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rraffalo

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About rraffalo

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  1. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    Thanks qwazse... great words of wisdom right there. I think you are right. To everyone else... thanks for a fun day of kicking all this around. ScoutNut and 5yearscouter ~ I truly do appreciate your candid perspective, even though I bite back some times. No offense meant... Heck, I don't even know y'all so it's definitely not personal. Have a great evening to everyone that has contributed to this thread over the past week or so. Much Appreciated!
  2. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    ScoutNut: You are Nutty... that's for sure. :-)
  3. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    I gave the Crew's Committee Chairman all the details, and printed copies of emails between the CC/ COR and I. I also copied National's Policy, I shared emails from Council with him that approved our DRAFT Tour Plan, and I explained the exact position of the Troop's CC and his COR (for the Troop and Crew). He agreed with me stating that their current ruling would set a dangerous precedent for our summer camp travels, which often includes only one adult in each of three or four vehicles. Another thing is that I have not given this Board privy to the emails that my CC has sent me... very sarcastic and demeaning (stupid is as stupid does, kind of stuff) The Crew's CC agreed with our side of it whole-heartedly and signed the Tour Plan the very next day. Thank you for the compliment about having "big balls" moosetracker, but this isn't life or death or even a career position, so I really don't wish to tolerate being dictated to for no good reason, just because our CC gets a wild hair to make up rules on the fly. There are really no severe consequences here. My son and I will be just fine not going ~ He's a Life Scout and will be 14 in July, we'll have plenty of other trips to go on. And, while it would have been much easier to come to that conclusion a month ago the CC kept jabbing me and taunting me to "live up to my commitment" which would have meant doing what he said to do, just because he said to do it, and shelling out another $600 to fly back to Illinois and join the others. I've been of this mind all along, realizing full well that he could remove me from the trip. In fact, I told him three weeks ago to remove me from the trip and he refused because he thought it would make him look like the bad guy. So, he wanted me to follow his nonsense rules, and shell out $600 additional dollars so that he would not lose face with the others by ejecting me as a leader and potentially having to cancel the trip. Had I known his "higher standard" when I agreed to be a leader of this trip, and had our past travel protocol made me think this might have been a problem, then I would not have signed up. But, I learned of this after other family arrangements had already been solidified. I did ask the CC what he would do if he could not find my replacement and he did not answer that, but he told my former co-leader that he would have a person of her today. So, I must believe he has an outlet somewhere. He moved forward with my dismissal anyway, so the problem is all his now. 5yearscouter: Sorry about the hurt feelings; didn't mean to hit a nerve, but if you are going to quote language from a policy then read and post all of it. Don't just post the portion that serves your side of the argument. That is what my CC has been doing for the past 2-3 weeks. Also, you've dished it out pretty hard yourself and I haven't gotten all weepy over your criticism. If you are going to hang around a Board then you should expect to be challenged from time to time. So, everyone can dispense with all the drama, because this really is not an act of desperation for us. As much as I would like to lead the trip it has been fun watching our CC get all lathered up. The venom and the spit flying in his emails to me have really made him look like a mad man, very dictatorial, and pompous ~ being he knows better than Council and National such that we need a "higher standard" ... as if he knows better than an organization (BSA) that has been around for more than 100 years. If he has had time to sit around and give better thought to all of this than the BSA itself, then he simply does not have enough to do. But no... I haven't jeopardized anything, or squandered anything, or cut off my nose to spite me face. I haven''t gotten the Crew's CC canned, and I don't particularly thing my actions gives me "Big Buckeyes". This is Boy Scouts... this is a Troop . I haven't committed treason or felony, and I'm not going to get Court Marshaled. I've simply fought for my belief in this situation and lost. Life will go on ! He looks completely foolish to anyone in our Troop that I share the details with
  4. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    FScouter: That's a pretty infantile interpretation of the policy. I feel like you are saying, nah-nah, na na na ! You actually sound as irrational as our CC: Are you sure you're not him? 5yearscouter: If I gave you another 5 years would you promise to read the remainder of the Two-Deep leadership policy with respect to Travel and Outings? Specifically the part that says: "you need to have a minimum of one adult in each vehicle..." Gentlemen: READ, BE RATIONAL, and BE REASONABLE in the spirit of service as Beavah has been promoting.
