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NatureGirl

Troop Committee Chair Responsibilities

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I'm curious does the Committee Chair always have the right to appoint people to positions or can the committee nominate and vote in people who volunteer to do the job. Our committee chair doesn't even have troop committee challenge and she tells us she has the right to appoint people to positions. We have some micromanaging & controlling problems with our Husband and wife scoutmaster and committee chair positions. Really a conflict of interest I believe, one can't seem to control the other's outbursts at committee meetings and talking behind peoples back. Real good example of the scout law, etc. Suggestions???

 

Thank you, this site has been a valuable resource for me!!

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"I'm curious does the Committee Chair always have the right to appoint people to positions"

 

Yep, with the approval of the Charter Org Rep, which is a rubber stamp in most cases.

 

Most unit committees have votes and discussion and more votes about everything. However, if the CC wants, she can rule like a dictator, appointing and firing whomever she wants until she runs afoul of the COR who can either tell her to stop or fire her.

 

Unfortunately, husband & wife teams often have some problems. Your only course of appeal is the COR.

 

 

 

 

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Exactly like Gold Winger said, the actually COR runs the show..... if he's involved. Far too often though, the COR is a "paper position" given to someone who doesn't function simply for recharter purposes, and the Committee is left without accountability and direction. As a COR I have replaced 12 Troop and Pack adult leadership positions in the past several months to try to breath some life into our unit. I've been involved with Scouting for a good number of years, and until I actually became one I never fully realized the significant role a COR can have on a unit, for good or for bad.

 

I'd suggest you talk to your COR about the power seeking, untrained leaders in your, unit and see if he can bring some harmony to your committee.

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Welcome to the Forums.

 

Committee Chair is the lead member of the "support side" of a Scouting unit. He/she ensures the Program Officer (DLs&Cubmaster/Scoutmaster/Advisor) have the resources and coordination to present the program to the youth.

 

GMithch is right; all leaders are appointed with the explicit blessing of the Chartered Org Rep.

 

GoldWinger is equally right; sadly, in many chartered partners the COR is a rubber stamp at best.

 

One of the CC's biggest jobs is to help recruit staff for the Committee, and to help the SM find ASMs.

 

Since you mentioned TC Challenge, both BS Fast Start and TC Challenge are available online. Not as good as the Committee doing it as a group, but better than being utterly untrained. Access these online modules through the MyScouting portal:

http://www.scouting.org/Applications/MyScoutingFull.aspx

 

If you have concerns about a fellow leader, address them in private first. If you cannot get satisfaction, then you may think about surfacing them to your COR. Understand, though, that once you do that you may well burn relationship bridges, both for yourself and for your child in the program. Sad, but it happens.

 

 

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Thank you for your responses. You have all validated what I suspected and learned in various trainings as well as online. You are also correct in the assumptions that our COR is basically a rubber stamp. He, I believe, purposely been kept in the dark about what exactly his authority and responsiblity really is. Several of us have been discussing bring him more into the fold, but you must understand if we do this we are doing this without the consent of the CC. I have heard her use terms such as explicitly vague and the less involved he is the better; thus giving her and her SM husband basically all the authority. Several MC have been discussing the quality of her work, the fact she doesn't control the meetings when her husband goes on a tirate against one of the MC which has happened, to recharter she just copies the previous years charter. We reduced our fees this year but at no point did she send a notice to the parent about rechartering what she said in the last meeting "well they should have known to do that when I mention rechartering was coming soon" at a troop meeting. Our treasurer saved the troop over $50 by filing changes with our council for those who did not wish to receive duplicate BL mag. in their family. We have never had a new parent orientation meeting welcoming them to our troop. Our SM knew 10 days in advance of the Web. II visit but never informed our "boy led troop" SPL that they were coming so something to be prepared for them to do/participate in. The SPL, ASPL & PL all had to fly by the seat of their pants. We have two ASM one who does a good job of enforcing the Patrol Method and is actually trained and one who wants to dictate where he feels there needs to be a change and insults and yells at a new parent (smart guy has qualities to do the job but has anger control issues). Several months ago a few of us plus CC, SM & COR all had a meeting and discussed some of the problems, we felt better at the time but nothing has changed. We've talked to our DR at council and he tells us he won't refer new scouts to us or recommend us, he also recommended to a member who was discussing his concerns and whose son just made Eagle he said go to troop --. Knowing all this and knowing the position of the COR (a religious leader/good man but just wants us all to get along). What would you do from here?? We have a great group of scouts who keep attending and new members keep coming from our affliate pack and have awesome potential for growth, if we can fix problem. Is it not possible for the committee to accept nominations for positions if this is what we what the committee wants to do. We are adding positions to our commmittee over the next couple of months to help lesson duties on the few of us that have held the same positions for over 4 years. I realize this alot of info but to comment further I felt is was needed.

 

Thank you,

 

YIS,

 

 

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The one person no one has mentioned in all this is your unit commissioner. These are the kinds of issues that a commissioner can, and is supposed to, help with.

