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Tomorrow morning at 7:45AM, we are having our Troop Committee/Parents Yearly planning session.


This is to give everyone on this forum a heads up that Im sure when its over I will be ranting and raving over some of the things that have been discussed and decisions that were made about the direction for the Troop for the new year.


Now to Vent:


Earlier this month we had a Scout Eagle out at 15. Because of this, we have also lost his father who was the ASM that was the MB and Outdoor Coordinator. I volunteered to become the new MB Coordinator. I assumed would be the person that the Scouts came to get the contact information for when they wanted to take a MB.

I have since found out that I am expected to make all the arrangements for the Scouts to take MBs during Troop meeting. I dont agree with this in 2 ways 1) I dont think we should be doing MB at Troop meetings and 2) Even if the Troop is going to be doing MBs at the meetings the Scouts should be setting this up.


Right now, I am not sure that I want this position but, I think that there are more important things the Troop needs to concentrate on before this, such as getting the Troop to use the patrol method to bring this up at the meeting.


I am seeing an attitude in some of the leaders, including the SM, which I am finding to be very disheartening and detrimental in teaching the Aims of Scouting. I am seeing an attitude with the adults that they are doing many things for the boys because the boys are so busy with other things and have so much pressure in these other activities they see Scouts as a haven were they dont have to do stuff.


The SM sees no problem with the Scouts playing football for the whole meeting, as they have no other time to just play. I dont have a problem with this occasionally but 3 weeks in a row I thought was too much.


I know that I cant do this alone and there are other parents who feel the same way I do, but there are more learning the other way. One of the reasons I transferred into this Troop because they admitted that they had areas that needed work. I saw that the Scouts in this Troop (and the adults) had a great deal of potential. It seemed that they really did not have a good direction.


The Troops does do many good things but I am questioning whether I can even make a difference as I feel this type of attitude is getting in the way of presenting a great scouting program.


OK - I'm Done Venting



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Tough position to be in.

May I suggest you NOT take the position. It may be the only way to show the others that this is not what things should be. They may find some one else, but you will at least have indicated your view and position.


Adults/Parents PLANNING......, Boy led troop?


Age 15 EAGLE OUT..... Losing a possible JASM/Troop Guide.


An adult supposed to arrange a scouts MB time/session? Not right at all.


With all do respect, sounds like a MB-Eagle Mill.


There are many troop out there who try thier best to follow the program. You may need to search one out. It is not fun to do that, since your son may have good friends in the troop.



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I think you could have just made the subject "Troop Committee/Parents Yearly planning session", and it would have the same meaning/effect.


Is there a seperate planning meeting w/ the SM and PLC?


Perhaps one of the questions you could bring up is why are you losing a 15 yr old Eagle? Is he cutting ties altogether? Maybe the rest of the committee will realize what's lacking in the program (Advancement sounds like it's there - they may just need to work on the other 7).


Always easier said than done when you're only one person - but perhaps the MB process would be a good place to start introducing Adult Association to the boys. 6 Methods to go!


Lastly - 7:45 am? How long is this going to take? Will IV drips of caffeine be avaialable?


Good Luck,



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This touches on one of my buttons - adults who do everything to help boys earn their merit badges EXCEPT for answering the actual questions and doing the actual activities. IMHO, we can provide a rich learning environment and provide ample opportunities for scouts to earn MBs without holding their hands all the way.


For example, the Scout should be responsible for contacting a counselor and bringing a blue card signed by the SM (except for summer camp and MB universities, etc.).


Also, if a scout winds up with an incomplete, it should be HIS responsibility to know what requirements he still needs, and to follow through with them. Adults may want to track such incompletes for management purposes, but it is NOT our responsibility to remind Billy about his incomplete. If he never completes the MB, it is HIS responsibility.


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This is very scary.


It sounds like this troop needs a complete change in adult leadership. If the Committee Chair, the Chartered Org. Rep and the Scoutmaster are content with planning the program, planning the meetings, arranging the merit badges and letting the boys off the hook of any leadership responsibility, what - pray tell - can you do in the way of the actual BSA program?


For me, I wouldn't have anything to do with this troop, unless the leadership committed to a thorough change. How are you going to do things the BSA way (the way you appear to want to do them and know that they should be done), while nothing else in the troop works that way? It's a whole package. You can't be working completely out of synch with the rest of this obviously dysfunctional troop.


As Eamonn so aply put it, RUN!! (And be sure to take your son with you.)


- Oren



- Oren

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After reading your initial post, I have to tell you that the handsome gentleman off to the side who appears to be kneeling in prayer is actually me, and what I'm actually doing is lacing up my New Balances, so I can....RUN!!! As fast as I can, with Eamonn, and hopefully you, too, and others who want to join a Boy Scout Troop...



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I wish we could run.


I recently went shopping for a new troop because the one we were in was worse than this one.

I visited the 9 closest Troops to us and found that this was best one.

Of these 9:

3 Troops had under 10 kids, hadnt had a new Scout in few years and were ready to fold.

3 troops were even more Adult run than this one.


This left me 3 to choose from.

My top choice for a troop was run very well and put on a good program. The problem with this one is that my son was told he was not welcome in this Troop by some of the Scouts who ride his bus. I know the leaders there and we could have joined but I was not going to put him in this situation


The other Troop was very young.

They did have 3 Woodbadge trained leaders but it seemed that they needed to hold the kids hands.

The adults did seem to try and let this be boy run but there was just no older experienced kids to show the way

If my son joined this troop he would have been the oldest Scout at 13 .

Because of the ages of the boys their camping program was very weak and turned my son off.


The Third troop was the one we joined.


