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GWL NY 121

Boy Scout Blue and Gold dilema

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A father from our BSA troop split off and started his own troop in our small town of 3,000 people. He is now the Scout Master of that troop AND the Cub Master of the towns only Cub Pack. He took our base of youngest Scouts with him. He has complete control of the Cub Scout community. He demands that correspondence between our Troop and the Cub Pack only be through him and Cub parents tell us they never get event invitations and information that we extend to the Pack. He continually discourages Cub Scouts and parents from considering joining our Troop. We're cut off from the Cub Scout Program so he can funnel Cubs into his Troop. Luckily, we have one Den who sees the unfairness of this situation and want their Scouts to become members of our very active Troop. The Cub/Scout Master has denied our request for our Troop to be represented at the Blue and Gold Dinner. The parents our the Webelos II Den crossing over to our Troop want our Troop Representatives there to receive our new Scouts. Our Scout Master, Committee Chair and a few ASM's would like to show up at the B&G Ceremony. Can they be kicked out? Has anyone been in such a situation?

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Very pleased to have found Scouter Network.

For some reason, and I suspect disinformation from the Cub Master, the District and even the Council seem to be shying away from our situation. So we bring this matter here for other's feedback.

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This sounds EXACTLY like what happens when a Scout unit acts in an abusive way towards members and then discovers that if those people are motivated, they can start their own program.

 

So what did you do to alienate this family?

 

I would SO MUCH like to hear what the Scoutmaster/Cubmaster has to say!

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Our council will provide troops with contact information for 5th grade webelos specifically for purposes of recruiting them. I think our area has a greater percentage of troops that are not "associated" with packs, and I think that is part of the reason for this practice. Ask your service center for such a list. If you can get it, contact these Webelos families directly and invite them to your events.

 

Does your District do recruiting events or hand out literature in the schools? If so, make sure they are including your open house or contact information on whatever they are handing out.

 

As for access to the B&G, while the CM's actions are decidedly un-scoutlike, I don't think you can compel it. Ask the parents of the Webelos who want you there to go to the pack committee or COR and point this out. They might have more pull, especially if they also have younger Cubs.

 

I might also push the DC a little harder and find out why he is "shying away"(This message has been edited by the blancmange)

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Seattle, I think it is unfair to assume that the poster (or their troop) necessarily "did something" to cause this situation. While that could be the case, we simply cannot know that based on the info provided. Jumping to that conclusion - and jumping all over the original poster - is really not very helpful.

 

So to the question: Can they do this? Well the CO of the pack probably could dictate who is welcome at the pack's events and meetings because the CO "owns" the pack. However, most COs I am aware of would not put up with the situation you are describing unless there is a lot more to the story (like your adults have a history of fisticuffs or something!) But in reality, there is some question about whether you want a showdown at the OK corral with this Cubmaster, if you show up and he tries to make you leave. That could devolve into a very public disagreement that would serve no one and would probably turn off a lot of folks to scouting, entirely.

 

 

First - provide the parents of those boys a joining packet for your troop and get their paperwork nailed down ASAP - BEFORE B&G. This ensures that you really do have boys planning to join your troop, and so you have a good reason to want to be at the B&G.

 

Second, I would suggest that you send the guy a letter - not an email, not a phone call, not an in-person conversation - in which you very politely indicate that your troop's presence has been requested by the families of some boys who will be joining your troop. State that you would like to honor this request. Ask him to convey to you how you can do that in a way that best supports his pack's plans for the evening, so that you can all work together for the good of the boys. Tell him that if you don't hear back from him by X date, you will assume that he would like you to attend and participate in the bridging ceremony, and that you will bring X number of people from your troop to do so (keep the number small and don't invite yourself to the dinner portion of the event, if there is one). Copy the parents of the boys who will be joining your troop, and the Unit Commissioner (if there is one) and the District Executive. And the institutional head of the CO that sponsors the pack (edited to add this)

 

 

As for communication about troop activities going through the CM and the CM only, that's another issue for another day. Get through this Blue & Gold business first so as to provide the boys with a good (and hopefully, conflict-free) experience. But my general take is that CMs can try to dictate stuff like this, but they simply cannot make it stick. Free speech is a beautiful thing. And in a small town, there MUST be other ways to communicate that don't rely solely on the CM to spread the word.