  5. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    5yearscouter: Yes, the COR is the same... qwazse: I haven't squandered anything... The CC has said, "No" to our plans from the beginning and stated his reason as being it was National's policy to have two-deep leadership (from end to end). I asked him to reconsider because that is not National's policy. I asked them to reread the policy and to please reconsider. He continued to refuse to sign the Tour Plan, saying, "it's not my rule, the Troop's rule, or Council's rule ~ it's an National BSA policy. Because of the good advice from this Board I knew he could create a higher standard if he so chose, but many people in our troop believe that a higher standard is unnecessary. But, after showing him it was not BSA's policy; he changed his story stating, "this is our Troop's interpretation of National's policy" So then, I showed him our Troop handbook that states, "we follow a two-deep leadership policy AS REQUIRED BY BSA". Which means, that having two-deep leadership from end to end is not our Troop's interpretation of National's policy, rather it is his interpretation of National's policy after being shown that his prior reasons for saying, "No" could not be substantiated. So, then he started giving me deadlines to tell them whether or not I could do it the way he was demanding and I continued to ask him to explore alternatives with me. After a couple of demeaning emails about me being irresponsible for not knowing the National BSA policy prior to signing up for the trip I decided (based on advice from this Board) to call Council and see if they would review a DRAFT of our Tour Plan and get their input. To my surprise they said, "We are fine with this". Now, from Beavah and others I knew he and the COR could really do what they wanted, but WHY create the higher standard out of the blue? To that they said, "this is our travel policy plain and simple". So, I shared examples where we have had many instances with one leader in each vehicle on many ground transportation trips that I and my co-leader have personally lead. Now, they are saying, "we have a two-deep leadership policy END to END for all High Adventure trips. So, then I gave them an example of where that was not the case on a Northern Tier trip last year!!! And, they said, "That's our Policy" Really it's his policy for this trip, with no documentation, by laws, handbook language or BSA policy language to support that we cannot do this. Bottom line: It's a power trip. And, with the demanding deadlines he was setting the only thing I could have done differently was two weeks ago for me to say, "OK sir, I will not go because you said so" As the CC he should have called a Committee Meeting, or he should have checked with Council and he should have been working with me to find solutions, rather than to impose a "higher standard" on his own for no good reason. Do you know what his good reason is? He says, "It's for the safety of the boys" Well, my son is one of the boys and guess what? He said, "You need to be back in Illinois to fly with the other leader and five scouts, PERIOD! Your son can fly alone from CT to FL and that is fine with me..." REALLY???? Well, there went his argument for wanting safety for the boys. It is certainly less safe for my son to fly alone, than for 5 scouts to fly with one leader. At this point, his common sense should have kicked in... Hey, if I'm ok with rraffalo's son flying alone, then why don't we just let everyone fly as individuals, not considering the flight legs to and from Florida as not part of the trip, and build the tour plan that way?? Hmmm, let me work with rraffalo on that. Nope. Not an ounce of such creativity. Actually, it did not even require creativity. I put that suggestion out there two months ago, and Richard B validated my thinking on that subject. Now, before those of you that haven't been following along, jump on me and tell me I'm circumventing the rules please go back to Richard B's first post, and I'll rest my case there. Go ahead, run along now..... go read it before you jump on me for trying to cut corners. Bottom line: Our CC wants me to do it his way, because he said so. Period! So, qwazse ~ I may have lost a long, futile argument, but I haven't squandered anything. This was dead a couple of weeks ago. I simply thought that continuing to ask him to work with me would get him to come up with an alternative. I will not rehash them all here, just re-read this thread if you dare, because there have been many good ideas thrown out here and I've basically used them all to no avail. So qwazse, I could have rolled over and have allowed myself to have been dictated to a couple of weeks back, and I would have been exactly where I am today. Then, my co-leader thought of the approach with the Crew. The tour plan says you need EITHER the CC or COR's signature. Since Council and National do not like to over-rule a Troop I did not think the COR would over-rule his other CC (of the crew), because I thought he too (the COR) was really looking for an "OUT" I figured the COR knew that the Troop's CC stepped in dog crap with all his mis-statements about whose policy this was... (first