SPL issues on Trustworthy

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SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby andrewsmom » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:39 am

Help, my son's troop allows electronics on campouts and he came home from his last campout with his iphone he uses as an itouch missing. Everyone was helpful except the SPL and he had it. He returned it but has not been truthful about how he got it or why he did not return it to us immediately when he knew it had it. Instead he took it to school the next day and was extremely rude to me on the phone when I asked him about it. He still is being quite rude, disrespectful and not truthful about how it came into his possession. My son and I no longer feel safe in this scouting troop but all his friends that he came up with from tigers are in this troop. It is heart breaking to know that one SPL who is not upholding his oath/law can do this to my son. He has intimidated him since this incident. What is my course of action?
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby kwildman » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:23 am

This should be brought up to the scout master and the TC and handled from within the troop. Confronting the kid yourself is not really appropriate. Especially, if you were not present at the event and not present when he returned the iphone to your son. Not saying that it is right, but the SPL probably feels that he doesn't owe another scout's parent an explanation. I don't think I would be too happy if another parent was calling my son directly about something like this.

Important thing is that your son got his iphone back. Judgements on scout oath and law are best left to those that are in charge of the program.

I would also like to know why you or your son no longer "feel safe" in the troop? I dont think i would condemn a whole scouting troop over one incident.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:29 pm

I agree with kwildman but I will go a bit furthur. I was an educator and under PA law Cellphnoes by students is not permitted so of course we tried to enforce that. Needless to say that did not work. SO shortly before I retired the School district gave in and said yes you can have them but you can only use them in an emergency or to call home to get a ride etc after practice,band,sports etc. They went one step furthur in the new rule. The district will in no way investigate or try to investigate any electronic item brought to school that comes up missing you do so at your own risk. They also did this for designer hand bags etc.
SO I would say you should be glad it is back and it should never go on another outing. I would also have a meeting with the SM and TC and file your complaint against the SPL actually your son should ask for the meeting.
There may be more to the story and the SM and TC should find out what it is.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby andrewsmom » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:27 pm

My son no longer feels like he is safe because since he asked for this iphone back, all the older scouts have taken the SPL side and feels he is a troublemaker. My son is trying to avoid going to scouts because he does not want to be confronted by them. He has witnessed a fellow boy scout be punched by this SPL for being annoying. I really though bullying was not tolerated in boy scouts. I don't know what to do. This SPL was not apologetic but confrontational to my son and myself. I don't feel safe with this boy in such a high position of power.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:35 pm

again you need to ask for a meeting with the SM and the Troop Committee. Was there any explanation why the SPL had the Phone?
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby andrewsmom » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:55 pm

I had my son go to the SM, Troop Committee Chair and I also emailed them back and forth. The SPL stated a story that my son denies. The evidence on the phone supports my son and not the SPL. I am told the troop is boy lead and the senior patrol leader will make the decision with his higher ranked peers. That just does not seem right.

Should I and my son not have the basic courtesy to know that he and his personal items are safe at all scouting events. Should he not feel welcomed by his older scouts not feared of them. Some of his peers or younger scouts can't wait to be first class scouts not be helpful but to "boss" and "pick on" other scouts like they have had done to them.

Everyone looks up to the SPL to set an example to the others. The example is that bullying is o.k because we are the senior members of the patrol. I am sadden by the fact that an SPL can participate in bullying and my son has no choice but to leave his friends and troop. At what point does safety matter more than "boy lead". Should not all the boys vote on this matter and not just the senior patrol members. I think if that were to occur, a very different resolution who occur, instead of just paying my son back for his case that he broke they might be able to touch on the trust that he broke and he clearly has no intention of repairing.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby Cowboy » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:14 pm

This is a Troop in serious trouble! Regardless of how it came into this boys possesion, as soon as he knew that he had the phone he should have contacted the owner. Anything less is very disrespectful. Yes a Troop should be boy led, but the adults are there to guide and oversee that. At no time is it acceptable that the individual in question should decide if he is in error. Sorry, but it is not strictly a Troop (read Boy) matter. I do not care if it is a cell phone or a bent fork, NO ONE has the right to another persons property. It does not matter who teh owner is, me, my son, or any other Scout, if there is an incident of suspected/attempted theft or short term "borrowing" I will look into it and do my job as an adult leader. I will bring it to the TC and SM. I would not expect a boy to have to go it alone. Very disappointed in the "tough luck" attitude that some other posters showed on this topic.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby alex gregory » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:13 pm

Good reason to leave expensive toys at home. I really don't understand why any troop allows the gadgets on outings.

Your son is learning that not everyone in a position of authority is the right person for the job and just being elected to SPL does not magically change a jerk into something better. Hopefully your son will learn from this experience the importance of being a better person and a much better leader. Evil SPL is probably leaving sooner rather than later, and I suggest your son stay in the troop if it is otherwise a decent troop so that your son and his buddies lead the way to better days.

