Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


dfscott last won the day on July 6 2013

dfscott had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

33 Excellent

About dfscott

  • Rank
    Junior Member
  • Birthday 07/22/1962

Profile Information

  • Location
    Atlanta GA
  • Biography
    Rookie SM and of a brand new Troop. Several years as a Cub Scout leader, and youth experience in Boy Scouts (FC).

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. So, my take-away is that I have destroyed this troop and I should step down. I'm running a "a lip service, boy-led program that is really adult-led bailouts". I don't teach leadership skills and I should have my feet "held to the fire" (sorry, not familiar with that expression but it sounds bad -- is it some sort of torture like waterboarding?) Stosh, you talk about all this stuff that "your boys know." You said your boys cancel events when they didn't have property food and equipment. Are these the events your go on yourself and take pictures? That just sounds little strange to me. Do these get posted to your Troop's site or are these used to just taunt the boys and show them what they missed? Do you use the pictures to show how things are supposed to run, or is it more of showing them a good time? Most of my boys like to camp, but they like it more for the fun that they have with their friends. Showing them pictures of *me* camping would just make them glad they didn't go! Look, I freely admit that I'm not Super-Stosh. I *do* occasionally have to discipline my boys. When a 16 year old joins the troop and has never had any significant supervision at home, I often have to deal with bullying and hazing until they are made to understand that it's not allowed. And despite being SM, my word is *not* law -- I dance to the Chartered Organization's drum, so I am limited on how much "tough love" they will let me apply. I'd love to be perfect at this job, which is why I've been trying for the past two years to learn how to do it. Most of what I've read here seems to imply that I'm not doing it right but the options provided are not going to work. Fishing for food? Seriously? You said the parents should be angry with me for not supplying them food. I have yet to see any of our boys successfully catch a fish, despite plenty of trying, so unless Jesus joined our outing, I think they'd be even hungrier than the "foraging" crew.
  2. To clarify, the parents of the older boys weren't the ones on the white horses. Two of the 8 boys in the patrol are 12, and it was their moms jumping in. (Both former Den Leaders -- sometimes I think think it's easier when the parents were not in involved in Cub Scouts!) Even a year in, they're still having trouble going from ringleader to spectator...
  3. First, an update: Just got back from the grocery store (where in addition to the adult patrol food, I bought a bunch of boxes of Mac and Cheese, just in case). Checking my email, my inbox was on fire -- mostly parents of the patrol members trying to figure out how to bail out the boys. > Then I was pleased to see the last email in the thread, which was from the PL: Good Evening Everyone, As patrol leader, I've decided that I will create a new menu for this weekend's camp out, and I will bring the food/drinks tomorrow. If every scout in my patrol who will be attending this campout, can you please bring $15 tomorrow. Thank you, I quickly replied telling the parents asking them to stand down since the PL obviously has this under control. Although this was a bit stressful, I think we got some good from it: 1) The PL stepped up and handled the situation (and he now knows that he'd better get a better grubmaster next time unless he wants to do it again!) and, 2) The parents see that they boys can handle these situations on their own. Now, it's not without it's negatives, since the scouts did see parents ready to bail them out, but I'm happy they stepped up before that happened. And I'll make sure to let the scout and parents know that there won't be any bailing out, since it's obviously not needed. Thanks, all, for the suggestions and criticisms -- it's all welcome. I'm particularly fond of RememberSchiff's idea -- I'm definitely going to use that one.
  4. One of my patrols (made up of mostly older boys 14-16), consistently has problems with the grubmaster role. The PL is very forgetful and laid back and doesn't follow-up. As a result, grubmasters often forget about grub until the last minute, and on the last two occasions, forgot completely. In the first instance, I picked up their food for them since I didn't want to "punish the boys that didn't screw up." After warning them that this was their last bailout, things went ok for a while, but then a couple of campouts later, again, no food (actually partial food -- only enough for two meals). On that trip, I later found out that they begged and borrowed food from the the NSP. We are boy-led and use the patrol method, so other than periodic email reminders, I try not to interfere with the patrol workings. But I feel bad for the scouts that are trying hard but being let down by the rest of their patrol. (I'm also worried that it's just a matter of time before the parents start getting upset about little Timmy Teenager not getting fed well enough on campouts). Today, here we are again, two days before the campout, and the PL tells me that the grubmaster says he doesn't have time to get the food and on top of that, no one can find their menu anyway. I've told him that he either needs to find another grubmaster pronto (they all go to the same school so it's not a communication issue) or be prepared to do it himself. His response was "OK", but based on past experience, I'm not expecting them to arrive with any food. Any thoughts about ways to get this patrol back on course? I'm grubmaster for the adult patrol this weekend, so I'm thinking about while I'm at the store, grabbing something bland like PB&J and Ramen as an "emergency grubmaster kit." They'll have food, but I imagine they'll get tired of it pretty soon and hopefully learn a lesson.
  5. Not sure what your "missed opportunity" is. I did speak with him and without going into the gory details - he was eventually removed. My point is that I've already seen one Troop shut down for this sort of thing, and I'm not going to let one loose cannon take down the whole troop. Sometimes, the adults have to take some responsibility, particularly where Youth Protection is concerned.
  6. So as long as you're Catholic, you should be fine since technically, there is no alcohol present. The Episcopalians, now, they're in trouble...
  7. I answered #3 because that was the closest. It really doesn't have "problems", but it doesn't have an online payment system. You reserve it online, then either send a check for the reservation or call and give a CC number.
  8. Not having read any of the content, I certainly can't judge, but I agree with NJCS. In fact, at first I thought this was a joke post. The fact that it says "for Parents and Scouts" indicates to me that this is a team effort, and I disagree with that. While scouts need the *support* of their parents, it needs to be the Scout first. Quaze, I completely agree: a "Guide to First Class" would be great. Hopefully by the time they get there, they won't need a guide to Eagle.
  9. dfscott


