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karunamom3

Troop invited to Pack event, help needed

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I am fairly new to Scouts BSA so dont know what are the 'rules' vs troop culture.

I am CM of our pack. So, our pack invited our troop to go fossil hunting today. The invite was given to the SM & a committee  member. I asked them to please let the scouts know about it at the last meeting.

Well, today I asked who was going & come to find out that they never relayed the invite.

Today they are telling the parents/scouts that going was not approved by troop leadership and that if any scouts go they are not covered by troop insurance.

So, are they covered by pack insurance? Can the pack leaders, many of whome are also troop leaders myself included, have permission slips ready to be filled out if scouts any want to go?

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Why wouldn’t they be covered by troop insurance? I don’t see why not as long as there is a permission slip for the event.

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I dont know. This is what a troop committee member is telling parents this morning. I assume to stop any scouts from going.

This is the BS we find ourselves dealing with as we learn about this troops culture (my son just crossed over). I wonder when they were planning to discuss with pack leadership 🤔

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The BSA's insurance provides coverage for visitors to unit events, I presume that would apply here. Individual units rarely carry their own insurance policies. Note that you still have a responsibility to cover things like adequate supervision, age-appropriate activities, etc.

I'm all in favor of trying to play nice with my neighbors and fellow scout units, but if you've identified this other unit as having a toxic culture, you'll likely be a lot happier if you just ignore them.

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2 hours ago, karunamom3 said:

Today they are telling the parents/scouts that going was not approved by troop leadership and that if any scouts go they are not covered by troop insurance.

That's nonsense. I talked to the insurance company that provided our insurance a long time ago and if there were scouts at an event then it was covered. No permissions nor uniforms needed. Besides, nobody's likely to get hurt anyway. Sounds more like an ego issue to me.

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2 hours ago, karunamom3 said:

I am fairly new to Scouts BSA so dont know what are the 'rules' vs troop culture.

I am CM of our pack. So, our pack invited our troop to go fossil hunting today. The invite was given to the SM & a committee  member. I asked them to please let the scouts know about it at the last meeting.

Well, today I asked who was going & come to find out that they never relayed the invite.

Today they are telling the parents/scouts that going was not approved by troop leadership and that if any scouts go they are not covered by troop insurance.

So, are they covered by pack insurance? Can the pack leaders, many of whome are also troop leaders myself included, have permission slips ready to be filled out if scouts any want to go?

My understanding is that Scouts are covered because they are members of the BSA, not members of a specific pack or troop.  If some other Scouts come to your event, they are covered.

As Cubmaster I'd encourage you to attend their next Troop Committee Meeting and discuss what happened.  Why didn't they respond to your invite?  If they decided not to participate - fine, but why didn't they even tell you?  Further, when this was problem was uncovered, why didn't they try to encourage Scouts to attend?  We're all volunteers and volunteers can make mistakes in moments of stress.  i.e. - oops, we didn't tell the troop about this pack event and now what do we do?  We don't have two deep leadership arranged and so who will supervise the Scouts?  If we don't think insurance covers it and if Scouts go and get hurt then we could all be in trouble. 

One of my biggest frustrations as a Troop CC was the line that existed between "the pack" and "the troop".  Pack leaders would often discuss on their own and come to some conclusion about "the troop".  Most often, the pack leaders had some sort of misperception about what we, as troop leaders, were doing.  I would encourage a quarterly "Key 7" meeting.  Pack CC & CM, Troop CC & SM, Crew CC & CA, and COR.  It's a great way to help keep the unit working together.

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The Scouts would be covered by the council's insurance.  The troop likely does not have its own separate insurance.

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There are a couple different things to unpack here.  First the easy stuff: there is almost certainly no such thing as "troop insurance"; BSA carries insurance for all scout activities.  Search the BSA website and these forums for better explanation.  It is possible, but highly unlikely that your Chartering Organization has some supplemental insurance that covers its youth and/or scouting activities, but that would be really unusual and not in the control of the troop anyway.  Since it sounds like your son is in the troop this is a topic you should be able to discuss with your troop leadership, independent of this incident,  just to clarify what nonsense they think they're talking about.

