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Coffee Lady

Council conflict

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I have been a new SM in my son's troop. Well for the last three months everytime I attend the monthly leaders meeting, I get questioned about what I am doing and what the troop is doing. I was told tonight that if my troop doesn't go to camp then I will be replaced as SM. I only am doing the SM cause the boys had no one else. I am not doing this for adults just for the boys. These boys were doing things like cub scouts when I first started as SM now they are running the troop but Council thinks I should force these boys into doing something which they have already decided not to do this year but it is still viable for next year. Then I was told by another person that I dont listen. I went and asked and all that was said was "oh Please!" That I dont follow rules and etc. Well I will admit there was a situation that happened that hasn't repeated itself cause I told all the parents and boys what is the BSA rules on that type of thing. Since then my troop as little as it is, is progressing. We have new scouts. The boys are advancing. And they have all been following the program as set by the BSA. I have learned many things and everytime I find out something that this troop isnt doing but should be I implement it. I explain to the boys that this is how its supposed to be. They are the actual leaders of their troop not me,I am there only to assist and guide them on the BSA rules and guidelines. To make sure that they are following the BSA rules and regulations. Please tell me what I am doing wrong and if this is allowed by Council to do this to me as the SM. Thank you. You aren't helping me but the troop.

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First, Congrats on being a SM

 

Next, Council really cant replace you as SM, only your charter organization can do that, right Bob White? So, I wouldnt worry about that. Do you have a unit commissoner? Have you shared your thoughts with him/her?

 

Let us know more, there are many fine dedicated scouters on here and all will lend a hand to help

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Hey Coffee Lady,

 

Keep up the good work and don't let people intimidate you. Sounds like you are on the right track. OGE is right. Only the Chartered Organization can remove you. If you were doing something clearly against BSA policy, particularly where safety is concerned, the council could come down, but they would still work through the CO. I would suggest that you contact the parents of the boys in your troop and engage them in a discussion about the program to see if they have any concerns. If you are complying with the rules, and the boys and the parents support you, then you should go ahead and execute your program.

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Coffee Lady

Keep up the good fight. Sounds like you took a Troop that was being run by the "parents" who treated the boys like they were still in Cub Scouts and are transforming them into leaders. Old Grey Eagle is correct there are many fine Scouters here who can give advice.

 

When you mentioned the monthly Leaders meeting were you talking about the Committee Meeting or were you talking about Roundtable? If it is your units monthly committee meeting they should be asking questions about what you and the troop are doing. That's if they are not active in the troop. If they were active committte members then they would be at the weekly meetings and attend the outings. Thus they would know what you all were doing and that you were doing things the right way. If it is Roundtable then it sounds as if Council is putting pressure to get their summer camp numbers up.

 

Paul

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I am not aware of any requirement that a troop attend its council's summer camp. My son's troop does its own summer camp and is one of the most active troops in our council. Also, troops can go to any BSA camp, in or out of council. If your PLC decided against summer camp because of inexperience (just a guess) or lack of equipment, there are BSA camps that are less "rustic", eg Camp Long Lake in Saint Cloud, Wisconsin. This camp has a dining hall and provides platform tents, ideal (IMHO) for a younger or inexperienced troop. The Scouter website has an excellent page on BSA camps, listing them down by state and providing links to their webpages. Finally, many camps will accomodate lone scouts, so even if just two boys go, their experience will ferment interest for next summer. Sounds to me like you're doing a great job for the boys! Keep up the good work!(This message has been edited by CubsRgr8)

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A bit of clarification might produce better answers for you and might also help you better understand the situation and how you might deal with it. When you say "monthly leaders meeting," are you talking about the district (or council) roundtable? Who (as in what position) is questioning you about what is going on in your unit? Is this questioning going on while you are sitting around the meeting-table with other unit leaders, or is it off on the side when you attend a meeting? Are other unit leaders similarly questioned about what is going on in their units? And, are other unit leaders joining in the questioning of you, or is it just at the commissioner/executive level?

