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SnarlyYow

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About SnarlyYow

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  1. SnarlyYow

    Youth Protection;

    Hey y'all, it's been about three years since I've been on this forum. I was the Committee Chair of our troop in Oregon and I had raised some concerns then. We had both a Scout Troop and a Venture Crew with about a dozen kids. Later, we had a Cubs program as well. I was committee chair of our Troop/Crew. At the time there were several large problems: -All the leaders of the troop were from the same family (Son1/Son2/Mother/Father) -The Leaders had promoted Son2, who was Transgender, to be the female leader of the Crew -The Scout Master had left our CO and taken all the gear without informing the CO Here's a link to two of those issues as I spoke about them on this forum some three years ago. Once the SM had taken all the gear and left the premises of the CO I wound up leaving the troop. I decided, shortly after I posted here, that since out SM just did whatever he wanted there was no reason to have a committee. I didn't like that this man chose to lie to everyone around him. He was uncontrollable. At first I thought all of this might be able to be brought in line with more oversight, boy was I wrong. I had tried, unsuccessfully, to break up the level of power he and his family held over the troop. What more could be done? It was probably June or July 2016 when I stopped acting as the committee chair. And it was less than a year later when he was arrested for sexual abuse of minors, some of whom were Scouts. Though Doug Young Senior has been sentenced to a sweet 23 years in prison, there's still a case against Scouts from several youth members. I don't have any knowledge of those cases. But I did want to share some things I learned with you so you can look for them. -Constant Subterfuge. This was hard to see when I was part of the troop but Doug was a fantastic liar. There was always a reason he was late. Not 15 minutes late, an hour late. There was always a reason we did a thing a certain way even if that way made zero amount of sense. -A lack of interest in traditional Scout things. The campouts and weekly Scout Meetings were much more important than badges and service projects which were barely focused on at all. -Ducking Youth Protection for seemingly innocuous reasons ("I did take John home alone but he's a personal family friend.") -Blaming others like he did when he took things from our CO and remade the troop. -An eagerness to control the situation -He took in troubled kids -Most importantly, He treated children like friends, like he was their peer (They'd come over and play board games or watch movies WITH HIM.) Some of these things strike me as innocuous, like anyone could do them. But in hindsight it's clear that they paint a bigger picture. The Subterfuge was an attempt to hide the truth so he could further control all narratives. The division of responsibilities within Scouts, and particularly our troop, allowed him to control every narrative. The Committee largely didn't interact with the CO (Because Doug kept the CO in the dark and found one who wasn't super involved.) The Committee also didn't exist for YEARS until I learned that we were supposed to have one and I got it up and running. In fact, Doug was content to be SM without any backing bureaucracy at all. Which...that's alarming. It also came to light that he had run a blog where he discussed "spooning" teenagers. I would definetly be googling all your volunteers periodically. He had also been accused, but never charged, of sexual abuse at least twice previously. I wish to God a police officer would have reached out to me and said something, even off the record. This is a small town, I would have been so easy to find and just have someone say "Hey, that guy in your troop. Make sure you watch him like a hawk." It was also interesting to see the after effects. Once arrested in March of 2017, the very first thing that happened was his defense attorney came, along with his parents, to the next troop meeting to defend him. The town, which is small, was pretty divided. A lot of people testified to his wholesomeness or the fact that he went out of his way to help their brother/son. Of course, the moment he was arrested I was like "Geeze, that makes sense" or, actually, "knew it." It just wasn't shocking to me that someone like Doug would have this come his way. Again, this is a troop I tried to pull my son from until he got all bitter and angry at me for doing so. I wish I had stuck to me guns. And I wish the community could see what was, to me, after dealing with the man, so readily apparent. I want to reiterate how important youth protection is. I want to say "if something feels wrong, it might be wrong. Keep your eyes open and, for the love of all that's holy, DO NOT PERMIT IT." This was exactly my take then, it's why I eventually left because I realized how powerless I was. If Doug wanted to do something he'd use the very smart tactic of "agreeing to your way then just ignoring that he'd ever done so." If you see something that you question, watch everything else. Get as many people involved as you can. Good luck out there.
  2. SnarlyYow

    Who owns troop gear?

    The problem is that the SM and his family have too much power on the troop. Other poeple have come in and tried to get involved but they get run off. We had an ex-military guy as the ASM for a spell, but our SM and him couldn't stand one another. At one point the SM's kid accused the ASM of hitting his own child; so I had to suspend him while there was investigation. I mean, basically the whole thing is a ******* sideshow. I had pulled my kid out and traded troops before, but my teenager just hated me for since he has friends in this troop. And this SM does do a load of outings, which is good. But the guy himself is a wreck. Right now the leadership team is: SM: "Smith Family Son" Crew Leader: "Smith Family "Daughter"" ACL: Someone else. Person highly involved: "Smith Family Mother" Other person highly involved: "Smith Family Father" And these "Smiths" have a way of just running off other people who want to help. They are highly disorganized. They show up late to everything, up to an hour late for outings. It's a wreck. But there's not anyone who can take it over because they have prevented others from giving quality time, they hold all the reigns. Look, it's a cluster. The only reason I'm involved is because my kid insists on going. And now I'm staring down this problem of the "Smiths" just doing whatever. They do not, and have not, ever done what the committee suggests, nor do they seemingly ever follow Scout procedures as related to Troop Hierarchy. They just do whatever they like whenever they like. And, honest to God, I just want to let them do whatever and not worry about it. But my kid insists he go, and I'm the committee chair, so I stick around.
  3. SnarlyYow

    Who owns troop gear?