    Hopefully this isn’t straying too far off-topic, but… I fought the Stosh’s idea that an SPL isn’t needed for a long time. I wrote off the ineffectiveness of our SPL to inexperience and immaturity (we had a very young troop). Then, we had a 16 yo boy transfer in from another troop (his family moved). Suddenly, we had a boy with age, experience, and drive. He was quickly elected SPL by the boys (who practically worshipped him) and suddenly PLCs were snappy, I could step back during Troop Meetings and just watch them run, and all was right in the world. When summer camp came, I started discussing where the different patrols would camp, and he said, “well, Summer Camp is more of a Troop Activity, so I don’t worry about keeping the patrols separate.†I wasn’t sure if I bought that, but didn’t see any reason to override him. So, we basically had 20 Troop Members and an SPL running the show at Summer Camp. It went okay, but I think it set a bad precedent, because now at our regular campouts, even though each of the 3 patrols try to camp separately, the SPL is still running around, running the show. The PLs (all younger) have stepped back and let him do it. So now, instead of being “adult-ledâ€Â, our troop is “SPL-ledâ€Â. And unfortunately, his family is moving again, so all that leadership is heading out the door. So, I’ve come around to Stosh’s way of thinking. I considered removing the SPL outright, but it felt a bit too heavy-handed. And when I suggested to the PLC that we might not need it, they resisted, as I expected. It’s a glamour position and a goal for them. So I think I’m just going to change the rules a bit -- the SPL will have the same rules I give the ASMs: don’t direct scouts – only interfere if there’s a safety issue. All direction should go through PLs, and only then if they really need it.
  10. Thanks, all. These are really good suggestions, especially the ones from Tahawk. I've had to use the "ASM as Coach, not player" metaphor to keep them from swooping down and saving the day during campouts and I like your "The patrol is the team. The troop is the league." My biggest challenge is the 100 yards. So many of the "Pioneer Campgrounds" at the State Parks are way too small to accomplish this. We're going to try to camp more at Scout Camps this year, which generally have more room so hopefully we can spread out more.
  11. So, one of my PLs came to me yesterday and said “I don’t see what the PL does – all I do it fill out duty rosters and meal plans for campouts.†I had a hard time answering him because in fact, based on recent history he was right. See, we have always had young, inexperienced SPLs that never got much done (and I don’t want to make this a discussion of the benefits or drawbacks of an SPL – I have suggested removing the position before and the boys always say they want to keep it so I’m not opening that can of worms again). But this term, a new, older boy (16 yo -- 2 years older than any of our other scouts) transferred into the troop. He immediately got elected to SPL and I was so excited to see him take charge of PLCs and meetings that I stepped back a bit and gave him free reign. However, it’s now clear that his old troop was a Troop-based org. At summer camp, he asked to just run “as a troop†because it worked that way for his old Troop. I thought he meant summer camp, but I think he means everything. I was fine with doing it for camp, but now every campout it’s him summoning the Troop, “front-and-center†style, giving out instructions, and then supervising the troop as they carry it out. He’s getting worn out by the end of the weekend and having to get the ASPL to jump in and take over (which he is more than happy to do). My feeling has always been that the SPL would meet with the PLs, give *them* instructions, and then they’d carry the instructions to their patrols. I got a lot of pushback from him (and my ASMs) on that as being “too inefficientâ€Â. I’m SM, so ofc I can just tell them to do it this way, but I wanted to make sure I understood the position correctly and see if other people agree. What confuses me is that looking here: http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Senior_Patrol_Leader And here: http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Patrol_leader It looks like the SPL really *does* run all the events, which doesn’t see very patrol-system to me. What am I missing?
  12. I started to relate my own story, but I’m going to keep that to myself for now. Suffice to say that 1) my wife and I founded a Troop with me as SM and her as CC/COR, 2) it caused tremendous amounts of conflict in our family, 3) after almost resigning as SM, she ended up finding a CC and she’s now COR only. And for the record, no drugs or alcohol were involved – just trying to make the point that I completely agree with Fred: having a husband and wife as part of the Key 3 is really a bad idea. If I knew then what I know now, I’d never have done it. It’s better with a 3rd, but still really stressful at times. It takes a lot of compartmentalization. Add to this the alcohol, and I predict getting him out as SM is the best thing you could do for him.
  13. One of my sayings is “Sometimes, it’s ok to break a rule, but make sure you know why you’re breaking it.†For example, at summer camp this year, they offered a “Chaplain's Award.†It involved saying grace at a meal, holding an in-camp devotional, and participating in the scout's own service. One of our Webelos Crossovers told me he wanted to do it and I encouraged him to go for it. The first wasn’t a big deal, but standing in front of the whole troop and reading a devotional (he choose from some I already had) took some courage. Even more so to participate in the Scout’s Own service in front of the whole camp (all the other participants were Life Scouts or higher). When they gave him the physical award at the closing campfire, it was obviously not an “official†award – it was a simple ¾†metal shepherd’s crook pin. He came to me beaming and asked me where it goes on his uniform. I wasn’t about to tell him he couldn’t wear it. He now wears it where I suggested - pinned on his left pocket flap, right beneath his Religious Award knot. If I told him it wasn’t for uniform wear, it would probably be at the bottom of his sock drawer somewhere. Disclaimer: the crossover in question was my youngest son, but I like to think I would have handled it the same way with any of our scouts.
  14. Last post here: CC and COR are already involved and have contacted the DE as well. For reasons mentioned, I won't add any more comments until this is all resolved. Thanks for all the advice.
  • Create New...