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Posts posted by jamist649

  1. qwazse: You hit the nail squarely on the head. I often found myself as referee between our extremely outspoken (yet very thin skinned) SM and parents who want to complain but didn't have the fortitude to deal with him. He was genuinely puzzled the other day when I told him I was stepping down. He had/has no idea the flack that I "screen" for him. The parents who want to complain but will blow my phone up while he rests comfortably at home.

  2. Thank you for your replies. It's been a very difficult week, I have almost broke down a couple of time and called the SM to let him know I'm going camping...but I didn't. I HAVE TO break away. To answer a few questions and comments:


    SST3rd: We have NO PLC! That's the problem. We have an SPL, and ASPL, SPLs, and every other position but they do not meet. The PARENTS can't get together on when would be a convenient time for them to meet (most of ours kids are not driving age). Most business is handled inside the meeting. This is something that needs to be worked on.


    Jblake47: I have tried to turn over the work to the boys, but it doesn't get done. We arrive for camps with no food or supplies. Meetings get cancelled, and things fall apart. Again, PARENTAL NON SUPPORT issue. They simply don't care. Much more interested in (fill in the blank)ball and other stuff.


    Torchwood: I agree. We have no committee. We have no parents that will serve on the committee. Plus, the SM has such a uh.."strong" personality that the parents don't really want to get involved. Let me lay out my duties up until just a few days ago: Advancement, finance, food procurement for camp after menus were made, transportation arrangement, ordered and collected for Class B uniforms (Ts and sweats), Tour Permits, Recharter, advertising for upcoming fundraising, securing space for fundraising, printing flyers, ordering awards, mainlining Badgetracker,maintaining the Troop's Facebook page, sending out email and text alerts to parents about upocoming events (multiple times), paying bills, camping (never missed one, until this weekend), taught a few merit badges along the way, and whatever else needs doing. All of this and I work a full-time, 40+ hour per week job with rotating shifts and I pull "on call" often. Yeah, a committee would be nice...and there will be one in place before I return.


    JasonG172: Uh, ok. I respect your opinion that I did the wrong thing by stepping away, but there aint enough organization in the world to fix our "committee". See above: We're frickin pathetic.


    CambridgeSkip/Seattle Pioneer: Agreed, and Thanks.


    My son just got back from camp earlier this evening. First time in 8 years going without me. It was an overall good experience with a few bumps in the road. Pretty much, he thought since Dad wasn't there he could slack off. This information was passed along to me by one of the adults that went. We just finished a serious talk on responsibility.

  3. Several months back, I wrote about my problem of being the "long ranger" in adult leadership in my son's Troop. I signed on as the ONLY ASM (we only have 5 kids at the time) back in 2012. Long story short, we're now MUCH larger (20+ Scouts) with only one (1) additional leader. Over the past few months, we have begged the parents for help with everything from advancement, fundraising, help at camps, and a myriad of other issues. We got plenty of "I'll do all I can to help you, BUT...", but those promises of help either never happened or were severely lacking. I held on for months, literally hating every meeting because of the lack of parental support coupled with the COMPLAINTS from parents for what I consider minor issues (choice of weekends to camp, meeting times, adherence to policy). Well, yesterday I reached my breaking point. I received a text message from a parent (I won't go into details) making an OUTLANDISH DEMAND for her son because he wasn't going to be able to make camp this weekend (after signing up weeks ago) because he "wanted to do something else". I didn't respond to the parent. I called the SM and the other ASM and told them I was done...finished, quitting, out of it, stick a fork in me. I have negotiated this into an at least 2-3 month leave of absence. I did not attend tonight's meeting and I sent the Troops financial records, checkbook, debit card, advancement records, and other business records with my son to hand over to the SM which he did. I feel...conflicted. On one hand I feel as though a weight of 1K pounds has been lifted, on another I am worried for my son who has never gone to the first Scout event without me, on yet another (no I don't have three hands but...) I feel like I've lit a match and set fire to a house that I have helped build only to watch it burn to the ground. Now comes the wait and see mode.

