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  • "Need" a position

    ok here's question...

    Held elections - SPL elected and he has boys come talk to them about if they want a position. Mother tells SPL that her kids need a position for their rank - he correctly tells her that the boys need to ask. So she tells boys to ask and they do. More boys asked than are needed for position. So SPL asks those wanting QM - will you be able to attend the upcoming campouts? To those wanting Librarian - will you be able to attend troop meetings? SPL took their answers and each scouts past history with doing their jobs when they had positions. Her boys did not get a position.

    How many of you out there will give a position because "a boy needs it for rank" even though they are only 14 and working on Eagle so has plenty of time?

    How many of you would support the SPL decision and let them know that they need to show that they are willing to work on improving their behavior and maybe they will get a position next time?

    Right now I think the mom will be pulling boys from the troop to a troop where they can be given a position. I told her I don't know if a troop would just take a boy and hand them a position. The boys do have attitude, behavior, and bullying issues so if they do go else where it does help me to not have to worry about signing their eagle papers.

    But I'm just curious how others would handle this situation.

  • #2
    Sounds like an excellent SPL.

    Mom obviously doesn't have a clue about Scouting.


    • #3
      Support the SPL's correct decision and keep momma off his back. Agree momma doesn't know scouting.


      • #4
        We're small, so there are more positions than boys who need to fill them.

        Our SPL did remove a PL at summer camp. We backed the SPL and, God bless Mom , she backed us. He left camp early, but came to the next troop meeting.

        Now, if there is a job that needs to be done and the boys step up and do it consistently, then we may consider them to be holding a position even if nobody put a patch on their sleeve. It's never really been an official issue because those are usually boys who wind up holding another position at their rank for six months down the road.

        In any case, you are not alone.


        • #5
          The SPL did the right thing, kudos to him. I'd support him 100 percent.

          Scouts may "need" a position, a promotion, a badge, etc., but they gotta learn they "earn" those things. They aren't supposed to be given.

          Key words that jumped out: attitude, behavior, bullying issues. They were not only the wrong scouts for the positions, but they especially need to learn the word "no." They hadn't earned the right to wear those librarian or QM patches, humble but important as those positions might be.


          • #6
            Packs are always looking for good den chiefs and there is no limit to the numbers of them. That POR is good all the way to Eagle.

            Of course the position actually requires work, so that might be a problem.


            • #7
              SPL did the right thing.

              Troop leader did the wrong thing in teaching the SPL to focus on denying the positions instead of problem solving WIN-WIN for everyone's benefit.

              Should have directed the boy to a local cub scout pack to serve as a den chief. That position can be used all the way through eagle. And it is highly needed since most cub scout leaders are not old boy scouts.


              • #8
                SPL was correct in his assessment of the situation.

                Like any advancement, it must be functional to be effective. Tying a knot once does not make a boy proficient in knot tying. Cooking one meal does not make him proficient in campfire cooking. Wearing a patch does not make him proficient in fulfilling his responsibility.

                Advancement is not supposed to be a pass to success. Helicopter parents really aren't looking for a successful son, they are seeking a status that vaguely indicates they walked through the motions and are thus "defined" as successful. It's kind of like studying for a test. One can be successful on the test if they know what answers the teacher might be looking for, but having absorbed knowledge so it might be available later in life, is not the main goal of the exercise.



                • #9
                  SPL did good.

                  But there is another option for the requirement

                  While a First Class Scout, serve actively for four months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the unit):

                  Of course there is always the troop guide position. I assigned ours to train the PL and our new scout patrol. My expectation of him is to work with the patrol and get each of them to second class before we go to summer camp in June. The way it looks he should do it before February.


                  • #10
                    Be very careful taking a scout with attitude, behavior, bullying issues and sending him off to be a den chief. That can be a recipe for cutting all ties with a local cub scout pack, when they think that young man represents your unit's best scouts.


                    • #11
                      Edit- deleted for redundancy(This message has been edited by Brewmeister)


                      • #12
                        Actually the den chief role could be the perfect opportunity to address those issues and call mom's/scout's bluff at the same time.

                        The den chief serves at the approval of the SM and CM/DL unlike the other PORs that are elected by the boys or chosen by the SPL. Assuming your districts have den chief training sessions that's a good opportunity to see how serious the boy is about pursuing the position.

                        Unlike some of the do-nothing PORs, the den chief is one that actually does something. It could be the opportunity for the boy to rise to the occasion or, if he decides not to because it's too much work, you can at least say that every opportunity was offered by the troop.


                        • #13
                          the Den Chief is not an option. Partly because I would not put the one with the attitude issues into a Den but also because their schedule doesn't allow it.

                          Actually the one position that is still available, OA REP, is not an option as they say they cannot attend the once a month OA meetings at roundtables.

                          Unfortunately I did not find out until after meeting was over and those boys left and just the mom was there to say how wrong it is ya-da-ya-da. But I would've taken the time to talk to the boys and asked them why they think they did not get a position and why they think they should. Then I would've talked with the SPL and seen what could be done.

                          Unfortunately I just took over as SM in May and these 2 boys went through 1st class when the SM at that time was a 1 and done so I can't even put them in as instructors. It was a real struggle to get them to do their teach a skill for life - I spent time re-teaching them and then a couple weeks later had to re-teach one of the boys they taught because of their poor teaching skills.

                          The whole making them behind for rank is what throws me... we just had 2 boys complete their Eagle just before they turned 18. We have 3 boys that are Juniors working on their projects the amount of time just depends on their birthdays. These boys are 14 - plenty of time. These boys have only taken positions when they needed them. There are boys that have never not had a position other than their first stretch. In fact this SPL is one working on his Eagle - He has always had a position (den chief, PL, APL, ASPL, SPL, QM, JASM) in fact he was JASM that is a year position that was not over but noticed that the boys that might run for SPL were not ready to be leaders and purposely picked the ASPL that he thought was best next leader and wanted to teach him. I know this because I asked him why he was running for SPL

                          Yes I totally support the SPL. And I would've worked with the boys that didn't get a position if I had been given a chance, but wasn't given it - oh well.


                          • #14
                            How many of you would support the SPL decision and let them know that they need to show that they are willing to work on improving their behavior and maybe they will get a position next time?

                            Yah, that would be me.

                            And never in a million years would I send a lad with even a hint of attitude or bullying issues to be a Den Chief, Troop Guide, or Instructor. Seriously??

                            Trust your SPL. Your SPL sees how kids act when no adults are watching.

                            Yeh did fine, IM_Kathy. There are all sorts of parents in da world, and every now and then yeh can insert a suggestion or a new idea here or there, when yeh have a lot of trust. Don't fret when yeh can't change 'em. Just know that da SPL and other parents watched the whole thing closely, and saw that you cared, and learned that it's OK to have standards and values. That lesson will strengthen your troop and last long after yeh hang up your khakis.



                            • #15
                              There's a good quote that goes something like this:

                              Something given freely without effort is little valued by the recipient, but something earned thru effort, persistence, and commitment is treasured.

                              Do you want to be given a position or have earned it?

                              Might be a bit wordy for the SPL to use on the Scout, but for the SM to use to back the SPL to the mom.....