Re: [Scouter_T] Re: Den Leader as Committee Member/Mike/Chris
- "Of course reality ignores some of the more stupid rules. In
my opinion no leader qualified for his position will stay in a
unit where he/she is ignored by the unit committee. Scouting
just works better when the committee supports or includes
"One of the purpose of scouting is to teach citizenship. I
think it would not be right not to apply some rules of
democraty when we claim that we can teach citizenship."
Stanford District Training Chair
I am not sure what stupid rules reality ignores. The major duties of
the unit committee are:
1) Ensures that quality adult leadership is recruited and trained.
In case the primary leader is absent, a qualified assistant is
assigned. If the primary leader is unable to serve, a replacement is
2) Provides adequate meeting facilities.
3) Advises the unit leader on policies and regulations relating to
Boy Scouting and the chartered organization.
4) Supports leaders in carrying out the program.
5) Is responsible for finances, adequate funds, and disbursements in
line with the approves budget plan.
6) Obtains, maintains, and properly cares for unit property.
7) Ensures that programs include outdoor activities.
8) Serves on boards of review and courts of honor.
9) Supports the unit leader in working with individual boys and
problems that may affect the overall program.
10) Provides for the special needs and assistance some boys may
11) Helps with the Friends of Scouting campaign.
12) Assist the unit leader with handling boy behavioral problems.
To this list we can easily add:
1) Assists in transportation
2) Encourages unit leaders.
3) Support youth recruitment
4) Work to insure unit permanency.
5) Provide a spiritual tone.
6) Recruit and involve unit committee members.
In my experience (nine years as Scoutmaster, six as committeeman,
three as committee chairman and three as chartered organization
representative), I have been on both sides of the table. As
Scoutmaster, most of my proposals were approved and supported.
However, some were not. I did not dwell on those that were not.
As a committeeman, what would you do when Assistant Scoutmasters
decided that they could hold a board of review? How about a
Cubmaster who will not accept new boys after he has started his
annual program because it takes too much effort to bring those boys
up to speed? How about the den leader who attends events in other
districts without the knowledge of the Cubmaster, nor a tour permit?
What about the Webelos leader who has den meetings during the week
and again on Saturday so that the Webelos Badge can be earned in only
one year? What would you do about a Scoutmaster who says that he
considers a merit badge complete when only 75% of the requirements
were accomplished? I have had to deal with each of those and many
Decisions made by the committee should be made democratically or by
consensus. The unit leaders have a voice, and a large voice, but not
a vote. The purpose of the committee is to support the unit and the
unit leader, but that support has to be tempered with good judgment.
The CC who said that it had to be his only should have been removed.
A unit leader who says that it must happen their way should have the
same fate. The largest problem that I have seen (other than a
nonexistant committee) is a committee that says "We have to do what
the unit leader wants because if he does not get his way then he
(she) will quit and then what would we do?" What would you do?