Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Transfer Authority
Re: Transfer Authority
Dewitte A. Baisch
Thu, 1 Oct 1998 23:05:20 -0400
James Wellborn <wellboj@HITTER.NET> wrote:
>Q: Does a Scoutmaster (Cubmaster) have authority to disallow a
transfer if a Scout wants to leave a Troop and join another?
First off, I've enjoyed and also learned a lot from your many posts to
Scouts-L. Now, you've got a serious question that demands a serious
answer. There are several ways to look at the situation. One way is
with the analogy that any and all troop property (including funds)
actually belong to the chartered organization, and not the troop. Well,
kids aren't property, they belong to their parents and no one else,
especially Scoutmasters (or Cubmasters). If parents wish to pull their
child from one unit and join another unit, guess what? They can!! And
they can do it with the full backing of the Boy Scouts of America!!! The
entire Scouting program is about the boys, right? Maybe, just maybe, a
change in Scouting environment (from one troop to another) is what is
needed to turn the boy around. So he has baggage, who doesn't?
Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to kick-start a person
into doing the things that he ought to be doing, and be happier while
Going by the information you posted, I am assuming (yeah, I know what
"assume" means) that the SM either hasn't had time in the past to get
with this Scout to "work out his trouble with the Troop" or didn't
notice the problem or didn't previously care or, etc., etc., etc. Now,
suddenly, there is an issue where a kid is quitting "his" (the
Scoutmaster's) troop. Way too many Scoutmasters either forget or never
were made aware that the Troop is not "their" troop, it is the boys'
troop. Our job is to train the boys to be leaders, and a few other less
important things, but we don't own the troop! The boys own it, it's
theirs, and whether it succeeds or fails should be up to them! From the
time I started with Troop 411 five years ago as an assistant
Scoutmaster, I have seen many Scouts leave the troop for dozens of
reasons, some happy, some not-so-happy. Many of these kids went on to
join other units elsewhere (we're a miltary base-sponsored unit so
"elsewhere" spans the globe!) and many just quit Scouting altogether.
Some of these kids who moved from 411, and one in particular (I'm happy
to say!) have made Eagle in other units! What I am saying here is that
a boy who may be floundering in one unit might excel in another, and he
should have that chance!
So, tell this Scoutmaster to back off. The troop committee advancement
chairperson should go ahead and fill out the necessary transfer
paperwork and hand it to the parents of the Scout. Once that Scout
joins another unit, he can request all of the transfer info through the
council, and get it! The Scoutmaster isn't even in the equation. Many
troops won't even accept information from a previous troop, only from
the losing council!
So, Jim, after 500 words or more, most of which can be deleted, the
answer you are looking for is a hard, definite, absolute, NO, the
Scoutmaster cannot deny a kid to transfer to another unit. Oh yeah,
ditto for the COR. And should either of these two individuals really get
nasty about it, mom and dad might have some pretty tasty grounds for a
lawsuit (it's a new bumper sticker, "Lawsuits Happen!").
Whew! I love the Scouting program but sometimes, some issues can really
get your blood to boiling!
Good luck, Jim! This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.
Yours in Scouting,
Dewitte A. Baisch
Scoutmaster, Troop 411, Circle 7 District, Alapaha Area Council,
"...if it ain't raining, we ain't camping!"