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NJ_Bald Eagle

Youth Leadership Accountabilty ?

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There are some great thoughts and ideas here. I wanted to responde to the issue of having Scouts be gatekeepers to the Scoutmaster's conference, however.


I hold three different types of SMs.

First - the ambush. This is when I ambush a boy at a meeting or campout. He grabs his Scout essentials backpack (that they are required to have with them at ALL times, unless specifically told NOT to), and we sit down. I will check his book, talk about his POR (if he holds one), discuss his current merit badge work, etc. It is a way for me to ID any issues without waiting for a formal meeting. These are fun and friendly - not an inquisition.

Second - the Scout's request for help. This is when a boy comes to me with a problem. I consider that an SMC as well, and we talk about how to handle it.

Third - The SMC to prepare for the BOR. This is when I talk to the Scout about how he has fulfilled all of the necessary parts to earn the next rank. I consider my role at this time to be a mentor, not a gatekeeper. After all, if the boy goes to the BOR ill-prepared, that reflects on me as a Scoutmaster. In the same sense, the boys coming up for advancement are asked to have their Patrol Leader initial their book next to the SMC signoff and the Scout Spirit signoff. That initial says that the Patrol Leader (or SPL) agrees that the Scout knows all of the skills (for T-2-1), or has fulfilled their duty in their role. This is not to stop the Scout, it is to remind the PLs and the SPL that they too have a responsibility to the development of the Scouts in the Troop. I am trying to make my PLs and SPL feel like they have a little more responsibility than just wearing the patch, and I find that this is effective. If, at any time, I hear that an older Scout is not signing, I have a meeting with the older Scout to discuss that as well.


It all means MORE work for me, not less. At the same time, it helps instill in the Scouts holder POR that there IS an "R" in there.

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