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  • LATEST POSTS

    • I'm with @TAHAWK and @DuctTape. Being an adult leader is not always easy. Particularly if you are going to truly follow patrol method and youth led. Being hands off, or more accurately, the invisible hand that guides, is much easier than it sounds. Gut instinct is to jump in and take charge, but resist that urge. Mentor, guide and set expectations, but do not try to run things. The PLC makes the rules of the Troop as long as they adhere to BSA Policy (G2SS, YPT, G2A etc), the law and CO rules. The PLC is also responsible for the all of the planing, for meetings, outings, service, fundraising etc. for the TROOP.  There are elements of the opening and closing that must be maintained, but everything in-between is theirs to do with as they wish. It is their program, they make it. The Patrol/PL plan and run the patrol corner.  The only way to keep the youth engaged is via the program. If they don't like the program they will not attend. If they plan the program, hopefully it will be one they like, but if it is not, then they can change it. If the program is boring to them, it is because they made it boring, but they can fix it.  A better way to get Scouts to outings is to help the PLC plan outings that the Scouts want to attend. It is all about the program. If they don't like it they will not attend. If they see it is fun and they are missing out, they will bend over backwards to get there.  We had an SPL use Roberts Rules of Order to run PLCs. He did it to make sure things ran smoothly and quickly, everyone provided input and that issues/program was actually put to a vote. He had several years of practice with RRO from school. He was smart enough and well versed enough in RRO that he didn't try to run the PLC using strict RRO, but a streamlined version. It worked well and was still being used by other SPLs when I left the troop. I think using RRO is great as long as it does not become an obstacle or a way to bludgeon scouts.
    • I teach SMs to guide their scouts to at least use an agenda because it keeps them on track from a starting to an end. Without an agenda, meetings tend to run really long because the leader will jump to what they remember in the moment. I let my SPLs run a couple of meetings without agendas just to prove me wrong, but they have always admitted agendas are the greatest thing since internal backpacks. The participants of our NYLC course planned at least 12 meeting agendas, and lead 3 during our course.  I believe the SPL Handbook, or PL Handbook has a simple agenda. Basically: Officer and PL reports Old business New Business Closing if you need one. You could add Roberts Rules and let the Scouts work out what they like to use. Our SPL plans and runs an averages of 50 meetings every six months. They get quite good at them. Barry
    • I agree.  I was attempting to say that scouts is not about teaching Robert's Rules.  If anything, those rules can get in the way of our teaching our scouts to listen and be compassionate and thoughtful to each other.  But if you can use those rules in a constructive way to teach listening and compassion and thoughtfulness, then great.   The key is ... We are not there to teach our scouts to master bureaucracy.  It's about the social dynamic and how to work with others.  That's the leadership we're teaching.  
    • Just had this discussion with some scouts in my Jambo troop. One had experienced such nit-picking at NAOC. I gave him a suggested a frank, but respectful, reply. (If any you Uniform Police hear something that sounds like it came from a stranger on the internet, drop me a line. I'll let you know if it was my suggestion.) I think BSA botched it by declaring nonstandard the use of belts sash racks for convenient storage and display of extra regalia. If it had allowed it, then boys would be more likely to keep both sashes at the ready, only wearing one or the other over the shoulder as needed. P.S. - the belt sash rack this would also resolve the crowded MB problem. If a scout wanted to display them all, there would be a specific way to wear the extra sash.
    • Rules of order just serve as a means to make space for everyone to listen to everyone else. Experience with them is good thing. I've had friend from church whose first exposure was as an adult at a congregational meeting. Being a programmer/engineer he was amazed at the recursive logic built into human interactions. I pointed out that most folks want computers to imitate our nobler traits. That said, I've seen masters of those rules use them to justify any disdain they had for leadership and authority. So, while it might be good to encourage scouts to use rules of order at a PLC, you want them to use different listening skills within their patrol. And, you want to discourage them from being indignant if rules of order aren't used properly at other meetings (e.g., O/A Chapters or Venturing Officers Associations).
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