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BWCAfan

When to kick a boy out?

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This is my first time posting, up till now I have been a veiwer (who has learned a lot).

We have a situation in our troop that involves the scoutmaster, myself and now my son. I have had friction with the SM over the last year on how he is running the troop. Several times he has said, "this is my troop and nothing happens unless I say so". It is the total opposite of the boy run troop.

The rub comes in when he yelled at the SPL and my son (quatermaster) for removing some of his personal gear from the troop trailer (where he stores it). At the end of his "chewing out" (which I heard from a distance), he said to my son "I have had a lot of complaints about you and we are going to have to deal with it".

When my wife and I later confronted him about this he said the my son was "bullying and disrespectful" and he was thinking of throwing him out of the troop. We had never been contacted by anyone about any type of a problem with my son and he could only come up with two instances (one of which was horseplay I think) over the last 12 months, that supported him.

I think that the SM is trying to attack me through my son.

 

My question is: in absence of a written troop policy, what would be the normal steps that you would take to throw a boy out of a troop? Are there procedures that should be followed?

 

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Before I go into the procedure I'll promote talking privately to the Scoutmaster first. A scoutmaster trying to "run" the troop is going to have a lot to keep on top of and he or she will not be a happy person. get them away from the activity of an outing or troop meeting and have a chat with them. First about your son, and secondly about maybe they would be happier if they had less responsibilities by sharing troop operations with boy leaders and other adults.

 

If that doesn't bring any results, here is what is supposed to happen. (remember not everyone follows the rules).

 

The parents of the scout are to meet with the troop committee to dicuss the problem. A solution supported by the committee and agreed upon by all parties is arrived at. The parties are then given sufficient time to fulfill their agreement. Only the Charter Organization Representative or the Council Executive can revoke membership. This normally only happens if the scout or adult violate the policies of the Chartering organization or the BSA. Simple horseplay would not normally lead to dismissal, however bullying would.

 

I hope things work out for your son,

 

Bob White

 

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Find the time to take basic scoutmaster training this will answer most of your questions and you will meet other adults who have solved like problems in your area. Scouting will be worth the effort especially to your son - KEEP IT FUN! Your son will be watching you, remember to lead by example.

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Thanks Bobwhite, I figured that I would hear from you. I need to seperate the issue of myself and the SM from the boy issue, I think.

 

The SM made the inference to my wife and I (with the CC in attendence (for once I did something right)) that he can make the decision unilaterally. Remember..he says he runs the troop. I figured that the Commitee had to be invovled there somehow, since dismissal is a pretty harsh penalty.

 

I guess what is really getting to me about this is that there was never any indication form the SM that there was any kind of a problem (and he just went through his SM conference for his Life rank 4 weeks ago), and now he is going to toss him. Seems very arbitrary.

 

I am going to look into switching troops since I think that I may have poisoned the well at this one. There are about four families that are thinking of going with us, so I am not alone in my issues with the SM.

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I attended SMF last year and it was after that that I started getting into confrontation with the SM. He is very autocratic and leads everything, when there was a 'planning session' he put up a finished calander for the boys to look at and said that this was what they would be doing for the rest of the year(no discussion allowed). He has changed menus for the boys without talking to them, put his own son as ASPL when he needed a service position, etc.

 

We have a storage garage that the CO bought the materials for (built as an Eagle project) that we share with the CO, where the troop trailer is kept. During the winter he put his own trailer in there, blocking the CO from accessing their snow removal equipment.

 

This peroson used to be a drill instructor in the military and he runs the troop the same way. There is only one way..his way and there is no discussion allowed.

 

This is not the way that SMF taught me and when I started bringing it up we started clashing, to the point where it has blown up into confrontation. I would like to find a way to remove this person from his position, but he has several personal friends on the Commitee, so that won't happen.

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Tossing a Scout out of a Troop? Why? I would never consider doing this.

 

Regardless of what the Scoutmaster says, it sounds like for whatever reason there is something underneath this situation. I would look into finding out what this could be.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Sounds like it's time to find another unit for you and your son since it appears that neither the Troop Committe nor the C.O. has stepped in to correct this SM's atitude problem [reminds me of a SM I met at camp school for Program Directors. The guy could never seperate the differance between scouting and the military...his staff must of been truly miserable through out the whole summer.]

 

 

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It would take an extreme situation for me to consider removing a boy from our Troop and even then it's a matter for Committee discussion. The Scoutmaster is not the boss of the Scouts, he is the servant of the Scouts. Sounds like he forgot that the kids are then reason we are all here.

