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mashmaster

OA ordeal question

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Well, we just got back from a troop meeting where the Scoutmaster was disrespectful to my son, questioned everything, wouldn't sign a merit badge card because he has been busy attending Sea Scout meetings rather than the Troop meeting.  He asked me point blank in the car if he can quit the troop now or does he have to wait until after his Ordeal weekend.  Can he just go with being a member of the Ship vs. the Troop that voted him in?

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If he doesn't want to do the job then I'd let him quit right now. This has nothing to do with the OA. If it's something official you're worried about then let an ASM take his position but just don't give him a new patch.

Sorry to hear that, btw.

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Your son is technically chartered and registered with the troop until 12/31, whether he is actively attending meetings there or not. His election by now should already be recorded by the Lodge, so he can attend Ordeal between now and 12/31. The SM cannot do anything about it now. Sea Scouts that are not dual registered are not eligible for OA until the membership change goes into effect in February of next year, and at that point he would need to be elected “again” by that unit if he is not registered to a troop at that time.

The situation sounds awful, and is hitting close to home for me at the moment. Give your son encouragement from this Associate Lodge Advisor - his fellow Scouts elected him, the SM is irrelevant, and go forward with Ordeal to tip the nod to those guys for their recognition. That is what really matters right now. WWW

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11 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

Your son is technically chartered and registered with the troop until 12/31, whether he is actively attending meetings there or not. His election by now should already be recorded by the Lodge, so he can attend Ordeal between now and 12/31. The SM cannot do anything about it now. Sea Scouts that are not dual registered are not eligible for OA until the membership change goes into effect in February of next year, and at that point he would need to be elected “again” by that unit if he is not registered to a troop at that time.

The situation sounds awful, and is hitting close to home for me at the moment. Give your son encouragement from this Associate Lodge Advisor - his fellow Scouts elected him, the SM is irrelevant, and go forward with Ordeal to tip the nod to those guys for their recognition. That is what really matters right now. WWW

Thanks, that is what I thought.  We as leaders are supposed to build the boys up not tear them down.   Why not be happy he showed up?  Why not be happy he is excited to be is Sea Scouts?  

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One word, and a word that has zero place in Scouting -ego.  I am thrilled for your son he found a niche in scouting that fits him. Hope OA might also be a good place for him too.

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You have the option of dual registration (no additional cost unless the ship has a fee).

As long as he completes his ordeal before his registration lapses with the troop he should not have a problem, regardless of his active status with the unit. Though I will point out that a Arrowman's first obligation is to his unit.

Though I have a bigger issue with the SM. He  does not have the option to not give the Scout a blue card, his signature is meant to signify he has discussed the process with the Scout. Your scout should have a discussion asking the SM to give him a blue card. If he SM refuses, I would address it with him myself. 

Edit: Wow, you guys type much faster than I do, there was only one reply when I started.

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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46 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

You have the option of dual registration (no additional cost unless the ship has a fee).

As long as he completes his ordeal before his registration lapses with the troop he should not have a problem, regardless of his active status with the unit. Though I will point out that a Arrowman's first obligation is to his unit.

Though I have a bigger issue with the SM. He  does not have the option to not give the Scout a blue card, his signature is meant to signify he has discussed the process with the Scout. Your scout should have a discussion asking the SM to give him a blue card. If he SM refuses, I would address it with him myself. 

Edit: Wow, you guys type much faster than I do, there was only one reply when I started.

Thanks, I walked away so I wasn't in the discussion.  He was holding his own in the conversation.   When the SM said I can't sign this because she didn't have the paperwork , he told her he sent it to her a month ago.  Then he said, I brought an extra copy, she said where is he going...  He came back with his documentation and she was clearly upset that he the paperwork and started telling him that he was making up the hours.    He remained respectful the entire time but you could see he was fuming.  She just blatently signed off on other scouts without batting an eye.  One even told me he had no idea what the paper was for.

I am just fuming about how this went down.  I am so tired of the power trip she tries to exert over the boys.

At this point he will have to benefit the Ship vs. the Troop because of her.  It is sad.

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2 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

Thanks, I walked away so I wasn't in the discussion.  He was holding his own in the conversation.   When the SM said I can't sign this because she didn't have the paperwork , he told her he sent it to her a month ago.  Then he said, I brought an extra copy, she said where is he going...  He came back with his documentation and she was clearly upset that he the paperwork and started telling him that he was making up the hours.    He remained respectful the entire time but you could see he was fuming.  She just blatently signed off on other scouts without batting an eye.  One even told me he had no idea what the paper was for.

I am just fuming about how this went down.  I am so tired of the power trip she tries to exert over the boys.

At this point he will have to benefit the Ship vs. the Troop because of her.  It is sad.

What paper work? If it is the initial meeting then the signature is about the SM having an discussion, no paperwork required. If the merit badge is complete, and signed off by the MB counselor, that is the paperwork. 

That was a rhetorical question.

Sadly, I am not surprised. Quality Scouters appear to be in the minority. At one end you have those that disregard all process/policies and will sign off on/allow anything, at the other are those that try to rule with an iron fist, make capricious decisions and add to the burden placed on Scouts. Neither have the faintest idea of how to run a quality program.

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18 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

What paper work? If it is the initial meeting then the signature is about the SM having an discussion, no paperwork required. If the merit badge is complete, and signed off by the MB counselor, that is the paperwork. 

