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hyperduck

Over Engaged New Leader

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Our troop has a new ASM that came up with his son from our Webelos feeder pack. As we are preparing for summer camp, he has been way too engaged in the process. We do hold a parents' meeting prior - hand out recommended packing list, review logistics, answer questions etc. After that, we leave the prep to our SPL and Troop Guides. This particular leader has requested a meeting almost every week four weeks prior to leaving. He wants to be sure that all are on the same page as far as gear is concerned and that the boys are squared away to be in a position to compete for and win camp-wide recognition and awards. In my mind it's about the boys' self development through testing themselves and supporting each other rather than relying on adults. I don't see scouting as a competitive team sport so winning troop prizes is nice but not the goal. Perhaps some need to recall the requirements completed for advancement and those required for merit badges. Our boys may not realize it, but when action is needed they have what it takes, both as leaders and followers. Having fun and having a boy-led troop is what I consider top priority. Even though it is not always pretty. In comparison to our other outings, resident summer camp is a walk in the park.

Thoughts?

 

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The ASMs report to the SM, so it's in his/her job description to reel him in and give him something to do, other than micromanaging the troop. What is your position in the unit?

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Our troop has a new ASM that came up with his son from our Webelos feeder pack. As we are preparing for summer camp, he has been way too engaged in the process. We do hold a parents' meeting prior - hand out recommended packing list, review logistics, answer questions etc. After that, we leave the prep to our SPL and Troop Guides. This particular leader has requested a meeting almost every week four weeks prior to leaving. He wants to be sure that all are on the same page as far as gear is concerned and that the boys are squared away to be in a position to compete for and win camp-wide recognition and awards. In my mind it's about the boys' self development through testing themselves and supporting each other rather than relying on adults. I don't see scouting as a competitive team sport so winning troop prizes is nice but not the goal. Perhaps some need to recall the requirements completed for advancement and those required for merit badges. Our boys may not realize it, but when action is needed they have what it takes, both as leaders and followers. Having fun and having a boy-led troop is what I consider top priority. Even though it is not always pretty. In comparison to our other outings, resident summer camp is a walk in the park.

Thoughts?

 

The SM made a big mistake. IMHO, former WDLs don't need to be made ASMs for at least a year after their scout crosses over to the Troop. I say this as a former WDL. Thankfully, I was asked to be a Committee Member for a few years before becoming an ASM. It let me learn how to sit back and watch the boys more, rather than lead the boys.

 

I'm very proud that my son, the SPL, is wanting the troop to win summer camp type competitions. He and the ASPL have also headed up the whole preparing the Troop for Summer camp--in terms of the packing list, shakedown of trunks, etc.

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The SM made a big mistake. IMHO, former WDLs don't need to be made ASMs for at least a year after their scout crosses over to the Troop. I say this as a former WDL. Thankfully, I was asked to be a Committee Member for a few years before becoming an ASM. It let me learn how to sit back and watch the boys more, rather than lead the boys.

 

I'm very proud that my son, the SPL, is wanting the troop to win summer camp type competitions. He and the ASPL have also headed up the whole preparing the Troop for Summer camp--in terms of the packing list, shakedown of trunks, etc.

The SM did pull the ASM in question aside as well send a "while we appreciate your enthusiasm and support, this is how things go down in our troop..." email. Over the past years one particular ASM has been willing to and looks forward to attend camp. When other volunteers were required, new guy stepped up. The thing is, the usual summer camp ASM and new guy typically don't join our monthly outings let alone our high adventure trips. Watching the boys in these situations is something to behold. They get it.

 

I like the idea of incoming WDLs serving as a committee member their first year.

 

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While e-mail is easy and self-documenting, it can backfire and escalate the conflict. I think this should be handled in a courteous, personal, and friendly manner with a face-to-face, three-in-a-box - the SM, CC or veteran ASM, and the new ASM. Make it clear, he is not the SPL or ASPL or PL, he's an ASM.

 

My $0.02,

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Yep that is me, WDL new in troop. I am just a committee member and like it that way. I have been approached to take over SM next April, but at this point I know I am not ready. If you count IOLS, I do have 13 camping nights since April. Primarily my concerns are my own health, backpacking/hiking skills, and being able to provide wise leadership from whatever feet. It will also be hard not to be Dad. e-male is best used for positive communication.

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