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ScoutMom2014

Positions of Responsibility

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Stosh, often I wonder if working with 11 year olds might be easier when it comes to leadership. Sure, you have to ask lots of questions but they aren't afraid to try. 16 and 17 year olds are willing to try and push themselves, as do 11 year olds, but there's a gap between 13 to 15 where being cool and not rocking the boat is more important than challenging yourself. Right now I have few 16-17 year old scouts and am struggling with this.

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…I on the other hand, have 5 boys in a brand new troop and they are all 11 years old…..It’s all a matter of perspective stosh, we started with 12 Webelos. The philosophies of getting from A to Z are basically the same, just in much smaller doses. Young scouts are willing but don’t have the stamina of older scouts for the weight responsibility, which is one more reason why they need more free time outdoors. I found new scouts can stand about three months of group leadership before they burn out. That works for you because there is no election cycle in your troop. But the key is observe and know when the scout has reached his limit. It’s easy to see, when they don’t want to come back, the adults pushed too hard. I agree with the gap MattR mentions, that is also the age where they struggle with uniforms. 16 is a wonderful age for scouts. I found that scouts 15 and under to be the worst Troop Guides. But scouts 16 and older the best, even better than adults.

Barry

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As MattR points out there is a leadership "gap" in the middle years and I think this ties to Barry's comments on burn out. It's easier to not rock the boat than take on yet another challenge to change.

 

One of the major reasons I use the POR structure I use is because, unlike elections, there is not any term limit to get this accomplished. Some boys do well with leadership sprints and can buckle down and focus for the short haul and get the requirement finished in good order. On the other hand there are others who struggle and would rather pace themselves over a longer period of time and it may take them a year to accumulate 6 months worth of leadership. I would rather a boy pace themselves than burn out or just make it to the end and then take a reprieve from the responsibilities of any POR for the next 6 month term.

 

One of the major skills of leadership that often times gets overlooked is the ability to pace themselves. As adults we have a tendency to make things worse in this area as well. Boy get elected to SPL. Now it's show time. The full focus of the SM and other adults are trained directly on him and his performance. He jumps out of the starting blocks full steam ahead. But he can't keep that pace for very long. Instead 2-3 months into the term, things start turning sour and by the time 6 months are up, the SMC is focused on: "Gee you started out great but then you quit half way through! What happened?" Of course the boy is going to speak up and say, "It was because all the adults were hounding me to death all along the way, including you the SM, and after a while, I just sort of figured it out that it wasn't worth it." Barry hits this one right on the head.

 

Scouting is supposed to be fun, when that doesn't happen, the boy disappears. It's a very fine and delicate line between getting by and burning out. With youth of this age, that line is VERY delicate and needs to be the focus of everything the boy does. I think a lot of adults justify their behavior in this area by blaming the "fumes" rather than taking a serious look at how much they contribute to the problem in this age group.

 

This is why I don't press hard on elections and POR terms, but can pace the boys out at an earlier age so as to not burn them out. Maybe all an 11 year old can do is call up the school to find out when open swim is and how much it costs. For him that's a major accomplishment. Celebrate that and then relax. Just because one has found a go-getter, don't go adding extra pressure on him. Let him decide what the next step is on his terms.

 

Stosh

 

 

 

 

 

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On no another parent trying to make sure her boy gets a POR so he can make eagle by the time he is 12.

 

 

SO OP what is your position in the troop??? OH you don't have one......then butt the heck out. Stop trying to work the system....

 

Let your son enjoy his scouting experience, Let him grow into a leadership position.

 

 

BTW...

 

The SPL and PL's are elected the rest of the positions are appointed by the SPL and PL's. The SM shouldn't be doing it.

Wow, that was rude. My son is almost 16 by the way. And I'm the troop secretary. Does that qualify me to ask a simple question?

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Don't apologize for me.....

