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WisconsinMomma

New Volunteers vs the Old Guard

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19 hours ago, Eagledad said:

This is the reason I don't see the program with that addition of girls staying where it's at or ever going back to a more patrol method program. Eventually the adults without a scouting experience will level off to male and female adults with a scouting experience. But the experience will be from this generation, or next, view of the how the program should be used. The Canadian Scouts are already there.

As for not picking on females as the problem, I agree. The only reason I used them as an example is because we saw the program change when they we brought in as leaders. Not because they were female, but because they had no experience as a youth in scouts to base some of their expectations as an adult.

Barry

not because they are female,  but because they are female....

I read your post as being more forward looking, but I'd argue it's the same looking at the present or in the past too.  Almost all the female scouters bring in an experience that differs.  It's just a fact that they are female and generally speaking they come in with differing paradigms.  Some with a Girls Scout experience, some with a more feminine experience, most with a mom experience.  I'm not saying that any or all of those are bad mind you, just different...and it does change the dynamic.

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17 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

That does not mean that a committee member should sit there and fire question after question at the SM and take up the whole meeting.  There has to be balance.  I think WisconsinMomma understands that, which is why her item (d) includes "look for opportunities to ask."

Agreed. The better CCs walk into the meeting already knowing questions that will be asked because they talked with the members before the meeting. That way they are prepared to control the discussion to keep it balanced. If a topic becomes complex and requires more time, it is scheduled for another time. Our SPLs are trained to manage meetings the same way.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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I'm afraid I don't know the best course of action here but I can share my own experience.

I'd not been involved with scouts for sometime other than buying popcorn or donating to eagle projects and such. A few years back I married a gal and her son was in cubs already. I started taking him to his meeting and easing into being involved as it was a very new dynamic to be on the parent side of things in scouts. For a while he chose to stop scouts and involve himself more in sports. When he started making rather poor choices I put my foot down and said back to scouts. I didn't know how to fix the problem but I figured Scouts couldn't hurt and maybe more one-on-one time with me would be beneficial too. By that time he was old enough to start with a troop. We shopped around, first with my old troop. Very disappointing venture there, it was closing within a year or so and only that long because they wanted to get the last 2 senior boys through their eagle projects. Then a troop that had it going on, lots of boys of various ages, the Lutheran church that held the charter supported the troop very well, and my step-son already knew a few boys from school.

So here is where I freaked-out. I was taking him to meetings and hanging around when they asked for volunteers then out of no where my son tells everyone I was an Eagle and the best scout around. Being introverted this shot my embarrassment up a notch but I just smiled and waved it off. However, the SM who had been running this well oiled troop for nearly 15 years and well past his own boys tenure makes the grand statement that I should be the next Scout Master with all my experience and all the parents looked right at me. A very uncomfortable few minutes while they waited for my response and I remained a deer caught in the headlights. The SM paid his dues and someone has to let him escape eventually, But I felt on the spot and completely overwhelmed. There is a big difference in helping boys tie knots or keeping an eye on them if the SM leaves the room and knowing parents, encouraging scouts, and working council members. Little came from it as I divorced and even though I said I would continue to take my step-son to scouts he chose to quit. My involvement with the troop dwindlwed and stopped as well.

Now I know Moms and Dads that are ready to go gung-ho for their kids in anyway and other parents want to be supportive of their kids, but I have seen plenty of parents step back when they feel like something is about to get dumped in their lap. Some people have the "Pilgrim's Zeal" from the get go and others need to mosey in at their own speed. When the different types mix it doesn't always go so well. For me I need to go one brick in a wall at a time and feel secure in what I'm doing, others are taking arm loads and figuring it out on the way. Timing and pace have always been key to preventing burnout but it can really be as important and help with recruiting parents as well.

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2 hours ago, Longhaired_Mac said:

 

So here is where I freaked-out. 

 

I don't blame you. This is no way to approach a prospective SM.

 

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4 hours ago, Longhaired_Mac said:

So here is where I freaked-out....

I have very little experience with the process of getting a new CM or SM, but even still, I know enough to know that it's supposed to be a little more involved than just a "Hey, you should do it," and then wait for an immediate answer. 

I think it certainly speaks to the state of things at the troop if the decision is taken so lightly. 

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Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit!

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This is an all too common story no matter what council you belong too.  I would just politiy remind the new parents, if you don't have  adult volunteers, you don't have a unit.  How you found the one new volunteer, great keep it going.  Do what you think you have to to get the help you need to keep a unit functioning.  In regards to the MB, I would not even listen to the parents in this case.  MB's are supposed to be initiated by the scout themselves.  It is there responsibility, not the parents.  It is designed to help them build courage to talk to new people and build social skills.  If they don't want to progress and find a replacement than that is on them.  Sometimes the parents need to butt out.  NOT EVER SCOUT MAKES EAGLE!  If the scout doesn't want to make the effort they don't get it.  Simple as that.  PLC is the one that decides what the scouts want to do.  If these parents take over, they will leave the troop in the long run.  The scouts plan their own activities.  Adults really are there just to corral possible ciaos.  Let the scouts mature themselves and stop interfering in the program they are taught to lead and run. 

 

Sorry if it appears I started going into a rant there myself.

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