National's, then the Troop's interpretation of National's policy, etc., etc.), but was just supporting him on this because he felt he needed to in order to show he was backing his CC (like the way good college buddies back each other up). qwazse, I do think you are correct, however, that the boys have learned nothing from this, because they haven't been involved. I'm not sure about your Troop, but trips like this cannot be turned over to the boys. Honestly, they are not mature enough to think through all the details, and with this kind of money on the line the guidance of adults is essential. Beavah, I'm aware that Richard B probably does not want to step in and referee a squabble, but he did offer in his first post to speak with the Council Director if that Director did not get anywhere with our Troop's COR. I don't know if their discussion would change the outcome in this case, but I kind of got the sense that Richard might have some experiences and words of wisdom that would help a CC and COR come to their senses (perhaps about the notion of just letting everyone travel as individuals to Fort Lauderdale). The CC has told me that if my son doesn't go on the trip he is going to keep our money for his trip fees, but the only way my son can go on the trip is to fly alone. Isn't that less safe than the other 5 flying with one leader? Well, it's that lack of common sense and circular reasoning that has truly been unbearable over the last week or so. ALL suggestions and alternatives have fallen upon deaf ears, and quickly dismissed. Every time someone suggests a reasonable solution he just says, "no", which means he is desperately defending his original position. And so, because he has the power he wins, and if I have to live with that then that is what I'll do. I placed two phone calls to our Program Director at Council today and left voice mail messages, but did not connect with him. I know it is busy summer camp season... In any event I just want to get his perspective on all of this. I wonder how many times they approve a tour plan and then are asked to revoke it. Now, now, let's forget about the Crew Tour Plan for a minute ~ different questions. How many times is a Tour Plan rejected by a Troop that both Council and National would have approved? How frequently does a Troop set a higher standard than the BSA? Now if you say that happens frequently then I have another question, but I've been with three different Councils in scouting (in FL, TX and now IL) and I've never seen anything like this. If you have please share the situation with this Board and then tell all of us what good it did for anyone... If you are able to give such an example, then... Was the higher standard fabricated on the fly, and were the rules being made up as the situation was unfolding, just to support a stubborn argument? Or was it written down and well communicated? If our CC does not authorize that my son's money be returned as well as mine, then I will take it up in a Committee Meeting in September and I believe I will get the Committee to vote to refund my son's money. If anyone has anything helpful to add, then I would appreciate hearing it. Thanks everyone! (yes, even you qwazse :-)
  6. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    I choose to look at it more like when brother says, "no" ask Dad. BUT, the latest is our CC and COR went to Council today, threw a fit and Council revoked our Tour Plan with the Crew. Subsequently, I've been removed as the co-leader of the trip effective immediately and "Game Over". They are now searching for another leader, which I believe they must already have a commitment from someone. Here's the kicker... they will give me my money back because they are kicking me out, but they told me if they cannot find another Scout to replace my son they will not return his trip fee. That's really twisted, because I've told my CC from the beginning that I could not accept that he wanted me to fly back to Illinois to be with the other leader and 5 boys, but he was indifferent as to whether or not my son returned to Illinois also. He said, "he can fly alone to Fort Lauderdale for all I care". Well, if he can fly alone then why can't they just eliminate the first leg of the trip as Richard B suggested could be done, so that we could all fly alone (not as part of an official trip), and begin our trip in Fort Lauderdale? That's when I began asking him to reconsider his position. If his position is going to be that I must be on the plane for the safety of the scouts, then he cannot then argue that my son is free to fly alone. Doing that means his motive is not really the safety of all the scouts, because it's pretty clear my son is one of the scout. Now, with me done as leader of the trip there is no way to send him without him flying alone. He'll either have to fly to Illinois alone to fly with the others (which would be ridiculous), or he will need to fly from CT to Florida to meet the others in Fort Lauderdale. My son has known for a couple weeks now that we were not going to Sea Base, because we came up against a two-deep leadership issue we could not resolve, but he does not know that I've continued to try and work things