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Cubmaster35

Please help?!

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Sorry @@cyclops, I always taught my kids to not go grubbing for points when questioning a call (be it in sports or negative check marks on tests). So, no points from me. :p

 

It is possible that the OP is a victim of no-matter-where-you-go-there-you-are. He/she objected to some leaders' behavior on moral grounds, and now someone is objecting to his/her behavior. If the new church came with a new board president, as @@Stosh suggest that person would serve as the IH, that person could have tickled the pastor's ear in a way that put @@Cubmaster35 in an unfavorable light.

 

Regardless of how it happened, if the OP believes theirs is the best leadership team for the boys, the best thing to do is to contact the DE and prepare to change CO's. That action alone will help clear the air about any accusations that came to the church through the BSA. Once that ball is rolling, a visit with the pastor may be in order. Christians can be a vicious, conniving lot and the pastor may have bought into false rumors or blown something out of proportion. Regardless, a cordial conversation explaining your intent to leave on good terms would be in order. Once you find a new CO, you might need to ask for a loan of equipment from the old CO. Playing nice is the only way to go.

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Professionally speaking, it is well known among the churches of our society that there are a lot of pastors that are really not all that good and seem to find problems wherever they go to try and serve their calling.  A pastor can be very well received by some in the congregation and vehemently disdained by another.  It's all part of the politics of the profession.

 

But what people don't understand, reputations are acquired for congregations as well.  Six different pastors in 6 years?  Do you really want to go serve that church?  Considering having to pull up roots to go somewhere else 12 months later?  Probably a major consideration to review before moving in the first place.

 

So, we hear about all these terrible SM's out there, and as one who has been conditioned by other dynamics, the first thing that comes to mind is:

 

"Our new pack (1 year old) has thrived with great success..."

 

"I started this pack after leaving a previous pack that let their personal problems enter the group setting with children around. Their morals and values did not align with my own, or the way I wanted my child to be raised. Myself as well as all our leadership worked very hard to develop and maintain the phenomenal pack we have today. My dedication does not falter as am in this for the long run. I am looking to start a Troop as well."

 

"With this being said, our pack now has a problem, and it's scary:"

 

@@Cubmaster35 I really sincerely hope all the professional red flags going off in the back of my mind are all false indicators of this situation.  I have had many instances in life where @@SSScout would have reminded me, "We have met the enemy and it is us."  SSScout would have been a great Poncho to my Don Quixote.  :)

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The CO owns the number and any unit gear and supplies.

 

Obviously, the CO does not own any youth or adults members

 

In effect, the merger has already created a new CO - one that you feel is not working out.

 

If the newly merged CO is not acceptable to the patents of the youth members, nothing bars finding a new CO and adopting a new number, as has been suggested.  Consider how to describe what is happening and how to keep the community ties that have worked for the present unit.

 

B.S.A. is short of good adult leaders.  They, not COs, create good program, and good program draws youth members.

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I disagree, NJCubScouter. The OP didn't provide information that Beavah thought was needed. That kind of information void is (as you well know in these forums) likely to be filled with speculation in responses. Beavah provided as well-reasoned a response as he could given the background he had to work with.

Asking for more information is one thing. Filling in the gaps with speculation - or to put it more bluntly, making up facts - is another thing.  Beavah is not the only one in this thread who has done that, and we have had many threads where someone (often a new or new-ish forum member) comes into the forum and asks a question, and they are greeted with speculation about what may be their own role in creating or aggravating the problem that is being discussed.  It is possible I may have engaged in that to a mild degree once or twice in 14 years when I thought it was obvious that there were crucial facts being left out or that the forum was simply being scammed.  

 

But rarely, if ever, have we seen a post where the speculation went so far afield to suggest that someone had been accused of (or investigated for) possible criminal behavior, when there was absolutely nothing in the original post that even came close to suggesting that.  If it weren't for that one sentence in Beavah's post, I probably would not have said anything, except maybe for a general statement not directed at any particular poster, that we should limit our speculation about situations we know nothing about.  That one sentence crossed the line, in my opinion.

 

More generally, and not just for this particular thread, I do think we should be more careful about speculating about what is going on in another unit based on one or two posts.  We like to talk about how this forum is a "virtual campfire" where we invite everyone to pull up a log and discuss things.  But I don't think we make the virtual campfire very inviting when a new Scouter or Scout-parent, or just a new forum member regardless of Scouting experience, sits down and tells us his/her story and is immediately met with speculation that the whole thing is their fault.  It isn't very "Helpful".  It isn't very "Friendly".  And sometimes it is worse than that.

 

Beavah provided as well-reasoned a response as he could given the background he had to work with.

