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moosetracker

The runaway Train

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Much as you like to control your world & the people in it, they are just going to do what they are going to do..

 

Many of you might see this as a reason why young people are not on the BSA committee, to me it is just people who want what they want, and do not realize how they run over others with their lopsided principles..

 

My son has been the outdoor coordinator for the troop since he was 18 years old, he told them he would take the position if he was giving voting rights on the committee, to which they agreed, by committee vote, to let him have the vote.. Ever since then he has been voting on little things that really had no conflict and were pretty much a 100% vote for whatever the committee agreed to.. "Any one want to make a motion... Anyone want to 2nd the motion.. Everyone in Favor.. The ayes have it.."

 

His fiance comes along and also is asked by the adults to take a small committee position in the troop, so she does.. Has been voting, but never made it a stipulation of her taking the position.. Since then, she was asked by the COR to serve as Committee Chair for the Pack.. Even though she told them, she was only 19, they didn't have anyone else, and begged her.. Paperwork for Registration?.. Per the COR.. "Oh we will throw someone elses name on the register as CC to get around the paperwork.." (This my husband & I think is asking too much of a 19 year old, but my son's fiance took the position.)

 

Now, comes a very important vote that will have some heated voting. They are looking for a new SM.. The current one is running, but he is not right, and most everyone wants to replace him.. Many are wanting to run.. COR nominated my husband.. My son put his name in the hat, though not 21 until September.. (Reasoning is) If his 19 yo fiance can be Committee Chair, he can be SM, and he would be 21 before the recharter date of Dec 1st.. Also running is someone 21, great people wise, not very organized.. Someone else who only does something when asked, and still in cub scout mode.. And the current SM who has 90% of the scouts & parents upset at him for some reason..

 

Also the 19 yo CC for the cubscouts (son's fiance) is nominated for CC of the troop..

 

All of a sudden the "who can vote in this election" comes up.. COR says son & fiance have no right to vote because they are not 21, and are officially listed as ASM, not committee.. They don't remember the vote 2.5 years back that gave my son the vote..

 

This issue is announced at last commitee meeting, COR & her husband (who is the units UC) will look into what is "Nationals policy" on the subject, because "We can't go aganist Nationals rules.." If you don't see the humor in this comment, reread the whole post again.. They will get back to the young people and let them know.. Well we all know nationals rules, but my family argues about all the things they do not follow with Nationals rules.. Son's fiance ask that they contact them with the decision as early as possible, because if she has the vote she needs to arrange with her Professor a night out of a class that meets on this evening.

 

Then no word.. Although Husband & son have emailed to ask their decision, no response email back, not even a "We are still looking into the matter". Tonight is the vote.. Yesterday afternoon the CC called my husband to ask him to call her about how the elections would be run.. He did not, he was angry about them not responding to his emails, or sons email. At 10:00 pm a general notice goes out to everyone that the elections were open for anyone to attend but only those "listed" as committee members had a vote.. Meaning our two young people do not have a vote..

 

Then the CC emails my husband to say sorry, but I hope they stay on as ASM's and continue to help our committee out in their positions.. Did not even send an email with this expression to the two young people involved.. Sent it to the father of.. Like they are to be treated as if they were cub scouts.. They have sent emails out to "the father of" before on other issues, and have been sternly talked to by the young people about this being insulting to them to be treated like this..

 

Husband, son, his fiance now all upset.. I am thinking "Yes, they will now leave the troop".. Seriously, if you can not tell by this writing the troop (and pack too) have unfixable issues.. But, No.. son & fiance will give up the committee position (in troop), fiance still is staying on as CC in the Pack.. Husband will not run for SM tonight. Husband wants to leave, may leave if tonight angers him enough, but is feeling like he has to stay on if the kids stay on.. He fears for them getting run over, without him being there.. (At 19 & 21.. He is still there to protect them.. I am between thinking how wrong my husband is for staying as at this age they make their own decisions, and if they get run over some more, they can then leave.. But, also how wrong my kids are for not pulling out of this situation if it is this bad.)

 

Can not control my Husband, son, fiance, or the troop I decided to leave when I saw it going downhill from it's former grand position as one of the top troops of our district.. All I can do is look at the mess, and the pig headed people I care about and continue to watch this train wreck..(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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Ain't politics great when you're on the winning/dominating side?

 

After many, many years of committees, etc., if one doesn't have a voice in the proceedings, it is just better to walk away. Many on the dominant side feel it's their privilege to make up the ideas/activities and the grunts get to put it together and do all the work. Hopefully in the manner they expect, or there'll be hell to pay.

