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How much CC is too much?

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My Troop has a Committee Chairman who has taken it upon himself to reinstate some semblance of a "Patrol Method" into the program. This is a very good and needed thing, as things had rather degraded over the years, and the Scoutmaster -- a fine and gentle leader -- had let things slide, often tending to lean towards what was "easier" for the boys -- and adults -- rather than what would benefit the boys most.

But I digress... I am soon to become the Scoutmaster of this Troop (in a few months), and I am concerned there may be some confusion amongst the boys as to whom is in authority -- the Scoutmaster or th CC. The CC often speaks out at meetings; giving reminders on expected/proper behavior and imparting life lessons to them. He also pulls PLC individuals aside to offer guidance and evaluations.

Now, many of you might not think this is a bad thing, and might suggest I count my blessings to have someone so interested (and capable) working with the boys. But I have also heard grumblings from the boys that he can be a little too heavy-handed (figuratively) in his delivery, and they feel he is riding them too much...

Finally, to my point -- exactly what are the functions of the Committee Chairman, beyond heading the Troop Committee? Specifically, what are his responsibilities regarding the boys and interacting with them? I have tried to research the CC's "Job Description", but have not found anything useful. I am not trying to be a "control freak" -- I'm just want the boys to be getting direction from one source -- not pulled in several directions. I intend to approach him and discuss the matter tactfully, but I wish I had something tangible with which to present my case.

Thank you in advance for your sage advice and wisdom.>

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Bob White and others will do a much better job of giving you specific references than I could, so I'll leave that to them. But that won't stop me from offering an opinion about your circumstances.


You are charged with teaching your Scouts how to run a quality program for themselves. The CC has the responsiblity to make resources available to allow the Scouts to run their quality program.


A Troop of boys is truly lucky if they have a number of adults who recognize opportunities to teach these things to them. But that is only true if every adult who makes that effort is on the same page.


So my advise would be to work with the CC and determine if you two (and any other adult who tends to have direct, program contact with the Scouts) see eye to eye on how to deliver the program. If you two can come to a consensus, I think you are a lucky SM to have the help you'll get. If there is a large disagreement over how adults should deliver the program, then a more formal arrangement describing everyone's duties and responsibitites (and what is off limits) would be in order.


In other words, try to work with this person if you can. I think you're Troop will enjoy both of you very dedicated people Delivering the Promise.



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Welcome Woodsmith.


The Troop Committee Chair has several responsibilities, non of which are really related to direct youth contact. You can find a list and expaination of the CCs responsibilities in the Troop Committee Guide.


My suggestion is to sit down with the CC and explain that in order for you to be an effective program leader that everyone will ned to focus on their specific role in the troop. Just as the CC should expect you to go through him or her when dealing with members of the committee, the CC needs to go through you when wanting to deal with situations or individuals in the troop.


Clear and open communication is the best way to avoid, and to resolve, conflict.


Good Luck,

Bob White

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I can sympathize, but my problem is the other way around. We have a SM who wants to tell the CC and committee how to do everything. I am trying my hardest to educate everyone on the committee about the "separation of powers", if you will, but I'm hitting a brick wall.


Hopefully, your CC will keep an open mind and listen to you. It is frustrating when you are dealing with someone who has been in Scouting for a long time and thinks their way is the best. It is also hard for them to let go of some of the control that they have. Good Luck.

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A major function of the Committee Chair is to ensure that all of the functions of the committee are assigned to other committee members and are being accomplished correctly. That is enough to do and doesn't leave much time for direct interaction with boys. Get a copy of the Troop Committee Guidebook.

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Welcome to the campfire, Woodsmith.


Your problem, as well as Scoutmom's, is not that uncommon. In many troops the committee role is not understood. It is mostly due to a lack of training and a "we've always done it that way" attitude. Some troops have over-involved committees, others have committees run by the SM. Neither reflect the model that the BSA promotes.


Let me also say that having an involved committee is a good thing. It's an over-involved committee that can cause a problem. I encourage our committee members to hang around, attend campouts, etc. That way they understand the program and have a better appreciation of our needs.


The suggestions here are all good. The key is training. The Troop Committee Challenge is a good activity for this. I would be careful and put it in the vein of you are trying to provide the best troop program possible for the boys. You also need to be careful to not alienate him, or some of the boys that may be attached to him. If its seen as you "running him off", then it would likely work against you.


One other thought. Might it be that this fellow wants to be a SM and not a CC? It is possible that he is not in the position that fits his interests. If his desire is to be with the boys, then recruiting him as an ASM might be a good idea. Then, find a person that is a better fit into the CC role.

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Welcome, Woodsmith!

And thanks for your willingness to step into the SM's boots!!


Good advice from all above. EagleInKY made an excellent point - some adults are better off providing support in the background (via TC role) while some prefer to be more directly involved with the scouts (SM staff role). Or it could be that the CC asserted himself when he saw the need and would be very happy to step aside and let you take the lead.


To echo the others, communication is key. Before you take over, spend some time talking to CC about troop strengths, weaknesses, goals, etc. Slowly work into discussion about roles and responsibilities. Just as we expect the scouts to use their chain-of-command (PL to SPL, etc.), we need to model that as adults. We want the SPL to visibly be "in charge" of the troop. Same goes for SM - he/she has to at least give the impression of being in charge of the adult program side of things. The scout leaders and PLC need to have one adult at the top to provide consistent guidance and support. That's not to say the other adults don't have an invaluable role - just that the SM is at the top.


Best of luck! -mike

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Well, it looks like I came to the right place with my tales of woe!


Thanks to all of you for the excellent feedback -- it is right in line with my thinking, but it helps to have it reinforced by others -- and expressed in a logical and eloquent manner.


I plan to have a little sit-down with the CC, and discuss things much the way MikeF proposes. I sure don't want to alienate the CC -- he's a great guy and has been very good for the troop. Quite possibly it is just as Mike suggested -- that he will be quite willing to step aside once the SM (me) asserts himself into the role the CC has felt obligated to fill. Hopefully, he will then be able to focus his attention on the Committee -- and I will do my best to help the SPL lead the troop (with the CC's valuable assistance -- in the background) and we'll all be happy campers.

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