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  • #31
    I found the comments around JASMs interesting. My experience has been the complete opposite. My JASMs (all ex-SPLs) have absolutely relished their role. They have become ASMs in every sense of the word. They hang back and let the PLs and SPL lead and step in only when necessary. I have come to rely on them heavily and they appreciate their role and contribution. It has led to our unit being more boy-led in every sense of the phrase.


    • #32
      We have the same experience mozortbrau, I concluded over the years that it is a maturity thing. We have the same experiences with Troop Guides when we use them. We have never had a good TG who was 14 or younger, and never had one less than great who was 16 or older. I think watching older scouts in action is the reward for the hard work of building a program where older scouts like to come. Barry


      • #33
        Boy-led, as in Patrol hikes and overnights without SPL, JASM, or adult helicopters? Or boy-led as in the whole Troop Method?


        • #34
          Done correctly, troop level responsibility provides additional decision making growth that patrol leaders rarely experience even in the best boy-led programs. It’s not a replacement for the patrol leader experience, its opportunity for continued growth.

          However, there is a risk of corrupting the growth of the patrol level experience if the troop responsibility isn’t guided correctly. But for those of us who have experience the rewards, it’s worth learning how to provide that style of program.



          • #35
            E-D, I know I have seen leaders grow when they stepped up to higher levels of responsibility. It was, of course, on the adults to be sure they were trained to leave the PL's alone in their realms when the troop was meeting, hiking, or camping. If they have been made intensely aware of the PL role (I can't recall and SPL who had not been a PL for at least a year.), they have an easier time of remembering that "SPL" does not stand for "Super Patrol Leader."

            One of our former SPL's organized thousands of students at Columbia to supply food, beverages, and wet towels to the responders at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. Asked "how" he had learned enough to do such a thing, he told the reporter he had been a Senior Patrol Leader of a Boy Scout troop. Just a problem of more "patrols" and leaders for those "patrols." I really was not surprised. Pleased, but not surprised.

            [In good times and bad, with a six month gap when all the commissioned Scouters were nationalized into the Army for WWII, Troop 22 has been in business since 1908 (four years before B.S.A. got to Cleveland).]
            Last edited by TAHAWK; 04-18-2014, 04:53 PM.


            • #36
              Originally posted by jblake47 View Post

              To give you an idea of how my boys operate, I use the standard line of march analogy. The Trail Leader is out front. His job it to make sure the trail is safe and clear for everyone following. The second person in line is the navigator. His job it to keep the Trail Leader moving in the right directions according to the map/compass. The slowest person is third in line to regulate the speed of travel. The rest of the boys follow along EXCEPT the PL who is the last person in line. Why the last? Because he's the only one who can see everyone, all the time, without having to turn around and look. No straggler having trouble gets past him and he can bring the march to a halt at any time if someone is having difficulty. He's in total control of the situation and he does it from the rear! It's his job to take care of the group. He carries a whistle to signal the Trail Leader when to stop and when to start.

              My best scouts learn to lead from the back! All good servants bring up the rear. New an up-and-coming leaders know they are getting groomed for the next step in the leadership development process when they are asked to "bring up the rear." (Technically they are second to the last with the mentoring PL right behind him.)

              By the way, adults are never in the first, second or last position, always in the middle somewhere, where the boys can keep an eye on them.


              I like this VERY much. Thank you!


              • #37
                Wow, where to begin. Lot of negative ju-ju going around.

                We have a large troop - 80-plus. Rightly or wrongly everything is elected, right down to the Librarian. That list posted above is pretty accurate. We probably have that many positions. If a Scout needs something for rank and isn't holding a position, he asks the SM for a special project. And yes, we generally have a few left over and the SM sends out an email saying these positions are vacant. Who knows why they didn't run originally. Maybe they were at practice, maybe they're shy - whatever. When was a ASM and did conferences, I asked about why they didn't run for anything and the need to step outside their comfort zone a little bit. When I was a volunteer and did BORs, I would talk to the Scout about how important leadership is and why it's part of Scouting.

                Now, the APL thing posted where the kid didn't hold the right rank but did all this work - was this an actual case or an example? Not sure how that happen. That's because serving in a position of responsibility or doing a project is an actual advancement requirement that has to be turned into the IHR or logged into the Scout's book. In other words, the BOR folks are looking to see if that requirement is signed off, not at the bottom of the IHR where it lists all of the leadership positions a Scout has held. Now, the BOR folks may talk about the leadership positions, but if that requirement is signed off, then it was by virtue of an eligible position or a SM-approved project.

                If someone gave an APL credit for passing that leadership requirement by virtue of him being an APL, well, that's on the SM, or whomever passed him on it.

                Our biggest problem with positions of leadership is that some Scouts do their job better than other Scouts. That's why, for the time being, we have adult volunteers assigned help coach each position. The SM works with the SPL and ASPLs, a facilities guy works with the Quartermaster, etc. My background is writing, editing and public relations, so I work with the Scribe, WebMaster and Librarian. Working with the Scout, a scope of work is developed for each position and expectations are outlined at the beginning of each 6 months. We devote one whole meeting to this at the first PLC. If they don't meet those deliverables, they are coached and we continue to work with them. The adult leaders help the Scout develop the scope of work and then the Scouts run with it. My scribe just turned in minutes for the last two meetings that consisted of four sentences and two pictures - brevity appears to be his strong suit - so there will be a little coaching tonight.

                Hopefully, this will evolve into a situation where the Scout who held the job previously will take on this mentoring role, but for now, this is working.

                By the way, thanks to all of you who helped shepherd me through those advancement issues. Much better situation now.

                However, I can say that we have evolved from an adult-run troop (bad thing) to troop now run more or less by the Scouts. We are not there yet, but every month gets better.
                Last edited by CherokeeScouter; 04-28-2014, 03:03 PM.