 

A roundtable, as I have come to understand it, is supposed to be for supplemental training and to share ideas, and to make sure everybody is up-to-speed on district/council events and activities. It is not supposed to be an opportunity to put someone on the "hot seat" in front of other unit leaders. In the roundtables I have attended, there has never been a discussion of "problems" within a unit (and I am not saying you have problems), either at the table or off on the side, unless the unit leader initiated the conversation in an attempt to get advice or assistance.

 

Having said that, it would be a good idea for your boys to go to summer camp, but it has to be their decision. Maybe, instead of interrogating and threatening you, someone on the district level could attend your next troop meeting and give a presentation on the summer camp program, and perhaps the boys will change their minds. In my council there is a promotional video for the Cub Scout camp program (the council is paying each pack $25 or $50 to show the video at a meeting), I am not sure whether there is one for Boy Scout camp. Maybe your council has such a video that you can use.

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First and foremost, Thank you all for the wonderful support! It is at Roundtable hence my nic. And its coming from the Executive Director and Camp Commisioner who backs the E.D. up. It usually is when they take me aside and talk it over. This all started because I was inquiring about the Cub Pack not the Troop. The E.D. and Camp Commisioner asked about the troop then. I had told them it was decided we weren't going this year. I didn't let them know that next year is still a possibility. My troop did go to camp despite previous camping experience at Webelos extended that was really disasterous. Last year was a disaster but not on the same level. The troop guide we had, had no idea what he was supposed to do or what we were supposed to do. As well as most of the boys at camp didn't get enough food, plus the camp staff had decided to give tests on the merit badges. EEK! like school which no boy wants. Needless to say, it was below my own expectations and the expectations of the boys. I talked last night at my Committee meeting for the Boy Scouts and told the Committee what was said. Since all of my parents are on the committee, they do know what we are doing. Now I have asked for help previously and whatever I received I take back to my troop and explain in depth what I know and to give it to them to make the Troop do better. I just feel as well as some of the other parents of the troop that certain people are going to do their best to disband this troop. These boys all have said they won't go to any other Troops in the area. Now I do hope you all understand where I am coming from and what I have been dealing with. Thank you all again for your help, ideas and support. Have a great weekend.:)

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Coffee Lady,

 

I applaude you for taking on the task of SM. As a new Unit Commisioner myself, I would suggest that you contact you District Executive and ask who the District commissioner is. Then Contact them and request that you get a Unit commissioner to sit down with yourself and the rest of the adult leaders. They can give you tips and resources to make sure everyone is on the same page. Then have the unit Commissioer visit with the PLC to do the same and really get them excited about the patrol method. A good Unit Commissioner will visit and check on your unit at least every other month but more if needed.

 

I would also recommened that all the rest of the leaders go through training.

 

Hope things work out.

 

Tim Dyer

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Different Troops focus on different things. They do NOT have to be all campers! That is the point behind visiting different Troops before you join one. Also, you do NOT have to attend one of your council's camps. If you have been disapointed in them previous years then by all means look elsewhere! Camps (like Troops) are not all alike! Check out other area BS councils. Ask about their camps, look at flyers, check out websites. Our Troop has not attended our councils summer camp in the last 3-4 years. They found a neighbouring councils camp that they like much better!

 

I really can think of no valid reason for your council's ED to be threatening you at your area's Roundtable. Any questions about the way you are running your Troop should rightly be comming from your Charter Organization thru your Charter Organization Representative. They technically "own" your Troop and part of their responsibility is to provide leaders. They are the ones who can "hire" or "fire". I have very, very, very, seldom heard of a council interfering with a troops leaders. Are you on good terms with your CO? Does your COR attend your Committee meetings? I would start there with your questions. Something sounds deceidedly fishy!!

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Coffee Lady,

Keep up the good work. Council can't remove you as SM. That is up to your chartered orginization. Also, I know of no of nothing that requires you to attend you council summer camp. There are Troops in my council that don't attend our council summer camp.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I'm just going to repeat what others have said --

 

Keep up the good work.

