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Oldscout448

can a CO change the rules? if so, how far?

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10 minutes ago, qwazse said:

 

This is where many of us take for granted that we've each gravitated toward the CO's who give us the latitude we feel we need to deliver the program we think we must.

As a scout, I was always puzzled why a troop started up on the same side of our very small town as my own troop. Reflecting on it, I've come to realize that my SM, who was more than happy to have some rough guys as ASM (all good as gold, but not necessarily paragons of the church who sponsored us), was not the kind of guy everyone wanted to be scouting with. Although strict regarding manners and generous towards missionaries, he would be nobody's agent of protestant reformation. Same for the committee. Clearly, the church hosting our troop expected them to leave any preaching to the professionals. I'm sure it caused no small amount of discomfort to parishioners that we would sometimes attend scout Sunday and the Catholic church and share activities with the LDS troop.

The Baptist church's troop, I believe, was somewhat different. Camp less. Preach more. Watch which lines you cross.

Needless to say, certain types would work well with one CO, but not the other.

COs do differ in their mission, and how they want their various "ministries" to reflect that mission.  Some COs want exclusive involvement by their scouting programs to the CO, some less are concerned about that.  Some CO's have a heavy hand on the program through their COR, others let the COR run more freely, and some of those CORs delegate more to Committee Chairs and SMs than others. 

You do raise a point @qwaze about the number of units that many here may have experienced in the past.  When there may have been more units available, the COs probably could have more tight control and it may not have been as noticeable, as parents/youth could just go down the street and find another unit.  With the decline in participant numbers, there is also a decline in the number of troops/packs.  The town I grew up in had 3 troops, 3 packs when I started in Scouting.  By the time I became a wolf, it was down to 3/2, then as I became a Webelos it was 2/1.  That was in the early 80's, where I have often seen reference that the early 80's was the "peak" for the size of the program.  If anyone wants some rather bleak #'s to look at on enrollment, I give you this link:

http://www.narragansettbsa.org/document/cachalot-analysis-slides-1012/176699

 

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13 minutes ago, David CO said:

...or gives us the structure and support we feel we need.

Yep. Some of us want latitude and independence from the CO, others want structure and financial support.

How much are your dues and camping fees? We don't have any.  

LOL. In my neck of the woods, I call that an entitlement mentality.

CO gives us space, with that we hold a fundraiser that covers  lots of costs (including most weekend camp fees). Pastor and parishioners attend happily. In return, life scouts knock on the CO's door asking if there are projects they can do. Kids who can't afford camp often get helped by anonymous donors.

But, we do experience other "down-sides" to this arrangement. The COR does not keep close tabs on us. The current one was an explorer, and experienced a similar CO, so it suits her just fine. I'm sure if she made more effort, we would communicate more and be more efficient.

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4 hours ago, David CO said:

No, it is the Chartered Organization that has the authority and responsibility to deliver the scouting program to the scouts. The CO then selects the unit leaders and charges them with making it happen.

By accepting and acknowledging the ownership and authority of the Chartered Organization, I think I have taught and demonstrated a certain amount of humility to the scouts. I think humility is one thing that is sorely lacking in many of our scouts. They benefit from acquiring a little more of it.

I don't know how a scout leader can expect the scouts to respect and obey him if he is unwilling to "meekly submit" to the leaders and officials who supervise him.

The scouts and scout leaders always have a recourse if they feel that the Chartered Organization and/or its leaders act in an arbitrary or capricious manner. They can join a different unit.

 

I fully appreciate that there are different models for the CO/scouting unit relationship.

A charge from the IH

By the CO charging the unit leaders with implementing the program, he/she places them in a position of trust.  Those individuals are charged with providing the Scouting program to the best of their abilities.  Part of that responsibility is to advocate for their program.

Say I were the IH or COR.  When I create a scouting unit, I have in essence created a scouting department within my CO.  I am a CC of a troop - so that makes me responsible to my organizational chain.  I report to the COR and in turn the IH.  If another department in the CO starts interfering with the Scouting program, it is my responsibility as CC to advocate for my department.  

Other members of the CO

Since we're using schools as en example - I'll do the same.  If I were chartered to a school, the IH would be the principal.  The COR would be the representative of the school.  As CC, I would report to the COR. 
- Say that a teacher at the school comes along and says "please be quieter during your meeting, your disturbing my students."  Out of professional courtesy and being a good citizen of the school, I would do my best to honor the request. 
- Say that another teacher at the school comes to the troop meeting and starts telling the scouts how to do dishes or run the troop meeting.  As CC, I would be right to speak with the teacher and say "thanks for the input, we have a different approach."  I would be polite and courteous, but we do not need to simply obey.  If the teacher persisted, I would simply say - let's setup a meeting next week with the COR, you, and I to work through this.

