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ScoutMom2014

Positions of Responsibility

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The Scoutmaster's Handbook says that normally the SPL assigns the PORs, with Scoutmaster input, but that is up to the Troop to decide. The Scoutmaster can choose all of them if he wants (but that's not exactly boy-led, IMHO). My sons' troop has the SPL choosing the PORs, with some Scoutmaster vetos and input.

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The Troop is a Unit type; unit is a generic term used for Packs, Troops, Teams, Crews, Posts, Districts, Lodges, Councils, ect. Think "unit of measure", which refers to a great many things.

 

I understand your concern, and as a former Scout Master have had this talk with many a parent. The first thing to understand is your scout has eight years to earn his ranks, which only require he hold office three times. Most troops have six month terms of office, so this can be done in eighteen of the ninety-six months he has available.

 

The second thing to understand is the troop members elect the SPL, as the patrol members elect the Patrol Leaders, and should be selecting the scouts best suited to lead the troop, and put on a quality program. The SPL appoints his leaders, much as a President appoints his cabinet, and should be making appointments based on a who is best suited to fulfill the duties of each office he has to fill; the point being becoming a top notch scout gets you office appointments.

 

The third thing to understand is there are projects the Scout Master can assign, is there is a true need for both the project, and the scout to fulfill his rank requirement. Sometimes breaks between advancement help a scout grow, or motivate him to become a better scout so that he will be given an appointment.

 

The bottom line is, take a deep breath, let the program work. The only exception I see is if your Troops program doesn't resemble what I've described, if it doesn't the Troop has issues, and you may want to seek a Boy Scout Troop.

 

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The Troop is a Unit type; unit is a generic term used for Packs, Troops, Teams, Crews, Posts, Districts, Lodges, Councils, ect. Think "unit of measure", which refers to a great many things.

I understand your concern, and as a former Scout Master have had this talk with many a parent. The first thing to understand is your scout has eight years to earn his ranks, which only require he hold office three times. Most troops have six month terms of office, so this can be done in eighteen of the ninety-six months he has available.

The second thing to understand is the troop members elect the SPL, as the patrol members elect the Patrol Leaders, and should be selecting the scouts best suited to lead the troop, and put on a quality program. The SPL appoints his leaders, much as a President appoints his cabinet, and should be making appointments based on a who is best suited to fulfill the duties of each office he has to fill; the point being becoming a top notch scout gets you office appointments.

The third thing to understand is there are projects the Scout Master can assign, is there is a true need for both the project, and the scout to fulfill his rank requirement. Sometimes breaks between advancement help a scout grow, or motivate him to become a better scout so that he will be given an appointment.

The bottom line is, take a deep breath, let the program work. The only exception I see is if your Troops program doesn't resemble what I've described, if it doesn't the Troop has issues, and you may want to seek a Boy Scout Troop.

8Yrs? I get 7 yrs--11-12,12-13,13-14,14-15,15-16,16-17,17-18. Until they are first class, there is no use to getting a POR. That takes at least a year in my observation, leaving 6 yrs. So that's more like 18 of 72.

I do agree that we too often forget about SM assigned projects, which is an option up to Life. My observation is that the scouts who are not chosen by SPL for a POR often don't want to do a SM assigned project. I think it is because they don't realize how much work the PORs really are in a boy led troop. Boys not chosen by SPL IMHO are mainly the boys who try to avoid work as much as possible.

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hmmmm, didn't I mention this in post #8 in this thread.

 

 

I will only offer guidance if the spl asks, we train them and they go at their position. Some succeed and some fail. We mentor along the way....The PLC critics the success and failures.........

 

The first cycle was horrible, it was a popularity contest........The boys learned very quickly, that billy can spin a story but can't plan a campout or event. It stressed some of the boys friendships, but it was a growing experience.

 

This all gets confused by adults trying to jam their scout into positions needed for advancement.

 

Initially it is a lot more work than just doing it myself.

 

Asking the questions when needed, but trying not to do too much for them.......

 

A balance I struggle with every event, outing and meeting.

 

 

 

So another scout mom with an son who isn't motivated, popular, skill or fill in the blank..........is worried her scout will never fulfill the POR for his rank advancement......

