Jump to content

Fox 76

Members
  • Content Count

    35
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Fox 76

  1. Fox 76

    Pitfalls of Starting a Venture Crew

    quazse, I appreciate your dead-on assessment of my dilemna, but I never said that I only wanted to hear negatives or that I would be bored by the positives. I understand Venturing and how it's supposed to work, so I don't need to be sold on its virtues. I have been branded by the Hybrid-coed Troop advocates as a "girl-hater" and "anti-Crew." So be it. In less that a week, I have watched the Troop start to unravel. At the Town 9/11 event yesterday that I coordinated with the Troop, in my last official act as Committee Chair, one of the parents informed me that before I arrived and the event even started, the Troop's new Scoutmaster/Venture Advisor was criticizing the timing and location of the event and telling anyone who would listen what he would have done differently. Then he went and stood off by himself. Several parents have discreetly asked me what other Troops we were looking at. With a childish ego like this at the helm, I'm sorry to say that I'm pessimistic over the future of both the Troop and the Crew.
  2. Fox 76

    Pitfalls of Starting a Venture Crew

    Amen, brother......Amen.......
  3. Fox 76

    Pitfalls of Starting a Venture Crew

    Well, it's been seven months since I last posted on this issue, and a lot has happened. Not all good, unfortunately. The best advice I can give is that if you want to form a crew, have a SEPARATE plan and program for them and understand that it will be a SEPARATE unit. This is especially true, in my opinion, if your crew is like the one I have had to deal with, which is entirely made up of teenaged girls. I am, or rather was, a Troop CC who crossed swords with other adults over the omnipresent venture crew a few too many times. One boy decided to leave the Troop because, in his words, the "girls were annoying." I totally agree. Another new parent arrived to pick up his eleven year old son from a camping trip and asked me "what is this Bullsxxx, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts?" I just smiled and shrugged, but I felt like an idiot. Our big Court of Honor in May was hijacked by the VC President, who took the mic without my permission and wanted everyone to go look at her project in the back of the room. I wouldn't have minded this, except that I spent a good deal of time scripting the BOY SCOUT program and producing a nice color booklet for it (again at my expense). Afterwards, I had to hear complaints from the adult crew advisers (her parents) that I did not include the Venture Crew in the presentation of the colors. Well, no I didn't...DUH! I'm the CC of a BOY SCOUT TROOP, and it was a BOY SCOUT TROOP Court of Honor. I still hold that the VC is a separate unit and should have its own program....somehwere else. The Ventures shouldn't have been there, in my opinion, but if their adult leaders wanted them to participate, the courtesy of letting me know in advance would have been appreciated, and I certainly would have included them. I thought it was discourteous behavior, at best. I have been butting heads with this couple who run the VC and one of our Assistant Scoutmasters, whose daughter is in the Crew and also a girl scout, during all of this time. I recently coordinated a 9/11 remembrance, with an honor guard and readings, with the TROOP at our town memorial, and purchased a wreath (again at my own expense) for the Scouts to lay at the memorial. I did not invite the VC, because they are not my bailiwick and once again, it is a "Troop" event. However, they have invited themselves via their advisor, and they want to help lay the wreath and do the readings as well. Okay sure, what else could I say? Way too much stress for me. Before things got personal between these adults and myself, I did the right thing and resigned as CC. Unfortunately, so has the Scoutmaster, who was caught in the middle. The ASM who has a daughter in the crew will be taking over as SM, and he can figure it out with the Venture couple. I'll stay on the Committee and support my sons. I don't have a good feeling about the pending outcome, but I will take on a passive role and see what happens. My sons are also disgusted and not happy with the new arrangement, so there is a possibility that we will change Troops. I'll report back in another six months.
  4. Fox 76

    When is too much emphasis placed on uniforms?

    Let me add that we reinforce that notion that you only get one chance to make a first impression. When I was a Cubmaster, several area Troops came to our Crossing-Over ceremony to welcome their new Scouts. One Troop was represented by their Scoutmaster and their SPL. They really stood out to me, but for all the wrong reasons. The Scoutmaster was dressed in Jeans, sneakers, Scout shirt, no neckerchief or bolo, Major League Baseball cap (I won't mention the team to avoid getting off the subject). The SPL (an Eagle!) was even worse. He had on a half-unbuttoned Scout Shirt, Hawaiian floral shorts, and flip-flops. I was Appalled, and it was only because my ACM came over to me, winked, and patted my back that I didn't go over to these two bums and ask them to leave.
  5. Fox 76

    When is too much emphasis placed on uniforms?

