Advice needed(long but serious)
Mike Montoya (mmm@IMS.MARIPOSA.CA.US)
Tue, 5 Dec 1995 00:26:31 -0800
Here's the situation:
We are a small/medium troop of about 25 boys, of which nine are Life Scouts.
Two or three of the boys are getting close to Eagle, and two of these nine
are lacking in "Scout spirit" in a big way. The troop has never had an
Eagle in its 10-year history. The SM decided that in order to avoid
accusations of being unfair, he would confer with 3 other adult members of
the troop before signing off on his Scoutmaster conference, the
understanding being that if 2 of the 3 felt that the candidate had
demonstrated Scout spirit in the last six months, he would go with that
consensus. Wouldn't you know it, the first boy to request a conference was
one of the most immature, disruptive scouts in the troop. This boy suffers
from such a lack of respect from the other boys that as a life scout with
nearly 40 merit badges, he has only been able to serve as an assistant
patrol leader, despite running for Troop office at every election. He has
yet to be elected to the OA. (He holds an appointed Instructor position to
satisfy Troop leadership requirements, but is the feared by the younger boys
for his outbursts.) Wouldn't you know it, I was the first of the adult
leaders to have to deal with my new job. I took the candidate off to the
side and sat down with him, and went over the 12 points of the Scout Law and
the Oath. We decided together that he needed some work before he was ready
to become an Eagle Scout.
Here's the problem:
The father (Troop Committee Chairman) thinks this is unfair. He wanted this
son to get his eagle awarded during his oldest son's (an Eagle now at the
Citadel) Christmas Break. He wants to know when we will pass on his son.
This developed into quite a discussion at our last committee meeting. He is
aware of his son's problems. He just wants to know how long this boy will
have to be "perfect" in order to satisfy us. I explained that I was aware
that this boy had improved a lot since a campout about 2 1/2 months ago when
he was openly insubordinate to the adult leadership, ignoring their
instructions and defying them. Out of the scouts, he seems to have a
different personality. He referees youth soccer, works in the high school
office, and is probably the most visible scout in the troop when we are
involved in service projects.
I'm going to have to see another 3 or 4 months of his "new" side before I'll
be convinced that he won't lash out and hit the younger scouts when they get
in his way, and work towards making the troop function more smoothly, and in
general, demonstrate that he is Eagle material.
By the way, the issue of whether the SM is within his power to even set up
"Scoutmaster conference by committee" never even came up in the discussions.
I wonder about that, but maybe I'm just a little sore from having to be the
"bad guy" on this one, but I feel very strongly that somebody had to be, and
I would have had to do something if the SM had yielded to the pressure of
the dad and passed on this one.
Mike Montoya, ASM, Troop 94 firstname.lastname@example.org
"I used to be ...Faster, Lighter, & Less Gray!"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City