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Scouter0626

Challenges with Committee

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Hello All,

 

I have to say this forum is great. I am new CM finishing my first year. It has been a challenge to say the least. Between the politics and people in general. In any case, our CC does double duty as a Webelos leader. Also, a few of the Den leaders have found the CC to be difficult to work with to the point that they want to quit. I find myself to be a referee of sorts. I have tried to have discussions with the CC and he feels that the world is against him respected. Mind you the CC is in his first year. He wants to do everything but then it falls apart. I am very frustrated and I do not want to loose leaders over this. Any advice?

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Thanks for the reply. I have not discussed this with my charter org rep. I did not think to even concern him. I have brought this up with the district commisioner. However, i did not mention the leaders quitting issue but I tried to express my issues. Mistake on my part there. How much involvement does the charted org need to be? historically in this pack, there hasnt been much. I have been filling that gap this year.

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If your COR is like mine; he/she will probably look at you and say: "..and you are?" Probably not alot of help there.

 

The Pack is YOUR reponsibility. Period. If this guy is running folks off, if may be time for a sit down between you and he. Tell him how you feel.

 

It's not worth losing leaders and Scouts over.

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I have been keeping a good relationship with my COR and he at least knows my name. However, i have tried the one-on-one with the CC and tried to be diplomatic with him and well it obvissouly didnt work. So, i have to be more direct basically say people can't work with you and are frustrated and have expressed quitting. Last year, when the CC took over, there was a big blow out with the prior committee and him about becoming a CC. This sucks, I am loosing enthusiasm.

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I have to disagree with jamist649.

 

The COR & CO have the ability to hire & fire the adult leaders of a BSA unit. If they do not get involved, the committee Chair - through a vote with the committee, can hire/fire the adult leaders.. The CM, can not hire/fire anyone, but it is his job to make sure the DL's are doing their job.. (In certain situations, this can put the CM in a difficult position if the CC & CM are not seeing eye to eye..

 

So you can talk nicely to the CC in a helpful and friendly manner so as find yourself put up on the "selling block" at the next committee meeting.. Or you can seek out your absentee COR and see if you can coerce him into helping out..

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It is a BIG mistake for anyone to serve as both the CC and a den leader. The CC most definitely needs to be able to get along with other adults. Sounds to me like the pack would be better off with him serving as the WDL, not the CC, and definitely NOT as both. All that is necessary is for the COR to have a short conversation with him and give him the good news that his talents are most needed as the WDL. If the COR is hands off, that's okay, you give the talk, but be sure the COR will back you up. If he walks, he walks. Don't let his personality burn you out.

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Talk with your COR, explain the situation and determine what needs to be done.

 

One thing you need to determine, why was he made the CC when there was a "blow out" when he was selected? There must have been a reason he was installed despite objections. What has changed that now makes it so that the people that were not listened to last year need to be listened to this year?

 

Then the two of you should sit down with the CC and be frank about the situation. If the two of you have decided to remove him then thank him for his service and install your new CC. Hopefully you know who that will be.

 

You likely do not need to get into whose fault it is or all the things that the CC is doing to make the DLs want to quit. It likely will not do any good and could make things worse. They don't matter anyway. The CC is frustrated, the DLs are frustrated and you are frustrated. It is much easier to replace a CC than a number of DLs. All the more as frustrated DLs will likely leave the pack and take their sons and other scouts with them.

 

Best of luck with this.

 

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>

 

 

It sounds like you have people with good intentions and that the problem is varying degrees of ability and experience.

 

It's not surprising to have program problems when doing an activity for the first time. One approach would be to review the previous months activities at your committee meeting and decide how to improve things the next year. Letting everyone know that mistakes are being reviewed with an aim towards correcting them should help reduce irritation.

 

Does the CC have the basic planning and leadership skills needed to do the job? If the problem is lack of program planning experience, that will correct itself over time. If it's a lack of basic leadership ability, it wont.

 

Are the same mistakes being made in activity after activity? That would be a problem. If NEW mistakes are made with different activities, that's not surprising.

 

If the CC can't really do the job, I'd be looking for someone to serve as a new CC and encourage the current CC to do just the Webelos DL position.

