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Basementdweller

Why Don't you pay for it?

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As a prior poster said, you are being used as a dormat and the more you accomodate the miscreant parents the more they will feel entitled to take advantage of you. You need to take control of your troop with the help of your CC. If they don't want to back you up 100% of teeh way then time for them to find another pincush....er ...person for Scoutmaster. Quite clearly, the troop desperately needs you based on the description of how little help you get. To be totally honest, it is well past time that the parents should be offering a gift to the Scoutmaster and step up with some volunteers, take charge of some of your campouts/events so you get a break. Since this is probably not going to happen I suggest you have a talk with the CC first and then put your foot down hard. You are taking a sabatical and some else will have to step up and run things a while. I seem to read you feel some guilt and am concerned the guilt is keeping you in the cycle you are in, this will end very badly for you and the disfunctional/insane parents won't learn anything from it. See what happens when you are not there to run everything, pay for much of the stuff, take the grief, the blame etc. They probably won't learn and maybe the unit falters but at least you won't get the abuse and insanity that has apparently evolved with a lot of these folks. Time to ask yourself, why are you doing this volunteer job and at what price in aggravation do you coninue to be the target of more abuse from clueless people ? Time for a break from you and for some of the idiots in your troop to see the open empty void that occurs when you are not available. Sure some will be very mad that you are not aamking yourself available to be free babysitting and a target for drama, but the pay is the same either way. I also learned after a year or so as SM that you don't need a lot of useless drama sucking up the mass majority of your time and energy. You will be far more effective with the boys that want to be there, can manage to somewhat behave and parents that don't view you as a servant and free bank service and run a good program/troop. For the idiots, the insane, the drama queens and the really bad kids, we either held them to the rules and in many cases they claimed it was unfair and quit , or some of them come recharter were told that we felt they may be better served by another troop and we were not accepting their continuation in the troop at re-charter. For any parent doing the kind of repeated drop and dash or the demand you pay and all the rest you described, they would be gone come recharter. As for the kid, not my problem, I had a troop of about 30 to run that wanted to be there and parents who would sometiems volunteer to help but none of the idiots parents that waste your time and energy like you are describing. You are not volunteering to be abused and taken advantage of.

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I support Basement's decision and how he handled it.

 

Key points: Basement didn't attend the movie, nor eat pizza. He sat with the scout while the movie ran, and ate what the scout ate. That is not ostracizing the scout, but a reality check for mom/dad.

 

As I recall my days working at the troop level, there were always a couple families that were Class A freeloaders. Mooching was an art form, a way of life. That kind of parent will only stop if they get called out. Kindness? Compassion? Synonyms for "weakness" to them.

 

I also recall that the scouts in these situations often know the score even better than their parents. Sometimes the scout has character and pride that is absent in their mom and dad. The scout is often made of stronger stuff that we give him credit for. He'll be better for it.

 

 

Now in Boy Scouts, back in my halcyon days of yoooth, we (the Patrol) had a Treasurer who collected weekly dues, which were put forth for movie tickets, etc. If we went camping, the food money was collected BEFORE the trip, and we adjusted the menu accordingly as we bought. Now, I see/hear "grubmasters" buying and AFTER the trip billing the Scouts and asking for repayment. And asking, and asking. Daddy's checkbook is always there..

 

SSS, you must have been reading my mind this week. I've talked to a few troop leaders who were having problems with kids and non-payment (though the parents were well-off or at least solvent). The common denominator is the "grubmaster/leader buys/eat now/pay later plan." I'm listening to the conversations but wondering what is up.

 

My scouting experience as a youth matches yours. The only thing an adult scouter did was approve the menu for the campout. "Nope, not having just donuts for breakfast, you are going to cook something, where is the fruit/vegetable for lunch" etc.

 

Once approved, the patrol leader rallied everyone and together we scouts would:

1. Compile a food/supply list

2. Figure out what was already on hand in the patrol box, or ask parent for items from the home pantry

3. Calculate final cost and collect money from each scout (no pay, no eat)

4. Get a ride from a parent to the store (PL, APL, a couple others)

5. Shop (no parents allowed, they just drove)

6. Pay for it all

7. Sort/store

8. Prepare duty roster (cook/wood/water/KP)

9. Get it all to the departure point for the outing

10. Cook and clean

 

Was it perfect? Heck no, not for the new patrol leader! But after a couple of botched attempts, and mighty empty bellies during campouts (watching the more experienced patrols dine well), something amazing happened. We learned to do it right. And ate like kings.

