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CChairmanOfTroop

Bad Apple in the Leaders

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Good afternoon. I need some help in the scout world of leaders. We have 6 leaders in our troop, and one of the leaders is very hard to get along with. Gonna make it plain and simple and say what he is like. He yells all the time, blames other adult leaders of stealing while receipts are given in for reembursements, thinks hes the boss when he is only the assistant scoutmaster, sits during meetings and drinks coffee all the time, doesnt know knots and other needed things to teach the kids, always goes over everyones heads to correct them, fights with other adult leaders, and so on. Its hard to say all but hes a problem to the troop. What can i do to resolve this as a committee chairman of the troop. Do I go to the district people of BSA? i NEED SOME HELP TO RESOLVE AN ONGOING ISSUE. Thanks all...

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Committee Chair? Talk to the SM and ask him/her what their thought is about this guy. If they don't like him then it's time to remove him from his leadership position. It is your choice, after all, but you don't want to split the troop over this. If all the ASM's and SM agree with you then someone gets to have a frank talk with this guy. Unfortunately, since the SM hasn't already done something I suspect he/she doesn't want to confront this problem. It's not at all fun and it may fall on you to handle it. Anyway, you need very specific examples of what he's done and how it has hurt the troop.

Also, since he's such a pain, you have to ask yourself why he's been given any responsibility. If this guy doesn't bother the other ASM's then it might be that this is not worth your energy. That is not the same as the ASM's just don't want to confront him. Is he yelling at scouts? That's a line I wouldn't tolerate. Occasionally we lose our temper but if this is a regular thing then out he goes.

A third possibility is he might be able to learn. When someone talks to him they have to get a feel for whether this guy realizes that what he's doing is wrong. It's possible. If so, helping him improve would be a better solution.

Most leadership issues are people problems. Good luck.

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@CChairmanOfTroop, welcome to the forums.

Basically, you and your COR call the shots. If the SM can't tell you how this guy is assisting him, he can't be in the position (assist is literally on the patch).

You need to be clear that he has to do a better job. If he doesn't want to change, that's okay, he can still be a scout parent or counsel a badge. If the SM says he's doing one thing right, recognize that and say your asking for him to do a couple more things right.

Not the least of which would be learn those knots!

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Barring any Youth Protection issues, your District folks will more than likely not get involved. If you have a Unit Commissioner, you may be able to persuade him/her to be the "bad guy" and have the heart-to-heart discussion.

 

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CChairman:

I'm late to this, but just in case it's still is an issue, I have a few thoughts. 

  1. qwazse is right, the Charter Org Rep is the person that needs to get involved.  While this may not be to their liking, it does fall under their jurisdiction.   
  2. Get a few parents to draft their list of incidents that the adult in question has done.  Include dates, a brief description, and how it made them feel afterward.  Having one list from you is okay, but three different perspectives hold more weight.  Make a cover letter, as a leader, with the other reports, and send that to the COR. In the cover letter, tell the COR what you need them to do.  (I guess it would be alright to print this thread and include it with your letter.  At least the COR will have more confidence in taking action.)
  3. Find the appropriate BSA pdf covering their bad actions.  For example, I printed the 2019 Guide To Advancement, put that in a 3 ring binder, and showed that to a SM who delayed SM reviews.  Having a guide in writing, helps a lot, but not always.

Now the bad news:

The #1 litmus for a bad scouter is that they get angry.  When a volunteer gets angry, they're personally invested and have lost objectivity. 

Getting them to change is unlikely, but not impossible.  Don't let their anger affect you when you address them, remember it's personal for them.

Even though it is hard, it must be done.  The longer they stay there angry, the more people will leave the unit.  -In my experiences, I've found bad scouters to be undeveloped children; their bodies are old, but they think like an adolescent.  I never disrespect them, BUT I speak firmly to them, giving them clear instructions on what they need to change, and I make them acknowledge what is expected of them.  They have to promises to change the behavior.  Give them a chance.  If they don't change, or if they get worse, have the COR give their position to someone else.  Also, be prepared to take on two roles at once just to keep the unit running. 

NOTE: There is also a Unit Commissioner for your troop, but my luck with them have been hit (god like knowledge) or miss (another angry adult-child).  Contact them vaguely, and see what they have to say.  You can also reach out to the District Commissioner.  Their email should be on the District homepage.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/6/2020 at 5:20 PM, qwazse said:

Not the least of which would be learn those knots!

Knot tying would be the least of the complaints on my list.  In fact, I would suggest it be left off the list entirely.  Youth leaders should be teaching the knots, not the ASM. 

When personality conflicts occur, there is a tendency to pile on.  We should try to avoid that.  Keep it simple.  Don't bring in a whole laundry list of complaints.  It makes people look petty.

It is important to know who brought the ASM into the unit to start with.  If the IH or COR personally selected him, I would be careful about making waves.  If the SM brought him in, make it his problem.  If the CC brought him in, deal with it yourself.  

Don't bring a lot of people into it.  Don't make it a community project.  No group discussion.  Don't turn it into the scouting equivalent of the Jerry Springer Show.

This is not a council issue.  Don't try to slough it off on the council.  It's the unit's problem to solve.

Edited by David CO
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Posted (edited)
On 3/6/2020 at 3:31 PM, CChairmanOfTroop said:

blames other adult leaders of stealing while receipts are given in for reimbursements

This is the issue.  

All of the units assets are the property of the Chartered Organization.  The CO needs to be informed immediately.

Stealing is a very serious accusation.  If the accusations are true, somebody could be facing criminal charges.  If the accusations are false, the CO could be facing a lawsuit.  The CO needs to get on this right away.  This can't be ignored.  Even if the ASM is removed, the accusations will still have to be resolved.

Edited by David CO

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First, you don't nee district of council involvement unless a commissioner can help.  There are a few steps before the COR/institutional head ask him to resign or move on.  How about an ASM or trusted peer as a medium to address this with him.  Many times we aren't in Scouting alone and have trusted peers we can vent to and address issues.  Chances are he has a scouting buddy that can be a moderator.  This gets it handled at the lowest level.  Not a medium or doesn't listen/change, you can have a commissioner take a look and speak with him to get his take on this.  The commissioner can make a recommendation to the COR/IH on how the session went.  If he still doesn't change and turn into a positive leader, the COR/IH may offer retraining, a probationary period, or ASM buddy system.  The final straw would be the COR/IH asking him to take an absence.  Worst case if there is still a fight in him, you can ask the council to revoke his membership due to all the reasons you list and corrective measures taken to that point.

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As for the receipts and thought of stealing...invite this ASM to the monthly committee meeting where there should be a treasurer report.  I would also recommend the approved monthly treasurer and approved committee meeting minutes be sent to the COR/Institutional Head after each meeting.  Many COR/IH won't bother to review it, but is a good practice.  David is correct that all property is the chartered organization.  If a unit folds the CO gets to decide what to do with the property.  We reminded folks of this when we lost our LDS troops in December.

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