Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I am not really sure how to approach this. My ASM continues to be really bossy with the scouts (and everybody else in general) This past weekend at a whitewater camping trip he blew up. As a rule we do not let our scouts buy cokes, candy, etc. with patrol money...as a patrol for their meals. I'v never stoped them from doing so if we on a trip and make a stop...they do it with their own money.


During our trip my ASM decided to feed everybody pizza because our chicken had not thawed out for dinner. I had know problem with this...but it was more or less told rather than discussed. Some of the scouts (with out me knowing --SM--) bought a soft drink. My son came to me and wanted a softdrink because some of the others had bought soft drinks.


(I have no problem with the boys buing soft drinks when we are out if they have their own money. I do not allow soft drinks to be bought with patrol money as part of the patrol menue.


The ASM also told them not to drink any mork of the "Bug Juice" because we were going to run out wait until the pizzas are ready.


My son came back to me and told me the ASM woulden't let him buy a coke 'Diet'


He is not suppose to have the sugar in 'Bug Juice'. I confronted the ASM and his response was....he threw is hat off pulled off his jacket and told me he was going to knock my head off. He diden't want to discuss this and that was the rule NO COKES peroid.


He was unaware that the others were buying soft drinks...as I was also unaware. We had 32 people out on this activiy and some parents.


My problem is...never before in my life has this happen. An adult making this kind of physical threat...he's also on the council committee. My reaction is to get away form this stuff. We had discussed this before...but it's a problem of sort term memory.


His son seems to have a major disipline problem and he (ASM) fails to want to deal with it. The boy continues to pick on the other scouts. I know he blew up because I continue to challange him about some of the things he does. (he has had training) but feels like because he is on the council committee he has clout.


At this point I'm ready to quit, my son is ready to quit, my wife is ready for us to quit. There seems to be know discussion with this guy. He's right and your right if you go alone with him. It's not a case where all the other leaders want him to go...there just not goin to get involved.


My son doesen't want to change troops, or he will drop out.


Maybe I'm from the old school, but I always thought that ASM's came to the SM before they made commitments with the scouts (ex. sending them to council camp as staff members for cubing programs..ie. spookaree, Webelo's residence ect.)

or allocated troop money form the treasurer(tipping our white water guides)or made decisions for the troop such as buying pizza without running it buy the SM. All in all we ran over the budget this weekend and went into troop funds beyond what was collected for this outing. Unfortunatly I at a disadvantage...most of my ASM's were together with him with cubs


Your answers will be apprecieated, because of the gravity of this problem I decided to post it for some responses. Thanks Eagle Foot

Link to post
Share on other sites

To many bosses not enought workers, thats the PC version of the saying.


We have many of the same issues in my sons troop. which I am an ASM. We have many adults with different rules, and when they should be enforced and not.


Bottom line, The ASM is there for support, everything should go through the SPL, not the SM. You need your "rules" written down and given to all leaders and scouts, so everyone is on the same page.

If you are the SM, I would tell the COR what happened, the CO should remove this ASM.


I understand how it is to be frustated by different rules from different leaders, BUT you where threatned, no one should be this furstated, he should be gone period.

Link to post
Share on other sites


#1 - ASM serve at the bequest of the SM.

#2 - The Committee is there to support the PLC and the SM to provide the BSA program

#3 - council is council, the troop is the troop. Just 'cause he's on a council committee, shouldn't mean squat with the troop, when addressing this issue.


I would suggest removing him. Yes it is harsh, but you have cited a history here. 1, To have this reaction over a non important rule like cokes is inane, It is just dangerous that he did not understand or realize that this is health related.

2. Okay, let's say this guy is stressed and got angry, due to change of plans, or physical exhaustion of the trip, every one gets angry, but NORMAL PEOPLE do not resort to stripping off clothes and threatening physical harm. (Prosecutable, sure, but I get the feeling removal of from the troop is what you are seeking)

3. The guy's a Helicopter to boot (Hovers about his kid)...just there for his son and his son does no wrong, hence no behavior modification from the parent.


