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I was asked by a Scoutmster to join his troop --with appointment form the COR and what troop committee was in place.


This troop is what I call a "run-a-gade troop". Doing things not the BSA way. Parents signing off on advancement, ASM's handing out merit badges like candy, ASM's taking "Their Patrol" camping or activity opposing the troops.


NO --- NOBODY HAS BEEN TRAINED...just if you are asking yourself.


The Scoutmaster wants to let them run arye...with the new scouts and one other patrol get a handle on things as they are suppose to be and just allowing the other older scout patrol to do it's own thing.


[The other patrol is made up of older scouts twelve to fourteen years old}


I say no ... absoultly no...correct it to what it should be, let the adults know and the ASM's know...yes some may leave, this seems to be a real problem.


The Scoutmaster doesen't want to lose anyone, and I understand and apprecieate this want.


I know that the boys and the troop would be better if this can be corrected rather than allowed it to continue. After all it is the boys troop. Yes I'm an outsider to the troop, the Scoutmaster and the COR felt the troop needed this. We have also had our unit advisor out,,,they just look at him like he's crazy.


I seen no support or respect to the Scoutmaster, they wanted him... they just will not support him.


Comments and feed back is welcome before I cast my views to the Scoutmaster.


(this submittle edited by Eagle Foot)













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Make haste slowly. Change things but don't expect to see results in a week or even a year.


Get all the adults trained. Set a policy that if someone doesn't complete training by the next training cycle (around here that would be the end of March), they will have their registration changed to Committee Member.


Get the youth trained. Run JLT as soon as possible. Get all youth leaders a copy of the appropriate book (SPL Handbook, PL Handbook)


To stem the flow of merit badges, say that only the SM can sign blue cards.


Phase out the "Patrol Advisor" position to eliminate the ASMs having their own patrol. Don't try to do that all at once because the Scouts will go into shock.


Think about mixing up the patrols. Sticking a couple older guys in with the younger guys. Tell them that they need to be role models and teach the young guys. They may rise to the occasion or quit, either way you may be better off.


Make all the adults keep their mouths shut at the PLC and let the PLC decide what the troop will do. Of course, the PLC will need guidance and it may be heavy handed guidance at first but they need to be involved in the process.


Adults will threaten to quit and adults will threaten that their kids will quit. Let them. We went through this a few years back, some quit and the troop is better of without them.


That's my advice and I'm sticking to it.

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Eaglefoot, Maybe I'm not understanding your post. It doesn't appear that there is a support problem for your scoutmaster. It sounds like your scoutmaster and all the rest do not understand the program and are satisfied with what they are doing. In what way is the scoutmaster not being supported?


BW(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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I started in cub scouts the same way-- the pack ran smoothly the way they wanted it to-- I found it lacking structure and direction, the cubmaster had all the support he needed, I met a friend that had a boy in boyscouts went to his adult meeting and was told about roundtable, I went, asked questions and started to suggest ideas to the pack committee-- things didn't happen fast and even flatly refused some stuff-- a chage in the members and cubmaster helped-- the out come to this is -- ever year it got better , yes I became part of the committee and ACM I'm still active with the pack as unit commissioner It took a while but things are good ( don't expect change overnight I hope a little faster than me ) RM

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Eagle Foot,

Do you have a son in the troop? (It didn't sound like it, but wanted to be clear.)

If so - I recommend finding another troop.

If not, and you like the guys and just want to help where you can, it is possible to help them change over time. It sounds like the SM might be interested in accepting changes when you can show him why they need to do so.

It probably won't work to sit him down with the handbooks and show him all the things they're doing wrong. It MIGHT work to observe the problems that are the fallout of not following the program and making subtle recommendations that will gradually bring them back into line.


Like FOG recommended, training for everybody would be a VERY good thing. In spite of that, you'll hear a lot of them say things like, "OK, but we don't do it that way." The training will at least give them a frame of reference when you bring up ideas about changes to help make improvements. When the leaders are drinking a cup of coffee around the campfire and kicking around problems/concerns/ideas, you'll have the setting you need to make suggestions. I've had conversations that started like this: "You know I'm not usually one to beat people up with the handbook, but this might be one of those situations where the books have a good point we ought to consider."


Unless you get a change in leadership, change will be slow. Culture is a hard thing to change in any organization. And the only way for it to change is for members to recognize the need for a change.