out so that we could go. I asked him back when I knew this was going to be an uphill battle whether or not he wanted to go on the trip if I couldn't go. He'll be 14 in early July, and he said "No". Because he is on the younger side, with a couple of the others already 16, and one scout actually turning 18 in December (SHOOT, if he were only 5 months older we would not be in this position because he would be considered an adult at that point), I think he may feel a little intimidated to go without me. Richard B... would you still like me to have my Council Program Director contact you? Very interesting how Council's don't like to get involved and over-rule a troop, but then they'll take a phone call and revoke a Tour Plan they just approved 24 hour prior without getting either of the trips co-leaders on the phone to have an open discussion among all parties. Granted, they should not have to be involved, but before making a complete 180 degree turn there should have been some vetting of the issue. I have not spoken to my Program Director at Council because the women who handles the Tour Plans in the front office has been very competent, and she has asked our Program Director several questions regarding our plans to keep him in the loop and to ensure everyone was clear on what we were doing and what we were seeking. So, I will be calling our Program Director tomorrow to see where he was confused, such that he changed his mind. Was he under too much pressure from the phone call, were we not clear the day before? I need to get some closer from him on that... But Richard, if your offer is still open to have him call you I will ask him to do that once I've had a chance to understand his change of heart. Oh well ! Easy come easy go I guess ~ Thanks again everyone for your thoughtful comments. Your wisdom, and the value it has provided, has been very helpful. Much Appreciated!
  7. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    FScouter: "Skirt the Intent of rules and policies" Remember FScouter: We are in line with the rules and policies. In fact, we meet the rules and policies or we would not have the support of Council. If I felt we were "cutting corners" or trying to take an angle that is in the "gray area" I would not have pursued this. It is better to teach boys not to allow themselves to be oppressed by a person or agency that is mis-using its power, than to teach them to wander along aimlessly as their leaders dictate, particularly without reasons that make sense to them. I'm teaching my youth to be individual thinkers (leaders that can reason for themselves), and that there are alternatives that can be worked through with most problems if you are willing to work at it. I've invited our CC to work with me many times, and in his eyes it was his way or the highway. So, we took the highway ~ BTW, the boys have not been privy to any of the communication among us leaders, and I have not yet told my son that we have been able to work out this issue. So, he is still not aware that we are going on this trip.
  8. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    Well... my co-leader actually thought of the idea, and it sounded worth pursuing to me. As I said, the Crew's Committee Chairperson saw the issue clearly and signed the Tour Plan. My son and my co-leaders two sons are signed up as Venturers, but not all going on the trip have to be. So, we figured to keep it simple we would not require the others to join the Crew, including the CC's son. We have no desire to give them more paperwork to do, and so we are perfectly fine with them attending as Scouts. If they enjoy the trip perhaps they'll wish to join the Venture Crew on their own. Richard, I was about to ask our Program Director at Council to contact you if he was unable to make any headway speaking with our COR, but then my co-leader thought of this approach. We called Sea Base in advance and they said, that it does not matter how the trip was initially booked. All they care to see upon arrival is an Approved Tour Plan. My co-leader is a Committee Member with our Troop and she is the one that found the trip, investigated the details and booked the trip. She is also our Troop's Treasurer. Highly doubtful they are going to mess with her by canceling the trip altogether, being that she has two sons that are expecting to be going on this trip. Obviously, Council sees no problem either, or they would not have approved our plan. It is clear that the Troop's CC is not happy, but it has not fractured the Troop. Our Troop has 70 Scouts in it, and there is not a great divide among the Troop. The Troop families largely agree with our position on this matter and the CC is really on an island by himself, with the exception of support from the COR who feels obligated to support him. But, truly this is a WIN/ WIN, and we should all go on our merry way from here. Nothing more need to be said or done with this from my perspective. Before you know it, summer will be over, and we'll all be back to our Monday evening meetings in September. Lets just let it be water under the bridge... BUT, as some of you have eluded, there may be more to come. I'll keep the Board updated as I learn more.
