Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Eamonn

Parent Coordinator

Recommended Posts

I'm still mulling this Parent Coordinator idea over.

On one hand I feel that I have been guilty of moaning and groaning that it seemed to me that nothing was being done to reach the one million new volunteers that the long term strategic plan called for.

Yet now when something is being done, I'm not sure if it's such a great thing.

 

I can and do see where maybe in a very large Troop this Parent Coordinator might earn his or her way.

But I also see that in most of the Troops in our area it isn't really needed. Mainly because they just don't have the members.

 

Earlier this year I attended the Council Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner.

The Scouts were presented with a certificate as they came back, I noticed that nearly all of them had the Arrow of Light on their shirts. At the time I thought that I needed to remember this in order to give the Cub Scouter's a much deserved pat on the back.

This Parent Coordinator has got me thinking about the life cycle of a parent.

When the little fellow becomes of age, he joins the Tiger Cubs. In most cases one parent signs up as the Tiger Partner.

If they make it through the first year, the Den moves on to become the Wolf Den.

If the Tiger Den had six Tigers, the Wolf Den will need at least two of these parents to become Den Leaders, with luck a couple will also sign up to join the Pack Management Committee.

Allowing for the boys that quit, this is about 80% of the available parents.

I haven't worked out how many of the little fellows remain in Cub Scouting all the way through?

It was common that many of the female Den Leaders, didn't stick around for the Webelos Scout years. But I think that is changing.

The Boy Scout Troops I know are maybe not as "Parent Friendly" as Cub Scout Packs seem to be.

Parents of young Boy Scouts are still very interested in what their son is doing and will if asked do what they can to help.

Their intrest seems to fade as their son starts to find things that He wants to do, which may not be things that they are really interested in. Often the Lad will put Scouts and Scouting on the back burner, as his interest wanes so does their involvement. Some parents do of course get involved in the activity by becoming part of whatever that activity needs: Coaches, Boosters or whatever?

A Parent Coordinator, might have some luck keeping some parents in and active, but I somehow don't see it lasting very long.

By the time the Lad can drive, only the parents who are "Hard core". Either active as uniformed volunteers or serving on committees will still be round.

I have to admit that I wasn't able to open all the links on the Scout Parents web site. I was a little saddened when the first one I opened seemed to be selling a bag that would be used to carry all the material around in and was left asking myself if this was just another way of Scout-stuff selling more stuff?

While I'm not sure of the true benefits this new position will bring? I do feel that it isn't going to do any real harm

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somehow I get the eerie feeling about this whole thing when I step back and just think a moment.

 

We have more and more clingy parents and that nice NY article indicating how certain groups are facilitating this clinginess and now BSA is organizing a liason type person to facilitate the involvement of more parental influence?

 

I see this as just one more step in the process of adult-led dynamics slowly creeping into the BSA.

 

I see this slow creep as not really going to work out well for the independant development of our scouts. They already are heavily challenged by adult leadership interference and now we've got a coordinator to make that process even easier?

 

Nope. Not for me.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest OldGreyEagle

I am not so sure its a bad idea. To have a single designated person the parents can go to for an explanation of why/how a troop works the way it does may be a good thing. Things like what a patrol is, what a duty roster is, why they camp by patrols, what the role of the SPL is, what SPL stands for. All the things some scouters forget that most humans are not born knowing. I see the Parent Coordinator as the person who can educate the parents in the way of scouting, that does imply a knowledge of the program but an experienced person could handle it. The person to ask why some advance faster than others (like show up on outings) A good parent coordinator can free the Scoutmaster up from explanations of BSA policy when he should be minding the youth.

 

I like it(This message has been edited by oldgreyeagle)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OGE,

 

I honestly hope you are correct. But the only information I can gather is from their website.

 

They state (I was unable to copy all their data):

 

ScoutParents Unit Coordinator

 

Units may choose to have more than one ScoutParents Unit Coordinator, especially those units with a large number of members.

 

Your ScoutParents Unit Coordinator proactively promotes, educates and inspires youth, parents and mentors about ScoutParents, Scouting FamilyTeams and The GREAT Family FUN of Scouting!

 

They also coordinate and assist in parent-mentor recruitment, retention and passionate participation in a Scouting FamilyTeam and as ScoutParents or other Dedicated Scouting volunteers.

 

Your ScoutParents Unit Coordinator:

 

Recruits your units initial ScoutParents Initiative sponsor(s), unless one already exists for your council, and orders your sponsored ScoutParents and other ProScouting material for your unit and Chartered Partner until your councils sponsor(s) is recruited.