Second is the relationship between the troop and pack.  There could be good, bad, and just lazy/dumb reasons why the troop would not support this activity.  Troops have their own program and activities that they have planned and it takes concerted effort just to make them work; adding in another activity just because someone else thought it would be a good idea, and maybe it is, isn't as simple as saying sure let's do that.  It's well within the troop leadership's purview to decide to just do nothing about the event --- not support it, not communicate it, not participate --- and they don't really need to have any better reason to do that than to feel that they have a full plate and simply don't want to add another activity to it.  But at a minimum, they should have had the courtesy to tell you that.  It's worth keeping in mind that this was the pack's event, it was very nice that they were willing to invite the troop to participate, but an invitation compels no more obligation than an answer, in no way was the troop obligated to participate in any way just because they were invited.   The fact that you were expecting them to tell you who was going indicates that you maybe assumed they were obligated to participate, including by helping to organize part of the list of participants.

I think the troop's behavior was poor because they should have declined your invitation if that's what they intended, they also were way off in telling troop members not to participate; that's not their call regarding your pack or any other scout unit.  If you want to invite members of the troop to join in a pack activity that's great, it's your activity, you're responsible for making sure it complies with all BSA rules, and the troop really has nothing to do with it one way or another.

If this was my troop, we would have said "That sounds nice, we'll pass along the information to the troop, send us an email with the details and we'll pass that along."  It wouldn't have been our event, but we'd be happy if people decided to participate.

It sounds like the troop and pack are part of the same chartering organization and so their relationship is an important one that both sides need to recognize and work on.  I would suggest asking to meet with the troop leadership and have a broader discussion about what that relationship should look like and how can it be mutually beneficial.

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Dinosaur fossil hunt?   Nothing could be more Scouty….

""....Arlton Murray, who worked with fossils at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, hid his own time capsule in a dinosaur installation in 1947. The wooden box — containing Murray’s Boy Scout membership card and a note about one of the installations — was a surprise find five years ago as the museum’s Fossil Hall was taken apart for renovation....""

""...It took a bit of research to discover the significance of the Boy Scout card . . . Murray discovered his passion for fossils on a  Boy Scout outing. ""

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/?utm_term=.20cf958898ee 

He was a Scoutmaster in 1945..... 

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13 hours ago, GMath said:

I'm all in favor of trying to play nice with my neighbors and fellow scout units, but if you've identified this other unit as having a toxic culture, you'll likely be a lot happier if you just ignore them.

Yes, yes. A toxic culture seems to be the case. I wont even get into all of the issues in this post. We (4 new leaders and council) were hoping to turn this unit back around and get it going again. It has been an uphill battle with very old leadership since Dec/Jan and we have had it. Thanks for hitting me with the reality of the situation.

12 hours ago, MattR said:

That's nonsense. I talked to the insurance company that provided our insurance a long time ago and if there were scouts at an event then it was covered. No permissions nor uniforms needed. Besides, nobody's likely to get hurt anyway. Sounds more like an ego issue to me.

It is nonsense for sure. And lack of proper training/education.

12 hours ago, ParkMan said:

My understanding is that Scouts are covered because they are members of the BSA, not members of a specific pack or troop.  If some other Scouts come to your event, they are covered.

As Cubmaster I'd encourage you to attend their next Troop Committee Meeting and discuss what happened.  Why didn't they respond to your invite?  If they decided not to participate - fine, but why didn't they even tell you?  Further, when this was problem was uncovered, why didn't they try to encourage Scouts to attend?

One of my biggest frustrations as a Troop CC was the line that existed between "the pack" and "the troop".  Pack leaders would often discuss on their own and come to some conclusion about "the troop".  Most often, the pack leaders had some sort of misperception about what we, as troop leaders, were doing.  I would encourage a quarterly "Key 7" meeting.  Pack CC & CM, Troop CC & SM, Crew CC & CA, and COR.  It's a great way to help keep the unit working together.

Thanks for this thoughtful response ParkMan. Many good points here. 

So, this is exactly how I understood BSA insurance to work. The Troop kids are registered, insurance paid. It shouldn't matter which scout organization they are doing an activity with. 

Tonight, Monday, I will be attending a Troop leader meeting since I am on the committee as well and I am SA of a linked female troop. Your questions to ask are certainly valid & what I have been asking myself all day.

Love your idea of a key 7 meeting! That is really great. Our pack & troop have the same CO & meet on the same night. They have rarely interacted together over the 40+ years they existed. As I became involved with pack leadership I was shocked to learn that AOL Cubs are supposed to camp with & go to a troop meeting.  Never happened before I stepped into CM role & pushed the envelope. Our troop relies solely on this feeder pack for membership! We have been working hard to change this odd dynamic and have forced the troop into having the AOL's attend a meeting. The troop is not very active & we thought this would be fun for all to help build a relationship between the 2 units. 