  9. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    Here's the updated status: The CC and COR were too committed to their original decision to reconsider. So, my co-leader and I changed the Tour Plan to be a Crew instead of a Troop, and sent it to the Committee Chairman for the Venture Crew, which is closely affiliated with our Troop. After explaining all the details to him and providing him with a detailed travel itinerary he signed it, no problem! We scanned it and emailed it to Council; they stamped and approved it in less than 24 hours. So, now we have a green light to proceed and everyone WINS. Our Troop's Committee Chairman wins because he did not sign a Tour Plan he was not happy with, and I win because I still get to co-lead this outing. Most importantly, ALL the boys win! I broke the Good News to our Troop's Committee Chairman last night and he is more upset than a grasshopper in a snow storm, and now he is deciding whether or not he wants to allow his 16 year old son to go on the trip. He told me I have extended myself beyond every boundary and that I was unbelievable having the audacity to change the whole program just to accommodate my personal travel schedule. He wanted to know if he could get his money back if he decided not to send his son as a Venturer. I told him that I would let my co-leader (the main leader of the trip) make that decision, but also told him that because Scouts can attend Venture Crew outings that we were not going to require his son to become a Venturer. I told him he could just continue as planned and, although the we have changed the organization with which we will be traveling to Sea Base, the Sea Base Program is the same. I encouraged him to allow his son to participate, and I hope he will. Is this the end of the thread? Time will tell... Something tells me there may be more to come ~ :-)
  10. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    KC9DDI: Thanks for the practice... I'll use the insights, for sure. Look back at the post, I've never taken a position of legal mumbo jumbo. I've never spoken of suing or courts or anything, although I do know some of the others on the Board explored that avenue. I'm not a litigious person. Since I know this Board cannot help me. None of you have the authority to fix this I have no reason to spend all this time posting if I'm going to slant the truth. It's best for me to give you all the specifics, so that you can give me good advice, which I have received tons of. Posting false accusations may get some to agree with me, but would have done me no good. Therefore, I have not mislead you in any way. In fact, I have clipped and pasted a couple of the emails I've sent to the CC and COR into this thread so that you could get a sense for how perplexed I am, particularly that the CC's own son is going on this trip. The only conclusion I can come to, which I have eluded to several times, is that we have and ego issue here, a very proud man. I explained that he lambasted me in an email, telling me how we could not change BSA's rules, and that I was irresponsible for not have planned accordingly. He copied the COR and several another 20yr Committee Member who is his buddy. They all jumped on his band wagon. Then I replied to his email privately and politely asked him to call me, not replying ALL - just replying to him. He sent another email copying everyone telling me there was nothing else to talk about and that is why he did not call me. So, I sent an email copying everyone, letting him know that his position was, in fact, not BSA policy but it was a higher standard. I acknowledged his right to do that and told him (and everyone) that I believed there was still room to work this out if he would speak with me and we were to work together. He looked like an idiot because he was wrong about it being a BSA policy. Our Troop handbook even says: "We utilize a two-deep leadership policy, as per BSA" ~ Not above and beyond BSA. So, then it was no longer a BSA policy, rather he went on to say that his decision was based on our Troop's interpretation of BSA's policy... So now, he is simply too proud to "change the call" ~ You know, good referees that blow a call should quickly change the call when possible before too much passes. The more time that passes the more awkward changing the call becomes. So much time has passed now, and I have asked him to reconsider several times that I believe he is ticked off and feels a changed call now would mean he lost. I believe that is the bottom line... As far as something not smelling right? I do get a little gassy from time to time, but I did not think computer technology was quite that advanced yet :-)
  11. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    Thank you 5yearscouter: No, my co-leader is fine with all this, and the parents of the other two scouts are fine with this. Interestingly, the CC's son is on this trip with us, and the CC has not stated he is uncomfortable with it. In fact, I know he trusts my co-leader. He simply does not want to sign the Tour Plan. Here is the contingencies we've laid out thus far, and you've given me some additional ideas that I'm going to add to our Preparedness and our Planning. In fact, I will offer the COR that I will conduct a sit down meeting to review all that and I will equip each of us on the trip with a pocket card (that I will create) that will have all the contingencies complete with phone numbers, etc. Read this excerpt from an email to our COR: "I based my decision to sign Nicholas and I up for this trip based on the National rules I've read, and my personal experience with the Troop on outings my son has attended, and I have assisted with. Never did I think this would be an issue. When I learned it might be an issue my co-leader and I