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mashmaster

What would you do?

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Friday we meet for an overnight activity, kids all pile into my vehicle along with the other adult.   Just before I load up, dad of one of the boys asks me when do I think we will be back on Saturday.  I tell him we aren't sure but probably around 9 or 10 and that his son will call him when we get close.  He says, oh that might be a problem as I am planning on being downtown celebrating.  I tell him that he is expected to be there to get his son.  He says ok.  I proceed to drive the 4 hours to the event.

The next day I get a text late in the day,   "Hey, our concert doesn't get out until 10:30, can you hold on to him for a while until I can get him or take him home."  Now, we are geting back at 9 and downtown is at least 30 minutes away.  I talked with the boy and and I end up dropping him off at home.  30 minutes out of the way.

I totally feel played by the parents, they clearly didn't plan on getting him and wanted to party instead.  

Did I do the right thing in your opinion?  Would you say anything to the parents?  My gut says to tell the parents that I expect them to be there at drop off.

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Absolutely have a conversation with him, from the position of “Hey, we need everyone to pick up their Scout as agreed upon,” and not from “Hey, I was really inconvenienced the other day.” They’re probably not going to fess up, but you will have at least cleared the air and establish expectations for the future.

Also put estimated arrival times on the outing’s permission slips (both the signed half and parents’ half), so from now own there can be no confusion.

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As Shortridge said, you need to speak to the parents about this. You are a volunteer, not their slave. They were warned about your return time and still did't show.

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First, you did the right thing and made sure the scout was safe and assuming you had the other adult with you during the dropoff, you followed the YPT rules.

I agree that a conversation needs to occur with the parent. They need to understand that this can't happen again.  Either make arrangements for someone approved to pick up the kid, or the kid doesn't go.

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30 minutes of your time?   Plus mileage?   I would hand them a bill for services rendered.   If they can afford concert tickets...

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I took the scouts home with me so I would meet the parent.

The hard part about being the adult leader of any youth group is the disappointment of seeing other parents behavior. Church youth groups, sports, after school activities, and scouts; given enough time, parents show their worst. 

Of course there is the upside of meeting wonderful people as well.

Barry

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10 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Friday we meet for an overnight activity, kids all pile into my vehicle along with the other adult.   Just before I load up, dad of one of the boys asks me when do I think we will be back on Saturday.  I tell him we aren't sure but probably around 9 or 10 and that his son will call him when we get close.  He says, oh that might be a problem as I am planning on being downtown celebrating.  I tell him that he is expected to be there to get his son.  He says ok.  I proceed to drive the 4 hours to the event.

The next day I get a text late in the day,   "Hey, our concert doesn't get out until 10:30, can you hold on to him for a while until I can get him or take him home."  Now, we are geting back at 9 and downtown is at least 30 minutes away.  I talked with the boy and and I end up dropping him off at home.  30 minutes out of the way.

I totally feel played by the parents, they clearly didn't plan on getting him and wanted to party instead.  

Did I do the right thing in your opinion?  Would you say anything to the parents?  My gut says to tell the parents that I expect them to be there at drop off.

Yep...you got played

We had that happen a few months ago, called parents, no answer, no parents at the pickup, etc.  One of the leaders took the Scout home and left message for parents where they were.  Leader had a productive conversation on Sunday outing returns with the parent that afternoon.

Challenge is how does one manage the parents while offering the program to the Scout.  And that is a tough road to travel down.  For our unit the majority live under 5 miles from the church.  Some live walking distance and after the trailer is unloaded quite literally strap on the pack and walk home.

We are very very clear on rally time to start an outing and when we will return from an outing.  The clear expectation is that you as a parent OR your designated person will be there to collect them at the appointed time.  When we depart for the church from an outing there is an e-mail sent to the troop reminding them we expect to be there by X:XX o'clock and also Scouts call on the way.