 

 

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I would suggest contacting your council to get coverage details from the horse's mouth. I have not always found a great deal of clarity about who is covered and when even at the council level, but at least it is a place to start. Whatever the pack or troop thinks is likely to be wrong. 

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8 hours ago, yknot said:

I would suggest contacting your council to get coverage details from the horse's mouth. I have not always found a great deal of clarity about who is covered and when even at the council level, but at least it is a place to start. Whatever the pack or troop thinks is likely to be wrong. 

That is on my to do list today before the leaders meeting, thanks.

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14 hours ago, SSScout said:

Dinosaur fossil hunt?   Nothing could be more Scouty….

""....Arlton Murray, who worked with fossils at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, hid his own time capsule in a dinosaur installation in 1947. The wooden box — containing Murray’s Boy Scout membership card and a note about one of the installations — was a surprise find five years ago as the museum’s Fossil Hall was taken apart for renovation....""

""...It took a bit of research to discover the significance of the Boy Scout card . . . Murray discovered his passion for fossils on a  Boy Scout outing. ""

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/?utm_term=.20cf958898ee 

He was a Scoutmaster in 1945..... 

Exactly. It was a great time finding sharks teeth from the Cretaceous period & fossilized oyster shells. The pack had a blast & so did the 2 boys from the troop that went 😃

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19 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

First the easy stuff: there is almost certainly no such thing as "troop insurance"; BSA carries insurance for all scout activities.  Search the BSA website and these forums for better explanation.  Since it sounds like your son is in the troop this is a topic you should be able to discuss with your troop leadership, independent of this incident,  just to clarify what nonsense they think they're talking about.

Second is the relationship between the troop and pack.  There could be good, bad, and just lazy/dumb reasons why the troop would not support this activity.  Troops have their own program and activities that they have planned and it takes concerted effort just to make them work; adding in another activity just because someone else thought it would be a good idea, and maybe it is, isn't as simple as saying sure let's do that.  It's well within the troop leadership's purview to decide to just do nothing about the event --- not support it, not communicate it, not participate --- and they don't really need to have any better reason to do that than to feel that they have a full plate and simply don't want to add another activity to it.  But at a minimum, they should have had the courtesy to tell you that.  It's worth keeping in mind that this was the pack's event, it was very nice that they were willing to invite the troop to participate, but an invitation compels no more obligation than an answer, in no way was the troop obligated to participate in any way just because they were invited.   The fact that you were expecting them to tell you who was going indicates that you maybe assumed they were obligated to participate, including by helping to organize part of the list of participants.

Thank you for taking the time to write this lengthy response. I appreciate it.

I was under the impression that what you state is correct about insurance. Its BSA insurance for all BSA, not unit specific. I will discuss with council & at the troop leader meeting tonight.

I do understand that the troop has it's own program. Although our troop is not very active, I do understand what you are saying. And yes, of course they were not obligated to go. Since the pack never received a decline to the invite we figured it was a go. I should have followed up better on that. I inquired about who was going through a combined parent & leader group text (Its a small troop). Asking the parents who was going & to see who needed a ride. 

When you said this...

"I think the troop's behavior was poor because they should have declined your invitation if that's what they intended, they also were way off in telling troop members not to participate; that's not their call regarding your pack or any other scout unit.  If you want to invite members of the troop to join in a pack activity that's great, it's your activity, you're responsible for making sure it complies with all BSA rules, and the troop really has nothing to do with it one way or another.

If this was my troop, we would have said "That sounds nice, we'll pass along the information to the troop, send us an email with the details and we'll pass that along."  It wouldn't have been our event, but we'd be happy if people decided to participate."

... man that is so spot on and probably what has bothered pack leadership the most (other leaders besides me). Their behavior was rude and disrespectful honestly. Not very scout like at all. It was a simple fun activity that required no additional work from the troop leaders besides the 3 leaders already going because those 3 are pack leadership too. Much to discuss at tonight's meeting.

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22 hours ago, ParkMan said:

One of my biggest frustrations as a Troop CC was the line that existed between "the pack" and "the troop".  Pack leaders would often discuss on their own and come to some conclusion about "the troop".  Most often, the pack leaders had some sort of misperception about what we, as troop leaders, were doing.  I would encourage a quarterly "Key 7" meeting.  Pack CC & CM, Troop CC & SM, Crew CC & CA, and COR.  It's a great way to help keep the unit working together.

The "Key 7" sounds great, but I'd also invite the SPL and the Crew President to make sure youth have a voice

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