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Eagle94-A1

Helping Former Troop Out with Problem Parents

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4 hours ago, AKdenldr said:

5 parent meetings is beyond crazy.  I can't image how many conversations, emails, and phone calls you have been involved in.    

You really don't want to know.

I thought leaving for another troop would get me out of it, but I keep getting sucked in. One reason is it is my friends. I hate seeing them be abused by these families. Another is a promise I made tot he late SM: I would not let the troop die again after he passed away. But most importantly the Scouts. I do not want them in a toxic situation, and I feel I have abandoned them.

I admit the troop had issues before these two families showed up. But the troop was slowly and steadily improving. Hard work is one thing, aggravation to the point of quitting is another.

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I know it doesn't solve the problems, but I was thinking of a two part camping trip. Have the adults set up base camp, then the scouts hike out with two Scouters. The two scouters go only for "regulation" purposes *wink wink*. Stay out for a night or two. Come back the morning of departure. 

And I do mean make it a fun hike. Do some woodcraft. Or Canoe to the other side of whatever body of water. Treat it as a "how to get out of your comfort zone" type of camp out. Base camp is close enough that you can get back if needed to, but far enough away that the other adults don't wander into the scout's activities. Or set up an emergency pick up spot that you can drive to in case of emergencies. 

Just ... Something to get a physical gap between the scouts and the rest of them. 

You know, I like this idea for my own troop. I think I'll pitch it to see if we can get some bites on it. It could be set up with a progressive set of lessons on how to do things away from camp type of activities. See if anyone wants to add wilderness survival to it. 

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16 minutes ago, Buggie said:

I know it doesn't solve the problems, but I was thinking of a two part camping trip. Have the adults set up base camp, then the scouts hike out with two Scouters. The two scouters go only for "regulation" purposes *wink wink*. Stay out for a night or two. Come back the morning of departure. 

And I do mean make it a fun hike. Do some woodcraft. Or Canoe to the other side of whatever body of water. Treat it as a "how to get out of your comfort zone" type of camp out. Base camp is close enough that you can get back if needed to, but far enough away that the other adults don't wander into the scout's activities. Or set up an emergency pick up spot that you can drive to in case of emergencies. 

Just ... Something to get a physical gap between the scouts and the rest of them. 

You know, I like this idea for my own troop. I think I'll pitch it to see if we can get some bites on it. It could be set up with a progressive set of lessons on how to do things away from camp type of activities. See if anyone wants to add wilderness survival to it. 

This is a great idea for most troops. Our troop did something like this, but our patrols were dropped off at a patrol campsite on Friday night and then back packed 5 miles into the common campsite Saturday. I would even add to Buggies idea of adults picking up the Patrols Sunday on their way out of the area.

Barry

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FYI, not trying to be negative, but I'm in a sour mood because of a conversation I had with an ASM today. More on that later.

It is a great idea for a normal troop. The problem making families would skip the camp out. Seriously we had the patrols do a 5 mile hike at a well established state park, and they were freaking out because adults were not going with the Scouts. While the other Scouts would have fun and benefit, the problem makers would not.

Along those lines, one of the things that helped renew interest in the program and help with some of the challenges with the youth and Scouters was our AT trips. Basically  the youth raced ahead and had camp set up and chilling while the adults took their time getting to the campsite for the nite. While it was not the entire troop, it really got the older Scouts pumped, and it infected the younger guys. Even one of the ASMs who really didn't believe in Patrol Method and Boy Led concepts, the one who once said he "hopes the Scouts fail so they realize they need us" had an epiphany and saw Boy Led in action on that trip. And of course once he converted to the Dark Side, he moves ouot of state :).

Anyway, back to the conversation I had with an ASM today. Spent an hour talking.  He is concerned about the trouble makers suing the Scouters and CO over the matter. Both families have "influence and affluence," coming from old money families locally. Both are used to getting their ways as a result. And I was reminded of the implied threat one of the fathers made at a parents' meeting. He asked if we could give him 100% guarantee nothing would happen to his son if he was with the troop. I am not joking. And from some of the comments the dad has made, and hearing stories about the family from others who have dealt with them,  I see them suing.

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I can the the CC, SM and CO Rep now settling in on the phrase, "Perhaps our troop is not the right fit for you and your boys, here is the number for council xxx to help you find another troop more to your liking. We will not be rechartering your family as members."

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7 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

FYI, not trying to be negative, but I'm in a sour mood because of a conversation I had with an ASM today. More on that later.

It is a great idea for a normal troop. The problem making families would skip the camp out. Seriously we had the patrols do a 5 mile hike at a well established state park, and they were freaking out because adults were not going with the Scouts. While the other Scouts would have fun and benefit, the problem makers would not.

Along those lines, one of the things that helped renew interest in the program and help with some of the challenges with the youth and Scouters was our AT trips. Basically  the youth raced ahead and had camp set up and chilling while the adults took their time getting to the campsite for the nite. While it was not the entire troop, it really got the older Scouts pumped, and it infected the younger guys. Even one of the ASMs who really didn't believe in Patrol Method and Boy Led concepts, the one who once said he "hopes the Scouts fail so they realize they need us" had an epiphany and saw Boy Led in action on that trip. And of course once he converted to the Dark Side, he moves ouot of state :).

Anyway, back to the conversation I had with an ASM today. Spent an hour talking.  He is concerned about the trouble makers suing the Scouters and CO over the matter. Both families have "influence and affluence," coming from old money families locally. Both are used to getting their ways as a result. And I was reminded of the implied threat one of the fathers made at a parents' meeting. He asked if we could give him 100% guarantee nothing would happen to his son if he was with the troop. I am not joking. And from some of the comments the dad has made, and hearing stories about the family from others who have dealt with them,  I see them suing.

Use his words against him as part of your "have a nice day" dismissal:

 

Mr. Jones, we understand you have concerns and that you feel strongly about those concerns.  While we do absolutely take safety seriously, the very intent of the scouting program is to empower scouts to run THEIR program, not ours.  If you believe that we are not the right fit for your child, we can respect that and feel it is best that we part amicably, and sincerely hope that you are able to find another unit that aligns to your vision of what is "the right troop". 

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I can't see how suing could work for the parents. The CO has legal right to ask anyone to leave. But lets say the parents won, the CO simply dumps the program. 

Barry

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Eagle94-A1,

    This whole maddening situation will NOT change. The more you feel you are sucked in, the worse it will get. You've made the change to another troop. You are doing a disservice to the new troop by hanging on to the old. Make the break. This is toxic. Invite all of your scouter and scout friends to join you ASAP. Yes, the old troop may die, but as a former long time scoutmaster who made the same promise to my scoutmaster, I had to eventually let it go. The troop died after 2 years. I'm okay with it, as he knows I did my best. Your friends may want to hang on, but it's to their benefit that the leave that toxic troop also ASAP.

I wish all the very best,

sst3rd

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Time to make this a problem for a bigger audience.  Bring this to the DC and district key three.  

If you don't want to lose the unit, time to escalate.

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While I know what the DE will say, I was  a DE once and had a unit in a similar situation, I have told them they need to have a meeting with the district commissioner and DE. Currently we have no district chair. Hopefully hearing how they can dismiss a adults from the troop from them will cause them to act.

The situation is indeed toxic, the troop has already lost scouts and potential Scouts, and may have more leaving in the future unless the situation is corrected ASAP.

 

 

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