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Which is better, cozy or business like?

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All this chatter of late about veto's and firing has got me thinking.

When it came down to working with ASM's. These guys were and still are some of my best pals.

For the most part we were a Leadership Team, doing what was needed to be done, with the best person available leading and helping to organize whatever the activity might be.

If someone for some reason was upset I seen it as my job to sort things out ASAP and get things back to normal.

Committee Meetings were a little different.

There were times when something had happened which upset some or all of the committee.

I, most of the time knew if and when we'd messed up and was also aware that the buck stopped with me.

Of course sometimes things got back to the committee which either just weren't true or had been exaggerated to be more than was.

The big sin always seemed to be the condition which the meeting hall was left in.

While there were times when I did feel that I was being dragged over the coals for nothing or unnecessarily.

I knew deep down that this group sitting in someones living-room really did have the good of the Scouts at heart and I also knew that life was a lot better with them on my side, than it would be without it.

Leaders meeting tended to happen over an adult beverage. No notes no formal anything. If someone said that they were going to do something it was taken as being done.

If for some reason something came up, they would say so and someone else would step in.

The Committee did have a Chair, a secretary and treasurer. Notes were always taken and read back as Minutes of the last meeting. There was some kind of fixed Agenda in place. But no one seemed to worry or be concerned if everything was covered each month.

More often than not if the Chair became aware that a Committee Member was used he'd let me know ahead of time so I could report at the meeting that I knew what had happened and taken steps to fix the problem.


All the adults even those who were known for getting their knickers in a twist were there for the good of the boys and the Troop.

I never remember the word veto or fired being used.



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those are the by gone days of a man's word is his bond. A hand shake was as good as a signature. Today that has evaporated and convoluted to the point even with a signature you still might have to end up in court. Over achieving parents pushing their boys to get their eagle before 15, Treasurers stealing the boys money, Parents and scouters with political agendas.


I ask myself if it is really worth the hassle.


I prefer cozy.....which is the way our troop runs. We have way to many elderly eagle scouts hanging around.....and I can take each one at their word. Real nice. While we don't meet at the pub, the committee meetings are cordial and enjoyable.



I returned from a wonderful week at camp....Watched the boys grow and have fun. Had a great time with SM's from other troops. Learned about their programs, activities and outings. Found a couple new to me resources for activities and outings. Made some new adult scouter friends.


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I prefer cozy, friends getting together to make the program work for my cub scout pack. not too worried about who does what or if it's in their job title or not, I never moved and seconded and voted for anything except when the committee wanted to require every parent fill out a leader application and for my replacement as CC. Everything else was we came to a consensus, we asked for input, we paid for the stuff we needed to pay for, and we didn't buy stuff we didn't need, and it was cozy and friendly. We had a small one page guideline on some of our standing policies--how much we charge per year (we charge minimum start up to cover BSA fees, insurance and boy's life plus a little bit to the pack, usually about $40 to start which includes book, and $40 for recharter which will also get you the next cub scout rank book). That we cover the cost of adult fees at recharter time if you are fully trained. And a page of our traditions (that we pass down hats and neckerchiefs to keep costs low, we hold at least one campout a year, usually alternating 1 campout and hike with picnic this year, 2 campouts next year, that we go to cub scout day camp as a unit, that we walk in the christmas parade. just kind of an FYI on how we work that is also 1 page long.


The troop I'm beginning to work as membership committee chair is the exact opposite of that. Like I said in a prior post, 58 page bylaws detailing every single stinking thing, who does what, detailing Robert's Rules for everything, secret ballots for votes, how to define the quorum, (not sure how you run a troop if a quorum doesn't show up so you can't vote on anything, but you HAVE to get the stuff done that month like pay summer camp deposits or other time sensitive stuff?) What is an active troop member who can vote, what to do if you are inactive and can't vote but you want to be active again, how to choose scoutmaster including questions to ask, and detailed requirements of how much attendance each boy must have to run for any of the positions of responsibility, and on an on.


the troop meetings run by the agenda, occassionally something can be snunk into the agenda without jumbo complaints and tabling the item until it can be put on the agenda for next month with enough advanced notice and following all the rules. It's adults playing games to make them see even more important when it's just a kid's game we are playing.


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Running or helping to run a Scout troop is not for the faint of heart. You get pulled in all kinds of directions. You are now a public figure and always under community scrutiny. The hassles mount fast and can get tiring over the years.