 

I normaly push sticking it out and working to improve the troop but this sounds like a losing battle. I'd look for a better Troop.

 

Nice to have you back le Voyageur.(This message has been edited by Mike Long)

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I agree - I think it's time to find a more Scout-like Troop.

 

In my 20+ years, I have only asked two scouts to leave the troop. They were at Summer Camp and caught off the property walking into town for candy (read: Cigarettes); upon a search of their gear we found cigarettes stolen from an ASM, a wallet of another scout, fireworks, and ammo from the camp's range! Bye Bye!! Their parents agreed with the actions taken.

 

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I am calling around to find a troop that has agood Vanturing partol, since that is what my son (and I (if my screen name doesn't show it)) really likes to do. I feel very bad about leaving behind the remaining scouts because they could get so much more from the program, but maybe if several boys leave at once (and we are going to send a letter to each commitee member with our reasons for leaving)it will sink in to the commitee that they need to do something. All of the boys that are thinking of leaving are Star or Life, so they have gotten to the point where they want more responsibility, but the SM won't give them any.

It also turns out that the Venture coordinator is the DE and he and I know each other from some work several years back, so if he asks why we want to change troops I will update him on the situation (I will try to keep it unbiased).

 

Any hints on how we can avoid falling into a troop with the same pattern again. In the current troop, the SM talks a good line about how much input the boys have, but it never happens. Anybody have criteria on how to choose a good 'boy led' troop?

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Anybody have criteria on how to choose a good 'boy led' troop?

 

When you look for a new troop I would be sure to visit atleast one of their meetings and see who runs it. You should be able to see who runs the trrop by who is giving directions, what activities are being done, where the SM is sitting.

 

Another option is have your son talk with the youth leadership and see what they say. I would be sure your son is comfortable with the guys in the troop. I can see it being difficult to jump into a new troop, depending on if he knows people in it or not.

 

Good Luck,

Dan Williams

 

 

 

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It definitely sounds like time to part ways. Have you considered chartering a venture crew? Sounds like there might be enough boys of the right age to do that.

 

As to your original question, the SM is way out of line in his grounds for removal of your son. Violations of rules, particularly safety rules, are reasons for removal.

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BWCAfan - if you've been reading these posts for a few weeks then you know my family went through a very similar situation in regards to our SM who rules with an iron hand. Take my advice - and don't wait a year like I did - and find a new troop.

 

We went to visit several troops before making our decision. There were 3 troops within a 10 minute drive but we chose one that is about 20-25 minutes away because it was the one that felt the best to us. My husband and I went alone to scope out the meetings then we brought our son along and all finally agreed on this troop.

 

He is so happy now and was invited to join the new Venture Patrol on the first night. The SM is so open and friendly and has 9 Assistants and invited my husband to become one as well. This troop understands how to share the leadership. We are both on the Troop Committee and I was asked to do the newsletter as I had some experience. We felt so welcome and immediately incorporated into the troop which is how it should be.

 

We had the same problem after we completed SMF and began to question and make suggestions on improving how the troop should be run. And at every turn he seemed to take offense and was very obvious in his disapproval. As time went on we felt that he was transferring his resentment to our son as he became very impatient and short with him. We gradually lost interest in Scouting but realized that it was hopeless to stay in this troop and finally we left. About 20 other scouts also left in the last year.

 

Good luck to you and your son. You will be much happier when you find a troop that feels like home! It's out there and waiting for you guys!

 

 

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Find a new troop. Some troops because of the SM or boys are just toxic. When we were looking for a troop I went with my boy to 4 in the area. The only thing I insisted on was that he not join the local troop. He was disappointed an was the only one in my den to cross over to another troop. Didn't look good, although when the local troop had a melt down less than a year later (SM quit, Treasurer quit, Committee chair quit, and the Advancement Chair quit) I felt at least that the right choice was made. He has since made so many friends and seen the problems in the other troop that he feels that while at first he was resentful that now he is grateful.

 

Troops change.......a bad batch of boys may leave or graduate, problem adults may move or retire. Perhaps your current troop will change soon, but for now for your son's sake I would change troops, and let him know that the change doesn't have to be permanent.

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The only time I have even heard of such an action being considered was in a clear case of menace. A boy brought his own box of matches to camp and attempted to burn down the Scoutmaster's canvas tent (luckily no one was inside). The incident happened at 10:00, and he was out of the camp and Scouting before lunchtime.

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