    HA! MORE DRAMA! If you remember, last September I posted about our SM being kind of a loose cannon and appointing his transgender "sister" as Venture Crew Leader without any input from the CO or the committee. I'm the Committee Chair of the troop. And, really, the level of drama around this troop is too much. I pulled my son, 15, out but he has friends in the troop and begrudged his mother and I for it. So he's back in. Anyway, a couple months back the troop moves meetings from the CO's Church. I ask the SM why and I'm told: "The church blamed us for ruining their carpet and asked us to leave." The CO lost it's pastor, who was a huge supporter of the troop, and the CO Rep is elderly and totally uninvolved. There really wasn't anyone at the CO involved in Scouts any longer. I didn't ask any questions, there really wasn't anyone at the CO to ask them of. So a couple weeks go by and I get a call from someone at the church, just someone on the grounds committee, and he asks: "Where's our troop? Are they meeting here?" And I say no and explain what was told to me. And he says: "no, no. That's not right. We asked the SM to keep the carpet clean the week before Easter since we had it cleaned for Easter service. But the kids trashed it (Oregon, rain, mud, etc.) Also, the troop's closet, where they store pots and pans, had an awful smell coming out of it." (The kids frequently don't wash pots and pans before returning from campouts. This is an ongoing issue.) Basically, the church was like: "You need to take care of a couple things." The SM, his mother, "sister", and Father all go to this church, and all of them are drama magnets. It's been an ongoing issue. So I let it go. Honest-to-God, I just wanted to avoid all the drama. Then we get a new CO REP to replace the elderly lady. This one knows nothing about Scouts. Then I get another call last night from a member at the church saying: "Where's the troop's stuff? Everything is off the premises." So now I'm livid. Scouts starts in 20 minutes. So I go down there and I overhear the SM and AVCL talking about moving our Charter Organization. And I let him talk for a while. And I say: "So, who'd you tell about this at the church?" And he says our Charter Org Rep. And I say, that's funny because the church is calling me asking where their troop and gear is. Then a flurry of excuses from the SM; "he talked to the CO Rep." "There was a personal attack against his Mother" (who's active in the troop.) Basically, this litany of excuses and problems the CO has with the Troop. Then I ream him out for twenty minutes in front of all the parents, saying that the CO has no idea what's going on. He's not communicating with the committee or the CO. And that he simply cannot remove the CO's gear without their permission. I get home and call the new CO REP who, again, knows nothing about Scouts. I ask her if she talked to the SM about the troop leaving the CO and she says she hadn't spoken to him. So I catch the SM in this massive lie. Basically, he's saying: "We were kicked out of the church for this bogus reason and I talked to the CO REP about leaving and they're okay with it." Meanwhile the CO is saying: "We have no idea what's going. We asked for some basic things, like not having four week old meatballs stored in filthy dutch ovens in our closet. Now the SM and Troop appears to have vanished." So I explain to the CO REP that the gear is the COs, she was unaware of this. And that the SM just can't take off with the gear and go look for a new CO. That's not how it works. And what irks me is the SM wants to treat the thing like it's his own private club. He can just do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. But that's not how Scouts work. And you can't create these massive lies about everyone else to get whatever you want. That's the story.
  4. SnarlyYow

    Who owns troop gear?

    It's my understanding that the Charter Organization owns the troop's gear and supplies. Is this correct?
  5. SnarlyYow

    Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

    Honestly, I don't know. I know they bring their Scout handbooks every week. I have not been heavily involved. I've gone on a a few outings and such but really left the running of the troop to the SM and ASM until about two months ago. So I'm wondering if the Scouts discuss this stuff.
  6. SnarlyYow

    Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

    I appreciate all your words of caution. I certainly don't want the troop to be taken over by adults, I want the boys to do things themselves, be their own leaders. BUt, as EagleDad pointed out, there's got to be a balancing act. After two years of taking 2 hours or more to leave for campouts it's obvious that the boys haven't developed the leadership necessary to get this thing done in a timely manner. Which begs the question: "How do we move them forward without doing it ourselves?" That's why I appointed an adult quartermaster to work with the youth quartermaster to see that we can accomplish this task. While the notion of boy-led is super nice, when it doesn't come to fruition what do you do?
  7. SnarlyYow

    Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

    If I can be so bold, one thing that parents worry about is the lack of organization from the SM end. The question becomes: "Are the boys choosing to eat late and choosing to make dinner on Friday nights, or have the boys not been led to see the possibilities of doing things another way?" The other issue is how long it takes to leave, nothing is ever laid out or sorted in a such a way to load our gear in a timely fashion. Leaving frequently takes 2 hours which pushes dinner back even later. I'm trying to handle that issue and have appointed an adult Quartermaster to help the youth Quartermaster learn how to stage for campouts. Last weekend the Scouts had bacon and only bacon for breakfast on Sunday morning. Now, when they went shopping the question should have arisen: "Do you boys feel this is an acceptable breakfast? Are there other things you might want?" The troop can make their own decisions but the adult leaders need to, well, lead.
  8. SnarlyYow

    Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

    This train keeps moving right along folks. It seems my recent "authority" has shaken a hornet's nest. There has been some discussion about what to do on campouts on Friday nights when we leave. Currently the troop cooks their own meals. But we frequently leave late and many parents who volunteer have voiced that eating at 9 o'clock at night is unacceptable. This was brought up on the Troop's FB page, wherein things started to get heated. I quickly asked for everything to be deleted and sent out a stern message to all involved to chill out. My decision was that we would politely discuss this at the next meeting, it might not even be something we committee members have the authority to change. There's this sense right now that people are try to leverage more authority over the troop (myself included). What's really happening is the SM has retained control over every aspect of this troop prior to a committee being organized. And now that parents have an avenue to be heard they are using it. The SM thinks people are being critical and trying to take control of things when all that's really happening is folks are doing what they should have been from the beginning, giving input. It's going to be a rocky end-of-year here.
  9. SnarlyYow

    Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

    I'm not a very good horse rider, and a dead one is easy to ride.
  10. SnarlyYow

    Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

    Actually, I'm not asking for advice as much as I am complaining. Went on an outing with the boys today and was just aghast when the SM spoke ill of the ASM (and shockingly the ASM's son!) in front of the troop! (Neither the ASM nor his son were present.) At the Committee Meeting last week we agreed to search for a new Crew Advisor. During the trip I got the feeling the SM was passive aggressively telling me to give his brother/sister the position or he'd have the Charter Org over-ride the committee. It was very wink-wink, nudge-nudge. A "The Committee can do whatever it wants but ultimately it's the charter org's decision." The Committee Guide doesn't doesn't say that at all, it leaves the decision to the Committee and COR. And, sadly, as this Scoutmaster goes so goes the Troop. So at this point I need to give a good, hard talking-to to the SM. I feel like since he and his family have run the troop for 2 years he's got a bit of an entitlement complex. Taking that on isn't something that can be done easily. I'm considering leaving the troop once this dust clears, but I can't leave it like this.
  11. SnarlyYow

    Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

    Ugh, my endeavor to increase involvement reveals further problems. How do you handle nasty politics between adults? It seems our SM and ASM don't get along. WTH?
  12. SnarlyYow

    Flag Retirement

    I guess the question becomes what does the US Code suggest? It says it should be destroyed in a dignified way. To me, cutting up a flag, as the adult Eagle did, to make an award for veterans certainly falls into "dignified" to me. In this instance, he took flags and gave each one their own special place and purpose in this world. It's in that act that the flag garners meaning rather than a series of colors and patterns laid out in a specific combination. But, alas, the flag itself is such a controversial topic. I certainly can't fall into the camp that every flag is its own Mona Lisa or Sistine Chapel (I would certainly shun an Adult Eagle cutting up an original work of Degas to hand out to art students!.) What this country stands for is sacred, the rule of law, a fine Republic struggling to better itself, a people amassed for peace in a world of turmoil, the ability to pray to whom we choose. To me, that is sacred. I just find it hard to treat every flag as some special thing, holy and consecrated, where its end must be a nearly religious ceremony. I don't give that sort of treatment to Bibles whose list of Saints far exceeds the heroes of this fine nation.
  13. SnarlyYow

    Flag Retirement

    If people are attempting to be respectful to the flag who are we to question them? The flag isn't some sacred thing, heck, better than half are made in a Chinese sweatshop. It really is just a piece of cloth, not the Shroud of Turin. Here's a guy trying to bring honor to Veterans, his motives are decent. Where's the problem?
  14. SnarlyYow

    Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

    Our Committee Meeting went better than expected. I avoided the one on one discussions prior to the meeting which I felt could lead to disaster. Instead I sprung it on everyone which had its own problems but I felt the fallout couldn't be as bad. I imagined the worst and got the best possible response I could have hoped for.
  15. Probably a big deterrent is simply the year yound aspect. You coach football, you get a new group of kids every year, then a break going into basketball, and another in baseball. New parents, new kids, breaks between sports, even if for only 2 or 3 weeks, can be refreshing. Doing scouts every week, working with the same parents? Dealing with the politics? I can see how it can tire people out.
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