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  • #46
    While a Scout's opinion on his performance in a POR may be no less valid than an SM's, there's nothing to indicate he can advance based on his opinion alone or even that his opinion is to be taken into consideration. From the GTA, under "Meeting Unit Expectations": "When a Scout assumes a position, something related to the desired results must happen. It is a disservice to the Scout and to the unit to reward work that he has not done. Holding a position and doing nothing, producing no results, is unacceptable." [Note there is no mention of "in the Scout's opinion" here - it is "Unit Expectations" that must be met]. If a Scout has the ASPL POR and does nothing with regard to training or providing direction to the lesser Troop-wide position for which his position is specifically responsible, he has not fulfilled his POR. The duties of all POR's are defined by BSA, and Scouts are expected to know what those duties are and fulfill them.
    Last edited by scoutergipper; 08-21-2014, 11:55 AM.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by fred johnson View Post
      jblake47 / Stosh ...


      You have two parts going on here. #1 leadership. #2 fulfilling requirements. #1 Teaching leadership as taking care of your guys is great. But ...

      #2 Evaluating POR performance after the fact is wrong.

      You are creating something different than BSA teaches us adult leaders. BSA says scouts need to do something with their position, ... BUT ... BSA also clearly says adult leaders need to communicate early and deal with it early. It is "UNFAIR" (BSA's word) to evaluate POR performance at the end of the POR tenure. Reflect and discuss, sure. Evaluate for requirement check off, no.


      I'm not saying it is a bad program. I'm just saying it's different than BSA documents.

      If things are handled correctly there is an end evaluation, but it's the product of several mentoring sessions, with the youth leaders responsible for the scout (except SPL), and monthly scout master conferences, with the adult assigned to work with the youth. Feedback, mentoring, and coaching, should be a constant two way street. However, at the end of the POR term, there should be an exit interview to sum things up.

      Many units make an error by just using SMC's for advancement. In truth, every scout should have a monthly mentoring session with a senior youth leader and a SMC. Not all sessions need to be formal sit downs, as it's better to observe patters of behavior, and deal with topics when situations present them. Outings are a good for SMC's and mentoring moments. Many units also make the error of only having the SM do SMC's; a good troop will have at least an assistant per patrol, in addition to the SM, who should work with his, or her, patrol.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by scoutergipper View Post
        While a Scout's opinion on his performance in a POR may be no less valid than an SM's, there's nothing to indicate he can advance based on his opinion alone or even that his opinion is to be taken into consideration. From the GTA, under "Meeting Unit Expectations": "When a Scout assumes a position, something related to the desired results must happen. It is a disservice to the Scout and to the unit to reward work that he has not done. Holding a position and doing nothing, producing no results, is unacceptable." [Note there is no mention of "in the Scout's opinion" here - it is "Unit Expectations" that must be met]. If a Scout has the ASPL POR and does nothing with regard to training or providing direction to the lesser Troop-wide position for which his position is specifically responsible, he has not fulfilled his POR. The duties of all POR's are defined by BSA, and Scouts are expected to know what those duties are and fulfill them.
        "What one man's garbage is another man's treasure." Look at the requirement in the Boy Scout Handbook. That is the ultimate determination of advancement. One does not sign off on the GTA for a scout, they sign off on the verbiage of the Scout Handbook. Whereas showing up and backing up the SPL means nothing to one person, it means a lot to me. He is doing something. While his hands may not be flailing all over the place, he is demonstrating, trustworthy, loyalty, dependability, and leadership in that at a moment's notice he can step up and take over. Which one of those dynamics is one ready to say, "Doesn't count" because your hands and feet aren't moving?

        For those ASPL's (and even APL's) standing around as backup, that are bored, I do suggest they find other options to keep busy. One of my old ASPL's did take on being the "PL" of the troop officers, QM, Scribe, TG, etc. but with the high caliber of scouts in that group, even then he didn't have much to do. By the time the troop officers reached that level, they were pretty much trained so that expectation would have been a total waste of time for the ASPL. He did enjoy being the GrubMaster for the troop officer "patrol". If the QM needed help he would help there, but that's not really his "job" according to the GTA, neither is GrubMaster, but he kept himself busy anyway doing things for others in the troop (serving) while waiting to see if the SPL didn't show up and he'd have to take over.