discussed some ideas that would reinforce our tour plan and mitigate as many risks as possible: a. A second leader in Illinois assisting my co-leader and the other 5 to the gate at O'Hare b. My flight landing prior to my co-leaders's in Fort Lauderdale so that I could be there upon their arrival c. Taking early flights to reduce the risk of long delays d. Booking non-stop flights to eliminate the potential for missing connections e. I contacted Mr. X, Mr. Y, and my co-leader and asked if they were fine with not flying as a scouting organization, and actually beginning our official scout trip in Florida, which is fine by National. We all know that we would not be traveling as a boy scout troop in that situation, but everyone who is going is ok with that, except for CC. CC has not stated he has a safety issue with that specific situation for his son, but I'm inferring it because he refuses to sign the Tour Plan. I called CC last Friday evening to run that thought passed him and to get his opinion. Instead of calling me back as I requested, he spoke with my co-leader and then sent me an email that certainly read as if he were slinging mud at me. Now, I know CC better than that, so I politely requested in a reply email that he please call me. He did not; he still has not. And, while it is fine for him to not want his son to fly with only one adult leader, it still stands as an example of how I was trying to find a workable solution. I don't know that I've completely come up with the right answer at this point, but I need his support to figure it out. Instead, he refuses to speak with me, commenting that there simply is nothing else to talk about" So, there you have it... I'm going to go make my laminated pocket cards now! Thanks for that idea 5yearscouter ~
  12. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    Ok 5 yearscouter: the first half of your post is moot, because we have plans to get the scouts to the gate with two deep leadership, through security and all. If something happens to the leader on the plan. The scouts go with that leader wherever they go with whatever medical service is treating the leader. Just as in a car with one leader. If something happens to the leader they remain with the leader (and any official aiding the leader in his/ her state of incapacity) until the other leaders arrive... just as in the car situation you pointed out. Except on the plane the scouts would have the comfort of the airline crew. Really?, you would want a contingency plan for my return from CT to Illinois? I would not do well with you either. Maybe everyone should just stay put in their homes 48 hours before the trip to ensure no one breaks a finger nail prior to the big meeting at the departure sight. Your insurance reason is bogus. Do you want everyone to travel in uniform too, because you are afraid the insurance won't cover? We travel in uniform, ok? But, we don't tell the scouts that the insurance won't cover if we don't. You sound like THAT guy. National claims that excluding that first leg due to no NEED to travel together is legit. So, apparently you find their minimum guideline ridiculous. Fine. You can do that Mr. COR, but it's a power trip... admit it! What if last week I relocated my family to Orlando, FL for a job that I was offered a month prior, and what if no other leaders were available to take my position? Would you make me fly from Orlando to Illinois, just to return with the group to Fort Lauderdale. If so, you would find yourself canceling the trip. Rather pompous of you, Eh? ...thinking that you need to one-up National, because you have obviously thought all of this through much better than they, right? You are beyond a micro manager my friend and I'll leave it at that. It is leadership like that, which has scouting numbers on the down-slide. To be fair to you, however, I believe you would have had all of this spelled out far in advance and you would have made sure it was well communicated. I believe you would even have a standard training program for all new scouts and parents entering the Troop each year and this would be a main topic of discussion and training. I also believe that if you failed to do that you might be fair and relax your personal, non-documented, uncommunicated, high standard and defer to the National policy just this one time. Then, I would expect you would sit down, write a clear policy, get the Committee to vote on it, and enter it into your new scout communication package and training program. I would also expect you to frown upon a High Adventure Tour Plan that has the two leaders departing from Northern Tier in different directions; one going to a Wisconsin summer camp with her son and the other driving the rest of the High Adventure crew 10 hours back to Illinois. Doing anything else makes you a leader that shoots from the hip and then is unable to rationalize the right thing to do. Anyway, I have all the good advice I need from the Board at this juncture. I appreciate everyone's help ~ This has been very beneficial (not to mention therapeutic). No offense taken from those that have shared the "sometimes" harsh reality of their opinion, and I hope those I've been harsh on at at times will forgive me as well. It is not personal, and perhaps we'll end up agreeing to disagree. That's ok with me. I'm resigned to the fact that I will be removed from this trip, and my son will not attend either (because he does not want to go without me). I have asked for a face-to-face with the COR so that I can share latest Tour Plan, the packet of emails I've copied, along with the short note that has been suggested and the leadership issue will clearly be in his hands. I will get back to this Board with the final conclusion when all is said and done. Thanks again everyone... Peace Out !
