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rraffalo

Tour Permits

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Well... my co-leader actually thought of the idea, and it sounded worth pursuing to me.

 

As I said, the Crew's Committee Chairperson saw the issue clearly and signed the Tour Plan. My son and my co-leaders two sons are signed up as Venturers, but not all going on the trip have to be. So, we figured to keep it simple we would not require the others to join the Crew, including the CC's son. We have no desire to give them more paperwork to do, and so we are perfectly fine with them attending as Scouts. If they enjoy the trip perhaps they'll wish to join the Venture Crew on their own.

 

Richard, I was about to ask our Program Director at Council to contact you if he was unable to make any headway speaking with our COR, but then my co-leader thought of this approach. We called Sea Base in advance and they said, that it does not matter how the trip was initially booked. All they care to see upon arrival is an Approved Tour Plan. My co-leader is a Committee Member with our Troop and she is the one that found the trip, investigated the details and booked the trip. She is also our Troop's Treasurer. Highly doubtful they are going to mess with her by canceling the trip altogether, being that she has two sons that are expecting to be going on this trip. Obviously, Council sees no problem either, or they would not have approved our plan.

 

It is clear that the Troop's CC is not happy, but it has not fractured the Troop. Our Troop has 70 Scouts in it, and there is not a great divide among the Troop. The Troop families largely agree with our position on this matter and the CC is really on an island by himself, with the exception of support from the COR who feels obligated to support him.

 

But, truly this is a WIN/ WIN, and we should all go on our merry way from here. Nothing more need to be said or done with this from my perspective. Before you know it, summer will be over, and we'll all be back to our Monday evening meetings in September. Lets just let it be water under the bridge... BUT, as some of you have eluded, there may be more to come. I'll keep the Board updated as I learn more.

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FScouter: "Skirt the Intent of rules and policies"

 

Remember FScouter: We are in line with the rules and policies. In fact, we meet the rules and policies or we would not have the support of Council. If I felt we were "cutting corners" or trying to take an angle that is in the "gray area" I would not have pursued this.

 

It is better to teach boys not to allow themselves to be oppressed by a person or agency that is mis-using its power, than to teach them to wander along aimlessly as their leaders dictate, particularly without reasons that make sense to them.

 

I'm teaching my youth to be individual thinkers (leaders that can reason for themselves), and that there are alternatives that can be worked through with most problems if you are willing to work at it. I've invited our CC to work with me many times, and in his eyes it was his way or the highway. So, we took the highway ~

 

BTW, the boys have not been privy to any of the communication among us leaders, and I have not yet told my son that we have been able to work out this issue. So, he is still not aware that we are going on this trip.

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Our mission is to help boys make ethical choices in their lives, and I don't think demonstrating silly paperwork ploys to skirt the intent of rules and policies is very ethical.

 

You're entitled to your opinion of course.

 

Da rest of the world calls these "silly paperwork ploys" the Free Market.

 

If GSUSA won't let you do it because they'd rather girls spend time in malls and hair salons, do it as a BSA Venturing Crew.

 

If da Friends of Bureaucratic Restrictions chartered organization says "no", go with the local Catholic unit that is more understandin' of the practical realities of families.

 

We choose to join organizations because they provide us a benefit and a service, eh? It's not like joining a religious order where we take vows of stability and obedience for life. At the point when they're not offerin' the best service, we're free to get da service from someone else in the market.

 

Now, as ScoutNut points out, there is some risk here, eh? Adults don't always act like mature and understandin' human beings. So rather than laughing and taking a lesson to heart, da COR could throw a fit and simply remove da various adults responsible from all positions with the troop. Which in turn weakens the troop, destroys more relationships, hurts more boys, etc.

 

This is why I characterized rrafalo's approach as "juvenile" as well, since it plays into that silly tit-for-tat nonsense which can end up doin' more harm than good.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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I choose to look at it more like when brother says, "no" ask Dad.

 

BUT, the latest is our CC and COR went to Council today, threw a fit and Council revoked our Tour Plan with the Crew. Subsequently, I've been removed as the co-leader of the trip effective immediately and "Game Over".

