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boyledscouting

Serious Problems In My Troop

  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. Who do you think should make rules on a troop such as when to go to bed, who will a scout be sleeping with, etc

    • The SPL
      16
    • The Scoutmaster
      3
    • The Scouts
      10


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Hello everyone,

Let me start out by saying I am a 15 year old scout who has been in the bsa since cub scouts. When I first joined my troop in 2010, my troop was smaller and more relaxed. Today, we have approximately 40 scouts. Over the years we have had many scoutmasters come and go. Overtime, rules became a lot more strict in my troop. It's getting to the point where my troop is not in anyway scout-led. The scoutmasters make ALL of the decions. It's gotten so out of control that many people in the troop just want to make eagle, and leave the troop as soon as possibly. However, I am a little different. I want to see my troop improve and become a truely scout-run troop again as it should be.

 

Here is a list of current issues in my troop:

-the SPL cannot even make decisions due to over controlling scoutmasters

-there is very little respect given to the scouts by certain scoutmasters (there's constant yelling such as "get in your lines! Hands out of your pockets! Tuck in your shirt!") I believe the yelling should be limited and command should be given by the SPL, not the scoutmasters, unless it's necessary.

-There is a hierarchy issue between the scoutmasters. Some scoutmasters make a decision on there own and others don't have a chance to speak.

- Although the scoutmasters are supposed to have the same position of authority, over controlling scoutmasters make decisions based on what THEY want to do, not what the scouts or other scoutmasters may want.

-it's almost as if some scoutmasters are scared to speak up to these controlling scoutmasters, because they are worried they will be kicked out of the troop if they question things (it's happen to scoutmasters in the past)

- Most importantly, the scouts are told BY THE SCOUTMASTERS who they will be in a tent with,(usually mixed ages), who they will be hiking next to,(We have assigned hiking groups by scoutmasters).

- There is a serious lack of communication between scouts and scoutmasters, and scoutmasters to each other.

 

The main issue that has pushed scouts over the edge and is causing scouts to leave the troop is over controlling adults. It's an obvious issue in my troop that never seems to get resolved. I, and many other scouts have tried reasoning with scoutmasters, trying to compromise with things like tent assignments. The scouts voice is never heard in my troop.(or at least not listened to). I've tried contacting my local bsa counsel, which requires me to send several emails before I even get an answer a month later, and the counsel doesn't seem to want to help with these issues.

 

I want the best for my troop and the scouts in it. I have learned so much through scouting and made friendships that will last I lifetime. Unfortunately, this bond between scouts is starting to break because of scouts feeling hopeless with this troop. I would like anyone's opinion on this situation. What do you think of the issues? Any ideas on how to handle them? I would like to keep my name anonymous. Thank you for reading.

Edited by boyledscouting

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Welcome to the forum. Some thoughts.

 

You should have one Scoutmaster - the rest would be assistants - if you have multiple Scoutmasters, contradicting each other, you have much bigger problems than you think.

 

Hiking Groups?  I call them Patrols - and Patrols should be working and sticking together to ensure the success of all the members of the Patrol.  With patrols, the question of who sleeps in what tent is up to the members of the Patrol. 

 

I think it's admirable at age 15 that you want to stay and try to help out the Troop.  Unfortunately, based on your description of this unit, I don't think you can affect any change at all.  My suggestion is to vote with your feet.  Use the summer to look at other Troops in your area - and when you find a good one, with a boy-led program, approach all of those Scouts who are not related to any of those "Scoutmasters" and invite them to go with you and join that Trrop.  Will you be abandoning those boys whose fathers are ruining the Troop?  Yes - but unless they can go to that new Troop without their parents coming along to infect the new Troop with their brand of lunacy, you'll be better off for it.

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Before you vote with your feet, please explain as objectively as you can, your thoughts on all this to the unit leadership and committee. You can engage them in a conversation if you like. Think of it as a really big SM conference. And then, if you think they haven't taken your point to heart, engage the feet.

By doing this you accomplish two important goals. First you will know that you did your best to communicate your concerns and second, no one, none of them, will be able to claim that they had no idea.

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Before you vote with your feet, please explain as objectively as you can, your thoughts on all this to the unit leadership and committee. You can engage them in a conversation if you like. Think of it as a really big SM conference. And then, if you think they haven't taken your point to heart, engage the feet.

By doing this you accomplish two important goals. First you will know that you did your best to communicate your concerns and second, no one, none of them, will be able to claim that they had no idea.

