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The Unruly Parent Ideas from the field: How to rein them in.

Chartered Organization Representative J.S. has a problem: A troop parent is constantly badmouthing the Scoutmaster (who J.S. thinks is doing a great job). He is looking for ways to rein in this unruly parent. FILL OUT A COMPLAINT FORM

A fellow Scouter likes to say that her complaint form is the adult-leader application. If the parent has legitimate concerns, he or she should discuss them with you, as it is the chartered organization representative who screens and approves adult leadership. Otherwise, the parent should be invited to join the commit- tee and put his or her ideas


We are trying to start a Cub Scout pack at the church that sponsors our troop. Although there are boys who want to be Cub Scouts, no parents are willing to step up to be leaders. We used nonparent leaders to get started, but as soon as parents realized they needed to be involved, they left. What can we do to

encourage parents to become Cub Scout leaders? S.B. BATON ROUGE, LA.

WE WANT YOUR SOLUTIONS! Send your answer to What Would You Do?, Scouting magazine, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. Responses will appear in Scouting’s next issue. We also solicit new questions and pay $50 for each one used in this column. Submit responses or a new question electronically, or view selected responses from past columns, at

forth in the proper forum. Suggest that he or she take the online Fast Start training to get a better idea of what the Scoutmaster’s job is.

Committee Chairman F.M. NOVI, MICH.

TALK IT OUT In a similar case, I sat down with the person and explained that we are here for the boys, and they are our priority. I then listened to everything the person had to say. It turned out it was a personal dispute with the Scoutmaster. Once the person was able to vent, the situation improved.


PUT UP OR SHUT UP Offer this parent the posi- tion of assistant Scoutmaster to help work with the Scoutmaster to straighten out any perceived problems. Point

out what the required train- ing will be (This is Scouting, Leader Position-Specific, Youth Protection) before he or she can become active. Also point out any addi-

tional meetings and training he or she will be expected to attend each month. Faced with the need to put up or shut up, the person doing all the complaining will usually shut up. In the few instances where the person steps up, you get someone who is ben- eficial to the program.

Council Executive Board Member B.S.


SHOW THEM THE DOOR I would confront the offensive parent, with the committee chair as your witness, and inform the parent that, as a conse-


quence of his or her actions, he or she is no longer welcome at your troop’s activities. You will likely lose a Scout, but this parent’s toxic- ity can no longer be tolerated.

Chartered Organization Representative T.M. ANKENY, IOWA

END IT NOW I suggest a meeting with the disgruntled parent, the com- mittee chair, the chartered organization representa- tive, and the Scoutmaster. Allow the parent to present his or her issues with the Scoutmaster, allow the Scoutmaster to respond, and then allow all parties to come to a compromise. Be clear that the issue “dies” when you leave the room.

Cubmaster J.S. WILLIAMSTON, N.C. ¿


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