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No youth willing to be Troop Quartermaster

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I wanted to spin this off from another posting about the comments of having an Adult Quartermaster

 

When my son and I first joined the Troop 2 years ago there was a (youth) Troop Quartermaster.

When he got elected SPL no other Scout was willing to take the POR and an adult has been filling this role ever since.

 

Currently in the Troop there are 5 or 6 Life Scouts with no POR.

When they didn’t get elected as SPL or a PL they choose not to do a POR

 

They all have been offered the position of Troop Quartermaster but all have turned it down as being “too much workâ€Â.

 

What do you do when no Scout wants to fill a POR in a Troop?

 

FYI – a couple of weeks ago a 12 year Scout who just made 1st Class has agreed to be Troop Quartermaster.

 

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If they are generally compliant fellows, I don't worry about it. I just tell them that although they don't have a patch on their sleeve, they still need to figure out how they'll demonstrate scout spirit and leave a positive mark on their troop and in their community.

 

In your case, I would ask these guys if they could take it on rotation to assist the QM. Every week at least one of them should ask "How can I help you?" They already know it's a thankless job, so being there for him will help him fill good about his work. Then ask the boys to give you a quick summary of how they think their young QM is doing and if there's something above his pay-grade that the four of them could pitch in and do. (E.g., fill those propane tanks. Chase down signatures for trailer registration.)

 

In effect, you're treating these boys as JASMs without giving them the patch.

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For whatever reason QM is always a popular position in our troop. In fact I recall two kids having a little bit of a feud because they both wanted to be QM. Ah, the things teenagers can find to be angry at each other about...

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Good news that you found someone. I would have let the Troop try and operate without gear for a while until someone stepped up. Too bad those Life Scouts will never make Eagle, but it's their choice.

 

The Scout should be the one responsible for all the jobs you mentioned in the other thread, with supervision from an ASM or other Adult. No reason the Scout can't go along when the propane tanks were filled.

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<<~~Good news that you found someone. I would have let the Troop try and operate without gear for a while until someone stepped up. Too bad those Life Scouts will never make Eagle, but it's their choice.

>> \

 

 

 

Yes, the main method of Scouting is for boys to understand that actions have consequences. If they want to do an outing and the gear isn't ready to use, they would have to do the work of a QM before they leave on a trip.

 

Sucking adults into doing the work of boys is one of the oldest of Scouting methods though --- for boys!

 

 

Good luck though. I've surely been sucked into that many times.

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There was a time briefly when our scouts didn't want to step forward. The cause was an adult that was overstepping and effectively being mean to the scouts. Bad mouthing when things weren't done well and essentially a verbal bully. The result is that scouts didn't want any part of it.

 

We had to fix that quickly. So when scouts don't want to help, I'd be asking if that reflects other issues.

 

IMHO, the scouts take leadership positions #1 to learn leadership and grow and #2 to have some fun in the role and #3 to make a difference. But, if the drag is too much, then they well avoid volunteering. And, I can understand that.

 

 

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QM is not a position of leadership. It is a position of responsibility. Big difference and a common advancement mistake. Explain to me the leadership expectations of a Historian... :)

 

Life scouts who do not show leadership (not just POR's, but real leadership) have no business being Eagle scouts.

 

GBB training places a unique emphasis on having everyone in a patrol with some kind of leadership responsibility for the group. ANY scout that sits back and lets the world go by and or only takes on POR's as required by advancement have no business being Eagle scouts. This is how one ends up with "eagle" scouts that contribute zilch to society after they get their medal and check mark on their college application and employment resumes.

 

It's a sad day when one sees more real leadership coming out of a TF scout than some of the Life scouts out there.

 

Stosh

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Go without one. Hand the SPL a copy of the QM's job description and tell him he's responsible for that too. But make sure he knows the PLs are responsible for all their patrol gear.

 

QMs probably work as hard as anyone. From time to time we've gone without.

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I wouldn't give the job to the SPL, I would have the SPL give the responsibility to the patrols. The patrols need to maintain their own equipment and if they come up short? Well, there's no troop QM to back him up and he'll have to figure out something else. Basic problem solving necessary for good leadership from the PL's. It does work until someone gets tired of going without and will step up.

 

GBB training indicates a well run patrol using the patrol-method already has a QM. No troop QM means he doesn't have any support so he's going to have to work a bit harder for his patrol.

 

Stosh

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If we had a Life Scout who refused a POR or didn't have one by choice, I'm not sure he would become an Eagle for a while. I do grant there can be reasons for not having a POR--such as a Life Scout in a high school band passing on a POR during marching season.

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Right, Stosh. But my contact is with the SPL. He can figure the delegation. I'm also assume there may be shared, troop equipment/responsibilities which he shouldn't dump on the PLs.

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If we had a Life Scout who refused a POR or didn't have one by choice' date=' I'm not sure he would become an Eagle for a while. I do grant there can be reasons for not having a POR--such as a Life Scout in a high school band passing on a POR during marching season. [/quote']

 

And this makes my point exactly! One does not need a Position of Responsibility to be a practicing leader!!!! at 7:00 am, the Bugler is the leader. At 7:30 am, the Chaplain's Aide is the leader. At 8:00 am the Grubmaster is the leader, at 9:00 am, the Activitymaster is the leader. at 12:00 pm, the Grubmaster is the leader once again except for a brief moment when the Chaplain's Aid steps up for Grace., and this continues throughout the day for the patrol. As each leader assumes his leadership role, he is the one serving the needs of the patrol. As they take turns doing their serving, it's called teamwork and everyone has a part whether there's a POR patch or not. The kid that gets up, stokes the fire for the Grubmaster, gets his buddy up and fills the water jug, and then goes and goofs off until breakfast is a far better leader in my book than a Troop Historian with a POR patch.

