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Adults hijacking PLC plan

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What do you folks do when a parent or committee member "hijacks" the meeting for some other purpose?


Here's what happended:

1 PLC plans meetings

2 Unit fundraiser is coming up soon

3 Mom (Cmte Sec.) decides that scouts need to get "buy in" by distributing flyers.

4 Last week, (4-2-07) "it was decided" by mom and a couple of committee members that scouts would pass out flyers this week.

5 Last night (4-9-07) Meeting started, mom said since "it was decided" last week to get the boys into cars and pass out flyers. SM, COR, SPL, PL's had no idea.

6 A work around developed quickly, the skill that was planned for last night will be combined with next week, but the SM didn't know what to do and was about ready to just "cave in" and let mom run the show.


The way I see it, mom has no clue that PLC is getting off the ground and figures that she runs the troop.


So, when this happens in your troop, how do you stop it from happening and how do you train the offending parent.



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Thats what the Committee Chairman is for, that buffer zone between the logistics and the scouts themselves. Your CC needs to explain to the Committee the proper way to do things.


Committee members need things they talk to CC. He talks to the SM and then its past to the PLC.

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Yah, yeh very politely pull mom aside and say "I'm sorry, that's not on our schedule for this evening. If you like, I can take the flyers for the boys and we can ask them to put them up on their own time, or if you like I can take your schedule request to the PLC and try to schedule it in the coming week(s).


In the mean time, yeh signal the boys to get on with their meetin'. ;)


Down the road, yeh start to ask why mom and da committee are so involved with the boys' fundraiser, eh? ;)

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I think Beavah's reply works temporarily for the immediate situation, but usually there is more than one adult thinking this way. And usually they act this way more out of ignorance, not self serving aggressiveness. Happens a lot when a unit gets a few new adults who have a strong personality and they take off in a direction they think is appropriate for the program. They just need a little education. When this happened in our troop, I asked the CC to give me 20 minute on the next committee meeting agenda to teach Aims, Methods, and BOY RUN. We didn't have any trouble after that.


By the way, when you teach adults about the program, have the SM Handbook, SPL Handbook and PL Handbook with you so they see that your are doing by the book, not by the Barry method.


Have a great scouting week.




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One way we stopped the adult PLC take over was to let everyone know the PLC was the SPLs meeting. While adults were invited to attend and if they had ideas to present to the PLC they are to ask the SPL for time on the agenda, and permission to speak when the SPL brought up items of new business. The CC or SM is on hand to back up the SPL, if needed.


Once this process was set up, the PLC has not had much in the way of interference from adults. Adults do particpate in our PLC meetings, but at the pleasure of the SPL. Sometimes the CC or SM has to explain the rules of order of the meeting to new parents, who either try and take over the meeting or continually address their comments to the SM or CC and not the SPL and PLs.


We have had very well meaning adults with ideas that are very good and usually if the idea is presented well, and as a request or suggestion, the PLC will act positively on it. Sometimes the adults get frustrated if the PLC decides to go with a different idea or decides they have a full agenda and table the idea until next month or next year.



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If this topic is under the patrol method category, why has no one mentioned the patrol thoughout the whole discussion?


If it's BSA aim to promote the patrol method and everyone is out vying for position of power, who's helping/supporting the patrol and patrol method of scouting?





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Stosh, I guess I could have put it in "working with kids"

Moderator, please move if desired.


As Beavah noted (and Barry to some extent), who should then approach the offending adult? SM, ASM (working to develop PLC as SM is hands off here), CC or SPL?


In the case I outlined above, the offender is a parent of a Star Scout and has been with the program for a while, been Cmte Sec for about 4 years. Troop is only 4 years old. Same SM the whole time but unitl I came to the troop, PLC did not really exist as a planning group. Meetings and functions just happended.


I have been asked by SM to work with NSP and PLC. I'm glad to. However, this particular mom thinks she runs the troop.


Several committee members has received me well and have me for help to make the troop better. At the last committee meeting, I offered to conduct training (on various topics) to comittee members for 15 each meeting. Same mom was absent and hit the roof when she found out I would be teaching. Same mom now thinks I'm trying to take over and I'm unqualified. Some other dad I've never met (or seen) emailed me and told me I'm not in the "Good Ol' Boy Network" and basically told I'm not welcome. So, approaching some of the individuals may be more difficult.


Would some of you please email me a sample PLC agenda / meeting notes for our SPL, please email to jgonzalezdc@doctor.com Thanks,


As usual, the forum members provide a wealth of information and sound advice.


Gonzo(This message has been edited by Gonzo1)

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Well! I apologize Gonzo1, my advice doesnt fit your situation at all. Your problem is not really a PLC high-jacking problem, it is purely an adult problem. It is very difficult to give advice when we cant see the dynamics of the adults, but I can see how frustrating this is. How does this mother get so much power? How does she hold so much respect and is it her good oh boys club?


