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Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.


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#21 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 10:26 AM

Yah, what @Eagledad said, eh?

 

Workin' with lots of troops, yeh quickly give up da notion that there's One Right Way.  Either that or yeh become a commissioner who's just an annoyin' pain in da kiester to all and sundry. :p

 

Scoutin' is all about people.  Young people, old people, ordinary folks.   It's a game of patience and gentle nudges and gradual progress toward (hopefully) shared goals.  Adults are learnin' as much or more than the boys along the trail, eh?  Bein' a friend to da unit doesn't mean readin' to 'em from da Holy Guidebooks, it means listenin' to 'em and helpin' 'em find some approach that they can grok and buy into that gets 'em down the trail aways.

 

I think you're bein' thoughtful and doin' fine, @Eagle94-A1.  If I were to make any suggestion to tweak da current approach, I'd say 2 adult ASMs per patrol is a bit of overkill.   It also makes for da possibility of conflict if the adults don't yet share a vision.   Sometimes, the right spot for an ASM is to be in charge of somethin' really important but out of the way. ;)

 

Beavah

 

IMHO, the challenge is that me and the naysayer see the problem, but have two diametrically opposed views as to the solution. I want the youth in charge, having more authority and having responsibility. Basically solving it on the production line.

 

Naysayer wants to fix it prior to SMCs and BORs with adults reviewing the skills and saying whether the Scout is ready for the SMC and BOR or not. basically solving the problem at the end of the production.

 

And naysayer essentially wants it his way or the highway. There was some conflict over this, basically between me and him, and its ongoing. And yes it is affecting the Scouts. One ASM, the one described as levelheaded above, told the me the conflict IS starting to affect the Scouts, and he is just waiting for his son to get fed up with the troop so he can find one closer to the son's house.

 

And I think there may be another issue that is affecting this. Apparently he's upset about one of his former Cubs BOR that I sat in on. Long story short I asked the Scout about his performance as a PL, what he could do better next time, and more importantly that "once you wear the green bars, you are a leader in the troop whether you continue to wear them or not. It will be expected that you step up and help out" as my old SPL once told me. Apparently naysayer didn't like that I asked about his performance as a PL since it was not required for advancement, and the SM had discusses the matter a 2 weeks earlier and again at the SMC that nite  Which is ironic because the naysayer is all about retesting and proving oneself regarding skills, yet ask some questions about performance as a PL is a problem.

 

On a different note. It was announced last night that the troop will use NSPs for six months when the Webelos come aboard in December. Naysayer is thinking we get 16 of the 24, and 8 will drop by summer camp, keeping 8. If middle son's den comes aboard as 6-9 Scouts, and that is possible, then I will raise hell if anyone but me is assigned to them as their ASM. The Webelos do NOT need to be treated as Webelos IIIs.  My son's den rocked at the Webeloree, actually carrying the weight of the combine Webelos 1 and 2 dens, and this past weekend they did a stellar job camping. The Webelos did the cooking with minimal assistance, and I stress MINIMAL assistance from the adults. The Webelos needed a few reminders about KP at meals, but overall they did a stellar job. In fact they did better than older son's NSP on the last camp out, and most of them have been Boy Scouts for a year now! I am not going to let Naysayer, or any adult-led oriented ASM, screw up that group. yes I still consider them "MY SCOUTS."


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#22 Krampus

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

@Eagle94-A1, thy name be Sisyphus. ;) I don't envy your task. Been there and it was a looooong road to where we are now. Not sure I could fight that fight more than once.
 
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Edited by Krampus, 03 May 2016 - 11:01 AM.

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#23 Eagledad

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 11:46 AM

Eagle94, I'm curious why you haven't pursued starting a new troop? I'm sure you had the thought.

 

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#24 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:23 PM

Eagle94, I'm curious why you haven't pursued starting a new troop? I'm sure you had the thought.

 

Barry

 

Good question. 1 troop is worse off than the one I'm in. At least this one camps once a month, the one worse than mine doesn't.