 

They are now searching for another leader, which I believe they must already have a commitment from someone. Here's the kicker... they will give me my money back because they are kicking me out, but they told me if they cannot find another Scout to replace my son they will not return his trip fee.

 

That's really twisted, because I've told my CC from the beginning that I could not accept that he wanted me to fly back to Illinois to be with the other leader and 5 boys, but he was indifferent as to whether or not my son returned to Illinois also. He said, "he can fly alone to Fort Lauderdale for all I care". Well, if he can fly alone then why can't they just eliminate the first leg of the trip as Richard B suggested could be done, so that we could all fly alone (not as part of an official trip), and begin our trip in Fort Lauderdale?

 

That's when I began asking him to reconsider his position.

 

If his position is going to be that I must be on the plane for the safety of the scouts, then he cannot then argue that my son is free to fly alone. Doing that means his motive is not really the safety of all the scouts, because it's pretty clear my son is one of the scout.

 

Now, with me done as leader of the trip there is no way to send him without him flying alone. He'll either have to fly to Illinois alone to fly with the others (which would be ridiculous), or he will need to fly from CT to Florida to meet the others in Fort Lauderdale.

 

My son has known for a couple weeks now that we were not going to Sea Base, because we came up against a two-deep leadership issue we could not resolve, but he does not know that I've continued to try and work things out so that we could go. I asked him back when I knew this was going to be an uphill battle whether or not he wanted to go on the trip if I couldn't go. He'll be 14 in early July, and he said "No". Because he is on the younger side, with a couple of the others already 16, and one scout actually turning 18 in December (SHOOT, if he were only 5 months older we would not be in this position because he would be considered an adult at that point), I think he may feel a little intimidated to go without me.

 

Richard B... would you still like me to have my Council Program Director contact you?

 

Very interesting how Council's don't like to get involved and over-rule a troop, but then they'll take a phone call and revoke a Tour Plan they just approved 24 hour prior without getting either of the trips co-leaders on the phone to have an open discussion among all parties. Granted, they should not have to be involved, but before making a complete 180 degree turn there should have been some vetting of the issue.

 

I have not spoken to my Program Director at Council because the women who handles the Tour Plans in the front office has been very competent, and she has asked our Program Director several questions regarding our plans to keep him in the loop and to ensure everyone was clear on what we were doing and what we were seeking.

 

So, I will be calling our Program Director tomorrow to see where he was confused, such that he changed his mind. Was he under too much pressure from the phone call, were we not clear the day before? I need to get some closer from him on that... But Richard, if your offer is still open to have him call you I will ask him to do that once I've had a chance to understand his change of heart.

 

Oh well ! Easy come easy go I guess ~ Thanks again everyone for your thoughtful comments. Your wisdom, and the value it has provided, has been very helpful.

 

Much Appreciated!

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I will bet that the COR of the crew and the troop is the same person, that the crew and troop have the same chartered organization?

 

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Yah, hmmm....

 

So I've got da same question as 5year, eh? Is the crew chartered to the same organization, so that the COR is the same? Otherwise, I'd have the COR of the crew call the Scout Executive and demand the Tour Plan be reinstated. If da COR is the same and the crew committee just got overruled by the COR without so much as a phone call, then I would expect the entire crew committee and leadership to approach the IH with their resignation.

 

But this is what comes of adults who can't behave like adults, eh? Relationships are hurt, programs are hurt, kids are hurt. Rraffalo, I reckon RichardB is a smarter fellow than to get involved in your program's little pissing match.

 

The proper way to approach this is probably with pistols at 10 paces. ;) Honestly, everybody should look in the mirror and be ashamed of themselves, and the youth crew leader for Sea Base should stand up at the next committee meeting and explain the meaning of the Scout Oath and Law to everyone and insist that they get training and demonstrate scout spirit in their daily life. No one should be renewed on the charter unless the PLC signs off on him/her for showing scout spirit.