 

If what a boy is doing does not fit the definition of "Taking care of the boys," it is not leadership in my book. A leader needs people to lead, not a task to do. Position of Responsibility is management of tasks, not the leading of people.

 

Stosh

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The SM is has no issue with letting this group sit with no POR and no advancement.

I had a discussion with the SM about the group with no POR's

He doesn't think any of them with end up making Eagle.

He'll support their efforts if they want to do it but he doesn't think most of them are willing to put the effort in to make it.

 

In the 2 years I have been the ASM I have been really pushing to become more boy-led and do a better job with the Patrol Method.

 

We still have some of the long-time Adults who can't seem to let the Scouts make decisions

 

I think it's harder to train the adults sometimes than the Scouts

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If what a boy is doing does not fit the definition of "Taking care of the boys," it is not leadership in my book. A leader needs people to lead, not a task to do. Position of Responsibility is management of tasks, not the leading of people.

 

 

I'll take the challenge. If the Troop historian is making sure pictures are taken at activities and campouts, getting those pictures posted to the troop's website, facebook page and sent to the local paper, and doing so without significant prompting from adults, then he is showing significant personal leadership. In addition, maybe he coordinates with the PLs to collect pictures they took, or follows up with the SPL/ASPL to get interviews about a specific outing to post to the website. The Troop Historian's leadership, while not at the Patrol level is at the Troop level and contributes directly to furthering the mission of scouting by supporting his unit's recruiting efforts. In addition, I believe it is much harder to lead when there is no direct reporting responsibility especially if you may have to lead those appointed over you. The position, correctly done, is part of the solution to the invisible scout thread, no?

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no other Scout was willing to take the POR and an adult has been filling this role ever since.

Have an adult filling the role is not the solution. Check out the Youth Leader Organizational Chart and the unit position descriptions in the Patrol Leader Handbook (or the Senior Patrol Leader Handbook). If you don't have a QM (or if you don't have an active QM or if the QM drops the ball), the responsibilities and duties of the QM should fall onto the ASPL (and then the SPL) and/or the individual patrol QMs to pick up.

 

If you don't have a Scribe present at a PLC meeting, an adult shouldn't jump in to take notes... have another youth do it (even if it means the SPL has to take the minutes)! It might not be seen as a disaster by teenage boys to not have official minutes from a single PLC meeting, but try a campout without a QM... either the SPL will have to take on the job (which I'm sure will put presure on him to recruit someone) or the patrol QMs will be left hanging (maybe one of them will step up)...but I'm sure a volunteer will surface when they see how important the role is to the troop.

 

If no one want to cook breakfast on a campout because it's "too much work," don't have an adult do the cooking... let the Scouts get hungry... someone will step up. ;)

 

They all have been offered the position of Troop Quartermaster but all have turned it down as being “too much workâ€Â.

First, take a moment, step back, and see if your expectations are reasonable. Don't get too idealistic here, be practical and realistic. Perhaps you are asking "too much" of a teenage boy (especially if these kids have other commitments taking up their time/attention, or are working on merit badges or Eagle projects, or have transportation limitations, etc.). I've seen troops that expect so much from the QM (especially in terms of additional time commitments prepping for and cleaning up from each outing... and then demand so much more on the outings themselves) that most Scouts wouldn't have the extra 4-hours a week the troop expects from a youth QM to do everything (inventory, supply shopping, cleaning, and gear organizing)...and no one would want the job because you don't get to have fun on the outings (you're manning the supply tent all weekend while everyone else toasts s'mores and plays games). So make sure you're not asking "too much." Honestly, the job of a troop QM should not be that hard (especially if you're using the patrol method and have a good Quartermaster Corps. of individual patrol QMs)...and it shouldn't require a rocket scientist to do or be a job that forces a kid to drop out of school just to be able to cover all his added quartermaster responsibilities. So first make sure it is not "too much work."

 

Secondly it's all about perception (and right now it seems like the Scouts perceive the job is being overly demanding and requiring a lot of work). Have the SPL come forward and communicate what is actually needed from a QM and what is actually expected. If they all think it's "too much work," show them that it's not that hard or difficult or complicated. Sell it! This is the SPL's (and the ASPL's) job - to build the team that leads the troop and makes the program happen. You can't always force someone to step up (and even if you do just appoint someone to the role, without their buy-in or true consent, they will be unsuccessful in the rule), You've got to sell, sell, sell! Maybe you have to make it a 6-month term instead of 12-months. Maybe you spread the load around (have the patrol QMs pick up some duties... or have the SPL or ASPL help with certain administrative tasks usually put on the QM... or while the QM does the quarterly gear inventory, have the Scribe there to help him record it).

 

What do you do when no Scout wants to fill a POR in a Troop?

I sat in the corner of a patrol meeting once where 7 teenage boys awkwardly sat in silence staring at each other because no one wanted to be Patrol Leader. No one wanted to run. They all declined nominations. They all claimed they were "too busy" or it was "too much work." The SPL came in and he didn't force anyone to take the job (and he certainly didn't appoint an adult to do it)...he just laid out what was required of the PL, and explained why the patrol needed a leader and what that leader actually does (and how fun it is). After some discussion of how "easy" it really is, the patrol found a willing leader... and he was great at the job... and in the next election 4 Scouts accepted nominations (and that PL became SPL).

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