 

I suppose there are times when the grubmaster concept is necessary, perhaps when the scouts aren't from stable homes, etc.

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It's a different time.

My Patrol would RARELY pack and go on a Friday night, which seems to be the norm hereabouts. We usually got going maybe 6am Saturday, (country boys we were) and (thanks, pop) stop at the Safeway going out of town (they were open early!) and do our shopping then, as I said, with the money that was collected the meeting before. Sure, we often had leftovers from the last camping trip (dried milk, Tang, catsup(?), oatmeal, ) but we did our shopping on the fly. "Paul, you get the hamburger. Jeff, go for the carrots and potatoes and onions. Jake, we need more Creamofwheat for breakfast" , the PL did the assigning and we all shopped quickly that way. It was a Patrol thing. Then, out in the parking lot, the stuff got packed and divvied up for carrying. I remember it as being a fun part of the trip.

Sunday afternoon we ate the leftovers for lunch (bread, fruit cocktail, cheese,,) before starting for home. That was even planned into the menu. Little or nothing to divvy up between us for "real" leftovers!. Nothing to worry about to store til next time.

And None of this "gotta be home by one" for a soccer game. We didn't expect to be back home before 3 or 4pm, and that was because we went a ways to camp!

 

It is a different time....

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D77, thank YOU for the kind words.

"Perspective"? I was always told "perspective" is where all the lines come together to a point in the

d-i-s-t-a-n-c-e....Funny thing is, when you are at that place, you'd think that everything would spread out, but it doesn't. Everything STILL comes to a point waaaaay out there. Or several points.

Does one's personal history give "perspective", show where things come to a point? Maybe, maybe it helps others, with less or a different history to see another way to go, to do things? Maybe. Sounds like a SMminute, ummm.

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This thread has been bothering me. I came from a low income family. They were unable to pay for much but helped when they could. Our Troop did not have Scout accounts but fundraised for the whole group. This allowed for me to participate in most events except high adventure. Why punish a boy for his families problems. A Scout pays his own way.....it does not always mean with cash. Is this Scout fundraising and doing service projects. Did HE choose this activity? Could the plan have been modified? Bowling for less time. Movie at your meeting place? Pizza from the store? I agree that compassion is in order. This Scout does not control his parents. I also do not make six figures but all of these Scouts are my brothers in Scouting and those Scouts that may need assistance can get it one way or another. In regards to the van/gas problem....I think a discussion needs to be had with your charter organization or simply do not use it and require parents to help with transport. Sometimes the world needs a well placed good turn.

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I completely agree with what you are saying Orange but this isnt what the OP had going on. I think everyone would assist in helping out a scout if it had to do with going or not going.

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Welcome to the campfire, OS.

 

Over the years the regulars here have hear Basementdweller's stories of trying single-handedly to run a low-income unit of mostly single parents, getting no help from the district/council, dealing with bigotry at summer camp, being run off from selling popcorn in the more affluent neighborhoods, etc., etc.

 

All the while, he has been the guy running the type unit you grew up in, providing the resources and opportunities you were given, frequently out of his own pocket and without much help.

 

What is galling in this thread is that the PARENTS AND TROOP ADULTS still don't get it. They have no appreciation for what BD has done/is doing for their sons. No one is willing to step up and shoulder any of the burden. Some could have said, here's $5 to cover that kid's bowling, here's a couple bucks to chip in toward pizza. I'll get pizza at the store and bake it to cut the costs. No. Their solution was for BD to pay for the entire outing, apparently with the tacit approval of the troop committee.

 

You can only go to the well so many times. Sooner or later, the money and compassion starts to run low.