 

If only. :) If it keeps up, though, I reckon the district or council commissioner should sit down with the IH, to clarify the Chartered Org's expectations of the COR, and then with the committee, to clarify the committee's instructions to the CC and get everyone back on the same page with a common vision and commitment.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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This is why I characterized rrafalo's approach as "juvenile" as well, since it plays into that silly tit-for-tat nonsense which can end up doin' more harm than good.

 

Beav - that's an insult to juvenile's everywhere.

 

 

rr - As an advisor I would be fuming (and have fumed) over adults using my crew's good name to play an end-around on some other adult leader.

 

So, now we have a green light to proceed and everyone WINS. Our Troop's Committee Chairman wins because he did not sign a Tour Plan he was not happy with, and I win because I still get to co-lead this outing. Most importantly, ALL the boys win!

 

How have any of the boys "won?" Did you give them a chance to determine if the CC was fair? Did the boys have an opportunity to talk to the CC? Did the boys choose this course of action? Did the crew President and VP of Program approve your request to sail under their flag?

 

Heck you didn't even let your son know about the roller-coaster you were riding!

 

Sure you, your wallet, and your vacation plans have a phyrric victory. But you've squandered a leadership opportunity.

 

You haven't taught the boys to stand up to anything, because it wasn't them doing the standing!

 

In my book you owe the boys an apology.

 

You and your co-leader should promise them that they will have control of the trip from hear on out.

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5yearscouter: Yes, the COR is the same...

 

qwazse: I haven't squandered anything... The CC has said, "No" to our plans from the beginning and stated his reason as being it was National's policy to have two-deep leadership (from end to end). I asked him to reconsider because that is not National's policy. I asked them to reread the policy and to please reconsider. He continued to refuse to sign the Tour Plan, saying, "it's not my rule, the Troop's rule, or Council's rule ~ it's an National BSA policy. Because of the good advice from this Board I knew he could create a higher standard if he so chose, but many people in our troop believe that a higher standard is unnecessary.

 

But, after showing him it was not BSA's policy; he changed his story stating, "this is our Troop's interpretation of National's policy" So then, I showed him our Troop handbook that states, "we follow a two-deep leadership policy AS REQUIRED BY BSA". Which means, that having two-deep leadership from end to end is not our Troop's interpretation of National's policy, rather it is his interpretation of National's policy after being shown that his prior reasons for saying, "No" could not be substantiated.

 

So, then he started giving me deadlines to tell them whether or not I could do it the way he was demanding and I continued to ask him to explore alternatives with me. After a couple of demeaning emails about me being irresponsible for not knowing the National BSA policy prior to signing up for the trip I decided (based on advice from this Board) to call Council and see if they would review a DRAFT of our Tour Plan and get their input. To my surprise they said, "We are fine with this".

 

Now, from Beavah and others I knew he and the COR could really do what they wanted, but WHY create the higher standard out of the blue? To that they said, "this is our travel policy plain and simple". So, I shared examples where we have had many instances with one leader in each vehicle on many ground transportation trips that I and my co-leader have personally lead. Now, they are saying, "we have a two-deep leadership policy END to END for all High Adventure trips. So, then I gave them an example of where that was not the case on a Northern Tier trip last year!!! And, they said, "That's our Policy"

 

Really it's his policy for this trip, with no documentation, by laws, handbook language or BSA policy language to support that we cannot do this. Bottom line: It's a power trip.

 

And, with the demanding deadlines he was setting the only thing I could have done differently was two weeks ago for me to say, "OK sir, I will not go because you said so"

 

As the CC he should have called a Committee Meeting, or he should have checked with Council and he should have been working with me to find solutions, rather than to impose a "higher standard" on his own for no good reason.

 

Do you know what his good reason is? He says, "It's for the safety of the boys"

 

Well, my son is one of the boys and guess what? He said, "You need to be back in Illinois to fly with the other leader and five scouts, PERIOD! Your son can fly alone from CT to FL and that is fine with me..."

 

REALLY???? Well, there went his argument for wanting safety for the boys. It is certainly less safe for my son to fly alone, than for 5 scouts to fly with one leader.