 

Promotes and provides your ProScouting sponsored material year-round to your units Scouting participants and Chartered Partner;

Your ScoutParents Unit Coordinator also:

 

Promotes and helps conduct with other ScoutParents Coordinators, ScoutParents and Scouting FamilyTeams council and district annual Scouting Sign-Up events, unit annual Scouting Retention/Sign events and year-round Scouting FamilyTeam Scouting Retention/Sign-Up Visits;

 

Your ScoutParents Unit Coordinator is to their Scouting parents-mentors what a Cubmaster and Scoutmaster are to their Scouting youth.

 

 

I believe the need for a sponsor is due to the required (around) $250 QuickStart package required for each Unit and Council (I think they mean District). Also, if this position is to be an aide (like most MC positions are supposed to be) then why make it MANDATORY and FEE based? All the "Scouting Parents" are supposed to be signed up as Free (PA) like a TigerAdult? Webelos and Boy Scouts are supposed to be moving progressively to self reliance, not Mom/Dad teams with them the whole way....

 

I worry because this will not be known till AFTER. Just like the "Inner City Scout Handbook" of the 70's. Remember how well that worked?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why can't the parents go to any adult leader in the unit?

 

I don't see the need for another adult position like this. I only think it will create problems. This is the Boy Scouts of America, not the Parents of America.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As our Troop has grown, we have found a Parent Coordinator to be an excellent part of our program. The Parent Coordinator is a Committee Member and provides parents with a clear access point into the Troop as well as ensuring a consistent message. The Parent Coordinator meets with the new Webelos parents, and then holds two parent meetings during the year. This way, all our parents are on the same page, and get the same information. In 2009, we will also have a parents meeting on summer camp. This person is also the contact point for camp out info and can contact parents if necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The PC position is already probably being done to some degree by one or two leaders in many units.

 

The issues I see right now. This is not a BSA program. This is a money making effort from a group from a specific council. The materials are not BSA. The only place you can get them right now is through their website.

 

Secondly, this goes into place almost immediately for all units. There's going to be questions, feedback, etc. Are units (those that do what they want anyway) going to choose to ignore this position and remain status quo?

 

If National feels so strongly about the program, why don't they take it in house and produce the materials and host the program?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I dont see this as more adult led dynamics moving into the boys program. In fact, I almost think it was created to prevent that. But I do feel that it wont help the boy run dynamics because it keeps the parents just a little to close.

 

Our troop was rather large and when we saw the adults closing in on the boys just to be part of the program, we assigned a couple of JASMs to lead the new adult patrol. The JASMs would pull the adults together at all the troop meetings and campouts to brief them on the PLC meeting (we have one every week) and organize the adults for the next campout or activity. The objective from the SM was to keep the program boy run and to help the adults stay in a boy run frame of mind. It worked pretty well. It was a good experience for both the JASMs and the adults.

 

What I think is wrong with the Parent Coordinator idea is that it takes the SM away from the responsibility of personally guiding the adults and continually guiding them on the program philosophy. I found that adults work best in boy run programs when the SM continually teaches and guides adults to how the program works. I see a few up and coming Scoutmasters developing that technique here on the Scouter forums. Everyone will say that the Scoutmaster should spend all their time with the boys. In reality the boys do just fine when the adults get out of the way. I have said many times here that I learned that 50% of the scoutmasters time should be teaching and guiding the adults on the boy run program. It keeps the adults out of the way of the boys and it solidifies the program philosophy into the whole of the troop, not just the ASM circle.

 

But, our culture is changing faster than I can keep up. I wouldnt be surprised if the scouts start doing their PLC meetings with text messaging.

 

Barry

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just spent 30 minutes on the ScoutParent web site and and honestly say I didn't learn a thing. Hopefully it's just a crummy web site -- long on sizzle, short on steak. Their FAQ page contain three questions. Really?

 

My impression is that this is the creation of a PTA or Parents' Auxillary organization for Scouting. If someone wants to make the a case for why that's needed, I'll listen, but I remain to be convinced.

 

The issue of a unit level position of Parent Coordinator seems to be a totally different topic. I certainly understand that much of what may be in that job description is stuff that is already being done by others in the unit. But if I have someone who understands the program and can answer all parents' questions, I need them doing something more valuable than babysitting parents!

 

In my little part of the universe, I don't see a huge demand from parents for more ways to get involved with either their son or the troop. Those who want to do so have more than ample opportunities to get involved. Out troop offers a basic training for parents class the first month after the new Scouts cross over. We strongly suggest that both parents attend. I think that happened once (and both those parents are involved in the troop still). Usually we don't get every family represented for the sessions.

 

Parents always complain about communications. If they had attended our parent orientation course, they would know that we put the responsibility for informing parents on the Scouts. We don't send home notes pinned to sleeves. Yes, it can be a messy system, but the best way to teach responsibility is to give responsibility. At the same time, all info is available to parents by back channels. Our calendar is posted on-line and a hard copy is hanging in the hut. If parents will attend the last 15 minutes of every meeting (instead of waiting in the car) they will hear all announcements and troop business first hand. But few do.

