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Troop Leader Dismissed


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#1 Robynatk

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:37 AM

Just a rant here... My son has been in scouts for 3 years....they've had the same lessons for 3 years. Its a small group...all the cub scouts are together...tigers...wolves...ect. Most kids didnt do enough to pass to the next rank, she'd just hand them out. She gave out one belt loop in 3 years...everyone got the same one. She gave out 1 badge to the older kids, who didnt even do everything to earn it. We had no money, yet a few kids sold over 1000 in popcorn every year. We were told, "do the fundraisers and you won't have to pay for camps"...well last summer if they wanted to go, we had to pay due to "lack of funds" Come to find out she used the packs checkbook as a personal account. She sent her son to an out of state Boy Scout Camp...she didnt even try to hide it, numerous checks written out to his troop...from a cub scout troop. We sold wreaths...nothing was earned from them...we figure her son got credit for them instead for his troop. All our popcorn was ordered thru his troop. She refused to sign over the checkbook...she gave it to us, but figured if she refused to legally sign it over, we couldnt have access to it. Well...the bank knew what was going on, we got access to it. It's sad...how can someone steal from kids? How can you refuse to give badges for stuff they earned? I even had pictures to prove things and she'd say "well I didnt see it" ....was she that hard up for money that she couldnt spend any of it on badges?? I was going to have my son quit or transfer to another troop, but we are trying to work things out...its hard to start from scratch. Even the meetings weren't ran as they were supposed to. I had to go online to see how a meeting was ran. Just upsetting. Has anyone else had this happen to them?


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#2 RememberSchiff

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:49 AM

@Robynatk welcome to scouter.com , I wish it had been under happier circumstances.

 

Could you tell us about the other adult leaders and their training, in particular the Pack Committee. Were you an adult leader? Who is your Charter Organization?


Edited by RememberSchiff, 28 June 2017 - 08:53 AM.

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#3 Stosh

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 09:01 AM

Welcome to the forum Robynatk, unfortunately this is not a unique situation.  Embezzlement of youth funds over the years is an ongoing process.  Unless safeguards are in place to discourage the temptation, it will continue.  I have participated in small claims court a few times myself and it's always a messy situation.  Nothing sells newspapers than finding out about some "honest" scouter ripping off their unit.  Unless the people are 100% behind the Scout Law and Oath, this will eventually happen.  A lack of moral character is always a problem, yet certain systems can be set up to reduce the possibility of it happening in one's unit.  Too many units assume the best in people in the BSA.  It's unfortunate they don't always prove themselves to fit into that category.


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Stosh

 

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#4 CA Scout Mom

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 10:03 AM

Wow, so sorry this has been happening!  This is such a betrayal to your pack.  If I were you, I'd definitely consider moving to another pack if there's one nearby.  However, the woman who's been in charge or had access to money should no longer have access, for sure!  Was she the Committee Chair or Cubmaster?  

 

This should be reported to your Council immediately.  Just call the # on your council website and ask to speak to the person in charge of your district--the District Executive. Even though you are trying to work this out, again, this woman shouldn't be involved but someone needs to step in as a leader.  