 

My best advice is patience and back off.....it will come if her scout really wants it.

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Thank you to the participants who respond in a Scout-like, give and take, manner. The other, not as helpful.

 

If it makes a difference, I have no dog in this fight, in the sense that I do not have a Scout son in need of a POR. I am also not a mom, if a certain comment was meant for me.

 

I enjoy hearing varying viewpoints, because no one has all the answers and we should always be willing to learn from others, to improve ourselves as leaders and improve our delivery of the program for the sake of the boys we serve, though when there is an entrenched culture in a Troop, that is not always a shared viewpoint.

 

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.

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The Scoutmaster's Handbook says that normally the SPL assigns the PORs' date=' with Scoutmaster input, but that is up to the Troop to decide. The Scoutmaster can choose all of them if he wants (but that's not exactly boy-led, IMHO). My sons' troop has the SPL choosing the PORs, with some Scoutmaster vetos and input.[/quote']

The Scoutmaster's Handbook says that normally the SPL assigns the PORs' date=' with Scoutmaster input, but that is up to the Troop to decide. The Scoutmaster can choose all of them if he wants (but that's not exactly boy-led, IMHO). My sons' troop has the SPL choosing the PORs, with some Scoutmaster vetos and input.[/quote']

 

BSA 2014: "All members of a troop vote by secret ballot to choose their senior patrol leader."

BSA 2014: “He [the SPL] appoints other troop youth leaders with the advice and counsel of the Scoutmaster.â€Â

BSA 2014: "Patrols elect their own leaders, and through these patrol leaders, Scouts have a voice in deciding what activities the troop will put on its calendar.â€Â

There is no room in that language for Scoutmasters to appoint anyone to any "POR." They are either elected (SPL/PL's) or appointed by PL's or the SPL.

 

Since advancement is not an objective of Boy Scouting, why have Scouts in POR's? Solely because they are likely to benefit from the opportunity to be responsible. Putting Scouts in POR's solely for purposes of advancement is as inconsistent with Boy Scouting as having adults appointing Scouts to POR's.

 

Hopefully the new Scoutmaster Specific syllabus due out this year will reinforce what is already there but poorly presented.

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After a meeting of the minds, somehow a PL emerges from the patrol. He stays there until the patrol decides otherwise.

 

If an SPL is needed, the PL's figure out which one will do it. He's the PL to the PL's. If the job becomes burdensome, he can take on the SPL full time and his patrol needs to select a new PL. The SPL serves until the PL's decide otherwise.

 

I really don't care how the boys select (not necessarily elect) their leadership, but after many years of working with the boys, the cream always seems to float to the top.

 

To give you an idea of how my boys operate, I use the standard line of march analogy. The Trail Leader is out front. His job it to make sure the trail is safe and clear for everyone following. The second person in line is the navigator. His job it to keep the Trail Leader moving in the right directions according to the map/compass. The slowest person is third in line to regulate the speed of travel. The rest of the boys follow along EXCEPT the PL who is the last person in line. Why the last? Because he's the only one who can see everyone, all the time, without having to turn around and look. No straggler having trouble gets past him and he can bring the march to a halt at any time if someone is having difficulty. He's in total control of the situation and he does it from the rear! It's his job to take care of the group. He carries a whistle to signal the Trail Leader when to stop and when to start.

 

My best scouts learn to lead from the back! All good servants bring up the rear. :) New an up-and-coming leaders know they are getting groomed for the next step in the leadership development process when they are asked to "bring up the rear." (Technically they are second to the last with the mentoring PL right behind him.)

 

By the way, adults are never in the first, second or last position, always in the middle somewhere, where the boys can keep an eye on them.

 

Stosh

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BSA 2014? What publication?

 

The members of each patrol elect one of their own to serve as patrol leader. The troop determines the requirements for patrol leaders, such as rank and age.

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/boyscouts/patrolleader.aspx April 15, 2014

 

Patrols elect their own leaders, and through these patrol leaders, Scouts have a voice in deciding what activities the troop will put on its calendar. Patrols are one component of what we call youth-run, or youth-led, troop.

