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dampcamper

ScoutMaster removal

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"It seems logical to me that the decision to seek advice from the district level is one that should be made by the CR/IH -- and possibly also by the CC -- but not by the ASM. "

Let me get this straight - If I'm an ASM I'm not allowed to get advice from anyone on the District level about particular situations? Wow, glad I'm not an ASM. No, then again, glad I'm in the District I am as we are actually allowed to talk to each other.

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ursus,

 

What you keep missing is that when the ASM calls the district he will be told "you need to share your concern with your troop committee chairman and your charter organization representative, because unless the SM is violating a youth protecton policy then there is nothing the Council can do. Only your CR and CC can remove the leader, if they don't know how they can call me and I can train them".

 

Sound familiar?(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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"What you keep missing... "

 

What I keep missing? What I keep reading is that people here keep telling others that they have no way to sound their issues of concern. Yes, in my district if I call my DE she will gladly talk to me about my concerns - regardless of my volunteer title or lack thereof and without passing the buck. That is her role - to support the units of her district and participate in finding resolutions when concerns are aired - regardless of who is raising it (good old customer service!). She is there to help out, whether she delegates it to a concerned district committee volunteer member or the UC (if there is one). Doesn't sound familiar at all, as I have a great relationship with a great Scouting professional that is involved with all of our unit leaders, not just the ones with the right titles.

So I ask again, why are some so eager to draw the line in the dirt and keep out those that do this stuff for a living?

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No one said he couldn't talk to anyone he wanted. But the mature thing to do would be talk to someone who actually has authority to do something about his concern. He can talk to anyone he wants, but only the CR and CC can do anything about removing another unit leader.

 

No one said he couldn't talk to the district, we said it was a waste of time because the district has no authority in the matter. even the council can only step in if a YP issue is involved.

 

So why not just talk the the two people who can actually act on his concern? He is welcome to his opinion but he and others still need to understand how the administrative structure of the program works.

 

 

 

 

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Hello BW,

 

Your last post is one with which I am reasonably comfortable. I disagree with your conclusions for me personally, but that's OK.

 

One of the things that I learned long ago was the "principle of completed staff work." This means that in presenting something to your boss or other person in authority, you present to them a finished package ready to go with just their signature. If there are options, you may in a separate document present those options but you still have recommended the one that you most believe is appropriate.

 

The organizational structure in Scouting is complex to say the least with a formal delineation of "who's in charge here" and then the actual power and authority structure in each unit determined far more by personalities, history, etc. than by formal lines. To say that it is more mature to talk initially to the person in authority is, I believe, overstating matters. Actually, that is something I would likely have done and did do when I was much younger. On more than one occasion, I initiated an uproar to the disadvantage of both the organization and myself. Now, as I have gotten more mature, I have learned to take counsel with other persons whom I trust before ringing the bell. This both enabled me to ensure that action was needed, identify the correct action, and permit me to follow the principle of completed staff work when I did approach the individual with authority.

 

The forum here can be another such source of wise counsel since it is reasonably anonymous.

 

But that's why they make vanilla and chocolate. I believe that it is more mature and more efficient to seek counsel before doing something that may require the authority to take action which will make someone and possible several people unhappy. You disagree. I do not think that the word "wrong" applies to either of us.

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Neil-up

Let's return to the original post and the question that is asked by an Assistant Scoutmaster.

 

"What is the procedure to remove a Scoutmaster that clearly does not belong in charge."

 

He did not ask for counsel, he asked for the procedure. And what is that Procedure Neil-up?

 

According to the BSA, and please show evidence to the contrary if you disagree with any of these points.

 

The CC and CR would have to decide that the scoutmaster need to be removed, They would have to remove or replace him, then they are asked to inform the Scout executive of their action.

 

What role does an ASM play in this procedure? At the most, the ASM can share his opinion with the CC and CR so that they know what issues may exist.

 

Where in this procedure does the district have a responsibility or authority?

 

Where in this procedure of removing a volunteer is counseling with anyone other than the volunteer in question be advisable?

 

Where in this process should the BSA insert seeking counseling from strangers on the Internet?

 

The procedure that dampcamper asked about is simple, Only the CCand CR can remove a volunteer at the unit level, so unless thay take such action the volunteer will remain in their position.

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BW,

You stated that you advocate the ASM approaching the CO (COR and or IR) about the issues. Agreed. Ultimately they are they final two that need to be approached in the end.. But maybe the ASM needs some firepower behind him before going to them. Someone stated earlier that you may burn your bridges when airing an issue with the CC, COR or IR. At least the DE or DC can educate the ASM whether he has a valid reason to go to the CO, or whether the battle he has chosen is a non-issue, and he should drop it over their cup of java.

