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dampcamper

ScoutMaster removal

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A good place to start is your Unit Commissioner and COR, CO IH. Depending on that outcome a visit to the DC and DE. If that fails a visit to the SE for your council. Be forewarned that any of the above may burn bridges for you. Depending on the reasons and your relationship with the SM and your position in the Troop a friendly cup of coffee with the SM where you respectfully air your concerns may also get your desired effect.

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Hello,

 

There is no formal procedure. Normally, it is considered that the person who appoints someone to a position can remove them. That would mean that the Chartered Organization can remove the Scoutmaster. If the Troop Committee wants to remove the Scoutmaster, they need the consent and approval of the Chartered Organization.

 

Understand also that all of us are on one year registration. The simplest way to "remove" a Scoutmaster is to have a change when the unit reregisters. The person is thanked and someone else is appointed by the Committee and the Chartered Organization.

 

If it truly needs to be done at another time, typically the matter is discussed privately among committee members. They reach a consensus and present their wishes to the Chartered Organization. If the CO agrees, someone or some people are designated to put the bell on the cat and tell the SM. I've done that job. It's no fun.

 

Sometimes, the SM is given a meeting with the Committee and/or CO to discuss the matter and sometimes in connection with that, the SM is able to satisfy them that he/she should remain in the position, possibly on probation.

 

One thing that is very important. There should not be a whispering campaign or a lot of rumors. That is effectively emasculating the Scoutmaster. Whether or not the SM is replaced in that case, their effectiveness with the Scouts and ASMs is largely lost.

 

Your guide in this should be the Scout Oath and Law and the Golden Rule. If the person is doing their best but simply is ill suited for the job, they should be replaced with courtesy and kindness and likely offered another job that they can do well. If they simply aren't around, then they will likely welcome the change. If there is something more serious then rapid action is needed.

 

Your Unit Commissioner and District Executive can help you in this area.

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Take him out into the deep woods for a snip hunt, put a hamburger in his pocket and then head back to town.

 

Eithter that or have some discussions with the Charter Org.

 

As for being "in charge," the SM really isn't "in charge." His job is to teach leadership to the PLC.

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As an ASM you have no say in the matter. You are welcome to give your opinion to the Charter organization representative and the Committee Chair. But determining who the Scoutmaster is is not your role or responsibility.

 

District personal have no authority in the matter either, you do best to keep this at the unit level.

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BW is correct, as an ASM you have no say in who the SM is. If you are concerned, you should talk to your CC and your COR. If they are happy with the job the SM is doing then that is it, the SM stays. Your council has no say in the matter unless there is a Youth Protection issue which has been reported to the SE.

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To Bob White and ScoutNut:

 

There's a difference between authority and wise counsel. Commissioners and DEs are trained to be friends and supporters of units and to help resolve disagreements, disputes and conflicts. Ultimately, the decision rests with the unit and the chartered organization. But the district and counsel can provide support and help.

 

There is another reason to involve the district. If things go bad, the district/council will be expected to come in and clean up. I can tell you from painful experience that it is extremely frustrating as a council level volunteer (I get paid as much as you do :)) to have to try to settle matters after the material has hit the fan when earlier involvement by the district/council could likely have avoided the problems in the first place.

 

Another reason is that if rumors start, there likely will be phone calls to the council office by parents, etc. No body benefits if the DE has to say "I have no idea what you're talking about."

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Dampcamper,

 

Could the current Scoutmaster perform better in another, less intensive, Troop Committee position?

 

The Scoutmaster usually works for the Troop Committee. (I tried to look for the Troop Organization Chart in some Scouting literature, but was unable to find the actual resource.) The IH and COR approve the charter, and the COR and Troop Committee Chair endorse each adult leader application.

 

One method may be to recommend the current Scoutmaster to another vital, but not direct leadership position. Let them know that an ASM may be recently trained and has time to devote to the Scoutmaster position.

 

If the Scoutmaster accepts another Committee position, he/she may still serve their Troop.

 

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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What wise counsel can a UC or DC give An ASM who wants to remove the SM other than "the only people with that authority is the Charter organization representative and the Committee chairman,. If you feel that you have information they need to know then you should talk with them. Otherwise, evaluating and selecting the Scoutmaster is not the role of the ASM." ???(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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dampcamper,

Is the Committee Chair approachable, or are between the CC and SM to close?

Is the COR, IR and CO involved, or a silent sponsor?

What is the IR's and COR's relationship with the SM?

 

If the CC is approachable, go to them first with your concerns. If things are to tight between the CC and SM, move up to the COR and IR. The committee and SM serve at the CO and IR's discretion, and any of them can be removed, or the troop folded.

 

Two case examples that happened in our district:

 

1) The CO church had a problem with the parents of a couple of scout brothers. I don't remember the specifics involved. CO asked the Troop to drop the boys from the roster because of the tiff with the parents. The Troop refused. The CO unfortunately dropped the charter and folded the Troop instead of replacing the committee and troop leadership. The church may have been wrong in asking the Troop to do this. I don't remember if the Troop moved to another CO.

 

2) Husband was SM, wife was Crew Advisor, daughter was Venture/Ranger, possibly Silver Award, and ASM. CO was a non-involved silent Catholic K of C sponsor.

