Ernest R. Spradling, P.E. (freemason@AOL.COM)
Wed, 1 Sep 1993 23:22:06 EDT
A somewhat recent SCOUTS-L posting (and one I didn't save) reminded me of
something that happened to me last February, with one of <my> units. The
circumstances were similar, but the location and outcomewere somewhat
Let me set the stage: I visited this troop <28-year old unit sponsored by a
Lutheran church>, twice in five weeks. The SM was absent both times, as was
the registered ASM. The only adult leadership there was the CC and a MC.
The SPL and ASPL were both absent <the former having basketball, the latter
having broken a limb in wrestling>. PLs were not doing their jobs,
pandemonium reigned. No uniforms, a soccer match covered most of the meeting
time. Get the picture?
The CC told me that the SM had only been there once in the last 5 weeks, ASM
nowhere to be found due to strange working hours <both cases>. No outdoor
activities since the Camporee in november 1992 bcause of lack of two-deep
leadership. CC & MC were both ready to quit. I informed the CC that a
special meeting of the Committee needed to be convened. He said he would
call the COR & Committee to have the meeting the following Tuesday.
Meantime, I called the CH <pastor>, whom I finally contacted the Friday
preceding the meeting & explained what was happening & suggested that he get
some parental involvement.
I got a call from CC, who castigated me for calling the CH, said I was
irresponsible & that I was meddling in their affairs without letting them
work it out first. I told him that what I did was my perogative, and my
responsibility was to keep the unit alive, even if it meant that I had to go
around them to accomplish that act. He told me that the COR wascalling the
CE to have me removed. I said go ahead, make my day. By that time, I was
loaded for bear and ready to confront them.
I called the DC and told her what was happening, she offered to meet the
lynch mob with me.
I was met by the MC who was at the meetings. He then told me I did the wrong
thing by calling the pastor, that I jeopardized the Troop. I told him I
would answer any comments when everyone else was there. I was then accosted
by the COR, who told me the same thing. I asked her where SHE was while the
Troop was lacking adult leadership.
The DC showed up and asked the range of questions which needed to be
answered. When all was said & done, we heard the usual excuses of time &
money <mind you, this Troop has a nice war chest, and they are not hurting
for money>. Everyone there was unhappy with the SM, but nobody wanted to
step up to help out on a weekly basis. We both strongly suggested that two
someones be there to get the show back on the road. They agreed.
Finally, one brave MC agreed to act as SM for the interim, but he would need
their support <which he didn't get>. A seasoned former SM filled in as ASM,
to keep things going. The old SM was asked if he wanted to remain, and he
said he was indecisive. They basically gave him the sack.
The ASM is now the SM <they swapped roles>, the new SM is now shaping up the
boys into a Troop again. I went to a meeting two weeks ago & the MC who was
giving "jaw" and another MCwere there, and they were happy.
The COR is still there <that is another story - suffice to say this flap put
her in tighter, when the Troop Committee was trying to be rid of her>, and
the CC quit & transferred his boy to another Troop <last time I saw him he
was gloating over his boy (a Life Scout just shy of Eagle) now being in a
"crack" Troop - i told him the Troop he left could have been a "crack" Troop
if he would have prodded his son to take an assertive leadership role instead
of pitching & moaning about how bad thimgs were. Come to think, he should be
going up for Eagle Board soon..."Scout Spirit?">. Good riddance - te Troop
is running better.
The Troop looked like a Troop. that made me happy, anyway.
the old SM? Hate to see experience wasted. I am trying to recruit him as UC
- fits his schedule better, we get to keep him. I will NOT assign him to old
Troop, told him so - his feelings are STILL hurt.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
BTW, if that Troop in the earlier posting is sponsored by a United Methodist
Church, then the Pastor can NOT unilaterally kick the Troop out - he HAS to
have the support of the Board of Trustees, and the group that is actually on
the Charter. Oh, he can threaten, but that is about it. If he angers the
Board, HE could be ousted. I am a Methodist, and I saw that happen many a
time in my home church.
Randy Spradling, P.E.
Assistant District Commissioner Treasure Coast District, Gulfstream Council
(FL) Aal-Pa-Tah #237
Eagle Scout (1971)
Vigil Honor (1974)(Thal-Coo-Zyo #457) (Sukeu Woapalanne-Black Eagle)
Life Member Alpha Phi Omega Mu Tau Chapter (WV Tech)(Spring 1975)
Hope to be a critter soon.
(To know oneself is the ultimate form of aggression)
(Calvin: I let my mind wander and now I can't find it.)
(Mom: And I thought you had lost it years ago.)
I >>>----I>----<> I
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City