OK, so I have my mental checklist gone through in my head, and I am trying to formulate something prophetic that I can tell the scouts to ensure them that they are getting the best that they can, and that their program isn’t dying.
I ask Aaron, “You made a comment about the Scoutmaster earlier. What’s the hangup? Harold was a Woodbadger with me, and I think has the potential to be a good Scoutmaster for you guys.”
Aaron replies, once again, not making this up…”Mr. K is cool, he needs to learn, but our last Scoutmaster was a douchebag. I hated him, and so did most of the scouts.”
I was shocked…for the accusation and for the language coming out of his mouth. It’s not that bad of a word, but he is a scout, and he is referring to someone who is a leader. He shouldn’t talk like that, but I let it go…it’s a teenager who is trying to show that he’s a “big boy”. I could have used this as a learning experience, but I chose to let him vent. He obviously had a lot of frustration with the old regime.
Then Aaron looked at me and says, “Why didn’t you ever come by us? You would have been a great Scoutmaster. I know that I would have loved for you to be there.”
“Well, Aaron…I really don’t like to talk about why I didn’t come to 1563…it’s a sore spot for me, but I think that you deserve to hear why I am not over there.” I paused for a second and continued. “You see, when my son was getting ready to cross, we weren’t really invited to come on a troop visit…actually, I wasn’t. Neither was the den leader at the time. So we felt a little snubbed. Also, I caught wind of Mr. C stepping down as SM, so I called your CC and offered my services to help in anyway. His reply to me was that there were no leadership positions available for me in their troop at this time, but my son was more than welcome to join their troop.”
Aaron and Joe just looked at me. They were a bit shocked, and I continued.
“I am sorry that I never got to see you guys go on with Scouting. But, at the time, I was hurt from the CC’s comments, and I was already having issues with another one of the families in the troop, both of whom are still in the troop, and you guys are not fans of their son. So I took my talents and founded a new troop, one to go head to head with you guys and show you that you weren’t the only game in town. I don’t do it for that reason anymore, but at the time, that was one of the reasons that I started 1363.”
“Well,” said Aaron “we could have used you when Mr. C stepped down and could have saved ourselves the troubles that we had with Mr. B.”
It was nice to hear that from them. We continued to talk about scouting and how things were. I think that they wanted me to have a cure-all for them, but I didn’t. It’s a chance for them to learn on their own.
Another friend came over and we discussed programming and how our troop runs. I told them that our troop is boy led, and that me and the ASMs sit in the corner not doing much, except signing books and doing SMCs when the Scouts ask.
“You do a Scoutmaster’s Conference when a scout asks?” questioned Aaron.
“Yea,” I said, “when are you supposed to do them?”
Joe chimed in and said, “We have to sign up for them, and our BoRs. It can take a couple months to get those completed before we can move onto the next rank.”
Tom, Pat and I looked at each other…signups for SMC? We never heard of such a thing. I have done them at troop meetings, bowling alleys, and campouts. I am sure that I will do them in other places, too, but I had never heard of signing up for SMCs or BoRs.
to be continued….