 

At this point, his common sense should have kicked in... Hey, if I'm ok with rraffalo's son flying alone, then why don't we just let everyone fly as individuals, not considering the flight legs to and from Florida as not part of the trip, and build the tour plan that way?? Hmmm, let me work with rraffalo on that. Nope. Not an ounce of such creativity. Actually, it did not even require creativity. I put that suggestion out there two months ago, and Richard B validated my thinking on that subject.

 

Now, before those of you that haven't been following along, jump on me and tell me I'm circumventing the rules please go back to Richard B's first post, and I'll rest my case there. Go ahead, run along now..... go read it before you jump on me for trying to cut corners.

 

Bottom line: Our CC wants me to do it his way, because he said so. Period!

 

So, qwazse ~ I may have lost a long, futile argument, but I haven't squandered anything. This was dead a couple of weeks ago. I simply thought that continuing to ask him to work with me would get him to come up with an alternative. I will not rehash them all here, just re-read this thread if you dare, because there have been many good ideas thrown out here and I've basically used them all to no avail.

 

So qwazse, I could have rolled over and have allowed myself to have been dictated to a couple of weeks back, and I would have been exactly where I am today. Then, my co-leader thought of the approach with the Crew. The tour plan says you need EITHER the CC or COR's signature. Since Council and National do not like to over-rule a Troop I did not think the COR would over-rule his other CC (of the crew), because I thought he too (the COR) was really looking for an "OUT"

 

I figured the COR knew that the Troop's CC stepped in dog crap with all his mis-statements about whose policy this was... (first National's, then the Troop's interpretation of National's policy, etc., etc.), but was just supporting him on this because he felt he needed to in order to show he was backing his CC (like the way good college buddies back each other up).

 

qwazse, I do think you are correct, however, that the boys have learned nothing from this, because they haven't been involved. I'm not sure about your Troop, but trips like this cannot be turned over to the boys. Honestly, they are not mature enough to think through all the details, and with this kind of money on the line the guidance of adults is essential.

 

Beavah, I'm aware that Richard B probably does not want to step in and referee a squabble, but he did offer in his first post to speak with the Council Director if that Director did not get anywhere with our Troop's COR. I don't know if their discussion would change the outcome in this case, but I kind of got the sense that Richard might have some experiences and words of wisdom that would help a CC and COR come to their senses (perhaps about the notion of just letting everyone travel as individuals to Fort Lauderdale).

 

The CC has told me that if my son doesn't go on the trip he is going to keep our money for his trip fees, but the only way my son can go on the trip is to fly alone. Isn't that less safe than the other 5 flying with one leader? Well, it's that lack of common sense and circular reasoning that has truly been unbearable over the last week or so.

 

ALL suggestions and alternatives have fallen upon deaf ears, and quickly dismissed. Every time someone suggests a reasonable solution he just says, "no", which means he is desperately defending his original position.

 

And so, because he has the power he wins, and if I have to live with that then that is what I'll do.

 

I placed two phone calls to our Program Director at Council today and left voice mail messages, but did not connect with him. I know it is busy summer camp season... In any event I just want to get his perspective on all of this. I wonder how many times they approve a tour plan and then are asked to revoke it.

 

Now, now, let's forget about the Crew Tour Plan for a minute ~

 

different questions. How many times is a Tour Plan rejected by a Troop that both Council and National would have approved? How frequently does a Troop set a higher standard than the BSA? Now if you say that happens frequently then I have another question, but I've been with three different Councils in scouting (in FL, TX and now IL) and I've never seen anything like this. If you have please share the situation with this Board and then tell all of us what good it did for anyone...

 

If you are able to give such an example, then... Was the higher standard fabricated on the fly, and were the rules being made up as the situation was unfolding, just to support a stubborn argument? Or was it written down and well communicated?

 

If our CC does not authorize that my son's money be returned as well as mine, then I will take it up in a Committee Meeting in September and I believe I will get the Committee to vote to refund my son's money.