This needs to be a frank conversation with the parent, yourself, the CC, and maybe another leader to make sure they are understanding of the expectations

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Thanks everyone, yes I had another adult with me on drop off.  I will have a discussion with them about pickups.  They have been scouting for years in another unit so I was shocked.  I thought I was clear in the written communication before and during dropoff but somehow I guess I wasn't to them.

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At least you didn't threaten to call  Child Protective Services. :)  Seriously, we had an incident at a summer camp I worked at where the SM wanted to send the kid home, and the parents refused to pick him up as they were on a second honeymoon at Disney. Camp director then got involved. He informed the the parents they needed to pick up their son, and they refused. "We paid for summer camp, he's staying at summer camp" or words to that affect. That's when the CD gave them a choice: pick up their son by a certain time (driving time from Disney + 60 minutes) or he would report that they have a minor who had been abandoned by his parents. They made it in time.

Seriously, there are some parents who do not care what the troop wants or does.If you don't nip it in the bud now, it will get worse. Trust me on that one.;)

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10 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

At least you didn't threaten to call  Child Protective Services. :) Seriously, we had an incident at a summer camp I worked at where the SM wanted to send the kid home, and the parents refused to pick him up as they were on a second honeymoon at Disney. Camp director then got involved. He informed the the parents they needed to pick up their son, and they refused. "We paid for summer camp, he's staying at summer camp" or words to that affect. That's when the CD gave them a choice: pick up their son by a certain time (driving time from Disney + 60 minutes) or he would report that they have a minor who had been abandoned by his parents. They made it in time.

Seriously, there are some parents who do not care what the troop wants or does.If you don't nip it in the bud now, it will get worse. Trust me on that one.;)

My kids would mutiny if their parents went to Disney without them. :mad:

Barry

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26 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

My kids would mutiny if their parents went to Disney without them. :mad:

Barry

If this kid was getting kicked out of summer camp early, that's probably the same reason they went to Disney without him

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4 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

If this kid was getting kicked out of summer camp early, that's probably the same reason they went to Disney without him

We had this very situation with a challenging extremely hyperactive learning disabled scout. From bringing porn magazines to threatening other scouts with his knife, his behavior was challenging. The parents confided in us that they simply needed a break and we were the solution. As frustrating as he was, we felt a lot of sadness for the young man.

Barry

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2 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

We had this very situation with a challenging extremely hyperactive learning disabled scout. From bringing porn magazines to threatening other scouts with his knife, his behavior was challenging. The parents confided in us that they simply needed a break and we were the solution. As frustrating as he was, we felt a lot of sadness for the young man.

Barry

We had a couple of scouts in our troop with behavioral issues. We required a parent to come to any event the scout attended as these issues were beyond what we felt we were capable of handling without a parent. 

One came to summer camp with his dad. His dad had to go into town to log in to get work done. We told him he had to take his son with him.

He did the first time.  Then he went again and did not take his son. Well, his son used some very inappropriate language with a mom who came to camp that year while the dad was away. We made it abundantly clear that this would never happen again.

They didn't stay in the troop much longer (their choice). We have scouts with Autism and the previous scoutmaster's son has Down Syndrome. None of them are a problem. In fact, I've asked some of our recent Eagle Scouts during their review about their experience working with fellow scouts with special needs. They said they learned a lot about how to treat people and patience. I have to say I have, too.

I feel for the parents. In a scout troop, we're only capable of handling so much. 

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13 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

In a scout troop, we're only capable of handling so much. 

That is so true.  A troop is not all things to all people.  Do what you can but also recognize the limitations of what you can assist with and where you can provide support for within the troop.

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35 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

We had a couple of scouts in our troop with behavioral issues. We required a parent to come to any event the scout attended as these issues were beyond what we felt we were capable of handling without a parent.  

We required the same of these parents. Without getting into the long story, their lawyer persuaded us to find other alternatives. I know, I know, we could have done a lot of things. Some parents have more money than sense. On the positive side, the scout earned Eagle. 

Barry

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