 

 

 

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A bit more background about the difficulties the DLs are having with the CC would be helpful.

 

It sounds like your COR involvement is similar to ours. For us he just signs the paperwork when necessary. He is supportive of our Pack but doesn't have the time to be involved in the planning and execution of the program.

 

So far I see that you are in your first year as CM and he is in his first year as CC. Changing the top two leadership positions simultaneously can be a big adjustment for a Pack. How much experience have you both had with the Pack prior to these positions, and how much experience have the DLs had?

 

Is it possible that one or more of the DLs had an eye on the CC position and is bitter now? I witnessed that type of situation a couple years back, where one of the DLs "didn't have time" to be the CM, but was constantly making things difficult for the guy who did step in to the role. He thought he could do a better job and wanted to make sure everyone else knew that.

 

Training could help everyone involved, if it's missing currently. It should help everyone understand what is expected of each position, possibly clearing up some misconceptions.

 

I understand your frustration from experience. I was in the 'peacekeeper' role for a couple years, and I hated it. I simply can't stand for any adult politics in this program. This year has been our first full year since a couple of the 'personalities' have moved on, and it's amazing how positive the vibe is among our leadership.

 

Your situation does need to be diffused, though...I was surprised at how parents who were attending our Pack events could pick up on the tension between leaders, and it made them uncomfortable.

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Thanks to all for the great information here! This is really helping!

 

@KISMIF - Half of the DL are first year. Another DL is on his second year. The current CC is a webelos DL with three years as a DL under his belt. there really was no contention for the CC position. I spent some time with the previous CM to understand the job was still in contact with him for a few months after he moved on. The current CC never really "shadowed" the previous CC and I worked thru the previous CM to get what ever material I from the previous CC and Secretary. This was because of some personal differences and from the previous committee, they felt the current CC was pushing his way thru to make changes and brought in council members. It was messy.

 

As far as issues between DL and the CC. The common complaint is the CC does not listen to ideas and concerns, is too controling, takes on many tasks and doesn't deliver, a lot of I told you so. So it seems to me to be a leadership issue. In one instance we had an auction at the B&G. One DL, who lost his job wasnt able to get all his tasks done for the auction, the CC harped on it until he finally said that he needs to be replaced.

Then came the PWD. I had asked the committee for how we would do the trophies and how many. In previous years each scout would get a trophy. This year the pack did not have the money to do so. So I asked each DL and committee member for alternatives via email. Some suggestions came back and then the CC replied saying that these ideas were "cheesy" and basically crap. This DL took offense and almost quit. I approached the CC saying that the tone was very condescending and we would loose leaders this way. Also during the PWD, the CC was telling people what to do even though I had a specific plan and it was being followed. So a DL blew up on the CC and told him to stay out. That wasnt right on the DL side but understandable. Again to me this is a leadership issue.

The CC has had the most training, but doing double duty as DL does not help. I always hear from the CC the he has the biggest den.

I have had asked the CC to delegate some of the tasks he had, and he created a fundraising chair. It was never discussed that this position was available, so that took people by surprise and committee members where upset. Technically the CC was in the wrong because he didnt advise the COR of the position. Is that a training issue?

I have a one-on-one with the CC but he doesnt see the issues or maybe I am not conveying it well. The CC believes everybody is against him. It is almost paranoia.

I apologize for the lenght of my response but it is almost too much write out. I hate complaining about anything, i just want to fix it and move on. But I feeling disgruntled myself.

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Did the CC know the B&G auction guy had lost his job? Were the things he had to do for the auction related to his job? Was he expected to pay for things out of his own pocket? Better communication between the auction guy, the B&G Chair, and the CC, would have helped that situation.

 

Discussions on what trophies to award are better done in person, at the Pack Leaders Meeting, than thru emails. It would have worked better if you (or better yet the CC who is in charge of running Pack Leader Meetings) had simply sent out an email telling everyone to bring ideas for trophies to the next Pack Leaders Meeting (committee meeting). The DL who was upset at the CC's opinion, that did not agree with his own, was obviously still ticked off at the CC over the B&G. When you ask for feedback you should not be surprised, or upset, when you get it.

