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Senior scout w/in 1 rank

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  • Senior scout w/in 1 rank

    I've looked for the answer and can not find so I need some help.

    Silly-ish question:

    At a recent campout our SPL did not come until late at night. During set up, we had only 6 boys. Two are Tenderfoot and the other 4 are Scout. Of the 2 tenderfoots who would be the "senior" just temporarily until the SPL came?

    Scout#1 is 11yrs old, crossed over to the troop from a pack and has Arrow of Light. Has been active with the troop since March 2013.
    Scout#2 is 13yrs old, was not in cub scouts. Joined the troop in May 2013.

    Does it go by rank then age?
    Does it go by rank then experience?

  • #2
    deleted post
    Last edited by FrankScout; 03-20-2014, 05:16 PM.


    • #3
      If there is no Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, it's whomever the Scoutmaster appoints.


      • #4
        The Patrol Leader. If you've got a group of 4-8 boys camping and working together, then it sounds like you've got a patrol. And the boys themselves determine who the leader of the patrol is. The SPL, on the other hand, is not a member of any patrol, and doesn't give directions to scouts within the patrol. That's the PL's job.


        • #5

          Thank you. My husband who has been in scouting for 30+ years gave me wrong info! LOL Our troop is going through some major issues, so positions have not filled yet, so it came down to the senior ASM making the decision since the SM was not camping.

          I appreciate the help!


          • #6
            SPL with 6 boys? Where's the PL? Where's the APL? If I had 6 boys and no leader, I would just have a volunteer step up and take the reins. If no one wants to, they can wallow in their confusion. I find that if left alone, they will figure it out.



            • #7
              None of the above. This isn't the military. The chain of command isn't that precisely defined. As LVAllen wrote, go by leadership positions -- PL, APL, Quartermaster and/or Scribe . (And I don't know there is a precise pecking order between QM is before Scribe, other than I've always seen them listed in that order.)

              Absent an elected Asst SPL or Asst. PL, I would have gotten the boys together and asked them to designate a leader for the activity. And not necessarily one of the two Tenderfoots. The boys could have selected anyone of the six.

              I'll also add that given the youth and inexperience of the Scouts, as the adult leader of that group I would be a much more visible observer than normal. (I'm assuming their age and ranks are indicative of inexperience. A good SM/ASM on the ground would know the capabilities of the Scouts and adjust his involvement accordingly.

              And OBTW, there is no such thing as a senior ASM either. There should have been some understanding of who the tour leader was with their name on the tour permit, if one was required. Seniority isn't a factor. From time to time our troop has had someone we referred to as the First Assistant SM. That's not an official designation, rather understanding that guy is the usual go-to guy in the absence of the Scoutmaster.
              Last edited by Twocubdad; 03-20-2014, 09:14 PM.


              • #8
                when it's known ahead of time that both the SPL and ASPL aren't able to be there then they assign a boy. Same for a PL and APL. Doesn't matter who has what rank or holds what positions it's who they think will do best to fill in for given situation. For our troop this most often happens on Thursday night and Friday of summer camp when those that have been called out for OA are off doing their ordeal. So those that are eligible ask and assign someone in case they are called out.


                • #9
                  Twocub said pretty much what I was writting. Barry


                  • #10
                    Supposing none of the boys had a position of responsibility. It is really tempting for adults to make a rule about something like this. Whatever you do, don't! It's up to the adult leading the outing to guide the boys in sorting out who will do what. And how that's done may vary.

                    Sometimes it's a matter of going up to the natural leader and providing short list of things to do in the next hour. Sometimes you have no clue who that is, and it's a matter of not talking to any boy in particular and saying, "I've got three tents in the trunk that could use setting up ..." or "We got assigned evening flag, I want us to practice so we look sharp ...", then seeing how the boys proceed from there.

                    Then, give the boys a moment to evaluate the task. With boys this young you might want to point out positive things you noticed in how each one performed. Emphasis the fella(s) who was really helpful, or tried to make sure everyone was taken care of. Then ask them "Who do you think should be your PL for this weekend?"


                    • #11
                      I pretty much agree with what's been said. In a small Troop, you might only have one active, organized Patrol (up to 8 or ten boys, max.). If that is the case, then they have "A" Patrol Leader, elected by the boys. He should choose an Assistant Patrol Leader, with the SM's approval would be good. The SM might counsel the boys alittle about what makes for a good leader, but not try to sway them in their choice.
                      When the Troop gets big enough to have two or more Patrols, (four , or six to eight boys each), then the Troop needs to have an election to elect a Senior Patrol Leader (see above comments), he chooses an Assistant SPL, and they're off to the races (or Camporee!). In a Big Troop, the SPL, ASPL, and other boy Leaders are "usually" not considered to be in their home Patrol but in a "Green Bar " Patrol. They organize and facilitate (run?) the Patrols in the Troop. Some Troops just consider them as temporarily out of their home Patrol. "it depends".

                      Part of the learning process in Scouts includes finding out what happens when one chooses poor leaders (however judged) and what happens when one is elected a leader, but has no experience in being one.

                      Mr. Scoutmaster, how do you like your tea, with honey or milk?