The Unit Commissioner's guide has the part about removing a volunteer. In a nutshell: Troop CC and troop committe and you, as well as any parents who witnessed this incident, get together to discuss this and if they are going to proceed with removal of the ASM (you will probably lose the scout too in this incident). Once decided, you let the C.O.R. know as well as the ASM (There are ton's of threads on this forum concerning both sides of removal, however you have a legitimate basis for removing him). I would strongly suggest telling him in person, either two Committee members or the CC and yourself, there is no point in asking him to face a board of inquisition, it only serves to embarass someone and make the situation worse.


It is not that hard of a process, like all difficult things in life, the process is not necessary complex, often short and painful.


The next suggestion I have concerns the troop policies, did the boys create it? If not, I would suggest having them involved in this matter. One, it is their troop, Two, their rules will be harder than adults and Three, the will police themselves better than adults. It all adds up to preventing this type of adult meltdown in the future. Maybe not for you, but for the SM who comes along in a couple of years.

Adult Policies - A review, before all trips, of the medicals conditions of the kids. Even though I know so many of the kids, and see them every week, I review the troop forms concerning health issues, because I can't remember what kid has what reaction, who is allergic to bee stings, etc. I review this all the leaders of the trip. In our troop we have the "Binder" that goes with the trip leader, complete with roster (from scribe) permission form and payment history (from parent) health form (standard BSA class 2 for each scout), emergency contact list for every scout and every leader, insurance forms, tour permit, etc. All in plastic sleeves (our troop tends to make the rain god real happy to see us).


Sounds like this fellow wasn't trained, and if he was, did not pay attention.

Good Luck




Link to post
Share on other sites

First, I would have a meeting of my ASM's and Committee Chairman and show them the flow chart of what their positions are. Then I would let them know that they do the jobs assigned to them by you. When it comes to the program of the troop the PLC has the say with the Scoutmasters advice. The ASM's are in their position to help the Scoutmaster not to run events or outings unless the Scoutmaster has requested them to. If I were on an outing with the troop and I as Scoutmaster, make a decision different from the normal rules, so be it.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like son is image of ASM dad.


My advice - find a way to ditch the silly twit. He's dangerous physically and emotionally to your scouts.


I suspect the others who crossed over with him would be relieved.


Sorry for being blunt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Question: did this threat occur in front of the boys? If so, that's a whole different situation. Not exactly a Youth Protection issue, but something you may want to discuss with your Scout Executive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a side bar...


The son probably picks on the other boys because that verbal abuse and threats you experienced is probably just a taste of the venom that boy receives from his dad.


He (ASM) needs to be put on a short leash.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So what happened...well I have contacted my COR and we met. He agreed that this sort of thing should not go undone. He would like to get both sides of the incident so we are haveing a committee meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday). It's as if he would like to give the ASM another chance....he wants to throw it to the committee. I've already said if this happens I will be compromising my position...reguardless...adults do not do this.


Adults in scouting do not openly call the boys moorons (sp). Two other adults saw this...they agree this is not good. I feel if the committee goes with giving another chance I'll have to make some sort of decision (either stay or leave) the troop. I may possibly open it up to the council since he is on council staff. I don't need a loose cannon in scouting...who's to say when he will go off again. These are the guys that think because they are on staff or work with the council and district thay they have some special gift. That they can pull strings...maybe they can...I'm not so sure I want to be around these guys.


In scouting the PLC runs the troop with guidence from the scoutmaster and others (ASM's and the committee)if one person (ASM) calls all of the shots, does not meet with the scoutmaster, and concures how we are going to do things, I think they need a wake up call. Especially if they tell the scoutmaster they are going to knock his head off. He's gotta go!!!


Sure I don't want this...it's unfortunant, but its gotta be done. He needs to find out this is what happens. They would do it to me. I'm not happy about this. What am I suppose to do? Let him stay with the promise he will never do it again...sure stay just not in this troop. Am I suppose to let him take the scouts to summer camp? He thinks he's in charge... not once has he talked with me about it. What a mess it becomes when one adult wants to have everything their way. To bad I diden't see him at Woodbadge.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that this is a mess.

As for council position and district positions, (having myself just completed my tenure on the nominating committee) I can give you some insight on the "gift to scouting" mentality. It is Hard, really hard, to get folks on the district/council committees. Why? because many of the "doers" are folks like yourself who are the leadership of the unit.

