I’ve recently become the new COR for my churches PACK/TROOP and I’m having a few things come up that I could use some help.
It seems that a BSA group has been using the church library as a meeting place for quite some time now (back when they started, someone was a member, but now, no one in that troop attends the church). About 5 years back, a troop leader from that group approached the church and asked if he could start his own troop and if the church would sponsor him. The church agreed and a second Troop was created.
Now Both Troops meet at the church on the same day, at the same time.
As I stated, I am the new COR for the Church sponsored Troop. The other Troop has been meeting in the church library for twice as long, but they are sponsored by a business elsewhere and they have their own COR. Again, no one from this ‘original’ Troop attends the church.
There’s been a conflict between the two because of them both at the same location, meeting at the same time and day, the Church sponsored Troop is loosing boys because the other troop meets in the church library, where as the Sponsored Troop meets in one of the classrooms in the Second building (not attached to the church) Because of this, it “looks like” the troop meeting in the church library is the primary Troop, So they take the boys even if the boys are wanting to be a part of the churches troop.
My part… My Troop SM have asked me to inform the Library Troop to look for a different place to meet.
My concern is. I am not the churches IM, and I don’t know if I have any authority to tell another troop who is not being sponsored by the church that they need to leave.
Is this something the COR must handle? Or is it the churches responsibility or could it even fall on the council’s side or District or simply no ones has the right to inform them to leave?
Well, that’s a fine kettle of fish.
This is the church’s problem to solve. As COR, you need to figure out what the church’s wishes are and communicate them to the troop. The COR for the other troop needs to find out what the business’s wishes are and do the same.
If you asked your scouts, they probably think you adults are just a little silly. Just go hiking and camping every month and enjoy life.
You are correct that you don’t really have any authority over the other troop, but you are the church’s representative to your troop. Is there any chance your troop would want to change nights? If not, I would talk to the church secretary or pastor and explain that having both troops meet on the same night has been causing confusion for prospective members. You could also talk to the COR for the other troop and see if they’d be willing to relocate voluntarily.
This is an unfortunate situation. In these Covid times, finding an indoor meeting place has been challenging for some units. It’s most unfortunate to tell a group of Scouts and their families they have to find a new home. I’m wondering why the Church didn’t just promote the Troop that’s using the facility rather than create a separate Troop creating this problem.
I would hope the the COR’s of both units could work something out. How many Scouts are being effected in the business-sponsored Troop compared to the Church-sponsored?
I have spoken to the other COR and he wasn’t very pleasant about the situation. He firmly stated “We’ve been here 11 years and we’re not going anywhere “ and folded his arms and turned his back to me.
They refuse to work with me, merge, move or anything!
I think they are harboring Ill feelings that a member of their own went and started a new Troop and the church is Sponsoring them (meaning us) and not them (meaning the Library Troop) This is just my feelings about it.
As for both Troops, each have ‘active’ boys, Library Troop has only a few (less than 10) and Church Troop has ‘active’ boys too (~15-20) Library Troop COR adamantly stated they would never merge.
Standpoint of the Church: No one sees a problem. In fact, until I became COR, the Church didn’t really know which troop they sponsored nor do 90 % orFl the church members even know that the church sponsors a Troop.
The previous COR never got actively involved in the dynamics of the Troop and barely attended church. That COR person, from what I understand, had been the Troops COR for five years.
I was recruited to become the troops new COR because I enrolled my son and would help the troop when they needed help with the church. Which is basically what the COR should have been doing all along.
So, since I am completely new to Boy Scouts and I am trying to play catch-up to the dynamics of BSA, I am trying to learn how to be a good COR and how to do good by the Troop as well as the church.
Out of curiosity, why was a new Troop formed at the same place where an existing Troop has been meeting for 11 years? This seems odd. Is there a problem with the “Library Troop”? This has the feeling of a power struggle of some type. Does the church have a problem with the way this established Troop is handling things?
Let me get this straight: a unit with no connection with your church other than free rental space is competing for the same room and same time slot as the unit chartered by your church…
I’d recommend that the church give first dibs for scheduling to the unit chartered by the church. If the other unit insists on being difficult, that’s on them.
I’d bet that this is an “adult only” matter and the scouts don’t give a care. Keep it among the adults.
WilliamC, you are ‘spot on’ with your questions. As mentioned, just a moment ago, I think there must’ve been a personal issue between the library troop and the creation of a new troop. The library troop is sponsored by an outside business and it’s possible that the person seeking to start a new troop wanted the Church to sponsor. Since that person (the original SM who started the second troop) is no longer attending meetings and possibly retiring, I’m kind of at a loss. But, good point, I’m going to try to reach out to him and see if he could shed some light on the dynamics as to why he started a who new troop.
