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ASM915

Troop Leader and Out -of-Wedlock Child

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What is the general concensus on a single leader with an out-of-wedlock child?

 

Just happened in our Council, 22 or 23 year old single female SM who just recently had a child. The CO was a religious based organization, not to active with their troop, didn't know about the SM.

 

Some parents complaind to the DE, who approached the CO. Needless to say, there have been leadership changes.

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Not a good role model in my opinion.

 

Since she is now a single mother, would she have the time to commit to the unit?

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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Not enough information. I personally would not choose a 22 year old female to be an SM. Too distracting to the 17 year old boys.

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I wouldn't choose a 22 year old anybody to be an SM - not enough life experience. And I have to wonder why the CO is upset, when they apparently didn't do their job of choosing leaders the right way, to begin with. Perhaps they will be clearer in terms of communicating their expectations when they choose the next SM. But I wonder if they have the same standard for young men whose parental status changes, as they did for this young woman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All I can say is nepatism, passed down from dad. Mom is/was the Crew advisor.

 

Lisa, good point. I sure hope so.

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What is the general concensus on a single leader with an out-of-wedlock child?

 

Yah, I think askin' a bunch of different people from around da country is probably not that helpful, eh? The real answer to the question is the one you gave - What does the CO think?

 

A lot depends on age and individual. Someone who had an out-of-wedlock child 20 years ago who has repented vs. a gal with a 6-month-old.

 

At the same time, I'd much rather see a gal with a 6-month old than a gal who had an abortion to keep her lifestyle and SM position unchanged.

 

Yah, this is one of those things that we're glad to have CO's for. The CO can decide what its view and mission is, and how best to convey that.

 

Beavah

 

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"Someone who had an out-of-wedlock child 20 years ago who has repented vs. a gal with a 6-month-old. "

 

How exactly would you know that they had "repented" and what does that mean anyway? And what's the "statute of limitations," as it were, on this sort of thing? I know quite a few current and former single parents who would readily agree that single-parenthood is pretty tough. I know a fair few who would also point out that it was either not by their choice, or that it was better than the alternatives available to them at the time. "Repent" probably doesn't apply in many of those cases.

 

I can see that the situation could be different, though I'll withhold my personal judgment, when we're talking about someone whose status changes while they're in the leadership role.

 

But start looking very far into the past and once again I do fear we're getting into the inquisition business.

 

In the case ASM915 describes though, this is an easy call: the CO dropped the ball on choosing leaders in an appropriate way. He states that they did not know this person to start with. Plenty of CO's do that, I know, and it is sheer dumb luck most of the time that it works out ok. When it doesn't work though, the BSA as a program tends to take the blame and to suffer (along with the boys!) for the fault of the CO. Not to mention that this young woman was probably not very happy with the CO for choosing her and then dropping her in such a public way. Had the CO done their job of selecting leaders properly to begin with, they could have saved the DE, the parents, the boys, the former-SM, and themselves quite a few headaches.

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Beavah usually beats the CO drum and I agree with him. I know the book version of the unit hierarchy and the all too often reality version. If CO's are deeply involved in the units in his part of the country, my hat is off to them. I have a feeling that most scouter's experience is that the majority of CO's take a mostly hands off approach.

 

When I was the Committee Chair for our Pack, the COR basically rubber stamped any warm body who would volunteer. I had to track down the IH to get his signature on our recharter. They were happy to provide us meeting space, but didn't want to be involved in much of anything else, despite our best efforts to improve our relationship.

 

The first Troop we joined had some issues shortly after we arrived. It was an old guard vs new guard confrontation with the SM's wife who was the treasurer getting angry at a committee meeting and throwing binders at the new Committee Chair with the boys in ear shot. We had a specially called meeting where the COR basically told everyone to make nice and get along and don't bug him again. This guy was a veteran scouter and his wife works for the Council.

 

Our current Troop has a pretty good relationship with the CO since a new minister has come on staff who is pro Scouting. Still, I think they leave the leadership of the Troop up to the Troop and rubber stamp it.

 

Unless someone takes an issue of an unwed mom as SM to the CO, I'm not sure how many CO's would have any idea of what was going on. I think that things like this get passed to the CO when the other leadership in the Troop don't want to handle it. I also think that many CO's don't like getting dragged into this kind of contoversy, but are compelled to have to deal with it.

 

I would have difficulty first of all with any person of this age being the SM and second of all getting pregnant outside of marriage. I myself have done some pretty dumb stuff back in my 20's that I don't really want to be made public knowledge even after I passed 50 last week. I can honestly say that becoming involved in Scouting has really made me much more aware of my image and my example to the boys. While I am a forgiving person and understand how situations like this happen, I think the best thing would be for a person in this postion to quietly step down.

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I agree with Lisa on age and maturity, and where was the Chartered Partner in the first place?

