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bearshark

Scoutmaster works for the Committee Chair?

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I'm not sure where to post this.. Last night at our troop meeting, the CC pulled the SM, and the ASM's aside for 90% of the meeting and had a "talking down" to them about how he's disappointed in how the program is going. My title (that the SM works for the CC) was the first thing he said.

 

As a parent and a previous committee member, I'm confused. I thought the committee was there to support the Scoutmaster and basically the CC works for the SM..?? What is correct? And how would you go about correcting the CC if he's wrong?

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The scoutmaster and all volunteers work for the committee -- not the committee chairman individually -- with the approval of the Chartered Organization Representative (or in his absence the Institutional Head or the chartered organization. The COR is really the only individual who can remove a volunteer. The troop committee, as a whole may replace a volunteer, with the approval of the COR.

 

But you're kinda beyond that, aren't you?

 

Beavah frequently reminds us that we tend to assume the worst about other Scouters, so I will hold out that your CC's comments to the SM and ASMs was more positive and politic than what you posted. I'm sure you're just simplifying a long conversation, right?

 

On the other hand, if my committee chairman spends an hour and a half dressing me down that he's not happy with the direction of the program, he best have my replacement standing next to him. The conversation may or may not be plesant, but I will assure you it will not be one-sided. My expectation would be for ANYONE not happy with the direction of the unit to roll up their sleeves and do what they can to improve things -- not tell me what they think I should be doing differently. Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

 

My point here is that if your CC and SM have gotten to the point of pulling rank on each other, they've already lost the war. The rest is all just drama.

 

The SM and CC must operate as a team. I can't imagine running a troop in an adversarial position with the CC. My CC and I are very good friends and work very closely together. We spend hours on the phone talking abou troop business and every thing else going on. From an operational standpoint, we probably have much too muddy distinction between CC and SM. He does way to much SM stuff and I do way too much committee stuff. But that's the nature of teamwork. He gets busy with work and I try to pick up his slack. I'll get to my wits end with some kid and he steps in. We're not quite to the point of finishing each other sentences.

 

I'm not sure what to tell you. If you're not currently a committee member, you really don't have standing, if we want to go back to organizational chart technicalities. But on a personal level, if you think you can solve the problem and make a positive contribution, forget the organization chart.

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Your CC is correct. Organizationally, the Scoutmaster reports to the Committee Chair. The Committee Chair reports to the Charter Organization Representative. You can find the oganizational heirarchy in the Boy Scout Handbook.

 

The Scoutmaster is accountable to the Troop Committee and the Charter Organization.

 

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Uhhhh, not exactly.

 

Now someone with a SM and Committee Handbook can give you the verbiage, but...

 

THE SCOUTMASTER is the principal PROGRAM officer of the Troop. He and his assistants deliver the BSA program to the youth members, using the Aims, Methods, and program materials furnished by BSA. He is an ex officio member of the Committee, without vote. He reports to the Committee, is responsible to the Committee, and levies resource requirements upon the Committee.

 

The COMMITTEE CHAIR is the principal SUPPORT officer of the Troop. He and the committee members furnish assistance and resources to the Scoutmaster. They ensure the Troop executes the program according to the Aims, Methods, and program materials furnished by BSA.

 

THE CC AND THE SM are accountable to the Chartered Organization Representative, who is the designated member of the Chartered Partner who oversees all BSA franchise (charter) operations they have undertaken.

 

In a well-working unit, the CC and the SM share a common vision for the youth members. They evaluate the goals of the unit (which should be generated by the youth members) and evaluate the program of the unit ... looking to see what should be sustained (it works, don't fix it) and what should be improved (it needs some fixing). They should have each others backs.

 

Again, this is not directly from the program books, but I hope it helps.

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Not knowing what all happened in the meeting, TCD's comment

 

"My point here is that if your CC and SM have gotten to the point of pulling rank on each other, they've already lost the war. The rest is all just drama."

 

may well ring true. This is where a properly involved COR should be asking for assessment and assistance from his/her friendly Unit Commissioner/Commissioner Service, the District Committee, and the Professional Service.

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The only person who "hires and fires" volunteers working with a BSA unit is the Charter Organization Representative. That's it. If the Committee Chair has been given authority by the COR to run the unit and backs the CC, then the CC can do anything he/she wants. But thats not the way the program is supposed to run.

 

Was there any indication what the CC was upset about? The unit is not boy lead enough? The unit is too adult lead? Any ideas?

