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Buffalo Skipper

What to do with semi-uniformed ASM

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We have one ASM in the troop who refuses to buy/wear uniform pants. He is the only leader in the troop who is doing this. I have spoken to him several times, and he generally says he can't afford or doesn't have the time to buy them. The Committee Chair and I had a "Leaders" meeting (not committee or parents, just all the registered leaders to discuss issues. He handed out a "flyer" requesting that all ASMs wear a complete uniform as an example for the scouts. Of course, our wayward ASM showed up at the end of the meeting, read the flyer and threw it away.

 

Any ideas on how to get him on board?

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We have an ASM who has never bought scout pants. Every other registered leader in the troop is fully uniformed. He can afford them. I assume he just doesn't like any of the various styles. His son crossed over from Webelos and is now 17, so that is how long he has gone without buying scout pants. Coincidently, his son has never worn any either. That being said, he is a good ASM ans while we would like for him to be uniformed, he is an adult who can make his own decisions regardless of any logic or reasoning we use. Oh yeah, he is fully trained for his position and he has signed up for WB and backed out about three times now. We quit bugging him about that too.

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What's his angle? Can he legitimately not afford them? Or does he just not buy in to the uniform method?

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Offer to buy the pants for him or find some other way to create an adult uniform closet to defray cost for everybody. He might actually be telling you the truth, that his budget doesn't include an extra $40 for scout pants right now.

 

Side question: except for this, is he a good ASM?

 

 

 

 

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If you really like him and he can take a bit of joshing, buy him a pair of pants and present them at a goofy opportunity without all the parents around, just the ASMs and boys.

 

Otherwise ask: Is this a hill I'm willing to die for?

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Frankly, I have worked hard to return the idea of a uniform culture to the troop. He is a retired Marine officer, and I am concerned that his defiance undermines the leadership far beyond his appearance in blue jeans and a scout shirt. He has two sons in the troop one older and one younger.

 

As for whether or not he can afford the pants himself? I belive he can. With either personal funds or via work associates, he has secured significant funds for summer camp and for uniforms (in an amount approaching $1000 over the past 18 months...) for those who really cannot afford it.

 

As a 20 year military officer, I find it hard to swallow that he would be so willing to take such a defiant stance. I truly feel it sets a bad example.

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So he's bought uniform parts for Scouts, but says he can't afford them himself?

 

Have you sat down with him, one-on-one, pointed out that discrepancy and asked him what the deal is?

 

Do his sons wear the pants?

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I dunno "what you do about it."

 

I realize that the uniform is one of the pillars of Scouting ... but does Scouting somehow completely fail if one ASM is uncomfortable with wearing the uniform for whatever reason.

 

Supposedly the AC is to be uniformed as well. Our previous AC did it...my wife won't ... under any circumstances ... that was a condition for her taking over the position.

 

I suppose if you really want to be hard nosed about it, you can ask the ASM to get fully uniformed or leave ... but that might be a "forest for the trees" moment, and you'd lose what sounds like a decent ASM and a couple of Scouts...not to mention the smacks the Troop's reputation would no doubt take in public.

 

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What do yeh do about it?

 

The man shows up, serves as an ASM, and on top of that raises thousands of dollars to help boys in need get equipped and participate in scouting?

 

Yeh say "thank you for your service!" and yeh find a chance to honor the fellow. If not for his service to his country then for his service to your troop. Smile and treat the fellow like a friend, colleague, and adult, and stop worryin' about his pants!

 

There are all kinds of reasons why someone won't wear scout pants, and some of 'em are just none of your business. We had a fellow locally who wore an ostomy bag, and just couldn't get it to work with scout pants. Otherwise yeh never could tell. I don't think but a handful of us knew.

 

This fellow is a marine, eh? Perhaps he has an injury yeh don't know about that he'd prefer not to share. Wouldn't that make you feel like a darned fool.

 

Uniform is a method we use to help teach boys. It gives 'em an outward sign of identity and somethin' to hang their patches on. Don't make it a goal, and don't treat fellow adults like boys.

 

Beavah

 

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Sounds like a decent enough fellow.....$1000 fundraiser isn't nothing to sneeze at, If you don't want him send him my way...... I think I can get over the jean thing......

 

So Buff whats the rest of the story???????????

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What to do? Frankly, I recommend no action at all.

 

I was wondering what the ASM's angle might be. I read "retired Marine officer" and then I chuckled. Not at him, nor the Marines, but I suddenly understood his point of view.

 

As I approach 27+ years active duty, though I'm not an officer, I think I understand. After a long career of proudly following strict uniform regulations, as well as enforcing them and, at times, drafting uniform policy, and then discussing the topic endlessly with first sergeants, the last thing I want to do off duty--even in scouting--is get spun up about anything dealing with uniforms.

 

And though I don't know him from Adam's house cat, I would never, ever, try a stunt like buying a retired Marine officer (nor any other adult) a pair of pants, trying to tweak his whiskers. That will no doubt backfire in a quite memorable manner. I'll put money on it.

 

Another thing jumped out--he read the uniform flyer, and then threw it in the trash. Leave it be. He's had a lifetime of uniforming. He's served his country proudly. If his only "yeah but" is the lack of an official, ill fitting set of pants, I don't see a problem. To borrow a thought from Nike, I don't think it's a hill worth taking. All said, he sounds like a great Scouter to me.(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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"And though I don't know him from Adam's house cat, I would never, ever, try a stunt like buying a retired Marine officer (nor any other adult) a pair of pants, trying to tweak his whiskers. That will no doubt backfire in a quite memorable manner. I'll put money on it. "

 

Totally agree. I'd be furious if someone tried that with me. And after that, come hell or high water, I would never, ever, wear those pants, just on principle.

 

 

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In our full-uniform troop, our scoutmaster routinely shows up in flip flops without socks and non-official pants. Some folks don't get it, and never will.

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