NEW MEMBER PROBLEMS
Rob White (rsw@TFS.COM)
Tue, 19 Apr 1994 15:28:00 EDT
Hello fellow scouts!
I am having some problems with the troop my son transitioned to and
wanted to get some feedback from you. This may end up a long letter.
I am a Cubmaster of a relatively new pack that is sponsored by an
Orthodox Jewish Congregation (run by an even more orthodox chassidic rabbi).
I am a Conservative Jew and a member of a different congregation.
I helped create the pack with the expressed purpose of getting Jews who
practice traditional Judaism into scouting. This has not been an easy
process since most of the major scouting activities and training occur
on Saturdays (traditional Jews do not drive or ride in a car, light or
add items to a fire, carry/lift objects outside their home, write, or work on
the Sabbath (from sundown Friday to one hour after sundown on Saturday).
They also strickly Kosher in their eating habits.
Although I am not strickly Kosher and to not adhere stickly to all the
sabbath traditions, I require the pack to observe all the requirements as
interpreted by the rabbi. My family's observance of Jewish traditions has
been growing as the years pass (two years ago we stopped mixing meat and
milk in our meals, this year we pretty much stopped eating non-kosher meat
in our house).
A couple months ago my son transitioned into Boy Scouts, joining a local
troop sponsored by a Jewish Reform Congregation.
For those who have no background in any of this; A good comparison might be
a Episcopalian cubmaster for a Catholic Church sponsored back, having his son
join a Unitarian sponsored Troop (poor comparison, but the best I can
think of at the moment).
I have encouraged all the boys in the pack to set their sights on joining
a troop when they are old enough. I talked to the leader to the troop my
son joined (before he joined) and was told that the troop would work to
create a "Kosher patrol" so that those scouts who wanted to keep kosher
would not have any problems. I passed this info on to the parents in my
pack, once again encouraging them to allow their sons to transition into
scouts when the time came. I was also told that the troop does not allow
any pork products at any of it's events. Although the troop is sponsored by
the Jewish congregation, it is only 20% (or less) Jewish in membership.
This particular troop and the scout master have a very good reputation.
The troop is very active, and reputed to be very well funded and have a
fairly large membership and leadership.
I joined the troop as an Assistant Scout Master, though I informed the
Scout Master that I would not be able to give a lot of time to the
troop because of my other commitments (Cub Scouts, Military Reserve,
and I work nights).
Since associating with the troop I have discovered that pork products were
served on two separate occasions (in all fairness once was at the local
scout camp, but I feel that should have been anticipated and arrangements
made). On once occasion, I was there, made mention of the fact, but the
food (pork and beans) continued to be served by the scout leadership.
Several parents have vented their fury at me about this; holding me
responsible and/or expecting me to do something about it.
I have complained about about the kosher problem at least twice (I am
NOT know for my tact) and have been asked by one ASM to please drop it.
I have also noticed that the troop has a lot of problems, primarily in
management (I see a log of ASM's who seem to be in scouting for their own
fun and not the boys). Many tents are in disrepair, and are stored away
while wet and very much dirty on the inside, cook boxes are not complete,
leaders do not pay close enough attention to what the boys are doing to
cut short problems before they crop up, etc. I have held by comments on
the latter problem, but I still feel that I have come into a new
group at earned a reputation as a complainer.
That's the crux of it. I have left a lot out.
I have my own ideas as to what to do, but I thought I would get some
feedback from the group also.
Comments please. One last thing, I do plan on setting up a meeting with
the SM as time permits.
Rob White The mail must go through,
TRW Financial Systems EAPS/RBCS Oh, the mail must go through!
rsw@tfs.COM WORK: (502)339-1990/1993
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