 

 

Scouting is a horrible shadow of what it once was......I am not even speaking of my time in scouting as the sun had already began to set on my time.........Fricken millennial Parents......Every body is special, deserves a title, a Trophy or a pat on the back for not crying because they didn't receive the Pink Elephant Petting Merit badge, even though he wasn't in attendance.

 

Helicopter parents........Cub leaders who don't understand or won't understand the intent of the boy scout program

 

Weak poorly trained Adult Leaders whether they gate keep or the ones that Participation equals completion bunch......Grow a spine, follow the guidelines for safety and advancement.

 

Or the Other Adults that think Boy Scouting is a Family outdoor adventure club....

 

 

 

So we have a mom here who is going to start meddling in the troop.......Just like she did in Tiger Cubs push her scout to the head of the line....

 

My Troop has grown and I am very sure it was not a good thing.....I am dealing with a few moms and grandmothers now....whose scout joined our unit less than 2 months ago and think they should be SPL, PL or even God for that matter.

 

So NO, I don't have any sympathy and a complete understanding of this MOM.......

 

 

So Guys, just curious here, In her scouts Football team.....How far would a phone call to the coach go to make her son Team Captain?????

 

NO WHERE.......

 

Ya, I am grumpy this morning........After spending an hour receiving abuse from a mom not unlike this yesterday......Our conversation ended with "No, I will not appoint your scout to any position and NO I will not assign him a project, His SPL or PL will assign him the position. Furthermore YOU are not to speak to the SPL, your scout will need to ask him for an assignment and If I hear of you speaking to the SPL on your scouts behalf, your scout will be asked to leave our unit."

 

 

If I deal with this mom again on this subject before the end of the week I think her scout will be asked to leave.

You sound like a very angry person. I was only asking a simple question. My son is going to be 16 soon and has balanced sports/scouts for more than a decade (he started as a Tiger, yes).

 

He wanted to work on his Eagle project on his off season so he can accomplish both. Now he will have to wait until he's almost 17 to board for Life and THEN start his Eagle project. I was afraid we might run into a time crunch since you never know what may happen. And you don't know me at all so insulting me isn't offensive. It just shows you to be a bitter person.

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Scout positions of responsibility are not given out by Scoutmasters.
In our Troop, after the Troop Elections, whatever positions are left are assigned by the SM to whomever wants them.

 

I've found that some positions no one wants to do -- historian, librarian, etc. The SM has sent an email out stating that xyz position is still open if someone wants the job. I don't know why it's run that way, but it is. And now all the jobs are taken so he will have to wait until the summer.

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A good list. In our large troop we have 2 instructors and 2 ASPLs and 2 webmasters.

 

In another troop I am familiar with it was common for scouts who wanted a POR and didn't get one to LOCATE HIS OWN Den Chief position, or special project, then get it approved by SPL and SM.

That's a great idea! Does he have to have SM permission first to be a den chief?

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Still trying to polish your social skills on the new parents BD? Your rant reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live skits where Dan Aykrod yells "Jane you ignorant..hmmm". Well you know.

 

Scoutmom, you are basing your questions under the misunderstanding that the main objective of the POS (leadership) experience is for advancement of rank. Evem many troop leaders have that misconception. Positions of Responsibility are intended to give scouts practice in real life situation of making decisions based from the Scout Law. While we parents by nature tend to look at the gratifications of stature for our children, that is not the primary mission of the Scouting Program. The program mission as stated by the BSA is:The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. POS or Leadership is one of the many methods of how the BSA accomplishes their mission.

 

But you should also understand that POS experience isn't very useful unless it challenges a boy at his level of maturity and scouting experience. If the troop is running as designed, the Patrol Leader really should have a couple years experience in the troop to have the maturity and scouting experience for a quality leadership experience. I know there is a lot to learn about scouting and how it works, if you don't feel comfortable asking in this forum, there are several other Scout forums a little more understanding to new parents looking to learn. That being said, there are also a lot of good scouting direction here as well.

