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About Sharpy

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  1. The VFW Meeting later this evening, update on that soon..however I received the roster in the mail today from the district. It shows the pastor at our CO as "Chartered Organization Rep" and "Committee Chairman" The other 2 committee members are: 1. a parent of a 3rd grader who was to be den leader for a Bear/Wolf den. He never responded to my calls to get it off the ground. Never did anything, not involved at this time in any way. 2. a parent of a Tiger Cub in our den, I have know her near all my life an am confident she has no idea she has been listed in this role. I am shown as Cubmaster and my wife as den Leader. The list of boys shown as Tiger Cubs, are the boys who initially signed up in December at the school intro meeting. A third of these have not participated and their parents have indicated to me that they lost interest before the first meeting. It shows two youth members of a Wolf den that does not exist... Most disturbing to me personally, is it shows the begin date for Boys Life to be 05/01/2009...I have been questioned by several parents about this subscription that was paid last December and repeatedly asked the DE about it and the DE has always given me the same answer...that we should have the first issue "this month"...now I find the truth is far from that. Is it suppose to take 6 months to get this subscription started? This is very unsettling, all this fraud and dishonesty is not what I expected...
  2. Thank you all for taking the time to help me...your advice and wisdom is priceless, I feel so much better about this situation than I did just a few days ago. I guess I never really looked in the Scout hierarchy to see the DE's true roll, I took him to be in charge of our pack and kinda "the boss" of things...I see that's not quite true although I am far from really understanding it all. Digging into our charter at this point just sound like I am opening another can of worms...for now I think I am gonna have to put that on the back burner, but I very much appreciate the input and information. As for the situation with the scout cabin, it is a property was donated and deeded over to the city 40 years ago with a deed restriction stating it was specifically scout use. The city pays the utilities and insurance, we have a 10 year lease at -0- cost. The building in in good condition overall and great to have. I see the point a couple of you made about changing the CO to the VFW and it makes ALOT of sense to me. They HAVE been the backbone for the support of the scouts in the past here and the church has not really showed much interest in helping us. I don't think it's intentional, I just think they know even less than I do about how the scouts work. I think the VFW's past experience and advice could be very useful for me. Who gets to decide who the CO is, is it something that can be changed easily? I will follow the advice of attending the round tables and looking for a "grey haired" mentor, it would be GREAT to have someone like that to help me and I will work to get a committee together of some sort. Stay tuned, I will let you know how things shake out....the VFW meeting is Thursday. Once again, thank you all for your support, advice and openness.
  3. Thanks for the reply...here are a few more details Q: "who is your Charter Organization?" A: A local church, the pastor seems to be genuinely interested in helping although there has been no real involvement, the DE took us to meet him, I have kept him informed of the AA issues...I think he just has plenty of things already on his plate. I don't think they have been involved with the scouts in the past. The prior CO was the VFW, but the DE felt it was not a good environment for the kids, and I have to agree...a bar is not a place for kids, and in this small town that is the primary role of the VFW. Q: "I hope you don't need to go this thing alone. Who is your Committee Chair? Do you have a Pack Committee?" A: I am afraid I am alone (except for my wife), we just started dong this in March...we have no committees...we have little help, we plan each meeting but have been able to get a few parents to provide snacks, but that's about it.... Q: "Your DE sounds like a real gogetter. He helped you found the Pack, yes?" A: Yes, he held the initial meeting at the school and has helped us to get some training materials, I think he has plenty on his plate too. He came to our first meeting and provided us with a flag...but the AA and city issues he has not chosen to get involved with. Q: "You do need to find a few more allies, in the city council, the VFW and in the community at large. Volunteer Fire Dept.? Lions Club? Local church?" A: I agree and have tried to spread the word, in just a few months we have done the scouting for food & pinewood derby, getting great press coverage in our local paper for both. However no one has offered to help with anything and the paper would not have mentioned the incident with AA if I wouldn't have addressed council, as our paper is owned by our mayor, who just wants this to all go away. Most of the clubs in the area have closed American Legion - Gone, Knight of Columbus - Gone, No Lions club...we have the VFW and a Eagles, that's about it.... Q: "Front page coverage? you got media connections? Use them" A: No, no "connections", but I am involved with the paper from time to time to run advertising for my real job. If I email them a photos of the boys and some info they always find a place for it in the paper. Q: "Any chance of forming a BSTroop? Is there one already "around"?" A: No BS troop in town for many years, no way I can take on that as well...I had hoped to be able to have a bear/wolf den but the guy who was gonna be den leader never had the time to actually do it. Q: "I hope and pray you can make the most of this most excellent opening you have been given." A: I am giving it my best...thanks for the kind words.
