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SPL and ASPL conflicts

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  • #16
    What Twocubdad said.

    SM pow-wow: "Hey you two, here are specific examples of how your behavior is impacting the troop. I expect better. I'm two stay behind and figure it out."


    • #17
      I can kinda relate. My older son is ASPL (appointed by SPL) after he ran against him (the "pro-fun" vs "pro-advancement" race--fun lost)and lost. They have very different personalities and often clash. It is VERY hard as a father and a Scouter not to want to kick said son in the butt and have him live up to his responsibilities.

      This kind of conflict is a very teachable moment for the SPL and ASPL. The ASPL needs to learn to be a team player the SPL needs to learn that he needs to teach the ASPL what he wants and take risks on letting him do the work. As any one who has ever supervised folks in the workplace knows it can be a pretty tough education.


      • #18

        How much longer till the next election?

        That sounds like it will solve the problem. It usually creates NEW problems!

        Welcome to Scoutmastering!


        • #19
          Lol Seattle. The election was a bit over a week ago, these boys haven't even officially taken over their positions. They were functioning in them at the campout this past weekend because the SPL was not there.

          So I we have 6 months and one week before their 6 month term ends. I'm sure that there will be more drama to unfold. Hopefully they will both learn to tone it down and work for the betterment of the Troop. They ran the meeting two nights ago (again SPL not there) together without major drama. Either way both boys should emerge better for it. Just driving me nuts!


          • #20


            • #21
              Once again, more "hey, I've signed up to deliver the Scouting program but I think I'll ignore that and deliver the SM_Travis program instead." Sorry, not to pick on you but this is a common theme on this forum. Folks pick and choose what they want to follow or not.

              P.S. There is a reason presidential candidates choose their own vice presidential candidates and the populace doesn't select a "president in training."


              • #22
                I get what you are saying and agree to a point. But another 6 months as we were going probably would have cost us 1/2 the Troop. We had to do something that worked with the resources we had. It was decided by a vote of the boys to try this for 1 year and to reevaluate.

                I am usually the adult advocating for us to do the program as intended. Now that I am SM, I should prevail more frequently. However, I don't necessarily think the BSA program is infallible, and there are times when if you refuse to be flexible you can run the program into the ground.


                • #23
                  While elections teach the boys the significance of civic duty and conducting how things work, if elections aren't working out for the betterment of the troop, there are always alternatives.

                  Volunteering is a lesson of significance of civic duty too.

                  Experience is an important character trait to have, as well as teamwork and cooperation, etc.

                  There are always the flip-side of all this as well. Election held. Boy doesn't get his way, takes a 6 month hiatus comes back to see if things got better, if not repeat until it becomes a useless endeavor and then quit.

                  If the "system" ain't working, let the boys figure it out. That in itself a great lesson in civic duty, too. Some of today's traditions weren't even around 10 years ago. Traditions normally have nothing to do with the past, they are a present day opinions of what people think the past was.



                  • #24
                    I've had numerous boys complain to me about their "terrible" SPL at month 1, only to have nothing but praise for the guy at month 6.

                    Dashed expectations are par for the course.
                    So are pleasant surprises.


                    • #25

                      You are correct, ever boy that takes on a POR should be given a chance to get through the learning curve. My point, however, after a couple of months and it's going nowhere, it would be nice to have a Plan B in place.



                      • #26
                        Problem 1: Boys not happy with who is in charge

                        Reason: You set up a process to make their selection delayed by six months (meddling adults)

                        Solution: Let the boys elect their leaders the way that they want and stop meddling beyond setting minimum standards to hold office. (Having served as ASPL, generally an unrelated job, is not a BFOQ for SPL). How about having been a PL first instead, but elected to it and then no automatic bump up.

                        Problem 2: Boys **** about election outcomes and not all support the new leader

                        Reason: Leaders failed to ask the boys to establish ground rules for the election process themselves, and then failed to guide them in a discussion of "How do you disagree with the choice but support - just like the PResident?" Probably SM and ASM's regularly moan about national political leaders or other scout leaders in front of boys teaching this behavior to them.

                        Solution: Don't talk about anyone behind their back in front of the boys (or ever). Have a discussion with boys on election night before they vote on what the minimum qualifications for the job are. Have the boys, not the SM, establish ground rules for the election, and give an SM minute about "disagree but support."


                        • #27
                          This isnt an election issue, it is about character growth and how the adult encourages that growth. We must remember that character is our goal and the activities of the program are just ways for scouts to see themselves making decisions.

                          These scouts are not acting as servant leaders of the troop. They are instead being self-serving by competing against each other to be top dog and dragging the troop down to their level of immaturity. They are being prideful, which is not a trait of a servant leader. Servant leadership is outward actions of humility, not self-pride.

                          So how do we adults get scouts to see their actions in self-serving mirror, we ask them to reflect their behavior against the Scout Law and Oath. The points in the Scout Law are outward actions of humility. Every action by a scout toward others should be measured against the scout law. The Scout Law is a perfect guide of servant leadership and is an easy guide for the adults when they need a scout to see their wrong choices.

                          The discussion with the scouts needs to go the direction of respecting each others responsibilities, and at the very least following the other scouts duties of leadership Cheerfully even when they dont agree.

                          The problem new adult leaders have is getting scouts to change focus from themselves to focus to those they serve. The Scout Oath sets the priority of god, county, and other people. The main point here is that the scout serves himself last, not first. The Law directs the proper actions of serving others.

                          Personally I would first sit down with scout each separately and teach them the difference between servant leadership and self-servant leadership and the advantages and disadvantages of each style. I would then remind them of the how the Law and Oath work in the scouts decisions. Then my style of working with scouts is getting them to reflect their decisions to the law and then leave them to ponder on it. For a scout to want to change, he has to discover on his own the motivation to change.

                          Once I did that and allowed the scouts to think about it, then I would encourage the SPL to meet with the ASPL and discussion how they can work together.

                          The hard part here is not the scouts behavior, its how we adults guide the scouts to see it so that they are motivated to change. Its not easy and it takes practice. But we do have the Scout Oath and Law to hlep us if nothing else. Character change only happens when we dont like ourselvees when we see how we react to stress. Leadership is one of the best ways for a scout to be stressed. Since we know leadership is stressful and our character will come out with stress, we adults need to be prepared that the scouts will need some guidance. Not much really, but something that gets them to see themselves and how they are making decisions. If we dont do it here in the troop, then where?