  13. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    KC9DDI: Delayed flights, diverted flights - I've already addressed our mitigation plans. While I cannot make a guarantee, no one can. What if I get delayed or my flight gets canceled, returning to Illinois to get on the plane with the others? If I don't make it there are they going to not get on the plane and fly to Florida without me, expecting that I will meet up with them as soon as I can redirect and get with them? In that case I would think they would just wait for me in the Florida airport. Would you expect them to STOP, miss their flight, and wait for me, so that we can all find a later flight to get on together? I fly a lot and I think they would find it hard to justify to the airline why they did not get on that flight, and as a result, the airline would make them pay more because they waited for me to take the later flight. If we follow your logic of ALL the legitimate things that could happen we would be paralyzed and never go anywhere. Maybe what we really need is three or four-deep leadership, Eh? Beavah: I love those, Ehs! They really add a nice touch when accentuating a point! And, I mean that sincerely by the way :-) KC9DDI: Also, I know you are far removed from this (even though you sound like you may actually be our CC ~ where are you from anyway :-), so I'll just tell you that the CC is not enforcing the CO's policy. It sounds real good. You sound very convincing saying that, but they do not have a policy. They are certainly using their RIGHT to do what they are doing (feel that POWER, baby!), but in fact they are winging it! I would still question this if I were employed or not, the fact that I'm not is truly not relevant to this situation and you are correct about that one. But, the fact that I am not makes me concerned about the economics they are pushing me to. I feel bad that I cannot financially do this, because I know my son really wants to go on this trip. Subsequently, I feel incompetent in my ability to provide for him in this situation. Because there is no policy there was no communication of such requirements until we planned the trip. Now, this requirement has come out of the blue. I know it's their RIGHT, no argument. But, they can as easily sign off on the plan. It is as tight as a plan gets, without offering 100% guarantees. No plan has 100% guarantees. I have taken an HONEST look at this and much of what you claim is not relevant, surely is. I think if the CC and COR look at this honestly, they would realize their position is overkill (but in their rights to take on as a position). The only way some of the things that you shunned in your post as irrelevant are not relevant is in a dictatorship. Again, I know it's their right to dictate, so I will end up living with their decision. I have told them what I can do and I have encouraged them to replace me if they cannot find a way to approve our plan. They don't want to replace me, really. They want me to live up to the commitment I made to the Troop five months ago. Given the information they provided at that time, the precedent created by other trips I have personally volunteered for, and the BSA policy I am living up to the commitment I made. If they want extra money spent to keep me on the trip, they'll have to front the funds. Like a church is the people gathering to worship, and not the building they gather in; the Troop is the people, not the trailer, the gear, or the meeting place. In this case doing what is right for the Troop is the same as doing what is right for this crew. The 8 people on this crew are what matter right now, not the other people in the troop. Being that none of the CO decisions of the past or the future are relevant in this case, according to KC9DDI and perhaps some others on the Board here, it is solely this situation that matters with respect to doing what is right for the Troop. Clearly, the CO's decision is not going to be the right thing for 2 of the 8 people (25% of the crew) on this trip. I'm not saying he cannot decide how he has I'm just saying it will not be the right thing for the Troop in the context of this trip. I will once again recommend that he remove me from the trip and give him the opportunity to find another leader.