Thank you for your feedback. I didn't mention in the original post that I have had meetings with scoutmasters, and other scouts to discuss the issues. They basically assure me that everything is fine and ignore my opinions. I have told them that many scouts including myself, would consider leaving the troop of there is no change. The scoutmasters didn't seem, happy about it, but they certainly didn't do anything to stop it. In fact, a scoutmaster even told the SPL that I was "complaining too much".

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boyledscouting,

 

   Again, we say that there is only ONE Scoutmaster. All other adults are Assistant Scoutmasters, Committee members, or parents. Your Scoutmaster works (training) with the PLC/SPL in developing and executing your Scout led program. Talk to the Scoutmaster first about all of this. Again, there is only one Scoutmaster. The assistant scoutmasters support the scoutmaster and his vision.

 

Good luck,

 

sst3rd

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So what we have here are conflicting visions of the ultimate scouting experience.

Your SM and ASMs vision is of boys in tight parade formation looking sharp.

Yours is of hiking and camping independently with your mates.

 

If everybody wants to hold on to their vision, something's gotta give. Sometimes that means parting ways.

 

Things you need to assess:

What do your parents think?

Is there another troop or a crew in your area? (If a scout has earned 1st class, he may continue working towards Eagle until his 18th birthday.)

Have you worked with other leaders outside of your troop (e.g. Merit Badge Counselors, NYLT).

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Is there another troop or a crew in your area? (If a scout has earned 1st class in a troop, he may continue working towards Eagle in a Venturing crew until his 18th birthday.)

 

qwasze, the words I have added in red are what you meant, correct? Otherwise I'm not sure what that sentence means.

 

By the way, boyledscouting, welcome to the forums!

Edited by NJCubScouter
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So what we have here are conflicting visions of the ultimate scouting experience.

Your SM and ASMs vision is of boys in tight parade formation looking sharp.

Yours is of hiking and camping independently with your mates.

If everybody wants to hold on to their vision, something's gotta give. Sometimes that means parting ways.

Things you need to assess:

What do your parents think?

Is there another troop or a crew in your area? (If a scout has earned 1st class, he may continue working towards Eagle until his 18th birthday.)

Have you worked with other leaders outside of your troop (e.g. Merit Badge Counselors, NYLT).

My mom agrees with me and encourages me to try to make a change if possible. She will also support me if I decide to change troops. There are many other troops in my area, so it looks like I will have to start considering joining one of them, even though it would be ideal if I could stay in my current troop. Thank you for writing

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So knocking on a few doors and visiting is probably a good idea in your case.

Boys your age should be interacting with boys from other troops anyway.

You might find a new scouting home for the next three years, or you might come to the conclusion that your current SM isn't so bad after all.

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@@boyledscouting change troops. Youth should be spent enjoying yourself, not fixing what some adults have broken. You sound like a well taught young man. You'll do well in a new troop. Good luck.

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<<My mom agrees with me and encourages me to try to make a change if possible.>> \

 

 

 

Sounds like she doesn't participate in the adult leadership of the troop.  Too bad  ---she is really the one who ought to be dealing with this issue,  not you.

 

Based on the facts as you relate them,  I'd shop around for another troop.

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Boyled,

 

I would advise you to finish up the rank you are working on (unless you just started on one), before you change troops.  Other than that, I commend you for wanting a boy-led troop.  Yours sounds pretty bad.  As an Assistant Scoutmaster, I recently got irritated at one of our MCs (our Outdoor chair), because he assigned seats in cars.  Normally, all decisions are made by boys, albeit sometimes with adult guidance. For example, in terms of lights out/reveille time, our SM usually discusses with the SPL about the activities for the campout, and the SPL then chooses a wakeup time based on that.  I can't recall adults ever having any sort of say in terms of tenting arrangements. I can't imagine being involved in that decision.

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<<My mom agrees with me and encourages me to try to make a change if possible.>> \

 

 

 

Sounds like she doesn't participate in the adult leadership of the troop.  Too bad  ---she is really the one who ought to be dealing with this issue,  not you.

 

Based on the facts as you relate them,  I'd shop around for another troop.

 

I think that the scout is the best person to spearhead this, although it would be helpful if his Mom or Dad was in the troop leadership to help him communicate what he wants--a troop led the way we are supposed to be led. 

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@@Boyled - have you ever watched a horror movie (or a horror movie parody)?  You know when the kids go into the house to check things out, and the creepy raspy voice whispers, "Get... out...", but they stick around anyways?  And they all wind up dead or horribly mutilated?

 

 

The voice is telling you the right thing to do.

Edited by rmgorichanaz

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