Our congregations 11 year old Patrol combines with another wards 11 year old Patrol. Part of the issue is due to the fact that we have let the Assistant Scoutmaster over 11 year Scouts of the other ward, while a good man that I personally really like, run the program. And of course bias has appeared but no one wants to address it. The program is OK but when boys don't bring their books, requirements don't get passed off. In fact, if they don't bring their books that night they have to pass off the requirement again. Hence many of our boys are already a year behind in Scouts when they come into our "true" Troop.
Our Stake is having an 11 year old campout. Our Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM) over the 11 year old Scouts filled out the form for his boys to come and added three of our Scouts to come to the event due to the fact that they are behind from the previous program.
Our Scoutmaster (SM) gets a call from the Stake Primary President telling Scoutmaster that she doesn't want the 3 12 year old Deacons to come and camp at the event but they are more than OK to come for the merit badge classes on Sunday. Scoutmaster says that is fine with no arguments and hangs up the phone.
30 minutes later a member of the Stake Presidency** calls again telling SM that he doesn't want the Deacons to come to camp at the event but can come to the classes the next day. He explains that there is a huge difference between this church event and a BSA event. And he goes on to discuss how the 11 year old program really isn't a BSA program (why the Tour Permits then, huh?) and asks the Scoutmaster if he understands. My Scoutmaster, to his credit, tells him "I don't really get it." He gives him the whole line again and adds things like he doesn't want three boys to take away from everyone else experience. And claims because the boys hold the Priesthood, this event isn't for them but they can still come on Saturday.
- So why does the camping of three 12 year olds cause such an issue if there is a Tour Permit? They can come but only after the true night camping part is over?
- Why is this a Church event if everyone will be in BSA uniforms and the proper BSA forms will be in place at the demands of the Stake?
- If this truly is a Priesthood event (or a BSA event) should we be including three boys who got a crappy 11 year old program? How will three boys with an excellent leader crash this event?
- If the Stake Primary President is called to preside over this program, people don't get to make decisions for her. Or at least they shouldn't get to. I know I sure as heck wouldn't allow someone to step on me or my wife like this.
In the end, the Varsity Team will teach these boys the requirements they would have passed off at this sham of a camp. It is more in the true Scout spirit that my boys do it anyways. And they will get a more quality class from my boys.
With the bad examples of leadership I experience I always put that into the back of my mind with the thought "If you are ever called to serve, don't be like that." My SM said the same thing.
* You can go ahead and call me a bad Mormon because you think I am speaking ill of my leaders but this is nothing of the sort. Any leader is willing to receive some criticism and some feedback especially for the decisions they make. In the end I respect that they get to make a decision even if I believe it is right, wrong and/or stupid. I have to have a testimony of their decision. I am not blind and will not follow without that belief in what they believe. I am not a sheeple. Any leader who thinks they know it all and they are the end all be all especially when they are a councilor and not the President of a group doesn't understand how the Church is organized. This was told to me by my SM.
** Two years ago at Girls Camp, this leader at a nightly meeting was discussing Trek the next year and how Girls Camp and High Adventure would be cancelled for the older youth of the Stake. The Young Men leaders (they had been called to come and help and asked to stay for a meeting) and Young Women leaders were in shock until the Stake President arrived at the meeting after attending to some of his duties. When they asked them if that was truly the case of being cancelled he said "No. There is no way we would cancel those events." I had a shocked relative in this meeting.