My does like this troop and has quickly made friends there.

So, I either have to stay and try to make changes or leave Scouting as I dont think he would take moving to another troop again


The only thing I am hoping for is that this troop did tell me they had many areas to work on and are willing to try and make improvements in the program, which I can hope I can steer things in the right direction.


Ill post an update when I get back


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This meeting turned out to not so much as a planning session as a review of last year and overall goals and areas the Troop needed improvement in.

This meeting had some good points and some really bad points.


The good points:

We discussed ways to recruit new scouts and how to retain older boys.

Areas where the Troop needed to improve, such as communication.

I was actually given the task of coming up with ways to improve patrol identity.


The bad points:

We have an ASM, who is an Eagle and trained, that believes that we should be teaching self-reliance. He think we should being doing more camping trips where the Scouts each have to bring their own food, their own tent and have to do everything on there own. A while back we had a discussion about buying new tents. We had another leader who thought that we should but the same tent and have enough for each patrol. He argued against this as he felt each boy should have to go out and their own tent. This discussion was shelved and we havent got back to it yet. I do not see where this fits into the Scouting program.


The Troop feels that it needs its own mission statement. I was told this was to create the Troops own unique culture. The problem I have with this was it highlighted which part of the Scouting program (methods) the troop wanted to give emphasis to. I didnt make a lot of friends when I asked what was wrong with the BSAs mission statement, most admitted that they didnt know the BSA had one. I was the only leader at this meeting that did not have a problem with picking and choosing which aspects of Scouting the Troop was going to focus on. I tried using the argument of where does it say that we can favor one aspect of Scouting over another. I was told I was not living in the real world and the Troop didnt have the resources or ability to give all aspects of Scouting equal treatment. (see really bad points)


The really bad points:

I found a couple of things to be especially disturbing that happened at this meeting:


The first was that these leaders felt that it was up to them to decide which part of Scouting they should emphasize. This is the kind of thing I was talking about in the thread I started Following the Program. These adult leaders have made a conscious decision not to follow areas in the program as they felt they are not as important. They saw no problems with making these decisions. I saw this type of attitude in most of the Troops I visited.


The second thing was we actually debated how close we were going to follow the BSA model of a troop. This started when I mentioned Uniforming. The Troop is always in some form of disarray. Boys wear whatever they choose, some with a neckerchief some without, some with bolos. The older boys often just wear a red activity shirt. I was told that this was part of the troops uniqueness as they have always been known as a rebel troop. This was also where we discussed if we were going to treat each method equally.


When asked why I selected this troop I showed them the list I saw from this forum Some Common Traits of Successful Troops and told them this is the criteria I judged the different troops with. I thought that this was a good guide to what the BSA thought was a successful program. The other leaders that that most of these were not true and they felt was not a good judge of a successful program and preceded to debate each point on this.


The Merit Badge Coordinator never came up. I was so caught up in other things I never brought it up. We only got as far as discussing MBs at troop meetings. We have parents who insist that we do this on a once a month basis. They said that Troop meetings and camping trips were the only time their son's had to do Scouting things. They would not complete any merit badges if they had to do them outside Troop meetings and outings.


At this point we have no where to run to.

I pretty disgusted with these types of attitudes and I am not even sure I want to stay a Scout Leader any more as there is no meaning to the program.


I'm consider keeping my son in Scouting and work with him to get his Eagle and get out. Doing things the way this troop is doing Scoutng the Eagle Badge has lost all its meaning.


My wife thinks I should pull myself and my son from Scouting as he is just not getting the things that we wanted him to get out of the program. I can do the camping stuff on our own and we have enough other programs outside of Scouting around here that equal the MB stuff.

Im scheduled to take Wood badge this summer but Im not sure I want to bother.






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A little disheartening to say the least. From a practical standpoint, you're not going to be able to change their views overnight. But you have a foot in the door with your assignment to improve patrol identity. Be successful with that and you may get a little support with some of your other ideas.


Here's an idea. Pick a promising patrol and work with them to earn the National Honor Patrol award (see page 23 of the Handbook). Many of the requirements for that award involve following the BSA program, including PLC meetings, patrol meetings, service projects, and using the patrol yell ("can they hear you in the next county?)".


Another part of the award involves wearing the full uniform correctly. While the troop may have some kind of defacto no-uniform policy, your demo patrol can have it's own rebel policy of wearing the full uniform.


You may get some arguments about this, but if you're charged with improving patrol identity, this is a good way to do it. You may find that if one patrol earns this award, another may want to do it too.


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I really feel for you, as you're clearly the "loyalist" in a "rebel" troop.


Do what's best for your son, as this troop appears to have no intention of letting you do what's best for the troop.


However, DO NOT pass up Wood Badge. That training is unlike any BSA training you have done to date and will give you personal skills and confidence that you can use in all aspects of your life, not just Scouting.


With that training and with the support of your fellow Wood Badgers (and you will have that support after the training), you'll be in a better position to implement whatever decision you make vis-a-vis this troop.


Good luck.


- Oren

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Does your son enjoy scouts?

The troop my son is in is allot like the one you are involved in. Except for the ASM that wants to do away with patrols?

My sons who is 15 loves scouts, I have not told him everything, yet, where the troop is not following the program completely, I have just told him a few things, I do not want him to become a problem in the troops eyes.

When I took woodbadge everyone was in complete uniform except for one ASM from my sons troop, but I have attended a few scout outing with my fellow foxes, and have ran into many other participants from the same course, and I see that they do not follow the BSA methods, so that was quite a let down for me. If you take woodbadge, which I had a great time at, what will you do with the training?

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