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SnarlyYow

Scoutmaster/Crew Advisor Selection

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Ugh, my endeavor to increase involvement reveals further problems. How do you handle nasty politics between adults? It seems our SM and ASM don't get along. WTH?

If you are the CC, I think you talk to each one separately and try to find out what the problem is and figure out whether you can work it out - which may or may not include sitting down with them together, depending on what the problem is. If it cannot be worked out, then I guess the question is whether their disagreement is adversely affecting the troop (and specifically the boys), or they are keeping their disagreement separate from their responsibilities as leaders. If it is the former, you have to decide what action is appropriate, up to and including one of them having to go. If it is the latter, you live with it. If it's somewhere in between... well, you're there, we're not.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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Actually, I'm not asking for advice as much as I am complaining. Went on an outing with the boys today and was just aghast when the SM spoke ill of the ASM (and shockingly the ASM's son!) in front of the troop! (Neither the ASM nor his son were present.)

At the Committee Meeting last week we agreed to search for a new Crew Advisor. During the trip I got the feeling the SM was passive aggressively telling me to give his brother/sister the position or he'd have the Charter Org over-ride the committee. It was very wink-wink, nudge-nudge. A "The Committee can do whatever it wants but ultimately it's the charter org's decision."

 

The Committee Guide doesn't doesn't say that at all, it leaves the decision to the Committee and COR. And, sadly, as this Scoutmaster goes so goes the Troop. So at this point I need to give a good, hard talking-to to the SM. I feel like since he and his family have run the troop for 2 years he's got a bit of an entitlement complex. Taking that on isn't something that can be done easily. I'm considering leaving the troop once this dust clears, but I can't leave it like this.

 

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Actually, I'm not asking for advice as much as I am complaining. Went on an outing with the boys today and was just aghast when the SM spoke ill of the ASM (and shockingly the ASM's son!) in front of the troop! (Neither the ASM nor his son were present.)

 Taking that on isn't something that can be done easily. I'm considering leaving the troop once this dust clears, but I can't leave it like this.

 

 

How far do you plan on riding that dead horse?

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Actually, I'm not asking for advice as much as I am complaining. Went on an outing with the boys today and was just aghast when the SM spoke ill of the ASM (and shockingly the ASM's son!) in front of the troop! (Neither the ASM nor his son were present.)

 

Yeah.  As much as the troop does outings are important, the purpose of the troop is to teach character and values.  We use outings to take scouts out of their comfort zone so they will be open to lessons about character and values.  At such an outing ... or for that matter anywhere ... for the scoutmaster to speak badly in front of the troop is a horrible example in  my book.  Horrible.  ... but then again ... I was not there.  Maybe it was not as bad as worded.  I don't know.  I just know the job of the scoutmaster is to live an example to teach others.  ... I'd also immediately be wondering what is the scoutmaster saying about me.  Or, is it just his modus operandi.  In any event, it would raise big red flags for me.

 

I myself have less issue with a crew and a troop leveraging each other's program.  It's all a matter of how it's done.  

 

IMHO, it would be easier to go to a unit that doesn't camp and help your son plan some simple outings and invite the rest of the troop than to fix a troop that does not want to be fixed.  If it's a matter of having his friends with him, he should invite his friends with him to check out the other troop.  

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...

At the Committee Meeting last week we agreed to search for a new Crew Advisor. During the trip I got the feeling the SM was passive aggressively telling me to give his brother/sister the position or he'd have the Charter Org over-ride the committee. It was very wink-wink, nudge-nudge. A "The Committee can do whatever it wants but ultimately it's the charter org's decision."

 

The Committee Guide doesn't doesn't say that at all, it leaves the decision to the Committee and COR. ...

 

This is why the "shuttle diplomacy" between you the COR and maybe even the institutions organizational head needs to happen. You need to feel comfortable that you are sending the committee on a fruitful search that will not be repealed by the CO! A couple of one-on-one conversations will do that.

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In a way I'm sort of glad that the name "venture patrol" has been removed from the troop program because of the confusion between the in-troop program and venturing crews.  The names were too similar and caused confusion for the new and inexperienced.  Unfortunately, calling them "older scout patrols" isn't the answer either.

When was THAT change made? And where is it written?

 

And does that mean the "Assistant Scoutmaster - Venture" position and patch have been retired? (That was another recipe for confusion. I have seen people wearing that when they were not registered in the troop at all, and should have been wearing an Associate Advisor patch.)

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I heard about it here: http://listserv.besteffort.com/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind1507&L=scouts-l&P=R18303&1=scouts-l&9=A&J=on&d=No+Match%3BMatch%3BMatches&z=4

 

It will probably take some time for the new term to trickle down and appear in Troop Program Features and elsewhere.

