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ChuckSt8er

Adult leader holding multiple Unit positions

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Not sure if this belongs in this forum or another one, but I'll fire away:

 

An adult in our Unit holds the positions of DL and CC, is an ASM in our affiliated Troop, and has just fielded (and possibly accepted) an offer to become COR.

 

There are some who believe that this level of position holding by one individual is counter to Scouting's leadership model (that inviting more adults to become involved and trained leaders is a good thing), that it may cause a leadership vacuum were this individual to step out of the picture, and that there might be 'transparency' issues if a problem were to arise and only a few individuals knew what was going on (e.g. missing Unit funds, identifying new leaders to join the ranks, etc.)

 

Contrary to this, others might say "Hey, this person has the time, energy and skill set to hold down these position. If they're willing and able to serve, who are we to get in their way?"

 

OK Scouters, Critters and Brothers, what's your/Scouting's opinion?

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It's not possible to be registered as DL and CC for the same unit since you cannot hold two positions with a unit unless one is COR. However, many times people effectively act in two roles such as Treasurer and DL. I'd say that being a DL and CC isn't a good combination.

 

Being a DL and ASM is possible.

 

In a perfect world, BSA would love to see each adult holding exactly one position but that isn't the case in the real world.

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Personally, I am Wolf DL, ASM, and DL coach for another pack. We have another leader in our Pack that is the Tiger leader, Bear leader, Venturing crew leader, and has at least one council level position. I agree that it isn't ideal to have more than opne position. But when other adults won't step up you do what you have to.

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You do not need a perfect world to be able to follow the membership rules of the BSA. The rules are simple, Within one unit a person can hold only one position. The BSA makes three specific exceptions to this.

 

A Charter organization representative can also be the Committee Chair. The ScoutParent Coordinator can hold another position. And IF the Scout executive determines on an individual unit basis, that the unit is located in an area of the community where suffescient parental support is not available they can approve the registering of a person in two positions in the unit.

 

Other than that your problem is probably not lack of potemtial leaders, it is poor selection and recruitment procedures.

 

When one person does mulitple jobs it sends a very bad signal to the other parents about being a volunteer. Even though you may think you are doing a lion's share of the effort of keeping things together because no one else will help, you are actually part of the problem as to why others won't help.

 

In one unit one person should do one job.

 

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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I think the "some" who have concerns are correct.

 

Putting issues of malfeasance aside (and financial control is a huge worry if it's concentrated in one person), what happens if this individual gets sick? That's a very simple and non-confrontational way to look at it. If only one person has the keys, the accounts, the contacts, the spreadsheets, the databases, the passwords, the forms, the policies and procedures, then your entire unit is dependent on that single person.

 

In my ideal world, the COR would hold no other position in the unit, but represent the point of view of the chartered organization to the unit, and vice-versa, as well as serving at the council level. Those are some huge responsibilities on their own.

 

And correct me if I'm wrong, but there's nothing barring the COR from attending and helping out at pack meetings, campouts or other unit events, is there?

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Hi ChuckSt8er,

 

Yah, I think yeh need to answer a question for us first, eh? How big is your pack? How about your troop? Lots of times, small units especially in rural areas just need folks to double-up, eh? If your troop is hangin' on at the minimum of 5 boys, I reckon the best program is goin' to come from enthusiastic adults doin' multiple jobs. Same with your pack. And that's OK, because there are fewer kids to deal with. Yeh just have to really watch out for keepin' good relationships among adults and not gettin' hurt feelings or any confusion over roles.

 

If you're talkin' about a mid- to large- sized pack and troop, that's different. These things are hard then, eh? No question that some adults are more committed to Scoutin' than others, and no question that most Scoutin' is successful because of those overcommitted folks. Proper selection of adult leaders to give the boys the best experience is often to make use of such talented, enthusiastic people in multiple roles, eh? Why would yeh choose not to have the best den leader possible, when da alternative is someone who gets strongarmed reluctantly into takin' the post?

 

On the flipside, there's a "moral hazard", eh? The more those few enthusiastic people do, the less others seem to step forward. People volunteer when they see a need, eh? If they don't see a need, they tend to find other things to do. Problem is, our most enthusiastic and committed scouters tend to see those needs first. So they step up and fill 'em before there's a chance for others to do so. Great for da program in the short run, but it can burn out our best volunteers in the long run.

 

Yah, I think, too, that there are some positions which are rightly incompatible in any unit of fair size or larger. A person who serves as DL for two different dens which meet on different nights might be just fine, eh? But servin' as a COR or CC and a direct contact volunteer isn't a good choice. Yah, bein' CC and DL happens pretty often at da cub scout level in mid-sized packs, but should really be avoided at da troop or crew level. Breaks down too many balances. Bein' COR and a direct contact leader is really mixin' things up badly, kinda like havin' the boss's son as a trainee on the job site, except it's actually da boss! That should happen only in really small units or units with a "unique" CO approach to da program.