 

If one does not have a full vote in a committee, there is no need to attend. If the committee is in need of a report, write one up and hand it in. There should be no "discussion" on a report except for corrections.

 

People have gotten away from the basics of Robert's Rules of Order and have substituted in their place doing it some sort of hodge-podge way of traditional processes. Unfortunately Robert's Rules of Order were created to PROTECT all members of a group and allow for the expression of ALL ideas. Without these Rules of Order, there is no order. Yes, they are stuffy and awkward, but so is wearing protective clothing in a hostile environment.

 

People who don't use orderly operational processes will eventually accept the strongest voice's demands and ways, or leave.

 

Unless a group uses some sort of Robert's, I don't participate, it's a total waste of time to sit and listen to someone spout off about how things are going to be done and then have no say in it.

 

Your mileage may vary,

 

Stosh

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Very True.. It is because the COR doesn't have the guts to tell the current SM, "Your out.." But, she may end up with the current SM for another year depending on how elections go tonight..

 

They suggested & started the election process only about a year ago, because the COR could not fire the SM.. The first election there was no ready or willing to step up & run against the SM, so he won the election of last year. This year the COR wanted my husband in place to run, so nominated him.. But, then she pulls this the eve of the elections, and still thinks she has all her ducks in a row..

 

For some reason she doesn't understand that my husband, who is all about empowering the kids (Which includes those 18 - 21 and even those 21 - 25 yo..).. Would not take the nomination based on this discision.. She figures my husband will win easily.. Take him out of the equation in the race, and there is no one that she wants..

 

But, my husband would have been SM, by allowing all the 18 - 25 yo's take on alot of the SM functions, and would then mentor them, as well as the ASM's who are older (of parent age).. Frankly, at this time in my husbands life, he doesn't want SM, so by taking on the position it would have been for a year, while he empowered and trained who ever was interested in the position, so that there would have been plenty of good well qualified canadates at the next years election, rather then alot of wanna-be's..

 

Yes, he would bring back the boy-run troop and empower those who should really run the troop, the boys.. But he would also train the others on how to guide a boy run troop.. Get the troop running in the right direction.. And then leave the position..

 

If the committee will not embrace empowering the young people anyone from 10 or 11 up to 21.. Then there is nothing he can do to fix the troop.(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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Moose, you said "COR could not fire the SM", because she doesn't think she has the power?, She does, but I think you know that. She can't because she lacks the courage? I could see that actually depending on local politics, but again, for a group that want to follow National Rules, ask them where it says its ok to have Scoutmaster Election is the first place, or is that stirring things too much?

 

Universally, I think we all think working with the youth is great, its the adults, the gr'ups that cause the biggest problems

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lacks the courage.. The man recently lost his job, she just couldn't add to that.. Not the same thing, but the COR who was before her had to remove a CC due to him being upset at the SM decision not to sign his son's Eagle application, until he put in 6 months more of scout spirit.. (long story, but it was about the scout, really didn't lead project mother did, and he really had no scout spirit.) He became very hostile to the troop, and the SM, COR.. Basically a loose cannon..

 

COR knew there was only one solution, which was to remove him. Yet still she held an emergency committee meeting, presented the problem, and held a committee vote for removal.. Yet I wouldn't call it a true election process, just a way to make sure that she would not loose the whole unit with the decision.

 

Current SM isn't a loose cannon.. Just not the right personality for the position.. But, still.. COR could have done something similar so that she did not take all the blame for the decision.

 

Old COR did appoint the next SM, but still it was like a committee decision, because if the new "chosen one" was reluctant, the committee in good fun would banter him until he accepted.. One time they kept putting signs on his front lawn and work lawn.. Mr. ______ for Scoutmaster..

 

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The committee shouldn't have agreed to give your son voting rights in the first place, nor should they have asked (let alone allowed) his fiance to be the CC for the pack. This has nothing to do with the individuals involved - I'm sure your son & fiance are lovely, responsible, fantastic people. It was irresponsible of the other (over21) adults to expect this, though, given BSA's rather clear rules. It is also an issue of questionable character, that some of these other leaders figured they'd just put up a ghost name for CC and let your son's fiance actually run the show. And finally, I question whether your son, or his fiance, will have the authority to actually call shots here, if chosen. Others will discount them because of their age, their "unofficial" status, and the way that they would be chosen. This is a set-up and it violates many of the points of the scout oath & law.

 

On to the current situation. If I understand right, both your son & husband have thrown their hats into the ring. The voting issue comes up only because it is assumed that your husband will win, without the younger folks' votes. Your husband finds that unacceptable (is that all right?)

