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How much say so do the troops have in defining a Position of Responsibility. Our SM is currently defining all the PORs and has combined several of these positions. He has created a Scribe/Historian position because he did not feel there was enough work in the Scribe position to merit rank advancement; however, some of the traditional Scribe jobs are not required. For example Scribe is generally in charge of attendance and the troop newletter. We do not use meeting attendance as a requirement for the "being active" rank advancement requirement and so the SM does not expect the scribe to take attendance. Also the SM writes the newletter so the Scribe doesn't have this responsibiblity. Generally the Scribe also aids the Secretary, although I, as Secretary, do not write the newsletter. The SM has done the newsletter for years and having only been here a year I'm not going to step on toes. I have checked a number of sites and POR job descriptions vary. There is the Leadership handbook job description and then there are troop definitions. Do your troops define the PORs differently than the handbook? How much can the desciptions vary from the handbook and still hold the boy to the job?

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A fellow by the name of George Hutcheson created an on-line document about all the POR's in a troop. It's quite good, and our troop has used this document as our own base for those positions. We've edited it slightly, but mainly only in the suggested attendance requirements for each position. You can see it at:




It's best if the SM doesn't make up his own definitions for each position. It's better to stay with what BSA has published and go from there. In cases where a position doesn't seem to fit the bill, that position doesn't need to be filled at all. This usually happens when there's not enough Scouts in the troop to fill them all. Not every troop has a Bugler. Not every troop has a Historian. But troops that do, usually go by the definitions already published.


By the way, the biggest difference between what BSA publishes and the on-line document (above) is the insertion of suggested attendance percentages for each position. Although some troop don't use this, like yours, we've found it to be quite an asset when taking stock of Scout Spirit, participation, etc. The SM can't possibly know what each Scout is doing all the time...especially with 50-60 boys or more. Thus attendance and the eyes of other adult leaders helps quite a bit. AND...those that are given a position of responsibility need to understand that there is work within the position they hold. They can't just waer the patch and fulfill the requirements. They need to DO the job. Attendance requirements tend to help reinforce this with the Scouts.

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