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Eagle94-A1

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.

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Yah, hmmm....

 

OK, if yeh think yeh have this figured out and da problem has been isolated to Mr. Naysayer Gunship, then yeh proceed on that basis, eh?  

 

First option is to do as @@qwazse suggests, eh?  Give up on da whole digging-dirt dramafest.  Don't argue, don't fight, don't call him names, and don't yield.  Just keep on keepin' on, buildin' relationships and movin' the troop along and more or less isolating the fellow until he gets the hint.  This requires time on your and other people's parts, eh?  Yeh have to be puttin' in (lots) more time than he is. 

 

Second option is get together with da CC, COR and other active ASMs.   Lay out your concerns along with a recommendation.  

 

I'd say yeh have two concerns.   One is that the troop really needs an active Scoutmaster.  Yeh can coast for a while with an absentee Scoutmaster, but as new people come into the program the culture will start to change and da momentum will start to fade.  Sounds like you're there.    The second concern is that yeh have an ASM who really doesn't work well with youth who needs to be asked to step aside.

 

There are three options in terms of havin' a fellow step aside.  One is to promote the fellow up and out of the way.  Have da UC find some district position for him helpin' organize gear for camporees or somethin' that matches his Gunship talents.    Another is havin' the new Scoutmaster effectively bench him by givin' him non-youth-contact tasks.  He'll either find one he's good at and settle down, or he'll quit on his own.  Last option is havin' whoever is best at this thing in your CO to ease him out gently but firmly.   That could be da CC, or COR, or IH, or somebody else, eh? 

 

For the sake of Scoutin' and all the boys, don't go into another cycle of folding troops.   From what you say, you've already done the experiment, eh?  The area can't support more than one troop. 

 

One last option if none of da rest are viable.  I've managed this successfully for a troop only once, eh?   I don't know what your patrol structure is like, but yeh can sometimes set things up so a fellow like this is ASM of one patrol.   Then yeh have other leaders who are better at da whole youth-run thing as ASMs of other patrols.    It doesn't take long for the differences in attendance, skill level, and patrol spirit to show up, and for kids in the fellow's patrol to transfer out to other patrols.    It can be a great illustration to everybody of the value of da respective approaches.   At the point when there aren't any lads left in his patrol, yeh don't give him another one or any other roles.  Usually this is a stark enough illustration that the fellow fades out.   It's high risk for the boys in that patrol, though.   Yeh have to be clear with all the boys that it's OK to change patrols whenever they want.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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I'm going to concede on the back history. You're right, it's not something I need to know about.

 

And since oldest would want to transfer instead of starting from scratch, I'm going to hold off talking to the UC about if his church could support a troop again.

 

Regarding the SM, it's a delicate situation. He's been involved with the troop over 40 years, has been SM for over 20, with a break when the troop died, and singlehandedly restarted the troop. Nobody has the heart to tell him "NO MORE" including his wife, doctor etc.

 

As for the area I was thinking of, there is currently no troops there or the surrounding area. Hence one of the reasons I was thinking about going there. I just don't know if there would be support for a single troop.

 

As for working him out, that may happen. He's already involved on the district level, so that won't work. I really do not want the last option because I do not want to lose those Scouts. I think they would quit before asking to join a different patrol, especially since the adults were the ones that set up the patrols.

 

At the moment Son wants to change the troop. I do what he wants. He want the PLC more involved, and he will be working towards that end this weekend camping with the SPL, a PL, and the "influential Scouts" as he calls them.

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Regarding the SM, it's a delicate situation. He's been involved with the troop over 40 years, has been SM for over 20, with a break when the troop died, and singlehandedly restarted the troop. Nobody has the heart to tell him "NO MORE" including his wife, doctor etc.

 

I've seen several units in this situation. When I became SM I swore to myself I would make the unit my priority, so that its health (and mine) were the priority. In my area when the long-serving SM or CC don't know when to step down, step aside or change how things are done, that hurts the unit.

 

For some, their entire reason for being is the unit. That's not healthy in the long run....not for the leader or the unit.

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Well, son did surveys last night. It looks as if not everyone did one, but the ones he got are interesting. I asked him if I could read them and he said yes. They are all over the place. The older Scouts clearly see the problems and for the most part were honest. Although I do think they held back. But part of if was that several put their names on it, which was optional. One older scout without a name ( he shared a pen with a named Scout, hence telling he's an older scout) was very honest. Glad he was

 

One was downright sarcastic. Don't know who it was, but that was probably the most honest one. In it's sarcasm it shows how screwed up the troop is.

