Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SnarlyYow

Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

I was trying to locate how Scoutmaster and Venture Crew Advisor adult leaders are selected. I combed through Google and could find nothing definitive. Are these positions appointed and, if so, by whom? Or are they elected?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a whole chapter in the Troop Committee Guidebook just for this.  Chapter 5 - Selecting & Recruiting Adult Leaders.

 

Here's a link to the previous version.  The current version is not online yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a whole chapter in the Troop Committee Guidebook just for this.  Chapter 5 - Selecting & Recruiting Adult Leaders.

 

Here's a link to the previous version.  The current version is not online yet.

 

Thanks, Ken. I was having a really difficult time finding this online. Would these same principals apply to Venture Scouts as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Venturers follow the same procedures. According to Venturing Leader Specific Training:

 

"The crew committee recruits the Advisor and associate Advi- sors.The committee completes and maintains the program capability inventory (PCI), which we will talk about later.The committee obtains equipment, approves the crew’s program, and helps with fund-raising and financial management.The committee usually meets monthly."

 

The one difference in practicality, according to my observations, is that the youth are often more involved in starting a crew and have a pretty good idea of who they would select as advisors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a situation where it's appropriate for the Scoutmaster or Charter Organization to name a new Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor outside of the committee?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a situation where it's appropriate for the Scoutmaster or Charter Organization to name a new Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor outside of the committee?

Those are two different questions.

 

The official, formal authority to appoint all of the leaders in the Troop or Crew rests with the Chartered Organization. The recruitment process is normally delegated to the unit committee, as described in the Troop Committee Guidebook and the other training materials that others have mentioned. But the final decision to appoint belongs to the CO - which in many units, such as mine, is really just a "rubber stamp" of the decisions made by the troop committee. In theory, however, the CO could appoint someone with no input from the committee (which is what I assume you mean by "outside the committee".) But to me, that would indicate that there is a serious problem in the relationship between the CO and the unit.

 

The Scoutmaster/Advisor, on the other hand, has no formal authority to appoint other leaders - even his or her own ASM's or Associate Advisors. In practice, the SM/Advisor's recommendations are usually (actually,always, in my experience) followed when appointing assistants. As for the SM naming his/her own successor, that probably happens a lot too, but the point is that if the committee or the CO wants someone else, the SM has no authority to overrule. And the SM cannot make the appointment on his/her own - the signature lines on the leadership application are for the unit committee chair and CO head or representative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

 

I was trying to locate how Scoutmaster and Venture Crew Advisor adult leaders are selected. I combed through Google and could find nothing definitive. Are these positions appointed and, if so, by whom? Or are they elected?

 

I always view this question as a two sided coin.  

 

First side ... Consensus.  Having the right leaders affects a lot of people.  The "Troop Committee Guidebook" describes a good process to get everyone bought into the idea.  An open process.  Reference checks.  Involving multiple people in the process.  "Appointing" the next leader can really upset people.  

 

Second side ... Authority.  Someone once said if you really want to know, look at who signs the document.  The BSA adult leader application is signed by the applicant, the committee chair, the charter org rep and the council.  So, those are really the deciding people.  The applicant decides if he wants to do it.  The council does a quick background check.  The committee chair and the charter org rep decide that the person is the right person.  Their decision may be based on the input of others, but it's their decision.  Even then, the charter org rep has the authority to install a new committee chair and can even be the committee chair.  As such, it's really the charter org rep's authority and final choice.

Edited by fred johnson
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all: SnarlyYow, welcome to the forums!

 

I agree with fred johnson that consensus is the way to go when possible. I was addressing the issue of "authority" because it seemed from SnarlyYow's posts (especially the most recent one) that there is already a dispute going on and someone is already "upset". So the ship has probably already sailed on "consensus" in this situation.

 

SnarlyYow, if my assumptions are incorrect I apologize. Maybe it would be helpful if you tell us what is going on so people can try to give you advice that is more specific to your situation.

Edited by NJCubScouter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, first all, thanks for everyone's help. As the Committee Chair of our Troop/Crew I find myself in a conundrum. Yes, somehow a new Crew Advisor was appointed without my consent. I don't know who appointed him. This particular Troop/Crew (hereafter "Troop") is pretty small, about 15 kids total between Scouts/Crew. The Troop has mostly been run by one family for the last two years. Those three or four people have had a lot of influence on the organization, something I've tried to break up for sometime. It's just bad juju to have such a small cluster of power. Your circles of information should be larger than a single household. Sadly, while kids join, especially older youth, adult leadership has been tough to find.