 

http://www.scouting.org/Training/Adult/Supplemental/OrientationforNewBoyScoutParents.aspx April 15, 2014

 

All members of a troop vote by secret ballot to choose their senior patrol leader. Rank and age requirements to be a senior patrol leader are determined by each troop, as is the schedule of elections. During a Scout’s time as senior patrol leader, he is not a member of any patrol but may participate with a Venture patrol in high-adventure activities.

 

http://www.bsahandbook.org/PDFs/troop.pdf'>http://www.bsahandbook.org/PDFs/troop.pdf April 15, 2014

 

accord: Scoutmaster . . . Specific Training at p. 35

 

Large troops may have more than one assistant senior patrol leader, each appointed by the senior patrol leader.

 

http://www.bsahandbook.org/PDFs/troop.pdf April 15, 2014

 

Different troops have different leadership needs. With the guidance and approval of the Scoutmaster, the senior patrol leader determines which positions will most benefit the troop, then he selects the Scout who will hold each of those positions.

 

Patrol Leader Handbook (Item 32502) at p. 44

 

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I found the comments around JASMs interesting. My experience has been the complete opposite. My JASMs (all ex-SPLs) have absolutely relished their role. They have become ASMs in every sense of the word. They hang back and let the PLs and SPL lead and step in only when necessary. I have come to rely on them heavily and they appreciate their role and contribution. It has led to our unit being more boy-led in every sense of the phrase.

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We have the same experience mozortbrau, I concluded over the years that it is a maturity thing. We have the same experiences with Troop Guides when we use them. We have never had a good TG who was 14 or younger, and never had one less than great who was 16 or older. I think watching older scouts in action is the reward for the hard work of building a program where older scouts like to come. Barry

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Boy-led, as in Patrol hikes and overnights without SPL, JASM, or adult helicopters? Or boy-led as in the whole Troop Method?

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Done correctly, troop level responsibility provides additional decision making growth that patrol leaders rarely experience even in the best boy-led programs. It’s not a replacement for the patrol leader experience, its opportunity for continued growth.

 

However, there is a risk of corrupting the growth of the patrol level experience if the troop responsibility isn’t guided correctly. But for those of us who have experience the rewards, it’s worth learning how to provide that style of program.

 

Barry

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E-D, I know I have seen leaders grow when they stepped up to higher levels of responsibility. It was, of course, on the adults to be sure they were trained to leave the PL's alone in their realms when the troop was meeting, hiking, or camping. If they have been made intensely aware of the PL role (I can't recall and SPL who had not been a PL for at least a year.), they have an easier time of remembering that "SPL" does not stand for "Super Patrol Leader."

 

One of our former SPL's organized thousands of students at Columbia to supply food, beverages, and wet towels to the responders at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. Asked "how" he had learned enough to do such a thing, he told the reporter he had been a Senior Patrol Leader of a Boy Scout troop. Just a problem of more "patrols" and leaders for those "patrols." I really was not surprised. Pleased, but not surprised.

 

[in good times and bad, with a six month gap when all the commissioned Scouters were nationalized into the Army for WWII, Troop 22 has been in business since 1908 (four years before B.S.A. got to Cleveland).]

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To give you an idea of how my boys operate, I use the standard line of march analogy. The Trail Leader is out front. His job it to make sure the trail is safe and clear for everyone following. The second person in line is the navigator. His job it to keep the Trail Leader moving in the right directions according to the map/compass. The slowest person is third in line to regulate the speed of travel. The rest of the boys follow along EXCEPT the PL who is the last person in line. Why the last? Because he's the only one who can see everyone, all the time, without having to turn around and look. No straggler having trouble gets past him and he can bring the march to a halt at any time if someone is having difficulty. He's in total control of the situation and he does it from the rear! It's his job to take care of the group. He carries a whistle to signal the Trail Leader when to stop and when to start.

 

My best scouts learn to lead from the back! All good servants bring up the rear. :) New an up-and-coming leaders know they are getting groomed for the next step in the leadership development process when they are asked to "bring up the rear." (Technically they are second to the last with the mentoring PL right behind him.)

 

By the way, adults are never in the first, second or last position, always in the middle somewhere, where the boys can keep an eye on them.

 

Stosh

 

 

 

I like this VERY much. Thank you!

 

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