Paul, You almost have it all correct. Only thing is, they are not competing over a meeting room and in fact they are not technically competing. The church building has a library in it where the sanctuary is and that is where the first group meets on Thursday, the second group meets in a building where the classrooms and the auditorium is located and they meet also on Thursday.
The issue is that because the first group is meeting in the church itself l, it appears to potential new Boy Scouts that that group is the primary group for the church. When in fact, it’s the other group meeting in the classrooms and because of this, the first group (I imagine because of the negative relationship the two groups have) will sign up any boy that walks in the door, even if they’re looking for the church sponsored group. So the church sponsored group is not happy because they are losing recruitment. And because I am the new COR they have asked me to intervene and find a way to have the first group move their meeting times or move all together because they have no affiliation with the church whatsoever.
As for why the church did not promote the original troop, I believe it’s because that Troop was already being sponsored by a different company and the meeting spot was offered because, at that time, there was a member of the church who was part of the troop but now there is no one in the troop attending church or even affiliated with the church.
Additionally, from my observation, no one in the church understands the dynamics of BSA and no one, including the pastor (who will be retiring on November 1) really gets involved in anything to do with the Boy Scouts.
To my understanding after talking with the pastor and the IM, all they look at it as they are offering a service to the Boy Scouts, nothing more
@KathyJensen, as the COR, you speak for the Church that sponsors the new Troop. I imagine you didn’t sign up for that job the evict a group of kids. Have you spoken with the Church leadership about this? I certainly would hope you do.
It’s going to be difficult and maybe a little cold to tell a Troop that’s been allowed to meet for 11 years to pack your bags and leave.
This is a real mess.
Yes, I did not think I was signing up for this type of drama and mess to have to clean up.
And if you can even believe it, there are other issues that my troop was taught from the original SM that goes against everything the BSA stand for.
So my hands are FULL with learning about the BSA and restructuring my Troop to conduct themselves properly according to the Scout Oath and Law.
When the two leaders recruited me, they told me that being the COR was no big deal and all I had to do was sign and approve leaderships a few times a year.
Well, this is a pretty smart group here. I’ve learned a lot in some of the spirited discussions and have taken back many good ideas to my unit. I think it’s safe to say the the Council’s motives of about numbers and money rather than “procedure” so I’m not sure how much useful help you will get out of them. Talk to experienced foot soldiers that don’t care about the politics and do it for the love o Scouting and the kids.
I’m guessing both Troops are competing for the same Scouts for recruiting by deducing they are probably in the same community. It’s going to take the wisdom of Solomon to sort this mess out in a way that all Scouts are taken care of.
It’s always the adults that makes messes of things.
You are correct. And given our ‘New Norm’ each troop is grabbing new recruits however they can.
Thanks, I’ve learned here that it is not my responsibility to ‘tell‘ another troop what to do, (unless the church requests me to)
I’d also suggest that you talk to your unit commissioner or assistant district commissioner. They can be helpful in resolving people issues.
Of course, everyone wants to hire a boss who will just rubber stamp everything they do!
As COR, you are representing the church. There may be things that your scouts would like to do in gratitude for using the space. Sweeping up leaves or helping with decorations comes to mind. Some scouts might be thinking of earning a religious award, and the pastor or church elder might be able to help with that.
As for the other troop, if your SM and their SM get along, don’t rush to judgment. The world’s not gonna fall apart if you shrink and they grow. But focus on keeping your people sharp. If the other troop is running a good program, be positive about them. Scouts pick up on negativity. And you don’t want to be “that” adult. Since it sounds like yours is the spin-off troop, through no fault of your own, you inherited a negative image. Let that stop with you.
If you can devote time to going to your district round tables (many are zoom meetings these days), that will help you get up to speed.
Cheerful - it’s a thing.
Thanks, that helps. I’ll reach out to them.
Sweet, and great advice. I just attended my first roundtable last week. I plan on being as involved as I can and as long as the troop wants me around. lol
Here’s the thing. The troop doesn’t get to decide that. The church does.
When we formed the boys troop we were ready to have our church charter it ( they charter the pack) but it was suggested we go with another charter( the reason is if there was other problem with a charter then it would just effect one unit not both) so we chartered with the lions club but because we needed a meeting place we meet at the church…( yes it’s convenient if one or more leaders are members so they know when some thing comes up ( wedding, wake church dinner) or just what they can use from the church ( kitchens meeting rooms etc)…show far worked out for us both our charter and the church coucil are kept in the loop about our activities…in your case I would invite the other scoutmaster to your church coucil meeting and talk over the situation and the options, hope this helps