Though the teacher works at the school, the teacher is outside of my organizational chain.  By the teacher coming along and inserting them into the organizational chain, they are making it difficult and perhaps impossible for me to follow through on the charge of my "bosses" - the COR & IH.  The teacher does not by default have direct authority over the scouting program.  The only people who have authority over the program are the COR, the IH (principal), and the principal's management chain.  Now, it's the real world and employees of the CO almost certainly have better political connections than my scout troop.  As such, we need to be respectful.  But, if we're doing the right thing (according to the charge given to us by the IH) - then we need to push back on the outside influence of the teacher.

 

 

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3 hours ago, ParkMan said:

 

- Say that another teacher at the school comes to the troop meeting and starts telling the scouts how to do dishes or run the troop meeting.  As CC, I would be right to speak with the teacher and say "thanks for the input, we have a different approach."  I would be polite and courteous, but we do not need to simply obey.  If the teacher persisted, I would simply say - let's setup a meeting next week with the COR, you, and I to work through this.

 

Would you really want to put a student/scout in that situation? You would be telling him to openly defy a teacher. There could be consequences for something like that.

I wonder how would you explain it to the parent of a boy if he got suspended from school (or just scouting) for disobeying and defying a teacher.

 

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My last post wasn't a frivolous comment. I actually saw something like this happen at the high school.

It was a Band student, not a scout. The VP of the Band Club told a boy to disobey a teacher, in a situation very much like the one ParkMan described. The boy was given a 3 day suspension and made ineligible from all extracurricular activities for a month. The VP resigned.

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16 hours ago, David CO said:

 

This is where my opinions differ from many of the scouters on this forum. I believe the CO owns the unit. Others act as though the CO merely sponsors the unit.

 

Unfortunately, most CO's do not understand this, either, in my experience.  I think if it were explained to them in no uncertain terms, many would opt out for liability reasons.

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7 hours ago, David CO said:

Would you really want to put a student/scout in that situation? You would be telling him to openly defy a teacher. There could be consequences for something like that.

I wonder how would you explain it to the parent of a boy if he got suspended from school (or just scouting) for disobeying and defying a teacher.

 

Really - that's what the adults (probably just the SM or CC) are for.  I wouldn't expect any scout to openly defy any adult.  I would expect the more experienced scouts to be aware enough to call in an adult to help.  If a teacher came along and said "boys quiet down", I'd expect a nice "Yes, absolutely." If the teacher said - stop playing and clean your cook kits, I'd expect the scout ic charge to say - "Thanks, but we've been told this is free time. Let me go grab my Scoutmaster for you."  For the scouts, it doesn't need to come down to just obeying or defying - a leadership skill I expect these guys to develop is how to interact with other authority figures, but still work within the parameters of what he's supposed to do.

The troop adults - (and again particularly the SM and CC) - should be able to navigate the politics of outside adults.  Again, I'd expect them to be respectful - treat them like a distinguished guest. Thank you Mr. teacher for visiting with us tonight.  But, I would also expect them to push back if appropriate.  Again, if it's minor - no big deal - chalk it up to diplomacy.   But, if it's something more significant, the adults need to respectfully say no.  "Thank you so much for that recommendation.  Given the way our program is structured this evening, we regrettably not in a position to do that today."  If the teacher were really to push there is at some point a gut call - does the adult just do it to preserve harmony.  But, if the adults said no - that would be fine.  "Mr. Teacher, I do understand you'd very much like us to hold patrol elections tonight, but that isn't in our plans.  We're here to deliver the best program we can for your school and in my judgement that's not the right call.  I'd be happy to meet I with you and our COR to discuss it further at another time."

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

 

The troop adults - (and again particularly the SM and CC) - should be able to navigate the politics of outside adults.  Again, I'd expect them to be respectful - treat them like a distinguished guest.

 

Once again, you are treating the Chartered Organization (and its staff) like it is merely a sponsor. The CO is not some outside adult or distinguished guest. The CO is the owner of the unit.

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7 hours ago, David CO said:

My last post wasn't a frivolous comment. I actually saw something like this happen at the high school.

It was a Band student, not a scout. The VP of the Band Club told a boy to disobey a teacher, in a situation very much like the one ParkMan described. The boy was given a 3 day suspension and made ineligible from all extracurricular activities for a month. The VP resigned.

Ouch!  Thats awful!

It's tough to discuss situations without specifics.  I'm gathering that it wasn't something ridiculous where the VP made a mistake and the student should have known better.  If it was, that's a different case. 

