Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Scenario
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 13:07:39 -0500
<James Wellborn wrote>
SM hasn't been very available for 12-14 months. Taking care of difficult
work and demanding family situations with strength, dignity, determination
Other adult Scouters have helped the Troop move from great conflict to a
rather impressive Boy-run effort with mostly 11-12 and a couple 13-14 year
At rechartering time, committee decided to restructure, recommend & name
new SM and Program SA (the ones that had been doing it) to the relief of
SM called CC to state that the vote and recommendation exceeded the
committee's authority (It's the Charter org's responsibility and obligation
to select SM, true.) SM plan's to stay SM even though he has been unable to
attend almost all functions for over year (Overtime "obligations" -
legitimate and totally understandable an "would do the same thing in your
I think your best course of action is to appeal to his enlightened
self-interest. Basically, you say "We're only doing this to make your life
easier..." Make sure you aren't dumping him into the background, though.
Give him a choice of any other position (preferably one he can fit into his
schedule), and make sure he feels like a part of the program.
"The Troop is in better shape than it has been in years. Keep doing what
you're doing. I'm SM until I or Charter Organization says otherwise." That
alienated the CC to the point of "I quit. Committee makes
recommendations. If they aren't honored, what's the sense. This is a
voluntary situation and who needs this grief?" CC has been Eagle youth,
District and Council Eagle Review board, and is an exceptionally talented
group discussion-focus leader.
This sounds like someone mis-communicated. Yes, the CO has the
responsibility of selecting and approving all adult leaders. Once the
original leadership was in place, however, leadership selection became the
responsibility of the committee. Approval of all adult leaders still rests
with the CO, but the committee has responsibility for the leaders selected.
Since your CO is mostly in name only, you may have to develop a better
relationship with them BEFORE you can resolve the SM issue. This is one
area, though, where I would be extremely careful. I have seen more than one
unit try to develop a closer relationship with their CO, only to end up
looking for a new CO. As part of this new relationship, the CO might look as
who is involved with the unit to see if anyone is also involved with their
organization (i.e. members of a church, active in a service organization,
etc.). If no one from the CO is involved with the unit, there is the
possibility the CO will decide they really don't need a Scout troop.
So do I push it more, work with ethical Machiavellian (oxymoron) efforts,
ignore it and acquiesce until SM "comes around"... I'm not interested in
passing the buck to someone else (District Commish... viewed by SM as
members of the "stinkin'yankees" carpetbagging the District... ohhhh
remember you're hearing only my side
of the story....)
If you push the situation more, things are liable to get even worse. If you
ignore it, it will most certainly NOT go away and the SM will likely NEVER
come around (ignoring it will imply to him that he has won!). As for the
Machiavellian efforts? A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,
courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
As someone who was, at one time, one of those "stinkin' yankee
carpetbaggers" I'd just like to say that it should be possible to enlist the
aid of the unit or district commissioner without causing a public scene.
Most times commissioners would rather provide support and advice so YOU (the
unit) can fix your own problems. The commissioner only has to become a
carpetbagger when the two sides become so entrenched it becomes virtually
impossible for the unit to function without outside help. Furthermore, the
commissioner should be looking for a solution that will benefit the unit
(and everyone involved in it) rather than coming in and taking over.
A. J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org , Scoutmaster Troop 381
Home of the Unofficial Win95 Boy Scout Desktop Theme,
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"