That was a rhetorical question.

Sadly, I am not surprised. Quality Scouters appear to be in the minority. At one end you have those that disregard all process/policies and will sign off on/allow anything, at the other are those that try to rule with an iron fist, make capricious decisions and add to the burden placed on Scouts. Neither have the faintest idea of how to run a quality program.

He had paperwork for one of the national outdoor awards.  That was in addition to getting the blue card.  Sorry for adding in confusion.

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Scouting has to compete with other activities. It's part of life today and we have to adapt.  I think a scout can still gain a lot from scouting even if he's not able to participate in everything.

If the scout is in a leadership position, particularly SPL and PL, then we require them to be committed to the troop during that period.

As others have said about the merit badge, we're there to provide guidance and encouragement. The merit badge counselor is responsible for ensuring requirements are met.

Rather than quitting, is moving to another troop an option?

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A lot was going on in my life around your sons age and I had to make some hard choices, one of them was staying with the troop or move on to a Scuba Explorer Post. Without actually seeing your sons relationship with the troop and the program, I can't advise on a direction. But, looking back at the choices I made back at the age of 15, I can say those decisions followed me well through my adult life. 

My faith guides my life, and part of that guidance is "Patience". Patience gives us the time to get past our emotions and let logical reasoning guide our decisions. Many of our scouts were active in other outside activities while staying active in the troop.  But we were open-minded to outside opportunities because they added opportunities to the scout's life experiences.

That being said, I had a few SM Conferences where I guided the scout to understand the chaos in his life as a result of to many pans in the fire. As his father, I would look at the opportunities for you son to practice making challenging decisions. As a Scout Leader,  I'm concerned about character growth and I would mentor him that life is often hard, and what ever choices we make will have conclusions that will lead to more choices. I would rather his choice would be to learn how to deal with difficult situations, so as to learn skills for his future in life, than to run with the possibility of regrets years down the road. 

I'm pretty much black and white with my guidance, but the decisions are always theirs.  I've been there, these are tough decisions. Patience.

Barry

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My apologies if this gets off topic ...

I recently have had conversations with my eldest son.  In the end though he completed his Eagle rank, he soured on scouting.  For him, it was the adults.  Every time he was upset, it was because of something the adults did.  IMHO, the best troops have adults that diminish their own visibility and involvement.  I know others would argue this, but you just don't need that many adults to run a good scout program.  And too many adults or too much involvement by those adults will damage the program.  

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14 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

My apologies if this gets off topic ...

I recently have had conversations with my eldest son.  In the end though he completed his Eagle rank, he soured on scouting.  For him, it was the adults.  Every time he was upset, it was because of something the adults did.  IMHO, the best troops have adults that diminish their own visibility and involvement.  I know others would argue this, but you just don't need that many adults to run a good scout program.  And too many adults or too much involvement by those adults will damage the program.  

Then we should be awesome because I'm almost desperate for adult help.  :)

The current makeup of our troop is making it easier to step back a bit. We had a situation that did not involve any adults that resulted in several scouts leaving the troop. It was a shame because much of it was rumor and none of us know what the true story was.  Anyway, it resulted in us skewing much younger and required more adult involvement than ideal.  Now we're getting more leadership from the scouts and I hope they're enjoying the experience more, too.

34 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

 

That being said, I had a few SM Conferences where I guided the scout to understand the chaos in his life as a result of to many pans in the fire. As his father, I would look at the opportunities for you son to practice making challenging decisions.

 

As for too many irons in the fire, no doubt about it. Kids are under pressure to have tons of things they can put on their college application because otherwise, you'll end up at some lesser school and your whole life will be meaningless.

 

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4 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

Scouting has to compete with other activities. It's part of life today and we have to adapt.  I think a scout can still gain a lot from scouting even if he's not able to participate in everything.

If the scout is in a leadership position, particularly SPL and PL, then we require them to be committed to the troop during that period.

As others have said about the merit badge, we're there to provide guidance and encouragement. The merit badge counselor is responsible for ensuring requirements are met.

Rather than quitting, is moving to another troop an option?

He has joined a Sea Scout ship and has been getting very involved their.  It is different than the troop.  My son has no issues dealing with the boy led structure and leadership.  It just frustrates him to pieces when he has to deal with an adult that acts badly.  When she said that he was making the numbers up when he had a record of it and showed it to her, he was done with her.  He was trying to tell her about each line item in the list so she knew what he did and when.  She basically didn't believe him (essentially calling him untrustworthy).  He actually has pictures for each event so maybe that would convince her.  

Personally, I don't blame him for being upset and wanting nothing to do with her anymore.  But since she is SM, he is stuck dealing with her if he is in the troop.  His Skipper talks to him so much different.  

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@Eagledad's advice for patience and allowing the emotion to subside is wise counsel.  That said, patterns are patterns.  You've related a couple of incidents about this particular SM now.  If your son handled things as well as you described, he's learned the lessons he needs to know about dealing with difficult people.  If he's only now asked if he can quit the troop then I suspect he's shown the patience suggested.  The OA simply isn't that important to put up with the SM's behavior.  There are a heck of a lot more arrowmen than there are QMs!  

If he handles his departure in a quiet, dignified manner, he may find a parade following him.

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