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richardhawk

Help, the boys are not allowed to vote

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Thank you all for your insight and giving us a few options to think about and try. I am optimistic that we can make changes and this will be an important one. I expect that by this time next year, the boys will be having a troop election for the next SPL.

 

So the SM and I will sit down and begin to eat this elephant, one bite at a time.

I may be back to the forum later this spring as the SM and I will be introducing this radical idea about Patrols ;)

 

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I guess I'll ask a couple of stupid questions...kinda what I do best...right Beav?

 

1) Are the boys satisfied with how the Troop is run?

 

2) Are the parents satisfied with how the Troop is run?

 

If the answer to 1 and 2 are both "yes"... then I would expect you to have a problem trying to change it.... I'd expect your and the SM's ouster, or mass defections of the troop.

 

Does this Troop following the "Scouting Bible"? Sounds like not....but if it works for them.

 

Regardless of what you might like to think...parents ultimately decide a Scouts participation .... not the Scout.

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Eng,

 

No such thing as a stupid question EXCEPT for the one not asked?

 

You do bring up a good point, if everyone is happy it will be harder to change.

 

BUT what if the Scouts are not happy? What if the scout's do not know that they are suppose to be in charge, not their parents?

 

That's part of scouting, allowing the youth to be on their own with their patrol, without the interference of parents. Trust me parents can be a major PITA at times for the youth. One of my troop's trips, one that we planned a year for, was ruined b/c we did allow families to join us, and the parents prevented the scouts from doing the trek b/c the younger siblings were not prepared to do it. So no one did the trek, the one that took a year of planning and over 7 hours one way to get to. It was about 5 years before we had another family trip b/c of that.

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"BUT what if the Scouts are not happy?"

 

That's another issue then...r-hawk did not say that the Scouts were discontent, nor even that they appeared to be discontent. However, if the Scouts were not happy, they would likely quit.

 

"What if the scout's do not know that they are suppose to be in charge, not their parents?"

 

Well that the $50 question...if r-hawk promotes the changes *he* wants, then the Troop might implode...then what was accomplished?

 

In this case, what's better...

 

1) Changing the troop to what the SM and ASM want's to run, losing the Scouts then you tick off the parents?

 

2) Leaving the troop as it is, having the Scouts get what this Troop as to offer the way it is.

 

If the SM and ASM want to transform the Troop, then they have to get the parents to buy-in first. I'd recommend a meeting with the Parents (sans Scouts) to propose a plan to change the Troop. If it's proposed to the Scouts first, then the parents will take it as an pitting the boys against the parents...and the Troop will suffer.

 

As I said earlier...the parents control participation...not the boys.

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This is a big problem, and one the required diplomacy. Is your unit served by a Commissioner, if so contact him/her. Im assuming the committee knows better, if not someone needs to let them know. Has the SM had a friendly, employee to boss, Im concerned with the program talk with the COR?

 

A little at a time may fix this, and it may not. Kid gloves for sure, but that SM needs a few more diplomats in his corner. It would not be out of line for the SM to ask the DE for advice in how to approach the COR, or to accompany him to this meeting,

 

I strongly suggest all discussions on this be face to face, no email, no text, ect. The unit functions, if incorrectly, remember the purpose here is to enhance the program dont step on a landmine and blow the whole thing up! Also, remember, you are the ASM, you assist the SM, this is his battle, youre his backup.

 

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Engineer61 presents this situation as a choice between the following:

 

"1) Changing the troop to what the SM and ASM want's to run, losing the Scouts then you tick off the parents?"

 

or

 

"2) Leaving the troop as it is, having the Scouts get what this Troop as to offer the way it is."

 

What I have to wonder is, how did this troop get to the point where the Troop Committee has taken it upon itself to micro-manage in this fashion? And if the Troop Committee has taken this position, then what is the point of having SM's and ASM's in the first place? And for that matter, if this troop is run so far outside the lines of the Scouting program, then why is it necessary to charter it as a Boy Scout Troop?

 

Yes, this is a caffiene-fueled rant.

 

(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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Wow, this sounds almost exactly like my ship, though the parents don't have quite that much power yet.

 

I can tell you from the perspective of a youth, if they have any idea of how a troop is supposed to be run then they will be dissatisfied with the way the troop is currently run. They will jump at any chance to make a change.

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So what happened at the meeting? Did the parents select the ASPL and SPL? Did they select and you are working on changes for the next year? I'm dying of curiosity.

 

(This message has been edited by mpaull)

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Well, you said that you're Assistant Scoutmaster. Since you're "just" an Assistant Scoutmaster, it's really not your place to "call them to repentance" or otherwise tell them what a bad job you're doing -- you'd want to get together with someone who actually does have that job. Otherwise, you're that guy who (no matter how helpful you've been in the past) who just doesn't "get" how the program works.

 

So, chat with the Scoutmaster. Presuming that he feels the same way, you two can then go possibly have a chat with the Charter Organization rep (if you're a religious group, that would likely be your Bishop/Pastor). Then, have a "Training Night" where the Committee Members all get together and someone takes a projector, hooks it up to a laptop and you all sit through the Committee Member Fast Start training (or whatever it's called for Committee Members).

 

At this point, you can all chat about what it means to be a Committee Member and the CM's themselves should hopefully volunteer/realize that the program shouldn't be run like this. During the chat about what it means to be a CM, if nobody brings up this election after about 20 minutes or so, ask a question about it. "Hey, in that training, should we keep doing things like this?" Then the Scoutmaster and the CO rep can weigh in with their opinions, backed up by the training class that everyone just sat through.

 

This way everyone saves face, nobody is called out publicly, everyone gets to be "right". You're all learning as you go and you're all learning "new" things together. The important thing, though, is to allow people to save face. This isn't dishonest in any way, you're just building consensus then approaching the problem obliquely instead of head on.

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We have had a fortunate turn of events for our troop.

 

After speaking to our COR, who was the previous Scoutmaster (3 SMs ago), he met with the committee prior to the meeting and advised them that the current process was not correct and would need to be changed, but was not suggesting that it change that evening. The IH was also present (also a Life Scout) and he confirmed that the troop election process needs to be followed. There was a brief push back from the prior SM but the COR restated that this was not a suggestion from BSA but was specifically spelled out. The COR did not remain in the committee meeting during the vote and joined the troop meeting.

 

As fate would have it, the adult vote resulted in a 3 way tie.

 

The current SM informed the COR that there was a problem as the vote resulted in a 3 way tie. COR saw that a tie would allow the SPL to select his new ASPL.

 

The end result was the SPL did select his ASPL and also, the committee is now aware that they have a process that needs to be changed by next year's TROOP election.

 

Thanks again for your support and ideas.

 

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Glad the process is slowly changing. But FYI, COR and IH can declare what needs to be done by fiat, and the committee must agree. BUT it looks like the committee has buy in fo rhte process.

 

One thing that got to me, you said next year's election. How often are they?

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