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Eagle94-A1

Adults at it Again

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Current status. SPL has not followed through on his campaign promises when he ran. He's has not organized things, has not held a PLC since January when he attempted to run the Annual Planning Conference, which was taken over by the adults, and appears to have lost interest since when messaged, or called, he does not respond. Long story short ASPL, QM, and adults have taken over at times by assigning youth to teach.It is very frustrating and disappointing. Gunship wants to remove the SPL, who only has a few weeks left in his term.

Here is where it is getting interesting. Gunship and a few others are now saying the BSA way doesn't work. Gunship wants to use the model he grew up with, i.e. adult led. Tried to tell him we are NOT following the BSA model the way it should be done. When I mention that we are not doing monthly or even bi-monthly, PLCs so the folks know what is going on and can prepare for things, he says the Scouts don't need them. SPL tells them what to do, and they do it. No need for "committees." When I reminded him that when the SPL attempted to hold the annual planning conference on a different day of the week so that more than 45-60 minutes before a meeting could be spent making the calendar,  Gunship and others complained about having to meet on another night, and that it should only take an hour to plan the calendar. Don't know about you guys, but I have never been to an APC that took shorter than 2 hours. And several have been all day affairs.  Currently we still are missing 2 months of activities.

Lots of back and forth on messenger amongst the core adults. finally getting a Scouters' Meeting. Hopefully matter will get resolved.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Oh, you need PLC meetings!!!

Who is dissatisfied?  The adults or the Scouts?   It should be the scouts evaluating the SPL of course.

Now, maybe the SPL needs a little mentoring but that comes from the Scoutmaster, right?   Perhaps the SPL needs a little help setting a schedule for the PLC meetings (our meetings are on traditional days, like the 2nd tuesday is PLC and the third is the scout meeting or something like that).

Campaign promises -- that's funny.  When my AOL den was trying to come up with their patrol name it was getting pretty fancy with speeches and stuff.  

Good job on keeping them focused on the scouts.  You need just enough adult help for the scouts to be functional at a basic level but that's it!  

It is frustrating to me that adults jump in because they can do better. Well doh!  But the point is for the scouts to get some valuable experience by trying and failing and trying again.  

Good luck   -- are you adults perfectionist control freak types?   Hang in there.   Remind them that this is about the boys learning things and getting valuable life lessons.   And the feedback should be from the peers! 

Sounds like they have a lot of ideas on how the SPL should do things but remind them that the SPL gets to have his own way of getting things done, to a point.  And they should not turn Scouting into a chore!   

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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3 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

 Good luck   -- are you adults perfectionist control freak types?   Hang in there.   Remind them that this is about the boys learning things and getting valuable life lessons.   And the feedback should be from the peers! 

Thanks, I need it. One adult is classic Type A personality. He's known on the threads as "Gunship" because he he doesn't just hover, he jumps in and takes over. He grew up in the troop as a youth, and came back years later when the troop he was with folded.

Thing is he is trained, but thinks training is useless since he is an Eagle and knows better. Apparently the troop did some interesting things back in the day, and he thinks it's perfectly OK to do them. Reminded him that the troop did fold, and that could have been one of the reasons for it folding. He blames the pack's CM for sending the Webelos to another troop for the troop folding. Thing is this, if you have an active, Scout-run program, you can survive without a feeder pack. It is harder and more time consuming to do, but I've seen it done.

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Replace the SPL and drive on.  As with many things, some SPL's are waaaay better than others.  Sort of like trendy craft beers.  Some are great and some are terrible, but you keep trying them and hope is eternal

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Posted (edited)

After all these years, I worry less and less about boy-led, how many PLCs, who signs off on rank, etc, etc.  

I only feel strongly about a few things.

  • Shield the scouts from the adults.  The program exists for the kids.  Let it be their program.  IMHO, this is the primary role of the SM and CC.  
  • Worry less about "am I do scouting right"
  • Invest way, way more in "what's the next adventure"

Beyond that

  • At the slightest whiff of the scouts taking responsibility and leadership, back off and let them have more.  it's the reverse of the pattern our youth learn.  Naturally youth grow up learning to be quiet as adults speak and to back down.  It's giving way to authority.  As adult scout leaders, we need to naturally and quickly shut up and back away as scouts stand up and start taking leadership.
  • Laugh and joke and socialize.  But, let it be the scout's program.
  • Quietly coach with questions.  
  • Example: For the annual planning conference that did not go well?  Did the SM and CC shield the scouts from the adults?  Did the SM coach the SPL in advance with structure, materials and help him get onto a road to be successful? 
  • Once you start doing interesting things and having the scouts excited to be in scouting, you can introduce a little bit more and tweaking it toward the BSA "ideal".  But ya know, scouts learn simply by getting out camping, socializing and having new experiences.  You can try to plan how they will grow, but I think it's better to use adventures and activities as a structure in which they will naturally grow.  

