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    • #48352
      Sandi Langford

      As the committee chair for our troop, I’d like some input on a few subjects we have trouble with. We are have difficulties with our scoutmaster who does not want to attend committee meetings or read the minutes, wants to take siblings on outings, is often late to meetings and outings or doesn’t go at all, has left scouts on a campout without direct adult supervision (it was a combined cub/boy scout outing and there were other adults but they were with the pack not the troop). These are just a few. The most recent being a tirade about my telling her she could not take her 8 year old daughter on an outing. If it was a case of there not being enough adults and she had to bring her daughter in order to not cancel the outing, that would have been ok, but that isn’t the case. Please help me figure out what we need to do.

    • #48361

      My first suggestion is to meet with your chartered organization representative (maybe even the institutional head) and determine what kind of program they want the troop to have. Some want the family-friendly stuff (in spite of what the G2SS says about younger siblings); others, not at all.

      Then, you two might better be able to figure out the boundaries when you talk to the SM about what needs to change versus what folks would like to change. If the “need to change” items aren’t possible, it’s time to recruit a new SM.

      Note that not every committee feels the need to have the SM present at their meetings 100% of the time. (Some would rather hear from the SPL.) But, they compensate by having really good communication. The CC says, “SM needs ___. How can we get it for her?” The MC’s step up. Move on to next item of business. CC later lets the SM know who will be doing what for her and what items were left on the table.

    • #48382

      Well, you have two choices: 1) find another Scoutmaster or 2) give the Scoutmaster an ultimatum about expectations (and be ready for 1 to take place). Regardless, you need to be looking for a new SM.

    • #49241

      I know this is later to the party, but it really sounds like your Scoutmaster has forgotten (1) that the Committee sets policy, not the Scoutmaster, and (2) some of the rules she is flouting are set down by BSA, not the troop. Basically, she works for you and if she doesn’t like it, she needs to take a hike. And she should be told that in exactly those terms.

      The suggestion to meet with your COR is golden. The COR can “hire” and “fire” the Scoutmaster (and any other adult leader, for that matter) every year at recharter. You Scoutmaster has no say in that decision unless the CO permits it. I will mention, though, I was once in a troop where the COR would just do whatever the SM wanted, and so that was not much help even in the presence of blatant rule breaking.

      If you are not getting much help there, talk to your Unit Commissioner and District Executive. In that same situation, the SM also had the fix in here, too. But maybe your organization is better.

      If the SM won’t mend her ways and you get no help from your COR, UC, or DE, then I don’t know what to tell you. When this happened to me, I just changed troops.

    • #49411

      Let’s be perfectly clear on this topic. We are here FOR THE BOYS. Anyone who doesn’t conform to that needs to be escorted out the door! You owe NOTHING to an adult who isn’t doing their respective job correctly… volunteer or not. “Firing” them is absolutely (albeit unfortunately) sometimes needed. Hire/fire is the responsibility of the Charter Organization (who may delegate it to the Charter Organizational Rep). The Committee should RECOMMEND the immediate removal of the SM and push on the COR to make it happen ASAP before a boy suffers an injury or places your charter in legal liability for gross negligence (now that you publicly stated you KNOW the SM is disobeying guidelines!)

      The Scoutmaster is NOT part of the Unit Committee, but he does ANSWER to them. The Committee is OWED a Scoutmaster’s report each month on the agenda, advancement, behavior, and general health of the unit so that they can affirm that the Program being offered is in accordance with the BSA charter.

      What you described is not just a “lazy” Scoutmaster, but one who REPEATEDLY places the health and safety of the boys in jeopardy by not following BSA guidelines. Remember that you CHARTER the BSA program from National BSA. Neither the committee or the SM are free to “make up their own program” any more than a McDonald’s franchise owner is free to start selling Pizza and hot dogs. When you call yourself “boy scouts” you have to operate as National outlines, and this Scoutmaster is so far out of bounds that he should be fired immediately.

