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SnarlyYow

Who owns troop gear?

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DEs are paid staff, no?

 

Why wouldn't one expect a DE to step in a situation like this which would seem very much a core component of their job? 

Well, one would, until one's seen the slow-motion train-wreck and has expended precious time helping new scouters glue back the pieces four years later.

 

@@SnarlyYow, keep those memories of the smiles on the youths' faces (your son's, first and foremost) in your head through all of this. For whatever reason (destiny or what-have-you), you are "the guy". Relax. Get your CO and your DE up to speed.

 

Then, make it clear to this family that they are okay (maybe pinch yourself to get those words out), but they could be better. You're asking them to be above board and by the book.  Tell them that in doing so this could help them stop the trail of tears.

 

P.S. - Are you still CC of both troop and crew? If so, you need to call Miss Crew Advisor and get her opinion as well.

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The problem is that the SM and his family have too much power on the troop. Other poeple have come in and tried to get involved but they get run off. We had an ex-military guy as the ASM for a spell, but our SM and him couldn't stand one another. At one point the SM's kid accused the ASM of hitting his own child; so I had to suspend him while there was investigation. I mean, basically the whole thing is a ******* sideshow. I had pulled my kid out and traded troops before, but my teenager just hated me for since he has friends in this troop. And this SM does do a load of outings, which is good. But the guy himself is a wreck.

 

Right now the leadership team is:

 

SM: "Smith Family Son"

 

Crew Leader: "Smith Family "Daughter""

ACL: Someone else.

 

Person highly involved: "Smith Family Mother"

Other person highly involved: "Smith Family Father"

And these "Smiths" have a way of just running off other people who want to help. They are highly disorganized. They show up late to everything, up to an hour late for outings. It's a wreck. But there's not anyone who can take it over because they have prevented others from giving quality time, they hold all the reigns. Look, it's a cluster. The only reason I'm involved is because my kid insists on going. And now I'm staring down this problem of the "Smiths" just doing whatever. They do not, and have not, ever done what the committee suggests, nor do they seemingly ever follow Scout procedures as related to Troop Hierarchy. They just do whatever they like whenever they like. And, honest to God, I just want to let them do whatever and not worry about it. But my kid insists he go, and I'm the committee chair, so I stick around.

 

The below quote from another quote elsewhere and so on and so forth, won't fix your dilemma, but, it will make you laugh, maybe even feel better, and in shed light too! 

 

Moose Turd Pie

 

"The worst job I ever had was working for the Pacific Railroad, doing a thing called "gandy-dancing." Now most of you know the railroad was built partially by Irish labor. Well, back then the workers would use this long handled shovel, made by the Gandy Shovel Company of Great Neck New York. Well, they'd shove one end of the shovel under a railroad tie, and then run out to the other end of the shovel, when they could find it, and do a little jig on it, and they called it "gandy-dancin'". This would lift the tie up so they could shove gravel under it, which would level the roadbed, so when the train came along, it wouldn't tip over, which would be a real drag for everyone.

 

Well, nowadays, they run three cars out on the rail: a bunk car, an equipment car, and a mess car. The only thing they don't give you is a cook. The bosses figure you'll find out who the best cook is, and use him. Well, they were wrong. Y'see, they just find out who complains the loudest about the cooking, and he gets to be the cook. Well, that was me, see. Ol' aligator mouth. That was the worst food I'd ever had, and I complained about it. Things like "dog bottom pie" and "pheasant sweat." I thought it was garbage. So I complained. And everyone said, "alright, you think you can do better? You're the cook." Well, that made me mad, see? But I knew, that anyone who complained about my cooking, they were gonna have to cook.

 

Armed with that knowledge, I sallied forth, over the muddy river. I was walking along, and I saw just this hell of a big moose turd, I mean it was a real steamer! So I said to myself, "self, we're going to make us some moose turd pie." So I tipped that prairie pastry on its side, got my "stuff" together, so to speak, and started rolling it down towards the cook car: flolump, flolump, flolump. I went in and made a big pie shell, and then I tipped that meadow muffin into it, laid strips of dough across it, and put a sprig of parsley on top. It was beautiful, poetry on a plate, and I served it up for dessert.

Well, this big guy come into the mess car, I mean, he's about 5 foot forty, and he sets himself down like a fool on a stool, picked up a fork and took a big bite of that moose turd pie. Well he threw down his fork and he let out a bellow, "My God, that's moose turd pie!"

"It's good though."

