So lately I have been having some issues with some people who are involved in Scouting. It really hurts me because some people put themselves above what Scouting stands for. In my personal opinion, it's called Boy Scouts for a reason, not "Men Scouts" or "Leader Scout's." It's supposed to be a boy run program. I know it's hard to let 12-18 year old boys lead, but how else are they going to gain leadership skills if the leaders take those chances away from them? It's just not right. A lot of events have led up to this post and this is my way of venting it out.
In August 2007, I attended a Wood Badge training course. It was such a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about myself and my passion for scouting grew ten fold. One of my patrol members, and a good friend, recently got "fired" by the Great Salt Lake Council as a Scoutmaster for the 2010 National Jamboree. He had some arguements with one of his assistant Scoutmasters. His assistant, who is LDS, said to my friend, who is not LDS, that he was incharge of the LDS kids and my friend is incharge of the non-LDS kids. Eventually word got to the council and because the assistant recruited more boys in the troop that my friend, the council didn't want to lose boys so they "fired" my friend. I went to his last troop meeting when he announced that he wasn't going to be their scoutmaster and kind of stayed after for the parents meeting to hear why they released him. They didn't go into detail, but it was sad. Now, he has no interest in scouting, besides his boy and is really hurt.
Next we had out scout committee meeting last Sunday. The month before was a blow out, but i wasn't able to attend because of some other commitments. Well this month was almost about the same from what I heard about last months meeting. I suggested a couple of months ago that the boys should help pay their way for camp. We do a flag fundraiser every year and that pays for our camp. Well, we also want to buy some equipment too, like a trailer and such, but we spend all of our fundraiser money. The purpose for the fundraiser is to help lighten the burden of paying the whole camp fee and boys are encouraged to participate. Well, last year, a few boys went to camp while not participating in the fundraiser and had their camp paid for in full. This didn't sit with me well, so I suggested a change.
Well, one of the members in the committee said that it's going to be hard to ask for money from the boys and their parents. My thought is, if the parents want their boys to go to camp, they will help them get to camp. And I suggested to do a commitment fee to help not only know who is going to camp, but to show a commitment for the boys and to be able to work for that money. As of today, we have no money in our fundraiser account this committee member said that it looked like they weren't going to camp. We haven't even done our fundraiser yet. And he still thinks that it's crazy to have the boys pay for camp basically. Part of our neighborhood is struggling financially, but we are asking the boys to earn that money themselves.
So during our meeting, I offered and opportunity to help the boys. I talked to my wife about this and she feels it's a good idea. We are going to put our yard in this spring. Because we have a lot of work to do, I am offering each boy who helps me lay sod $20.00 that will go towards their camp fee. This member said I couldn't do that because it's a fundraiser because i wasn't going to give the money to the boy, and instead donate it in the troop fund for that boy. One of the other members in the committee serves on the Council Committee and actually said it was legal what I could do. It really has gotten interesting.
I just can't explain how I feel. And this situation would be a whole lot better if the leaders were trained and know what scouting is all about. It's about the boy, not the leader. Yes we get some recognition but it's all about the boy whether he is advancing. Is the boy building character. Is he learning to be a better individual. It just breaks my heart knowing that some people, leaders, take it away from those whom it matters to most. I just wish there was something more I can do, but all I need to do is focus on my boys and be a good influence on them, and have them lead and grow. Hopefully things get better.