 

I actually hate to give details since I haven't discussed this privately with the current leadership. But I also desperately need advice with how to proceed. I have tried to contact our district representative (who has failed to return calls and emails). In any case, here's details:

The previous Crew Advisor is the Scoutmaster's mother. She came into health problems recently. I was unaware she'd be taking a step back, though in retrospect I should have assumed as much. At a recent court of honor I was surprised to find a new Crew Advisor, the Scoutmaster's Biologically male, transgender sister (Born male, identifies female.) The Troop/Crew is really divided male/female so I don't know if this meets our Crew's need for female leadership.

 

Secondly, this really affirms the circle of power that's been created since leadership never had the chance to move outside the existing borders. As it stands, Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor, Assistant Scoutmaster, Assistant Crew Advisor, Crew President, and Senior Patrol Leader are divided into two families. Six positions, two families. This seems problematic to me.

 

Thirdly, it doesn't seem like proper procedure was followed to select a new Crew Advisor. As the Committee Chair it seemed like such an important decision would have been been brought to me.

 

Fourth. We'll lose kids on this. We just will.

 

I'm trying to be fair and put my feelings on this matter aside. But something I have to do, as the lone person with power outside two families, is not be a Yes-Man. What's best for the organization needs to be put first. However, since power is currently so consolidated I see no way to not make this personal. This is a huge reason why those circles of power need to be broken up. I could ignore it, but it will come up sooner or later. A parent or guardian will mention it, this will be fought over, and as Committee Chair I have to be fair and make us realize that "Yes, we're going to stick to our guns and affirm our leadership. This is who we are." or, it needs to be discussed that this is who we are not. But such an appointment seemingly done all willy-nilly seems reckless and not in the best interest of the troop. Ideally, such an appointment needs leadership to be on the same page so when it's called into question we don't crack and divide into two camps. Believing it won't be called into question is ridiculous. Something like this is just begging to see the Troop split.

 

Lastly, I don't know the law regarding this type of matter. Can we, as an organization, "discriminate" against a transgender person if it comes to that? I don't know where I stand legally if that comes around. Of course, this could all have been avoided had the proper procedures been followed.

 

I also feel that female Crew Members and their parents need to be notified of the sexual orientation of our Crew Advisor. It seems important. If we don't tell them, it feels way too much like hiding something.

Edited by SnarlyYow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well. this is a hot mess.

 

The first two people you should talk to are the Chartered Organization Representative (COR) and Institutional Head (IH) of the organization who sponsors you. (Sometimes these are one in the same.) And sort out the simple question: Who's in charge?

 

You, as CC, the IH/COR, and the SE or his/her designee sign each adult application. If you haven't signed an adult's application, he/she is not approved to lead your unit.

 

Now operating as a merged committee just doubles the strife in many units, so someone may have used that pretense to pull a fast one on you to get a different CC appointed for the Crew. So you might validly ask if someone was appointed as crew CC without your knowledge. If not, ask to see the copies of the adult applications. (You can also check your unit's roster on my.scouting.org, but that doesn't show you who signed what.)

 

If your institution is fine with transgender youth leaders, all your arguments along those lines will probably fall flat. Once upon a time folks at national would spew pronouncements about such things. I doubt it's worth the long distance call to find out what they'd say about this today.

 

As far as letting youth and parents know. Well, I'm proud to let my families know that I'm a practitioner of a restrictive sexual ethic. But, maybe that's improperly biasing our youth by imposing on them an model that they might not naturally pursue. :dry:

 

I think the desire to get consensus, i.e. "no secrets in scouting" and invite all worthy adults to consider the position should be your prime motive. Is there anyone else besides this candidate advisor able to do the job? If so, then asking why they weren't properly vetted is probably valid.

Edited by qwazse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, at the moment, there is no Venture CC. The Committee is a true Troop/Crew committee. 