Boy led does not mean that adults stop supervising. You describe a classic Lord of the Flies situation that has probably developed from adult leaders abdicating too much of their responsibility. I would really be interested in knowing what constructive steps the SM is taking to correct the problems you are describing. If the SM is not taking the right steps to stop the bullying and abuse of authority then that's a pretty obvious sign that its time for your son and hopefully his best friend(s) to find a better troop.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:40 pm

First Welcome to the Forum even if it is under less than desirable circumstances:

You asked for a COA. IMHO there are a couple of things you can do and depending on how those go will determine your future COA. I understand you are in a delicate situation of not wanting to come across as the whinny parent but at the same time, this type of behavior is unacceptable. Your son doesn't want to be known as the scout whose Mom bails him out either.

1. Have a face-to-face meeting with the SM. Email (and forums) don't work. Explain your concerns about the clear violation of the BSA youth protection policy against bullying. Of all the BSA rules/regs/policies I've experienced, the BSA is MOST SERIOUS about YP. I have seen Scout Execs yank membership on the spot if there is a validated case of a YP violation. Also address your concern about the youth's lack of courtesy toward you and ask the SM to have him give you an apology. If #1 fails, ask to speak to the Committee Chair as he is the overall Troop Boss and let him work the issue.

2. From your post, it appears that this is not your son's first campout so he's been out with these guys before. Anything like this happen before? So as much as it makes him uneasy, he needs to address what would be considered poor scouting behavior with the SPL. If the SPL gives him a hard time, your son should request a Scoutmaster Conference. This is especially important if he does not feel "safe" at the meetings.

Boy-led doesn't not allow it to be a Dictatorship either. The SPL is accountable to the SM for the proper running of the meetings and events.

Keep the faith...the program is the right place for all boys.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby WVBeaver05 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:12 am

Hello, and welcome.

I echo the comments of most of the other participants here. Specifically, something is wrong! Bullying as not acceptable in Scouting - period! To me that is a much bigger deal than the incident that brought it to light.

If the adult Troop leadership is not aware that this is going on, then shame on them. They need to step up and do their jobs, which includes overseeing and guiding the youth leadership.

If they know about it and aren't doing anything then I consider that to be much more serious and possibly cause for removal. I would want to give them the benefit of the doubt and have it explained to them clearly and give them a chance. (Just a side question - are the adult leaders trained?)

My path would be for the boy to talk to the Scoutmaster and describe the bullying that he has seen. In parallel, I think you should talk to the Committee Chair. If that doesn't produce satisfactory results then discussions with the Chartered Organization Rep and the Institutional Head should follow. The chartering organization needs to know and take action because they hold the charter for the Troop.

Please let us know how things turn out.

YiS
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby kwildman » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:15 am

Cowboy - what is there to be disappointed in? Wagion and I are the only ones that posted before you and neither of us had a "Tough Luck" attitude. The advice was to talk to the SM of the troop and and the Troop Committee.

AndrewsMom - Hazing is not allowed or condoned by the BSA and physical abuse is definitely not acceptable. If these things are occurring within the troop they need to be stopped immediately. If the Scoutmaster is aware of this situation and allowing it then he should be removed. Regardless of Boy Led status, the SM is the person in charge. Granted that "boys will be boys" and they wont always play nice with each other...but hazing is a systemic problem that creates a legacy in that each new set of boys continue to do these things because it is expected. Please keep us posted on your progress.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby WeeWillie » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:17 am

Get with the parents of the Scout your son observed being assaulted and together insist on the SPL being removed from office. Also ask your son if there are there are other instances of SPL misconduct and get those parents involved. If that doesn't work, go to district or council. You and your son are already tagged as trouble makers. Worse is the fact that your efforts to date have been ineffective. That will encourage more bullying.

Last Summer an Eagle Scout summer camp counselor made a Scout drink urine to teach him a lesson. Ever wonder about his performance as a troop leader?
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby wagionvigil » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:33 am

Cowboy you are correct I am not supportive of the parent of a scout that has expensive toys lost stolen or broken on a CAMPOUT. But in no way support anyone that would Break,steal or help in the loss of an Expensive toy on a CAMPOUT. The SPL if guilty should be gone not just from SPL but from scouts. There is no place in scouts for his behavior. Now there may be more to the story. In my experience the Young Scout is not telling the whole story or truth(his lips are moving then you must be suspect). I would go one step furthur with the SM. He seems to be backing the SPL so if the SPL is guilty and the SM supports him he is gone also. I have issues with leaders that do not provide discipline when needed and that do not follow the rules of scouting.
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Re: SPL issues on Trustworthy

Postby WeeWillie » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:35 pm

By the way, check your son's cell phone usage for the days that it was missing. If the SPL used your son's cell phone it is called stealling! It might also forewarn you of an unexpected phone bill.
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