  4. Has it been this long?! Wow...**UPDATE**


    Well, not MUCH has changed but I do have a little bit of good news to report. The Troop, which started in 2012 with 5 boys, is now up to 18. The "new" parents have been a bit more supportive but I still find myself wearing several "hats" as our committee is mostly a committee in name only. One of the new parents just happened to come to us from another local Troop where he wasn't happy with the lack of activity and the (what he felt was) too strict advancement policies. This new parent signed on as our 2nd ASM (I was/am the 1st). He is awesome. Eagle Scout, Woodbadge, etc. He's been great. The downside of this is the SM has seen his arrival as his opportunity to treat the Troop as an afterthought. He (the SM) has joined OTHER community organizations and volunteered for more activities at school which takes him away from the Troop...A LOT. So, we find ourselves running the Troop with 2 leaders (ASMs) and 18 kids. Nonetheless, my son will receive his "Life" badge next month and wants to immediately begin working toward Eagle. Our goal (his, not mine...promise) is to be Eagle by the Summer of 2015...and THEN, Brothers and Sisters, I AM retiring.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions. I LOVE the idea of a "leave of absence". I hadn't thought about that. I genuinely COULD use the time for the new job, home, etc. Our Troop is good-sized for our area (soon to be 13 boys) so to be sure SOMEBODY will step up. If not...well, I don't know. That's what I'm afraid of, my Son is the reason I'm doing this anyway and if the Troop folds I'm going to feel like I destroyed one of his prized possessions, for my own benefit. Darn, this is hard...

  6. I signed on as Cubmaster when my son was a Bear back in 2009. Since then, we grew the Pack to the largest levels it had seen in quite some time, followed by a membership and activity boost in the Troop that he went to (I signed on as the ONLY ASM when he crossed over). It's now 2014, he's a recently promoted "Star" Scout who LOVES the program. I, on the other hand, have had a very tough year. Job loss and change, lost out home and now just getting back into a new one, family trouble, and a myriad of other issues that I finally have overcome and finally getting back on my feet over. During this time, the parents have given me NO slack. The Scoutmaster is more of a big Scout, he's never prepared, he doesn't follow the schedule, and he doesn't hold his own son to our rules. The parents (even while I was in the throws of unemployment and financial and family distress) would throw "ideas" at me but offer NO help on getting them done. Fundraising attempts were flat (due to lack of parental concern, so the Scouts followed suit) but this didn't stop the "ideas" from coming. Example: "Hey Dude, let's go camping three states away and do activity x, y, and z!" Cost: About $2,000..."ideas" on getting it paid for: (Cricket, cricket). Then they had the nerve to COMPLAIN (behind my back of course) that the Troop is flat broke as if it was my problem. When we camp I often find myself ALONE at camp (YP issue, I know) because my "helpers" will get up in the morning, get THIER son off to an activity and LEAVE for the rest of the day (including the Scoutmaster). The quick answer to my problem is to leave and find another unit...I know. BUT, my son enjoys the group that he's with and he wants to get to Eagle. So, I keep putting myself aside to pave a way for him to do that...but I'm exhausted. Parental Meetings have been no success, they simply don't come...or they agree to help and don't. I also play second fiddle to EVERY OTHER YOUTH activity on the planet (Johnny has basketball scrimmage so he can't make your meeting that you've planned hours for and announced months ago). What would you do???

  7. Thank you so much for all of the replies. I do plan on going in and observing for a while, but there are a couple of variables that I left out that may make a difference:


    -The Troop is about 2 years old. Brand new. The primary reason that brought me to this unit was the geographical location. It pulls from an upper-middle class, families-with-children saturated area that had previously gone in all different directions with other area Troops. About 4 years ago the Cubs started a Pack here and it is THRIVING. Lots of family support, strong committee, and very active. I was hoping to "get in on the ground floor" with this Troop, however as it stands now: 6 boys and 2 leaders (including me) bringing me to my next point...


    -The SM asked me to step in as ASM because his ASM (the only one) had stepped down just after summer camp. The Troop (as many in this area do) had gone on a hiatus (not that I agree, they just do) after that and will crank back up within the next few weeks. So, I'll be the ONLY ASM. I don't know if I can sit back and observe for a year or I'll be asked what the heck am I doing there if I'm not going to help.


    -I've done all the training I can thus far. Went to Summer Camp with my son's old Troop since the SM's health didn't permit him to stay in the heat that long withouth the possibility of trouble. So, while there, I took everything I could. SM specific, ItOlS, Saftey afloat, etc. I've preregistered for Woodbadge, but it's several months away.


    Thanks, again for your help. You really have helped answer some of my questions!



  8. Good Afternoon:


    I posted earlier about switching Troops with my son due to inactivity, disorganization, and no program. We have since followed your advice and notified the parents. So far, I have two who said they are definetly going with us and one who is a "maybe". But...given that that is 3 our of the only 5 that are active, I'm thinking my "maybe" will be right along.


    Switching gears, I agreed to be ASM since there is a need and a vacancy and I'm really excited to be back in a leadership role and working directly with the boys. I was CM for 3 years and have that program down-pat. I can run a PACK with my eyes closed...but I am pretty clueless on how to CORRECTLY run a Troop using the Patrol method.