 

One of the younger scouts doesn't see any problems. But there was one Scout who thinks the adults need to get more involved and help. While I think I know who it is writing that, I do not know for sure.

 

On a different note, I was polite and professional. Only group I worked with was the ones prepping for the AT. Only time I got involved with another den Patrol was to pull a Scout out who needed to be doing the shakedown since he is doing the prep trip. One of the ASM's thought that since I worked with my son packing, he's good to go. Yes, but I want him treated like everyone else. If the group is shaking down gear, he needs to shake down gear.

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Wanted to give an update.

 

Troop camp out was cancelled because only 4 Scouts would be able to make it. They had a day trip instead, but don't know how it went yet. Find out tonite.

 

As for the group doing the AT and a few others. The trip was AWESOME! (and yes I'm screaming in joy ;)  ) The 8 scouts that went did a stellar job for being first time backpackers. They really took care of not only each other, but also us old fogeys. I think they learned a lot. And I think if these guys take charge of some of the things we talked about, the troop will rock.

 

The only thing that ticked me off to no end was another group. They left camp with a  fire still roaring. It took us about 20 minutes and 3 trips to the stream to get enough water to put that fire out. We were running a little behind schedule, but that made it worse. BUT there was another group on the other side of firebugs. They saw us putting out the fire, doing police lines, etc. We ended up meeting them on the trail, and I received a compliment about how they really took care of the fire and campsite.  Needless to that was an emotional high for me. :D

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Wanted to give an update.

 

Troop camp out was cancelled because only 4 Scouts would be able to make it. They had a day trip instead, but don't know how it went yet. Find out tonite.

 

As for the group doing the AT and a few others. The trip was AWESOME! (and yes I'm screaming in joy ;)  ) The 8 scouts that went did a stellar job for being first time backpackers. They really took care of not only each other, but also us old fogeys. I think they learned a lot. And I think if these guys take charge of some of the things we talked about, the troop will rock.

 

The only thing that ticked me off to no end was another group. They left camp with a  fire still roaring. It took us about 20 minutes and 3 trips to the stream to get enough water to put that fire out. We were running a little behind schedule, but that made it worse. BUT there was another group on the other side of firebugs. They saw us putting out the fire, doing police lines, etc. We ended up meeting them on the trail, and I received a compliment about how they really took care of the fire and campsite.  Needless to that was an emotional high for me. :D

 

Now you know what I'm talking about!  Took care of each other?  and the adults?  They learned that when the adults get out of the way they can find great things inside of themselves!  IF THEY TAKE CHARGE?  How about WHEN they take charge and the sooner the better.  You've been to the mountain top, hopefully everyone on that trek will take what they experienced back to the troop and let it go viral!

 

Someday when you see the scouts after their orientation start doing what these older boys are just now being allowed to do, it is a truly awesome thing to watch.

 

Now forget about the "two steps back and let those 8 boys become a patrol of their own and set the leadership standard for the rest of the troop.  "If those guys can do it, so can we!"

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Now forget about the "two steps back and let those 8 boys become a patrol of their own and set the leadership standard for the rest of the troop.  "If those guys can do it, so can we!"

 

5 are in the same patrol, and 2 folks from them were MIA. One was sick and ticked off, the other was being scouted for a baseball scholarship, and had to be at the game. He was not happy about missing out either. Those 7 will be doing some patrol camping in the very near future.

 

2 are in one patrol, and they will be working with their patrol. Funny thing is, both of them do not consider themselves "experienced" scouts, and hero worship the 5 above. Hopefully between me talking to them, and them hanging with their idols this weekend, They now understand when I tell them, "you ARE experienced scouts and know what to do. JUST DO IT."

 

Last one is the APL of his patrol. His PL doesn't have the necessary gear and could not make it. BUT APL has promised to help his PL out, and wants his patrol up to snuff.  Actually, I've already but a bug in the SPL's ear to assign this one in October/November to work with Webelos on their CASTAWAY BADGE and work with the Webelos on the survival campout since he is a wilderness survival freak. He did a great job working with the troop a few months back.

 

I think they will do VERY well.

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The patrol should be well on their way, sounds like this trek was an eye-opener for them.  Let them run with it.

 

The two others need to be reminded, heart is more important than experience.  One can always learn experience along the way, having heart is more important.  That's where the real power of leadership lies and sounds like these two have the makings for some great things coming their way.

 

Have this boy do his help the PL thingy as APL, but in the mean time, groom him to be TG of the NSP of cross-overs.  If he has the makings of a great APL, he is the prime candidate for either SPL or TG!!!!  A leader helping leaders?  Yep, he's already a step ahead of PL work.

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E94. I +1ed too much much today, otherwise you'd have one from me.