    • #290195

      Ego Driven ScoutMaster Girl Troop – We recently joined BSA in Feb 2019. My scout was eager to join and left GS for this. While she has had a good time thus far the troop has since taken a dark and worrisome path. The current SM has gotten rid of her ASM (leader disagreements on how to lead we were told) and the SM has decided to take it out on the scout that was the ASM’s daughter. We have witnessed stonewalling the scout from even reaching tenderfoot. The girl wants to get advancements.

      We have seen the SM’s daughter be the first to 2nd Class. She even made her daughter the PL of the girls troop. Only like 5 girls in the troop.

      The SM has prior cub experience and her husband is the boy side SM. Because the troops are “linked” the Husband and wife SM duo act like they “own” the troops. They both have no one for the 3rd committee chair and both act for 2 out of the 3 key chairs. How is this possible in the first place??? Isn’t this a conflict of interest??

      Anyways, they have set up a “untouchable” leader circle with a few key players that if you have a problem with anyone that is leading there is NO one to talk to and no where to go for help that isn’t already part of the scout “mafia” circle they have set up.

      Already we heard that the ASM tried to work things out but the SM wasn’t interested and asked her to step down as ASM. Is this even possible?? The troop is only months old and already the SM is getting rid of leadership.. This SM has no other help from the girls side. No parents want to help out, I know I don’t after hearing about this for fear of a fate of the ASM. This ASM was a good person and had some disagreements with the SM on a few occasions but the ASM was always there to help the troop from our perspective.

      I am wondering if this is even “acceptable” in the Scout world to do what the SM did?? Can your SM stonewall a scout, remove leadership without anyone else involved and set up a “godfather” circle of key players that makes the troop leaders untouchables to adult discipline or change?? It really doesn’t look good to us.

      I also heard that one of the girls told my scout that the SM is starting to tell the girls and the old ASM’s scout in particular that she is not behaving and my scout knows this girl and knows she doesn’t misbehave. Is she trying to find a way to “kick out the old ASM’s scout” and if so is there anyway to stop this or get this SM in trouble for doing this??

      I am worried that if the SM is capable of doing this to a leader and their scout family what does it mean for the rest of us in the group. I don’t want my scout family to endure such childish behavior and scout ego of this SM..

      The SM is also not running the troop as a “scout lead troop” from what we have seen in the least. We are new to scouting but have seen other troops run more like what a “scout” lead troop than this. This troop is run more like a Girl Scout troop (by leaders).

      It really has not been a great experience watching it unfold and makes us feel as though we could be on the list down the road to experience the same stuff should we lend a hand in any of it or upset the SM, her husband or her 4 other clowns she has in her inner circle. She has also kept us parents in the dark.. its not reassuring..

      We are very limited on girl troops through BSA and so we are not sure what to do. should we try elsewhere and drive over 30 minutes.. or is there a process to help this scout out.. the parents of the scout don’t even want to be a part of scouting anymore and they are new to this all too.. it really hurt them and in turn us as we are friends with this girls parents..

      this is not looking good for the troop to grow. I dont know if I want any other scouts to join if this could be their future in this troop.. as a parent this is not what I envisioned.

      any helpful advice would be great..

    • #290765

      First, throw out the “we heard” and “I heard” hearsay and focus on what you have witnessed. Second, remember that committee members don’t always agree with how parents think a troop should be run. If they, or the SM, are doing something you can prove goes against scouting policies, and refuse to address the issues, contact your district representative and have them get involved. Since there are only five girls in your troop, do you mean Senior Patrol Leader rather than Patrol Leader? SPL is an elected position, and the SM plays only a minimal role in that process. The key here is to be objective and work off of facts.

      • #291304

        Jason, one-patrol troops don’t often fill the SPL position. The youth elect their PL and go (and hopefully grow) from there.

    • #291300

      I would talk to the Charter Organization Representative and/or the Committee Chair about your opinion that the SM is not delivering on the promise of scouting. But, lets be practical. If parents don’t get trained sign on to the committee, there’s no way that this situation can be rectified. You need to decide if you and the parents are going to bond together, encourage the SM to be more charitable, and discourage pejoratives like “clowns” from all parties involved.

      I’m sorry that BSA is not co-ed, because switching troops would be an easier decision for you. However, this type of thing happens with Boy troops, and the distance to the better troop can indeed be a 30 minute drive.

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