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EagerLeader

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About EagerLeader

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  1. EagerLeader

    Need advice for SM Conference and possible BOR

    Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. It really helped clarify my approach to this for tonight. There are just too many ambiguities going on here and my first meeting with this boy will be, as suggested, a "joining" SM conference and not one for rank. If I were to sign off this boy's book for a SM conference there is no way I could ever look the rest of my scouts in the eye and feel like I did the right thing.
  2. Last winter, a Troop in my town didn't recharter. One of the scouts from that troop was 13 at the time and wanted to join a Venture Crew but wasn't old enough, and wanted nothing to do with joining a new troop (before you ask, yes I do know why and I will not discuss it here). Mom registered said scout with my unit "just so he remains registered until his birthday"... and went directly to council with the application, mind you, NOT to our troop committee which has caused some tension. We never see the scout at meetings, so until recharter rolled around I totally forgot about him. Last week Mom shows up at our troop meeting with a group of Webelos (she's a den leader) and hits me with "Johnny Scout needs a SM conference for rank advancement. He's decided he wants to get Eagle someday. Can I bring him in for you in two weeks with all his documentation?" I was so flabbergasted I never asked her what rank the SM conference was for, or why she would even expect this to happen. I think I faintly said "Ummm, ok, bring him in and the three of us will talk" and off she sailed. I hear tales of "paper" troops that exist only so Venture scouts can stay registered as Boy Scouts and earn Eagle without having to actually participate in the Boy Scout thing anymore. I think this woman feels she can have her son be a "paper" scout and still advance. BTW, she is a Venture Crew Advisor as well as a Cub Scout Den Leader. I have only met this boy twice and never had any kind of conversation with him. If the boy was registered as a Lone Scout and this request was made I would have no problem with it but this just smacks of shirking responsibilities. Have any of you been in this position before? My inclination is to hold the SM conference with him AND mom but tell him I want to hold off on a BOR until he starts attending our meetings.
  3. EagerLeader

    Female leadership in Boy Scouting

    As a former Girl Scout, it is my opinion that the role of the Girl Scout Leader is very different than that of the Scoutmaster in Boy Scouting. Keep in mind that I have not seen the current Girl Scout Leader training nor have I had any association with a Girl Scout Troop, as I have no daughters. When I was a Girl Scout there was a Troop leader and a co-leader. I never had an experience with Girl Scouts that would mirror the SPL/SM association nor did I ever see a GS Troop that had a plethora of other leaders the way most Boy Scout Troops do. I don't argue that a male leader in Girl Scouting would have a different influence on the girls than a female leader. As others have commented, men and women are as different as apples and oranges in their approach to things. That's part of the reason I have a male ASM to also mentor the SPL. I believe in the Patrol Method and the boy-led Troop. I advise and guide both the SPL and the PLC to work our way back to those methods. I feel I am making a positive impact on the Scouting experience in my troop. The day that I don't, I hope everyone pushes me to the side and finds a better candidate.
  4. EagerLeader

    Female leadership in Boy Scouting

    My nomination for the job of SM was met with opposition from a dinosaur on our troop committee. There was no male leader who wanted the job, and with the exception of a few past SM's there was no other adult as qualified as I was to take it. I am just one of three female SM's in our council. It cost our troop committee a member who wouldn't agree to it... you know the arguments: "The boys don't need another mother", "The boys need male role models", or my personal favorite "it wouldn't matter what broad you were, I'd say the same thing." (shaking head for not the first time at Cro-Magnon thought processes) All my ASM's are male. I have very little interaction with the scouts on a weekly basis and one of my ASM's acts as an additional adviser to the SPL. Why? Because he has more years of experience in Boy Scouting than I and can offer insights that I can't. The ASM's will teach skills if asked and advise patrol leaders when needed. They set the example of good male role models. Ask any of my scouts if it matters to them that their Scoutmaster is a woman. EL
  5. J, When I was a Webelos leader I did not take my den to visit one troop in our town for that same reason... they do not allow female leaders except as committee members, and do not allow females to camp with them. I told the parents separately that they should take their sons to see the other troop and explained why I myself would not be doing it. One of my Webelos crossed over to that troop and is doing very well... with his father. Their troop runs a great program and it was a very good fit for their family. The "dinosaur" mentality of Scouting is for men is still pervasive. It doesn't make men any less competent as leaders nor poor role models to think this way but it sure does irritate others :-) Enjoy Webelos, I had a ton of fun with my Cubs for that 18 months. EL
  6. EagerLeader

    Moving from Adult led to Scout led

    Reaseyann, Congrats for the successful PLC! I took over my troop as SM 18 months ago and I am going through the very same transition from "Webelos 3" to a boy-led Troop. Getting the adults to back off is just as difficult as convincing the scouts that they are empowered to make their own decisions. We have a code phrase in our troop... if an adult is noticed as "butting in" anyone can approach them and ask "Hey, do you need a cup of coffee? Let me show you where it is." :-) It's apparent that your patrols need to be reorganized. Build on the success with the PLC by planting the seed of info that they (the scouts) can make changes to the program and troop structure. Ask the PLC to come up with a plan, pending SM approval, to create workable patrols. If you can make the time, take the Wood Badge course. It will be a tremendous help to you in turning your troop around. BTW, those two wooden beads are my most prized Scouting award and worth every minute I put into earning them. EL
  7. EagerLeader

    Can a SM remove the SPL from his position?