    Our Troop, at a minimum, expects the following at Troop meetings: Troop issued hat; Troop issued Neckerchief Scout shirt with tabs; Correct and complete insignia, including QUA, Trained, POR, etc. We encourage Scout pants and belt, or at least OD field pants like Dickies or Cabelas (almost identical to Scout pants at a third of the price). We TOLERATE, but do not LIKE blue jeans. We STRONGLY FROWN upon sweatpants; gym shorts or other "athletic" attire. For formal events, such as Color Guard Duty and Scout Sunday, nothing less than a complete and correct Class-A uniform, with pants, belt, shoes and boots, and relevant sashes is permitted. We have a core of Scouts who do adhere to this, and only they are permitted to particpate in the listed formal functions. If the others want to, they are welcome IF they wear the correct uniform. For camping trips, we let them wear casual clothing.
  6. Fox 76

    Reluctant Scout Parent in AZ

    Wow. Basementdweller isn't kidding about the Troll remark.
  7. Fox 76

    Pitfalls of Starting a Venture Crew

    Thanks for your thoughts, and I understand what you're both saying. However, IMO the Crew has no skill set to offer the Scouts. As I said, they are there to "hang out." Maybe I'm an outdated relic, but I think the Venture Patrol concept, even if they did morph into a Vneture Crew, would be far more effective as a Troop resource. A bunch of girly-girls (our Crew) doesn't have much to offer a bunch of active pre-adolescent boys.
  8. Fox 76

    Pitfalls of Starting a Venture Crew

    Let me add to this discussion. I think that the traditional Venture Patrol method has been WRONGLY deemphasized in favor of the politically correct Venture Crew concept. I am a Troop CC, and I am now at serious odds with some of the other Leaders regarding our two year old attached Venture Crew. You read that correctly: Attached. I accepted the chair position shortly after the Crew was chartered. While I am certainly not an advocate of the coed Venturing Program as a whole, I am not condemning it, either. I'm really not sure what constitutes a well-run crew and a healthy Troop/Crew relationship because I have never seen one. That sentence is self-explanatory, I do know what an unhealthy relationship is. I have some very big issues with the way this Crew relates to our Troop. The mostly female Crew relies on the Troop for virtually all of its outdoor activities, and the very few indoor events that they have on their own explicitly exclude Scouts. They "hang out" at our Troop meetings, although they also have their own meeting on a different evening. I don't believe this is the way a Venturing Crew is supposed to operate. My belief was that a Crew is supposed to be a separate entity. It appears to me that the Troop is furnishing the Crew with a program, and receiving nothing positive in return. In fact, I am finding that their presence is counter-productive. I have since learned that, prior to my sons joining the Troop, the original Scoutmaster resigned when a couple of the adults went ahead and chartered the Crew despite his opposition. Another thing that I am having a big problem with is that some of our older boys, including the SPL (my older son), ASPL, and at least one of the PL's are naturally attracted to "hanging out" with the omnipresent Venture Crew, which is comprised of four teenaged girls and one occasional part-time older Scout, rather than doing what they are supposed to be doing within the Troop as Scouts and youth leaders. The senior Crew Advisors remain active Troop leaders although their son aged out long ago, and one of our new ASM's also has his 14 year old daughter in the crew. My opinion about this entire arrangement is definitely in the minority. The Scoutmaster, quite unlike me, thinks that this arrangement somehow benefits our Troop program. It's very much a family-affair. I have tried to push a more aggressive SCOUTING program (overnight hikes? Challenging day hikes?) similar to the Venture Patrol concept, but I sense resistance from most of the key leadership. The final straw is that my younger son (12) was "accidentally" punched in a sensitive area by the older male Scout/crew member that I mentioned earlier, during a recent joint cabin-camping trip (Troop and attached Crew) which I did not attend. I will add that I do not favor having four girls, aged 14-16, in a cabin with twenty boys, aged 12-14 and one surly 16 year old Venture, regardless of how many adults are present. Testosterone was in the air, and my little son was the recipient of the result. The adult leaders that were present did nothing, although he complained to the Crew advisor. In retrospect, I should not have allowed either of my sons to attend this event, but I let them since my older boy is the SPL. I was overlooking a lot of things regarding this Crew, but my son being assaulted really gels it for me. I will not repeat this mistake. I feel that Im cornered and outnumbered here. I value and appreciate the commitment of these other adult leaders to the Scouting program, however much I may disagree with their methods, and I value their friendship. They are good people. I'm on the fence here for a few reasons. I can commit at least six more years to this Troop in any capacity, including Scoutmaster. I am fully trained (SAS/IOLST and Wood Badge); our current Scoutmaster's oldest son turns 18 this year and the man has a busy life; and altruism aside, the senior Crew Advisors really have no ties to the Troop, other than to recruit for the Crew. We have one relatively new Scout who told me that he "can't wait" to join the crew so that he can hang out and chill with the Crew, too. I am on the verge of resigning as CC, disassociating myself with this Troop, and encouraging my two sons to look elsewhere for a more traditional Scouting program. When I reach that point, I will not take them out of their current Troop if they don't want to leave, barring another assault on any child at which point I will press charges. If you choose to reply to me, please don't recite the virtues of the Venturing Program. If you do, you are entirely missing the point of my post. I do not believe that this particular arrangement is healthy, and I doubt that this Troop will survive if it continues. If I stay on and force my issue, it will get ugly and I might find myself as the only leader left. I have no doubt it will cause hard feelings. Am I missing something here??
  9. Fox 76

