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Redman

Committee Meetings

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We are having some issues within our committee.  From the training I took I seem to recall that as long as we have the secretary and at least one other committee member we are able to have a committee/leader meeting.  Our committee chair is refusing to let us have a committee/leader meeting without her and says that we cannot have a committee meeting per policy.  Obviously it makes sense to have a meeting with her when possible, however, she is often out of town, sick, or has some emergency and the rest of us are left to her mercy when she schedules a meeting even when it doesn't work for the rest of us.  We would like to have monthly meetings but because she refuses to have a meeting without her we end up only having meetings once or twice a year.  Does anyone happen to know if we can in fact have a committee/leader meeting without the chair?

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What is your job on the committee?  That kinda drives the perspective a bit.

There are lots of assumptions made by almost everyone with regards to these sorts of "rules", policies, practices...  What constitutes a quarum"? What is the (insert adult position here) positions responsibility.... etc...

I'll admit to not remembering what the requirement on all this was when i was active, but I'd say it really doesn't matter much.

If any 2 members of the committee want to get together to "take care of business", just do it.  It doesn't have to be an official meeting really.... granted it's a lot stickier because often it's dealing with decisions such as spending money, and that's not good for a 'rogue' group to do...  In such a case as this, I personally would loop the appropriate folks in (CC and/or whover else was needed but was AWOL),  Summarize the discussions, the decisions, whatever in an email or whatever, and ask for a decision from the one with the authority to make it.

If a decision is not made, it's not your problem.  You did all you can do.  Personally, i think a scouter has to eventually take that sort of an attitude, otherwise you'll drive yourself nuts!

When I was Cubmaster, our CC did not have a kid in the pack any longer, and therefore was not really active in the pack.  He never came to any meetings or activities, and didn't call very many meetings.  In his defense on this matter, when he did we could rarely get hardly any of the DL's to show, and we didn't have a full staff on the committee anyway.  There were many times when a meeting was called and it was only 2 or 3 of us that showed up....so he quit trying even as in often as he was doing...  I have long said that just becasue of bad luck, I ended up wearing most of the CC hat, in addition to cubmaster, and several of the committee jobs too.

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Thanks for responding:

1. The "committee" meetings are usually leaders and parents as well as committee members and we plan the next year's activities

2. Our CC has been the committee for so long.  It was only recently that we actually got a Treasurer and Secretary.  The CC was doing everything for the pack - so much so most of us had no idea what the pack's finances were until just recently. Which leads into your next question - our committee is somewhat in transition - it was just recently that the committee chair has started letting the committee do what the committee was intended for.  So until all the committee members have actual control over committee items the need for monthly meetings is there.  Our treasurer has been treasurer since Jan and the committee chair just gave her access to the finances last month. 

3. Yes all the functions are getting done with some struggles.  The committee chair has been doing this for so long by herself she is having some issues relinquishing control.  Which brings me back to the original question - I have full confidence that if given the chance our committee can function properly if the committee chair had to go out of town or emergency or whatever the issue.  Thank you for looking into this - I found the same information online as well and was looking for more updated info. 

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Please do not take my question as a rogue group trying to take over the committee - everyone on the committee can show up at a different time and place with the exception of the committee chair.  So we would have the Treasurer and Secretary there as well as Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmasters.  Just not the Chair.

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33 minutes ago, Redman said:

The committee chair has been doing this for so long by herself she is having some issues relinquishing control. 

That is a very common issue I think...the folks, I used to call them 'old guard', that just can't let go.  They are stuck doing things a certain way... I'd guess in some cases they really don't even know the "correct" way.... if she was doing it all out of necessity, then the whole operation is an ad hoc thing.... probably somewhat of a mess but it's the best she could do and it works... and because it worked for her, and because she probably feels some ownership in the unit...doesn't want to let it down, and all sorts of things like that.... so she can't let go.