 

I have several issues to head off:

 

A) The selection of this person was done improperly. It needs to go through the committee. I was elected CC prior to the summer, we had no CC prior to that. We had two meetings, then failed to meet in July/August due to hectic schedules. So my last few days have been spent trying to round up parents and personally inviting them to the Committee.
B) Stemming off loss. I know we will lose kids to this issue. So how can I approach the leaders, who are really all in the same family, and get them to at least acknowledge that if this is a road we want to go down we'll lose kids. Personally, I think this is a terrible course of action because our entire focus should be on the kids, not making adult leaders comfortable. It really is that simple, if our aim is to make adults feel good we're just Scouting all wrong.

C) I suspect our Charter Organization is okay with this. Episcopal Church and Progressive and all. I think, even if I try to question how this person came to be the CA, we'll have a fight on our hands. The nature of these things is to assume bigotry.
D) I suspect that the troop could be close to collapse. It doesn't look that way today, but it's not difficult to imagine bringing this up, being accused of "bigotry," and lines being drawn really quickly. My job, as the CC, parent, and volunteer, is to keep the troop together. But this whole thing has powder-keg written all over it. It's easy to look at the parents and go "On this side, on that side..." and seeing things get nasty fast.

 

At this point I'm just trying to get parents involved. I plan on bringing up the issue of this person being appointed the CA at the Committee Meeting. I'm debating how to do that. My first thought was to meet with folks 1 on 1, it felt like blindsiding folks at the meeting. In retrospect, meeting people 1 on 1 seems like a more volatile way to go about it. If I met with the COR, then with the Scoutmaster, then with the Assistant SM, etc I'm talking behind's folks' backs. And, I suspect, they'll begin calling one another. And before you know it we've had a dozen secret meetings with folks trying to muster their forces. And if that happens, it's already over.

 

No, bringing this up at committee is less than stellar but still our best option to make sure things are done correctly, prevent a loss of kids, be up front with parents, and get it out there. I don't think it will be pretty, but I also don't see a viable other option. We do this too soon where folks know it's coming and it'll blow up in our faces and split the troop. I've seen it happen in churches over similar issues and I can't allow that. In the meantime I'm keeping my mouth shut, even to folks who I think will side with me. If I let the cat out of the bag and the rumor mill starts rolling it'll be terrible.

 

In other news, I called out District Representative and as far as they're concerned, this person is female. So there's that.

 

In any case, if you have any feedback please let me know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On paper there are two units. You should be registered as CC for both of them. Proof would be the two carbon copies of your adult applications (one for each unit) that should have been returned to you with all the signatures saying you're legit. Or, you should be able to log on to my.scouting.org and access unit tools to see who has been registered under each roster.

 

You should have access to all of the unit copies of adult applications. Your CO should have on file all of the CO copies of adult applications. Both of you should know everybody.

 

You need to get on the same page with the COR on this before you have your committee meeting. You and your COR sign off on leaders, THE TWO OF YOU need to know who your adult leaders are, when they were registered, by whom, and why. You need to do this before your attempt to air laundry in some big old meeting.

 

If the CO says LGBTQIA is a non-issue, then it's a non issue. No need to whitewash things. You heard from the DE that your advisor is who she is regardless of who he used to be. You don't have to like it. You do have to decide if you can be CC in this kind of situation.

 

What matters: who signed off on her? Did your people select the best advisor? Do the girls in the crew know and trust her?

 

By the way, I know you are trying to think "one big happy family" etc ... but unless the SMs/ASMs are cross-registered as crew committee, they got no skin in the game. Letting a couple of crew adults form their own committee that is sensitive to the crew's needs may be a healthy long term strategy for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, at the moment, there is no Venture CC. The Committee is a true Troop/Crew committee.

If the crew is chartered, there must be a CC, at least on paper. Right? (That would be a true for a troop and I assume a crew is no different in that regard.)

 

As for the rest of it, I think the main issue is that the Advisor was not properly appointed, if that turns out to be the case. As for the transgender issue, I'm not sure what to say. Assuming such a person were properly appointed, I guess if everybody knows that the person is "biologically male" but presents herself as female, it is up to each person to decide whether to be a member of the crew. I do not think there is a National policy on this. Interestingly, while it may be an issue for youth members in the Boy Scouts (since you have to be a "boy" to be a Boy Scout, it may not technically be an issue in a crew (since either gender can join) or for adult leaders in any unit (since either gender can be one.) (And yes I realize that a lot of people might not be satisfied with the "technically" part.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×