 

If anyone has anything helpful to add, then I would appreciate hearing it. Thanks everyone! (yes, even you qwazse :-)

 

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This "squabble" is ludicrous beyond belief. You argue about BSA policy and question why folks don't agree with your opinion and sign off on the plan. All you had to do was point to the BSA policy where it says it is OK to put a bunch of kids on a plane and fly them halfway across the country with only 1 adult. Of course you can't do that and so resort to arguing that the policy "two-deep leadership is required on all trips and outings" doesn't apply in your case. Really lame in my opinion.

 

Too bad that out of a troop of 70 boys you couldn't find another adult. That approach may have been easier.

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Well the Tour plan says

"Boy Scouts of America policy requires at least two adult leaders on all BSA activities."

 

that is NOT just mentioned in regards to the 2 deep leadership issue.

 

but under 2 deep it says

Two-deep leadership. Two registered adult leaders, or Two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a parent of a participating Scout or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required for all trips and outings..... Appropriate adult leadership must be present for all overnight Scouting activities; coed overnight activitieseven those including parent and childrequire male and female adult leaders, both of whom must be 21 years of age or older, and one of whom must be a registered member of the BSA. ****The chartered organization is responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities.****

 

 

 

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"Yes, the COR is the same"

 

"our CC and COR went to Council today, threw a fit and Council revoked our Tour Plan with the Crew."

 

"I will be calling our Program Director tomorrow to see where he was confused, such that he changed his mind."

 

 

I find it very hard to believe that you really do not understand why your council did this.

 

Your council revoked the Tour Plan because the COR - THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE OWNER OF BOTH THE TROOP AND CREW, told them to.

 

It does not matter whether you agree or not. It does not matter if you like what your CC, COR, or council did. It does not matter how many examples you can find that you feel support your position in some way. It does not matter if you feel that you know the COR's mind better than he does.

 

The COR said NO.

 

The Chartering Organization OWNS the Troop and the Crew. The COR represents that owner.

 

 

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about your Troop, but trips like this cannot be turned over to the boys.

 

There's where Venturing is supposed to be different ...

Every aspect of my crew's trip, every twist and turn, every rule, has gone through the youth (whom are the same age range as your contingent).

If they thought a policy was stupid, we dropped it.

All checks and cash go through my youth treasurer. I send her any invoices that come to me, and she handles my reciepts. She requests a check from my adult treasurer and sends it where needed.

Boat assignments (including which adults chaperon with whom) are their responsibility. They have read the Guide to Safe Scouting.

If an adult wanted to manipulate things (and they did), I told them "not my call, bring it up with the youth."

They fill out the tour plan and collect signatures. The VP admin gets a copy.

 

 

There are some scouters among us who say the 14-and-up boys in their troop have the same range of authority.

 

I'll confess, five years ago I may have had as low opinion of the boy's abilities as you have now. I know adults who held that opinion, and seemed it was constantly them butting heads with other adult leaders. I decided, "why not spare myself the drama, and let the youth take the helm?"

 

The youth have yet to let me down. They dissipated lot of the blow-hards' steam. (It's really hard to be an intransigent committee member when a Crew President and her posse are asking you for a better reason than the one just offered.)

 

I'm not saying it would have worked with your CC and COR, but you missed an opportunity for the youth to give it a shot.

 

Besides, youth led is the rule. 'Nuff said.

 

I do hope they find your replacement and the trip goes forward. If it does, I would recommend taking your refund to buy the ticket to fly with your boy to FLL. You seem to think highly enough of the boys and your co-leader to make it worthwhile.

 

If you want to pull your son, that's your prerogative. In my crew there are no refunds. (Our treasury is bare-bones.) It would be your son's responsibility to find his own replacement. Or if the other youth wanted, they could opt to shell out the extra $$ to cover the unused share of the boat.

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FScouter: That's a pretty infantile interpretation of the policy. I feel like you are saying, nah-nah, na na na ! You actually sound as irrational as our CC: Are you sure you're not him?

 

5yearscouter: If I gave you another 5 years would you promise to read the remainder of the Two-Deep leadership policy with respect to Travel and Outings? Specifically the part that says: "you need to have a minimum of one adult in each vehicle..."

 

Gentlemen: READ, BE RATIONAL, and BE REASONABLE in the spirit of service as Beavah has been promoting.

 

 

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