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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • When I stated doing scouting stuff at the district and council level, I developed a great deal of respect for the paid scouters because I observed and experienced a lot of bad acting by volunteers. The tragedy of a any volunteer organization is that volunteers with bad character are given authority positions because the organizations need volunteers to function. There is no real interview or mental testing of these folks, so you get a lot of folks in positions of authority that would never be given such responsibility anywhere else. And, even the non volunteer parents who are indirectly involved will often make a mountain out of molehills. As a unit leader, I've been involved with several situations where volunteers were asked to stay away from the scouts. But, when I saw how often the paid scouters had to deal with these people on a daily basis, I don't know how they put up with it. I really don't.  SSScout's list is ideal, but it is not real world. Don't get me wrong, the OPs situation is bad. But, there are a lot of situations that are much more serious. And most situations don't just happen out of the blue. They more often develop in front of witnesses over weeks or months to where eventually the situation crosses the line and has to be dealt with in a serious manner. This happens because most people don't like confrontation and turn a blind eye. They are waiting for that one person, maybe even the parent, to step up and stop it. And then the responsible adults get a call in the middle of night. And once in a while, the call comes from the police. I have that T-Shirt. Yes, in this situation, the committee should have stepped in. But I could tell by the OPs post that the committee didn't have the courage. Most of committees don't. Interestingly to me, I find moms make better CCs for this one reason. Their motherly instinct that we often talk about getting in the of the Patrol Method is also the instinct that will stop bad acting by adults. When I look to build a unit adult staff, I learned to look for balance. A good unit requires understanding the goals of the program while insuring the program is safe. That is harder than you would think. Barry
    • It's gonna be a long, long time....   
    • You miss the point (sorry....)  
    • Should the Scoutmaster be held to account for his lack of Scout Spirit and not following BSA guidelines ? Yes. Should the Scout accept the brunt of this man's vengeful behavior (and that is what it is, the Scout not bending to the SM's will) ? No. Should the parents of this Scout speak up for what they see as un-Scoutlike behavior ? Most definitely yes. And all the other parents. Should the COR and IH of the CO involved be apprised of all this ?  Yes. A long sit down and several cuppas are called for. Should the COR be involved? It is their noted responsibility.  Should the District Executive, the District Commissioner, the Council Scout Executive and the Advancement Chairs of Council and District be apprised?   Yes. Should a journal like documentation be made?  A very good idea.  Include other folks names and signatures.   I have great sympathy for these men's families, both the SM and the UC as described.  A Scoutmaster and Commissioner are supposed to be about the Scouts, not the Scoutmaster or Commissioner.    
    • Ironically, my go to person for getting action in this kind of situation is the District Commissioner (UC's director).  Like Fred, my experience is COR's aren't reliable in these things. Sure, keep them in the communication loop, but don't wait for them to act.  As for telling a parent their place of authority in a volunteer youth organization, the threat of litigation always levels the field.  Barry
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