There had been long standing issues with the Troop and Crew at the District and Council level for a number of years. No YP issues though, but issues with other rule violations. Mom and dad informed CO that dad was stepping down and that the 21 y/o daughter was stepping up. Co didn't have an issue. CO was not informed when the change was taking place that the daughter was pregnant out of wedlock. Because the parents in the Troop, and the committee (who were probably not trained, mom and pop had seeded the committee with who they wanted over the years instead of the other way around) were not informed on how things were suppose to happen within BSA, and mom CA constantly badmouthed the Council and District to the parents, and how both were out to get them, the committee was not approachable. Someone approached the DE, DC and SE. All it took was the DE with the SE's blessing , to approach the IR and COR with the list of infringements by the present leadership, and the fact that the CO wasn't informed of the new SM present condition. The COR and IR didn't realize that they could purge the leadership and replace them with more suitable leadership figures until informed so by the DE. The CO asked for a private meeting with the District, Council and Troop committee, no leaders, to discuss the problem. The meeting leaked to the family from somewhere within the troop, who showed and carried on about being railroaded. The CO's eyes were really opened and the family was removed from both the Troop and Crew, and new leadership was introduced.

 

Neil and WWW have sound advice. Council can check with their Legal to make sure that there is no problem if the CO proceeding with the removal, or if there could be any issues (defamation of character, liable, etc) that could creep up post removal and bite anyone including the CO in the proverbial you no what, and how to proceed.

 

BW, that is why it is wise to check with Council. They pay for their Counsel. Being just a volunteer, I wouldn't want to have to pay for an opinion out of my pocket. I need it for gas and other Scouting stuff.

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Thank you for your concurrance, ASM.

 

Another reason for talking with District/Council is that there may be some misunderstanding on the part of someone of what the job really is and that can be quickly straightened out. Imagine, for example, if the statement were:

 

"Our Scoutmaster isn't doing the job at all. All he does is sit around. He's so lazy that the boys have to do everything. I was a leader in Cub Scouts and I know that's wrong. He's got to go."

 

This is perhaps a silly example, but I can tell you that I've heard that more than once in my time.

 

Scouting really only works well as a consensus organization. I have learned that whenever I hear the words "Who has the authority to ...." that is an air raid siren, warning klaxon, etc. There's trouble in the immediate future and possibly big trouble. It's not like the military or even like many jobs where the person in charge gives orders and everybody else obeys. And in the military or in business if there is a problem with the person in charge, that's a common enough situation that there's a clearcut procedure for resolving the problem and changing the person in charge. Not so in Scouting.

 

We often hear "the council doesn't do anything for us." Here is a case where the district/council CAN do something for you and yet there is the suggestion that they should not be involved. Don't expect the district/council to solve the problem, that's the job of the unit. But the district/council can provide aid, support, counsel and, if necessary, be ready to pick up the pieces.

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Here is the thing you need to understand Daycamper, that I think a couple of posters are not considerering. Each level of scouting has it's own responsibilities, authority, and set of services that it can offer.

 

Yes, the district and council are responsible for helping units, BUT not in everthing they do. There are some things that are purely the units responsibility just as there are areas of District and Council work that a unit has no responsibility or authority for.

 

The district and council can show your committee how to select and recruit good leaders, they can also offer training for those leaders. But they cannot choose the leaders for you, and they cannot not remove them for you.

 

Each volunteer position in a unit has their own set of responsibilities. Related to your case, it is the Chareter Organization Representative (CR) and the Committee Chair (CC) that are respoinsible for determining who will serve in what role in the unit. No one else has that responsibility or authority.

 

As an ASM the most counseling that a district or council can offer you is to share your concern with the unit's CR and CC and then the ball is in their court. The ONLY exception is if you believe that the Scoutmaster is violating Youth Protection policies, then you must inform the council Scout executive.

 

Otherwise this is a unit matter. The unit is a private organization and while anyone can try and sue anyone for anything, no unit has ever been successfully sued for removing a unit leader. There is no contract for service, every volunteer serves at the behest of another person and can be reassigned or removed for any reason, or no reason, at any time.

 

You do not need a lawyer to know that you cannot be successfully sued for libel as suggested in another post, because the action of the CC or CR to remove the individual is not done publicly in writing in hopes of defaming the person being removed. Nor can they be successfully sued for slander since they are not making public statements for the puprose of defaming the individual.

 

Their is no defamation claim to made either for the same reson. The CR and CC apoproved the SM they can just as simply decide to remove him and approve someone else. No reason need ber given to ANYONE. They picked him...they can replace him. The same goes for every one of us in our volunteer positions. (a responsibility and authority which some units and committee chairs need to use more often).

 

So returning to your original question, what is the process. The process is that at any tiome of their choosing and as often as they see fit the CC and CR should evaluate all adult leaders in the unit. Recognize the ones they wish to maintain and eoither develop or replace the ones they feel are not getting the job done.

 

No one else has that authority at the unit level. If you do not work well with the SM and the CC and CR male it clear that he is not going to be removed, then you should resign the position, since your role is to support the efforts of the SM. If you feel that the SM is harming the program and he is not going to be replaced I would suggest you find another scout unit to join. Here is where your district can be of service to you.

 

 

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I would like to thank everyone for the information you provided. It has been helpful in my next course of action. I came upon this forum from a young scout that had questions that he could not get answered. He got help and so did I.

DP

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What wise counsel can a UC or DC give An ASM who wants to remove the SM other than "the only people with that authority is the Charter organization representative and the Committee chairman

 

While that might be the fact, I wouldn't call it wise counsel. In my opinion, wise counsel would be listening to the concerns & giving advise about those concerns.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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