Tim Goncharoff (tgonchar@CATS.UCSC.EDU)
Thu, 3 Oct 1996 17:42:57 -0700
I would appreciate your collective wisdom on a troubling issue. There is
great dissension within our troop, particularly between the committee and
the program side. The committee is supportive in the main. There are
6-8 active members. We would like more, but this doesn't seem bad.
We are fiscally sound, have a good size troop (about 35) and very active,
with at least one outing per month. The committee has had some minor
criticisms of the Scoutmaster, and the Scoutmaster and Asst. Scoutmaster
have had major criticisms of the committee. The issues seem relatively
minor to me. Some committee members feel the Scoutmaster is too harsh
with discipline. Sometimes they feel the program schedule is too full
and would like to ease up a little. The Scoutmaster and Asst Scoutmaster
feel the committee is meddling where it has no business. They have said
that we are there only to support the program, not to "meddle." They are
very resentful of suggestions that we reschedule activities to more
convenient times, that we try to end troop meetings on time, and other
seemingly innocuous suggestions. The Scoutmaster recently resigned,
saying that he can't work with such a non-supportive committee. He has
offered to return if the committee stops trying to "tear down the
program." Most committee members feel the Scoutmaster and Asst
Scoutmaster, who agrees with him, are a little too sensitive.
We have been unable to fill the Scoutmaster position for some weeks now.
Noone wants to wade into this morass. Our council has wished us luck,
but had little else to offer.
I am the Committee Chair, and also very active on the program side. I
attend almost all troop meetings, campouts and other events, and am
counselor for 18 merit badges. I get along with all of these folks on
their own, but when the two sides get together, the sparks fly. I have
distributed copies of the Committee Guidebook, and relevant portions of
the Scoutmaster handbook, to no avail. We end up arguing about what is
meant by "support," guidance," "defer," and similar words.
These folks clearly feel strongly about Scouting, which I think is great,
but sometimes they seem to take things a little too seriously. I am at a
loss as to how to bring the sides together to promote our common goals,
and I fear it is beginning to wear me down as well.
Has anyone experienced a similar situation?
Any advice from your great wisdom and experience?
In humble supplication,
Santa Cruz, CA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City