Poll: Boy Scouts - I would appreciate your input

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by DTRM30, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello fellow BYC members !

    I'm hoping you can help me out on a few issues I'm having.

    Below are two generic questions regarding Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts are age 11-18. The Troop referenced has approximately 25 boys in it- with most of them between the age of 12 and 16. They go hiking, backpacking, swimming, camping, rock climbing as well as learn skills such as first aid, knots, and etc. Trips can be one night to several nights. This is boy scouts, not cub scouts - there is a big difference between the two. In cub scouts the parents have to be more involved and there are a lot more restrictions on what they can do.

    Below the questions is a basic structure for the Scouts if you are unfamiliar with them.

    Question 1:
    You have a child between the ages of 11 and 18 who is(wants to be) a member of the Boy Scouts. You learn that the Scoutmaster (the leader of the Troop, sort of the CEO) is 23 years old. Do you feel comfortable in his ability to be responsible and mature in matters of your child's safety and well being, have the capability to handle himself appropriately, be an effective leader on outings and camping trips, and be able to maintain discipline within the Troop (keeping the boys engaged and not having them running wild) ?

    A. Yes - I'm comfortable with this
    B. No - I don't feel comfortable with it.
    C. Not Sure - It depends on the person. Some are more responsible than others.

    Question 2:
    Do you feel it an ethical violation and/or a conflict of interest if the committee chairperson is the mother of the Scoutmaster, who are residing in the same household ?
    (The chairperson runs the committee, and the scoutmaster runs the troop. It is supposed to be a checks and balance system. Keeping in mind that in reality, many decisions have been/are made with little to no involvement of the general commitee via telephone calls between these two individuals.)

    A. Yes, I feel it is an ethical violation/conflict of interest to have two members in the same household in control of both aspects of the Troop.
    B. No, I would feel comfortable having a mother/son team running the Troop and don't see it as a conflict or violation.
    C. I'm not sure.


    Please feel free to make any comments or list any concerns you see with either of these two situations. Also, if you want to, please feel free to list your reasoning, experience, training or otherwise if you want to.

    Please note, these results may be used in our next committee meeting - likely to be in early December. I'm hoping to get a good general sampling from people whom I have never met, who are not affiliated with our Troop, and know nothing about the people. Names will not be used. I respect your privacy !


    The basic structure of the Boy Scouts is this - in this order of authority from top to bottom - the Chartered Organization having the final say. It is very simiar to a corporate structure of shareholders, a board of directors and a CEO:

    Chartered Organization - a Church, Lions Club, YMCA, etc. that agrees to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop. (would be the shareholders)

    Chartered Organization Representative - a person involved with the above organization who is appointed by the organization to hold a seat on the committee to ensure that the Committee and the Troop operate within the guidelines as set forth by the organization and the Boy Scouts of America. (appointed by the shareholders)

    Committee Chairperson - The individual in charge of the committee, setting meetings, deciding agenda's and has ultimate responsibility of the actions of the committee. This individual was appointed by the Chartered Organization Representative (like the chairperson of a board of directors).

    Committee - group of individuals who meet once or more per month (sometimes less) to decide on matters involving finances, program, activities and etc. as presented by the Scoutmaster. The committee is made up of various individuals, male and female, with varying backgrounds (like the board of directors)

    Scoutmaster - individual appointed by the committee who is responsible for the day to day business of the Troop. He delegates planning, meets with scout leadership (the boys themselves), and makes decisions regarding activities and the remaining structure of the Troop. he leads camping trips and outings. (in essence, the CEO). He submits these plans to the committee for approval and to discuss funding.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  2. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    We have several young Scout master . I think one is only 24 . He is a soldier and the father of two of the cub scouts. One of our scout masters wifes is i think also involved in scouting cant remember how,but she is. Could be involved in money, but its a good thing because she happens to work for a bank.
     
  3. featherfinder

    featherfinder Runner Lover

    Well not sure if boy scouts is set up the same as Girl Scouts but it sounds like it.

    I am 20 and so is my co-leader. We have our own troop and have been in since we were both in kindergarden and our parents of our girls trust us.

    So for question 1: A

    We also have alot of family involvment on the board and some of them are fathers and partners of the leader of the troop. So i do not see why living together would be a problem. As long as rules are followed.

    2: B
    As long as rules are followed and they can run it together without bending things for one another.


    Only you know the situation so go with what you are comfortable with.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Interesting questions. My wife was the charter organization representative (a church). I was Assistant Scoutmaster and Advancement Chair. None of our sons earned Eagle but all three were in scouts for a few years. We stayed involved even after our boys quit. If it is run right, Scouting is a great program.