  14. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    Thank you KC9DDI... good stuff! I am being honest when I believe the air travel is safer than car travel, particularly because we will have two deep leadership at the gates on each end of the flight. I'm a Committee Member... we do not have higher standards. This is a one off, shoot from the hip mistake that he made. He went off in an email telling me how irresponsible I was for not knowing National's policy. He said, "It's not my policy, it's not the Troop's policy, it's not the Council's policy, it's the BSA National policy and we cannot change that!!!!!" Yes, with all the emotion and all the venom spewing from the email. So, I politely sent him a return email asking him to call me so that we can discuss some potential options. He emailed me back, refusing to call me, saying there was nothing else to talk about because I was ignoring him. All I wanted to do was point out that I had read National's policy prior to planning to be a leader on the trip and it did not seem that there would be an issue according to the policy. So, I got some advice from this Board, particularly Beavah, Moose Tracker and Richard B (Richard Bourlon who is an executive with National). I then called Council, spelled out the details to them and they emailed me back saying that they have reviewed our one leadership situation on the plane ride and they were fine with that. So, I emailed our CC who was still, at that point, refusing to talk to me on the phone or meet me for coffee, and I told him what I discovered with Council. He then came back and said, "It's not National's policy, rather it is his and the Troop's interpretation of the National Policy" I know you are not hearing both sides and I consider that with each post I read. I am, however, spelling out exactly to this Board what I can support with emails back and forth to him and our COR. I want you all to know that I do appreciate all of your input very much, and even though I have vented a fair amount in this thread (ok, maybe even a bit much!) I can assure you that cooler heads will prevail. I just emailed our COR to see if he will meet me for coffee. Wish me luck!
  15. rraffalo

    Tour Permits

    Well... I just printed all the emails that 5yearscouter suggested in a few posts back and they are all as sweet as the one I embedded in my last post. So, you can keep the Baloney on that. Also, we have not yet purchased our airline tickets... the additional money I have been speaking of is the difference between in air fare between flying directly to FL and having to plan a multi-city trip through Chicago. My son is the one that prefers to have me on the trip, being that he is just turning 14; two other scouts are 15, and 3 are 16. Doesn't seem like a big age difference to you and I, but at that age it's big with both emotional as well as physical maturity. My wife also feels more comfortable if I were there. Yes, the CC is fine with my son joining the trip and flying ALONE. Doesn't that defy logic? He's not good with one leader flying with 5 scouts, but he if fine with 1 scout flying alone. If I were employed and had the financial ability none of this would be an issue. I agree a plane is much different that a car, and it is very well documented that air travel is safer than traveling by car. Remember, we are willing to provide another adult leader right up to the gate upon departure in Illinois and I would be arriving from CT prior to the Illinois team such that I would meet them at their gate in Florida. Besides, that the one leader on the flight from Illinois would have a well trained pilot and airline crew assisting her with the safety of our 5 scouts while in flight. Don't forget my son and I would be in flight from CT at nearly the same time, so we too would be assisted by our pilot and crew in arriving to Florida safely. Overall, that is much safer than one over weight, middle aged, dude driving our kids 6 hours from summer camp back to our home base. I'm just sayin'... So ScoutNut, I'm glad you see the difference between the two. Also, revisiting Richard Bourlon's post from June 6th says this... "Initial thoughts (sorry I lost the will to continue reading after the first page) is that the two separate starting points is not the issue, the relationship / ratio of leader to youth and sex of youth / adults is more than likely the issue that will create concern. That and the assumption that the unit can at will chose not to have part of a trip as a scouting activity when there appears to be no other reason to travel as a group." The unit/ CC/ COR can choose to NOT have the leg of the trip where we are all traveling to Florida as part of the scouting activity, when there appears to be no other reason to travel as a group. Clearly there is no other reason for us to travel as a group if the CC is fine with my son traveling to the FL airport separately from the rest. ScoutNut: read my last post and see the nice email that I sent to the CC. I've printed 6 other emails just like it suggesting that we meet for coffee, and that I want him on board with us. "It is important for the Crew and I to have his blessing on this trip, etc. " Remember, the CC's job is to assist and serve the process. Instead of helping us to find ways to make this work he fighting against us. It's not like I'm asking him to help us fix a bad plan so that it will pass Council's approval process. Our plan has already gotten verbal approval from Council by reviewing our Itinerary. He just needs to say, "ok, go!" and we're done! But, for some reason he is expecting something he has not demonstrated requiring in the past, and his new, higher standard does not work for me being unemployed. SN: Do you always do what higher leaders of yours tell you, even when they are requiring you to do something that is unnecessary and beyond the requirements of the governing body or policy? If so, we are simply cut from a different mold, that's all.
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