As for the gifted mentality, remember, that the district and the council volunteer staff are there to support the units, through finance (FOS, Popcorn), membership (I.D.ing youth, potential new units) camp promotion (ensuring camp programs/facilities are up to par), JLTC, TRaining, etc. Commissioners work to ensure unit health, (rechartering, help, shoulder to lean on etc) All strive towards quality district and quality council, BUT all need healthy units to attain this stature. How, all are keyed into stated goals. One of these goals is always keyed into quality unit. Why, it ensures that the youth of the unit where properly registered, that leaders are trained, that there are enough leaders on the charter, etc.

Back to the gifted scouter and his impact on council/district volunteer staffs and how it applies to the above. One, with a shortage of folks, esp. commissioners, sometimes a warm body will do, especially if that warm body follows through on a job. NEVER equate this with being liked or influential on a program. TWO, There are lots of scouters who are on the district/council staffs 'cause they no longer work with a unit, (i.e. son left scouting, son became an adult, conflict with unit personal, unit folded, etc), and I am sorry to hear that in your area that there is a tendency to act better than every one else (one reason I don't where all the knots on my uniform is to avoid that tendancy, I wear a couple, not all) Three, and this is the important one, for you, your CC and the youth of the troop. In reality, a troop is or can be an isolated unit that does not need the district nor the council (ramifications later). That is to say: Your ASM is shown the door and starts trouble. Your unit has options, it can go out of council for: Summer Camp, JLTC, etc. As for signing up for philmont, northern tier, seabase council contingentsetc, I am sure that the professional staff would not let someone with an axe to grind involved with that decision and that is based on individual scout applications anyway. If the troop is going to any of those places, council volunteer staff have no input or say on that matter anyway.

Woodbadge? see the woodbadge posts on secrecy, there isn't any, you just sign up or again, go out of council.


The ramifications of this policy: One, calls from UC and DE who will want to know why you are not utilizing council camps (this is a friendly call). Not doing popcorn, again phone calls.

Now when you hit a council in its wallet, and I am assuming here, the professional staff is not going to take it kindly, especially in the long run, as the council outlays tons of dough to provide camps (a cheap camp will have a budget of $350,000 a year), JLTC (yeah, the costs cover the course, but the course is held where? oh yeah, council camp), FOS and Popcorn provide the funds to underwrite professionals salaries, the support staff (secretaries, etc).

You always have choices in life. I echo your decision to remove this ASM. I would be leery of what that individual may try on a council/district level, but I do not think it will effect the troop. If it does, see the above paragraph. But always follow the Oath, Law and the Golden Rule when making these decisions and take the high road. Take the low road and you only serve to help your ASM in his quest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me clarify here.

I do not think that going to an ultimate extreme of a troop going their own way is the answer, I only painted this picture to show that there are always choices. I neglected to include in that post the following.

One, talk to the dist. Com, and D.E. about this situation.

Two, work with the dist/council staffs, call them or see if there are other folks in your unit looking to help out in some way. It will be greatly appreciated on the district/council level.

Three, the most effective way, by examples one and two, is to affect change from within.

If the Oath and Law and Golden rule aren't enough, remember that the mission statement also applies to us adults, about making ethical decisions.


Link to post
Share on other sites


I agree with your post. Well ASM left after the meeting diden't think he had done anything wrong. As far as taking critisim about his son he wasen't up to listening. Complained how he had to pick the ball up all the time...my form of leadership is.... if you start something keep going with it... it's the best way to learn how to do it better.


CC woulden't back me, the committee was 50/50 I offored to change leadership...no takers. They put me on notice that my son and a couple of other scouts were on thin ice. I do agree to a certain extent. That justs a way to say we are a click not a movement and we are going to get rid of those we don't like.


ASM feels like I have jepordized his position in the council...I'm really sadened that this troop don't feel that threats to other adults by adults should be taken seriously. The troop was very upset that I took this outsid the troop to the COR before I took it to the CC. Normally I'm not a quiter...but since this group is gunning looks like they win in the end.


You can't judge scouting by this but it makes staying in tough. I think they are ready to have a change...ready or not. Doesn't seem as the best intrest of the boys is first.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...