Re: troop changes
James A. Sheckels (JASHECKELS@AOL.COM)
Sun, 17 Sep 1995 17:04:25 -0400
It sounds like the problem comes from adults who are operating "at the edge"
of understanding aspects of the Scouting program.
I first wonder about the separation of older/younger Scouts. Is this driven
by a sponsor doctrine/policy (religous) requirement? If not, maybe there is a
misunderstanding of the purpose of the Venture Crew (even the Varsity Team)
within the Troop.
Either way, the planning of a Troop program is done by the SCOUTS with the
support of the Committee. Scout plans which cannot be supported
(realsitically) by the adult leaedrs should be talked out with the PLC. When
the adults take over running the Troop, they do irreparable damage, because
the Scouts don't learn how to plan and interact with other authorities. (Or
do they learn?)
Adult leaders sign an application which must be approved by the organization
and the local council. The organization head must sign the unit application.
(while he or the COR sign the subsequent recharter papers) The unit
application also says the organization will follow BSA policies. Doesn't
sound like they are when they push the Scouts desires and input aside.
You don't say much about the SM's response - only the involvement of the COR
and Org Head. Nor do you say your specific leadership involvement in the
Troop. If you are not a Troop leader, you still have a voice as a parent.
Voice your concerns, not just to the SM, but also to the Committe, COR and
Lastly, and probably most importantly, sounds like there is a lack of
understanding most likely caused by a lack of training. The COR should be a
trained Scouter by going through the basic training for each program area his
organization sponsors. Org Heads are encouraged to be trained, but the
District Executive is responsible for ensuring the organization (and the head
of the organization) are aware of BSA policies, and that they agree to follow
If all else fails, your responsibility as a parent is to your son's Scouting
experience. If you feel strongly enough, find a Troop that will allow him to
grow through leadership experiences!
I know this was a lengthy answer, but you pegged one of my "soapbox" areas.
Jim Sheckels (I used to be a Bobwhite....)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City