 

As I said, I remain to be convinced that any of this new stuff will be an improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the information I was given many moons ago the ScoutParents website was set up by BSA itself. Am I wrong?

The site was to give new Scout parents (or prospective new Scout parents) information about what the Scouting program is about. It is also set up to (hopefully) get new parents involved in Scouting.

Remember National wants a million more adults by 2010 (whether they do anything or not). Let's see. One million adults times $10.00 equals big bucks plus they can say they have one million more members.

I remember the "Inner City Scout Handbook" of the 70s. Didn't we lose over half the Scouts and Scouters with that great idea?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"From the information I was given many moons ago the ScoutParents website was set up by BSA itself. Am I wrong? "

 

No, you're not wrong. The BSA rolled it out about a year ago.

 

"The site was to give new Scout parents (or prospective new Scout parents) information about what the Scouting program is about. It is also set up to (hopefully) get new parents involved in Scouting.

Remember National wants a million more adults by 2010 (whether they do anything or not). Let's see. One million adults times $10.00 equals big bucks plus they can say they have one million more members."

 

Thing is, the BSA is in need of more volunteers. I know from numbers they've given, that they have about half the unit commissioners they need. In many councils, volunteers are hold 2 or 3 or 4 different volunteer positions that really should go to additional people.

 

"I remember the "Inner City Scout Handbook" of the 70s. Didn't we lose over half the Scouts and Scouters with that great idea?"

 

Am sorry, how does that apply?

 

The "inner city scout handbook" was bad, because it was part of an overall de-empahsis of camping within the scout program. It was a failure, BSA recognized it, and GBB came back to create a new handbook.

 

How is this anywhere similiar?

 

The BSA needs more volunteers. Getting them from parents is a good idea. They also need to reach out to former scouts who want to get involved as volunteers. A good friend of mine who is an Eagle Scout & Vigil Honor has offered his help several times to his local council, but been ignore. That is just stupid. But it happens.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

emb021,

 

From your reply:

 

"Thing is, the BSA is in need of more volunteers. I know from numbers they've given, that they have about half the unit commissioners they need. In many councils, volunteers are hold 2 or 3 or 4 different volunteer positions that really should go to additional people.

 

"I remember the "Inner City Scout Handbook" of the 70s. Didn't we lose over half the Scouts and Scouters with that great idea?"

 

Am sorry, how does that apply?

 

The "inner city scout handbook" was bad, because it was part of an overall de-empahsis of camping within the scout program. It was a failure, BSA recognized it, and GBB came back to create a new handbook.

 

How is this anywhere similiar? "

 

Since I brought up the old handbook, it was simular in that teh effects can NOT be known until it either works or loses another ton of scouts and scouters.

 

As to the District needing more Commisssioners, I hardly see where requiring a Unit to have more positions helps the Commissioner Cadre.

 

As to your friend that tried to become a leader, I had the same thing happen to me (I am NOT an Eagle but had over ten years as an adult leader (both District and Unit) but I was a Yankee living in Dallas area. I went to Roundtables and to District to offer my services, they said they would get back to me... That was 1999... I am not waiting. I moved.

 

What does that have to do with adding positions for PC to Units?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

""From the information I was given many moons ago the ScoutParents website was set up by BSA itself. Am I wrong? " No, you're not wrong. The BSA rolled it out about a year ago."

 

Actually, you are wrong. While BSA is utilizing this concept, ScoutParents.org is NOT a BSA Web site, and is not listed on the National BSA Web site in any capacity, much less as one of it's National sites.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The site was to give new Scout parents (or prospective new Scout parents) information about what the Scouting program is about. It is also set up to (hopefully) get new parents involved in Scouting."

 

"Remember National wants a million more adults by 2010 (whether they do anything or not). Let's see. One million adults times $10.00 equals big bucks plus they can say they have one million more members."

 

A million Scout parents registering as PC equals big bucks. A million Scout parents registering as PA equals nothing in the money game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ScoutNut is right. I was around for the initial ScoutParents roll out, I have the disks and all of the paperwork. It isn't a BSA initiative. It was developed by a wealthy man (whose name I've fogotten) who wanted to help BSA.

 

"Thing is, the BSA is in need of more volunteers. "

 

Not really. They just need better distribution of volunteers. When you have a troop of 30 boys that has 50 registered adults, some of those adults should be serving elsewhere.

 

However, like most youth activities, most of the parents don't want to get involved at any level where it isn't going to either have an immediate impact on their child or where they won't be able to spend "quality time" with their child.

 

"Instead of being on the troop committee, how would you like to help out with the Camporee?" Nah, I'm here to spend time with my kid.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×