 

But what happens when the SM, CC, CCOR and IR end up being elbow rubbing drinking buddies. Then unfortunately the ASM, or other CM's have no one on the unit level to approach.

THEN WHAT???

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In that case the ASM has one option and that is to share his concern with the person responsible for selecting the CR and CC and that is the Institutional head of the charter organization.

 

Just as the CR and CC have authority over the other volunteers, the IH has autority over the CR and CC.

 

But NONE on the Council/District level have authority over any volunteer in the unit unless there is the violation of BSA policies involved.

 

Remember that the unit is OWNED by the charter organization, which is represented by the CR and CC. They can have as good, OR as a bad, a unit as they choose to have. If they choose to have a bad unit then the ASM can only choose to stay or leave, but has no authority to make change.

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In my troop as a youth sponsored by then a school PTA an unscrupulous ASM decided he could be a better SM than the current one, who had served for 10 years. That ASM's wife happened to be president of the PTA that year and she helped in the effort by spreading baseless rumors about him among the PTA board, and before he knew it the SM was brought in to answer these allegations, which he firmly denied. The board talked it over and in five minutes announced to the SM that he had been replaced. The SM appealed to the council who told him their hands were tied and it was the CO's descision. The parents of the scouts also appealed to the CO and were ignored.

 

So you see this went by the book technically and shows how the rules can be manipulated to unjustly get rid of a volunteer by people with no virtue. So while Bob may be technically correct with some of his statements about the rules they are far from the reality experienced by many units, and far from being the perfect solution for ALL cases.

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as a forer BSA professional BNadenP you know that what I posted was not just "technically" accurate, it was correct according to the policies and procedures of the BSA.

 

Your own story proves it. What you failed to mention was what the actions of the CR and CC were in your situation? If they supported the wishes of the IH then the procedure was followed correctly.

 

Tell me BadenP what procedure in any system is perfect. Sometimes innocent people are found guilty are they not? Plus as you say, you saw this from the eyes of a youth, and so it is possible that there was more to the situation than you remember or were aware of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BadenP,

 

Sir, am I correct in reading your post as:

 

"The mechanics of BSA's procedures must be applied using the Scout Oath and Law. In other words, if someone must be removed from a Scouting position, we want to do it with care and respect for that person."

 

???

 

As a broader brush comment, any endeavor involving interpersonal relationships demands care and compassion as well as correct mechanical procedures.

 

Using procedures mechanically, without care and compassion, causes a person to become a pedant.

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Bob you didn't post a procedure. You posted to facts about the program and then made a comment.

 

Our collect forum response to the newbie poster should have been. "There is no written procedures for removing a SM. However, this is an approach you could take...."

 

I think what gets me about your post is that your reply was reckless and curt to what is likely a big issue for the original poster's troop. Hardly a thread can found without at one and sometimes many Bob's matter of fact replies.

 

 

 

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Its a forum It's Me, not a manual. Rather than a long and ambiguous explanation as some may be prone to, would you not prefer getting direct answers with specific resources given? Or, would you prefer unsupported personal opinions from people whose knowledge and background are unkown and unproven to you?

 

Ask a Scouting question, get a Scouting answer. Seems like the most trustworthy, helpful, friendly and courteous thing to do, doesn't it?

 

I am sorry if I did not explain the procedure clearly enough. I will try again.

 

The CC and CR determine that a volunteer is to be removed or replaced. The meet with the individual and tell them politely and calmly that they have determined the need to make a change in the unit leadership and that while they appreciate the efforts given by the volunteer, they have determined that ion the best interest of the unit the volunteer is beiong removed from his position.

 

At this point they can offer him or her a diffrerent responsibilityy or none at all.

 

The CR or CC then informs the Council Scout Executive of the removal, no explanation is required unless they have removed him for Youth Protection reasons.

 

There is no appeal process.

 

The CC then informs the committee and parents of the change in a manner that is respectful of the individual.

 

What role does an ASM have in this process? None, other than the ability to express an opinion in a constructive manner.

 

I hope that helps you.

 

BW

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Bob

 

The CC had retired a month before this happened and the ASM's wife was also the IH, and the COR was her best friend. As far as seeing this through the eyes of youth initially that was correct but you see I am still friends with my old scoutmaster who is now in his 70's and we have discussed this many times over the years. As a former professional I tell you that there are some serious inherent flaws in these procedures. Oh and Bob the CC position is not necessarily connected to the CO except to report unit status to the CO, and in this case the CO cared less about what was going on in the unit since the IH was sleeping with the ASM. While no system is indeed perfect as the press has shown, especially in the last five years or so, abuses of the system are becoming much more frequent and more serious in nature. Hopefully Mazzuca in revamping National will address these issues.

 

As to the ideals of the scout law and compassion none of this was shown in this case or several others I encountered as a DE later on unless I or the SE were asked to become involved in the process.

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