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#5 Robynatk

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 10:19 AM

The people on the Committe had nothing to do with the troop...we didn't know about them. I was "Council Rep" but she told me my title was "Church Liason" She told me to introduce myself to the church as that, and my sole responsibility was to keep thinks friendly between the pack and the church. Yes, I was niave. I should have looked more into it. She told me I had no authority what so ever with the troop. I started questioning her back in Popcorn Season 2015 after the kids didn't receive their prizes for top seller..she claimed Scouts dropped it that year, even though on the forms they said they were doing it. I offered to help with popcorn, she refused. She would call me every week this past season asking me to hand in my son's money, one week it was 500+, she'd see me on the street and ask for it. Then I knew I was off by 30-40 bucks, as I was waiting for some customers to pay us yet, and being confused I asked her how much we owed....she goes "oh...its ok, no biggie". I said it was a big deal and that my son needed to get his share in, I asked to see the records so I could figure it out myself, she refused. Just found out from a parent who moved out of the area that they owe money yet for 2016 and she also told him it was no big deal...he thought it was around $250. How does one keep no records of anything?? We have no volunteer hours recorded, no records of what anyone has done to earn a badge, no financial records, besides the checks she wrote out that we got from the bank. The main office is looking into this, but it seems to be taking forever, as for now, this woman walks around claiming we took over scouts, because we are bossy. I spose she's sitting at home eating all of our leftover popcorn from the last 2 years, which she told me she has, but now refuses to hand over. Bitter.....yes...I'll get over it...It's just a lot to take in. A lot to learn, considering we all knew nothing and all had the wool pulled over our eyes. How can someone do this to kids.


Edited by Robynatk, 28 June 2017 - 10:38 AM.

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#6 Robynatk

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 10:27 AM

​We actually didn't know there was a committee....see what I mean, we were clueless...she left us in the dark. We also found out there is supposed to be 2 people on the checking account at all times. We are now working on the process of finding trustworthy people. It's hard to find people who want to volunteer their time.


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#7 Stosh

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 10:30 AM

Training, training, training!  One of the best protections against such abuse is knowing where one stands with the program.  As Chartering Organizational Representative (COR) you ARE the authority to correct problems such as these.  But unless the others in the program know this, it's an uphill battle and one get's handed their head in their hand.  You should have known better!  Yeah, right.  Now you tell me.  When you registered as COR, they should have told you exactly what that entails.  It's not your fault, but training could have gotten you off to a better start.  We as scout units need to continually harp on training and making sure our volunteers are taken care of an protected so these things don't happen.  Sorry you got stuck in this situation, but it's a good lesson to learn.  Get trained, and then take the bull by the horns and make sure things like this don't happen regardless of what others may say.  The only thing that trumps it all is what BSA says.  

 

As COR get good people in place, train them, and get this unit back on track if you decide to stay.  Everything you do to clean up this mess is for the boys and that's all that counts at this point.


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Stosh

 

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#8 gumbymaster

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 12:36 PM

Question 1. Did you ever fill out an adult leader application, and if you did, was it ever turned in and processed.

 

If so, you should be able to inquire with the Council office or your District Executive what your "official role" in the unit is.

If the Cubmaster made you the Church Liasion, as Stosh says, this may mean you were registered as the Chartering Organization Representative (COR).  If so, this could be good news for you, depending on who much work you want to do.

 

As COR, you have the authority to "fire" the cubmaster, the committee chair, or any other adult leader in the unit, you do not have to even have a reason to do so.  You should also have the authority to go to the bank and have the Cubmaster's authority to use the account removed immediately.

 

Work with the Church to determine if you want to try to recover the inappropriately spent funds (police report and/or small claims court).

 

If you can do these things, it is, unfortunately, now also your job to put the unit back together and "hire" new leaders for the critical positions.  Your District Executive and Unit Commissioner can help you do this.  If you do not know these people, call your Council Office.

 

If you are not officially the COR, there is not a lot you can do, sorry.

 

Best of Luck.  People on this forum will generally help you as much as we can through a keyboard. :)


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#9 Col. Flagg

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 12:51 PM

If you are not officially the COR, there is not a lot you can do, sorry.

 

Filing a police report comes to mind. That can certainly be done.


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#10 qwazse

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 08:37 AM

​We actually didn't know there was a committee....see what I mean, we were clueless...she left us in the dark. We also found out there is supposed to be 2 people on the checking account at all times. We are now working on the process of finding trustworthy people. It's hard to find people who want to volunteer their time.

First, thank you for all you do (and Lord willing, will continue to do) for the boys.

It sounds like you are the charter organization representative (COR), and stepping into the limelight is causing your grief.

