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OneHour

ASM Out of Line or Am I?

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Need your opinion here. During this past summer camp (about 4 weeks ago), we had a lot of fun but we also had some issues with an asm. He was sometimes overzealous (speaking mildly). I would characterize him as a double-standard hypocrite. On one hand, he would tell the other scoutmasters in our troop to let the junior leaders lead the boys all the while he told them exactly what he wanted for them to do. He would yell at the scouts if they do something wrong and yet says nothing if his son gets into trouble. As for YPT problem (and I think that it is one and bordering privacy invasion, but I could be wrong), he would open tent-flaps up to wake the boys up in the morning. He yanked one scout's sleeping bag out and toss it in the corner of the tent. ... what if the boy sleeps with only his underwear or ...? My son made an off-the-cuff comment about his son (due to frustration). I called my son back and started to lecture him about his rude comment when this asm stepped in and yelled at my son in front of me and other adults. Am I being overly critical? or there is an issue with this asm? Also, the acting SPL and ASPL constantly complained about his yelling and demanding way. In a way, I was proud of these two boys because they were looking out for their scouts (a characteristic of a leader). I'm planning to take it up with our SM and our CC.

 

1Hour

 

ps: there are more, but I rather not enumerate them.(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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Do any of the other leaders echo you sentiments?

 

No YPT issue. There is nothing wrong with lifting tent flaps to wake Scouts up. Heck, I sleep in my skivies all the time!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Yes, Ed. We had 5 ASMs and the other three gentlemen will talk to our SM as well. The father of one of our scouts complained to me about how harshly this asm treated his son (10 1/2 year old scout). I redirected him to our SM since I did not witness the event between his son and this asm. This gentleman's idea of curing homesickness is to tell the scout tough it up and don't be a cry-baby. A year ago, he laughed at me at the amount of time that I sat and talk these boys through their tough time! He told me that I was babying them. I strongly objected to his demeaning ways.

 

1Hour

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Based on your description, it sounds like this ASM is indeed out of line. An ASM who belittles scouts - especially the youngest ones - and doesn't understand why you would spend your time talking with your scouts when they're a little blue, is not delivering the kind of program I would want my boy to be part of, that's for sure. And he'll likely cause (or exacerbate) retention problems if he is allowed to keep this up.

 

Lisa'bob

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I agree with LisaBob, you have good reason to be concerned. This ASM needs to be talked to.

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skivies or not ... there are brand new kids in our troop who are even afraid to take showers without their swim trunks! To me, revelie sounded, SPL called out, scoutmasters called out and if that still didn't wake them up, then open up the flaps! It has worked when I had the duties of waking everyone up! It didn't take much!

 

One of the scoutmasters wanted to take the issue to our Scouting Exec. I asked him to give our SM, CC, and COR a chance to review and determine the course of action if there is any to take.(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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I would agree with Semper. But he should be assigned to "Patrol Box Handle Co-Ordinator"

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"Also, the acting SPL and ASPL constantly complained about his yelling and demanding way. In a way, I was proud of these two boys because they were looking out for their scouts (a characteristic of a leader). I'm planning to take it up with our SM and our CC."

 

First, yes, I think you do have reason for concern. He had no right to yank any Scout's sleeping bag off him...regardless of what he was wearing. The yelling is flat out wrong. And best of all, the bit I quote above seems to be the key to fixing this: the youth leaders do have a problem with him, and they have expressed the problem with him, and now they need support. I'd give it to them completely, and it seems you are. As for the fellow who wanted to call the SE, let him--he doesn't have to tell anyone he made the call. In fact, he shouldn't tell anyone. If his concerns were great enough that he felt a call to the SE was in order, he should be encouraged to follow his instincts on it. It would be idea if it could be handled within the unit, and it may be, but I'm well aware of a situation where a leader wanted to call the SE, did not, and was sorry about it later when nothing could be done. Two issues here: how do the adults support the youth who have complaints (valid complaints) about this adult leader, and how does one decide when to call the SE (and should he simply do so or talk about it first). As for what Semper and Ed said, I'd be inclined to leave this fellow at home from now on, but that decision can't be made long distance.

 

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Hey One Hour

 

Sorry to hear about this. No advise other than yes this man needs to be (re-)trained.

 

Did you guys go to El Rancho Cima?

 

CC in missouri where the humidity today makes it feel like Houston! :)

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I must admit I've opened a tent flap or two. But only when I didn't get the answer from the scouts I expected when doing a tent check before bedtime. You know, "do you have your tent buddy in there?" When I hear nothing, the tent flap is opened. I certainly want to respect the privacy of our youth, but when camping with other peoples children, I double check everyone is in their happy place before I bunk down.

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GernBlansten, you shouldn't be conducting those checks anyway. That should be the patrol leader's job.

 

I agree the youth need to be supported. Sounds like this guy needs to be retrained. I, too, think opening the tent flaps could be a YP issue and even if it's not it is still a privacy issue.

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His verbal abuse toward scouts gives me cause for concern. He needs to be reassigned to a role where he doesn't have direct interaction with scouts. I'd suggest he become a committee member until he can change his ways. Sometimes a person just needs to have his actions pointed out to him, along with the consequences.

 

I don't think the tent flaps constitute a YPT issue. He should first try to wake people up without opening the flaps. I've had to do it a time or two, but banging on the outside usually works.

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GernBlansten, you shouldn't be conducting those checks anyway. That should be the patrol leader's job.

Oh, I fully agree. But consider this in a our litigious society.

Attorney: "so Mr. Blansten, at the camp out on June 1st, when did you first realize the plaintiffs son was not in his tent?"

Mr. Blansten: "when I asked the patrol leader if everyone was accounted for."

Attorney: "how old is this patrol leader?"

Mr. Blansten: "13 years old"

Attorney: "so you as a 43 year old trained adult trusted a 13 year old adolescent with the safety of my client's son?"

Mr. Blansten: "Its the BSA way sir."

Attorney: "Didn't you think it would be wise to follow up on a child's job to verify the safety and well being of every scout under your supervision?"

Mr. Blansten: "well, I was told on an Internet forum that it was the patrol leaders responsibility"

Attorney: "Members of the jury, Mr. Blansten is clearly deferring his responsibility as the guardian of the plaintiffs children to a 13 year old child. Do you think that is reasonable behaviour for a trained scout leader?"

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