I spent a couple days in camp last week with my old unit at our old camp. I watched my successor SM struggle with trying to keep demanding adults happy and still make it a good week for the boys. I had a chance to pull him aside a couple times to let him vent and offer some suggestions since he sorely lacks a UC. I was also glad to relieve him of a couple tasks he shouldnt have been drug into in the first place. It didnt take me long to recall how aggravating the part time leaders can be that take themselves and Scouting too seriously. The arrogance out of some staffers is as bad as ever. Fat and whiny leaders that are never satisfied and constantly demanding better customer service for themselves and their poor poor boys.

Its too bad people cant enjoy the journey theyre on, recognize the beauty all around them and what they and their sons are gaining from being there. Id take Scout camp or a Scout meeting any day of the week rather than have to stay out in the mean old nasty world.


Dont get too down Basement it definitely is worth it and you know that. But also dont let it become a burden. Theres a time to move on, be aware enough to recognize when that time comes.

5year keep working to simplify your troop, show them how much easier cozy can be.


Becoming a cozy unit can start with one person!


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People should keep in mind that parliamentary procedure is simply a way to make sure every opinion gets its fair share of time, and motions don't go ignored. If you are so cozy that you spend two hours at the end of which nobody knows what their assignments are, it's time to work on being formal.


When parliamentary procedure is used to bash others, it's purpose is defeated. Then, maybe you need to spend a couple of hours being informal.

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As SM of a new troop starting next month, we have the unique opportunity of not breaking any bad habits. The adult Scouters associated with this troop are all friends and dedicated. Our trick will be to create an environment that acknowledges everybody's individual approach to leadership and organization, while at the same time realizing there will be others that will eventually replace us. If we create a model that works, people will be more willing to use it and even improve upon it in the same friendly vein.


It reminds me of the argument against regimented adult-led troop meetings that focus on merit badges. Boys spend all day in school, they don't want more school. Adults spend all day at work, the last thing we want is another work environment. So, can you make sure all the "business" gets done in a "cozy" environment? To me, that is the ultimate goal.


It goes into my philosophy about Scout leadership:


"Take it serious, without taking yourself too seriously"

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Well, my whole post will beconcerning a pack, not a unit....


We are cozy. We didn't plan it, and it wasn't an agenda or long range goal. Matter of fact, until your post asked the question - I had never really thought about it.


WE are cozy. We were all freinds first who ended up somehow or another all being in the same pack without realizing the other might be joining this pack.


The cool part of being cozy is that we speak truthfully, frankly and without offense to what we hear or say.


WE can tell each other when an idea stinks, is okay or great!


If we screw up ( bet you guys never do that in your unit huh? :) ) we can laugh about it and not have any hostilities or dramatic finger pointing.


WE can call one another about minor details and plans without another person thinking we are doing something back handed.


Biggest benefit is that we are comfortable and will speak up instead of holding back ( under the guise of respect) when we thing something is amiss or not right.

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Cozy is better. That's the way I run my commissioners staff meetings. We are all friends and get off-agenda once in a while. I'll reign them in and moderate when needed. Volunteers tend to respond better in a friendly environment.

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I'm going with cozy, although I do like that the CC puts out minutes that are more business-like. Especially if there are any issues, for communicating with those who pay only occasional attention, business-like is good.

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While I'm on the side of being cozy.

I do think that once you pick a side you need to stay with it.

Nothing is worse than a cozy meeting that out of no where suddenly changes course and someone wants to start spurting Rules Of Order.

It might be said that when things go wrong and people do become a little upset, they are not going to feel as upset at a business type meeting. Somehow it feels a little less personal.


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A group of people who like each other can still have a fairly formal meeting sitting around on park benches. As someone with at least one, maybe 2, more troops in my future, I prefer that meetings be conducted in a business like manner. My experience with "cozy" is that is has usually turned into "lazy" or "necrotic."

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jtswestark wrote: "how aggravating the part time leaders can be that take themselves and Scouting too seriously"


So true! I was driving my 17 year old son to staff cub camp last night and we were talking. He said the worse part about scouts (as a staffer or a youth) are the adults that take the whole thing just too seriously. It creeps him out. I whole heartedly agree.


Cozy vs formal It really depends.


Formal for money (scout accounts, treasurer statements, ...), health forms, permission slips, youth protection and advancement (POR ... are we at six months or five months 29 days). You need to get some things consistently right or it creates problems.


Cozy for other things where a friendly agreement to work together can make things work. Meetings. Decisions. Agendas.

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