Problem Adults (Gee, they've been fine for six days...)
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET)
Thu, 20 Aug 1998 12:06:17 -0400
<Jack Said, snipped>
Recently I had a very disturbing incident with an adult that I would like
some feedback on. The last day of summer camp a parent came up to camp to
enjoy the ending campfire and to hang out with our troop of very young and
very inexperienced scouts. This parent is not BSA trained and has not been
present at scout meetings. Shortly after the parent set-up camp in our site
he began yelling ... He even yelled at me ... As a result of this activity I
am asking the committee to make some serious changes to the by laws stating
that all parents coming on outings need to have at least youth protection
and fast start training (bear paw next time it comes around) as well as
regularly attending troop meetings.
You probably don't need to get that drastic. All you need is to require
Youth Protection training. Fast Start would be great, but isn't necessary
for parents who aren't registered.
basically if you want to come on outings you have to be an ASM. the problem
that this creates is yet another barrier to getting parents to participate
in the program. I often find myself being the only one that will honestly
participate as a leader. I fear that adding this requirement will increase
the burden on me. please offer ideas and experience.....
In reality you can't stop a parent from attending an activity their son is
attending, but you CAN put limits on their participation. I would start by
letting every parent know that the adult leader (registered) in charge of
the one who will handle ALL discipline. Explain to them that your campsite
(or meeting room) is a lot like a home. Non-registered adults are guests and
should act accordingly. In other words, would they like it if you came over
to their house and started yelling at everyone? They are guests with no
authority over the unit. That's an important concept for them to understand
(they surely have authority over their child, but no one else!).
What's this do for you? Well, ultimately you will meet up with a parent who
doesn't believe in your "rules" and continues to act like he owns the place.
After you firmly remind him of the rules, if he continues to act this way,
hand him an adult application. Explain to him that if he feels so strongly
about things he should sign up and help you out. If he refuses, then ask him
to let you do your job. If he accepts, get him signed up for training ASAP.
Limiting which adults CAN attend an activity does put a burden on you, and
it leads to an argument you can't win. It's better to limit their
participation since you can easily win that argument ("Sorry, you're not
registered. It's that liability insurance thing."), and often leads to
greater involvement in the unit.
BTW, I know how you feel :-(
AJ Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org, Scoutmaster Troop 381
http://members.aol.com/Scouts381/ "Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout Desktop
Great Trail Council - Old Portage District - Akron, Ohio
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City