33 minutes ago, Redman said:

Please do not take my question as a rogue group trying to take over the committee - everyone on the committee can show up at a different time and place with the exception of the committee chair.  So we would have the Treasurer and Secretary there as well as Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmasters.  Just not the Chair.

and I don't take it that way at all.... when I wrote that about being rogue, it was more like mocking humor about how the chairperson might see it...

Personally i see it as quite the opposite... and I'll reiterate.... even if it's not a meeting in name or formality, concerned and active scouters can get together on their own and 'take care of a lot of the business'...and beyond that, for the things they can't take care of...well, all you can do is to do the best at what you can do.  After that, not your problem.

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Thanks for the feedback.  I am glad (well kinda) that we are not the only pack that have this problem.  I can totally understand her feeling some ownership of the pack and having a hard time letting go of some control.  I am sure it is just as frustrating for her as it is for us.  Which leads us to a catch 22 - if we don't work through this and something happens to her then we as a pack will have a very hard time since she is the only one that knows everything there is to know about the pack however, if we push and try to help it is seen as hostile and get even more pushback and she withholds important information.  Soooooooo we take our chances and hope it doesn't affect the kids in the long run?  Please before anyone says go talk to your COR - we have, we have gone all the way up to the District Executive and nothing has changed the answer we get is - well it's really only policy and it looks like your pack is running smoothly from an outsider point of view.  Our pack has had a Treasurer and Secretary on paper only and when we asked how we have gotten away with it for so long the only response is a shoulder shrug.  BSA has policies but most of them are "recommended" and not really enforced.  This is what she posted as to why we couldn't have a meeting without her:

 

The pack committee chair leads the pack committee and thus is responsible for the administration, oversight, and support of the pack program. The pack committee chair’s role is to
  • Maintain a close relationship with the chartered organization representative and the chartered organization to cultivate harmonious relations and maintain communications.
  • Confer with the Cubmaster on policy matters relating to Cub Scouting and the chartered organization.
  • Supervise pack committee operation by
    • Calling and presiding at pack leaders’ meetings.
    • Assigning duties to committee members.
    • Planning for pack charter review, roundup, and reregistration.
    • Approving bills before payment by the pack treasurer.
  • Conduct the annual pack program planning conference and pack leaders’ meetings

 

Which yes it says the CC presides over meetings but it doesn't say we cant have a meeting without her either.....

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7 hours ago, Redman said:

 ... Which yes it says the CC presides over meetings but it doesn't say we cant have a meeting without her either.....

There are different rules of order that dictate how a meeting should proceed (and if it should proceed) in the absence of the seated moderator. BSA does not tell a unit which, if any, rules of order a unit should use.

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11 hours ago, Redman said:

Please before anyone says go talk to your COR - we have

If you have already talked to your COR, then there is nothing more for you to do. The ball is in his court. 

 

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On 7/6/2018 at 3:22 PM, Redman said:

Which leads us to a catch 22 - if we don't work through this and something happens to her then we as a pack will have a very hard time since she is the only one that knows everything there is to know about the pack....

you know, this really isn't such a problem.

A lot of what she "knows" sounds like it might not be the best way to go anyway.

and, none of it is all that hard and not a big deal to figure out solutions, in the big scheme of things

and, a fresh reboot with "new blood" probably wouldn't be a bad thing anyway...

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Wow. No Committee Chair should have so much power that he/she can shut down a meeting whenever they please. 

My suggestion - ignore her, and have the meeting anyway. Tell her your sorry she won't be able to make it, but that the meeting needs to happen anyway, and we'll be sure to let you know what you missed. She has NO POWER TO STOP YOU - except for the power you give her by your consent, however reluctant.