But, assuming it really was a case where the student got caught between two adults who legitimatly disagreed...

If I were the parent this would have resulted in a meeting between me and principal.  "Your band VP told my son to do this and say no to the teacher.  It is ridiculous that you are now suspending him because he was caught between two adults on your team.  I need this corrected - who do you and I talk with to do that?"

We're I the band VP I'd step down too.  I wouldn't waste my time on an organization that did that to a student.

 

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7 minutes ago, David CO said:

Once again, you are treating the Chartered Organization (and its staff) like it is merely a sponsor. The CO is not some outside adult or distinguished guest. The CO is the owner of the unit.

If it seems that way - I'm sorry, but that's not my intent.

The principal (as the IH) and COR asked us to run a scouting program at their facility.  The 3rd grade teacher did not.  Why would the principal and COR want me to start changing around the program because the 3rd grade teacher showed up at the scout meeting and started telling me how to run a scout troop?

 

BTW - I'm not picking on 3rd grade teacher.  My wife and mother are teachers.

 

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10 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

If it seems that way - I'm sorry, but that's not my intent.

The principal (as the IH) and COR asked us to run a scouting program at their facility.  The 3rd grade teacher did not.  Why would the principal and COR want me to start changing around the program because the 3rd grade teacher showed up at the scout meeting and started telling me how to run a scout troop?

 

BTW - I'm not picking on 3rd grade teacher.  My wife and mother are teachers.

 

I am sure that your wife and mother would tell you that a 3rd grade teacher is perfectly capable of supervising older students. All of our teachers have supervision duties, aside from their regular classroom duties, that requires them to interact with students of all ages. 

The principal would expect you (and your scouts) to obey a 3rd grade teacher no less than any other teacher.

 

Edited by David CO

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8 minutes ago, David CO said:

I am sure that your wife and mother would tell you that a 3rd grade teacher is perfectly capable of supervising older students. All of our teachers have supervision duties, aside from their regular classroom duties, that requires them to interact with students of all ages. 

The principal would expect you (and your scouts) to obey a 3rd grade teacher no less than any other teacher.

 

I'm not following your thinking.

A good analogy is a sports team.  If this were a high school, a teacher would not be allowed to go to the football team and start telling the coach how to run the team.

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35 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I'm not following your thinking.

A good analogy is a sports team.  If this were a high school, a teacher would not be allowed to go to the football team and start telling the coach how to run the team.

You certainly are not.

I love sports analogies. I was an Athletic Director. All of our teachers do gym/field supervision at sports events. Not all at the same time, of course. They take turns doing supervision duties. 

As a member of the teaching staff, the gym/field supervisor has the authority to supervise and direct all of the students and volunteer coaches. In the absence of an administrator, the teacher is in charge. If the football coach is a volunteer, he/she must obey the teacher.

I would add that the teacher's size, gender, and teaching subject don't matter. I would expect a volunteer football coach to obey a 100 lb. female Art teacher no less than he/she would a 220 lb. male Gym teacher. This is clearly explained during volunteer orientation.

 

Edited by David CO

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It's 15 minutes into the football game, and the art teacher (who is not the field supervisor) goes up to the football coach and says "for the rest of the game, I want you to run only these new plays I've created".  The football coach is supposed to just obey?

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5 minutes ago, David CO said:

You certainly are not.

I love sports analogies. I was an Athletic Director. All of our teachers do gym/field supervision at sports events. Not all at the same time, of course. They take turns doing supervision duties. 

As a member of the teaching staff, the gym/field supervisor has the authority to supervise and direct all of the students and volunteer coaches. If the football coach is a volunteer, he/she must obey the teacher.

I would add that the teacher's size, gender, and teaching subject don't matter. I would expect a volunteer football coach to obey a 100 lb. female Art teacher no less than he/she would a 220 lb. male Gym teacher. This is clearly explained during volunteer orientation.

 

David, your organization sounds very unique...  here, a teacher does not tell the high school football coach how to run his team.  The football coach is the AD for the campus.  His staff are all paid coaches, not volunteers.  The field supervisor controls what happens in the stands, not on the field.  They are responsible for security, monitoring weather, etc... not interacting with the on field activities.

Same thing with our COs.  Our troop was chartered by a business who has locations world wide.  I would not expect one of their executives on a visit from Japan to stop in and direct our Scoutmaster how to run the troop.  We wouldn't know the guy from Adam!  Our COs also act more as a sponsor than owning the troop.  Neither troop that my son was in met at, or were provided space for meetings from the CO.  We did fundraising and paid dues.  Both troops met at local churches, but the troops were not affiliated with the church.  The CO merely "owned" the troop on paper, but the troops operated autonomously.   

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