    My answer to both your questions is, it depends. Yes, that is young for a Scoutmaster, but some people are much more responsible than others. A whole lot will depend on who he has supporting him. How active is the committee? Is it just a rubber stamp or does the committee take an active part in running the troop? And, very important, what is the quaility of the Assistant Scoutmasters? They can and often do run a whole lot of the important details. In some troops, the Scoutmaster is the one really running the show. In some troops, the Scoutmaster is more of a cheerleader, keeping the boys fired up and interested.

    I think part of it is how well organized is the troop from a tradition aspect? Where I'm coming from here is what kind of activities do the boys actually do? I've seen some troops that go to one specific campsite each month. They same activity always takes place in the same month every year. Enough people know what is going on so there is really not a lot of special organizing going on. Then some troops like ours were less settled. We still had specific trips we took, certain places for campouts or a specific canoe trip we did every year, but we always did something different each year. We never went to the same summer or winter camp, for example. And we'd make special trips at times, like going from the New Orleans area to hike the Shiloh Battlefield. If the troop is less settled in their ways, you need more experienced people in charge. But you always need someone along that can handle an emergency, because with a group of boys that age, you will have emergencies.

    Same type of thing on a Mother-Son Committee Chair and Scoutmaster. If these are the type of people that are going to run things and the committee sets back and does nothing except rubber stamp, there could be some concerns. I doubt the son is going to be real independent from his mother, but the Scoutmaster is essentially a hired hand. He is there to take care of the details and be responsible while they are on the outing. He can suggest things to do and make some plans, but a decent committee will sometimes tell him "No" or give him some pretty good direction.

    The bottom line is what kind of troop do they run. If they follow the scouting principles, have the boys doing a lot of the planning, have the boys actually teach each other, and are not afraid to let the boys go a bit hungry if what they cook is inedible, then it can work pretty good. The adults might have a little emergency rations if they really screw up their meal, but the boys need to know there are consequences. It is surprising how quickly thyey become pretty good cooks and how seldom they forget critical items for preparing the meal. Nobody ever died from missing one meal.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I think that the answers to your questions would depend entirely upon the individuals involved. Scouting just like most volunteer type organizations is having a problem finding people who give a darn and really want to give the time needed to run the organization/charity/club/service - anything that gets you up off your butt and into action.
     
  6. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

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    C

    and


    C


    There's a lot more to the answer than what is represented here. Nothing is black and white, and also, you haven't stated any specific concerns with specific violations. The possibility for corruption exists everywhere, and has nothing to do with age or familial ties.

    (KS, who has learned not to look for trouble where none currently resides...)
     
  7. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    As of yesterday, I have two boy scouts.

    From what I've seen, I wouldn't be bothered with the scoutmaster and troop committee chair sharing a household. Decisions aren't made by either, alone. They are both answerable to the entire committee. I have yet to see a charter organization with heavy involvement with the exception of LDS troops. In our cub scout pack, people often served as one and then the other.

    The fact of the matter is, most troops are begging for volunteers. It is the same with any organization, you see the same people volunteering. The president of the PTA at my son's middle school was board president when my kid was in preschool. You will get the same volunteers, and they will just swap positions.

    The young scoutmaster raises different concerns. If the scoutmaster is familiar with scouting, came through a boy lead troop, and is a responsible adult, age shouldn't be a factor. That being said, most adult men who are involved in scouting have a child in boy scouts. As a parent, I might tend to be a little suspicious of a young man, with no boy scout aged children, leading a troop. If it was a young man I knew, had seen come up through the troop and possibly had a brother in the troop, that would also influence my decision making.

    As a young scoutmaster, I would make it very clear that two deep leadership will be practiced. I know this concept is more emphasized in cub scouts, but for the scoutmaster's safety, and the parents peace of mind I would make it a clear policy of the troop.

    All troops have slightly different cultures. Some are so gung ho that they are a little scary, some put more emphasis on service than others. I think that if everything is upfront, and young scoutmaster, a pack committee chair sharing a household would be fine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  8. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so far for all your responses. I agree that it really does depend on the person. There is an assistant scoutmaster who is 24 who is very trustworthy and responsible.

    The problem is that the candidate does not work well with others, but most of the committe doesn't see it because they are not on the outings. The other assisants have threatended to quit if he is elected because they feel they cannot work with him.