We promise scouts adventures and friendships and fun.  Too often they only see meetings and bureaucracy and conflict.  

For this situation, ask the scouts.  What's going on?  Is the SPL coming back?  Do you want someone else ?  It's their program.  Asks them.  Then, get back to doing things. 

 

Edited by fred johnson

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3 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Replace the SPL and drive on.  As with many things, some SPL's are waaaay better than others.  Sort of like trendy craft beers.  Some are great and some are terrible, but you keep trying them and hope is eternal

IMHO his term ends in 3 weeks, so I am not concerned about replacing him.

 

To answer Fred's questions:

 

3 hours ago, fred johnson said:

After all these years, I worry less and less about boy-led, how many PLCs, who signs off on rank, etc, etc.  

I only feel strongly about a few things.

  • Shield the scouts from the adults.  The program exists for the kids.  Let it be their program.  IMHO, this is the primary role of the SM and CC.  

 I agree. Sadly our CC/COR is only concerned about BORs and is completely hands off now.  As for the SM, he doesn't IMHO. He allows Gunship to do whatever he wants, including making rules for camp outs, i.e. Scouts cannot hammock, no hot dogs, etc.

  • Worry less about "am I do scouting right"

That is hard for me as I see how things are going and it's affecting the Scouts and my sons.

  • Invest way, way more in "what's the next adventure"

That is hard when the adults are planning things, and not the Scouts.  6 months are already planned by the adults, and the adults do not want to drive any distance on Fridays since "The Scouts can't set up in the dark."

Beyond that

  • At the slightest whiff of the scouts taking responsibility and leadership, back off and let them have more.  it's the reverse of the pattern our youth learn.  Naturally youth grow up learning to be quiet as adults speak and to back down.  It's giving way to authority.  As adult scout leaders, we need to naturally and quickly shut up and back away as scouts stand up and start taking leadership.

Agree. Our job is to mentor, coach and advise, not dictate and command.

  • Laugh and joke and socialize.  But, let it be the scout's program.
  • Quietly coach with questions.  
  • Example: For the annual planning conference that did not go well?  Did the SM and CC shield the scouts from the adults?  Did the SM coach the SPL in advance with structure, materials and help him get onto a road to be successful? 

CC was not in attendance, and SM was delayed due to work. Gunship took over, followed by another ASM,  When Sm did show up, he did not stop the interference.

  • Once you start doing interesting things and having the scouts excited to be in scouting, you can introduce a little bit more and tweaking it toward the BSA "ideal".  But ya know, scouts learn simply by getting out camping, socializing and having new experiences.  You can try to plan how they will grow, but I think it's better to use adventures and activities as a structure in which they will naturally grow.  

I agree. And you can see the difference between planning everything for your son and letting your son learn on his own. We have 2 Life Scouts who are working on their Eagle projects. One Life Scout's dad is heavily involved with the project to the point of contacting the district advancement chair and trying to arrange for approval DESPITE the advancement chairman's admonition that he wants to Scouts to contact him via email and not the parents. Dad is ticked off to no end, complains, and refuses to let his son contact the advancement chair. Dad creates an account for his son and uses that.Dad knows all the details of the project, and gets upset when comments are made about items covered in the book. Son has an idea of what is going on, but doesn't know the details like dad does.Oh and Dad said his son will be finished everything for Eagle in 4 months.

The Other Life Scout's dad is very hands off to the point that when he suggested to his son that he needs to think about a project, Life Scout informed dad of his plan to get Eagle, and his rough idea for the project. Dad thought project was crazy and would not meet requirements, so he reminded him that the key is to show leadership. And son told him how that would work out

You can probably guess whose sons I am talking about.

We promise scouts adventures and friendships and fun.  Too often they only see meetings and bureaucracy and conflict.  

Agree. But regarding meetings, they do not have to be boring. Yes I've been to a few boring ones as a Scout, and I admit to conducting a few in my time. That's part of the learning process. Burt they can be fun and exciting.

For this situation, ask the scouts.  What's going on?  Is the SPL coming back?  Do you want someone else ?  It's their program.  Asks them.  Then, get back to doing things. 

 

 

On a different note things may get interesting. SM may be stepping down. His recommendation for a replacement is Gunship since he has a history with the CO. We already know the CO won't appoint me since I am neither a member of the denomination nor congregation. Gunship grew up in the congregation, but is a member of a church closer to his house.

 

Pray for me and my Scouts.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

That is hard when the adults are planning things, and not the Scouts.  6 months are already planned by the adults, and the adults do not want to drive any distance on Fridays since "The Scouts can't set up in the dark."

This circles back to focus less on the ideal and more on getting the scouts out and doing things.  You can always teach life lessons.  You can always build rapport to influence and improve the program.  You just can't fairly expect everyone to get to the same vision of the BSA ideal instantly.  It takes time to build a common vision.

