrees to mend his ways, the adult leadership of your current unit should not be placing barriers in his way. Certainly the adult leadership of the new unit will likely ask questions and there has to be some agreement about what will or will not be said. If I were an adult leader considering taking on a scout under these circumstances I would want to know what happened and what steps the youth has agreed to to improve his behavior. No unit is required to accept a transfer.

    Comment


    • #3
      well unlike most of the other men here i for one am not a master on all of the BSA bi-laws. thankfully ive never had anything like this happen to me or my troop, the closet thing was a boy brining sparklers. that only lead to a ban from a camp out. however im sort of surprised they can do this like that, banning a boy from the troop i 100% understand but to just do it without warning seems out of place. i would have guessed that there are some hoops they have to jump through such as warning your son, then talking with the parents then some sort of paper work form they had to fill out.


      i dont know your son but being a teenage boy myself i can bet theres something he may be hiding? you should call the scout master and try to get both sides of the story then maybe talk to someone in your district. if i were in your sons shoes i may just want to move troops because it sounds like theres some animosity from the scoutmaster

      Comment


      • #4
        Found negligent? What does that mean? Was this a court claim? An insurance claim? Why would you want to stay with a Troop that was found negligent in an incident leading to the injury of your son in the first place?

        Call the Scoutmaster and ask point blank what's going on - and do it right away. If he won't answer, tell him you want all of your son's records - immediately - if he won't give them to you, contact the Council office and ask the nice folks in the service center to get you a copy of all of your sons advancement records.

        Whatever you do, if the Scoutmaster won't give you a straight answer, don't even bother taking part in the "Kangaroo Court" they've apparently got planned.

        Once you have your sons records, find another Troop - you don't need to do any kind of transfer from one Troop to another - you can leave one and join another at anytime, for any reason. You don't need permission from the old Troop to join a new Troop. But be upfront with the new Scoutmaster as to why you are transferring units. Be prepared to pay a new registration fee - when you talk to the nice folks at the Council service center, ask them what the procedure is for transferring your son's official membership without having to re-register. They should be able to do it without involving the old Troop.

        Finally, once you have found a new Troop, send a letter to the head of the Chartering Organization and a copy to the Chartered Organization Rep (if you know - you should be able to get that information from the friendly Council service staff too) explaining why you have left the Troop and warning them that if their Unit's leaders makes an attempt to besmirch your son's name and reputation with the new Troop, or anyone else, you will hold the Chartered Organization responsible. Don't threaten any lawsuits, or anything like that - just use the phrase "hold you responsible" and let them read meaning in to it.

        Calico

        Comment


        • #5
          "We find it awfully coincidental that all of this comes after the maelstrom of the troop being found negligent in an injury my son sustained while in their care on a campout last month."
          Yea, I'd want to know more about the circumstances behind that litigious statement before I accepted this boy into my troop.

          Comment


          • #6
            Very interesting and like the others some important details are missing.

            1)What type of negligence and was it court found or insurance found? Depending upon what happened the troop may want to remove him as a result

            2) Could your son be hiding something? No youth is ever tells their parents 100% of what is going on in their lives.

            3)Calico described exactly what to do.

            Long story short, I was a member of a very rambunctious troop initially. We did all kinds of things, and I admit I did get into some trouble. When the new SM was finally appointed, my old CM who set off my spidey-sense every time I came into contact with him, I decided to leave that troop and join another. Best decision ever as the "new" troop had more peer discipline, was more youth-run, and was a better match for me. My history as a hellion didn't follow to much, my cousins were in the troop so go figure, but overall I was accepted and prospered.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is a big topic with too little information.

              But it sounds like your current troop wants your boy out and are so mad at him and your family that they want to harass you for some time.

              Unless your local council somehow bans him or revokes his scout registration he is a member in good standing with the BSA and free to apply/join any troop.

              The scoutmaster's implication that your next troop needs to know. I have had transfers into my troop where I "needed to know" but no one told me. The program leaders figure it out. What does this guy think we get papers with dossier on transfers? We get ranks that are screwed up and incomplete is all we get.

              But its sounds like you filed a civil action against the troop and were somehow compensated. That's the juicier thread. Post the details on that one please.




              (This message has been edited by Mafaking)

              Comment


              • #8
                Calico Penn nailed it.