 

Good luck and take the high road.(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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Another option: If some boys from that pack want to join your troop, they can simply join without "crossing over," being "received" or going through a formal pack ceremony. That type of hoopla is not required. Just help your PLC plan a great welcoming event, separate from the pack's B&G - maybe involving a bridge, neckerchiefs, handbooks, etc., maybe on their first campout so they can formally join in the majesty of the outdoors rather than in a fire hall or church basement - and get them into your troop and enjoying Scouting as quickly as possible.

 

Don't let this one man ruin the start of these boys' Boy Scout careers. You handle the elements you can control, and let him do his thing. He'll flame out soon enough.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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I just don't understand how people have time for this kind of stuff in a volunteer organization! Very unScout-like and it just seems like a lot of work for no reason.

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I was thinking in the direction of shortridge, but I like Lisabobs idea for plan A.

 

I also like her suggestion to find out how many families WILL commit to your troop. I have been to more Crossovers than not where several scouts changed their mind in the very last minute. Your presents without receiving crossovers might give the wrong impression.

 

Barry

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Well, there are usually two sides to every story. But even if we go on the assumption that the other CM/SM is the world's most un-scoutlike person, the answers to the questions are as follows:

 

1. Yes, the B&G is a private event run by that pack, and they can invite or exclude anyone they want.

 

2. Yes, if you just show up, you can be kicked out. If you're asked to leave and refuse to do so, this is called trespassing, and they can call the cops.

 

3. The "crossing over" ceremony is a fairly recent innovation, and it's not required. As another poster pointed out, there is absolutely nothing preventing your troop from putting on a "crossing over" ceremony, that can be as elaborate as you please. If you want, you can even invite the Cubmaster to participate, but you cannot force him to do so. You can also exclude him if you wish. And again, if he shows up un-invited, you can ask him to leave, and if he refuses to do so, he is trespassing and you can call the cops if you wish.

 

4. If you wish, you can start your own pack, and you will no longer be cut off from the Cub Scout program.

 

5. The other pack is under no obligation to relay information to its members. But they have no way of stopping you from communicating directly with parents and potential scouts, the same way you could communicate with other prospective scouts (mail, school recruitment, etc.)

 

My advice, again, based on the assumption that the other CM/SM is the world's most un-scoutlike person, is to take the high road: Just ignore him, and don't expect him to help out with your troop's recruitment efforts.

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At the very least, the unhappy Scout Troop "did something" by failing to enlist the interest and sympathy of the Cubmaster.

 

Suppose the Cubmaster simply didn't like the program of the troop. Of course, he's entitled to start his own Boy Scout program if there are families interested.

 

Suppose the Cubmaster felt put upon by a troop that perhaps did little to support his program, but felt entitled to take the Webelos boys his program had produced. There is certainly lots of that going on.

 

Personally I don't have any sympathy for the aggrieved Scout Troop leaders based on the very limited information provided.

 

I would continue to be very interested in the comments the Cubmaster might make. I'll bet he has his grievances, and probably ones for which I'd feel more sympathy!

 

But of course that is speculation.

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The answer to my question has been answered in many creative ways. What I am most afraid of has been presented by Clemlaw regarding who has to right legally to allow who to attend Scout events. I think that will keep us out of the B&G crossover. We're concerned about how these boys will feel when there is no one there to welcome them to our troop. Perhaps we'll suggest that the parents of those crossing over to our troop leave at the time of the actual crossover and take part in our ceremony???

I'll present these ideas to our Committee.

I didn't want to get involved here about the extreme manipulative Napoleonic complex of the CM/SM that we are up against - that seems to be the motivation for secretly starting a new troop - reverse alienation being fueled by misinformed propaganda. There is too much more not appropriate for this forum. I'm speaking for the dedicated volunteers from a small Troop who has produced 39 Eagle Scouts since 1941 who have been hoodwinked by the situation. Please excuse me for getting upset and thank you all.

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>>>>Perhaps we'll suggest that the parents of those crossing over to our troop leave at the time of the actual crossover and take part in our ceremony???

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Here's a suggestion.. Is there any parents of these boys who are thinking of becoming an adult leader in your unit?

 

Can they put in their application now, and they be the welcoming representative for your troop?

 

Even without an application, just make a parent of these boys an honorary member of your troop to do the welcoming for you. That way these boys have someone on the other side of the bridge to welcome them for you.

 

The boys are then not missing out on the crossover ceremony.. Them boycotting it sends a wrong message of both the Pack & troop that parents of future years crossovers will want to avoid. Also the boys walking into no where sends a sad picture.

 

A parent being on the other side as your representative, is the only thing I can think of to avoid either negative image.

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