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Cambridgeskip

Resillience Or Taking It On The Chin

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To paraphrase Mel Brooks

"It's good to be the SM, CC, Senior Committee member, etc. son"

When all their requirements for advancement are signed off their SM conference and BOR happen immediatly, others, 1-2 months later.

Its always good to be related to the powers that be, and the youth know it.

 

Sure, there's 2 lessons in taking one on the chin there.  One for the SM's son, who the other boys grow to despise when daddy takes this attitude, and good for SM dads and their inept sons to learn that nepotism isn't achievement.  And second for the boys of the troop, who take one on the chin when they bear the results of parentage used to pick leadership rather than ability.

We've had 4 SM son SPLs in the past ~6 years, 3 appointed without elections, magically.  One turned into a little tyrant whose idea of leadership was squalling while playing portable putt-putt.  The other two were barely able to tie their own shoes, much less a timber hitch or run a troop.  The fourth was a good pick, but dad couldn't back off long enough to let him lead.

The first three grew to be hated variously for their bad attitude, poor treatment of the people around them, their weakness, their ineptitude, their scapegoating, and of course for the injustice/unfairness of their place in power despite their lack of qualifications, and all 3 got to a point of facing mutinies of "no" at a certain point--where the boys just stop doing anything they ask whether it was good or bad.  Two got sour and nasty, one got whiny and would escape to cry in frustration.  The fourth was simply robbed of the chance to grow, and dad's unnecessary meddling caused whisperings of a setup that wouldn't have arisen if he'd let his son lead.  All four caused years of adult-led program that are retarding us still. 

But, hey, junior got the patch, and daddy engineered an important lesson in how the world works, right?

 

How to teach the boys how to take all that on the chin?  Indulge their kvetching, encourage them to run for leadership next time around (assuming papa Lenin don't cancel elections again) and fix the prince's trainwrecks, and create parallel opportunities for hiking outside the troop program by opening PLs' eyes to possibilities—that is, taking ownership where they can and when they can, and working around the things they can't change, and reminding them the crud can't last forever.

Edited by Scouter99

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...

It's the thing that everyone knows, or as you say, "the youth know it."

...

I frame this truth in terminology that helps others understand what's going on.

 

That is: Scouting Insiders and Scouting Outsiders.

@@KentClizbe, either provide a quote from the pertinent section of your manuscript, or don't reference it. We don't need a snake oil salesman when plenty of us on these forums brew it for free.

 

@@Scouter99, we've had similar problems with elected SPL's ... only one of whom was the SM's son. The grass ain't necessarily greener, but at least the boys planted it.

 

Everybody, teach boys that if half of their patrol activities are not independent of the troop, they will run the risk of being subsumed by the SPL's agenda.

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To paraphrase Mel Brooks

"It's good to be the SM, CC, Senior Committee member, etc. son"

When all their requirements for advancement are signed off their SM conference and BOR happen immediatly, others, 1-2 months later.

Its always good to be related to the powers that be, and the youth know it.

 

If that is happening in your troop there is definitely something wrong.  When I was SM, I made sure that as soon as a rank had all the requirements met, I was available to the youth at least by the meeting following the one in which he finished.  His BOR was scheduled for the same meeting.  I refused to sign off on either of my boys' requirements and would not to MBs with them.  The only one that I would have done was the Golf MB because I was the only MBC in the troop, but they did a separate three meeting Golf MB session, so I didn't even do that one.  None of our leaders' sons were treated differently than other boys because that is not the scouting way to do things.  Now for me as SM again, it doesn't matter because I have no sons in the troop.  Unfortunately, I have seen things work the way you describe in other troops.

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If that is happening in your troop there is definitely something wrong.  When I was SM, I made sure that as soon as a rank had all the requirements met, I was available to the youth at least by the meeting following the one in which he finished.  His BOR was scheduled for the same meeting.  I refused to sign off on either of my boys' requirements and would not to MBs with them.  The only one that I would have done was the Golf MB because I was the only MBC in the troop, but they did a separate three meeting Golf MB session, so I didn't even do that one.  None of our leaders' sons were treated differently than other boys because that is not the scouting way to do things.  Now for me as SM again, it doesn't matter because I have no sons in the troop.  Unfortunately, I have seen things work the way you describe in other troops.

 

Our SM does the same thing. He does not do his kid's SMCs, has two other ASMs do it. Does not sign off on requirements (that's done by Instructors). Heck, I think he's HARDER on his kid than any other. No one can accuse him of favoring his son; mostly because nearly all decisions are made by PLs and SPL...that takes the adults our of any favoritism. All elections are done by the troop. Appointments are done by the SPL. 

 

If the SM's son gets anything it is on his own merits. Same with any of the other adult leaders' kids.

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Thanks for the thoughts chaps, some food for thought. Not sure what I'll do with them yet!

 

 

side note:  Cambridgeskip, what is that you're seated in, your profile picture?  I'm an instrument rated private pilot

It's a motorised glider (ie engine to get off the ground then it gets switched off) owned by our neighbouring scout county. They don't have any airfields where they can operate it from in their county so keep it at a gliding club just outside Cambridge, we had a couple of days with them last summer camp where the scouts were taken gliding, adults got to have a go at the end. Being handed the controls was somewhat scary even with the instructor sat next to me, I was quite surprised at how heavy handed I could be with it.

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