I am editing this post and reorganizing it a little to specifically respond to this sentence. I think your sentence suggests that Beavah was required to respond to the original post, and therefore did the best he could. I would point out that there is no requirement that any of us respond to anything. It is not like this is our job and we have to say something, so we do the best we can. Sometimes the best we can may be to say nothing at all. Sometimes the best we can may simply be to ask questions. Perhaps on occasion the questioning may take the form of some mild speculation. But there is a line beyond which that speculation becomes unreasonable, irresponsible, unhelpful, and unfriendly.

Edited by NJCubScouter
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The OP stated that the new pastor had never interacted with the unit or met the unit's leadership.  Based on this, I think it might be fair to speculate that the pastor is acting on third party information.

 

However, the OP asked for help, not speculation.  

 

Unfortunately, I have little help to offer.  The CO owns the unit, and has every right to choose the leadership.  Sorry.

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It is often "enough" that the decision-maker(s) are more comfortable with people they already know.

 

While the CO selects the adult leaders, it does not select the led.  They can "vote" with their feet.

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@@Cubmaster35, this is my take on what @@Beavah was saying -- talk to the church with the intent of doing nothing more than getting an explanation. Maybe there's a valid reason they want to make a change, maybe it's a misunderstanding. If it's a misunderstanding you can likely work it out. As Beavah said, your choices are simple, work with the church or start another pack.

 

The cost of starting another pack is a dollar per scout to transfer them from the old to the new pack. For the scouts it's not much of a deal, assuming all of the parents want to go that route. If instead this ends up splitting the pack then you have to decide if it's worth it.

 

I would add this, based on what you wrote I get the feeling that you are really upset about this. Just a suggestion, but it might be better if someone else talk to the church. Emotions can get in the way. Also, as others have alluded to, no matter where you end up I'd suggest getting together with the leadership in the chartered org once a quarter to talk, have coffee or a burger, and develop a relationship. This will prevent surprises in the future.

 

Good luck.

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Cubmaster 35,

 

I have a couple of questions:

 

First- who did this pastor send this letter to, and do you have a copy of it?  While it's nice that you're trying to find a way to rescue this Pack, the first thing I would be doing is protecting my reputation.  The three of you that are the target of that letter should be talking to a lawyer and demanding, through that lawyer, that the Pastor back up his accusations.

 

Second - hve you spoken to the families and told them you and your leadership team are no longer involved (because as of that letter, you aren't) and are they willing to follow you to a new Pack?

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The time, effort, hard work and sometimes personal treasure that so many volunteers willingly  donate to serving the youth in the communities near where they live is something that has always amazed me.

Thank you Cubmaster 35 for all that you have done and are trying to do to serve the youth in your area.

 

Trying to understand and navigate your way through the workings of the BSA is a real chore and can be very frustrating, especially if you are not an old hand at this.

In an ideal world everyone in the BSA would do what they are supposed to do, units would be set up as they are supposed to be set up.

Much as we might not like to admit it, when things are done by the book, they work.

While serving as both a District Commissioner and District Chairman one of my goals was to try and get the Chartering Organizations more involved in working with the units they chartered.

I bent over backwards trying to get the Chartering Organization Representative to attend the monthly District Meeting. 

As District Commissioner I tried to ensure that the Unit Commissioners were meeting with the COR and report their findings to the Commissioners Meetings.

A pet peeve of mine was how little involvement the Chartering Organizations were willing to have with their units. 

Another pet peeve was that District Executives were not doing their jobs.

DE's are supposed to be meeting with the Executive Officer of every unit at least once a year and more often if there is any sort of a problem.

 

As we all know we don't live or work in the ideal world.

Many units and many Chartering Organizations have their own way of doing things and many set things up in a way that works out best for them.

This isn't always a bad thing just as long and so long as it works.

However when things go wrong it makes trying to sort things out very difficult.

 

The removal of a volunteer by the BSA is not easy unless there is a very good reason.

I'm not going to go into this, mainly because once again there are volunteers who have been removed for no good reason and this may have been not done as it should have been done!

The removal of a volunteer by the Chartering Organization is easy. 

The Chartering Organization has every right to pick and choose who they will allow to serve or not serve in their unit. 

 

I'm not sure that I can offer any real help for the unit you serve or the Pack.

In most cases I have found that Volunteers work best with other volunteers and professionals work best with other professionals.

What you are dealing with is something that the professionals need to work on and sort out.

In this case the professionals are the District Executive and the Executive Officer of the Chartering Organization.

These two need to meet and see what can be done.

It is my own personal opinion, which is of no real consequence that nothing will come out of this, but I am very often wrong.