 

One of the things I would like to see in official BSA guidance is that committee chairs, scoutmasters, treasurers, and advancement coordinators should all come from different households. This forum has seen numerous talkes like this where key leadership positions were performed by spouses from the same household.

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Yah, I disagree with the notion that a Committee Chair can act as sole chooser and appointer of positions, eh? That's not the intent of the BSA at all. That would make the CC essentially the same thing as a COR.

 

When there's a signature line on an application for the Committee Chair, the CC is signing on behalf of the committee. The signature represents that the committee as a group authorizes the action (whether by vote or consensus or whatever, eh?). Absent a decision endorsed by the whole committee, the CC has no independent, personal authority the way the COR or IH does. They speak with "authority" only when they speak on behalf of (and with da approval of) the committee. At all other times, they're just a regular committee member. Same as with a chairman of any board of directors, or any public body.

 

Unless, of course, da CO wants the committee to run that way, eh? But then they should appoint the same person as COR/CC.

 

Twoscouts, I feel your pain, eh? I really discourage husband/wife SM/CC combinations, especially at the upper division programs. If your DE and UC are really on board as yeh suggest, as a commish I'd approach the IH and COR and recommend a gentle change at the next recharter, movin' to a new CC. That can be handled with finesse and respect if done right. Opening it up to nominations and a committee vote is fine, too.

 

That havin' been said, many of the individual things yeh mention really seem worth gettin' too upset over, eh? Forgetting to tell the SPL about visitors is an ordinary mistake not even worth discussin' at an adult level - that's the SPL's job to take up with the SM. ;) Now, the DE not recommending the troop is more disturbin'. That suggests there's lots of other stuff goin' on in the unit; but it also is poor behavior for a DE.

 

So I'd say two things at once. One is "be aware this might just be the normal noise from workin' with people". Don't make mountains out of molehills, or let annoying personalities get in the way of focusin' on supporting the SM and the kids. Grin and bear it.

 

At the same time, if there really are deeper structural issues that go beyond small annoyances and such, or just for general program health, encourage a few key folks to have a conversation about whether it's time to rotate the CC position. Not a coup, done with finesse and respect, the CC taking some other important role, but opening up the process a bit with the next CC bein' recommended by the committee, and accepted for a fixed term. That has to be done by the DE/UC/COR/SM, inspired by a nudge from a few key current MCs.

 

Beavah

 

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Determining committee positions is a shared responsibility of the CR and Committee Chair. Either or both can make the determination with the CR having the final say.

 

This in no way makes the CC the same as a CR. The CC is not a member of the district and council committee by virtue of his or her position as is the case with the CR. Nor is the CC the representative of the scouting program to the charter organizations board as the CR is.

 

The function of the Committee Chair is to: A) work with the Unit leader to insure a year round planned program. B) provide support for the unit's scouting program. C) assign tasks to the various committee members and hold monthly committee meetings to check on their progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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eisely: We have no unit commissioner.... The DE has been trying to find one....

 

Beavah Thanks !!

 

We have several MC's talking to the DE some are in charge of our pack and some volunteer on the district level as well. We are trying to make some gradual changes -- as you mention with finese.... It is not an attempt to have a coup but it hurts to see a troop your sons are in and you've worked so hard to support and grow have these essentially unnecessary and unimportant struggles. In my opinion we have leaders who have forgotten the Scout Oath & Law and the focus is not themselves or myself for that matter, but the scouts in our troop, our future leaders. How can one teach what they themselves can't practice?

 

 

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Bob,

 

What do you do if the CR is pretty much inactive. He shows up at Scout Sunday and maybe at one or two other events throughout the year. This is another part of the problem. We really don't have anyone between the CC & the IH. We really need a new one but I think that some members of the committee think that the IH is afraid to request changes at their church board meetings because the church membership board, etc. may not be as supportive of the troop as the IH. They are thinking that if it weren't for his support we would not be there. Therefore he chooses to make no waves so to speak. As I mentioned above I really believe that it's been really convienent for the CC to have two relatively inactive charter, she pretty much keeps him in the dark outside of the occassional signature needed on one form or another.

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If the IH does not have the support of his or her superiors to have a scout unit there, then perhaps they should not have a scout unit. No unit is going to be as strong as it can be, or last as long as it could last, if the organization that owns them does not want them.

 

Never operate by a fear of what 'might' happen. Operate by what is. If you need a CR then go the the institutional head and explain why you need an active Charter Organization Representative.

 

I would also strongly recommend to him or her that having a husband and wife team in the committee chair and unit leader position is VERY bad. Rarely will anything good come from such an arrangement.

 

The same is true of having spouses in the committee chair and committeetreasurer positions, or the Scoutmaster and Advancement chair positions.

 

The chartering organization needs to have an objective manager overseeing the scouting program, That is one reason you need an active CR.

 

Bob

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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