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Out of the mouths of young men....sigh

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I think council was more concerned that this tropp had NO COHS and not so much elections. I have since found out that SMS son needs two ranks in the next year, so I think SM is preparing the way for his son to get two sets of leadership. SM son is,already 17. They have NEVER had a proper COH. They have been calling their electronic weekend in January their COH and even then, no family present and no class "A"s.

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Has the SM completed basic training for his position?

 

Does the unit have a functioning Unit Commissioner?

 

Does the Troop Committee, for whom the SM works, have trained leadership?

 

Recognition should take place ASAP after something worthy of recognition is earned, then more formally recognized at a C o H.  Can't have too many attaboys when they are honestly due.

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This sounds like a totally dysfunctional troop.  I'm a bit squirrely when it comes to leader selection but we do hold COH's at least 5 times a year for those advancing.  One right after summer camp and the 5th meeting night of the month.  (S)elections are held whenever the boys want them.  If a boy isn't doing his job, they can select someone else to fill those shoes without having to wait some predetermined election cycle.  Anyone can call for a vote of confidence on anyone at any time.  It always seems to turn out and if it doesn't they have no one to blame but themselves with this set-up.

 

This type of thing reminds me of one of our local Cub packs that has 1 Pack meeting and 1 Pack activity per month..... period.  No den meetings and if a parent wants their boy to get awards they have to do it at home.  Some serious crayola ( :D) goes one when one doesn't have trained leadership.

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Questionable that this SM has OAK leaf. Highly dysfunctional troop. Husband and son did not find this out until in it for a bit. Then stuck it out because hubby was appointed UNIT Commissioner for this troop to straighten them out. That's when it started hitting the fan for my son.

 

Best thing to do for this troop is to disband or major reorganize. I don't want my son sticking around for reorganization. Too many other troops out there.

 

Oh, another thing. Second son, scout in troop as well did not go to summer camp, but funds $300 were taken out of his and brothers account. They put the two together when they transferred over. Now, they won't refund the $300. Say they need to look into it. Also will not reimburse me for a campout that son purchase all of food $125. Hubby thinks they have no money. Ughhhhhh.

 

As Unit Commissioner, he is trying to get the troop turned around. He got advancements away from SM, and got them to wear class As for meetings. Also might have gotten them to have a formal COH, still no date. Otherwise the boys waited until January for any awards, which were few any way.

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Council is rather upset right now and wants answers from the troop for questions. Even they told hubby to encourage son to find a new troop or just have another SM sign off.

 

Sad sad sad.

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It's really sad reading all of these threads about dysfunctional Packs (Stosh's example above) and Troops (as being discussed in this thread).  The saddest thing is that many of these units don't see a need to change, or simply don't want to change.  Yet, our professional staff are measured on numbers - numbers of units, numbers of youth... so there is no repercussion to a unit no matter how far off the tracks it goes.  We all know that the BSA will pretty much never yank a charter for a unit, and the units know that, so while we can ask the Commissioner service to intervene, when it comes down to it the Commissioners can't help a unit that doesn't want help, and the BSA won't take action as long as what the unit is doing stays out of the news.

 

I wonder how many boys we lose to these dysfunctional units... boys that we'll never get back... and future generations that we'll never interest in Scouting because of the dad's poor experience as a youth?  I wonder if we focused more on quality of program and less on numbers if the numbers problem wouldn't work itself out?

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Just so you know:

 

The "unit leader" of the Scout's troop is the only relevant leader.  

 

The rules about the legality of personal "Scout [or Cub] accounts are murky - or at least BSA's explanations are murky..

 

 

 

The BSA Rules allow for scout accounts, but they have to be operated within the parameters allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.  Those rules include that you can't have a private benefit.  Private benefit means that when you're raising money on behalf of a non-profit organization, individuals can't benefit from those funds that are being raised.  BSA's policy is that we will conduct our fundraising in accordance with the Internal Revenue Services' Regulations.  We're a 501C3, or a non-profit organization so we're bound to do that or we could put our non-profit status in jeopardy.  [but BSA is otherwise quite clear that a unit is NOT the B.S.A., so I don't get the relevance of this last statement to the issue.]

 

The scout account issue comes up with how is it getting accounted for? Tracking dollar for dollar credit where scouts have fundraising or product sales and they get dollar for dollar credit for those sales is prohibited by the IRS, but what is dollar for dollar credit?

 

For example, with our product sales, some of the profit goes to the unit, some to the council, some to the scout so that dollar for dollar credit may not necessarily mean that the scout is getting all the credit for those sales.  So to the extent that the scout is getting some credit, the IRS may allow that and BSA would not prohibit that from being done.  To the extent that the scout's getting all the credit; it is prohibited.  We've never allowed individual scout accounts which provide for substantial [clear as mud]  benefit, which is the IRS term for what is prohibited, but we have allowed scouts to have accounts which would make them more thrifty, make them more understanding of what does it mean to set goals and achieve goals and to earn their way.  That's been part of the scouting way for many years and to the extent that the scout is using fundraising as a means to accomplish scouting goals, then the IRS says that may be more allowable than when they're simply out raising money for their own benefit to the extent that scouts are using those funds or the unit is using the funds to offset the cost of scouting.  That gets into the realm of being allowable as opposed to a private benefit.  So the BSA's position is that as long as the scout accounts are operated within the parameters of the IRS regulations, then we allow them to the extent that they provide a substantial benefit based on the fundraising done by the non-profit organization; they're not a private benefit. [so good is good and evil is bad.]

