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moosetracker

Committee rules running amuck

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Huh? Not your Troop committee but the Troop committee of the Troop these Scouts went on this outing with? That's even crazier! And totally absurd!

 

None of the rules that this committee or the other committee have made are useful!

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Yah, there are all kinds of ways committees work, eh? It's one of da things in scouting where there's the most diversity of approach, and where the guidebooks are really just guidebooks and are very, very sparse in their description of things. That's why these committee discussions on da forums get all confusulated. :) Everybody is comin' with a different notion of committee.

 

Moosetracker's committee apparently consisted of all da parents, or at least most of 'em, and is used as a training ground for the ASM position. That's interestin', eh? Very different from da BSA model, where the committee is a "board of directors" who selects ASMs and da SM.

 

Lots of folks on da forums are from troops where there's a "strong SM" thing goin' on. That's not surprising, because it's those types of scouters who are da most passionate and most likely to read and post on electronic forums. So in those units, the expectation is that the Committee should be worker-bees who provide background support for the Scoutmaster who really runs and is responsible for the program. That's not really da BSA "board of directors" model either, where the Committee must review and approve the events calendar, budget, etc. In the BSA model, the committee works for the CO, not the SM. But it works well enough unless the SM dies or goes renegade.

 

Some committees consist of three fellows from da CO who act as the CO's voice. Not a parent among 'em. That's not really the BSA's model either, which envisions some support and oversight functions. But it works for those units.

 

On and on, eh?

 

So I think we just have to be careful about any blanket statements about what a committee's role is or should be. Fact is, da roles are different from unit to unit.

 

And not receiving an award is not punishment. :)

 

Beavah

 

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"And not receiving an award is not punishment."

 

That's twice you've said this, and I'm not buying it.

 

Witholding a rightfully-earned award, especially due to arbitrary and artificial reasons, most certainly is punitive.

 

Guy

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Witholding a rightfully-earned award, especially due to arbitrary and artificial reasons, most certainly is punitive.

 

I'm sorry, I must have missed somethin'.

 

Did the committee hold a BOR that voted unanimously that an award was due? That's when a rank is "rightfully earned", eh? And sometimes not even then, since if da council registrar discovers that the lad really didn't have the required number of MBs recorded prior to the date of the BOR, then the rank will be disallowed.

 

What this thread is talkin' about has almost nothing to do with any BSA awards. It has to do with credit toward nights of official troop camping. Honestly, does anybody ever earn Second Class or First Class or Camping MB with the minimum number of official nights? Aside from da rare lad with lots of skills before he joins, if yeh see that goin' on yeh know it's a badge mill program and they're subtracting from da other requirements.

 

The committee decides what is an official troop event. Da Scoutmaster certifies on OA and rank within that. Same deal for the MBC.

 

Is the case that moosetracker describes the way any of us wants to see a unit run? Of course not. The SM and the TC should get on the same page. Does it help if outsiders start feedin' the fire of the SM or the Committee so that it's harder for them to get on the same page? Nope, not a lick.

 

And a Scout is helpful. :)

 

Beavah

 

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The committee decides what is an official troop event.

 

But you do that beforehand, not after the fact.

 

"Hey, Johnny, we know you went on that camping trip, and Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones went along too, but because we adults are engaging in a juvenile p*ssing match, we've decided that it wasn't a real camping trip, and nothing you did on it counts for anything - not the nature identification hike, not the peach cobbler you cooked at dinner, not the 10 miles you backpacked to get there. Sorry, but hopefully by next month we'll have stopped urinating on each others' feet and can get back to real Scouting. Of course, this may happen again if we can't control our urges to whip it out and measure."

 

That's the message this kind of behavior sends. It's a bigger issue than just whether or not the nights count for camping. If the committee didn't make this rule clear, then it's at fault. If the SM knew about the rule and defied it, then he or she is at fault. One side needs to Scout up and do what's right for the boys.

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But honestly, shortridge, it's one night of camping, eh? Is any of da strum and drang and declarations of right and wrong and calling each other numskulls and all da rest worth it for recording one night of camping? It doesn't affect a thing! Havin' a big hairy conniption over such triviality is just silly. The kids aren't going to mind going out camping some more.

 

The committee set a precedent that got the SM (and future ASMs) to take training seriously. That's a good thing, eh? Now, maybe they should just remove the SM for being such a laggard or complainer about it and find someone better, eh? There's an argument to be made for that. But they honestly haven't hurt any kids or likely slowed even a single lad's advancement.

 

Now, da real issue is we're talking about dropping registrations on entire units if their leaders aren't trained, eh? You think not recording a night of camping is a big deal? Just wait until we start dissolving entire troops because the key leaders aren't trained. Do yeh think that will be "punishing kids"? This is the stuff we're goin' to run into repeatedly with the "Every child deserves a trained leader" mandatory training initiative. What this unit did is downright mild compared to what we're testing out to do to the entire country.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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The committee decides what is an official troop event.

 

Got that in an official BSA document?

 

 

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Mr. Beaver -- "award" was your choice of words in this circumstance, not mine. My statement stands on it's own: a committee withholding something rightfully earned, especially for arbitrary and artificial reasons, is most certainly punitive. In this particular case, I see it as a penalty (withholding credit for a night of camping) on Scouts because of the actions (SM not trained in IOLS), and arbitrary rules (SM has to be trained for a Scout's outing to "count"), of others (the committee's policy, not BSA policy).