Maybe some good might come of it.

Meanwhile you might want to meet with your Chartering Organization Representative and see if he or she can shed any light on the situation.

If you have a Unit Commissioner you might want to have a chat with him or her if you don't a phone call to the District Commissioner might be worth while?

Your Pack Committee Chairman might do his or her best to try and ensure that both the Charter Organization Rep. and a member of the District Commissioner staff are at your next Pack Committee Meeting.

 

I have no idea what you might want to do next?

While you say it is the Pack you started and I feel almost sure that you feel some kind of ownership, it is worth remembering that the Pack is not your Pack, you serve both the boys and CO.

if you take the time to think about what your next move will be? Remember that doing what is in the best interest of the boys and the families of the boys should always come first.

At this time you also serve the CO, doing what is the right thing to serve the CO is also important.

 

While of course I'm not you!

I tend to think that even after putting my ego to one side.

I'd be looking for somewhere where my services might be needed.

I would not in any way try and harm the CO.

if I were to join or start another unit and some of the adults and some of the families were to follow, that would be their choice.

 

Giving the professionals a little time to do their job and maybe if they opt to tell the Pack Committee what the cause of the problem is or was might make you see things in a different light. - Who knows.

For the most part this problem is out of your hands.

You may or may not ever know what the real problem was.

But does that really matter?

What does matter is serving the Scouts you have until you make up your mind what you are going to do and the only person who can work that out is you.

 

As a little side note.

If you look back over the years in this forum you might see that Beavah and myself have had our fair share of disagreements.

Some have at times even been a little heated!

As far as I know we have never met in person. I do however respect him and firmly believe that he has the best interests of both the youth and the volunteers at heart.

While he is to my mind sometimes wrong and a little off base.

He really isn't a bad little fellow.

Eamonn

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I've read through this whole thread twice.  As others have stated, the Chartered Organization 'owns' the unit.  As long as they are willing to maintain the Unit's charter, and haven't violated any BSA policies, they can pick and choose who they want to be the leaders and there is nothing you or anyone in the Pack can do about that outside of leaving to find (or start) another Pack.  I wish I could tell you something different, but unfortunately those are the rules.  Just remember, if you leave you are leaving the unit numbers, unit equipment, and unit funds behind.  You're starting over with a clean slate, and the CO gets to profit (literally and figuratively) off of your hard work.

 

Now, with that said, since most Cub Scout Packs run with the academic year, now is a great time to start a new unit.  Annual fundraisers are generally in the fall, so you might struggle with funds for a couple of months but should be able to refill your coffers assuming your Council's annual popcorn sale is held in the fall (which most are). 

 

As others have pointed out, there are many organizations that are willing to sponsor Scout units, our Pack was chartered by a Kiwanis club.  If I were you, and I say this as a Lutheran, I'd stay away from any Missouri Synod churches.  The synod has basically washed their hands of Boy Scouting, and left if up to individual congregations whose whims can change in a heartbeat.  My former church (as of the time this incident occurred) dropped a long-standing Pack and Troop as a result of this.  While some Missouri Synod churches likely kept their units, there is no guarantee that will be the case if new leaders come into the Church.  I don't know if your CO was Missouri Synod, but if it was that might explain some of what is happening here, they may want to replace the unit's leaders with hand-picked leaders to make sure that the Churches morals are being upheld (because as you know, Church members never sin or act immorally... ;) ).

 

I realize the situation you find yourselves in is really rotten, and the way they church handled this was very uncool.  It would be a shame if word of this leaked out to the media ;) , I can tell you that my old Church got a lot of negative attention when they decided to stop chartering those units and the media found out.  It even made national news briefly.  The upside of the news coverage is that the unit had somewhere around a dozen COs volunteer to charter the unit, half of which were really good prospects, and one of which is the new CO for the Troop.  In that case, since the Church was dropping the charter, they let the unit take its equipment to the new CO.  In your case, that likely won't happen, but at least some media attention might get some prospective COs to come forward, saving you some time in finding one.

 

You might also consult an attorney (your Council likely has legal counsel that might do the work pro bono).  Depending on what the letter said and how they said it, they could be on shaky ground legally.  At the very least a retraction or explanation might be warranted.  You may also want to write a letter to the parents reminding them of what you've done for their families over the past year, outlining your future plans, reminding them they are free to choose to stay with the unit or transfer to another, and reminding them that while the Church has the right to remove leaders, that you are still Scouters and have done nothing that violates BSA rules and regulations (assuming that is the case per your comment in regards to Beavah, but I have no reason to doubt you).