    Can anyone give me a brief run-down of how to adequately run a program like this? I was never a Scout myself and feel like I'm at a disadvantage. Here are a few things I really need insight into if possible:


    -Courts of Honor

    -Board of Review (for each Rank)

    -Scoutmaster Conference

    -Duties of the ASM (me)

    -Timeline each of the above

    -Anything else that I may not know enough about to know that I don't know :-)


    Thank you for your help!



  9. 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...

  10. 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?

  11. It's been a tough year, and we haven't really even started. Not to whine, complain, or anything else..but I'm tired. I had gotten to the point over this past weekend to drop the whole Pack, pull my son out and move to another unit. But then tonight happened.


    I went to an Eagle Scout Court of Honor. My first, my son's first. It was a small ceremony. Maybe 30-40 family members and friends. But it was just what I needed to see. It made me forget about the budget, the calendar, the leaders, the fussy parents, the overwhelming demands of life OUTSIDE of Scouts, and everything else that had been getting me down. I'm glad I went...I'm glad my son went.


    Being Cubmaster has been my best friend and my worst enemy. It has facilitated some of my proudest moments and caused some of the most bitter arguments that I have ever been involved in. My son has been furious at me, a couple of times, for "ignoring" him and putting the needs of the Pack over his need for a Dad who is involved with HIM. I sometimes feel that I will regret stressing so much over the Pack and putting so much responsibility on the Den Leader to help my son along...even though they both say it's ok.


    I guess that God knows when you are at your weakest, because I was there. I feel like now I can move forward with renewed energy and make my third season (and last!) as CM our best.


    I guess what I needed was to step back, observe, and not be (for once) at the podium cracking jokes, worrying about the schedule of events, and trying to make sure I didn't forget anything or one of the boys' names. I sat (out of uniform) near the back with my wife and son (he was IN uniform) and was just another guest. It gave me time, for the first time in a long time, to look at Scouting from the outside in...and it was great. The young man that got his Eagle tonight has a younger brother in MY Pack. I looked at him (the younger boy) and felt a REPONSIBILITY to continue on. To make sure that his parents have the opportunity to be proud of BOTH of their sons..but more importantly...that *I* will be able to stand with my son in a few years and share in this honor with him.


    I guess I typed all of this to say this: If you are a CS leader (and most of us who read this forum are) I want you to know something if you're getting "burned out" like I was: Being a leader sucks sometimes. It sucks right often when you don't have the proper support in place to help. But...it's worth it. You may not see it now, or tomorrow, or the next day. I have had SEVERAL weeks here lately of feeling like quitting. But it gets better. Step back, refocus, and focus on the boys who want to be there those who will not, without your help, have the opportunity to achieve what I saw tonight.


    Thanks for listening and get back to work. The job is huge and even more hugely important.


    Let's go Scouting...

  12. I agree with Scoutfish. I am in that very same situation. EVERY TIME I have tried to delegate, it hasn't gotten done. A couple of months ago, I decided I would delegate ONE SIMPLE event to a couple of parents in the Pack. Event was to begin at 10AM, I start getting calls at 9:30AM the MORNING OF THE EVENT. "Hey, where are we meeting?" "What's going on?" "I haven't heard from (insert name here)!"


    Never again, I'll handle it myself.

  13. It's easy to get into "One Man Show" mode. It's so easy just to say "Heck, with it..I'll do it myself" instead of calling and hearing a dozen sob stories about how they are "so busy" right now and don't think they can handle... I have ran our Pack almost singlehandedly (with my wife's help) for over 2 years now. I have an assistant CM who does help, but he is more of a "Pick this up, move it here, and hold this end.." kind of guy. All Pack planning, finance, recruting, etc is done my ME. My CC is pretty much just a "figure". My DLs do a decent job but they rely (IMHO) TOO MUCH on the PACK to run the program. We often do Pack and Den Meetings on the same day. "Ya'll come an hour early and we'll have a Den meeting..." I've stayed up till 2AM finalizing popcorn orders, worked 12-14 hours and fundraisers, and worked hours in the kitchen with my wife preparing desserts and other special treats for meetings. Not to metion PWD prep, B/G prep, and everything else that comes along. I'll quit now, nobody likes to hear a grown man cry. LOL


    My son is a W-II. Thank goodness. I have selected and began the process of "training" my replacement. He has a HUGE task ahead of him unless he plans on running himself ragged like I have. I love the program, but I'm looking forward to the Troop!