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The only person who "hires and fires" volunteers working with a BSA unit is the Charter Organization Representative. That's it. If the Committee Chair has been given authority by the COR to run the unit and backs the CC, then the CC can do anything he/she wants. But thats not the way the program is supposed to run.

 

Was there any indication what the CC was upset about? The unit is not boy lead enough? The unit is too adult lead? Any ideas?

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It's a really long sorted story... When our SM was a committee member, he and our CC got into it over ideas he was offering. They were good ideas, but the CC wanted them presented in a certain way. Maybe I should mention that our troop is overseas on a military base and the CC is a Msgt. Not that it matters, but then maybe it does, our SM is a Tsgt. Our CC likes to pull rank and has been pretty rough with not just him, but a few parents.

 

Anyway - our previous SM (before the one I'm talking about) didn't really do anything with the program. no PLC's, no thought or planning at all... It was just one camp after another, no rank advancement, etc... Then our new SM comes into the picture. He started the boys on the road for it to be boy led. However - he hardly had any help. There were 2 ASM's but they were out of the country most of the time. Our SM mentioned several times that since our CC was just as trained, why not help out instead of dictate how things should be... Apparently that was a mistake.

 

Seems like whenever our CC opens his mouth it's to tell our SM he's wrong about something in front of everyone. Later, when documentation is on hand or gone through or someone requests clarification from the district - it's the CC who is wrong, but, of course, THAT'S not put out in the open to the rest of the parents...

 

I personally, don't want any part of the committee as long as this guy is running it. Our SM is stepping down, due to other military obligations, but I know he's had enough of our CC telling him how to run things.

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Here is the Transatlantic Council BSA website:

http://www.tac-bsa.org/Home.html

 

Here is the Far East Council BSA website:

http://www.fareastcouncil.org/

 

If your Air Base is someplace outside of these two Councils, here is the National Council Direct Service page

http://www.directservicebsa.org/

 

PM me and this old broken down Army ocifer (sic) will give what hand I can...

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You know if someone is acting like a dictator in the committee it doesn't matter what the book says life will be miserable for all. I am now the COR/CC for our crew, the only dual role that can be held, so the buck stops with me when there is a strong conflict. Our committee though runs like an egalitarian one, all have equal opportunity to make suggestions or discuss problems, and we decide by consensus. "Pulling of rank" is always inappropriate unless you are deadlocked as a group and a decision has to be made, and those times should be very few if any.

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If you look at the relationship between COR, CC, and SM -- you have a unit-based Key 3. They work together, but ultimately one person is responsible.

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SM absolutely does not work for the CC.

They both work for the COR and have responsibility to jointly deliver the scouting program to the youth they serve.

 

Misconception comes from a small note that when searching for a new SM, the troop committee is tasked with coming up with nominations. The Charter Org (thru the COR) hires and fires the SM. The Chartered Org is not obligated to select a candidate offered by the TC. If the TC drags their feet too long, the CO can (and should) appoint anyone they feel is able to lead.

 

A little complicated, but very important to understand.

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Could be a little bit of confusing with Cub Scouts too.

Lets see if I can make this chart work:

 

 

 

Charter Organazation

\/

\/

Charter Organazatiom

Representative

\/

\/

Pack Committee

\/

Pack Trainer>>>>>>>>>>

\/

Cubmaster

\/

\/

Assistant Cubmaster>>

\/

\/

.........................................................

\/ \/ \/

Tiger Den Cub Scout Webelos Den

Leaders Leaders Leaders

\/ \/ \/

\/ \/ \/

Parents ADL AWDL

\/ \/

\/ \/

Den Chief Den Chief

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Well. it didn't work/

CO is on top, then COR under that. then Pack Committee, then Cm and ACM

 

Basically, Sm is supposed to do the duties as the Committee lays out, but still isn't directly responcible to only the CC.

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No Scoutfish,

 

He does his duties as prescribed in the Scoutmaster's Handbook. The Committee gives him broad limits on program ("With fuel at $4 per gallon, discourage the PLC from camping more than 100 miles from our meeting place"). The Commitee evaluates execution of the program, most notably through interviewing youth members at their Boards of Review. Boy Scout adult support is not a chain of command thing: It is a collegial and collaborative group of adults wrapped around the miniature operating republic that is a Scout Troop.

 

The Scoutmaster and the Committee Chair are specifically accountable to the Chartered Partner through the COR. The rest, ASMs and Committee people, are accountable to their respective principals, who in turn, need to coordinate any personnel matters with the COR.

 

In your case, as a Scouter supporting the Cub Scout program, here's an interactive diagram on the National Council website:

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/AboutCubScouts/ThePack.aspx

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