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FaithfulScouter

Qualities of Your Best Troop Committee Chair

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So after a few months without a Troop Committee Chair I have been asked to fill the role.  I was initially very hesitant because we have had a lot of drama and turnover recently, and it is not an ideal situation to inherit.  However, someone has to do it, and do it well. 😉  Tell me about the best Troop Committee Chair you have ever worked with and the qualities and skills they had which contributed to their success.

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Congratulations @FaithfulScouter. I appreciate brutal honesty in a CC.

Have you taken the training?

SMs and Advisors can catch a lot of flack, we need at least one person who can tell us if we deserve it or not. (And tell the same to other parents.)

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I spent 7 years as CC and have now been ASM for 3 years so have a good perspective on both sides.  My thoughts, in no particular order:

  • Get trained.  Get everyone else trained.  People do a better job when the know that their job is (and is not).   
  • Follow the program - this is the BSA's program, do it the way they say even if you dont agree with it.  Insist on the same from everyone else
  • Be fully engaged.  My successor started out well but then life got busy and she rarely attended a Troop meeting and rarely held a committee meeting.  She had no goals for the committee or the Troop.  
  • Have (or develop) a great working relationship with the SM.
  • Do not tolerate drama 
  • Communicate well.  Let your team know what is going on, when and why.  Get input
  • Dont be afraid to have the hard conversations.  In particular, dont hesitate to let someone know that their service is no longer needed if that is appropriate
  • Build a team - dont get into a mode of doing it yourself because that is easier.  You're not doing yourself or the Troop any favors by doing it yourself.

 

 

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13 hours ago, FaithfulScouter said:

So after a few months without a Troop Committee Chair I have been asked to fill the role. 

Who asked? Hopefully it was the COR and/or the IH, if not I would advise a discussion  about the program, your vision, also leadership (add/remove), service, financial and logistical issues with them before accepting.  Hopefully you can build a solid working relationship with your Chartering Organization.

Thanks for volunteering. 

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12 hours ago, FaithfulScouter said:

Our COR asked me to take the role.  I am in the process of taking the online training.   The Committee needs a lot of organizing!!

It's an honor that the COR trusts you.

Following your training, identify the adults who you trust the most for different things (e.g., finance, fundraising, tracking advancement, chaplain, et ...). Ask them If they would please help the troop for that specific thing.

Note that some people might do one thing for their job, but for their volunteer time want to do something completely different. So, keep an open mind.

At this stage, a secretary who takes good notes and circulates minutes promptly will help everyone keep track of their assignments. If you have a person to help you with that, the organization will smooth itself over time.

 

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Communication, organization and having a level head is critical. But having a good relationship with the Scoutmaster is crucial. Communicate frequently to make sure you're on the same page.

Also, try to remember to let the Scoutmaster take care of the day-to-day operation while you address more "Executive" functions.

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Surround yourself with 3 or 4 hardworking committee members., especially the advancement chair, the treasurer and new member/cub liaison.  Although you will  make decisions, try to work by consensus. Bring SM, ASM and parents into meetings as much as possible. Don't hesitate to cut off discussion after a while. Stick to agenda. And training, training, training for everyone. 

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In the design, the CC is the Gate Keeper of the program. The CC should be the go to expert of the program vision. Most people naturally give the SM that role because they have to make it work at the ground level. But the more stable longer running programs are maintained by the CC who maintains the leadership quality of the program. I used to push all troops to send their CCs to Scoutmaster Specific Course so the CCs would have a better understanding of the troop program. But only 1 in 10 showed up. I don't blame them, it is a long dry course. However, how can the CC recruit if they don't understand the adult roles of the program.

Most units fill the CC position with someone willing to give the time. Qualified scouters are rarely recruited because nobody takes on the task of finding one. It's the CO's responsibility to find the CC, but usually the task is led by the UC. And typically the UC doesn't know the families or the qualities of the troops membership. 

So, along with all the other great advice, go to the SM Specific course, or at the very least, get and read the SM Manual. You will be amazed how much you can help the program just by understanding goals and mechanics of the operation.

Barry

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I've been a CC for about 5 years now.  I've come to realize that the job description of the CC is rather simple.  A CC's job is to assemble & lead a team of adult volunteers in delivery of the Scouting program to the youth of the troop.  That means, as CC, you'll have to do a few basic things:

  1. Develop and communicate a long term vision for the troop such that it will successfully deliver a program that fulfills the goals of the Chartered Organization.
  2. Recruit a team of adults who can do the various jobs the troop needs done.
  3. Lead the team of adults who do these different jobs.

The personality traits that make a CC successful are similar to what is needed in leading many volunteer organizations.  Ability to develop a plan for the group, ability to build an organization, ability to communicate, ability to lead a team, ability to recruit adults, ability to develop volunteers, and good problem solving skills.  I think others have done an outstanding job earlier in the topic capturing these.

In a big troop, the CC will probably be more of an executive role - a volunteer who accomplishes things through other volunteers.  In a smaller troop, the CC may need to do more him/herself.  But, the goals are the same.

One of the biggest areas of struggle I see for a CC is the relationship with the SM.  I think the best SM/CC relationships are those where you've got a SM & CC with a shared vision for the troop.  The CC leads the adults to implement that vision.  The SM implements the vision through interactions with the Scouts. 

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Perfect timing.  Great suggestions and insight.  We recently moved and the new unit was in need of a CC.  I’m still learning, but it seems the former cc wasn’t too active so I have some rebuilding to do. 

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On ‎8‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 9:52 PM, The Latin Scot said:

There are few traits I would list as being utterly essential for a Committee Chair. Hopefully you find something on this list useful!

- ORGANIZED Wow, how I wish our current Troop Committee chair possessed this trait! The best Chairs come into meetings with agendas ready, goals in mind, and a strict schedule they try to stick to as much as possible. They respect the time of the group, and work hard to ensure that meetings are productive, Scout-centered, and open to all interested parties. 

 

I've not been a CC but I've been a member of the committee and whether it is a scout committee or any committee for that matter, being organized is, for me, the greatest indicator or future success. My #1 pet peeve as a committee member would be to go to a meeting with a clear agenda and the CC either allows for various unlimited tangential conversations or topics, or starts such on their own. I don't want to hang around for 30 extra minutes to get through the entire agenda because we spent 10 extra minutes on three different tangents.

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