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Why do troops fall apart or decline?

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the cussing was every cuss word, but the one who had his parent leave was repeatedly using the F word... just constantly saying "oh F, I forgot my Fing _____" and then just saying "F, F, F, F, I like to say F"


oh and that was at an indoor event with just 2 rooms (1 for boys and 1 for adults) and the weather was awful so there was no real go out and get away from it.


the stealing was after returning from a trip - only personal gear still in trailer was to 1 parent, only 1 boy went into trailer while that parent was helping with another situation, when that parent returned to trailer to get his gear his cot had been taken. Everyone knows the boy who took it, everyone knows that boy is the one who on that very campout told the adult to "F off" when told that he needed to quiet down when it was well past quiet time... and nothing was ever done to the boy in any form of punishment and no contacting adult to replace or return the item.


To me (and some other families that left the troop) the fact the SM did nothing to stop this behavior was allowing it to continue to happen and teaching the boys they could get away with these things - not something we want our boys to learn.

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OK, I see your point and would not like it either.


We had a similar issue when I first joined the Troop. The current adult leadership said they did not "hear" the language I objected to. Then one time on an outing while I was talking about the poor vocabulary choice, a well rounded "F" came flying out and everyone agree it was an issue.


So, for a scoutmaster minute, I challemged the scouts to only use language they would use in front of their mothers, then one a scout said some vulgar things, I approached him and reminded him of the challenge, he said his mother said that word all the time, and I found he was right.


So I challenged them to only use words they have heard me use. And it worked. Although there was the one time when I hit my thumb with a hammer during an Eagle Project, every head was craned my direction like the old EF Hutton commcercials. I held on and said ouch, only much louder.


Changing troop vocabulary can happen, but all adults have to buy in

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I find that all too often, it often boils down to the relationship that the unit has with the chartering organization. At two different times I worked with two troops as Scoutmaster. A commonality was that I found each of the two troops in similar condition - about 8 boys and not much going on.


What made the difference was the attitude of the chartering organization, and more specifically the IH, toward the troop. One CO was very positive and was interested in seeing the troop succeed, and it did. The troop soon had over 20 boys and a very good program. That troop still exists today.


The other CO made no effort to get to know the troop or the leadership. They basically acted as a "sponsor," providing meeting space on Monday nights and not much else. I later learned that that troop folded soon after I moved, and looking back I wonder why I tried so hard to keep it alive.


There might be other factors, but this one has to be near the top of the list.

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