. . .

 

An example would be if a Scout is part of a unit, and the unit raises money to offset the costs of Scouting for the entire unit. Nothing wrong with that. If they use it as a means to pay down the cost for the unit and each member to go to summer camp, nothing wrong with that.

On the other hand, when you move over to the other side, and a Scout goes out and sells a lot of popcorn, and the unit designates that money that he raises to be used only for that Scout and only for activities that benefit that Scout, we get into an issue of whether or not the IRS would consider that to be a substantial private benefit.

The IRS isn’t going to go after the typical young Cub Scout that’s selling popcorn, and it helps to pay for his uniforms or helps to pay for his summer camp. But to the extent we have people that are raising significant funds, and those funds are being used for costs that would normally be parental obligations in connection with Scouting, we’re getting into an area where the IRS has been and is paying more attention.

Edited by TAHAWK

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There is no requirement for any unit to buy or wear the uniform.

 

If the UC is insisting that a unit be uniformed, he is way out of line.

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These are monies that have been transferred over from the old troop.  Sons have not really done any canvassing since they joined this troop and husband pays for campouts and summer camp cash usually.

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It's really sad reading all of these threads about dysfunctional Packs (Stosh's example above) and Troops (as being discussed in this thread).  The saddest thing is that many of these units don't see a need to change, or simply don't want to change.  

 

Nah, we're always seein' things through interesting lenses, eh?   The things folks post here I assure you are exactly the same sorts of things that folks in units in your area are sayin' about their unit... and sometimes what folks might be sayin' about your unit behind your back.  :confused:

 

If when yeh look around your area yeh see units that are strong, or are strugglin', or have a few refugees come in or go out but you still see fellow scouters who are tryin', then that's normal.  No different here.  Sometimes units struggle, eh?  Sometimes they're pullin' themselves out of struggles, sometimes they're growin', sometimes they're coastin'.  They have life cycles as leaders come and go.  Sometimes parents are strugglin' with their units, sometimes an adult leader doesn't "click" with a kid, sometimes a boy crawls up an adult leader's nose and relationships break down.

 

All normal.  All happenin' in your backyard, too.   Don't imagine that the troops yeh read about online are any better or worse than those yeh see at da district camporee.

 

Most leaders are good enough folks, but we all have weaknesses.  Sometimes we're in da wrong position.  Sometimes we don't have the life experience to help us figure out this Scoutin' stuff.  Most often, we're spending as much time as we have, and a unit just lacks the adult capacity to grow/learn/do better.   That's why a wise commissioner works to gently build capacity rather than try to "fix" things, eh?  

 

Beavah

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These are monies that have been transferred over from the old troop.  Sons have not really done any canvassing since they joined this troop and husband pays for campouts and summer camp cash usually.

 

Yah, then that was a donation from the old troop to the new troop, eh?  They're not really monies that belong to you.

 

The new troop can use 'em to buy patrol cook gear if they want.  Just depends on how they're set up.

 

Beavah

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As Unit Commissioner, he is trying to get the troop turned around. He got advancements away from SM, and got them to wear class As for meetings. Also might have gotten them to have a formal COH, still no date. Otherwise the boys waited until January for any awards, which were few any way.

 

Yah, hmmm....

 

Take it from an old Council Commish, this ain't the way to go about this.  Your DC really needs to step in and pull your hubby back in for re-training.   He's tryin' to be the Scoutmaster, eh?   Rather than bein' a friend to the unit and da SM.  That's a recipe for conflict that he's puttin' your son in the middle of.

 

Well intentioned, I'm sure, but it's not da role of a commish to take "advancements away from SM", or to insist on uniforming, or demand "formal" Courts of Honor.   I'm rather fond of da informal, kid-friendly ones myself. :)  

 

People are human, eh?  They often avoid conflict.  It might just be that da SM sees your family as a source of conflict or stress, and is just avoidin' your son for that reason.

 

Not sayin' that's healthy, or that the troop is healthy.  It doesn't seem that way.  Just sayin' that y'all might be contributin' inadvertently to the dynamic.  This is why folks shouldn't be commissioners for their son's unit.  

 

Beavah

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...   That's why a wise commissioner works to gently build capacity rather than try to "fix" things, eh?  

 

Beavah

My recent foray into being "commissionerish" (helping some parents get their church to sponsor a Pack for their boys) indicates that this is easier said than done. Multiple parties want "fixes," and they want them before we even start building capacity! I'm just glad that task didn't involve any of my kids. It allowed me to keep a broad view of opportunities.

 

Zuzyson is an inadvertent stumbling block to his dad's role as UC. Dad should have told council to pound sand for as long as he'd be a troop parent. That way SM could gripe to Dad about how some other UC was blowing smoke, and maybe Dad could take the SM's side, but say "Yeah, UC X is a blowhard. But, you know, maybe under all that smoke there's a fire to douse."

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Council wanted the advancements taken away from SM, he loses all blue cards and does not "seem" to submit them to council.  Sits on everything and when he is asked for the blue cards, amazingly "loses" them.  He is also MBC for "all" merit badges.  Most of the signatures on the scouts in this troop are SM's or ASM's. I could go on for about an hour about what is not right about this troop.  

 

What is right, is that they have about 9-10 boys that would like to be scouts and enjoy the scouting program, if only they did not have a ASM that is constantly telling them what and how to do it.

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