Hi scouts and scouters,
Since it's my first post, I'll give some introduction to myself.
I'm quite... unique for a Scout, demographically speaking. I live in one of the only Republican districts in Southern California (in which my troop is chartered), but am more like minded with the Catholic prep school which I commute to for about half an hour every day during the school year. I'm one of two kids in a troop of only 60 that isn't white, the only scout that is an actual immigrant and, although I was born in Asia (I'll be a bit general here), the only scout that bears Canadian citizenship. English is spoken between 60-70% at home.
Without trying to sound elitist, I feel that I'm more trained for leadership than many of my peers within my troop. My father is an IT professional, and I have permeated from him his decades of experience and knowledge. My mom has her degree in psychology, although I forgot if it was developmental or cognitive. I have studied some sociology and government theory at school (although I wouldn't say at a university level), and, although the school doesn't formally rank, I'm more or less at the top of my class. Me aside, only about 4 other kids in my troop attend private schools, and I'm philosophically/ ethically/ morally/politically/ and etc. differently minded from my scout friends. Being strongly influenced and in favor of the Canadian method of alien integration(the whole mosaic vs melting pot model thing), I'd say that I've had the strength to not melt down and assimilate.
Despite these quirks, though, I'm quite well favored in my troop. I became eligible for and was elected the PL of the troop's largest of its 5 patrols just this last term. I am in charge of 17 scouts, myself included, and am very committed with the program and to my boys.
Given this, I have some unconventional ideas and experiences as a PL that I'd like to keep a sort of anonymous digital journal for, and your input is always appreciated. I feel that I may be overstepping my boundaries as a PL with some of these, doing much of this without informing the PLC (although I have nothing against doing so. If I did, though, I'd be the most high maintenance of the PL's to the ASPL directing patrol managment, since the other PL's don't seem as nearly as active as I am.) My troop with all its boys has a very strong program, although the patrol method is comparatively weak. In the past year there has probably been only 1 patrol outing total within the whole troop.
Anyways, as to the patrol, I plan to have a semi-full leadership team for my patrol itself, which will grow as needed. The PLC to regular scout ratio is about 1 to 5, and 2 to 15 is just unsustainable for my patrol's subPLC. The patrol is made up of 2 demographics of boys, young enthusiastic scouts that bridged recently and older scouts which leave something to be desired with discipline. They gave the former patrol leader quite a headache, but I'm appointing this former PL my second APL, to manage the older boys. My primary APL is an eager younger scout which I plan to develop as a potential successor; I feel that he doesn't have enough influence on the older boys given his age to be effective in controlling them. In addition, I'll have a patrol scribe who keeps records parallel to those of the troop (since the adults are nervous about giving me access to troop records, and doing so would require some hassle).
In addition to its subPLC, I've divided the patrol into 2 sections. The first section includes the younger scouts, who report directly to the first PL and transfer records to the scribe. The second section includes the older scouts, who report records to the 2nd PL or the scribe (so that they can do what's comfortable for them as, being somewhat relaxed teens, they might not report in otherwise.) The boys of my troop have struggled to develop an effective troop bureaucracy for months, and I feel that what the troop has searched for I can give to my patrol. Division, here, is just for ease of general management.
Secondly, with summer camps choices for 2012, as has happened comparatively with historic presidential elections, the popular vote favored summer camp B but, given that every patrol is worth one vote, the represented vote favored summer camp A. My patrol, and the second largest patrol, representing the majority of the boys in the troop, voted against the next 3 smaller patrols for summer camp. I favor summer camp B very strongly. Now, both summer camps are being presented to the parent committee by their supporting parties in a few weeks. I hope to outpresent summer camp A such that the parent committee will be compelled to veto in favor of summer camp B. The presentation of summer camp A is being given by a good scout, an eagle, in fact, but I feel that with enough effort and the right practices I can deliver a very convincing presentation without directly attacking summer camp A. I'm trying to let my parents make their own decision and keep them unbiased towards me in deciding whether or not they should veto. Would you consider my plans unethical and harmful to the democratic process? (I won't explain the summer camps and why I think one is superior, since I want to separate this debate over the idea from whole ends justifying means dilemma.
Given my patrol's size, I'm finding the use of digital documentation increasingly necessary. I'm quite tech savy, being on my school-issue laptop about 8 hours every day for business or pleasure, and am planning to use googledocs or some other such service for patrol records for NHP (since there's no way I'd be granted direct access to troop level records; not even the troop scribe has managed to gain access, although historically troop scribe hasn't been too active a position.)
To encourage scouts, I'm planning to award things like patrol patch accessories, seating priority during line up and editing rights on googledocs with rank advancement, model behavior and scouting achievment. In addition, I'm going to give my subPLC cheap little scribe/insignia pins, since they have their work cut out for them and should have some sort of uniformed recognition for it. Their their jobs rival those of the PL's of smaller troops given the work involved. I'd want all incentivies to be related to the program and not something random like ice cream.
The troop executive board has thought of splitting the patrol for a while. I'm actually quite against this; there's a reason incoming scouts choose this patrol more than any other. I feel that under my guidance I can make the experience for the boys better than that which they would have under other patrol leaders. It's just that, for better or worse, I'm not one to appreciate mediocrity well. I hope that I can teach this to my patrol and become a model patrol for the greater troop to follow.
Thanks, I'd really like your input in my little socio-govermental experiment!