  4. Hello, I am new to being a scout leader...but trying to learn. I have completed the online courses, read the entire leader handbook and attend a University of Scouting. However, I am finding this job much more challenging than I ever expected. My problem is gonna take a bit of explaining. I live in a small town with a population 5,000. The scouts have not had a troop or pack in our town for the past couple years. I attended a meeting at the local school held by the district executive when my first grader brought home a flyer about scouting and was excited to be a scout. When it came time for people to volunteer to be scout leaders no one volunteered. After another meeting with no volunteers I decided that I really had no good excuse not to try and step up to the task of being a scout leader to benefit the boys of the city who had expressed interest. So I became a Cubmaster and my wife a den leader for a single den of 7 tiger cubs. We are fortunate enough to have a building in our town that was deeded to the city decades ago specifically for the use of the scouts (The Scout Cabin). On the first visit to the Scout Cabin my wife and I ran into a man who had come to setup for a local AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting. The AA had been granted use of the Scout Cabin one night each week for a meeting. This AA representative was immediately offended to find that the Scout were to be using the cabin again. As he explained it, the past Scout had caused them problems by damaging their tables and chairs and took poor care of the cabin. He indicated that he and AA had been maintaining the cabin, owned everything in it (specifically about 12 eight foot tables and folding chairs). He suggested we have our meeting in the basement...I explained that we had no intention of that and this just made the guy madder. Over the next few weeks as we had our meetings on the day after the AA meeting we started to notice the overwhelming odor of smoke and ashtrays. When I spoke to the AA representative he indicated that they smoked in the building during their meeting and had no intention of stopping, even though there is a state law banning smoking in public places. We spoke to the city manager and he instructed us to put up the state no smoking signs in the building, so we did. Now, AA was really pissed! They complained to the city and told them they were gonna go elsewhere if this is how they were going to be treated, after all they had done to keep up and improve the cabin...Then one night after their meeting, they did just that, taking every table and chair, the PA system, the toilet paper and paper towels, the light bulbs and the central air conditioning unit. Since the city and the previous pack failed to keep any records, no one could stop them and the city decided that it was not a fight they wanted to be involved in so refused to press charges. So now I have a nice large scout cabin without any tables or chairs...here is where it gets even more complicated...I attended a city council meeting and expressed my disappointment in the city's lack of support for the scouts. The city said thanks for your opinion..."next matter". After the meeting one of the councilman approached me and identified himself as a member of the local VFW(who had been the sponsor for the previous pack). He explained that the VFW wanted to help the scout as they had in the past. However, since we are at the very edge of the district boundary and in an entirely different county, the VFW wanted to make sure things were done differently than as had been done in the past. He explained, the VFW wanted the support they give to be used for the local scout pack, not the district who was far away and had taken money from them in the past that they felt was not used to benefit the local scouts. His message was clear, if the VFW was to help the scouts it would only do so if the money was used for the local scouts and not for the district. I explained this conversation to the DE(?), he was kinda offended and said that that was not the way things were done, he explained the district need this type of support to pay for district expenses like his salary, sending scouts to camp and such. He stated that our popcorn sales should be enough to fund our pack and we should not need anything more (remember I have 7 tiger cubs in a town of 5000, how much popcorn do you think we can sell?) He urged me to address the VFW and express to them that in my opinion the money should be given to the district, and then they may used a portion of it to help us buy a few tables and chairs. He said he would setup a meeting for him and I to address the VFW and get back with me. Tonight, I get a call from the councilman/VFW member...he says that he has spoken with the VFW Quartermaster and they want to help us, he asked that I come their next meeting and explain what we need and what the expected cost would be. The amount he says that they can provide is VERY generous...it would easily replace all the tables and chairs we have lost. I explained to him the conversation I had with the DE, now he gets a bit upset, again explaining that this is NOT something they mean to give the district, only the local scouts. In essence saying that if we would get nothing if it had to go to the district. We desperately need this help!, not a single entity in this town has offered any help to restore the cabin, even after the front page newspaper coverage of my address to city council...I don't want to jeopardize it, but I also understand the BSA policy is that we do not solicit donations directly. So now I feel caught in the middle...do I explain to the VFW that the DE is not gonna go along with this and try to find a way to skirt the rule and have it benefit only us? Do I go along with the DE and try to sell the idea to the VFW again that the donation should go to the district???? I got involved in this to help the kids, I never ever ever expected all these complications...I am quickly loosing my enthusiasm....HELP!!!!
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