Jump to content
Scoutinglife

New troop, big problems

Recommended Posts

I echo what everyone else has said, leave the troop.  As to this week, you should also call and have a talk with the camp director, it is very possible that your son could spend the rest of the week with a different troop.  Usually the camp directors have a good feel for the troops in camp,, often having known the leaders for years.  At our camp, if we were there that week the director would know that we were capable of taking in a lost sheep and shepherding him through the rest of the week with out really blinking.  And most weeks there would be a troop or two like ours who are experienced enough and understanding enough to take a kid in and help him have a good experience without all the drama.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn’t choose the people for those positions, I was asked to fill the position I am in. I did not know what the other positions were or who they were until I started doing the training for my position. It was supposed to be a church chartering us but when They filled out the paperwork and sent it in, they listed their own business as charter. Council approved it all. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A perspective from outside the USA...

putting side the specific rules and regs of BSA for a moment the thing that struck me from your original post is when you commented that every time your son gets something wrong he gets yelled at. Your son is 12.

Frankly.... Ye Gods!

As someone else said, this sounds toxic. Scouts, wherever you are in the world, is about learning by doing. Kids are deliberately allowed to get things wrong. That’s the whole idea of the movement. It’s not school. It’s not about getting the highest grade. You try, you get it wrong, you sit down with your PL or an adult and figure out where you went wrong and then try again. Hopefully this time doing better! That’s how it works. Sounds like the SM has no idea how things are meant to work.

Ive been an SL (what you call an SM) for coming up to 9 years. Other than having a natural fog horn of a voice I literally can’t remember the last time I raised my voice to a scout. I vaguely recall barking at a couple of scouts to step away from a faulty gas stove that was leaking gas everywhere so I could deal with it but that’s it.

As others have said, time to look elsewhere I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scoutinglife said:

I didn’t choose the people for those positions, I was asked to fill the position I am in. I did not know what the other positions were or who they were until I started doing the training for my position. It was supposed to be a church chartering us but when They filled out the paperwork and sent it in, they listed their own business as charter. Council approved it all. 

OK. So you're telling me that you signed up to volunteer for a church chartered troop but someone pulled a switcheroo on you. That is reason enough to change units. I'm surprised that you stuck around this long.

If people had donated money to help start up the troop  (thinking that they were donating to a church) and then the organizer kept the ownership of the unit and the donations for himself, it might even be considered fraud. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@David CO though I think our new friend only learn from this new experience and be more cautious in the future I don't think now is the time to point any blame in @Scoutinglife direction. 

Don't blame the victim.

I know many troops do not want Scouts having cell phones at camp so that they don't call home being homesick without the adult leadership knowing in advance and being able to help. I know of one troop where the first the scoutmaster found out about a scout being homesick was when the parents showed up at Camp during breakfast to take him home. He had called the night before. Given the situation you are in I wholeheartedly agree with your decision to sneak him the phone.

I know 12 year olds are often intimidated by adults so if he is scared to talk to the camp director perhaps you should talk to he is pioneering merit badge counselor or other trusted staff member to help him bring up the subject with the camp director.

It is a terrible and difficult decision to leave a troop you help start, or any troop for that matter. But we have to do what is in the best interest of our children and other youth. Unfortunately this stuff does happen, I was in five different troops as a scout plus 2 Explorer posts. And my family is on our third Troop since my son joined a few years ago. Ironically I am back with the 4th Troop I belong to as a scout which I only left to find a strong Eagle mentoring program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Chris1 said:

@David CO though I think our new friend only learn from this new experience and be more cautious in the future I don't think now is the time to point any blame in @Scoutinglife direction. 

I disagree with you, and I'll tell you why.

The OP says that there are other troops in the area, yet he chose to help start up this new troop. He even says that he put a lot of money into the startup. That is a lot of trouble to go to when there are easier and cheaper options available. There is a reason why he went out of his way to help start this unit.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Scoutinglife said:

They say it’s how they treat their kids and they think of him as their own.

This would be a very strange thing to say about a kid unless there is some close relationship other than scouting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eddie Murphy had a standup routine that applies here.  It's on YouTube, but contains language not appropriate on this site.  Anyway, he talked about a family in a horror movie.  They bought this great house in a great neighborhood, stood in it for the first time and heard,  "GET OUT!!!!!!" in a demonic voice.  Too bad we can't stay. In all the horror movies of the day, the people would inexplicably stay.

Welp, from what you've described, you're in that horror movie.  The walls are bleeding, a kid got sucked into the television and you just need to leave.  These are not problems you're going to solve staying in the troop.

Wishing you and your son the best.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, our reservation has a Chaplain. Sometimes he's a closer reach for a 12 year old than the CD. That's especially true if the SM marched the troop to vespers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

So, you believe we should point some blame at the original poster.

No. I think some people are acting too quickly to point blame at the other unit leaders. I suspect that all the unit leaders are partially responsible for this mess, including the original poster. If there is some reason why he is committed to staying with this unit, it is not at all helpful for us to all suggest that he leave.

It was the OP who gave us all this extra information. I am just trying to make some sense of it. As it stands, it doesn't make any sense at all.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, David CO said:

No. I think some people are acting too quickly to point blame at the other unit leaders. I suspect that all the unit leaders are partially responsible for this mess, including the original poster. If there is some reason why he is committed to staying with this unit, it is not at all helpful for us to all suggest that he leave.

It was the OP who gave us all this extra information. I am just trying to make some sense of it. As it stands, it doesn't make any sense at all.

Thank you for the clarification. There are many aspects of this issue that we don't know, however, the simple fact that a child is being mistreated seems to me more than enough reason to cut all ties with that unit immediately. I cannot imagine any reason possibly justifying the choice to keep the boy in what seems to be a hostile, if not downright abusive, situation. 

You may "suspect" that the original poster is partially responsible, but you cannot presume to know that. Such allegations are meaningless when we remember that a child's emotional safety is currently in danger; the FIRST act in ANY situation like this is to remove the child from harm, and THEN worry ourselves with making sense of how it all came about - if ever, and only if appropriate. And who are we, as online readers, to try and determine who is at fault in a situation beyond our right or ability to fully comprehend, and which the OP has no obligation to disclose? If there are other issues to sort out, they are done AFTER THE CHILD'S WELL-BEING IS ENSURED. 

We have been given more than enough information anyway in regards to this issue; the child was demeaned, insulted, mocked and disrespected. Get him out, period. Then deal with the rest. But nothing justifies hesitation in a case like this. I apologize if I am coming across as forceful, self-righteous, patronizing or haughty, but after reading something like this, taking what little action I can over an online forum matters more to me than how my words may be taken by others or how others may perceive me. First protect the child. Everything else is secondary.

Edited by The Latin Scot
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

And who are we, as online readers, to try and determine who is at fault in a situation beyond our right or ability to fully comprehend, and which the OP has no obligation to disclose? 

That is exactly right. That's why I think your reaction is way over the top. We don't know who is at fault. We don't know if the situation is really as "toxic" as you assume. All we can do is calmly ask questions and offer advice.

The OP asks what he can/should do. Yes, he can pick his son up from camp. Yes, he can transfer to a different troop. Is that the best solution? Is that what he should do? I don't know. I don't think you know. 

 

Edited by David CO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Scoutinglife said:

Problem is my son was elected as PL (we are young troop with no FC for SPL) and he has no idea what he is supposed to do.

You may be right. If you really think that is the case, why don't you recommend to your son that he resign as PL to get himself off the hot seat and out of the scout leaders bullseye. 

Edited by David CO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×