scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Help! I've been offered an "opportunity"!
Mark Alman (alman@BIGFOOT.COM
Tue Feb 29 2000 - 12:05:23 CST
Chuck, good luck in your new "direction" in life and I sincerely hope that
your future experience will be much different than mine and the CC I have
when we were asked by the District to start a new Troop.
Let me relate to you our "challenges" and "experiences".
Approximately two years ago, the District was approached by several Packs
in our part of town to start a new Troop. My CC and myself happened to
belong to a Troop in the southern part of town, but we were known in the
District as being hard workers and good with the Scouts. We were both ASM's
at the time.
I was asked to be the SM by our DE and the above person volunteered to be
to be the CC, once she heard. (BTW, our sons, as well as several other
Scouts in the Troop, have suffered over the years with an obvious bias
towards the SM's son by the SM and the SM arbitrarily making/changing rules
regarding advancement on his whim. Basically, if your son was advancing
faster than his, the rules would be changed to slow their progress.)
Our sons offered to help us get this other Troop going, but still wanted
to remain in the first Troop as they were going to summer camp and
Philmont. Several other Scouts offered to help as well.
Well, after summer camp and Philmont was over with, they were forced to
decide which Troop they would belong to (this was after recharter, so that
wasn't a factor). Before our sons were given a chance to decide, they were
notified that they were out of the Troop and their records were sent to
them. My son also happened to be the SPL and in the midst of his second six
months. No complaints about his performance or the performance of the other
six Scouts helping us.
Now what did this accomplish and what did we learn/experience:
1.) Troop A lost most of their Venture/Staff Scouts and hurt their
Troop and their Scouts. (It did benefit ours immensely).
2.) Each Scout who was given "the bum's rush" or has transferred to
our Troop since has been bad-mouthed severely by the old Troop.
(Yes, we still have our "moles" over there). The last example
occurred a week ago.
3.) Our Troop, the CC, and myself have been branded as stealing Scouts.
How do we or did we do this? We don't know hypnotism and they
weren't forced. Our DE at the time stated that, "Scouts vote
with their feet." I agree.
4.) The good news: We have grown from ~6 Scouts in April of '98 to over
40 as of today, and we have new Scouts being recruited by their
buddies. We've been adding 2-4 Scouts a month.
5.) The bad news: Troop A is slowly dying and is down to ~10 Scouts.
Guess who gets the blame?
My CC and I were bad-mouthed to a lot of people in the District, the DE (a
great one I might add) has since quit due to overwork, long hours, and BS
like this, and it has changed my opinion of a lot of people that I used to
think highly of.
Fortunately, the CC, my wife, and I have stuck together and fought the
good fight. We are on the same page (Scout-led/run from Day 1, we are
absolutely here for the boys and damn the torpedos, and offer a great and
exciting program including rockclimbing, caving, fun trips, and activities,
and they will come).
Has it been difficult? HECK, YES!!!!! Would I do it again? Hard to say,
but I probably would.
I apologize for the length of this and my venting, but after two years, I
still become upset by the gossiping, back-biting, innuendo, and untrue
accusations hurled our way by experienced Scouters who say one thing, but
do entirely different things when they think no one is looking.
Good luck Chuck and you will be in my prayers. I wish you all the best and
would hate to see any of the above befall you.
YIS (and I mean that),
SM - Troop 67