        So, in that case looking at it from another man's point of view this ASPL did not fulfill the POR. He never served as SPL pro-tem, never did any training for highly trained scouts, so by the book he was useless and shouldn't get credit for his 6 month tenure. Well, I thought he did a really nice job for an ASPL, more than I would have expected (he was bored easily), so I gladly gave him credit for the POR.

        As far as "Meeting Unit Expectations", I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that 99.9% of those "expectations" are some stupid rules someone along the way got a wild hair about and pressed their issue though some troop by-laws that no one knew where the current copy of it was. See the thread on Tent Rules.... I run a boy-led program so "Meeting Unit Expectations" means, if the boy's aren't complaining about the scout, he must be meeting expectations.... I'm thinking most boys don't really care unless he's really doing something really bad like selling drugs on the side.... maybe.

        Stosh

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Old_OX_Eagle83 View Post


          If things are handled correctly there is an end evaluation, but it's the product of several mentoring sessions, with the youth leaders responsible for the scout (except SPL), and monthly scout master conferences, with the adult assigned to work with the youth. Feedback, mentoring, and coaching, should be a constant two way street. However, at the end of the POR term, there should be an exit interview to sum things up.

          Many units make an error by just using SMC's for advancement. In truth, every scout should have a monthly mentoring session with a senior youth leader and a SMC. Not all sessions need to be formal sit downs, as it's better to observe patters of behavior, and deal with topics when situations present them. Outings are a good for SMC's and mentoring moments. Many units also make the error of only having the SM do SMC's; a good troop will have at least an assistant per patrol, in addition to the SM, who should work with his, or her, patrol.
          Unless one is running a totally boy-led program. Then there seems to be far less mentoring and coaching going on. If the boy hits a snag, they turn to others for help.

          Patrol members turn to PL

          PL's turn to SPL

          SPL turns SM

          If it is determined that more help is needed or that an ASM should work with the SPL (at the SPL's request obviously), then that can be set up as well. Having monthly "mentoring" sessions with every scout really smacks of helicopter hovering by adults and really don't have any place in my troop. We have enough of that with parents, I don't need my ASM's doing it, too.

          Because my PL's tend to be very well trained in "Taking care of your boys", I see very few problems getting to the SPL level. If it does and he needs help, then the SM gets involved. 99% of what needs to be addressed get worked out at the SM/SPL level, but that 99% is maybe 5-10% of all issues in the troop.

          I often say that I personally don't see much of the problems mentioned on this forum as being something I have had to deal with. The reason for it, the boys usually figure out solutions to the problem and so seldom escalate to the SM level.

          The whole patrol is in one tent and the talked all night long! OMG! - Well, they're 300' away so I don't have a problem with it. They overslept and didn't get breakfast! OMG! - Well, they're 300' away so I don't have a problem with it. See a pattern here? They get to a solution to their problems a lot faster if adults are 300' away.

          Stosh

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by jblake47 View Post

            Unless one is running a totally boy-led program. Then there seems to be far less mentoring and coaching going on. If the boy hits a snag, they turn to others for help.

            Patrol members turn to PL

            PL's turn to SPL

            SPL turns SM

            If it is determined that more help is needed or that an ASM should work with the SPL (at the SPL's request obviously), then that can be set up as well. Having monthly "mentoring" sessions with every scout really smacks of helicopter hovering by adults and really don't have any place in my troop. We have enough of that with parents, I don't need my ASM's doing it, too.

            Because my PL's tend to be very well trained in "Taking care of your boys", I see very few problems getting to the SPL level. If it does and he needs help, then the SM gets involved. 99% of what needs to be addressed get worked out at the SM/SPL level, but that 99% is maybe 5-10% of all issues in the troop.

            I often say that I personally don't see much of the problems mentioned on this forum as being something I have had to deal with. The reason for it, the boys usually figure out solutions to the problem and so seldom escalate to the SM level.

            The whole patrol is in one tent and the talked all night long! OMG! - Well, they're 300' away so I don't have a problem with it. They overslept and didn't get breakfast! OMG! - Well, they're 300' away so I don't have a problem with it. See a pattern here? They get to a solution to their problems a lot faster if adults are 300' away.

            Stosh
            Stosh,

            Either you didn't read well, or I didn't write well. Mentoring comes from senior youth (SPL for PL, ASPL for Historian, ect). SMC's are by adults (the whole adult association thing).