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Right now the leadership team is:

 

SM: "Smith Family Son"

 

Crew Leader: "Smith Family "Daughter""

ACL: Someone else.

 

Person highly involved: "Smith Family Mother"

Other person highly involved: "Smith Family Father"

 

Yah, hmmmm...

 

Well, I suspected there might be a backstory, eh? :confused:

 

I"m curious, is the daughter the crew Advisor (adult leader)?  Or the crew President (youth leader)?

 

One of da laws of human endeavor is that those who do the work control the outcome, eh?   As long as da Smiths are the only ones doin' the work, they're goin' to control things.  Even if da CO stepped in and showed 'em the door, odds are the kids and other families would be like your boy, eh?  They'd follow the Smiths out the door.

 

These sorts of snarls can be very difficult to unsnarl.   I'd say give a call to your Council Commissioner, eh?  Not your Unit Commissioner or even da District Commish.  Ask him or her for help.   Suggest that you can help set up a meetin' with da COR and IH.   Say you'll leave it up to him whether to include da Scout Executive or his assistant (not the DE, the Scout Executive for da council).   Lay out the situation and the concerns at the meeting.

 

Unit volunteers are volunteers for da Chartered Organization, not the BSA.  It's up to the Chartered Organization to make any decisions, and the BSA will back the CO.   If the CO wants to keep the unit, then it gets to keep the unit... and make decisions on who da unit leaders are.   Since da Smiths are members of the CO, there's also a pastoral role for the Church in providin' guidance to the family.

 

In the end, though, he who does the work controls the outcome.   Unless da COR/IH are willin' to assert their rights, the Smiths will do as they please.  Unless you are ready to step up and at a meetin' of all the parents explain that the Smiths have been removed and have a plan and the necessary volunteers to move forward, yeh won't see a change of leadership.  

 

So yeh have to decide what it is yeh want to do, and what yeh think is best for the boys and the program.   That's why they gave you the big bucks as CC!

 

[as an aside, what church are we talkin' about, and what's their position on transgendered folks?  The church may wish to make a change on that basis for its own reasons.]

 

Beavah

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Sorry, unit health and execution of the charter agreement is not a core component of their job? Since when?

 

Since forever, eh?   What you're tryin' to describe is da role of da Commissioner Corps, not da pros.

 

Not sure which item yeh think this falls under in da DE's job description.   Maybe Popcorn? :)   Yah, yah, yeh can imagine some vague connection to Chartered Org support, but did yeh actually read the expectation?  Visit da COR annually.  Make a plan to provide more support for the comin' year.   Nuthin' much more than that, and we all know that Chartered Org. visits are one of da things that DEs honor more in the breach, eh? :p

 

The connection to the professional staff is that only the SE can remove an adult leader from Scouting (usually after or in concert with da CO removin' 'em from the unit).  That's why I suggested movin' straight to the Council Commish and SE, eh?   Most UCs aren't really equipped for this sort of thing, and a lot of DCs aren't either.  Almost no DEs will have a clue.

 

Beavah

 

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Since forever, eh?   What you're tryin' to describe is da role of da Commissioner Corps, not da pros.

 

Not sure which item yeh think this falls under in da DE's job description.   Maybe Popcorn? :)   Yah, yah, yeh can imagine some vague connection to Chartered Org support, but did yeh actually read the expectation?  Visit da COR annually.  Make a plan to provide more support for the comin' year.   Nuthin' much more than that, and we all know that Chartered Org. visits are one of da things that DEs honor more in the breach, eh? :p

 

The connection to the professional staff is that only the SE can remove an adult leader from Scouting (usually after or in concert with da CO removin' 'em from the unit).  That's why I suggested movin' straight to the Council Commish and SE, eh?   Most UCs aren't really equipped for this sort of thing, and a lot of DCs aren't either.  Almost no DEs will have a clue.

 

Beavah

 

Sorry @@Beavah, but do they teach reading in your neck of the woods?

 

I clearly posted a DE's job description. If one bothered they could google the search terms and find several dozen DE job descriptions, a vast majority of which CLEARLY put this issue within the domain of the DE. At very least, it requires the DE to maintain relations with the unit volunteer leads and report any serious violations of BSA policies to the council.

 

No offense, but you really should try reading what people write, taking a moment to digest it and then writing your folksy wisdom. Like I said, if you read the first paragraph of that one job description of a DE it provides for them to get involved to stop what is going on AND bring in other parties.