  14. Thanks for your replies. I'm not going to allow myself to be irritated by the misconeptions about my motives. Just as I would never single out a black/white/hispanic child becuase he has "something to offer" I certainly won't do it with this one. I never said I wanted this family to act as an educational tool, I simply wanted ideas as to how to intergrate them into the Pack...and if-at the same time-we learn that there is nothing to fear about dark skinned people who pray 5 times a day on a prayer mat, then so be it. Good Lord, I love this forum, but some of ya'll had rather argue than eat.


    Thank you Scoutfish for paraphrasing what I was truly trying to say. I want to WELCOME him becuase I believe in the proven program of Scouting...nothing more. The fact that I even started this thread should serve as evidence to that. If I didn't care, I would have let him join, allowed his family to attend our pig pickin', hear about Baptisims, and drop. I want this to work...seriously.




  15. I still don't get it. Why not embrace the fact that we have someone in the Pack that may teach us a thing or two that we wouldn't have known before. We also have a boy who is a second generation Mexican immmigrant. He VOLUNTARILY did a presentation on Mexico, Mexican traditions, dance, food, etc...I guess that was "offensive" too. We all came away from his presention with a deeper understanding of Mexican immigrants and maybe we changed a few minds from "shiftless, drunks that take Americans' jobs..." to "Hard working folks looking for a better life...just like our Ancestors were" God forbid...


    Nonetheless, I'm not trying to pick a fight, I just want to open a few eyes and show these folks that they have something to offer instead of something to fear. If that "offends" anyone, I'm sorry.

  16. Oh good grief! "Offensive"? Please. Here's offensive: "I don't want no dang Muslims in our Pack cuz he's liable to blow himself up in his tent while we're camping one night!" TRUE STATEMENT from one of my parents. Thanks goodness, those feelings are in the minority in our group...but it's there.


    THAT'S what I'm dealing with...I'm not going to parade him in front of the group and say "tell us all about your religion" but hopefully the group can realize through casual interaction that all Muslims aren't "bad".


    I agree with Scoutfish, and have seen the same types of opinions down here in the South. What am I supposed to do Shortridge? "Hey, here's little Billy, shhhh don't talk about where he goes to Church!" "That's offensive!" Church is as much a part of life where we live as getting up in the morning and having breakfast. Life revolves around Church for most of the people in our group. Heck, we're CHARTERED by a Church! It's GONNA come up! Trying to dodge the issue isn't going to work and will be more "offensive" than simply asking them about it and having them explain that they have no intention of blowing themselves up at a Pack Meeting (and no, I wouldn't use those words)



  17. Thanks so much for the bountiful replies! I have no experience with this, so it's wonderful to see so many have. This family (I think) are converts from Christianity so they probably know what we're going through. This may help.

  18. Does anyone have any experience with a Scout who is Muslim? I have had an inquiry from a Muslim family and I told them they are welcome...but-privately-I have some questions as to how to handle this.


    Does he promise to do his "duty to God" or can he modify (will he want to) do "duty to Allah"? Are there any special regligious concerns that I should know about? I'm thinking prayers, times, customs, etc. I have no experience with the Muslim faith but I'm kind of excited to welcome this family as it will bring a new facet to our Pack and hopefully do alot to show that not all Muslims are extremists/terorists.


    Anyone have any ideas/resources?

  19. We signed up 7 new Tiger Cubs during our recently held spring roundup. They all came to our Pack Meeting Saturday where I took the first few minutes and let the Dens do Den "Stuff" and I took the newbies in the back and gave them the "welcome, here's what ya need to know..." speech.


    I have not decided on a Den Leader yet, so I told them I would be meeting with them again (probably this coming weekend) as a DEN to let them earn immediate recognition, bobcat, etc.


    My question is this: While I am talking to the parents, getting health forms, answering questions, and trying to acclimate a Den Leader...what can I have the boys doing? I am hoping to have my ACM with me that day and let him take the boys outside and do something but I can't think of anything that would be fun.


    What do you think? I'd love to tie it in with the handbook, as I told them all to bring handbooks with them...but it's been a LOONNGG time since I was a Tiger parent!



  20. "I'd like to see this problem remedied before this Pack is allowed to run another Derby.."


    "ALLOWED"?! Please...


    As a Cubmaster in my 3rd year with my Pack who has volunteered hours upon hours and hundreds of my own dollars to run the program...I KNOW what I'd tell you. BUT, there are ladies present.



  21. "I'd like to see this problem remedied before this Pack is allowed to run another Derby.."


    "ALLOWED"?! Please...


    As a Cubmaster in my 3rd year with my Pack who has volunteered hours upon hours and hundreds of my own dollars to run the program...I KNOW what I'd tell you. BUT, there are ladies present.



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