            A mentoring session might be the SPL sitting down with a PL discussing alternative ways to present a skill one of this scouts is struggling with.

            A SMC might be an ASM sitting down with a scout that isn't advancing, and has questions about what Scout Spirit is.

            Often a SMC could be as simple as. ASM: Hey Joe Scout, good to see you on a camp out, we've missed you. Joe Scout: Yea, Baseball was keeping me busy. ASM: Did you have a good season? Joe Scout: Yea, I love Baseball, but I wish it didn't keep me away so much. ASM: Did you know there's sports related merit badges? Joe Scout: No, what are they? ASM: see the Librarian, he'll help you find the books; if you want to work on one see the SM about a Blue Card. ASM: Good to see you here, keep working on that pitching arm. Often there isn't an issue, or anything big to discuss. Just like BSA I believe in the value of adult association, and youth led troops/crews.

            There is a place for frequent youth/adult association, and once a month per scout isn't that often. The important part is knowing what is for adults to discuss and be involved in, and what's not. As an adult, when dealing with a youth, typically I listen to what they want to share. I complement successes, ask questions about difficulties, to cause them to discover resources, two legged, or many paged.

            Among a few other things, I'm a former SM. My scouts, youth and adult, go out of their way to talk to me about everything from new fishing poles, to a moral crisis caused by killing a man in combat; I think it's extremely important to be there for them. Sitting down for a conversation with your scouts, at least once a month, does nothing to undermine the patrol method.

            Stosh, I respect you're PL's being trained to take care of things, they should. However, when I read your post I have to think you're discussing a mid to small sized troop. Out troop ranges from 50-70 scouts, and the SM has to have his assistants take an active role. Each patrol has a patrol adviser, as does the junior officer pool (the ASPL assigned officers). The SM works with the SPL, PLC, and his assistants.
            Last edited by Old_OX_Eagle83; 08-21-2014, 02:51 PM.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Old_OX_Eagle83 View Post

              Stosh, I respect you're PL's being trained to take care of things, they should. However, when I read your post I have to think you're discussing a mid to small sized troop. Out troop ranges from 50-70 scouts, and the SM has to have his assistants take an active role. Each patrol has a patrol adviser, as does the junior officer pool (the ASPL assigned officers). The SM works with the SPL, PLC, and his assistants.
              A PL in charge of 8 boys in a small troop is no different than a PL in charge of 8 boys in a huge troop. So that dynamic doesn't change with the size of a troop.

              So with a huge troop, maybe the SPL needs more ASPL's to handle the overload. An ASPL to be the PL to the troop officers and maybe another ASPL to help with PL concerns coming their way.

              I think the only difference between what you are saying and what I'm saying is that I would be quick to add more youth support and you would feel more comfortable with adding more adult support. I really don't see the need to have an adult ASM patrol advisor for every patrol. This to me offers up a slippery slope that could very easily undermine the position of the PL. Yes there should be adult association but association has nothing to do with the operational functioning of the patrols and troop. If the patrol wishes to purchase a new patrol camp stove, the patrol QM goes to the troop QM and the QM puts in a purchase requisition to the Committee Treasurer. So the flow of association and more importantly help flows from a request from a patrol, not the other way around.

              Unless I see a boy breaking one of the 3 troop rules, I do not interact with the boys all that much if at all. If a boy needs a SMC he talks it over with this PL who talks to me about finding time with the boy directly. I do this at the directive of the PL. He's responsible for taking care of the boys and if I step in and do that without his knowledge I am undermining his authority to run his patrol. We as SM's wouldn't like a former SM to come in and do all kinds of chit/chat, how's it going and the boys making it clear that Good Cop/Bad Cop or Good SM/Bad SM dynamics don't seem to appear out of nowhere and without knowing it, might be undermining the current SM?

              I try to keep the authoritative dynamics completely on the boy level. Because of this I VERY seldom have to say to the boy, "You need to be talking to your PL about this." If boys keep coming to me, I know the PL's authority has been replaced by mine. If someone needs something done, they go to the perceived leader. If that's not the PL then the PL isn't really leading his patrol, the one the boys turn to for help is really running it. If it's an adult, then I would seriously wonder if the troop was truly boy-led.

