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Drama Free? Don't let anybody join.


Drama reduced, add, for everyone involved:


Observes the spirit of the Scout law.

Quit "lawyering" every jot and tittle of every regulation, instead, ask is the intent being observed.

Presume others have the boys best interests at heart, Try to do so yourself.


If someone is a negative influence(to the boys(SM), or other active adults(CC)) don't let it ride, go to them, ask them about what they see happening, tell them (after you've asked and weighed their input) what you see. Make necessary changes, to yourself or by having them removed from the Troop.

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I have been fortunate to have been a member of a drama free Pack and Troop.


In both cases the CM and SM were most interested in the boys having fun and a vibrant program. The DLs and ASMs followed the example. Occasionally an adult leader would get a burr under their saddle about some minor issue. The CM/SM addressed the issue and insulated the rest of the leadership team from the disrupter. Usually the disrupter is a committee person who is very good at keeping records but not very tolerant of "field decisions" that make exceptions to ensure a scout is able to participate.


The DLs and ASMs also had strong outdoor skills. They were able to perform all tasks for all ranks without the need to refer to a book. They were very familiar with the offical BSA method and reinforced the BSA methods. We also have more than 5 Woodbadge trained adults including the CC and SM.


I am moving out state next month and will be looking for a new troop. Hope I can be as lucky as I have in the past in finding a drama free troop.

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resqman, you sir, are one of the very few lucky ones. I have been through so much drama that at the beginning of the summer, I was going to QUIT! Still dealing with it on a smaller scale, but I let it slide. I tell myself just three more years here (Bear, then two Webelos years), lol. I keep telling myself it is for my son and when I am doing stuff with the boys it is fun. It is the committee stuff that is a chore sometimes because of our former CM now Committee Chair/Charter Org. Don't get me started on that one, DE is trying very hard to find a new Charter Org for us!


Good luck on finding that troop resqmsn! What state are you moving to?

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Well, you could have no members, I guess.


Here's the prickly part of the eqaution. I'd say the larger the unit, the more opportunity for disharmony, discord, and drama. Bottom line, you can't please everyone all the time (even when you do your best), and the more folks involved, the better chance you are going to rub someone the wrong way or visa versa.


The solution is in HOW people handle themselves and others when differences of opinion or outright fights for control arise. If everyone were Trustworthy, Friendly, Kind, etc... it would be a non issue. Both parties would sit down, talk it out like rational folks, come to a compromise, and appologize for the misunderstanding in the first place. Problem is, adults and scouts all have trouble living up to the expectations of the BSA law.


Funny thing, I hear lots of people (myself included at some points) stating that if person A did x,y,z then they should be asked to leave the unit. Great in theory. But, I have never seen it done in practice. Closest I've seen is an adulterous SM and ASM being asked by CO to take a 6 month break until their divorces were final! Not sure what else worse needs to happen in a unit to get someone removed aside from a YPG / Sandusky type situation (but then its a criminal matter, not a unit morals / vaules matter). But those folks are back on the job with many a confussed scout in the unit.


Most volunteer leaders are looking to AVOID conflict (most often times at detriment to the unit even). They aren't being paid, nor are their fellow volunteers. One person might be a pain in the butt, but in reality if they show up and are willing to help, they are retained as a volunteer, and tolerated for their drama.


It takes a COR, CC and SM/CM all in lock step to approach someone and state, "Thanks for your service to the unit, but your services are no longer needed." Most of the time, these key 3 do not have the intestinal fortitude to actually speak those words when its needed. Sometimes, its one of those 3 that NEED to have those words spoken to them, who's going to do that?


When you're not paying anyone to do a job, poor performance of said job is often tolerated and overlooked. At least they are trying, right?


So, in volunteer units (scouts, PTA, church groups, civic organizations, etc...) you have the perfect storm for conflict:


1) Adults involved that are all likely very passionate about what they are doing, a good deal of them thinking there may be more than one way to do something, but their way is probably the best way to be doing it.

2) A reluctance to act upon / fire / dismiss a drama-queen/king volunteer by the 'big 3' of a unit.

3) As the unit grows, the more diverse backgrounds and ideas lend to more options and diverse input, but also more opportunity for disagreement between individuals.


How do you stop it?

1) Be a duck... let 99% of it roll off your back like water on a duck. If you're going to fall on your sword, make sure the hill is worth dying on.

2) IF you are one of the big-3, be willing to have some uncomfortable conversations with a few individuals from time to time. No need to threaten removal, but a very direct, "Hey, when you at like x,y,z it really puts a downer on the program and it makes it very difficult to provide a good program to the boys. I need to ask you to back off, or we may have to ask you to serve in another capacity."

3) Follow Through. No hallow promises or threats.

4) The unit needs by-laws identifying WHO gets (or has) to make the hard calls. Too many times I've heard "well its not MY troop it belongs to the CO and the boys...." B.S.!!! That's a cop out. The unit by-laws need to state which individuals (or group of key 3 to 4) have the power to place or remove an adult leader. Best to ID this group BEFORE they ever have to act, so there's no chance to be accused of railroading someone. Sure, BSA will tell you its the CO and COR's job, but when the fecal matter hits the fan, don't expect anyone from district or council to wade into the fray... you're on your own unit leaders. Have a plan and use it juditiously, but use it if need be.


Finally, remember - its much harder to "manage" a group of volunteers than it is to manage a group of paid employees. Those of us who manage others as part of our day jobs know how taxing it can be, so don't expect it to be easier, just because its evening time and no one is on the clock. Its often more difficult.

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