 

I'm not sure why you think a troop committee trumps everyone else (BSA, SM, CO, COR, etc) in terms of interpreting BSA policy, but I think that is a faulty assumption. It is well-known that in terms of a merit badge, it is the merit badge counselor that gets to decide what does and doesn't suffice for credit. What if an SM is the Camping merit badge counselor? His agreement is with the District Advancement Committee, correct?

 

Guy

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I also remember when my son was at the early stages of rank, it was the SM that decided on things that would be credited, if outside of a troop outing.

 

1) a community service project, the entire troop did not participate in, had to be discussed with the SM and approved by the SM before the community service project took place.

2) a scouting event that had camping the entire troop was not participating in was the SM decision as to if the scout got credit for it.

3) a flag ceremony not at the troop (say the raising or lowering of the flag for you school) was approved by the SM if that took care of the rank requirement.

 

So, I still see it at the SM authority to credit a scout for a camping trip. Something a committee should not stick their nose into.

 

Now different from other peoples beliefs with us the committee organizes the adult leaders, they are not just worker bees for the SM. The SM & committee are basically equal powers with the COR being the tie breaker in disagreements. But, it is understood the boys in the troop are under the SM authority, the adult leaders are under the Committee..

 

This does include the SM. Not to the point of "You will have the boys do A,B,C".. But take this past camping trip.. (Our SM is not the best choice).. So during the trip, one boys sleeping bag was soaked before the first night. He approached the SM and the SM blew him off so he slept in a wet sleeping bag on nights so cold the tent had frost on it. Parents not to happy. Also he chose to do the hike to the Summit (an up hill hike) got half way up, and pooped out, so had the boys finish. Then went down to the bottom, and when they didn't return put out a APB on missing boys on the mountain with no adult leadership, causing the troop running the camporee to go into panic. Also one of those boys left to hike alone has severe epilepsy, and was left without medications or anyone to admisiter it.

 

OK.. Does the committee get involved with telling the SM he has done wrong? Well at least the CC had a long discussion with him. I would imagine our COR will talk to him also. Why? because our committee isn't under the SM.. And since the committee is the one responsible for the Adult leaders, and handeling parent complaints, they have a right to correct the SM when he is wrong. Many members of the committee are voicing the fact the SM should be replaced. They (With the ruling of our COR) have the right to vote him in or out every year, my feeling is this will be his last year (If he is booted out sooner).

 

Sorry if our committee works in ways those who feel committees should just be servent to the SM are going to state our committee is totally wrong.

 

Still the one thing our committee does not stick their nose in is the relationship & authority between the scouts and the SM.

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My opinion is we just don't know enough to even say the committee has run amuck. We don't even have the participant in the original event to ask questions of.

 

Although I will say, I've been blessed with committee members who camp in both troops I've served. I can't imagine this scenario in either one of those troops.

 

Vicki(This message has been edited by Vicki)

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Again, there can be unintended consequences. I can envision something like the following happening in a unit with such a rule:

 

In August, the Committee tells the SM and ASM that until they have certain training, none of the camping trips the lads will go on count.

 

SM & ASM discover that the training they need isn't offered until May of the following year and lets committee know but the committee won't bend.

 

PLC plans a full year of camping trips. In September, SM announces that none of the camping trips can count towards advancement because the SM and ASM are being required by the committee to get training in something they can't get training for until next May so rather than waste everyone's time, including their own, they're just going to cancel all the trips since they can't count anyway.

 

Can anyone guess how long either A) The policy goes away, B) the parents lynch (figuratively) the committee, C) the committe stuggles to find a new SM and ASM, D) the unit folds or E) all of the above?

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Or f) they go and the Scoutmaster counts the camping and tells the committee to pound salt.(This message has been edited by evmori)

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One of the reasons I stepped down as Troop CC was because my INSISTENCE that all adult leaders take SAS/IOLST at their earliest opportunity was flaunted by a dual registered adult. We verbally agreed to the training policy in Committee last year, and that it would be Troop policy going forward. However we never let it limit the Boys.

 

Several of us had the training, two junior ASM's took it, but one of the adult ASM's always had an out, like work. Understandable.

 

He finally registered to take the course. However, our attached Venture Crew (he is one of the advisors) decided to host a "Venturing fellowship weekend" at the same time. He is blowing off the training again in favor of this event, with the full concurrence of the new Scoutmaster.

 

Attitude is just as important as training.

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Patience Fox.. Soon he will need to take it, or not be able to register for Boy scouts or Venturing if their crew has and outdoor program, and by the sound of the event He is blowing it off for, sounds like they do.

 

You could look around to see what other weekend neighboring districts will hold it on, and tell him about it. So you can't take this one.. What about weekend a, b, or c..

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moosetracker, is there something that specifically states that SAS/IOLST must be taken by SM's and ASM's? I was unable to get a firm answer from my council, only that it was "strongly recommended." We were actually going to use lack of training as a premise for dropping some inactive leaders, and several other adult leaders were adamant about dropping them when we rechartered. Frankly, it was more out of a personal dislike rather than a valid reason IMO. To avoid a big dust-up and all of the angst that would come with it, As CC I refused to drop these adults on that premise without a firm edict saying that the training was required, simply because I didn't think it was worth the hassle and bad feelings.

But if it is REQUIRED by BSA, I would love to know about it.

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