              To me BSA is a leadership development program and that leadership development is NOT for the adults, it's for the boys. Having too many boy leaders is not a bad thing, having too many adult leaders is.

              Stosh

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              • #52
                I have seen troops with a ASM patrol adviser. The ASM usually is running the patrol and SM is acting as the SPL. The SPL acts as a runner relaying information with very little authority. That is just the impression I get as an outsider looking in.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by scoutergipper View Post
                  While a Scout's opinion on his performance in a POR may be no less valid than an SM's, there's nothing to indicate he can advance based on his opinion alone or even that his opinion is to be taken into consideration. From the GTA, under "Meeting Unit Expectations": "When a Scout assumes a position, something related to the desired results must happen. It is a disservice to the Scout and to the unit to reward work that he has not done. Holding a position and doing nothing, producing no results, is unacceptable." [Note there is no mention of "in the Scout's opinion" here - it is "Unit Expectations" that must be met]. If a Scout has the ASPL POR and does nothing with regard to training or providing direction to the lesser Troop-wide position for which his position is specifically responsible, he has not fulfilled his POR. The duties of all POR's are defined by BSA, and Scouts are expected to know what those duties are and fulfill them.

                  BSA defines the corrective action in "When expectations are not met". and it is NOT after the fact.

                  You want the scout accountable without holding the leaders accountable. When both sides fail, we favor the scout.

                  I'm all for holding scouts accountable. But doing it after the fact is UNFAIR and depends on the scout and his family not known the BSA program ... or their not feeling comfortable speaking up about it.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by SM bob View Post
                    I have seen troops with a ASM patrol adviser. The ASM usually is running the patrol and SM is acting as the SPL. The SPL acts as a runner relaying information with very little authority. That is just the impression I get as an outsider looking in.
                    Unfortunately that is the slippery slope I talked about. Once a troop shifts over to adult-led, it is a real bear to shift it back. I hope SM Bob, that's not your troop!

                    Stosh

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by fred johnson View Post


                      BSA defines the corrective action in "When expectations are not met". and it is NOT after the fact.

                      You want the scout accountable without holding the leaders accountable. When both sides fail, we favor the scout.

                      I'm all for holding scouts accountable. But doing it after the fact is UNFAIR and depends on the scout and his family not known the BSA program ... or their not feeling comfortable speaking up about it.
                      But it can be after the fact. If the SM spends some time reviewing the "work" of the boy having completed his POR, reviews his definition of the role, finds out how he feel about what he did or didn't do, evaluates what he could do better next time, identifies areas where he needs to focus for improvement, etc. etc. Then corrective action after the fact is a VERY important part of the process.

                      Of course it doesn't have to be after the fact if the boy approaches someone for help mid-stream. He is interested in doing something but the boys are resisting it and he doesn't know what to do, he's 2 months into his POR and is starting to get frustrated. He turns for help and SPL, SM and whoever he seeks out for guidance is there to walk him through some other processes/options to consider.

                      And then it can also happen before the fact. "Mr. SM, what does a Librarian do?????" "Danged if I know, what do you think would be good for you to be doing?" "Let's keep track of all the old out-dated MB books that should be thrown away, but we've got a shelf of them in the storage closet that no one has ever wanted." "No, maybe you should do something a bit more productive.... Why don't you think about it for a week and see what you can come up with, we'll meet again next week and I'll see if I can come up with some ideas too for you to consider, too."

                      Each opportunity set before a boy is an opportunity to learn and grow. He doesn't need a pigeon-hole to be stuffed into. If he has a leadership style he is working on, his round peg style just isn't going to fit into the square slot the SM thinks he should fit into. His POR is a vague outline of possibilities set before him for his consideration and through a series of options, opinions, epiphanies, examples etc. he just might find where he fits in and does a nice job at it. If not, next POR we try Plan B.

                      Although each POR is nothing more than a management task, I think they are useful tools for determining character and integrity in the boys and offer them an opportunity to try out their leadership as well as management skills. My #1 consideration is: Is he doing what he's doing so he gets rank advancement credit or is he doing it for the benefit of his buddies in the patrol/troop? Both will get him credit for a POR, but option #2 lets me know who's getting in line for PL/SPL down the road.

                      And yes, I have left the boy knowing that the POR he just finished up was a slip-shod job. He gets credit for it, but if it comes down to him and another boy vying for a position, he may get passed over and advancement delayed as a consequence of his actions. I don't have to punish him for a poor job, there are those out there that notice stuff as much as I do.

