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I'm with Dan on this. If, as a troop leader, I am expected to keep a parent apprised of every communication I have with their scout, then I am no longer interested in the job. I am not very likely to write up minutes of every conversation I have at meetings and outings for the scouts' parents, either.

I am happy to identify myself whenever I make a call (to anyone) because I am as tired as everyone else of marginal phone manners and unsolicited sales calls. If I call someone who doesn't know me, I'll try to make it clear why I am calling, too, just because it otherwise sounds like I am trying to sell mortgages :-/. But I feel no obligation to force the parent into the loop. They can ask their kid who they were talking to if they want. Adult association is a method, right?

I often send email straight to a scout's address. I treat it as any other communication I might have with that scout in person. Sometimes, if I am giving some responsibility to him, I'll *blind* copy [bCC:] his parent's address so that they can proved some level of gentle oversight, but I want the scout to understand that my request is to him, not to his parent.

Since I keep my "sent" mail, I am not worried about misunderstandings... we can always "go to the videotape" to see exactly what I sent if it ever comes to that.(This message has been edited by fling1)

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Agree that the situation in dan's first post was over the top and uncalled for. If parents do not want their children to talk to "strangers", then they need to ensure that their kids don't answer the phone. Almost everyone has callerID now...that should be a way to decide which calls to answer, and it provides a record until deleted. I also agree that it is proper telephone etiquette to identify your self and affiliation when calling "Hello, this is Scoutldr from Anytown Council Boy Scouts, may I speak to Scout please?"


That being said, I also prefer e-mail...I can zip out a message and in 10 minutes have the info go to 40 units, while playing phone tag with that many people could take a week of evenings on the phone, and I simply don't have that much time to devote. Unfortunately, when I ask for information (e.g., where are you going to summer camp this year), I typically get about a 10% response. I don't expect an instantaneous response, but within a week would be nice. I also do not bother people with useless information (i.e., "spam"), but it's usually to gather information that I have to report to District or Council. I don't require a thoughtful dissertation...a simple "Camp Runamuck, 35 Scouts, 2 Leaders" is all I need.


I don't know what the answer is...nobody knows how to RSVP anymore, either, but that's a different forum.

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One great thing about my accent is nearly everyone I call knows it's me.

One of my many pet peeves is people who allow very young kids to answer the phone!!

As a rule if I'm calling anyone I don't know I give them my name and some sort of reason or identification as to why I'm calling.

I do make Scout related calls from my office and at times do have the PA make them for me. She is good and normally starts with "Eamonn from Boy Scouts asked me to call you with regard to...." Of course these calls show up on peoples caller ID as being from where I'm at.

I normally copy parents on E-mails, they seem to check them more frequently than the kids and only have one E-Mail address.

I do have to admit that I used to visit the MSN Scout Chat Room and at times did feel a little uneasy when there was only a youth member and myself in the chat room.

In fact myself and Dave Steele at one time did discuss this (Hi Dave if you are lurking!!)

To be very honest I'm not always sure if OJ is in or not.

We do have caller ID at home, but I have a hard time keeping up with who OJ is seeing and of course the name is name on the phone bill, not always the caller, some of the kids that call OJ have different names as their parents have remarried.

I try very hard not to treat the Sea Scouts as little kids. If we are talking about Sea Scout stuff I don't as a rule involve their parents. If I'm giving details of a trip I will ask to go over it with their parents, even though I have used parent permission forms, E-mails and they all have my cell phone number.

They also seem to know that we are always about an hour later getting back than when I say?? In which case the lucky Scout sitting next to me gets to call everyone on my cell.

Lately I've noticed that the Scouts tend to text message each other more than call each other. I'm not good at texting, it's too hard on my thumbs. I can text OJ from my computer and I get him to forward it to all the Sea Scouts, he has all the info in his cell phone.


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Dan (and Fellow Scouters),



Please don't get the idea that I believe Dan did anything wrong. Far from it.. I believe there should be good communications in a Troop.


However, I would rather stradle the fenceline; and not say that Dan is right nor that the parents are right.


All I am trying to say is, over the years, at college, at work, in the neighborhood boards, and at scouts, I have been caught in "he said this and she said that" disagreements. And knowing the attention span of a young boy or teen, I prefer to speak as cautiously as I may.


My Troop Committee has asked me to send emails on ocassion to the entire Troop, because often their Scout doesn't seem to listen or tell their parents or know what is happening.


My own Troop wide emails usually start with "Parents ask your Scouts, Scouts ask your Patrol Leaders, Patrol Leaders ask the SPL". Even after repeating agendas at PLCs, Committee meetings and the end of the Troop meetings, some Scouts and parents don't get "the word".


So.. back on the fenceline. Dan, don't get the idea that I'm taking the parents side over yours. Heck no... I'm just stating that I, myself, use caution and eliminate one-on-one conversations/meetings.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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I am on the fence with you! I really have no problem with the mother wanting to know who is and why I was calling. Like I said all she had to do was ask. This call was Tuesday evening, it was a long and trying day a work, after the 3 day weekend so I was not on the top of my game either. Hey I am over it if this is the biggest issue I have with NYLT I will be a happy camper.

While I think you are being over cautious, that is not a bad thing.

I also have found that most scouts do not check emails very often. But the majority have cell phones. The scouts seem to be really protective of their cell phone numbers, which is a good thing.


This scout is a really good kid, I really am looking forward to spending a week+ at NYLT with him.


I do not have caller ID at home I really see no need for it and I am cheap!


My biggest peeve about phone manners is when someone calls you and the first thing they say is Who is This? I usually answer with Who did you call? :)



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Phone manners can really be atrocious. "Who is this?", indeed! How about receiving a call from someone and being told "Wait a minute I have another call coming in." How rude! Call me back when you have time for me.

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When someone calls our home, I simply ask who is calling please, and if I'm not familiar with this person, I ask pleasantly what it's in reference to. I will do that for any call to anyone but my spouse unless asked to get info first.


Our troop usually doesn't have adults calling youth. I can't recall a time that's happened, though it may happen with the SPL. Usually, the SPL calls the PLs, and they PLs and/or their assistants make phone calls to others. Whenever an adult has called here, it has been to talk to one of the adults. That said, if an adult were to call our son, I'd simply ask who they were and what in it's reference too--don't need the details, but an idea is helpful. Our son can tell us the rest if he feels it's necessary.


As for "who is this" when I answer the phone, I respond with, "you called, so who are you please". That got one guy really hot (not a Scout or Scouter), and I told him if he called this number and seriously expected to simply gather info, I was hanging up as he wasn't paying the courtesy of telling me who he was or what he wanted. I ended up hanging up. It's a private unlisted number, so this technique is often used to learn info for solicitations. It's private for a reason--we don't *want* to hear from those we don't know. Teens call here plenty, and they usually say, "hey, is XXXX home" or "um, it's XXX". To the first request, even if I recognize the voice, I ask who is calling please. To the second one, I say "Hi xxxx, who would you like to talk to" even if I know. The frequent callers now call and ask "is xxxx home; this is xxxx", or "this is, can I talk to xxxx". It's simply manners, but when it comes to the phone, so many adults don't use manners that it's not surprising the youth don't either.

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When it is necessary for me to call a boy other than the boys in my troop I always ask to speak to a parent. I tell the parent who I am and the reason for my call. I then ask to speak to their son. Now with the boys in my troop. I try not to talk to the parents unless the boy isn't home. I really like trying to build a line of communications with the boys.

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