My one quick suggestion is to somehow get across to CC and SM to get all adult leaders trained. Then bring in a district trainer who will spend a lot of time on the boys part of the program. It is a way of sneaking in the training so everyone can see how the program is running and how it should run. I was brought in to train a troop like this once for about the same kind of reason. I was told later that there was a lot of pressure to change after the training.


>>Would some of you please email me a sample PLC agenda / meeting notes for our SPL, please email to jgonzalezdc@doctor.com Thanks

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The mom gets the "power" because the committee gives it to her so she won't be ticked off.


Frankly, I could care less if anyone gets ticked off as long as people are civil and the boys best interest is the objective.


It's pretty much her good ol' boys club, a couple of moms and dads who don't really care about any additional training. Her comment about new training was "I've had all that before and I don't need anymore". SM is pretty weak, CC let's the committee meetings get out of hand.




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My comments were not directed to the posting under Patrol Method as much as the lack of discussion on how patrols fit into the problem being described.


One of the adult responsibilities towards the patrols is to provide support and in this case defend them against such obvious attacks by power hungry parents. Surely the patrols individually cannot do this, the PLC was intimidated enough to crumble, and the committee hasn't the gumption to step up to the plate and do it's ultimate job SUPPORT the boys.


To me this is the classic example of how adults take leadership from the boys. Full frontal attack against the boys with no other leaders stepping into protect the leadership development of the boys.


When I "train" the NBP and TG, their #1 responsibility is to protect the members of the NBP. It is not advancement, it is not assimilation into the troop, it's establishing themselves as an autonomous group to function in the scouting program. The PL and APL along with the TG are to stand in supportive defense of the patrol until the members get it on its feet.


I was encouraged at last night's meeting when I went over to check on the NBP. It had been quite some time and they hadn't produced a patrol flag, but had been working independently on advancement. I asked why there wasn't a patrol flag for the boys. The PL looked squarely at me and said, "With all due repect Mr. B, the material is lying right here on the table, and we'll get to it when we have time. Right now the boys want to work on this advancment." It isn't very often one can take one in the chops and come up feeling proud of the boy's development.


Earlier in the evening when the NBP was lining up in the back of the room to do the flag ceremony, a boy from a different patrol said to them that's not the way the troop does flag ceremonies, the APL (PL was in front calling the commands) with the boys said, "That might be true for the troop, but this patrol will be doing it this way."


It is important that boys who are not confident as of yet have scouts and adults around them to protect them from those who wish to take away their leadership development and opportunities. This is a valid way of supporting the patrol method. In the case of the example Gonzo provides, a number of adults need to step up to the plate and defend the patrol method. This adult needs to either 1) be trained, or 2) asked to leave. There shouldn't even be any discussion of this, especially not in front of the boys. "With all due respect, the boys have planned out their program this evening, if you wish the flyers to be handed out, you might ask the SPL to have the patrols consider it."



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Gonzo, I sympathize and I'm happy to know that you have the desire to put so much of yourself into this troop to make it the best possible experience for the boys.


As an outsider - and over the web at that - what I am about to say may not be a good fit so take it under consideration. But I wonder if part of the problem here is one of perception and approach. Just from what you've posted here, the dynamic I sense is that you have come into this troop like gang busters, sending the message that they're "doing it all wrong" and that you'll fix it for them. You've been with the troop for about 2 months and already you're "taking over" the PLC and now training the adults too, who have worked hard for 4 years to get this troop off the ground. Several of them probably do view you as trying to engage in a hostile take over of the troop.


Please, don't take that the wrong way. Actually I'm sure that your insights into what the troop ought to change are on the mark. It's just that while their apparent lack of interest in improving the program (or accepting your help) isn't so good, it is still reality that you'll need to overcome their defensiveness to get things done.


What I suggest is that you - and the CC and the SM and other interested parties - get together and come to some agreements on priorities for change. Maybe bring in the friendly UC if they have one (and a good relationship with him or her), or else someone other than you in a position of authority to run the show. Or, if they hold an annual planning day (for the adults, not the boys) then maybe that's an opportunity to hash things out. Build a common vision and you will stand a much better chance of achieving it.


Then you can set up a plan that works. As is, it sounds to me like you have buy in from the SM but if he is "weak" as you say, you haven't gotten the support of the folks from whom you will need help if your desire to improve this troop is to succeed. Otherwise it will be you and the SM - and maybe just you when the going gets tough - against the group, and you will have a much harder time.


So in a nutshell: I'm suggesting you work on achieving "buy in" from the people in positions of power first, and then start tackling some of the bigger issues, rather than engage in a fight over every issue whenever it pops up. The latter is likely to leave you frustrated, tired, and unsuccessful if you don't have support.

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Please read here AND check PM.


The buy in from CC, SM, other committee members is there, but for some reason, some of them don't want to upset "Betty". I don't know why, but she seems to have some kind of spell on them.


CC, SM, other ASM, Adv Chair, Treas, COR (also District ADC) all want help. I kow that those who aren't around (absent parents) may see a "take over" but it's committee members, SM who want help.


I can see where a planning meeting would be of benefit, I'm not sure if they have that meeting.


G Please see PM

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