 

1 troop has "maxed out" and is no longer accepting anyone.  Plus there is some "history," and I personally may not be welcome. Long story short, right before I became a DE, their SM had his membership revoked. While I was the DE, the former SM went to trial and was reinstated by the courts until he lost the case. While I had absolutely nothing to do with the situation, heck I wasn't even told he was reinstated while the court case went on until I saw him at RT and called my SE about what to do, I was the "face" of the council at the time, and there is a lot of animosity about the decision. 10 years after the court case, folks at the CO still remember that I was the DE when the troop's SM had his membership revoked..

 

2 troops are out of our league price wise. Sorry I cannot afford a $200 ski weekend or $400 summer camp every year. Espeically since middle son will be a Boy Scout January 1.

 

1 troop I know little about, except they are in trouble. We had one of their boys transfer to us and another is looking to.

 

and1 troop I am looking at, but it would be a drive.

 

BUT the #1 reason why I have not looked at other troops is because my son is happy with this one at the moment. His new patrol has one of his old CS den mates in the patrol, and one of the friends he made in the NSP is also in it. Plus I think his patrol will be OK since the level-headed ASM is working with them.


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#25 Eagledad

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:31 PM

What I mean is a "new" troop. New sponsor, new gear, NEW ADULTS. It would not be all that challenging for someone with your experience.

 

Barry


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#26 Stosh

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 12:51 PM

Good question. 1 troop is worse off than the one I'm in. At least this one camps once a month, the one worse than mine doesn't.

 

1 troop has "maxed out" and is no longer accepting anyone.  Plus there is some "history," and I personally may not be welcome. Long story short, right before I became a DE, their SM had his membership revoked. While I was the DE, the former SM went to trial and was reinstated by the courts until he lost the case. While I had absolutely nothing to do with the situation, heck I wasn't even told he was reinstated while the court case went on until I saw him at RT and called my SE about what to do, I was the "face" of the council at the time, and there is a lot of animosity about the decision. 10 years after the court case, folks at the CO still remember that I was the DE when the troop's SM had his membership revoked..

 

2 troops are out of our league price wise. Sorry I cannot afford a $200 ski weekend or $400 summer camp every year. Espeically since middle son will be a Boy Scout January 1.

 

1 troop I know little about, except they are in trouble. We had one of their boys transfer to us and another is looking to.

 

and1 troop I am looking at, but it would be a drive.

 

BUT the #1 reason why I have not looked at other troops is because my son is happy with this one at the moment. His new patrol has one of his old CS den mates in the patrol, and one of the friends he made in the NSP is also in it. Plus I think his patrol will be OK since the level-headed ASM is working with them.

 

Looks like most of the troops in the area are pretty much questionable.  As mentioned, one can always find a corner of the district and offer up an alternative program based on the BSA program. 

 

If one has something to offer Scouting in terms of understanding and skill set, one may have to make the choice of forming a new troop and having one's sons be happy where they are.  Who's to say that they will even want to stay with the dysfunctional troop. 

 

About 15 years ago, I was in a similar situation.  Left the dysfunctional troop and went to rebuild an existing one.  Went from 5 boys to 28 boys in 3 years.  Situation arose and now I'm starting from scratch yet another program.  First big campout of the season coming up with the new Webelos boys who will be crossing over in June.  Summer camp is all set and the boys seem to be excited about the whole thing, so things will be okay.  No politics in that there are no "histories" in a new troop, no "traditions" in a new troop, no "entrenched adults" in a new troop, just a clean slate from which to build a boy-led, patrol-method troop. 

 

Right now the 25+ boys crossing over have 3 options.  1) Eagle mill troop that is starting to struggle, 2) Troop that doesn't camp munch but has a long standing SM that has strong political ties to the three Cub Scout packs in the area, and then 3) my troop of new boys.

 

The split will be close to 3 way and I'm not really feeling the warm fuzzies from the other two troops for "stealing" a chuck of change out of THEIR feeder packs.  But, the boys at least have options.


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There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#27 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 04:54 PM

Sorry, for whatever reason I thought it was joining and starting.  The only organization I would feel comfortable cold calling about starting a new troop would be my church, adn there would be some obstacles, one minor, the other major.

 

Minor obstacle is facilities. The church is doing a heck of  a lot of ministry work, especially with the migrant worker community, that the facilties are in use all the time. In fact they just expanded by buying a 2 story house across the street and they are still running out of room.

