Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Tour permits and Chain of command (venting)(me too)
Re: Tour permits and Chain of command (venting)(me too)
Settummanque, the blackeagle
Sat, 14 Aug 1999 15:41:31 CDT
James DeGhelder disagreed on my "loophole" comment about the current usage
of the BSA's Local Tour Permit. He wrote in part:
>A loophole? come now, In our unit the Charter organization approves all
>leaders whether it be the committee chair or an ASM. As a member of the
>charter organization I have complete confidence in ALL (yes I mean all) of
>the "Leaders" in the unit. I don't think that the "unit leader" is any
>better (or any worse) at insuring the safety and well being of the boys
>anymore than any of the other leaders. However, I must concede that your
>idea of having a second sign-off is Very good (sort of goes to that two-deep
It's not a confidence issue, James. To *me*, it is an accountability issue.
Without that second set of "signoffs," each of my Assistant Scoutmasters can
take a group of Scouts out somewhere, and the only people whom would even
know about the trip are the Scouts (because it's not a Troop event, the
standard "permission slips" or other notices probably don't reach the
families before the trip), the Scouter taking them and the other Scouter
signing off the "unit committee" line on the Tour Permit.
And let's face it: our Council's professional and professional-technical
staff simply don't have the time to decipher signatures and "match them up"
against names on a charter form, let alone insuring that the person that
submitted the form IS a part of that unit let alone a REGISTERED Scouter
with that unit.
They've got time only to insure that the form is filled out, complete,
signed twice, before they stamp it or sign it, tear the bottom part off and
give it to the Scouter or put it in the mail to that Scouter. And of
course, they are polite enough to say "Have a great trip!"
I wholeheartly agree with you, James...I as Scoutmaster of my Troop should
have the utmost confidence in the abilities and skills of ALL of my
Assistants and MOST of those adults serving on the Troop's Committee. I am
responsible for training and coaching them. I am responsible for getting
them to understand that this is the youth's program. But when someone takes
our Scouts out for an event that NOBODY (me, the Troop Committee Chair nor
the chartered organization) knows about in advance (and hey...a couple day's
advance notice is good enough for me and I'm sure it's good enough for most
Scouters...stuff come up and opportunities present themselves and not always
within that one week or so advance warning giving EVERYONE a chance to "buy
in on it" and support it the way it should be supported...), you just gotta
>Scoutmasters and Committee Chairs are focal points to help organize and
>orchestrate the unit. That doesn't mean that the ASM's and other Committee
>members now become useless appendages. Quite the contrary, If a
>Scoutmaster or Committee chair does a very good job (especially in large
>troops) there is room for the ASM's to take charge, as in the ASM in charge
of >the new scouts. He can take the First-year scouts on an outing to earn
some of >their first-class requirements without involving the Life scouts
who would just
>get bored anyway. Of course, this assumes that ALL this occurs through the
>PLC (which IMHO IS the best way). And maybe even give the old >Scoutmaster
a weekend with his/her spouse(or Significant others I guess >now?)<G>.
Agreed. But those things are PLANNED and at least the Scoutmaster is aware
of those things occurring. In the situation presented here however, a Cub
Scout Pack's leadership (Cubmaster, Committee Chair and chartered
organization) did NOT know that a Den Leader and a Committeemember was
taking Cub Scouts on an outing....it wasn't planned, wasn't a part of the
Pack's approved program for that month, and a recipe for some disasterous
things to occur (not to say that those adults were not capable of providing
effective leadership...I have NO WAY of knowing or being aware of that; I am
saying that without the LEADERSHIP OF THE UNIT being aware that an event is
going on and involved THEIR YOUTH MEMBERS, that there's the possibility of
problems...which would have been easily remedied by a "second tier approval"
at the unit level.
Thanks for your note, James...we're on the right track together!!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Joint Information Bureau Deputy Director
US SOUTHCOM FCE (Enhanced New Horizons)
APO Miami, AA 34042 (Soto Cano AB, Honduras)
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