 

Your husband needs to make clear to the COR that he will not accept the nomination under current conditions, and either the COR finds a way to fix it, or they find someone else to do the job.

 

If your son actually wants to be the SM and you think that's a good choice, then perhaps the COR (or you) could recommend holding off on choosing the SM until September, at which point there will be no disputes about your son's qualification.

 

Good luck. Frankly, this sounds like one where I'd want to wash my hands and say "goodbye" to a lot of the folks involved.

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Sorry to hear about the problems. I admit that's one reason why I try to follow the rules. Not trying to sound harsh, and I know your folks explained the situation prior to being put into roles top the leadership asking, but new leadership sometimes negates what the previous leadership allowed. And if you have new members to a committee who might not remember what was orignally doen before their time on the committee, you can get into problems.

 

Lisa does bring up a point about age. Sad to say there WILL be folks who discount both your son and his fiance's KSAs due to their age. Trust me been there, done that, had been cursed out at, and got the t-shirt ;) One reason why I never told folks my age when I was a new DE a few months outta college, always commenting "To old to be an Explorer, to young to retire." When it finally got around that I was a "youngin," people were surprised.

 

I agree that if husband does nto want the SM spot, INFORM THEM ASAP!!!!!!!! I know my name kept getting on the short list for CM, and it still is, but I have to decline for family reasons. Hubby may need to repeat that he is not interested several times over several months if the issue is nto resolved.

 

As to the situation where hubby is still involved with your son's life, the only thing I can think of is them moving away and being completely on their own once married. Somtimes that is needed to get 'rents to see their kids have grown and can do it on their own.

 

Good luck.

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There are plenty of messy bits in this story, but the selection process for SM must be made clear:

 

The Scoutmaster does not work for the Troop Committee. The SM works for the Institutional Head (IH) of the Charter Organization who is represented by the Charter Organization Representative (COR).

 

The Troop Committee Chair also works directly for the IH and the COR (as the official representative for the IH).

 

The SM and CC are supposed to work together under the COR to deliver the Scouting program at the pleasure of the IH. The troop does not belong to the SM or the Troop Committee. The troop belongs to the Charter Org.

 

The role of the Troop Committee in selecting a new SM is limited to making a recommendation to the IH and COR. There is nothing which specifies how the TC reaches the decision about who to nominate, but it is clear that their nomination is not a selection it is merely a recommendation to the IH/COR. The Charter Organization should consider the nomination proposed by the Troop Committee, but the CO (thru COR & IH) has the freedom and responsibility to select any individual they want to serve as the SM.

 

In most situations, the IH delegates almost all responsibilities associated with the troop to the COR. Unfortunately, most CORs only think of themselves as a person to assist with coordination between the Charter Org and the troop. This is a mistake. I repeat: The SM and CC work for the COR.

 

So the COR and Unit Commissioner husband need to quit making this stuff up and dust off the books for how things are supposed to run.

COR has the right and responsibility to ask any member of the troop leadership to step down especially the SM or CC, who work directly for the COR.

When there is a SM opening, the Troop Committee forwards a recommendation to the COR for consideration. The COR considers the recommendation, but has the responsibility to select the person he/she believes is best for the job running the Charter Orgs troop.

 

When the Charter Org (through COR and ultimately IH) does not exercise its responsibility to run its troop, you get these kinds of out of control egos.

 

As for the young folks who want to help, I applaud their desire to volunteer and hope they can find ways to contribute and enjoy the program within limitations associated with their ages. They can have a HUGE impact on the boys in the troop in many ways.

 

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This is why CORs make leader selections.

 

This is why we follow the staffing policies.

 

OK, this isn't a runaway train anymore. You're looking at the end of track, and a wreck is imminent.

 

Somebody needs to take the IH and COR aside, train them, and have them each muster their moral courage. Simple to say, tough to do.

 

I wish you well, moose, on this. It's gonna be ugly.

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Some good news.. Hubby, is grinding teeth and thinking about situation at work, called me to inform me that he has almost definately decided to walk away from the troop.. I will have to wait to see if this really comes about.. All I could do was say.. "Good idea.. We are to lead by example, so you staying there is not the example you want to give son & fiance. Walk away, let them get run over a few time, maybe then they will walk away also, sooner rather then later.." Yeah, Hubby.. One down, two to go..