 

Edited by fred johnson

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Geesh - no wonder the SPL lost interest.  I would too if the adults were just going to run the Troop the way they want to run the Troop instead of following the Boy Scout program.

I'd have a Plan B in place if gunship becomes SM - and that Plan B would mostly consist of having another Troop ready to take on anyone who is ready to bolt because they aren't getting the program they deserve.

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17 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

... SM may be stepping down. His recommendation for a replacement is Gunship ...

If you're certain of that, then you should let the COR that you'll move on and will encourage your boys to do so.

It's no hard feelings. You two have very different leadership styles and you'll only aggravate him if he's SM. This ain't congress.

What to move to? Well, see if someone wants to have a crack at a linked BSA4G troop.

When life throws you sass, sip sarsaparilla. :)

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Eagle94 - Do you attend committee meetings? As an SM I provide a monthly updates as to how well the scouts are doing at leading themselves, the challenges and failures they have had. I will also provide a self assesment on the times I have had to grab the wheel to prevent injury (rarely) or disaster ( a few times a year) and provide examples where parents helped a bit too much.

I also end my SM portion of the committee meeting with a statement that we are all here to make sure we put on a good program for scouting and I ask for questions and comments on how we can be more scout led, and take a back seat to more each month. 

Would your committee be open to this type of discussion - maybe it would be good to discuss this as a group to better understand what direction everyone wants to go.

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CC is not active except for BORs. The one committee meeting we had was actually run by an ASM (Gunship) and I was there. It involved assigning duties to parents, and determining what fundraisers to do. Also explaining for the umpteenth time how Boy Scouts is different from Cub Scouts to the new parents. Only time you see the committee is for BORs otherwise.

I agree, having everyone on the same page would help. And regular meetings are key to that. But several folks do not want to run the troop by committee. As noted above, there is resistance to having monthly PLC meetings at the Scout level.

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4 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

CC is not active except for BORs. The one committee meeting we had was actually run by an ASM (Gunship) and I was there. It involved assigning duties to parents, and determining what fundraisers to do. Also explaining for the umpteenth time how Boy Scouts is different from Cub Scouts to the new parents. Only time you see the committee is for BORs otherwise.

I agree, having everyone on the same page would help. And regular meetings are key to that. But several folks do not want to run the troop by committee. As noted above, there is resistance to having monthly PLC meetings at the Scout level.

Wow thats not a good way for a troop to run. The SM should have the ability to provide the program he seems fit to have but he should discribe to the  committee what the program is, what the goals are and what outcomes to look for. Type As are great to have as part of the troop but without a set set of goals or philosophy to stick to it becomes difficult to determine how well the troop is being run or whether or not to stay in the troop.

As SM I too spend much of my time explaining to new parents how boyscouts is different (Umpteenth +1) and I had a new parent say he was going to punch me in the nose next time I said we were boy led and to take a seat. I too have taken over committee meetings but I have backed off of that when I realized everyone should have a voice. Its sometimes difficult to be reponsible for the troop but be expected to let the scouts run the show. I was blessed with not being a former Boy Scout and spent hundreds of hours studying how to do it right. I don't think you have that in Gunship.

It seems you have limited options and no power to make any changes for this troop. Is the CC ready to step down? You should offer to take his place and run monthly meetings. I see this is the only way to help your cause unless you had solid support of 5 or 6 other committee members.

I did have a parent who wanted me to change everything, told me I sucked at this or that after a year of this I asked him to find another troop. My point being if you are unhappy and don't see things changes on the horizon you should find a happier place. You won't change Gunship by talking about him on these boards and you will drive him crazy by constant questioning.

 

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In today's 'merican society, kids are NOT encouraged to be responsible, to plan and DO things. Note what happened in Florida at that unfortunate High School, when the kids "took charge " of their dissatisfaction.  Were the adults SURPRISED??    In my days as a Sub teacher,  very few of my classes were eager to "take charge" of their lessons. 99% waited for instructions, for permission , for clues as to what teacher wanted them to do.    Are your Scouts different?    

One of my favorite Scout memories involves a PLC that I sat in on.  The SM was suggesting things, reminding about the calendar for the coming year, and the nascent 14 year old SPL and his (his!) PLs sat there, waiting.  Waiting.   The SM kept on asking open questions.  The SPL eventually said "you mean, I can make that decision?"  SM said DUUHHH !! and smiled.  PLC went on and planned some good activities.  

Harry Truman was once asked what  a parent should do to help their children be successful. He reportedly replied, find out what they like to do, and if it is not too dangerous, encourage them to do it.   What else can Scouters do, except offer Scouts stuff to do, so they can find something they can enjoy?   

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4 hours ago, SSScout said:

In today's 'merican society, kids are NOT encouraged to be responsible, to plan and DO things. 

I agree. I’m glad my parents got me into scouting which taught me all of that.

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