Hmm. If my troop had a Venture Patrol, I don't think I would be rushing to change the terminology based on that. It seems like a very odd way to announce a change in terminology, by sticking it in a glossary in the back of a book that most people don't know exists yet. Not to mention that "older scout patrol" is kind of an awkward term and it isn't capitalized in the one official publication in which it has been used.It is difficult to imagine National issuing an "Older Boy Patrol" patch. And we have seen examples before of National's left hand not knowing what it's right hand was doing. So if were me, I would take a wait-and-see attitude.

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Another reference here: http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/09/05/patrol-method/

 

You're preaching to the choir here.  It's an awkward term and does not contribute to esprit de corps like "Senior Scout," "Leadership Corps," or "Venture Patrol" did.  One in-district troop (which served a surrogate "big brother" to the troop here in town) has a venture patrol that made their own "Troop XYZ Venture Patrol" jackets as if they were a varsity sports team.

 

Not a good choice but it helps eliminate the "overloading" (a computer science term) of the venture name.  It was a little hard (almost a shibboleth) for a novice to get it correct:

venture patrol: in troop program for older scouts

venturing crew: separate chartered unit, can be co-ed

venture crew: not correct, but common (the term was used for the in-troop component before 1998)

venture scout: not correct (at least when applied to members of a venturing crew).  OK in the UK before the last program change to describe a 16-20 yo member

venturer: OK to describe members of a venturing crew

venturing scout: not OK (may be OK in Canada)

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Great. And that is from a year ago. Yet another "stealth change" from National. But while it does seem apparent that they are in the process of eliminating "Venture Patrol" from the "official language", I still hold out hope that "older scout patrol" is just a description rather than an actual name. I'll pin my hope on the fact that in "New Scout patrol" the "S" in Scout is capitalized, while in "Older scout patrol" it is not. A slender reed to rest on, I realize.

 

I notice that in the Troop Leader Guidebook the boys in the older scout patrol are described as "age 13 and older" while in Bryan's Blog the age group is "say 14 years and older." Which is it? Or does the "say" mean it is up to each troop? But then why not put that qualification in the Troop Leader Guidebook? ::Rolling eyes::

Edited by NJCubScouter
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A rose by any other name is still a rose.

 

In my units I have age layered patrols.

 

The older boys seem to want to do things separately than the rest of the troop so they kind become a de facto Venture Patrol.  They got themselves the Venture Patrol patches so I guess that made it "official"  Age or rank requirements were not relevant.

 

The Leadership Corp patrol was usually influenced by the boys seeking advancement PORs and the "PL" was functionally the ASPL.  A lot of the mid-aged boys fell into this group.  Again, no age requirements for this patrol, it was dictated by POR.  This was not really a "patrol" per se in that the boys would come and go when their PORs were finished.  It was basically a holding patrol for camping, activities, and such.  These boys along with the PLs were the basis for the PLC and did the support work for the PL's.  The SPL was a member of this group, but the ASPL was the functional "PL".  The SPL spent the majority of his time working with helping the PL's he didn't have time to run the Leadership Corp, too.

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This train keeps moving right along folks. It seems my recent "authority" has shaken a hornet's nest. There has been some discussion about what to do on campouts on Friday nights when we leave. Currently the troop cooks their own meals. But we frequently leave late and many parents who volunteer have voiced that eating at 9 o'clock at night is unacceptable. This was brought up on the Troop's FB page, wherein things started to get heated. I quickly asked for everything to be deleted and sent out a stern message to all involved to chill out. My decision was that we would politely discuss this at the next meeting, it might not even be something we committee members have the authority to change.

 

There's this sense right now that people are try to leverage more authority over the troop (myself included). What's really happening is the SM has retained control over every aspect of this troop prior to a committee being organized. And now that parents have an avenue to be heard they are using it. The SM thinks people are being critical and trying to take control of things when all that's really happening is folks are doing what they should have been from the beginning, giving input. It's going to be a rocky end-of-year here.

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Hmmmm, I kinda thought that out of the SM and adult leaders; the parents; and the boys, that the boys were supposed to be the ones in control of the program.  I must of missed the memo where the adults were to fight over who runs things.

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I'm with @@Stosh here. You need to make it clear that the committee will not micromanage troop program ... it will support it.

When folks eat what is not a committee decision. It's up to the boys to evaluate the magnitude of the problem and thoughtfully come upon the best solution.

(FWIW, in our troop, the best solution was eat before you come. Friday involves cracker-barrel.)

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