Yes, trustworthy people are a hot commodity. You'll find yourself knocking on a lot of doors.

 

Meet with your sponsor's institutional head. (For some churches, that's the pastor. For others, it's the clerk of session or chairman of the board. For Legion halls, it's the post commander.) Let him/her know what your official position is and that you've inherited a mess, but you are trying to sort it out. Obviously, if someone else is now your COR, bring them along.

 

If the troop that you mention is sponsored by the same organization, their COR might need to be in the room too. If any of the COR's that I knew that their troop had been given pilfered funds from some pack, they would bend over backwards to support that pack ... even if the money had been spent. That might not translate into actual dollars back into the pack. But you might find some helping hands in other ways.

 

Legal action is not a bad idea but it may or may not be successful. You have to balance that strategy with simply moving on and investing time in the boys from this point forward.


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#11 SSScout

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 06:51 PM

Roby:   Sad.   Point to note:  Council should have records noting that :  The Charter Org should have named (1) the Institutional Head, as described by Q above.  and (2) a Charter Org Representative, as noted by many above.    Any money earned belongs to the Charter Org, because the units belong to the Charter Org.    The IH and the COR should have an interest in that. 

The person being discussed here is not only defaming the name of BSA, they are cheating the boys, the are stealing from the Charter Org.   Lots of unhappy folks in that list. 

 

Pursue it.  Make lists and enlist the news media.


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#12 fred johnson

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:11 AM

... and enlist the news media.

 

Do NOT enlist the news media.  Don't event think about that.  It can backfire on you easily.  

 

At this point, build relationships with your local council representative, the district exec.  Get to know others who may help.  

 

I do agree with the suggestion "make lists".  Figure out who sold how much perhaps by contacting the major sellers.  Just say "I'm trying to fix past records and make sure everything was credited correctly."  Do not spur more concern.  Do not pour more fuel on the fire.  See if their sales match council records.  There will be a council (and probably district too) person who knows how much each unit sold.  Maybe not individuals, but at least each unit.  They will know who was awarded prizes too.  

 

Another recommendation is keep this fairly quiet as you have lots of learning to do yourself.  As you learn, things will fall into perspective on what was really bad, somewhat bad, not significant and just normal.  

 

One final recommendation is really hard ...  try to look forward more than backward.  If you think you can recover money or correct issues, fine.  Do it.  "Look forward" means creating the best scouting experience for your son and others as possible.  That's where your energy should be.  Don't let your scouting unit make the same mistakes again.  My fear is if you invest heavily in fixing all the past injustices, you won't have any energy for your son and his scouting future.

 

I wish you luck.  


Edited by fred johnson, 05 July 2017 - 09:18 AM.

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#13 Col. Flagg

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:28 AM

+1 for no media. You never know how someone will spin story. 

 

If a crime has been committed contact the police or an attorney.


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#14 Stosh

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 08:22 PM

I, too, vote no media.  Major litigation can occur with liable issues and if one thinks that embezzlement is bad, until the crime has been tried in court, that person is innocent.  Going public opens a whole new can of worms.


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Stosh

 

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


#15 Ankylus

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:55 PM

I am sorry this happened to you and your scouts. I fully understand your outrage and frustration. And thank you for caring enough to persevere and help get the pack on a good footing.

 

Call, in this order: the police, the CO, and the council.

 

+1 more on no news media.

 

If she did this to your pack, she will do it to other children's organizations. She has has shown a pattern of behavior and there has been fairly consistent reward for negative behavior. You get more of what you reward. Without negative consequences she will continue to behave in this manner.

 

We live in a well off area. One of the mothers is a kleptomaniac. She got caught stealing from other mothers' purses at a wedding. Then at a funeral. And she stole from a charity. She just kept at it until somebody not only caught her, but she got in trouble with the law. Now they are moving because everyone knows and nobody trusts her with anything. But at least in her new neighborhood they will know if they do their background check.

 

It is also a good lesson for your boys to learn.


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