                      Stosh
                      Last edited by jblake47; 08-21-2014, 08:02 PM.

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                      • #56
                        I agree with Fred here. We shouldn't wait till the end of a Position of Responsibility to talk to a Scout about how the job is going. That's not fair to them.
                        Last edited by Sentinel947; 08-22-2014, 03:13 AM.

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                        • #57
                          It's not fair to them to give them all the answers to the test at the beginning either. If one gives them all the answers, it takes away their opportunity to learn.

                          Stosh

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
                            It's not fair to them to give them all the answers to the test at the beginning either. If one gives them all the answers, it takes away their opportunity to learn. Stosh
                            I don't like the test analogy. The purpose of a POR is for the the Scout to grow, be responsible and lead others. Many lessons in those jobs they will learn without adult intervention. Other situations, sometimes need an adult to ask a few good questions and help them find the answer. Like any scouting issue things aren't always night and day like a light switch. Our approach needs to be nuanced and flexible.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                              I don't like the test analogy.
                              Most adult leaders probably don't. But there are a few who do.

                              Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                              The purpose of a POR is for the the Scout to grow, be responsible and lead others.
                              That simply is a false assumption. How is a Librarian supposed to lead, or a Webmaster, or a Historian or a Bugler, or a Scribe, or a QuarterMaster? These are positions of responsibility, not positions of leadership. If one is responsible for taking on a job, it may or may not involve some leadership, but the primary focus is a job assignment and that responding to it is a management function, not a leadership function. If they happen to pick up a leadership lesson along the way, great, but for the most part it is simply doing a job and that is management. It makes the advancement requirement a lot easier to understand if one doesn't toss in a lot of assumptions that were never intended to be there.

                              Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                              Many lessons in those jobs they will learn without adult intervention.
                              And if one is capable of actually trusting their boys, will learn without any adult intervention. Why should they do a job if they know if they sit on their hands long enough some adult will come along and intervene eventually? Every kid whether they are a scout or not, know how that process works. That's how young people manipulate the world of adults without getting yelled at too much. Sure, they'll take a bit of a tongue lashing if they get the adult to do the work in the end it's worth it. If the boy knows no adult is going to step in and interfere with getting the job done, they'll figure it out.

                              Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                              Other situations, sometimes need an adult to ask a few good questions and help them find the answer. .
                              No they don't. If the program is going to be boy-led they don't need adults hovering around critiquing their every move and offering up unwanted friendly advice. If they do, the reaction is the same whether it's a youth or another adult. "If you think you can do better, here, the job's yours!" That would be my reaction and I wouldn't blame a kid one bit if it's his too. One of the first things I teach all my scouts is the phrase. "With all due respect, Mr. _____, I can handle it, thank you for your concern." My boys can and do use it a lot, especially with the new ASM's that come on-board.

                              Originally posted by Sentinel947 View Post
                              Like any scouting issue things aren't always night and day like a light switch. Our approach needs to be nuanced and flexible.
                              No, our approach needs to be youth oriented and youth directed and youth initiated. And yes, like a light switch either one is letting the boys lead or they are not. Subtle nuanced and flexible interference is not letting the boys lead the program. It means they are expected to run it at the subtle nuanced directives of the adults.

                              I have found over the years that if the boys run into problems they can't handle they will ask for help. Until then if they are to grow and develop they're going to need the adults step back, get out of the way and let them figure it out on their own. If they can't, then they'll ask.

                              Yet, after they have worked themselves through an issue, to sit down and assist the boy in evaluating how they did, what they did, and how they felt about the outcome is fine. That is not leading, it is following-up and there's a big difference between the two. This is why the test analogy is very valid.

                              90% of the time I'm their cheerleader, the another 5% I'm offering up non-binding suggestions they might want to consider as a possible solution to their predicament AFTER they have asked for those suggestions, and the last 5% I'm yelling at them for safety issues, consoling them because they're home-sick, etc. The standard non-program types of life things that go along with young boys.

                              Stosh

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
                                Unfortunately that is the slippery slope I talked about. Once a troop shifts over to adult-led, it is a real bear to shift it back. I hope SM Bob, that's not your troop! Stosh
                                It's not. We do not have ASM's assigned to patrols.

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