 

I agree with Beavah on "this is one of those things that we're glad to have CO's for. The CO can decide what its view and mission is, and how best to convey that."

 

I have to wonder, though... does Beavah type Beavah-speak in his legal writings, and does he speak Beavah-speak in the courtroom??? I've pretty well concluded Beavah is either an attorney, or works closely with attorneys, in his day job.

 

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I think Beavah is da top coppa in da bidness! I sure hope that new bundle of joy doesn't resemble the JASM! Edited part: Jokes aside, I have made a few mistakes myself before I became perfect so I will not pass judgement here but echo Lisabob and others about experience and maturity.(This message has been edited by local1400)

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I don't think a persons marital status is any business but their own. Married, previously married, planning to get married, never planning to get married - that's a private matter and should not concern a BSA unit. Practically speaking, the matter will arise of course (eg., while compiling contact lists) but should not be a decision point for any leadership role.

 

IMHO

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I agree that marital status should not be a factor in who is a leader. But I do have a major issue with a 22 years old who get pregant and is not married being a SM, or even an ASM.

We try to teach the boys to make good moral choices. That hopefully they won't have sex outside of marriage. So we now have their SM pregant and not married. This isn't the example or the role model I would want for my 14, 15, 16, or 17 year old son.

I havebeen in scouting many years. Had my first Brownie troop at 22, when my daughter was only about a year old.

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I have to say that I react differently to this scenario than to the one where the unwed parent is an Eagle candidate. Here, this person is supposed to be an adult leader and role model who should be exemplifying good character to the youth members. I have to say that in most of the likely factual situations I can think of, a 22-year-old unwed mother would not be in a good position to do this. I can think of plenty of other moral failings that would make me feel the same way about an adult leader, some of them also things that aren't illegal (heavy gambling might be an example).

I guess there might be a few situations in which one would still hesitate to remove this woman from her post, though--maybe if she is engaged to the father, who is currently deployed to Iraq.

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To summarize, so far I've learned ...

 

- That a single person who has had sex outside of marriage should not be a SM or ASM. What about people who have drunk alcohol underage, or who have gotten a speeding ticket?

 

- That people who are younger than 23 should not be a SM because they don't have enough life experience. How old does one have to be to have gathered enough experience to be a SM?

 

- That a young female adult should not be a SM because she might be distracting to the boys. I suppose women are limited to serving on the committee, or better yet maybe they should stay away from the troop altogether, especially if they are attractive.

 

- That someone whose parent was the previous leader of a troop should not beome a leader. I'd better tell our SM's son Frankie that he is not allowed to come back to our troop after college and serve as a leader.

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On the family passing the position issue, Th mother, the Advisor, seemed to try to control both groups, Troop and Crew. Dad, the SM, seemed there as the token male figure. Never heard or saw him do much the 6 or so months my son was involved in the Crew. As for being the advisor, mom pretty much told everyone, scouts and parents alike, how it was going to happen. She had the Troop and Crew meeting on the same night, same place same romm. Daughter was the lead Venturer.

 

The mother refused to have anything to do with the Council, office staff, camps, store, etc. She would send the scouts/venturers to the neighboring Councils camps and stores, use their MBC's, etc. She and he knew all the scouting rules, but would only abide by the ones that benefited them. When they were called into a meeting by Council or District, on issues, they would send someone else from the Troop/Crew that had no idea what they were walking into, if anyone was sent at all. If a private meeting was set up without them being invited and they found out, then they would show ranting and raging (not a misspell). We've all heard of the A-One control freaks. Mom was their trainer.

 

kenk,

I don't have a problem when a Scout comes back to the Troop that their father was or is SM or ASM in and join the adult leadership. the problem with the above situation is/was that the girl was put into her fathers position when he stepped down, by the mother to keep from loosing control.

 

I know several females who are ASM's and SM's and do a great job at it. They know and follow the rules and guidelines though.

 

I know several young adults under 23 who have had more life experiences then most of us 40 somethings.

 

As for SEX, DRUGS and ALCOHOL,

If you get caught with the drugs by the authorities or someone in the organization, I'll be one of the first people to politely be asking you to step down and out of the Troop. I'll be more then willing to help you get help if the person wants it. Alcohol, if you pull a DUI, or are found driving on an activity or participating in such activity and have had more then the dinner drink, the same will be asked of you.

As for sex, well I'm not going to be running around checking out vehicles at the popular make-out spots looking for my leadership, or peeping into windows leading the Sex Inquisition, but if your stupid enough to get someone pregnant or get yourself pregnant and get caught, you pay the piper. If a wedding is in the picture and the situation made MORALLY correct, then I think there is a possibility for a discussion on "MORALLY STRAIGHT" for the lads, if the person is willing to be involved and help with the discussion.

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