So now: you need to have a plan for the future to prevent this kind of high-handed power-grab from happening in the first place. In our committee, we hold our meetings at the same day, place and time every month. The second Tuesday of every month at 8:30 in the evening is Cub Committee Meeting. Period. If our Committee Chair can't make it (and mine often can't), then we just move along without him. In that case the Cubmaster may lead the meeting, or even one of us Den Leaders if both are absent (again, both often are). What's important is not who is at the meetings as much as what is done - as long as the program is being carried out well, activities are being planned and business is being taken care of responsibly, it really doesn't matter if everybody can make it to one month's meeting and some people can't make it to the next - it's just about keeping a steady momentum and being consistent in our progress. That's the best way to protect the boys' Cub Scouting experience, and it makes Scouting more important than its Scouters. It's about as egalitarian a pattern as you could find; every member has just as much say on any issue as another, be they a committee chair, a parent, den leader or cubmaster. In a committee culture where everybody feels free to voice their opinions with respect to and from the other members, and where no decisions are made until there is common consent, it's difficult if not impossible for any one leader to have too much control. And no leader should ever be allowed to have too much control.

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On 7/6/2018 at 12:25 PM, Redman said:

We are having some issues within our committee.  From the training I took I seem to recall that as long as we have the secretary and at least one other committee member we are able to have a committee/leader meeting.  Our committee chair is refusing to let us have a committee/leader meeting without her and says that we cannot have a committee meeting per policy.  Obviously it makes sense to have a meeting with her when possible, however, she is often out of town, sick, or has some emergency and the rest of us are left to her mercy when she schedules a meeting even when it doesn't work for the rest of us.  We would like to have monthly meetings but because she refuses to have a meeting without her we end up only having meetings once or twice a year.  Does anyone happen to know if we can in fact have a committee/leader meeting without the chair?

Talk to your COR, who chooses the Committee Chair, maybe it's time for a new one.  Per JTE, a good Troop or Pack should have at least 6 Committee meetings a year. 

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On 7/6/2018 at 12:22 PM, Redman said:

This is what she posted as to why we couldn't have a meeting without her:

The pack committee chair leads the pack committee and thus is responsible for the administration, oversight, and support of the pack program. The pack committee chair’s role is to

  • Maintain a close relationship with the chartered organization representative and the chartered organization to cultivate harmonious relations and maintain communications.
  • Confer with the Cubmaster on policy matters relating to Cub Scouting and the chartered organization.
  • Supervise pack committee operation by
    • Calling and presiding at pack leaders’ meetings.
    • Assigning duties to committee members.
    • Planning for pack charter review, roundup, and reregistration.
    • Approving bills before payment by the pack treasurer.
  • Conduct the annual pack program planning conference and pack leaders’ meetings

 

Which yes it says the CC presides over meetings but it doesn't say we cant have a meeting without her either.....

My 2¢ and nothing more.

That is a list of the Chairs responsibilities or "Job description" which is not the same as "Administrative Powers or Rights." That said, the simplest way to deal with the problem is to call a committee/parent meeting and vote for a new Chair person, with an explanation why it's needed, and at least 1 person that is for sure willing to take on the work load. Have the vote and see if the grass is greener however it ends up. Your Council might act as a diplomatic go-between if a problem can be pinned down and addressed but more likely will leave the Packs Business to the Pack to deal with. UNLESS it becomes really disruptive and more adults are "Butt-Hurt" than the kids are benefiting from the program.

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Posted (edited)

It is the Chartered Org. Rep's job to "hire and fire" adult leaders in a unit (pack, troop, etc).  If there is a problem with the Committee Chair, and you've already tried talking to her about it, then the next step would be to talk to the Chartered Org. Rep.  The unit "belongs" to the charter organization.

Edited by Thunderbird
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21 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

It is the Chartered Org. Rep's job to "hire and fire" adult leaders in a unit (pack, troop, etc).  If there is a problem with the Committee Chair, and you've already tried talking to her about it, then the next step would be to talk to the Chartered Org. Rep.  The unit "belongs" to the charter organization.

I agree. But Redman says they have already talked to the COR.

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26 minutes ago, David CO said:

I agree. But Redman says they have already talked to the COR.

Understood.  I was really responding to the post right above mine, which seems to say that the parents in the pack can vote and replace the Committee Chair.  That isn't the way it works.  Redman's pack is in a tough spot.

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