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Wow Mark...


So, I've browsed most of the post on this thread... Your story is why I do not get involved in Scouting with my Scout's troop....it's totally GOBN "Good Old Boys Network" and since I was never a Scout, they have made it clear that I have nothing to contribute that they want (except dues of course)


I'd say, offhand, that between the secret meetings and the BOR issues your son is having that the two of you are being shown the exit in a rather forward way.


The majority of the parents seem to want their troop run in a manner that it contradictory to what you want for your son. Ii would expect that the level of conflict with you and non-cooperation with your son will only escalate.


While you vs. the Troop might be a fair fight, it's not fair when the Scout is caught in the crossfire.


Find another Troop, if you can.

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Our CMs are generally open but I have certainly had times when they were closed. We generally Don't have ASMs at CMs.


That said, Mark does sound a little helicopter-ish to me. Our troop has similar policies. In our troop the only people signing off on rank requirements are designated senior / experienced scouts or designated ASMs. MBCs can be their scout's MBC in group class situations, or when specifically approved by me in advance. In general I am not a big fan of the group advancement idea so I sympathize with Mark's scout wanting to go at his own pace. It just that - in my experience - sometimes that pace has more to do with Mom or Dad than what the scout really wants.

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I've tried to very objectively look at my involvement in all of this to see if I am the problem. I don't think that I am... I am simply trying to promote that the troop/committee abide by BSA rules, help scouts with their goals, and get out of their way.


This year our troop has a new Committee Chair, New Scoutmaster, and mostly new committee members. There has been a mad scramble by many of the adult leaders to try and get things done "their way." Four of these parents came from another troop that they couldn't get along with. It's apparently a pattern for them. One of these parents has two sons in our troop who have advanced VERY slowly. She has said privately to other parents that she doesn't think it's fair for other boys to advance before her sons because they've been in the troop longer. This is the same lady who said in committee that she thinks my son is advancing too fast. I've always believed you're not really paranoid if you can prove they're out to get you ;-) My concern now is that even when my son gets his BOR, this lady will be on the board and vote against my son out of pettiness.


I have also heard the argument in this thread and by parents in my troop that I must be pushing my son, and this is my goal. That is simply not the case. My son read online where one Scout in NY earned every merit badge and told me he wanted to be the second. I asked him what his plan was for doing that. He laid out how he wanted to earn merit badges and I told him I would help him anyway I can.


The thing that is frustrating is that people make assumptions about motivation who have never talked to my son. None of the adults in the troop have asked my son what his goals in scouting are and what does he want to achieve. About 2 minutes of conversation could save tens of tens of e-mails back and forth and sniping behind closed doors.


The reason I asked about the committee meetings being open is because I saw where people were talking about others without having the correct information. A Scout is Trustworthy, so making stuff up in committee is a failure by the adult leadership to live up to the Scout Law.

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People become very sensitive when peers (other parents, not professionals) discuss their sons.


But - a family is having financial trouble. Should the troop extend help in the form of reduced or waived fees? Should this discussion be open to all?


Johnny hit Billy on the last campout (so says Billy's mother). The SM was there, the CC was there but no other committee members. Should this be taken care of by the SM & CC or should an "open door" meeting be held to all?


A SAs son had a disipline issue. SAs are not part of the troop committee. Should he be able to attend a meeting which discusses possible discipline actions?


I think the best way to handle such issues is to involve the full committee when "generic" issues arise - like how does the troop want to handle behaviour x & y. When it acutally involves individuals, no need for the whole issue to be out in open and not requirement by the BSA either. For example, a 17 year old Scout happens to get his girl friend pregnant. Is this a topic for the full committee to discuss ad naseum?

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"so making stuff up in committee is a failure by the adult leadership to live up to the Scout Law."


I have been accused of at times seeing things through rose tinted glasses.

Never the less. I find it really hard to believe that anyone who is willing to invest the time it takes to be a leader in our organization, is going to want to waste their time by doing stuff that knowingly hurts and harms the kids that we are in the business of serving.

Sure at times people do get things wrong.

Even the most daffy of things that I have seen and heard of and take my word for it, I've seen and heard of the most daffy! Were in almost every case done with the very best of intentions.


I have a son that I love very dearly. (Well - Most of the time!) A long time back I gave some thought to what was best for both of us.

I of course wanted him to know that I cared for him.

I wanted to feel needed and really wanted to share in what he was doing.

He yearned for his Independence.

A good friend of mine, the mother of three sons who are all Eagle Scouts once said to me that the best thing we can give our kids is "Roots and Wings"

Roots so they know that they are loved and do have our support (When needed.)

Wings so they go out and see the world and try new things.

One great thing about Scouts and Scouting is that it offers the kids a great opportunity to spread their wings and become independent in a safe place.

The roots are also about the values we as parents give our kids and the values that Scouting has.

I have this strange idea that for anyone to be Trustworthy we need to place trust in that person.

Be it an adult or a youth.

When we lose the trust or are un-willing to trust, things have a way of going haywire.

Sure not all Troops are the same, different Troops do things differently.

Your son for better or worse opted to join the Troop that he is in.

Maybe everything is not as fair as you might like it to be or want it to be.

But this isn't about you.

Given half a chance I'll bet that your son will spread his wings and learn how to deal with this situation and with a lot more situations that are sure to follow him for the rest of his days on this planet -Long after you and I are gone!

Just give him a chance.



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