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Eagle94-A1

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.

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[shaking head]

 

I just cannot get over adults getting THAT involved in managing kids. I really feel for the boys. They are not learning a thing other than dad will be there to save your butt when you give up.

 

Just wait until they get in to the workforce.

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Personally I'm impressed Eagle because this has gone forward a long way from a couple months ago. 

 

I'm a little surprised by some of the responses on this list and can only say that they need to take a ride with their DE or District Commissioner to understand the struggles units go through to just survive. I guess we do so much bragging, lecturing and pontificating about of our idealist troop models that we camouflage the reality of building these programs. Can you imagine the dynamics involved for a group of adults with different backgrounds, experiences and goals getting together to build or even manage a scouting unit.? It takes time to build a team that not only works toward the same goals, but are also willing to humble themselves enough to step back and find a place on the team where the program goes forward. It's a battle to balance egos, will and idealisms. It's hard.

 

Eagle94's situation is especially challenging and I commend them for any steps going forward. Well done and keep up the good work. 

 

The four stages of Tuckman's team development model are forming, storming, norming and performing. Theoretically all teams, from husband and wife teams to management teams of Fortune 500 companies go through these four stages to become efficient working together. It appears to me that Eagle94's troop is between the forming and storming part of the model. We might just be witnesses to growth of the best troop in the state.

 

Keep up the effort Eagle, we (most of us) are with you.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
  • Upvote 1

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@@Eagledad, those are good points. However, there's the other side to that coin. 

 

It looks like the adult-led guys are not just entrenched, but digging in deeper, shoring up their "buy-in" from other adults and the leaders seem new enough that they are not going anywhere (figuratively or literally) soon. So any movement to a more boy-led approach will be years in the making. 

 

Can it be done? Sure. But the process will take time, additional leaders who feel like @@Eagle94-A1, and a whole lot of extra effort. You not only have to build the boy-led mindset, you have to deconstruct the whole adult-led apparatus. We all know that will take many years to fix.

 

I think the non-supportive tones you hear here are simply to help @@Eagle94-A1 realize that the level of time and effort to fix the existing program may outweigh the desire to experience Scouting in a more boy-led program in the short time he has left with his son.

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Yah, what @@Eagledad said, eh?

 

Workin' with lots of troops, yeh quickly give up da notion that there's One Right Way.  Either that or yeh become a commissioner who's just an annoyin' pain in da kiester to all and sundry. :p

 

Scoutin' is all about people.  Young people, old people, ordinary folks.   It's a game of patience and gentle nudges and gradual progress toward (hopefully) shared goals.  Adults are learnin' as much or more than the boys along the trail, eh?  Bein' a friend to da unit doesn't mean readin' to 'em from da Holy Guidebooks, it means listenin' to 'em and helpin' 'em find some approach that they can grok and buy into that gets 'em down the trail aways.

 

I think you're bein' thoughtful and doin' fine, @@Eagle94-A1.  If I were to make any suggestion to tweak da current approach, I'd say 2 adult ASMs per patrol is a bit of overkill.   It also makes for da possibility of conflict if the adults don't yet share a vision.   Sometimes, the right spot for an ASM is to be in charge of somethin' really important but out of the way. ;)

 

Beavah

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‎On the bright side, there's a hike in your future!

 

Yep, with a troop like that, I'd take a hike too.

 

Yes, a hike and 3 days at summer camp without the naysayer.

 

[shaking head]

 

I just cannot get over adults getting THAT involved in managing kids. I really feel for the boys. They are not learning a thing other than dad will be there to save your butt when you give up.

 

Just wait until they get in to the workforce.

 

Agree 110%. Sad thing is the naysayer's younger son. Kid has so much potential, but is under dad's thumb, even when dad is not suppose to be working with him as son will search out dad.

 

Personally I'm impressed Eagle because this has gone forward a long way from a couple months ago. 

 

I'm a little surprised by some of the responses on this list and can only say that they need to take a ride with their DE or District Commissioner to understand the struggles units go through to just survive. I guess we do so much bragging, lecturing and pontificating about of our idealist troop models that we camouflage the reality of building these programs. Can you imagine the dynamics involved for a group of adults with different backgrounds, experiences and goals getting together to build or even manage a scouting unit.? It takes time to build a team that not only works toward the same goals, but are also willing to humble themselves enough to step back and find a place on the team where the program goes forward. It's a battle to balance egos, will and idealisms. It's hard.

 

Eagle94's situation is especially challenging and I commend them for any steps going forward. Well done and keep up the good work. 

 

The four stages of Tuckman's team development model are forming, storming, norming and performing. Theoretically all teams, from husband and wife teams to management teams of Fortune 500 companies go through these four stages to become efficient working together. It appears to me that Eagle94's troop is between the forming and storming part of the model. We might just be witnesses to growth of the best troop in the state.

 

Keep up the effort Eagle, we (most of us) are with you.

 

Barry

 

Thank you for the encouragement I need it. very frustrating at times.

 

@@Eagledad, those are good points. However, there's the other side to that coin. 