                While there are two sides to every story, we adults should be able to play nice. If Mr SM or Mr CC cannot look a parent in the eye and say "We're sorry, but we really do not want Billy in our Troop anymore, and here's why", then... they are the ones lacking Scout Spirit.

                After all, a Scouter is...

                Loyal
                Courteous
                Brave

                Among 12 points of the Law...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yea, join the new troop and dont look back.

                  One word of advice: Visit and audition several new troops if there is more than one other choice in your area. Troops and programs are different.

                  I would also ask the old SM or CC point blank what the issue was as Calico suggested. They owe you an answer.

                  I think your instincts are correct in that your son probably does know what the issue is. Unless of course the REAL issue is some legal action you took against the troop and the misbehavior is a smoke screen. Still, for the troop to get to this stage without contacting you first to have a chat about things is wrong, and I wouldnt associate with a unit like that if that is in fact what occurred.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It sounds like they have already made up their minds, and evidently you do not trust these people, so why wait? To dismiss him from the troop requires some paperwork and cooperation from the CO. This would damage his reputation and self-esteem.

                    The ASM does not know what he's talking about. There is no need to inform the old troop of your quitting or ever talk to them again. You can just go to a new troop and fill out a new application with the transfer information. You don't have to give any reason unless the new Scoutmaster is suspicious and pushes. Even then, you can give some non-committal reason.

                    The Council will check their records and re-assign him to the new troop. People at the Council level will not want to get involved in troop affairs.

                    The old troop will wonder for a few weeks where you went to and will eventually figure out that you are gone. If the new troop does hear anything from them it will be unofficial and they are not likely to act upon it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One other thing... I assume you have all your son's merit badge cards and book signed off so you don't have to ask the troop for this stuff.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In 10+ years as a leader, I've been involved in dismissing one Scout from our troop. It took nearly a year, included one three-month suspension, a probation period and more meetings with the Scout and parent than I can count. When the last straw was finally added to the sack, the decision was made in about five minutes with very little discussion. The meeting with the Scout and his parent to let him know of our decision was about as long.

                        The point being, by the time we got to the point of dismissing the scout, everyone was crystal clear on what the issues were and why the boy was being removed. No further discussion was needed. That your son is at the point of being dismissed from the troop and neither you nor (apparently) he have any idea why is troublesome to me.

                        I will allow that there are some circumstances which would lead to immediate dismissal. In a situation like that, I, as Scoutmaster, would immediately suspend the Scout from the troop pending action by the troop committee and meet with him and his parents to explain why. Ultimately, membership is the perview of the troop committee, not the Scoutmaster. If the committee agrees to remove the Scout should be removed, the Chartered Organization Representative would have the final say and he or she would notify the council the boy had been dismissed from the troop and ask that he be removed from the charter.

                        Since it doesn't seem any of that is going on, I would agree with the other posters that absent some substantive communication from the troop, I would be looking for another troop.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The only instantaneous non controversial removal of a youth that I can recall was one of the boys in our troop who threw a knife at scout camp and hit a scout from another troop in the eye. First the camp director properly demanded the boy be sent home. Second, when the troop returned from camp, the parents were informed that the scout was no longer welcome. This boy was one of those cases where he could clearly have benefited from the program, but the decision was based purely on a clear safety issue.

                          From the discussion so far it doesn't seem that such an egregious aspect of conduct does not describe your situation.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I went back and re-read the OP.

                            There is one possibility we're overlooking. It's possible the original poster litigated against the Troop or the Chartered Partner after an outing.

                            If that's true, then my suspicion is the scenario really looks like this: Mr Parent, you hit us in our pocketbooks; you're not welcome here anymore, and we're going to take it out on your kid.

                            Now, to the original poster:

                            - If indeed you litigated against the Troop and the Chartered Partner, it probably is a good idea to collect your sons' records and move on to another unit. You've most likely burned bridges, both for yourself and your son. If this indeed happened, do not be surprised if your reputation follows you closely.

                            - If you didn't litigate, and I'm misreading the paragraph, then the Scouters of this Troop may lack the moral courage to come to you and have a quiet cup of coffee about your son. In that case, it's also time to leave.

                            Points of all this?
                            Things work a lot better when all the adults play nice.
                            It's time to leave this Troop.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              " . . . troop being found negligent in an injury my son sustained while in their care on a campout last month. "

                              Until we get more info, I think it's a pretty safe conclusion to say NOTHING gets litigated inside a month.

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