    Thanks for all the opinions. Beavah, you're absolutely right about people seeing things from different perspectives... that's why I posted this thread. It helps to get a plethora of reactions to a given situation. I think I can handle this now without losing the respect of the scouts and that's all that really matters, isn't it? I don't want this boy removed from the troop, and I don't necessarily want to remove him from his position as SPL... I just wanted to know if I could, and what the potential ramifications were. Yes, there was the whole "I failed" thing in my head at the same time, coloring my view of how to make this right. I'll fill you all in after the next PLC meeting. EL
  8. EagerLeader

    Can a SM remove the SPL from his position?

    acco, I think I worded some of that badly. Of the two candidates that ran for SPL, I felt the other boy would have been a better fit for the position. I had no influence whatsoever in who ran, or the outcome of the election. Likewise I didn't "call him out" in front of the troop, I pulled him aside and we discussed what he needed to do differently. That was a poor choice of words on my part. ScoutNut, the ASPL has never wanted to be SPL, he's only 13. He just wants to be a scout without the pressure of being the one "in charge". He came to me with the proposal to locate the SPL after the boy had been missing from our site for nearly an hour. We were nearly done packing and it was time to leave. The ASPL took charge of the troop to get the rest of the work done and then locate our missing scout. No, we have not run TLT with this group of boys because they were elected only 6-7 weeks ago. It's on our calendar for next month. As for the threats of physical violence from the SPL, yes it was of the "get the f* away from me or I'll rip your F*n head off and beat you with it" variety. There was no brandishing of potential weapons.
  9. EagerLeader

    Can a SM remove the SPL from his position?

    Our ASPL had to organize a Troop Mobilization (using his new Emergency Preparedness skills) to find the SPL, he had stormed out of our site and took off across camp. Once he had been located the scouts reported back to me. I walked to where he was and he fled before me, screaming obscenities. He would not speak to me in a civil manner. He screamed at me that he was sick of being yelled at, he was sick of being blamed for stuff (IDK what he was referring to, he never elaborated), no one would listen to him, and he was sick of the adults breathing down his neck all the time. Every time I tried to talk to him, he yelled over me and refused to listen. He only came out of the woods when I told him that I might have to call in a Lost Camper Alert to the state police and if he remained combative and uncooperative they may have to put him in handcuffs for his own safety. As far as I know he never apologised to anyone. He helped finish packing the Troop gear, climbed into his mother's vehicle and went to sleep. BTW... the ASPL doesn't want the job either. EL
  10. I am on the horns of a dilemma, so to speak, and would like a little feedback from you all. Our troop went to summer camp. The SPL had been elected only a few weeks before. He wasn't my first choice, but the boys elected him to lead. He has anxiety issues, and IMHO needs anger management therapy. I did my best to guide him with his tasks during camp, and had to call him out twice for shirking his duties. A few times during the week he was rude to one of our adults (his mother) and an ASM reprimanded him for his tone. At the end of camp it happened again, and he went off the deep end... with vociferous profanity, and in front of the entire troop. He also threatened two other adults with physical violence. As the SM, do I have the authority to remove the SPL from his position? Because of the violent threats he made to the adults I don't feel I can let this go and give him another chance. This boy needs Scouting but I don't think he's mature enough to hold the position he was elected to. There are two scenarios I keep running in my head: if I remove him, am I sending the message that the scouts can't be trusted to make a good choice? or if I give him another chance, do the other scouts think "hey, we can get away with anything"? I'd really appreciate some comments, this is tearing me up. EL
  11. EagerLeader

    Massachusetts summer camps

    Our troop is in Old Colony Council, we go to Squanto for lots of troop camping trips but the scouts like to travel for summer camp. Last summer we went to Camp Resolute in Bolton, MA (Knox Trail Council) and it was OUTSTANDING!!! It's a relatively small camp (good for new scouts) with a great variety of merit badges. Take a look, you won't be disappointed. EL
  12. Eamonn, That's the purpose of training, to teach the "how" to people who want to know. IMHO, true leadership cannot be taught. Being able to provide "leadership" requires, as a prerequisite, having a vision and a belief in what you are doing as well as a desire to pass along your knowledge. But being able to "do" doesn't always equate to being able to "lead". Does Wood Badge teach Leadership? I don't know, the course I've signed up for isn't until this coming spring. I'm hoping it will give me the knowledge I need to lead, because there are some in our Troop who would see me as SM but I don't feel prepared to do it. I know enough to know I don't have enough information to lead. Yet. As for your statement "...getting the job done. If no one knows how to do it? All the leadership skills in the world just isn't going to help." That's what ASM's are for :-) Delegate! A necessary leadership skill. EL
  13. EagerLeader

    Annoyed with new uniform

    I'm still on the fence about the new shirts. I like the roll-up sleeves and the new fabric, but DESPISE the back pleats in the ladies version... so much so that I stitched them down and made darts instead. I'm not shaped like a box, you know! The updated switchbacks are a definite step up with the unhemmed bottoms. So far I've had no problems with the manufacturing either. Maybe we should all keep mum with our complaints, before National changes it all again in a effort to "improve". EL
  14. EagerLeader

    Eagle letter of recommendation?

    Thanks for your feedback, it really helped. I'm not very good at letter-writing, it's a lost art. I hope my recommendation is useful to the BOR. Just a question... will the scout get to read my letter after the fact? EL
  15. Hi all, it's been a while since I've been here. I have been asked to write a letter of recommendation for an Eagle candidate. This is the first time I've been asked to write one, and I don't quite know what to write. What is the Board looking for in a recommendation letter? I'm hoping some of you can point me in the right direction... :-) TIA! EL
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