 

The real work on your part has never been pushing the boys to take charge of their own scouting career. The challenge is convincing adults to step out of the way. Well, at least you have some more things for which to praise the boys. Brag like a proud Pappa.

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Like a proud Pappa???  As I mentioned to Krampus, these ARE your boys!  Legally one has children, but along the way, whether it be remarriage, or Boy Scouts of America one gets to have BONUS kids!  I brag up my bonus kids as much as I brag up my biological kids.   Sometimes more.....  :)

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Update from tonite: WOW, you just can't please some people.

 

Gunship was ticked off at me and the trek leader, who I named Frustrated above, because we were 1:30 late, and his stepson was too exhausted to go to school today.

 

We told folks we would be at the church at a certain time, give or take 30 minutes. Yes, we got a late start, but that would put us in the give 30 minutes. Putting out the fire put us beyond 20 minutes that, and as you know that group leaving the fire ticked me off.

 

But I had some car trouble, specifically brake issues, that also caused us to be late. I am not use to driving in the mountains, being a flatlander born and raised in SE Louisiana, and living in the coastal plain. I was burning up my brakes to the point where I was "boiling the brake fluid" and my brakes were not working as they should. Frustrated doubled back to help me out and make sure I was OK. After a 30 stop to cool the brakes, there was no further issue.

 

Gunship said that Frustrated should have forced the Scouts to pick up their pace to make up lost time, and he should have left me behind to deal with the car issues. so that the rest of the group could get back either on time, or closer to the original time.Apparently a heated discussion ensued where Frustrated politely, but firmly said four times he was sorry they were late, they called as soon as they could get reception about being late, but there was no way he was going to leave anyone behind.

 

I admit Gunship helped me out when I got injured, driving me to the hospital twice to get my injuries taken care of. But maybe it would be a good idea for him to find another troop like he said he will do after the AT trip.

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Brakes? That's what the flywheel is for! ;)

But since you were cooking them, do have your mechanic check the lines and your pads. It's worth the later to be 100% sure.

 

Just so you know, it's hardest on the fault finder in the long run. Take the criticism with a grain of salt.

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Brakes? That's what the flywheel is for! ;)

But since you were cooking them, do have your mechanic check the lines and your pads. It's worth the later to be 100% sure.

 

Just so you know, it's hardest on the fault finder in the long run. Take the criticism with a grain of salt.

 

Good idea about mechanic checking out the brakes. Now I gotta find a new mechanic as mine just closed his shop and retired.

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If Frustrated apologized 4 times, that's 3 times more than was necessary.  End of discussion, if Gunship isn't going to accept the apology, then there's nothing more to be said or done.

 

It's now history, just leave it there.

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Set back for Boy-run. Hopefully a minor one and easily corrected. Instead of following the schedule that the Scouts created back in December,  One of the ASMs convinced the SM to jump 2 months and start working on canoeing to prepare as many Scouts for the August canoe trip as possible. So we are skipping over backpacking instruction, which everyone will be doing in July. Grant you the ones who went backpacking this weekend do not need training, heck they should be TEACHING backpacking, but the younger ones need help.

 

Rationale for the jump is the following: 1) we got 3 weeks where there will be no meetings ( Memorial Day, Summer Camp, and 4th of July), plus one week where the older Scouts will be on the AT leaving 7 weeks for everyone to prepare for the canoeing trip. After last year's experience on the river, the adults are saying probably 1/2 the troop will be able to go, unless they can develop their skills ASAP.

 

I mentioned backpacking in July, giving us 6 meetings, BUT that the PLC decided to turn a swimming day trip into a backpacking prep day trip. And that is 3 meetings away. We need to talk about gear, packing, etc. Comment was they can use the  one burner propane stoves (agree) and their school book bags for one weekend ( DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER!)

 

I also mentioned how we really need to let the PLC decided how to handle the decision. My suggestion was do a PLC during the meeting, and have a team building/interpatrol competitions with the APLs leading while the PLs are busy.

 

Hate to say it, but part of me feels like pulling a Gunship, calling a PLC meeting next weekend, so the troop can get organized not only for the meetings, but also for the rest of the year. Our schedule got changes because district changed some dates on us, and we will be going 7 weeks without a campout unless we change our November trip.

 

EDITED: I say hopefully a minor one, because I see the rationale for the changes, and I bet the PLC will too. But A) THEY NEED TOMAKE THE DECISION AND NOT US ADULTS (emphasis), and B) I do not think anyone will want to backpack with school bags. I've been backpacking without a hip belt and a broken frame, so it was essentially a school bag. IT AINT FUN!

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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