Good luck! Mike F

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I agree that training is necessary.


You can also share leadership through discovery.


Start with a Scoutmaster's Minute, I realize you are not the SM. The SM's Minute is like a guiding star but even an ASM can give one, with permission. It might go something like this, "Guys, look at the Scout Badge. At the bottom are the words, Be Prepared. It also represents the founders initials, Baden Powell, BP. He did this on purpose as a little joke but he was also serious. The words are written on the scroll in the shape of a smile. When you are prepared for just who knows what; you will smile or laugh for any number of reasons. Being prepared is still serious and that is what I want to propose by having an action oriented campout."


Since this is just a one time event, you are not trying to take over from the others but share with the group. You are simply trying your hand, as all of the others have done. Everyone appears a little lazy, so it might be that they will humor you.


Help to plan an action oriented campout that is based on the Scout skills. Convince everyone that they must practice the skills (i.e., a minimum of map and compass but mostly Tenderfoot through First Skills) in advance at the meetings to be able to "survive" the experience and compete against the other patrols. Prepare the script and teach the basics to the SPL and the Patrol Leaders, so they can teach it to the Scouts. The SPL may need some encouragement to learn some of the skills to be able to teach and to make it a part of the troop meeting for the next few weeks.


Get some of the adults to carefully choose a campsite that is small enough to not get lost but large enough to employ the practiced skills. Lay out some of the opportunities in advance on a weekend prior to the event. The other adults sound as if they like adventure and you can be catalyst to further their interests. The adults can then have a weekend retreat "setting up" the activities and learning some of the skills, just in case they need to teach them. This group may surprise you with their resources and knowledge. They may just be a little lost about the program.


Since part of adventure is sometimes competition, then prize(s), such as a flag or ribbon to hang on the patrol flags is in order. If they don't have flags, you might have that as part of the activities.


You can write the script better than I can since you know this group. Your one time adventure might generate a good evaluation. Some problems may have occurred during the event that they want to address. Who knows, maybe they would want to do another one sometime? FB






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FOG hit the nail on the head, sounds like he's been there done that. The Scoutmaster wants the change, he just can't get it going by himself.

Yes...it's a group of "we've allways done it like this'. My son wants to get back into scouting...I'm not so sure I'd want him in the troop untill some changes can be made.

I apprecieate this feedback...this form really has some good folks. I'm gonna present some changes to be put forth to the Scoutmaster, if he doesen't want to do them I may consider taking the invite to start a new troop in March. My problem is "I just love this stuff"

By the way the problem ASM is also Cubmaster...Can he really be listed as ASM & Cubmaster? I diden't think you could dual reg...just one or the other in leadership...I'll recheck

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A lot of good advice. If one of the issues is advancement that is not consistent with BSA policies, I suggest one position you can take on or you will at the very least need an ally in, is the postion of advancement chair. This person should maintain advancement records and provide the official advancement record to your local Council.


Others have indicated you proceed with patience and I concurr. The advancement chair can begin by correcting the merit badge process. I suggest you work with the boys, not the parents. Explain to them the process and what will be considered as acceptable evidence of completing requirements. If parents complain, for the most part, I would tell them, "Have your son talk to me and we'll work something out." Then explain to the boy the correct process to complete the MB requirements, and help make it happen for the boy. Initially you may have to do more than would typically be expected to get the boys to work with MB counselors, but it is important that the message be sent that MB counselors, not parents, sign off on MBs. Of course parents can register as MB counselors, but should be discouraged from signing requirements for their own son. One exception is usually when there is a group working on the MB.


And be patient. Don't expect to change things overnight. But I would make the changes for the entire troop and not apply them to just the new scouts.


Just some suggestions.




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Yes the Cubmaster can also be a ASM or even the Scoutmaster.

There are a lot of wise words and good advise here so far. Still at the end of the day the Scoutmaster has to take the bull by the horns and either continue to run whatever it is that he is calling a Scouting program or get off the pot and do it right. If the fall out means that a couple of ASM's hit the bricks, so be it. We need to look at their job title Assistant, they are there to assist the Scoutmaster, the person in charge of the delivery of the program of the BSA. If they can't or are unwilling to do this would them leaving be such a great loss?

Once the Scoutmaster has got his house in order then he might be willing to take support. As I see it now he is pandering to a bunch of adults and not putting the boys first.


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