 

Edit:  Of couse, as Scouters we should let the Council handle all requests from the Media... but if some non-Scouter should share the story with the local News stations, the Council can't control that.

Edited by meyerc13

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@@Beavah,

I apologize but I have reported you and requested that your comment be removed. It may be your opinion, but creating speculation of wrong doing towards a child in any way, shape or form from an innocent party is very damaging and I won't allow you to do it to good people.

 

 

Yah, hmmmm...

 

@@Cubmaster35, if yeh are sure that the folks are good people and such, can yeh share what the pastor's real reasons were for removing them?  Being "unfit" and not fostering a "healthy environment" coupled with an immediate removal and permanent ban are unusually strong actions for a church pastor to take with any youth program.

 

I'm sorry if yeh found my comments unhelpful.  I reckon we can all be more helpful if yeh can give us more information.

 

Beavah

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While he is to my mind sometimes wrong and a little off base.

He really isn't a bad little fellow.

 

 

Yah, hmmm...  Gee, thanks, @@Eamonn.   :)    Nice to see yeh around!  I thought yeh had gone the way of da rest of the Departed from da forums.  Seems like there's only a few hangers-on from the old days. :(

 

@@NJCubScouter, give me a break.  If you were sittin' around a campfire and a fellow said he'd gotten notice from the church pastor that a few of their youth ministers had been removed for cause, includin' being "unfit" and not maintaining a "healthy environment", you wouldn't immediately consider da possibilities I suggested?   Not necessarily abuse, but other things, eh?  Like bullying that went unaddressed, for example, or other sorts of inappropriate behavior.

 

Sadly, I've been involved with da BSA and chartered partners on the removal of volunteers, and with other organizations on da removal of youth workers, and one of the hardest things is that the folks in charge can't share the details of what's goin' on.  What they're doin' looks arbitrary and unfair.  Yeh either trust the folks in charge to be doin' what's right, or yeh don't.  Doesn't matter if it's da IH or the SE sendin' out a letter.

 

So I was just bein' honest, eh?  If a scouter were to ask me in person, that would be the very first issue I'd ask the fellow to think about and consider if he hadn't already.   I'd gently suggest to all of us that in da interest of doin' our duty to protect youth and provide a healthy environment for kids, it should be our first thought as well. Certainly before taking those same people and puttin' them in contact with kids in a new setting.  Would yeh choose to "hire" a youth worker who yeh know had been removed for cause from his previous youth ministry position without findin' out da whole story to the best of your ability?

 

Sorry, no apologies here.   Not raisin' the issue is just irresponsible.

 

Beavah

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Beavah - Assuming this is an LCMS church, it may just have to do with this:  https://blogs.lcms.org/2015/boy-scouts-of-america-update

 

The synod advised local congregations to "seek local legal counsel and guidance on how best to safeguard themselves legally."  It may simply be that this congregation feels that only church members are fit to serve in Scouting leadership positions given the changes to the BSA's membership policy.

 

Like you, I don't have the facts, so this is all speculation.  But given the timing, I know that many LCMS churches have made drastic decisions over the past few months as they've worked to process this message from the synod.  My old congregation made their decision back in February, but it is possible others are still working through this issue now, or perhaps the merger of the two churches had something to do with it.

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But given the timing, I know that many LCMS churches have made drastic decisions over the past few months as they've worked to process this message from the synod.  

 

Yah, hmmm....  Thanks for the info, @@meyerc13.  I knew of the memo and MOU action, but I wasn't aware of how it was playin' out some places as individual parishes got word.

 

That seemed the more likely case to me as well (in my original post).  My guess was the merged CO had a better understanding of the nature of the BSA Charter and wanted to exert more control over its youth ministries.  Problem was I'd think they'd be more likely to drop BSA Scoutin', or replace the whole committee.  No?   Yeh are likely closer to this than I am.  

 

Seems like the way they went about it doesn't fit in some ways, though.  Removin' people from positions I get, if yeh want loyal parishioners in key posts.  This wasn't that, though - it came with a full-out ban from participatin' in any way, eh?  Full expulsion from the unit.  That's really unusual.

 

Droppin' just the unit leader, CC, and treasurer suggests a lot of familiarity with BSA units and positions.  If you're that familiar with da way things work, then I'd expect 'em to reconstitute the committee or even remove all non-Lutherans.  That hasn't happened (yet).  So it just feels like it's an action that's targeted at individuals for some reason, rather than an action tryin' to accomplish a more general goal.

 

All speculation.  We need more information.  I'm also curious whether the DE has offered to help find 'em a new CO.  I couldn't figure out why that wasn't somethin' the DE suggested as an option up front.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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