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  • PLC

    I've been with my troop for 3 years since earning Eagle. I help with the meeting, events, and the PLC.

    Our SPL, ASPL, and Scribe are the oldest members of the troop and are in high school. We missed out on a few recruiting classes years ago so we have several young scouts.

    Our meetings are scout run and the older scouts will age out next year. We appoint the PLC members and their term ends in a few months.

    I don't know when to move the younger motivated scouts into positions. There's a group of 7/8th graders that are almost ready. Should the 3 older scouts stay in senior positions? Just keep the SPL or move a combination of them to guide/instructor?

    I appreciate any advice. Thanks!

  • #2
    Hi and welcome.
    I kinda think that some of the forum members are not going to be happy with the idea that members of the PLC are appointed and not elected.
    I think that it's great that you are still helping with the Troop.
    I do have a couple of questions.
    What size Troop are we talking about?
    How old are you?


    • #3
      Well, some positions are elected,but many are appointed by the SPL, and the PL's appoint their APL's.

      I have found that it is much better to have a young, partially trained/experienced SPL that WANTS the job, than it is to have a 17 year old Life scout that would rather be on a date, or the football game, or the lacrosse field, or, well, you get the idea.

      So go with enthusiasm. You can always train them, but you can't provide them enthusiasm. They have to come with that.


      • #4
        It sounds like your 3 oldest should move up to JASM, that will give them the free time to found a crew with their girlfriends! More importantly, it will give them the authority to guide the new PLs. Your basically training them to fill your present position. With any luck, one of them will have time to help ASM in the future.

        On the other hand, if your older boys have had their fill of intense leadership positions, they may want to go back to being "just this guy in a patrol." If they are willing to be good followers, that's OK.

        If one of your high school boys wants to have a crack at SPL, or wants to have a do-over because he wants to improve, that's fine too.

        This may be one of those things that you bring up with the boys. They may have an opinion. Or, in may just be time to hold SPL/PL elections.


        • #5
          One of the traditionally best recognized troops in our district had two outstanding scouts who alternated between SPL and ASPL for three years. Their SM was new when they started their senior leadership and quite frankly let the boys run the troop, because as I said they were outstanding. The troop has had a great reputation for 80 years, but it almost doubled in size while these scouts were the leaders. When they turned 18, the SM didnt know what to do. There were no senior leaders to follow those two scouts. The SM panicked and left six months later with the troop falling apart.

          The SM failed that troop because he didnt understand the concept of training your replacement. Those two scouts did everything for that troop and did it well, except train their replacements. Even the PLs lack the skills to step up when the troop needed them.

          Every leader, no matter the responsibility needs to have replacement. The SM certainly should be working side by side with their future replacement, the CC does the same. The PL has the APL. The APL should count on the QM and so on.

          The assistant should perform some of the duties of the leader they are assisting. I trained my SPL to stand in one place so that he was forced to allow those around him run the program. The scouts knew where to find him if they needed assitance.

          Not only do the assistant scouts practice new skills that will give them a resume for the future responsibilities, they also learn skills they dont enjoy. Not all scouts like responsibility, being an assistant is how they learn if its their cup of tea.

          I would suggest that all your youth leaders find their replacements and start training them. It will take a while to figure out how it works, but once it does, you will find that your senior or top youth leaders will serve the program by actively selecting and pushing young scouts into training responsibilities for their future and the future of the troop. If a 12 year old shows some ambition toward leadership, make sure he is on the path to PL. If you have a proven PL, push him into PLC. Dont allow one scout to dig such a big hole of responsibility that the program gets stuck when he leaves.

          (This message has been edited by eagledad)


          • #6
            Yah, what qwazse and Eagledad said, eh?

            Those lads who are "almost ready"? Have your older lads train their replacements. Have 'em make a plan for the youngsters to shadow for da first part of this year and then gradually shift responsibility on to them until they take JASM roles. They need to make themselves a plan for this, because it's soooo easy to just keep doin' stuff yourself when you're a senior youth leader. Challenge 'em to map things toward a gradual progression toward bein' "hands off" by next March or so. Plan a TLT event with 'em every month or 3 weeks or so, where they have to be ready to do stuff and then afterward the older fellows hang with 'em and chat about da stuff they've learned or done in scouts or do somethin' together as "troop leaders." They'll think da older lads are SOOOO cool, and the example that gets set of how to treat and inspire younger guys will rub off in da best way.

            Welcome to da fun of da scouter side of the world, YoungASM. Stick around and share da campfire and other questions!

            (This message has been edited by Beavah)


            • #7
              From a SM of a troop that struggles with Boy Led...I would much rather have a 12 or 13 year old SPL that wants to do the job rather than a 16 year old that is there because he's popular or needs leadership time. I can work with a young SPL that is willing to do the work required much easier than I can work with someone that doesn't care.


              • #8
                If you start from day one with training leadership there should be no hiccup when the older boys age out. What most often happens is when a good leader comes along the troop begins to rely on them to lead, but not train. Every boy needs to be training their replacement!

                The young SPL should take the position now with the older SPL training him, etc. for every PLC position.

                This is the trap adult led troops fall into, the adults never train their boys to lead and even with the boy led troops, the older boys never train the younger ones to lead. When the boys inevitably age out, there is a vacuum in leadership until the younger boys get up to speed and they have to do it without any older boy's mentoring. One would think after a while troops would figure this out, but unfortunately they never seem to get over myopic traditions.