 

You can attend summer camps outside of your council. Sounds like the council has some problems with summer camp and instead of trying to fix them, they want to force people to attend.

 

The troop my son just joined doesn't attend the same camp each year. No boy wants to go to the same camp 4 years in a row. The adults look for a camp that has nicer showers and cooler weather than our council camp.

 

 

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Since I have been trained as a SM and then went thru WoodBadge plus attend all of the RoundTables, I have lots of resources and information that I take back to the Troop. My troop had a Key 7 a while back and since then we have improved upon the errors we were doing. As well as having the SPL do a more active role. I am not ashamed to ask for help from anyone but if everytime in the last three or so months, I have attended RoundTable and felt that I was being questioned by the Executive Director or the Camp Commissioner( not sure if that is this person's correct title) I have felt under fire. I won't let them disband a Troop of boys that at the time when these same boys were transitioning over to Boy Scouts no other Troops wanted them. That these same Troops had boys harass and tease the boys of the Troop I am with ( which I had stopped). I will use whatever means and resources there are out there at my disposal to make this a Troop that is following the BSA guidelines and still be a good Troop in standing. I applaud all of you for your willingness to help this Troop but I believe that the E.D. and the other person should take a leaf out of your books. I have asked previously for help from these same very people yet they don't help til they think its' time to step in and do their best to disband this troop. I am not the only person who is dealing with this Troop who thinks like that. Despite all that I am willing to assist whereever is needed. My Troop is totally disillusioned with Council. Last year we asked to do the Mall Show with the assistance of the Pack. We were never told an direct answer but they gave it to others to do it without even considering our proposal. How does anyone teach leadership skills to others if those above and in charge dont or wont allow for the ones asking to do the job even if the ones asking fail it will be a good lesson. I believe that some of the people in Council are good people yet if they showed true scout spirit I ask where is it? Needless to say, I know where it is for me, in the hearts of those of you replying and assisting me with this dilemma. May you know how blessed and thankful the Troop and I are to all of you. Sincerely, Coffee Lady :)

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I hate to be the lone skeptic in the crowd, and I do support your efforts to do a good job for the boys Coffee Lady, alot of what I'm reading just doesn't ring true. I admit that a big problem in communicating through posts is the handicap of not being able to hear voices, and get more detailed information instantly.

 

It doesn't make any sense to me that any District Executive (I'm guessing thats who you refer to as the Executive Director) or any District Commissoner (perhaps that's who you mean instead of Camp Commissioner) would want to or even try to disband a troop. They (the professionals and District Commissioner and District Chairperson) are evaluated based on unit growth. To disband a unit is self-defeating and creates far more work for the professional than any possible benefit it would garner.

 

In addition, as others have stated, unless the Chartered Organization has violated a major BSA policy, the council would never even consider disbanding a scout unit. I cannot believe that this is their intention.

 

As far as the Mall Show goes, I would hope that from all the training you have taken you would realize that district events are operated by the District Committee. You mention going to Roundtables but are you also in attendance at District meetings? I'm not suggesting you should be, I'm saying that such events are discussed there and assignments are delegated there. For all we know that event was already in the planning stages and staffed before you ever made the recommmendation. Again, we just don't know.

 

Another thing you wrote that concerns me is "I am there only to assist and guide them on the BSA rules and guidelines". If you have been to Wood Badge you should know that is nowhere near what you "are only there to do". I don't know anywhere in the the BSA training where that is ever even suggested.

 

I'm not saying that the situation you are in is right or wrong. I'm saying that the information you have shared is so unique and unusual that it raises more questions than answers.

 

By the way one more question. What is a Key 7?

 

Whatever the situation is in your area I hope it is resolved to the best interest of the boys and the community.

 

Bob White

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CoffeeLady,

 

You talk about them wanting to disband your troop and that the boys were all teased by other troops who did not want them. Is this a Special Needs troop? What characteristics do the boys have that would elicit teasing of this level?

 

 

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