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  • Switching Troops

    Long story short (or at least I'll try): 5 years in Cubs, I was CM for 3 of those. Great experience, good parents, minor bumps in the road, but nothing major. Crossed over in February of this year during an elaborate briding ceremony complete with fire, homemade bridge that the boys made, music, loads of parents/family, and a delicious meal. Outstanding end to Cubs complete with the entire Den earning AoL which made (literally) tears come to my eyes when I was asked to speak at the end of the ceremony before handing the Pack over to the new CM.

    Fast forward to now: Our Den (now Patrol) makes up the ONLY active boys in the Troop that the Pack "historically" crossed over to. I purposefully signed up for a committee position due to the fact that I was weary of leadership and needed a break, at least for a while.

    SM is 27 years into the job and tired. CC has a son who eagled last year and now is exhausted at the idea of bringing up son #2 from Tenderfoot to Eagle. Thus, the Troop is dusty and stale. We are also flat broke. CC flatly refused to sell popcorn with no discussion from other Committee members, but can't decide on new fundraiser. CC planned a parent meeting during recent Troop meeting to finalize plans for fundraiser and didn't show. Went on vacation and didn't even call to delegate duties. Being that we are flat broke, boys haven't recieved any of the 6 or so merit badges that they earned thus far (mostly at summer camp) even though we (parents) offered to pay for them.

    When myself or any other parent questions CC's actions they are quickly reminded that they are not the SM, ASM, or CC. I'm fed up. My son is fed up. My son and I visited another local Troop and were impressed at the excitement and direction of this very new and quite small Troop. I agreed (since there was a vacancy and need) to sign on as ASM. We have filled out transfer paperwork and will begin attending meetings with the new Troop next month.

    The only dark spot in this whole decision is the fact that my son's friends are still in the old Troop. I don't think it would be proper to call them and ask them to come visit with us. There is one boy in particular that my son hates to leave, but I'm torn as to if we should call his parents and tell them what's going on. The other parents are fed up too, I truly think they are staying simply because "we've always been here...", or that type of thinking.

    What do you think? Leave quietly or call the boy's mom and tell her what we're doing?

  • #2
    Tell them.

    It's not unethical to let your friends know what you are doing. You don't have to recruit or try to get them to do anything, but you can certainly let them know. They can make their own decisions. You aren't trying to organize a resistance. The troop is about to collapse anyway.


    • #3
      A shame you chose to leave. But it sounds like a bunch of work to fix it.

      Since you chose to leave...I would have no problem calling the other families and chatting with them about the greener grass you have found. Now be aware there may be some hard feelings.

      BTW I would have the new advancement chair check his scoutnet advancement record...and did you get the blue cards for his 6 merit badges.....That is a huge number from summer camp for a 1st year scout.....


      • #4
        Your son can certainly tell his friends and encourage them to join him. In the long run, he's far more likely to stick with scouting if his friends are in it with him.


        • #5
          The 6 badges weren't all from Summer camp but I think 3 or 4 of them were. But no: no cards, no badges, no nothing. The boys are frustrated, the parents are asking when in the world are the boys going to get the badges they earned, etc. Heck, we can't even get the CC to enter into a dialogue about the color of a darn neckerchief for our Troop so who was the Troop walking in the Memorial Day parade with no neckerchief?? Yep. Like a boss. I hate to sound smug, but when I ran the Cubs, we were one of the most active and organized in the district. I had inklings that the Troop wasn't up to snuff, but I thought I could help move things along. I was wrong...


          • #6
            I think you OWE it to the families that crossed over with you to tell them about your personal family decision. My reasoning is that most likely they stayed in scouting because their experience with you led them to believe it would be worthwhile for their son.

            Besides, what's the other option -- lots of gossip asking where you and your son are? A sense of abandonment on the part of the boys for who you were the CM?

            You can be privately upfront with each family with much character and integrity.

            -- AK


            • #7
              MBCs (Merit Badge Counselors) can reissue blue cards. The summer camp should have a list of who counseled what badge, and a record of which scouts completed them. If your son writes a nice letter or email explaining that he needs replacement blue cards, odds are he can get them.

              Your son should also call or email the MBC for the 2 or 3 MBs he earned not at camp to get replacements too. I assume they were the old-fashioned way of working directly with the MBC. If they were troop-wide MB classes, then maybe you're out of luck - though maybe that's not a bad thing, if the troop is as poorly run as you say, such classes probably weren't exactly up to snuff anyway.

              For the part of the paperwork that needs a SM, your son's new SM can do that, you don't need the old one to be involved.


              • #8
                Yah, jamist649, sorry to hear of your experience. Sometimes folks hang around longer than they should. Sometimes, too, that's because they feel nobody is steppin' up.

                I don't think yeh need to worry too much about it. I expect your son is goin' to tell his friends even if you don't. Whether yeh tell the parents depends on your relationship with them. Do yeh hang out together? Get together as friends? Then yeh tell 'em, absolutely. Heck, it will probably just come up the next time yeh get together. If they aren't really friends so that yeh don't really get together, then it would feel a bit odd to me. Leave it to your son.

                Good luck with da new program. Now make this one work!



                • #9
                  I agree with the others...go and don't look back. You can't help those who don't want your help. Your boys are only this age once and you don't want to spend the time being frustrated. Once your son starts doing cool things and advancing, he can tell his friends...let the chips fall where they may.


                  • #10
                    My $.02 worth as you described me to a point.

                    I left my first troop and didn't tell anyone where I was going, only that I was leaving and why (I didn't like the new SM but that is a very different and very story). I didn't tell my friends where I was going. About 6 months later, the troop I was in was having some problems b/c of the new SM, and only his son remained from my group.