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Ah, the teapot tempests we get ourselves involved in. :(


I know that when dealin' with fellow adults behaving badly, most of us want to behave as though we are colleagues and neighbors. When yeh have a neighbor who behaves badly, the polite thing most of the time is to be non-confrontational, accommodating, and work around the person. Same with a co-worker, eh? Yeh go along to get along.


That, however, is not your role in these circumstances, Crossramwedge. When yeh signed on as COR, yeh agreed to be the boss, not a co-worker. The obstreperous parents are not neighbors, they are guests on property that you are responsible for, and have promised to take care of on behalf of the Chartered Partner. Your role as COR is to act on behalf of the IH so that he doesn't have to deal with this sort of nonsense, eh? Yeh should let him know what's goin' on or sound him out so nobody tries any end-runs, but after that, yeh act.


This doesn't have to be all dramatic and angsty. Yeh behave calmly and professionally. If there is to be a meeting, you call the meeting and invite those committee members who are making a spectacle of themselves. Bring your district commissioner if yeh like. At the meeting, yeh talk about the goals and principles of the church, your collective desire to see good things happen for kids. Yeh acknowledge their concerns about the SPL and their right to feel that way and let 'em know yeh understand completely, and that people of good will sometimes disagree. Then yeh thank them for their service and let 'em know that since they feel as strongly as they do, their services are no longer required and they have been removed from the troop committee effective immediately. Collect their keys, literal or metaphorical, walk 'em to the door, and let 'em know that the district commish is there to help them find a new troop if they so choose.


Then yeh send out a general communication to the troop, explaining in a non-confrontational and professional manner what happened, what action the scoutmaster took, your consulting with the district and a number of other scouters and the position of the chartered organization supporting the scoutmaster. Then yeh let 'em know what actions have been taken, calmly and professionally.


Yeh probably should have done this some time ago, eh? It's da sense that there is an "opening" that drives this sort of behavior, and that "opening" happens when people try to be accommodating to others' poor behavior. Treatin' 'em as neighbors and co-workers, when your real job in this situation is to be the gent who compassionately but firmly delivers the pink slips.




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I agree with Beav, except that you may not have been able to avoid the impression of a "chink in the armor." Lynch mobs often interpret deliberation as inaction and there may not be anything you can do about it. If you would have said "we're doing x" at the outset, they would say you were thoughtless and irresponsible!


Also, in church terms, there are "prophets" who rail on an institution if it's more prone to dispense grace than judgement. If you're lucky, all of the stone throwers actually worship elsewhere. If not, well, let's just say your church board is going to need some additional patience over the next several decades.


Regardless, let your IH note the stance you and the SM are taking. Explain that this is based on everything you learned from what is taught on the pulpit. Move on from there.

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I am always amazed at how these things snowball. Last year a Patrol tried a double entendre NSP Patrol name. It eventually got squashed but not before I as NSP "advisor" had alienated the parents that were outraged and the folks who thought boys will be boys. The first group was mad when I let it happen the 2nd group when I said no. I followed up with a "cute" email that pleased no one.


I really took a lot of heat and there was talk of removal.


The SM later pulled me aside and said (1) some things are best ignored and (2) should have bumped it to the SPL who would have probably said no.


Now I back the SM and SPL as much as possible. I am polite and firmer in dealing with parents ("we have to let the boy make mistakes, etc" speech) and explain how the committee etc works.


But what a mess over such a stupid matter. It is so hard to get the parties to step back and see the big picture. I real feel for you and wish you and the SM luck; I do agree you need to throw your weight around more as suggested.


Facebook, cyber-bullying, camera phones have all been new issues we have had to wrestle with in our Troop and Church Youth Group as well. While none of the behaviors are exactly new the technology disseminates things so much faster and widely that incidents get blown up so much faster. If you meet once a week a "crisis" can brew up in that short time.


We are growing men of character but do not expect them to be angels. It can be a crooked path. A lot of parents do not understand this. The SPL is 16! What do they expect?

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