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Scout Values are important as our representation of them are passed onto the youth. 1. Do a good turn daily 2. A Scout is Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Kind, Reverent 3. Help other people at all times I think Scouting is pretty clear as to how to work with this Scout and most importantly with his parents. Not including him and sitting outside with him could be a violation of Youth Protection and could be interpreted at a form of Hazing. The OP is taking his frustrations with an adult situation and may be directing them to the youth. Situation 1. Parents are expecting him to pay the way.....I am sure this was not the expectation of the group just a few. The group may have expected the Troop to pay with Troop money not the SM himself. Situation 2. Van/Gas. This is a Chartered Organization situation and Troop Committee Situation, not a youth one. The $100 in gas should be paid with Troop money and built into the price of the event. $100 is a lot of gas as well. That is a lot of distance to be traveling for bowling and a movie. Situation 3. Parent not responding to phone call and emergency contact as well. Again an adult situation and not a youth one. This needs to be taken up with the parents and would not involve Child Protective Services in the least.....this is not an abuse or neglect situation. . This is an interesting issue but remember to deal with it according to Scout values. I do not condone how the OP addressed the problem....no not at all as I was not in the moment or situation. Would they have been the choices I would have made....probably not. Unfortunately the OP has a lot of work ahead of him in his Troop's Committee and Chartered Organization. As a Scoutmaster as well he needs to have a talk with his PLC and help them understand that some activities may be too expensive for all to attend.

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OS ... thanks for the reply. Great perspective with lots to think about, but ...

 

I would suggest minimizing the drama about Youth Protection and Hazing. Sitting with a scout in a public location (especially with troop adults dropping by) for a couple of hours is not a YP violation, and assuming no allergies, eating a PB&J sandwich is not hazing.

 

I get the make-everything-work-for-everybody strategy, it's great when that happens. But, sometimes boys go through that effort to contain costs, and nobody shows up for a cheap night out. It's a stinkin' lifeboat problem. Save 1 and lose 5!

 

I wish I could say every story I've heard of fronting cash outright helped develop a boy, but it just as often helps develop a lech. Likewise, I wish I could say every story I've heard of tough love helped instill self-reliance, but just as often it helped instill self defeat. Knowing which story a fella's really in is very very hard.

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Such nice flowery speak orange.

 

So are you going to give up your familys christmas or vacation to support needy scouts?????? I have given up vacation for two years, spending the time and money on scouting.

 

 

from the safety of your iphone you can be as self righteous as you like.

 

The boy is still active with the troop and has paid for and attended the last three outings. water under the bridge and boy is no worse for wear. Mom and scout both know I am not playing games......Same for the rest of the troop.

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I agree with BD..."scout values" don't mean everyone is entitled to everything. If I were in BD's shoes, I think I would have resigned a long time ago, and he deserves our thanks and admiration. Water under the bridge indeed. The problem has been handled, so let's close the thread and move on.

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Scout Values are important as our representation of them are passed onto the youth. 1. Do a good turn daily 2. A Scout is Loyal' date=' Helpful, Friendly, Kind, Reverent 3. Help other people at all times I think Scouting is pretty clear as to how to work with this Scout and most importantly with his parents. Not including him and sitting outside with him could be a violation of Youth Protection and could be interpreted at a form of Hazing. The OP is taking his frustrations with an adult situation and may be directing them to the youth. Situation 1. Parents are expecting him to pay the way.....I am sure this was not the expectation of the group just a few. The group may have expected the Troop to pay with Troop money not the SM himself. Situation 2. Van/Gas. This is a Chartered Organization situation and Troop Committee Situation, not a youth one. The $100 in gas should be paid with Troop money and built into the price of the event. $100 is a lot of gas as well. That is a lot of distance to be traveling for bowling and a movie. Situation 3. Parent not responding to phone call and emergency contact as well. Again an adult situation and not a youth one. This needs to be taken up with the parents and would not involve Child Protective Services in the least.....this is not an abuse or neglect situation. . This is an interesting issue but remember to deal with it according to Scout values. I do not condone how the OP addressed the problem....no not at all as I was not in the moment or situation. Would they have been the choices I would have made....probably not. Unfortunately the OP has a lot of work ahead of him in his Troop's Committee and Chartered Organization. As a Scoutmaster as well he needs to have a talk with his PLC and help them understand that some activities may be too expensive for all to attend.[/quote']

 

 

 

So please explain how you would have handled it. How are you sure of the parents' expectations?

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