 

Barry

Thanks for your kind comments. I've been around scouting for over a decade, and now that Eagle is coming closer, I just wanted to help my son not run into some nightmares that I've heard of others -- not making Eagle because they were missing a MB, or not enough time for a POR, that sort of thing. I realize that 2 years is a long time, but also it isn't. Time flies too fast these days. And I commend my son for juggling sports, youth group, scouting, etc. Sometimes plans have to change, i.e. he won't be able to work on his Eagle project when he wanted, but that's life.

 

He's held the POR of Chaplain's Aide and Scribe of Communication so he's not a stranger to having jobs in the troop. I just didn't realize that all the jobs could possibly be taken and he'd have to wait for 4-6 months for a POR to open up.

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On no another parent trying to make sure her boy gets a POR so he can make eagle by the time he is 12.

 

 

SO OP what is your position in the troop??? OH you don't have one......then butt the heck out. Stop trying to work the system....

 

Let your son enjoy his scouting experience, Let him grow into a leadership position.

 

 

BTW...

 

The SPL and PL's are elected the rest of the positions are appointed by the SPL and PL's. The SM shouldn't be doing it.

Don't take it personally. It's the only way he knows how to communicate. Give him a little time and he will start to grow on you. He is always good for a chuckle. You just have to keep the image of Oscar the Grouch in your head when reading his posts. It works for me.

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A good list. In our large troop we have 2 instructors and 2 ASPLs and 2 webmasters.

 

In another troop I am familiar with it was common for scouts who wanted a POR and didn't get one to LOCATE HIS OWN Den Chief position, or special project, then get it approved by SPL and SM.

ScoutMom, Yes. How I have seen it work is boy locates the opportunity, puts some thought and research into it and presents it to the SM in an informal conversation. In other troops it might be both the SM and the SPL.

 

In the DC example, (Having a 15.5 yo at home) I would tell you that "puts some thought and research into it" for a high school freshman or sophmore would perhaps involve sitting down with the den leader over a coke and the Den Leader handbook, talk about the den schedule and what the Boy Scout could add to the den (see the requirements for the award for Den Chief for some ideas). He could call the Cubmaster of local packs to see when they meet. The Membership person on your troop committee might have contact information because of Webelos crossovers. Otherwise the District Executive can help.

 

In a special project example, the scout identified that firewood was needed for the winter camping season, identified a lot being cleared (free wood), and researched the troop calendar to present an open date for a wood cutting special project day. Then went to the SM for approval of special project and SPL for calendar.

 

Best of luck for your scout.

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Scout positions of responsibility are not given out by Scoutmasters.
In our Troop, after the Troop Elections, whatever positions are left are assigned by the SM to whomever wants them.

 

So you found your scout a position....

 

Your way out of line......

 

So are you going to college with your son and maybe his first job interview........

 

 

You need to step way the heck back and stop over mothering your boy.

 

 

So at your Eagle court of honor will the badge be awarded to you or him..

 

 

Back off helicopter mom......your interfering with troop operations

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On no another parent trying to make sure her boy gets a POR so he can make eagle by the time he is 12.

 

 

SO OP what is your position in the troop??? OH you don't have one......then butt the heck out. Stop trying to work the system....

 

Let your son enjoy his scouting experience, Let him grow into a leadership position.

 

 

BTW...

 

The SPL and PL's are elected the rest of the positions are appointed by the SPL and PL's. The SM shouldn't be doing it.

Your looking out for your son.....ONLY

 

I get he is 16 and either isn't very popular or very ambitious.

 

Those reasons don't give you any right to force him into a leadership position.

 

Back off.

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Still trying to polish your social skills on the new parents BD? Your rant reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live skits where Dan Aykrod yells "Jane you ignorant..hmmm". Well you know.