    Scouts Fighting

    This issue has recently come up in out Troop. However, in our case it isn't outright fighting yet. In our case, it's one Scout who is "handy," and sometimes impulsively strikes other Scouts. The Scoutmaster and myself (CC), along with the other leaders, are crafting a firm policy to deal with situations like this. Clearly, there is a difference between horseplay and assault, so that consideration must be made. What we are discussing at this point is first speaking with the parents of any boy who aggressivley lays his hands on another. If there is a repeat incident, the boy will be ejected from the Troop. Some kids are just angry or aggressively physical. Let them go play football or take up boxing.
  10. Fox 76

    The "Venture Patrol"

    Let me add to this discussion. I think that the traditional Venture Patrol method has been WRONGLY deemphasized in favor of the politically correct Venture Crew concept. I am a Troop CC, and I am now at serious odds with some of the other Leaders regarding our two year old attached Venture Crew. You read that correctly: Attached. I accepted the chair position shortly after the Crew was chartered. While I am certainly not an advocate of the coed Venturing Program as a whole, I am not condemning it, either. I'm really not sure what constitutes a well-run crew and a healthy Troop/Crew relationship because I have never seen one. That sentence is self-explanatory, I do know what an unhealthy relationship is. I have some very big issues with the way this Crew relates to our Troop. The mostly female Crew relies on the Troop for virtually all of its outdoor "High Adventure" activities, and the very few indoor events that they have on their own explicitly exclude Scouts. They "hang out" at our Troop meetings, although they also have their own meeting on a different evening. I don't believe this is the way a Venturing Crew is supposed to operate. My belief was that a Crew is supposed to be a separate entity. It appears to me that the Troop is furnishing the Crew with fun, and receiving nothing positive in return. In fact, I am finding that their presence is counter-productive. I have since learned that, prior to my sons joining the Troop, the original Scoutmaster resigned when a couple of the adults went ahead and chartered the Crew despite his opposition. Another thing that I am having a big problem with is that some of our older boys, including the SPL (my son) are naturally attracted to "hanging out" with the Venture Crew. The Crew is comprised of four teenaged girls and one occasional part-time older Scout, rather than doing what they are supposed to be doing within the Troop as Scouts. The senior Crew Advisors remain active Troop leaders although their son aged out long ago, and one of our new ASM's also has his 14 year old daughter in the crew. My opinion about this entire arrangement is definitely in the minority. The Scoutmaster, quite unlike me, seems to think that this arrangement somehow benefits our Troop program. It's very much a family-affair. I have tried to push a more aggressive SCOUTING program (overnight hikes? Challenging day hikes?) similar to the Venture Patrol concept, but I sense resistance from most of the key leadership. The final straw is that my younger son (12) was "accidentally" punched in a sensitive area by the older male Scout/crew member that I mentioned earlier, during a recent joint cabin-camping trip (Troop and attached Crew) which I did not attend. I will add that I do not favor having four girls, aged 14-16, in a cabin with twenty boys, aged 12-14 and one surly 16 year old, regardless of how many adults are present. Testosterone was in the air, and my little son was the recipient of the result. The adult leaders that were present did nothing, although he complained to the Crew advisor. In retrospect, I should not have allowed either of my sons to attend this event, but I let them since my older boy is the SPL. I will not repeat this mistake. I feel that Im cornered and outnumbered here. I value and appreciate the commitment of these other adult leaders to the Scouting program, however much I may disagree with their methods, and I value their friendship. I'm on the fence here for a few reasons. I can commit at least six more years to this Troop in any capacity, including Scoutmaster. I am fully trained (SAS/IOLST and Wood Badge); our current Scoutmaster's oldest son turns 18 this year and the man has a life; and altruism aside, the senior Crew Advisors really have no ties to the Troop, other than to recruit for the Crew. However, I am on the verge of resigning as CC, disassociating myself with this Troop, and encouraging my two sons to look elsewhere for a more traditional Scouting program. When I reach that point, I will not take them out of their current Troop if they don't want to leave, barring another assault at which point I will press charges. If you choose to reply to me, please don't recite the virtues of the Venturing Program. If you do, you are entirely missing the point of my post. I do not believe that this particular arrangement is healthy, and I doubt that this Troop will survive if it continues. If I stay on and force my issue, it will get ugly and I might find myself as the only leader left. I have no doubt it will cause hard feelings. Am I missing something here??
×