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A Rant on this Past Weekend

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  • #16
    I admit I do have an attachment to the troop. Several friends have been leaders in it. I have served as an MBC for several of their scouts. When I needed Den chiefs for day camp and for my den, they were the ones that provided the best help. And I can go on. Heck when I did IOLS in January, 2 of their scouts were on staff. Grant you, their dads were also on staff, but when I was talking about using youth on staff, their dads loved it and "voluntold them" Liek they needed to be told they're camping.

    Any of the older scouts that I worked with and knew I would trust with my life or my son's if things were to hit the fan in the outdoors. Don't think I can say it with the groups I saw this past weekend.

    I will say this, hope springs eternal. The soon to be CM and I had a very brief discussion about the weekend, and he pointed out some of the challenges that I saw without me mentioning it. He has a few ideas on how to help out, AND when his son moves up to Boy Scouts, there is no younger sons like in my situation.

    The troop changed in 10 months. Since they have had challenges getting adult to take them camping, AND since Webelos can camp as a den on their own, We may be inviting them to a few trips.

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    • #17
      normally I would say don't judge just by 1 campout especially if it's a camporee, but WOW!!!

      the reason I say don't judge off a camporee is that it's not always the troops fault things get disorganized. For example we didn't get a schedule for our fall camporee until the SM SPL meeting that friday night. While I wasn't able to be there the leaders that were said that there was so much going on that the boys were constantly on the move as there were patrol games, troop games, and merit badges offered. Our area has been over filling camporees for a while now which is why our troop has gone to adults doing the cooking and boys help with clean up as much as they can - so there is no real duty roster.

      now a troop campout - patrols tent together, have their own cooking/eating area, have a duty roster which includes a patrol only activity and a skit or song for saturday night campfire for the patrol to do. The boys have planned ahead of time what and when the troop activity will be so they adjust their patrol stuff around that. Only thing that really gets interesting is when 1 patrol gets done with their activity before another and wants to join in - but patrol activity is JUST for those in THAT patrol sometimes that makes the one speed up sometimes the patrol that gets done first starts doing something constructive which is nice.

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      • #18
        Maybe you should revisit the decision that has you "stuck in Cub Scouts" for the next 7 years. The Pack certainly needs leadership, but so does the Troop. Would it be easier to recruit someone to take your job in the Pack, or someone to get the troop functional?

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        • #19
          'Hawk,

          "Stuck" is the wrong word. "Committed" is the right word. I have a Tiger and two years down the road another Tiger. SWMBO originally stated she would get involved in Cubs too, but has since changed her mind, and more than likely won't change it back since she is heavily involved with not only homeschooling, but but with the local homeschooling association. Plan at the moment is to join the troop committee since A) the troop meets on the same nite my wife takes care of her mom and I need to be with the kids and B) allows me to work on getting the parents out of the way on campouts and help do BORs.

          Back history, at one time there were not enough adults helping out, which is probably why the older scouts really knew their stuff, to the point that BORs could not get done. I remember me and 2 other out of troop leaders doing a BOR at a camporee for one of the scouts that had waited a few months. Now you got parents coming out of the woodwork, helping cook meals, and telling them how to do events.

          IM,

          The frustration is not only coming from this weekend, which I knew would be challenging with the weather and having some of the events cancelled last minute, but also from what I'm reading on the FB group and from what I am hearing from the older scouts I'm talking to that remain in the troop.

          But as I said, it looks hopeful. I had a chat with the incoming CM and he is in the process of getting the pack organized as we have a history of it being a 2 man show. We have parental involvement, but on an ad hoc basis. Now it's getting more permanent. And being involved in an old school troop as a youth, he is saw the same issues I saw, and has ideas on improving the situation. And as I mentioned, He doesn't have anymore Cubs once his son moves up. Hopefully he can talk to the SM and give him some advice since they work together.

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          • #20
            E92, sounds like your taking the right tack in not charging in to a particular position thinking you'll be the "fix-it" man. You need other adults to buy into a new vision, and courteously work it into the program.

            This is also where a UC comes in. He's the guy who should be "gently nudging" the ASMs to training, encouraging the committee to underwrite youth leadership training, etc ...

            Of course it's important for the CM to communicate how the troop made the Webelos and their parents feel unwelcome. But, until he's trained as an ASM, his credibility as an agent of change is no better than yours.

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            • #21
              Eagle92 -- I had similar, but not the same issues, when my older son was a Webelos shopping for troops. I had a gut feel for which troop he should join, but he picked the one that was last on my list. He rationale was that he knew someone in the troop, a nice kid, who specifically invited him to join the troop.

              I stayed out of the way for a few months, and observed. I did attend roundtables, and knew about upcoming events, and I'd let the SM and other ASMs know about them.

              There was a 5-council mini-jamboree happening that fall. I didn't catch on very quick to this, but none of the other adults seemed interested. The SM told us "I hunt in the fall, you guys can go [to the mini-jamoree] if you want". So I organized the trip.

              Here's what I was slow to catch on to -- the other adults always deferred to the SM. They didn't volunteer for events in his absence, because they didn't want to be stuck organizing them. So that's why we went to the mini-jamboree (because I was willing to organize it).

              I continued to keep my eyes open -- that first year my son had joined, the troop only camped 6 total nights, other than summer camp. Main reason: the SM was busy doing something else.

              But underneath the surface was an adult-led (primarily the SM) advancement-oriented troop. Most of the adults weren't so interested in camping, because their sons weren't (that is, they didn't need any more "nights" for rank advancement or Camping MB). In fact, I started a thread a couple of months ago about a Scout who had vanished from the troop for close to three years, and then came back wanting a signature for his Eagle application. This Eagle candidate specifically told me that he stopped going on outings because he didn't need to. He'd already done his time as a PL, and felt that he needed to get out of the way to let someone else be a PL.

              Most advice on this forum, on the Scouts-L email list, and at Ask Andy said "find a new troop." Ultimately, I decided not to, and worked with another adult on rebuilding the troop. I covered that in another forum post too. It wasn't easy. I wouldn't suggest trying it, unless you 1) have solid backing with other adults, and 2) you are up for a real challenge.

              We're 3 years in to rebuilding now, and we still have issues. The biggest one is perhaps the older Scouts that became a little too comfy with adults planning and doing everything (I wasn't on one particular outing where an adult asked a group of Scouts sitting around "who is going to clean up after dinner?" and got a "you are" response in return). By next year, most of those guys are aged out or otherwise gone, and the only Scouts we have left will be the ones having lived through the transition, or are new.

              Guy

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