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Mister Chairman

Scoutmaster problems

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We currently have a Scoutmaster who has not received any BSA training. He has over the last year been very uncooperative with the committee. We have tried to find ways in which we could work together, yet none have succeeded. We have a been the last to find out about outings, sometimes with as little as two days notice as to where and what the scouts would be doing. Some of these last minute outings have been very expensive for a monthly outing. (Over $40). We went from having a calendar out with our old Scoutmaster to none with the new one. I finally had enough and wrote a letter to every committee member detailing the problems as I saw them. I felt that in doing so I would at least get everyone talking about the problems with the communication, but instead the scoutmaster demanded my resignation from Committee Chairman. The committee at the time was supportive of me yet nothing as of yet has been done. This is now going on two weeks and I feel that if something isn't done the longer it goes on the worse it will be. The Charter Representative does not want to loose either of us, and I feel that due to this nothing will ever happen. My main problem besides the lack of communication is that the scouts are not getting everything that they should from scouting. They did get to vote on what outings they would like to go on the last two years like all years before that. But over the last two years only half of the outings have even been based loosely on what the scouts wanted. Since I took over as Committee Chair last year I have been trying to learn everything I can about scouts and Cub Scouts since I am also a Den leader for another son. Yet I see nothing different between the way I am supposed to lead the Weblos den and the way the Scout troop is currently running. Another concern of mine is the anti family feeling I get from the new Scoutmaster. Family participation is not encouraged but discouraged. I feel that something needs to be done with the current scoutmaster but I am not sure what or whether I will still have the backing of the Charter Representative or committee the longer this goes on.

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

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The time is now, suggest to the Scoutmaster that you and he take the training together. That way you both hear the same information and can start forming a bond for the good of the troop. If this is not an option, request training come to your troop committee meeting, from your District Training Chairperson. Troop Committee Training Guide books are available through your local council office. If it does not have one on hand, you can order online from National and receive it in a couple of days.

All of us adults need to head the Scout Oath. "On my honor, I will do MY BEST." Are we delivering the promise of Scouting to the youth of our units by running something we call "Boy Scouts" when we have not prepared ourselves. The stripe above the right pocket on my uniform says "Boy Scouts of America" not my name or anyone elses. If we are to do the job properly, we must follow the rules as described by National in their literature. We cannot make them up as we go. Baden Powell founded Scouting with basic principles that have met the test of time. National Boy Scouts of America has the only right to change or alter the program and or policies as seen fit within their National Charter issued by the United States Congress in 1910.

Please do the correct thing. Follow the proper guidelines. Take training for each position that you hold. Learn all that you can to be the best that you can be for the youth that we serve. Good Luck in Scouting.

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Another suggestion for you would be to contact your Unit Commissioner and explain the problem to him/her. They are an objective 'tool' for you who may be able to mediate some kind of solution. If you don't know who your Unit Commissioner is (sometimes they don't visit units the way they should) contact your local Council Service Center and they'll help you out.

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The Webelos Den and the Troop are run differently. Very much so. You need to get trained for both positions as soon as it becomes available. Your Scoutmaster is long overdue for training. I agree that perhaps you should take training together, however there may be some animosity there. As the Committee Chairperson, you are in charge of the governing body of the troop. You and the committee may ultimately "fire" this Scoutmaster if he does not come up to par. Are the other committee people equally unsatisfied with the quality of program he and his assistants are helping the boys provide? Perhaps you should take a step backwards and look at the situation objectively. Certainly the boys will be the losers if the solution to whatever the problem is cannot be mended soon.

 

Also you will find that while family support is strong in Cub Scouting, it "drops" off in Boy Scouting. By that I mean that in a sense the boys have cut the apron strings and are learning to function as young men and do things as a team/patrol and not rely so much on the family as the "doer". Of course the family is always there, providing behind the scenes support. The boys don't see it so much but we're there. :-)

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