 

It looks like the adult-led guys are not just entrenched, but digging in deeper, shoring up their "buy-in" from other adults and the leaders seem new enough that they are not going anywhere (figuratively or literally) soon. So any movement to a more boy-led approach will be years in the making. 

 

Can it be done? Sure. But the process will take time, additional leaders who feel like @@Eagle94-A1, and a whole lot of extra effort. You not only have to build the boy-led mindset, you have to deconstruct the whole adult-led apparatus. We all know that will take many years to fix.

 

I think the non-supportive tones you hear here are simply to help @@Eagle94-A1 realize that the level of time and effort to fix the existing program may outweigh the desire to experience Scouting in a more boy-led program in the short time he has left with his son.

 

The entrenchment is what I'm fighting to prevent. Entire reason I switched from Cubs to the troop: to help get them going. 

 

More later.

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Yah, what @@Eagledad said, eh?

 

Workin' with lots of troops, yeh quickly give up da notion that there's One Right Way.  Either that or yeh become a commissioner who's just an annoyin' pain in da kiester to all and sundry. :p

 

Scoutin' is all about people.  Young people, old people, ordinary folks.   It's a game of patience and gentle nudges and gradual progress toward (hopefully) shared goals.  Adults are learnin' as much or more than the boys along the trail, eh?  Bein' a friend to da unit doesn't mean readin' to 'em from da Holy Guidebooks, it means listenin' to 'em and helpin' 'em find some approach that they can grok and buy into that gets 'em down the trail aways.

 

I think you're bein' thoughtful and doin' fine, @@Eagle94-A1.  If I were to make any suggestion to tweak da current approach, I'd say 2 adult ASMs per patrol is a bit of overkill.   It also makes for da possibility of conflict if the adults don't yet share a vision.   Sometimes, the right spot for an ASM is to be in charge of somethin' really important but out of the way. ;)

 

Beavah

 

IMHO, the challenge is that me and the naysayer see the problem, but have two diametrically opposed views as to the solution. I want the youth in charge, having more authority and having responsibility. Basically solving it on the production line.

 

Naysayer wants to fix it prior to SMCs and BORs with adults reviewing the skills and saying whether the Scout is ready for the SMC and BOR or not. basically solving the problem at the end of the production.

 

And naysayer essentially wants it his way or the highway. There was some conflict over this, basically between me and him, and its ongoing. And yes it is affecting the Scouts. One ASM, the one described as levelheaded above, told the me the conflict IS starting to affect the Scouts, and he is just waiting for his son to get fed up with the troop so he can find one closer to the son's house.

 

And I think there may be another issue that is affecting this. Apparently he's upset about one of his former Cubs BOR that I sat in on. Long story short I asked the Scout about his performance as a PL, what he could do better next time, and more importantly that "once you wear the green bars, you are a leader in the troop whether you continue to wear them or not. It will be expected that you step up and help out" as my old SPL once told me. Apparently naysayer didn't like that I asked about his performance as a PL since it was not required for advancement, and the SM had discusses the matter a 2 weeks earlier and again at the SMC that nite  Which is ironic because the naysayer is all about retesting and proving oneself regarding skills, yet ask some questions about performance as a PL is a problem.

 

On a different note. It was announced last night that the troop will use NSPs for six months when the Webelos come aboard in December. Naysayer is thinking we get 16 of the 24, and 8 will drop by summer camp, keeping 8. If middle son's den comes aboard as 6-9 Scouts, and that is possible, then I will raise hell if anyone but me is assigned to them as their ASM. The Webelos do NOT need to be treated as Webelos IIIs.  My son's den rocked at the Webeloree, actually carrying the weight of the combine Webelos 1 and 2 dens, and this past weekend they did a stellar job camping. The Webelos did the cooking with minimal assistance, and I stress MINIMAL assistance from the adults. The Webelos needed a few reminders about KP at meals, but overall they did a stellar job. In fact they did better than older son's NSP on the last camp out, and most of them have been Boy Scouts for a year now! I am not going to let Naysayer, or any adult-led oriented ASM, screw up that group. yes I still consider them "MY SCOUTS."

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@@Eagle94-A1, thy name be Sisyphus. ;) I don't envy your task. Been there and it was a looooong road to where we are now. Not sure I could fight that fight more than once.
 
sisyphus.gif

Edited by Krampus

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Eagle94, I'm curious why you haven't pursued starting a new troop? I'm sure you had the thought.

 

Barry

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Eagle94, I'm curious why you haven't pursued starting a new troop? I'm sure you had the thought.

 

Barry

 

Good question. 1 troop is worse off than the one I'm in. At least this one camps once a month, the one worse than mine doesn't.

 

1 troop has "maxed out" and is no longer accepting anyone.  Plus there is some "history," and I personally may not be welcome. Long story short, right before I became a DE, their SM had his membership revoked. While I was the DE, the former SM went to trial and was reinstated by the courts until he lost the case. While I had absolutely nothing to do with the situation, heck I wasn't even told he was reinstated while the court case went on until I saw him at RT and called my SE about what to do, I was the "face" of the council at the time, and there is a lot of animosity about the decision. 10 years after the court case, folks at the CO still remember that I was the DE when the troop's SM had his membership revoked..