 

If you're not a really small program, I reckon da adult has to think long and hard about da COR role. To do that job properly he has to step back from a lot of direct unit involvement. If his love and interest is in direct unit involvement, then COR's a job he should decline. If he does accept the COR job, he should resign as DL and ASM. Those aren't compatible positions. I think he might also consider relinquishing the CC role and drop back to just being an MC (regular committee member), which BSA also allows. Remember, as COR he'll be a district committee member and a votin' member of the council, so there are other duties there that he'll be picking up.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Beavah

 

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Let me see, let the pack fold, or get rid of the boys and dads that fight and don't get scouting. I hold a number of jobs, because I have five currently, I am registered as an ACM, but that is irrelevant in my book. I am currently the Wolf DL and the Tiger DL. They meet on consecutive nights. Training coordinator, event coordinator and ACM. I have a couple of adults who I am working on to take the reigns as Den leaders. The most work is DL, Everything else is easy in comparison.

 

We had a bunch of boys with behavior issues, working with the parents we got them some help and hopefully they can return to scouting once they are better. We removed a father who was running other family's out of the pack with shall we say over zealous religious fervor. Before you attack others remember a little thing called the Inquisition or Witch hunting. He also spanked even after being trained, that made the removal easier.

 

We had a fantastic outing this past weekend, the biggest pack outing EVER. All but one of the boys had at least one parent and we had 15 complete family's attend, sibs and all. Fantastic. It is a step toward were we want to be.

 

So if you enjoy it, jump in with both feet, you just need to know when to say when. Scout rules are open to a lot of interpretations as you can see by the bickering here.

 

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Like someone else said, it really depends on the size of your pack! Right now in our small pack I am ADL for my DS's Web2 den, the DL for the Web1's, and treasurer. It's not all that much, as most of the DL's hold multiple positions (and by virtue of the fact that comittee meetings are usually only attended by leaders, we are all comittee memebers.) Do I really WANT to do all of this? no, but until someone else is ready to do any of it, I will do my best!

 

is one adult, multiple positions ideal? no, of course not. but sometimes it's a must! should you try to actively recruit more parents to help in various positions? of course! sometimes all they need is for someone to ask them.

It sure sounds, on paper, that your guys is overextending himself. But is he doing a good job, bad job, great job? Should any of his different positions start to suffer, I would definatly consider finding someone else. But as long as he does a better-than-'ok' job, if he's willing to do it until someone else steps up, go for it!

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The tables are side by side, run them both, no big deal. I do have a couple of parents that help but will not be an official leader. The first meeting of the fall was no big deal a welcome to scouting and our campfire. The October one will be a bit of a challenge with skits and all going on. My Son is acting as sort of a Den Chief for the Tigers, sort of. He is only a year older after all.

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"My Son is acting as sort of a Den Chief for the Tigers, sort of. He is only a year older after all."

 

Where are the Adult Partners? Your Pack doesn't have DA's? I understand your dedication, but if you have a campout with 15 complete families, why don't you have adequate leadership?

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Its all fine and good to say what BSA's official position is about adult volunteers. The problem is that BSA is critically short of volunteers. All you have to do is look at the Commissioner numbers - most regions have fewer than half the Commissioners that they are supposed to have to fulfill their obligations. Our District has people who have roles at the District level, hold positions with Packs and Troops and are on any number of committees and boards. Most of those who do that level of volunteering are retired or semi-retired and have more time. Right now I'm DL for what was 2 dens at the Tiger level. We went from having 4 adult volunteers to having me. I see many such situations throughout scouting. The real question for me is what positions have an inherent conflict of interest - like CC and DL or COR and any direct contact position.(This message has been edited by docrwm)

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There have been some questions about unit size - - let me clarify: The Pack has about 70 boys, the Troop has about 50.

 

Beavah - a thoughtful answer to a complex question, but I think (in light of the unit size above) your input helps most. Shortridge, +1 as well.

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There have been some questions about unit size - - let me clarify: The Pack has about 70 boys, the Troop has about 50.

 

Beavah - a thoughtful answer to a complex question, but I think (in light of the unit size above) your input helps most. Shortridge, +1 as well.

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WOW! In a pack that large the only reason for not having adequate leadership is noty using the right selectionaand recruitment process.

 

The Cubmaster and Committee chair need to serioulsy learn and adapt the process that can be found in the BSA's "Selecting Quality Leaders" brochure.

 

http://www.scouting.org/boyscouts/trainingmodules/selecting%20quality%20leaders.aspx

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