I've had to put the last post to the test in the last week.
I emailed a concern to my kid's scout troop, after receiving the last committee meeting minutes with a list of all the boys who could be close to Eagle rank in a "Target Eagle" report. It contained their personal info, rank and badge needs, and time til they turn 18. I responded via email that I had a concern that our troop was treating the Eagle rank as the goal of scouting. The committee chairman emailed back thanking me for reminding us of the aims and methods of scouting and listed those out. Great response, really. I thanked him very much in a final email. I got a couple of emails from parents thanking me for my "appropriate comments" and that this had been a concern of theirs as well.
You wouldn't believe what has ensued. The scoutmaster cornered my husband at the last meeting and confronted him on the email and why his wife was "blasting" the troop. Hubby told him to contact me.
The rank advancement person emailed me, firing questions at me, and telling me he and I disagreed. I responded that it was just a concern, not a personal indictment against anyone--an observation. We've had a couple kids quit scouts because they knew they wouldn't make Eagle, so they quit. I told him that the email that had answered me was great.
Thought that was it. Got an email from the scoutmaster asking why I hadn't contacted him about my "complaint" and "conflict" and the "changes" that I wanted to make. A meeting was required before anything could be settled. He sent a two page letter to the head guy...and in it he stated that he had polled troop members and their parents about the email and their thoughts. He states that no one agrees with me. (I never heard from them) So, basically, he has been hard at work behind my back. I told him I wasn't going to contact him because a meeting wasn't necessary. It was over.
Now, I've gone from being bewildered to absolutely livid about this whole thing. My public email wasn't odd, there have been many emails about concerns....and some have even been kind of ugly and chastising toward one person or another. Believe me folks....there are old scouters on that list and if they had thought I was out of line, I would have been set straight. None of them responded. My hubby stated that when a public email goes out, anyone has the right to publicly respond--as long as it's polite, of course. I've run my email past people I consider as accountability people and to a former director of operations person to see if it was confrontational in nature. Nada. I thought that it was over...and over in a very Scoutly manner when the Committee Chair sent the very nice email back.
So. . .I've been trying very hard not to be angry. It's hard. I'm also discouraged that no one has stood up with me, or even for me. I spoke an opinion...and said it was my 2 cents worth, and I thought it was all handled very nicely in the beginning. My final email to the scoutmaster was one of disbelief that this had been given so much time and energy. I said that I believed that it was taken care of at the very beginning--and that any conflicts that have ensued have been because of what has transpired since then. But because I felt the troop spirit could be hurt, I offered to send a public apology for sending the email.
What else could I do?