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scouter659

Youth leaders attending adult leader meetings

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I would like to get some opinions on something. I just became SM of our Troop of 40 boys and large leadership team, 20 adults, just about all trained. We have frequent leader meetings throughout the year as we are constantly tweaking and adjusting our program. Some years ago there was a bit of a controversy concerning allowing our Senior Patrol Leader and, possibly, Junior Assistant Scoutmasters (we currently have 2) to attend our Leaders meetings. I have always felt that they should, if not have input, at least see how that process happens. I also think it may not be such a bad idea to get a youths point of view every now and then especially when THEY are the ones who actually run the Troop. If, for some reason, we would have to meet to discuss some kind of sensitive matter maybe involving another person, then I would say it wouldnt be appropriate for them to be present. But heres part of my thinking. We are such a nice tight-knit group of leaders, really like family in many ways and we are all held together by the common thread of presenting a good consistent program for the boys. I want to say that I actually feel very lucky to be a part of this fine group. Our boys know us very well and the ones who play key youth leadership roles are great kids, great Scouts. I think it would be a good thing for them to see OUR process of how policy is formed, discussed and executed. I should also mention that we are as boy-run as possible in MOST areas and we do subscribe to the Patrol Leaders Council method but the leaders also meet separately to keep reviewing the over-all scheme and to make sure that they are getting our very best. Our former Scoutmaster, great guy and still active and one older long-time Assistant were the only ones to be negatively vocal about this idea in the passed. I have run the idea around to them again, as I did in the past and theyre feeling more agreeable about it. I have also polled a few other key players and they seem to have no problem with it. I guess Im looking for opinions from someone who may be involved with a similar strong team and if there are any parallels out there. Id like to see what outsiders think about it before I make the move. Ill be checking this forum as much as possible in between work over the next few days and appreciate the input. Thanks.

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We ask our SPL to attend our adult meetings when I was SM. We found that both the scouts and the adult benefit from it. It's easy to call specail meetings for sensitive discussions.

 

If there was any draw back from it, I would say that scouts are pretty busy at this age and it could be a burden. But you have two SPLs and no reason why ASPLs can't go either.

 

Personally I would like to take SPLs to round table, but again the time and structure of the meetings doesn't make that comfortable for the scout. I feel that if the SPL runs the troop, he should get all the handouts and information.

 

Great idea scouter659.

 

Barry

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Our Troop committee meetings always start with a standing agenda item, PLC time. This is set aside for the SPL or designee to address the Committee on any topic the PLC deems appropriate. Most months its not used, but at times it is and the discussions are very enlightening for both youth and adult.

 

We know in scouting there are no closed meetings to adults, there shouldnt be for youth either.

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Ok so it has been a while since I was a Scoutmaster. Still here is my take on how things work. I am the Scoutmaster. The other leaders are there to assist me. I ask them to do what I deem needs to be done to implement the program and the activities that have been planned by the PLC. If there are sensitive issues these need to be looked at by the Troop Committee not a leaders meeting. We in fact never ever held a formal leaders meeting. I just asked people to do what needed doing or we talked about it when there was time.

While the troop adult Quartermaster was invited to attend the PLC He was the only adult and I had prewarned him that his job was to say as little as possible.

Eamonn

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I've learned that many troops are like mine (and that many are not) in that our "committee" meetings are adult leader meetings mixed in with a committee meeting as there is a blurring of the line between the two groups.

 

I've brought up on a number of ocassions that the SPL should attend, if for no other reason than to give his input in some matters and to know what we old people are up to in other matters. I've been shot down by the SM who says that it is his job to represent the Scouts to the committee.

 

I disagree with the SM but I'm just one voice.

 

 

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I believe it's a good idea. We've been doing it for quite awhile now. Our SPL and JASM's are encouraged to attend Unit Leaders Meetings, and Roundtables. It helps both sides understand each other better.

 

We've opened the idea to our Venturing Crew as well a couple of years ago. It has worked well with no complaints.

 

Our District started to encourage units to bring their SPL's and Venturing Officers for Roundtable. It is slowly filtering to the units and a couple of Youth Leaders did show up.

 

The only draw back is as Eagledad stated. The Time and Structure is usually not geared to the youths but were working on that. Also, some Leaders are not very tactful when communicating with other leaders. Everyone is learning.

 

Matua

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Our troop committee runs it like OldGreyEagle where we have time designated for the SPL to talk to the committee. Also, it allows the committee to ask questions of the SPL.

 

However, since the committee meeting is held as the same time as time as the troop meeting, neither the SPL nor SM can attend the whole meeting. But with everyone's time a premium (both boys and adults), I doubt we could meet at any other time.(This message has been edited by Glenn)

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Thank you for all of the great replies! The structure of our Troop is that Committee meetings are actually separate things, as are our leader meetings, PLC's etc. I think because of the uniqueness of our leadership group this action would be most appropriate at this time. I feel kind of bad for the one Scouter (Fat Old Guy) who replied giving the impression that their Scoutmaster is IT and what HE says goes. Personally, I am a big fan of the 'Shared Leadership' concept and, as I have just taken over the position, I am NOT looking to make sweeping changes...just ones that I believe will improve an already successful group and its program. By the way, I love this forum and being able to gather opinions from everywhere. This forum is a great tool for getting a feel for what's out there. Thanks!

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My troop does it slightly different from what has been mentioned here, but it works great.

 

The SPL holds the JLC the same time as the Committee meeting. Later on the committee agenda, we have the SPL come and make his report. If at anytime either group has a question of the other, we just walk across the room to the other group.

 

We do encourage all registered adults to go to roundtable, and the SPL and OA rep as they have sections for them too.

 

The ASMs sit in the background at the PLC to help their patrol PL if he needs it.

 

 

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