 

Scoutmom, you are basing your questions under the misunderstanding that the main objective of the POS (leadership) experience is for advancement of rank. Evem many troop leaders have that misconception. Positions of Responsibility are intended to give scouts practice in real life situation of making decisions based from the Scout Law. While we parents by nature tend to look at the gratifications of stature for our children, that is not the primary mission of the Scouting Program. The program mission as stated by the BSA is:The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. POS or Leadership is one of the many methods of how the BSA accomplishes their mission.

 

But you should also understand that POS experience isn't very useful unless it challenges a boy at his level of maturity and scouting experience. If the troop is running as designed, the Patrol Leader really should have a couple years experience in the troop to have the maturity and scouting experience for a quality leadership experience. I know there is a lot to learn about scouting and how it works, if you don't feel comfortable asking in this forum, there are several other Scout forums a little more understanding to new parents looking to learn. That being said, there are also a lot of good scouting direction here as well.

 

Barry

Neither of those jobs have any real responsibility.

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Don't apologize for me.....

 

 

Scouting is a horrible shadow of what it once was......I am not even speaking of my time in scouting as the sun had already began to set on my time.........Fricken millennial Parents......Every body is special, deserves a title, a Trophy or a pat on the back for not crying because they didn't receive the Pink Elephant Petting Merit badge, even though he wasn't in attendance.

 

Helicopter parents........Cub leaders who don't understand or won't understand the intent of the boy scout program

 

Weak poorly trained Adult Leaders whether they gate keep or the ones that Participation equals completion bunch......Grow a spine, follow the guidelines for safety and advancement.

 

Or the Other Adults that think Boy Scouting is a Family outdoor adventure club....

 

 

 

So we have a mom here who is going to start meddling in the troop.......Just like she did in Tiger Cubs push her scout to the head of the line....

 

My Troop has grown and I am very sure it was not a good thing.....I am dealing with a few moms and grandmothers now....whose scout joined our unit less than 2 months ago and think they should be SPL, PL or even God for that matter.

 

So NO, I don't have any sympathy and a complete understanding of this MOM.......

 

 

So Guys, just curious here, In her scouts Football team.....How far would a phone call to the coach go to make her son Team Captain?????

 

NO WHERE.......

 

Ya, I am grumpy this morning........After spending an hour receiving abuse from a mom not unlike this yesterday......Our conversation ended with "No, I will not appoint your scout to any position and NO I will not assign him a project, His SPL or PL will assign him the position. Furthermore YOU are not to speak to the SPL, your scout will need to ask him for an assignment and If I hear of you speaking to the SPL on your scouts behalf, your scout will be asked to leave our unit."

 

 

If I deal with this mom again on this subject before the end of the week I think her scout will be asked to leave.

Just very tired of overbearing parents trying to jam their boys through the program.

 

So what has he done for the previous 5 years in scouting. Boys in my troop generally advance once a year, with little extra effort put into advancement.

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"Officially Patrol Leaders and the SPL are elected, and the SPL selects all the troop wide positions with the advice of his Scoutmaster. Unofficially many troops elect every position."

 

"The SPL assigning everything besides Patrol Leaders is how it's supposed to be. "

 

 

In my youth Scouting, other than PL and SPL, I do not recall our employing other POR's. We functioned differently back then, though we did have a bugler.

 

So despite my long experience, I am so very surprised to read the above quotes, and think to myself a stunned "REALLY!?!", because I have in seven years never seen any POR be given out by our SPL, only by, and directly by, the SM to the Scout the SM has decided will fulfill the particular role.

 

Have no idea if our SPL is given input behind the scenes, but the roles are certainly assigned to (communicated to) the Scout directly by the SM to the Scout. The impression has always been given very strongly that it is solely the SM's decision who gets what role, when, and for how long, and never having a reason to question it, just assumed it was how it should be happening.

 

Also, our Scouts are not allowed to be Webmaster or make any change to, or add any feature to, the website, even with the adult webmaster's supervision.

 

Are there circumstances these practices might be preferred in a large Troop with plenty of age and rank variation, since they do not really seem to respect the boy led ideal?

 

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