 

The major obstacle is societal in my neck of the woods: anti-Catholic bias. Long story short, when I was a DE, I had a new pack looking to find a CO. When I told the folks about the Catholic Church, I was cursed out by the prospective CM, lost 75% of the Cubs, and all of the leaders save 1.Pack folded in a year.

 

Now there is a place I have been thinking about since rereading the question that had a pack and troop that folded. I know the CO still has the bulk of the gear, it's in use by the Girl Scouts, I have a history with the CO since I was the DE that started the pack and troop, and some of the lay leaders of the church wer efolks I recruited as Scout leaders when their kids were in the program.

 

It's the same CO that the naysayer was CM and an ASM at last year.


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#28 Stosh

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 07:54 PM

Just curious, why would the CO need to be your church?  I've used American Legion (great CO), another church besides my own, an independent group, and I'm looking for a CO for a Venturing Crew right now, shouldn't be that hard to find.  Finding a good CO is the least of one's worries.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#29 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 09:35 PM

Since moving back to this area, I've not been involved in the community outside of Scouting. Mother-in-law's health issues have basically caused my family life to revolve around her. It's only been the last 24 months that things have changed. Heck I wouldn't even consider taking on a primary ASM spot, let alone SM, with her health issues.  With the exception of restarting the troop that folded, I wouldn't even know who to make the first phone call and set up a meeting.

 

Thinking about it, there is another possible location. We had a pack just start, but it quickly shut down.


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#30 Krampus

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 06:48 AM

@Eagle94-A1, thought you might find this helpful in pin pointing where your unit is on one Scouter's continuum of youth leadership. Interesting take on the subject.

 

http://scoutmastercg...ip-infographic/


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#31 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 07:44 AM

Gut feeling, we are 7, possibly lowest of the low on 6. Funny thing is this. A month after crossing over to the troop as a MC, I was asked to conduct first aid training since I'm a MBC and teach  first aid and CPR at work. With the exception of CPR and AED usage, my boss told me to run those since the trainers are expensive, and brand new when I did this, I let the Scouts teach the skills.

 

I talked to the Scouts about what I expected of them. Then I used their rank as an indication of what they already knew and told them to teach a specific set of skills. So we had some folks who were Second and First Class teaching T-2-1 skills. Overall the kids did a great job. That instance I think the troop was at a 5/4 level, and it was good.


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#32 Beavah

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 09:40 AM


And naysayer essentially wants it his way or the highway. There was some conflict over this, basically between me and him, and its ongoing. And yes it is affecting the Scouts.

 

 

Yah, hmmm...

 

Nuthin' worse for units than adult conflicts, eh?

 

I'd encourage yeh to reflect a bit on how you may be contributin' to the conflict.   You're writin' a lot about "the naysayer", eh? :mad:   If yeh adopt an attitude of conflict yourself, the boys and others will buy into it.   Tryin' to work with folks, even naysayers, is da better lesson.   In a troop, the adults all have to be pullin' together or they'll surely pull the kids apart. :confused:

 

Where's the SM in all this?   Often the SM is da fellow with da Vision for the troop, eh?   The one who sets the tone.

 

Maybe I'm talkin' through my hat, but it seems to me that fixin' things in production and fixin' things at the end aren't incompatible, eh?    The reason we have SMCs and BORs is to provide feedback to program folks so that they can do a better job with production... and so that kids get feedback on where they can or need to do a better job themselves.   The two work together.  

 

Beavah


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#33 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 09:56 AM

@Beavah,

 

I'm ID'ing the one I'm having trouble with as "naysayer" because someone else labeled him that, and it provides continuity. Trust me I've tried to work with him. Heck I even sees where he is coming from regarding the problem, and I had an idea that incorporated some of the things he wants, i.e. skills review and retesting,  with things I see would improve  the troop by being youth led , i.e. building patrol spirit and allowing those Scouts with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to take ownership on advancement. Specifically having a month of intra-patrol competitions, say Scout Olympics, so that the meetings are fun, build patrol spirit ( which was severely lacking prior to the reorg, but now even more so), and REVIEWS SKILLS ( emphsis not shouting)

 

ASM in question, when I tried to talk to him about the idea says, :" No, I don't want to hear it. I'm done...." and walks off.