 

The decision to give my son the vote was with the current COR in power. The old COR would not have let my son on the committee. Although the current COR is fine with the young CC, she doesn't want my son as SM, even at 21.. My son is very organized, probably can lead the troop well, but he has had out & out clashes with the current SM that they thought were over the top for him to be having.. Basically time will have to mellow the feeling my son sees in black & white, and can not see shades of gray.. He has toned it down in the last 6 months, but it is still too soon for them to change that opinion.

 

Me, I am not of the troop, so I have not said a word to anyone but my immediate family.

 

Yes, my son & husband are on the nomination ballot for SM (maybe).. My son asked to be on the nomination ballot, but they may have removed him and not informed him. My husband feels my son & fiance should have the vote, even if they vote against him. My husband was not excited by the SM position, but would have reluctently taken it on to reorganize the troop, now, he will not do that.. And (hopefully) they have just lost him as the Advancement chair.. Plus my son as outdoor coordinator, plus fiance who was in a position also..

 

They have other people who have signed on the committee, but will not take on any jobs of responsibility, so the troop will just have to get these people to stop sitting around and take on these functions.. Husband plans to stay for a month to train who ever takes on Advancement in the TroopMaster program and the other duties of this position, so he does not plan to storm out (Let's hope no one trys to talk him into staying on within this one month notice.)

 

With me as District Training Chair and my husband as District Advancement Chair, we are far too busy at district level, to be playing these silly petty games at the unit level.. Don't mean to come off as uppity to the well run units.. Just that this troop and their games are beneath us, not the normal well run unit. In fact if my husband leaves, or my son/fiance.. I would hope son/fiance find another unit.. I would not be against my husband finding another unit also, just not so hopeful.

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Oh yes, and my husband will not mention he is not interested in SM position until tonights meeting.. He will wait until they name him as on the nominating ballot then reply "Not interested"..

 

Petty.. Yes.. But, with the game they played with not informing my son & DIL in advance of the decision, and then just by public announcement, yet there desire to smooth things over with my husband, and not the two young people.. Two phone calls and an email to him to try to smooth things with him.. Not a single word to the two people who they really should be talking to.

 

No, he is not of the mood to be very communicative with them..

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MT,

 

Have I mentioned that your family seems a little too invested in this unit?

 

Bless your future daughter-in-law, but she should be a crew president someplace, not the "muscle" behind some figurehead CC! Bottom line: do nothing on paper that does not reflect the facts on the ground. If she can't have a vote, she's not a MC! She should not do the work of one.

 

And your son may not have a vote on the committee, but that does not prevent him from sending recommendations directly to the IH and COR. If he wants to be heard he can send them a note reminding them that a committee vote for SM can only be seen as a recommendation that they have a right to override. Next paragraph: he respectfully states his opinion. (But, here's the kicker: someone in the future might be reminding a COR of the same thing regarding him or the Mrs., so courteous and kind are the rules here.)

 

Your husband: in for only one year? Yeah I've heard that one before. A year is insufficient to train and identify a suitable replacement. Plus, he has reason to be dissatisfied with the leadership style. Have him work his job (the one that pays) and donate the $ to send the new SM to training.

 

You. You picked the unit, roll with the punches! Honestly, if on the whole these are good people, and when they aren't stuck in a meeting they are good for decent conversation around a campfire, and at least one of them makes a decent cup of coffee, and the boys are having fun, and you arent loosing 100% of your crossovers in the first year ... enjoy the ride.

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This is a pretty good example of why democracy in Scout units is the worst of all possible methods.

 

My bias is that the CC takes an adult application to the COR for approval, and the COR rep either signs it or doesn't. If a COR plays an active role in the unit, they may be in a position to be a more important player in selecting leaders, but usually they are not.

 

The CC is probably wise to discuss various options with parents and committee members, and building a consensus is desirable but not necessary.

 

Personally I'd avoid formal elections or votes. The main criteria the CC should be interested in is finding the best person to fill the position at hand.

 

Scout units aren't democracies.

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qwazse - I don't understand this statement "You. You picked the unit, roll with the punches!

 

My husband & I when my son was 12-13, looked at this unit, and then had my son visit it along with two others.. True this was our first choice.. My son is now 20.. that is at least 7-8 years back.. Alot of changes have happened in 7-8 years a few SM's have rolled over, a few CC's have rolled over, a totally differen CC.. And except for 3 others & my family, every adult leader that was there then, is not there now. All the people they really enjoyed the company of, has come and gone, there really is no solid friendship for them at troop level any more. Just acquantences..

 

Also I did chosen to leave, about 2 years back, so no matter how good their coffee is, I will not be there.

 

I am though invested in my family, for some reason, they just continue to be of concern to me no matter how old they get..

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