    He as admitted he does not like the people running the district - which to me poses a concern over his willingness to participate in the district scouting program, and he has shown some serious lack of regard for rules. Examples: As summer camp, they scouts are allowed to catch any amphibian, reptile, insect or fish for the nature center. But not mamals ie rodents, and the like. This individual caught a vole (like a mouse but with no tail) - kept it in a box in his tent - and then was talking about sending it "into space" on the rockets they were launching at the end of the week. Thankfully, that never happend - at least as far as I know. Example 2 - at the camporee the troop set up their site near a path to a river. The district person in charge specifically told them they were not to go near the river due to safety concerns - the river was running high to to recent large amounts of rain. Not an hour later, this individual was down by the river.

    He also put the safety of the kids at risk on more than one occassion, but the 1/2 of the committe, which are close friends with the chairperson and her son, don't acknowledge it. I am concerned about liability on my part being a commitee member if this person is selected. I also don't want to quit the committee b/c I have two sons in this Troop and want to look out for their best interest.

    (I saw, with my own eyes, this individual lead several younger scouts into the ocean on a sandbar during an incomming tide, without assessing their swimming ability. As the water was rising, the younger scouts were up to their armpits - and were going to need to swim in with the waves and currents. Some had not yet taken the BSA swim test. This individual did not even once look behind him to see if the scouts were OK. As BAD situation - and on another occasion, at Philmont - talked the group into going down a closed trail to save a hour of time because he wanted to get to a burger place. The trail was steep, had lots of loose rock, and took much longer than anticipated because of it's difficulty. I see it as - a trail is marked closed for a reason.)

    The chairperson is a former board of ed person who was voted off by the town b/c of her attitude - and has brought a huge political agenda in, and is playing the political posturing game to get her son in, so he can put it on his resume. I have known her for 10 years and can say she does not play by the rules, will ignore you if she doesn't like what you say, and will exploit any loophole she can find. Problem here is she is friends with the COR who appointed her so it's not likely the committee will be able to pursuade the COR to find another chair person - and there aren't any volunteers willing at this point.

    I didn't want to post the details because I wanted an unbiased opinion on the maturity issue. She is claiming he is mature enough b/c he's been in scouts and has planned outings. I don't believe so based on the risk he took with these kids. But they are a stubborn group that will not hear any of it. Her response to my concern over his maturity was that the other candidate did not take notes during a round table meeting - and instead talked to a fellow member about the bathroom for his new house. Big difference here in my mind - as risking the lives of kids is a lot different than not taking notes when her son already was.

    Unfortunately, she appears to be intending to drag out this process as long as possible until she gets what she wants by just wearing the rest of us down.

    It's not a good situation with no easy answers in sight.

    Otherwise, the troop is fairly active - and has a good group of leaders that they are at serious risk of losing.
     
  9. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mom'sfolly :

    As of yesterday, I have two boy scouts.

    From what I've seen, I wouldn't be bothered with the scoutmaster and troop committee chair sharing a household. Decisions aren't made by either, alone. They are both answerable to the entire committee. I have yet to see a charter organization with heavy involvement with the exception of LDS troops. In our cub scout pack, people often served as one and then the other.

    The fact of the matter is, most troops are begging for volunteers. It is the same with any organization, you see the same people volunteering. The president of the PTA at my son's middle school was board president when my kid was in preschool. You will get the same volunteers, and they will just swap positions.

    The young scoutmaster raises different concerns. If the scoutmaster is familiar with scouting, came through a boy lead troop, and is a responsible adult, age shouldn't be a factor. That being said, most adult men who are involved in scouting have a child in boy scouts. As a parent, I might tend to be a little suspicious of a young man, with no boy scout aged children, leading a troop. If it was a young man I knew, had seen come up through the troop and possibly had a brother in the troop, that would also influence my decision making.

    As a young scoutmaster, I would make it very clear that two deep leadership will be practiced. I know this concept is more emphasized in cub scouts, but for the scoutmaster's safety, and the parents peace of mind I would make it a clear policy of the troop.

    All troops have slightly different cultures. Some are so gung ho that they are a little scary, some put more emphasis on service than others. I think that if everything is upfront, and young scoutmaster, a pack committee chair sharing a household would be fine.

    I agree that this is the way it is supposed to work, but decisions have been made without anyone being involved - and finding out afterwards.

    I also agree with the concern over why he would want to hang out with a bunch of middle and high school kids evry weekend rather than go out with his friends. He does enjoy scouting, and made eagle scout 5 years ago. But .... I still question his motive.​
     
  10. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:very true. Unfortunately, this family has a tendency to be about whatever gain is in it for them, they do what they want and don't care what anyone else says - with this, I am assuming, being a title for his resume since he wants to go back to school to be a teacher.
     

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