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Snarly - it sounds to me like the Church is still wanting to sponsor the Troop.  By all means, contact the commissioners staff - start with the District Commissioner (not the Council Commissioner - it's a fine idea but jumping over the District Commissioner directly to the Council Commissioner is a bridge you don't need to burn).

 

But more to the point - the SM has absconded with the unit's gear - a unit that is controlled by the CO.  You should also encourage the COR and IH to send a certified letter to the Scoutmaster demanding the return of all the unit's gear, as well as any keys he and his family may have to the unit's closet.  In that letter, the CO should (after consulting with the local police so that they are informed and ready to act if needed) that they have 5 business days to return all of the gear and any financial records they may have including the check book, to the CO or that the police will be brought in to arrest them for theft.

 

Yes - you're about to burn bridges with this family - and so is the church - and yes, the Troop will have to be rebuilt, and that can take some time - but ultimately this is going to have to happen if the Church truly wants to continue to sponsor the unit.

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As an ASM, a CA and SM, I have taken people to small claims court and gotten back the property of the CO.  It's not that hard to do. 

 

What one does NOT want to do is get a settlement judgment that the person is not going to honor.  Instead, file and appear in court and if the people with the property do not show, it is normal to have the judge settle with a judgment that will never get resolved.  He will say you have the right to the property, but getting it is is next to impossible. 

 

Instead, ask the judge for a contempt of court ruling for not showing up at the hearing.  Nothing gets peoples' attention like an outstanding arrest warrant.  It's rather surprising how fast that property shows up and the contempt charges dropped when done in this manner.

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... [as an aside, what church are we talkin' about, and what's their position on transgendered folks?  The church may wish to make a change on that basis for its own reasons.] ...

I remember from September's topic! Episcopalian. Pretty open minded towards all kinds of sinners. Sexual expression is the least of its concerns (much to the annoyance of the Anglican communion). That problem in itself seems to be Snarlys and maybe a few parents who never let their kids join in the first place.

 

But, in this particular case, I'm not sure a CO would push for removal. They might even allow the leaders to part with the gear if the original CO is on speaking terms with the receiving CO. The real problem is a CO like this is trying to push for everyone to just get along without making any real effort to understand the dynamics. From their view, so what if someone said something in church that put one part "on the outs"? That doesn't mean they aren't welcomed in other circles.

 

But, scouters don't compartmentalize that easily.

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The DE's primary job is fundraising

and then getting new units

and then growing membership

 

Anything else like support for volunteers or units comes after that.

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The DE's primary job is fundraising

and then getting new units

and then growing membership

 

Anything else like support for volunteers or units comes after that.

 

Odd...because the many job descriptions I see that define what the DE's role is says otherwise.

 

If you have evidence that supports your assumption it would be good to post it. The several dozen I have found while looking online show that there are several main objectives of a DE, not the least of which is volunteer relations with unit leaders and CORs...which would seem to cover this situation perfectly.

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I know a lot of DE's personally and their job depends on their fundraising numbers being high as possible, donations from businesses and Friends of Scouting being primary sources.  The paperwork all says they do this other stuff too, but if you don't make your FOS goal you won't work for that council for very long.

Edited by 5yearscouter
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Our DEs average slightly over six months as "professionals," typically were not in Scouting as youth, have a BA in liberal arts, and are about 23 years of age. So, typically, "not a clue."

 

Whatever their job in theory, in practice it's 

 

 fundraising,

and then getting new units

and then growing membership

 

For example, last rechartering round, since our district had no Commissioner, we imaging one of our two district "professionals" would help sort out the typical confusion.  Nope.   See above three functions in practice.

Edited by TAHAWK

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I think I know the family in question...went to Webelos Woods a couple of years ago with my son and was rather surprised at the interesting people running the show.  If its the area I think it is, you have a DE who is fairly new but has a District Director (or senior DE) who has been around seemingly forever in the same office (but the DD is responsible for the neighboring district to the north).  I wouldnt really expect either to help you very much beyond facilitating a discussion with the SM.  Perhaps that would suffice.

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Our DEs average slightly over six months as "professionals," typically were not in Scouting as youth, have a BA in liberal arts, and are about 23 years of age. So, typically, "not a clue."

 

Whatever their job in theory, in practice it's 

 

 fundraising,

and then getting new units

and then growing membership

 

For example, last rechartering round, since our district had no Commissioner, we imaging one of our two district "professionals" would help sort out the typical confusion.  Nope.   See above three functions in practice.

 

 

Yep that's the typical DE. And yes, if you don't make your goals, you won't last long at all.  MONEY, MEMBERSHIP, MANPOWER was the mantra.

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