 

Regarding the SM, I know his health is bad, and he has been relying on the ASMs for vision, specificllay 1 whose job is challegneing.  It now seems as if the ASM above, who is one of his former Scouts, is now the major influence and providing the vision, especially since I haven't been at the last two leaders meeting because one was doen while I was doing BORs, the other was spur of the moment.

 

 I had a nice long chat with the son while we walked the neighborhood with packs on. STARTING A NEW TROOP IS NOT AN OPTION AT THIS TIME! ( caps are emphasis, not shouting). He has friends in the troop, and wants to stay with them. I told him that if a new troop was to start, I think 2 of his close friends who are already sitting on the fence would jump at the opportunity. Plus some of his old den mates would follow him.  He doesn't want to do that to his current troop and wants to try and change the troop from the inside.

 

His ideas on changing the troop range from moderate to extreme. I admit,I gave him a 3rd option he is not too thrilled about, but realized it needs to be an option.

 

Moderate is  getting a major thorns a roses letter out asking for what the scouts what they like about the troop, what they do not like about the troop, and ideas to fix the troop. Then take those ideas to improve the troop and come up with a plan.

 

Extreme is ignoring any adult mandates and doing their own thing, and having a rebellion. When he made that comment, he then sang a a quote from a song he learned in history class about the French Revolution.

 

More later


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#34 Beavah

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 10:36 AM

Moderate is  getting a major thorns a roses letter out asking for what the scouts what they like about the troop, what they do not like about the troop, and ideas to fix the troop. Then take those ideas to improve the troop and come up with a plan.

 

Extreme is ignoring any adult mandates and doing their own thing, and having a rebellion. When he made that comment, he then sang a a quote from a song he learned in history class about the French Revolution.

 

LOL.

 

Yah, well, it seems like da lad has things well in hand, eh?   I'd follow his lead.  :)

 

Sometimes we forget that da things that cause the most growth in kids aren't the smooth, well-run things, eh?   They're the times when the lads face adversity and challenge and have to improvise.    Just like the way the "epic" bad weather campout makes for da best stories (and bonding),  workin' through hard discussions or a rebellion or two also makes for good stories and good learnin'. 

 

Yeh trained him, eh?  Trust him and let him lead! :D

 

Beavah


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#35 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 01:44 PM

I'm back.

 

The option I suggested to him is that he runs again for SPL, and if elected do things the way they are suppose to be done. Grant you it's six months away from the next election, they just did them Monday, but  I am putting the bug in his ear.

 

@Beavah

 

Yes, I helped trained him. I trust him, and I'm willing to let him lead the way. I go where he goes. But with some of the adults now in the troop, I need to quote one of the internet memes I've seen, that actually features one of my Eagles. "We got your six covered."  Yep that meme with the 6'11" Marine LT carrying a guy in the backpack, both armed with M-4s has one of my Eagles in it. They didn't call him BIGFOOT for nothing. ;)

 

EDITED:  I have a bad feeling that one of the adults would sabotage things if my son, or any Scout for that matter, would try to change things that he disagreed with. The troop decided to make custom neckers using triangular bandages, custom patches, and his embroidery machine. To make it easier, the embroiery was just going to put an edge on it and sew the patches on.. Long story short the ASM really doesn't see the need for neckerchiefs, and doesn't like to wear them. The goal was to get enough neckers for the youth for the court of honor. Didn't happen, Next we were going to try and get them for the camporee, 2 weeks after the court of honor.  It didn't happen. And yes, this is the ASM who is being a challenge.


Edited by Eagle94-A1, 04 May 2016 - 02:11 PM.

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#36 Beavah

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:54 AM

@Eagle94-A1, what was da problem with da youth gettin' the neckers?   Oh, ah, just reread that.  It's his embroidery machine.  

