Sun, 29 Oct 1995 01:31:25 -0500
>I need some help. As I have said, I am the SPL of my troop. ONe of the
>many problems with the troop is that we have virtually no adult support.
>We have NO troop committee. Actually we do... the Scoutmaster's wife is
>it. Our scoutmaster is a very busy man, and we get virtually no help with
>planning or other such things from him. Our ASM's come to some of the
>meetings, and not to others, and don't tell us when they won't be there.
>Besides, they never offer to help. They said that they would, but have
>not. When I say "we" I am talking about me and my ASPL. We do all the
>work, and get blamed when things don't go well. Besides, he is a Senior
>in High School, and has a lot of work, not to mention my own work.
Uri, if you are *really* interested in seeing your Troop succeed (and you
are, or else I don't think you would have asked for our collective help
here!), here's what I feel you need to do:
First, find your Troop's Commissioner. This may be a hard task to do, since if
your Troop Committee is down to really one person in "reality" (paper's a
different story!), he or she may not even be aware (or care) about it.
Your Council office has a listing of all of the Commissioners. If you don't get
any satisfaction from them, or it seems that they are "trying to put you off",
get a copy of your Council's newsletter and find the part which pertains to your
District. At the head, should be the names and phone numbers of your
District's Commissioner, along with the Chair and the Executive(s) of yout
District. CALL YOUR COMMISSIONER...don't bother with the DE/DD/DSE at this
point. This is a
job for your District's (in reality, your UNIT's) Commissioner staff to handle.
If they can't or won't handle it, they'll get with the professional(s) and they
will take care of it. Don't get discouraged when you call the Council and
they tell you that they can't give you the name or phone number of your
Commissioner...just ask them to have him or her to call you. Be persistant.
Second, you and your ASPL need to go out and get yourself a Troop Committee.
Don't laugh...at the age of 14, I went door-to-door and got my Troop a new
Scoutmaster, three Assistants, and nine Troop Committee members -- none of
which had kids in our Troop. Of course, their applications will have to be
approved by the organization that charters your Troop, but this should be a
as opposed to the sitation you are in right now. Without a Troop Committee
in REALITY, your chances of doing whatever it is you and the rest of the Troop
Leader's Council planned is quite limited to whatever the Scoutmaster can
do...and you've already told us that "he's a busy man" as it is. The
Committee's job is to lighten his load, giving him more time to train and
coach you and your Assistant. You need three members, so shoot for getting
ten people "signed up".
Third, hold a special Troop meeting and tell the Scoutmaster that he needs
to insure that all of his Assistants are there. Take names of those
Assistants that are "on paper" which are not there. Make an appointment to
see your Chartered Organizational Represenative (this is the person that
represents the group that chartered you Troop and whom also goes to the
Council once or twice a year to help elect the Council and District
officers). This is the person that HIRES and FIRES all of the adults in the
Troop. Tell him your concerns about the way things have been going, and
provide him the names or applications (or both) of those adults you went out
and recruited, along with the names of those Assistants that are "on paper"
but never around when you need them. He or she should follow up by either
interviewing or investigating those adults that he or she feels the Troop
needs. Again, give him or her some time to do this. If after a significant
period, he's "dragging his feet" on this, make an appointment to see the
head of the organization that charters the Troop and talk with him or her.
Finally, continue to trek onward with your Troop's program. It is obious that
even though the Scoutmaster is doing his best, and that you and your
Assistant are trying to keep it all together, that there's some problems.
While you are waiting for your Commissioner and the Chartered Partner to
"get their acts together", assure your fellow Scouts that the "show will go
on" and that there's
a chance that the Troop will get some more needed adult support. Ask them to
also "beat the bushes" to find adults that want or can provide additional help
for your Troop. Get a collection together to get a dinner for two for your
Scoutmaster to let him know that you and the rest of the guys appreciate his
work...if not dinner, a pair of tickets to the movies, or offer to clean his
home and take care of their younger children for an afternoon while they go out.
We get wrapped up sometimes in what we're doing that an occasional "thanks" is
all we needed to hear to keep us going. Remember that teacher that knew
that you've done your best, even with the bad grade, and told you "not to
give up" and offered to help you? We adults get keyed up in the same way.
Many times as a Scoutmaster, I would wonder if "it's all worth it". When my
Scouts came by to
offer to babysit my daughter, or to clean the storage shed, or to mow the
grass as thanks for being their Scoutmaster -- even when I turned it down --
it made me feel that I was "getting somewhere" with all of this Scouting stuff.
>Am I out of line saying these things?
No, not at all, Uri. I hope that I've given you some good ideas to use in
"jumpstarting" your Troop's adult leadership.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
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