 

2 troops are out of our league price wise. Sorry I cannot afford a $200 ski weekend or $400 summer camp every year. Espeically since middle son will be a Boy Scout January 1.

 

1 troop I know little about, except they are in trouble. We had one of their boys transfer to us and another is looking to.

 

and1 troop I am looking at, but it would be a drive.

 

BUT the #1 reason why I have not looked at other troops is because my son is happy with this one at the moment. His new patrol has one of his old CS den mates in the patrol, and one of the friends he made in the NSP is also in it. Plus I think his patrol will be OK since the level-headed ASM is working with them.

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What I mean is a "new" troop. New sponsor, new gear, NEW ADULTS. It would not be all that challenging for someone with your experience.

 

Barry

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Good question. 1 troop is worse off than the one I'm in. At least this one camps once a month, the one worse than mine doesn't.

 

1 troop has "maxed out" and is no longer accepting anyone.  Plus there is some "history," and I personally may not be welcome. Long story short, right before I became a DE, their SM had his membership revoked. While I was the DE, the former SM went to trial and was reinstated by the courts until he lost the case. While I had absolutely nothing to do with the situation, heck I wasn't even told he was reinstated while the court case went on until I saw him at RT and called my SE about what to do, I was the "face" of the council at the time, and there is a lot of animosity about the decision. 10 years after the court case, folks at the CO still remember that I was the DE when the troop's SM had his membership revoked..

 

2 troops are out of our league price wise. Sorry I cannot afford a $200 ski weekend or $400 summer camp every year. Espeically since middle son will be a Boy Scout January 1.

 

1 troop I know little about, except they are in trouble. We had one of their boys transfer to us and another is looking to.

 

and1 troop I am looking at, but it would be a drive.

 

BUT the #1 reason why I have not looked at other troops is because my son is happy with this one at the moment. His new patrol has one of his old CS den mates in the patrol, and one of the friends he made in the NSP is also in it. Plus I think his patrol will be OK since the level-headed ASM is working with them.

 

Looks like most of the troops in the area are pretty much questionable.  As mentioned, one can always find a corner of the district and offer up an alternative program based on the BSA program. 

 

If one has something to offer Scouting in terms of understanding and skill set, one may have to make the choice of forming a new troop and having one's sons be happy where they are.  Who's to say that they will even want to stay with the dysfunctional troop. 

 

About 15 years ago, I was in a similar situation.  Left the dysfunctional troop and went to rebuild an existing one.  Went from 5 boys to 28 boys in 3 years.  Situation arose and now I'm starting from scratch yet another program.  First big campout of the season coming up with the new Webelos boys who will be crossing over in June.  Summer camp is all set and the boys seem to be excited about the whole thing, so things will be okay.  No politics in that there are no "histories" in a new troop, no "traditions" in a new troop, no "entrenched adults" in a new troop, just a clean slate from which to build a boy-led, patrol-method troop. 

 

Right now the 25+ boys crossing over have 3 options.  1) Eagle mill troop that is starting to struggle, 2) Troop that doesn't camp munch but has a long standing SM that has strong political ties to the three Cub Scout packs in the area, and then 3) my troop of new boys.

 

The split will be close to 3 way and I'm not really feeling the warm fuzzies from the other two troops for "stealing" a chuck of change out of THEIR feeder packs.  But, the boys at least have options.

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Sorry, for whatever reason I thought it was joining and starting.  The only organization I would feel comfortable cold calling about starting a new troop would be my church, adn there would be some obstacles, one minor, the other major.

 

Minor obstacle is facilities. The church is doing a heck of  a lot of ministry work, especially with the migrant worker community, that the facilties are in use all the time. In fact they just expanded by buying a 2 story house across the street and they are still running out of room.

 

The major obstacle is societal in my neck of the woods: anti-Catholic bias. Long story short, when I was a DE, I had a new pack looking to find a CO. When I told the folks about the Catholic Church, I was cursed out by the prospective CM, lost 75% of the Cubs, and all of the leaders save 1.Pack folded in a year.

 

Now there is a place I have been thinking about since rereading the question that had a pack and troop that folded. I know the CO still has the bulk of the gear, it's in use by the Girl Scouts, I have a history with the CO since I was the DE that started the pack and troop, and some of the lay leaders of the church wer efolks I recruited as Scout leaders when their kids were in the program.

 

It's the same CO that the naysayer was CM and an ASM at last year.

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Just curious, why would the CO need to be your church?  I've used American Legion (great CO), another church besides my own, an independent group, and I'm looking for a CO for a Venturing Crew right now, shouldn't be that hard to find.  Finding a good CO is the least of one's worries.

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Since moving back to this area, I've not been involved in the community outside of Scouting. Mother-in-law's health issues have basically caused my family life to revolve around her. It's only been the last 24 months that things have changed. Heck I wouldn't even consider taking on a primary ASM spot, let alone SM, with her health issues.  With the exception of restarting the troop that folded, I wouldn't even know who to make the first phone call and set up a meeting.

 

Thinking about it, there is another possible location. We had a pack just start, but it quickly shut down.

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