 

Easy answer to that, eh?  Just go find someone else with an embroidery machine. :laugh:   Even if yeh have to pay a bit.   "Well, Mr. Naysayer, you just seemed really busy and we didn't want to take up any more of your time, so we went ahead and did it ourselves.  A Scout is Courteous." :)

 

It's that sort of "rebellion" that I think is great for kids to learn, eh?  If there's a roadblock yeh don't complain, yeh don't argue or fight... yeh just go around, or over, or under, or through.   :D    It's a good lesson for boys to learn, eh?  It's usually not good use of our time tryin' to change other people.  We've got complete control of ourselves, though, so we can keep movin' things forward.  Then they can either follow or be left behind. ;)

 

The fellow who does the work is the fellow who controls da outcome.

 

Beavah


Edited by Beavah, 05 May 2016 - 08:55 AM.

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#37 SSScout

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:59 AM

""If I were to make any suggestion to tweak da current approach, I'd say 2 adult ASMs per patrol is a bit of overkill.""

 

Maybe two Scouts per 6 adult leaders...... :)   


Edited by SSScout, 05 May 2016 - 09:00 AM.

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#38 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:03 PM

Interesting conversation tonite at roundtable. Long story short, the Webelos Den leader of the pack that my troop charters tell me that we should get all 12 of his Scouts. He still plans on visiting troops to make sure his scouts find troops that meet their needs though. HOWEVER, he also told me that one of the Bear dads knows the ASM above, growing up in the troop with him back in the day. He's commented that if the ASM is invovled with the troop, he will not send his son to the troop.

 

This is going to get interesting.

 

Going off on a bit of a tangent, WDL was telling me how his older son is having a better time in the troop now, mostly because we were letting Scouts teach for a while.  I told the WDL that my son joined the troop because of him. My son has that scout on a pedestal because of his work at CSDC when my son was a Webelos, and because he ran the meeting my son visited, being given about 2 minutes notice he was in charge.

 

Back on topic, I think I am going to use the lock in and backpacking trip next weekend to talk to the SPL and older Scouts to see what they want.


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#39 Hedgehog

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 03:54 PM

I vote for a revolution.   :D Not an open rebellion (those always fail) but a quite one done behind the scenes.

 

You get a lot more traction with scouts than adults when it comes to boy-led.  The idea is almost intoxicating to youth.  Talk to the boys, train them about what boy-led means and what it means to be a leader.  Then, go to the PLC meetings.  Bring up your questions or ideas there or better yet, have scouts bring up your suggestions.  It is a lot more difficult for an SM or ASM to overrule the PLC.  All you need to say is "well, aren't we supposed to be boy-led, i don't see any harm in trying what the boys suggested.  If it doesn't work we can always go back to the old way."


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#40 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 07:59 PM

I had an interesting 2.5 hour phone conversation with the Level Headed ASM, and the situation IMHO is worse than I thought.

 

The ASM I've had issues with above is not happy with me not only because of my views on how the troop should be run (boy led) and advancement should be done ( select youth (PLC members and a few others) able to sign off on advancement are opposite his,  but also how I discussed the performance of on of his former Cubs as PL of the NSP, and how he really needs to step and be a leader, even if he no longer wears the PL patch.NSP  PL would not listen to TG, and actually was one of the trouble makers. I sat on his BOR ( which I didn't want to do) and asked some very pointed questions about how he did as PL. ASM didn't like that because Tenderfoot doesn't require POR.

 

Anyway I found out that as the ASMs were picking patrols and assigning ASMs to work with each patrol, ASM above made the  comment "I CANNOT WORK WITH [EAGLE94-A1]!" Hence I'm the floater.

 

Level Headed ASM also commented how the SM is starting to lean more towards the Naysayer ASM (Sorry @Beavah, but that or negative is the only way I can ID him now), which has the Level-Headed ASM seriously concerned. Not only is his son in the patrol that Naysayer is in the ASM for, but he sees the potential for the troop to split apart over the naysayer ASM. One ASM, the one I'm backpacking with next week, already pulled his son out of a camping trip when the naysayer ASM did the menues, duty roster, and shopping list for the patrol and told them that since the patrol was having so much trouble doing cooking and KP,. he woudl wake them up at 5AM so they would finish everything on time.

 

I think I already mentioned that Naysayer ASM told his son, who was suppose to do KP, that he had to pack and take down his tent as soon as he finished breakfast? But I didn't tell you that the Scout said he couldn''t do cooking or KP Sunday morning because dad said they would interfere with his quartermaster duties.

 

More later


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