First some background:
In the LDS scouting world, cubs and 11-year-old scouts (who are not part of the troop) are run by the leaders of the church childrens auxiliary (primary).
12-13 year-olds are in the troop, 14-15 year-olds are in the varsity team, 16-18 are in the venture crew. These groups are all run by the Young Mens church auxiliary.
All the adult leaders are 'called' by their church leaders to fill the scout leadership positions. Often that means that someone is called to do something they don't understand, they don't seek opportunities to be trained, and they flounder about attempting to do what they think the job is until they are 'called' to do something else and a new person is 'called' to do scouts. Sometimes someone will be called, learn to do the job, and their branch of scouting will work well for a while until they are called away. This is how scouting in my church group has worked for decades. The units all exist on paper, and there is an occasional flash-in-the-pan when real scouting gets done.
Some years ago, I convinced the church leaders to let me work with the boy scouts. Over the next 10 years, I took the floundering troop, taught them what scouting is supposed to be, and did my best to run a good troop. (As close to BSA style as I could get and still trying to fit within the church scouting guidelines). Just over a year ago, the church scouting leadership politics got bad enough that I didn't feel I could stay involved with the church troop. #1 was almost old enough to move into Varsity scouts, and #2 was just entering the troop when I left.
The new SM has tried to keep the troop going as it should. He frequently asks for my help, and I'm willing to help where I can, but he doesn't have much other support. When he is sick or busy, the troop program suffers because there is noone else to step in.
#1 has been in Varsity scouts since March. He is the team captain. At first there was no adult leader (there was one, but he wouldn't do anything, and never showed up). I encouraged my son to take his position seriously, and he got the boys together and planned some team meetings, and a backpacking trip. (Boy-led scouting !?!?)
Just as they were starting to do some of the things they planned, the church called a new Young Mens President (adult in charge of the youth boys programs (12-18)) and a new adult leader to work with the varsity boys.
Coach comes to planning meetings and listens without giving input, then leaves early. Sometimes he shows up to the Wednesday team meetings.
YMP saw the backpacking trip on the calendar and decided that they hadn't planned well enough, so he cancelled it. Instead of helping them with preparations for the trip that they had planned for their team meeting, YMP told them they couldn't go, and made them sit and do nothing for their team meeting. YMP then planned his own 'camp'. They met as his house for all night junk food and rock band. (Fun, but not camping, and certainly not the backpacking trip that they had looked forward to.) Then he wouldn't even let them do it all night and sent them to bed early.
YMP keeps inventing new rules and changing the programs. He cancels their planned outings, plans over weekly meetings, and told them they can only camp every-other-month from now on. (Because scouting isn't about camping, it's about building character.)
Troop program in beginning to slack off, because SM has been sick and he has little adult support, and YMP told them they can't camp so much any more and when they do, they have to have at least 3 leaders.
Varsity program is stalled. Boys plan things, but adults cancel and plan over, or don't show up.
Venture program has not done any scouting in years.
Is there any hope of getting these units to do scouting?
If not, what options might there be to get real scouting experiences for my boys? (Because scouting is such an integral part of the church young mens program, my wife doesn't feel that non-LDS scouting is an option.)
How far should I as a parent and trained scouter step in?
What can be done about leaders who don't/won't lead?
What can be done about a leader called by the church (CO), but inventing his own rules?
Eagle Scout 1987
OA Vigil Honor 1986
Fox - WE7-590-05-2
Currently - Troop/Team/Crew Advancement Chair & Dist Webmaster
Previously - SM, MC, CM, ACM, ADL, ASM, COR, Dist Camp Chair, PL, SPL, Scribe, Songleader, JASM, OA Chapter Officer, ...