 

At the PWD, did any of you consider that the CC was only trying to help? You say that you had a plan, and it was being followed. Obviously the CC was not following it. Did the CC know the plan? Did you, as the PWD Chair, when you saw him giving contradictory instructions, step in and DIPLOMATICALLY give him a specific job? It is never "understandable" for a den leader to "blow up" in front of the Pack, or den, and as CM, you should NEVER give the impression that it is.

 

Hopefully, since a CM is not in charge of what a CC does, when you "asked" the CC to delegate some of his tasks it was done in a friendly, this would help take some pressure off of you, type of suggestion.

 

Why are you upset when the CC did exactly what you "asked" him to do? The committee, and committee positions, are the responsibility of the Committee Chair. One of his responsibilities with the committee is to assign duties to committee members. A CC, or any other unit leader, does not have to run all of his actions past the COR for "approval". Unless the CC was registering a brand new volunteer as a committee member, there was no need to "advise" the COR of what he did. A CC is also not required to get approval, or even input, from the rest of the committee when assigning committee members tasks.

 

You say that you have all been thru some training. It sounds like every registered Pack adult needs to get themselves completely trained (or re-trained) for their position(s).

 

It also sounds like ALL of the leaders need to stop with the urinating contests and learn to work together - for the boys.

 

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The BSA web site says one of the Committee Chair's jobs is "Assigning duties to committee members." It doesn't say the CC has to announce all open positions in advance and interview all interested parties or that he has to inform the COR every time he assigns duties.

 

You have to choose your battles. If you complain about things that are not real problems or minor issues he will be less likely to listen to you about the big issues.

 

I think the really big issue is that he is bossy, condescending, and not willing to listen to ideas, etc. I can sympathize, because we had problems with that in our troop in the past. What all these things boil down to is somebody who is selfish and self-centered.

 

Unfortunately, he has probably been this way most of his life, so it is going to be impossible for you to make him change.

 

So, as unpleasant as it may sound I would say if somebody else is willing to do the job the other leaders should ask him to step down or ask the COR to assign a new Committee Chair. Clearly being CC and Webelos den leader is too much for one person anyway.

 

But before you do that you have to make sure these other adults will back you up so it's not you against the CC. If you go about it wrong it could go badly for you.

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Thanks for elaborating on the situation.

 

I guess one positive thing to keep in mind (unless he has a younger son) is that since the current CC is also the Webelos DL, then he should be expected to move on some time next year. Depending upon when your 2nd-year Webelos typically cross over, this could be as early as next February. So my first suggestion is to see if there is a way to keep things friendly and ride it out.

 

Personalities aside, it seems like a majority of the issues stem from all of the leaders not being on the same page. Like ScoutNut mentioned, many discussions are best held in-person at the Leaders Meeting. I will use email discussions at times for the same kind of thing you did, but when doing so I spell out a few options and ask for a vote. I find it helps keep the discussion from going off the rails.

 

Have regular (monthly) Committee/Leaders Meetings. The DLs should be included because it sounds like they are helping to execute the events (e.g., auction, PWD) that are being planned at these meetings. Send out an agenda in advance so that everyone knows what will be discussed. This is the opportunity for each person to voice his/her opinion, *not* at the event itself.

 

Make sure there is buy-in for event plans, and that assignments are clear after discussing a topic (e.g., "OK, so just to wrap up the discussion, V and W are in charge of setting up the track, X and Y are handling car check-in, Z is taking care of snacks."). The Secretary should be doing this, or handle it yourself if you don't have a Secretary.

 

After the meeting and before the event, send out a short update describing the plan and assignments. This benefits anybody who wasn't at the meeting while at the same time repeating the assignments to avoid any confusion.

 

If it is the case that the current CC should be moving on within a year, then start the discussion at the next Leaders Meeting that the committee should begin looking for candidates to succeed the CC. Describe it as an opportunity for the next person to "shadow" the current CC during this next year, and suggest that the replacement help "share the load" with the CC as a way of off-loading some tasks.

 

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