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Impeach an SPL?

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I didn't hear the podcasts, but I was also thinking along this line.

 

Barry

yeah, quoting Clarke Green from his blog post regarding that podcast,

"What adults do is just as important to a boy-led troop as what adults don’t do.

Defining what we should not do is nowhere near as useful as sharing what we shoulddo,  but before I do let’s address one common misconception;

Boy-led is not boy-defined. 

Every once in a while I’ll hear something like; “We don’t have patrols because the Scouts decided they didn’t want them, we are boy-led after all.â€

Imagine a basketball game where the players were carrying the ball rather than dribbling. You ask a coach why and they tell you; “the players all decided they’s rather play this way.†Can you still call that game “basketballâ€?

Just like any other game Scouting has limitations and definitions. We all play the game within those definitions and limitations, the players don’t re-invent the game."

I still buy into the Boy-Led mantra and all of that, but Great point Clarke.... "boy led not boy defined", well said!

 

http://scoutmastercg.com/what-is-a-boy-led-troop/

Edited by blw2

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That has never happened in my Troop, and we've always had an SPL for over 20 years.

 

That must make him about 35 years old by now.  :D

 

If the troop is large enough to warrant an SPL, that's not a problem.  With running troops where 2-3 patrols are the norm, it hasn't been necessary.  When we got up to 4 patrols, then the PL's selected an SPL to help them.

Edited by Stosh

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All of life is optional, people can vote with their feet anytime they so wish.  When a group knows it is empowered to steer their own destiny, it's not going to bode well for those who interfere.  If push came to shove, I'd back the PL's who stood up to this SPL because they were indeed taking care of and looking out for their boys.

 

Oddly enough the next elections were HIGHLY scrutinized by the boys. They asked questions of the candidates so the 3 minute speeches were actually 5-7 min QAs. Camp outs were better attended than in the previous cycle and the boys really kept an eye on their leaders.

 

Accountability! I love it!!!

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That must make him about 35 years old by now.  :D

 

If the troop is large enough to warrant an SPL, that's not a problem.  With running troops where 2-3 patrols are the norm, it hasn't been necessary.  When we got up to 4 patrols, then the PL's selected an SPL to help them.

Grammer police sighted!!!  :p 

 

 

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If the PLC is considering "impeaching" the SPL, then someone has failed, and should consider resigning.  That someone?  The Scoutmaster.  One of the main jobs of the Scoutmaster is to mentor the SPL.  If the SPL is failing that badly, then the Scoutmaster has not been doing his/her job.  Sometimes, a Troop will elect an SPL where it just comes naturally, where they've already learned the skills to lead and just get right to it without the SM needing to do much but sit back and enjoy the ride.  This is not the most common, though.  Consider this SPL on the right side of a standard bell curve.  Most often, Troops elect SPL's that need quite a lot of mentoring to start but then start taking off on their own and do a fine job.  Consider this the center of the bell.  The there are the SPLs on the left side of the bell curve.  They need a lot of mentoring and contact by the SM to get things done - sometimes Troops elect them.  Too often, the SM and ASMs will just let them flounder because they have the "the boys elected him, the boys need to feel the consequences" attitude.   If this describes you, please consider taking a position on the committee and stay away from the boys - you're not doing them any good and, in fact, are harming them.

 

When you have that kind of SPL, it's a lot more work, and it can be hard work - but if you've taken on the SM role, it's work that you need to take seriously.  Yeah, that means you may need to be in contact more than you would like - you may need to be constantly reminding the SPL what needs to be done and help him along the way.    But sometimes, you might have to take the boy aside and suggest that it would be best if they turned over the reigns to the ASPL and they take on a different POR if they're too busy with other things going on in their lives and sometimes you may need to sit down with the SPL and let him know that the PLC is coming to you with complaints about the SPL.  The toughest thing you're likely to handle is trying to rehabilitate the SPL when those complaints are coming - and it may take a really frank discussion with the SPL where you open yourself up to criticism because it's also possible that the SPL just isn't responding to you well due to your own style and that perhaps one of the ASMs might be a better mentor for him.

 

I've never seen anything that suggests that a PLC can impeach an SPL.  The SM can remove an SPL (or PL) but I would make sure it's for disciplinary reasons and not because the SM is failing at his job. Troops should be holding elections every 6 months.  Sometimes, it can take 6 months for the SPL to settle in to the role - it happens - it's something that we should expect. 

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If the PLC is considering "impeaching" the SPL, then someone has failed, and should consider resigning.  That someone?  The Scoutmaster.  One of the main jobs of the Scoutmaster is to mentor the SPL.  If the SPL is failing that badly, then the Scoutmaster has not been doing his/her job.

 

I think you missed the bullet points where the SPL was NYLT trained (troop expense), went to district training (troop expense), went through JLT in the troop for three years (troop expense), held PL position three times and did well, met with the SM to define HIS objectives for his term (measurable, quantitative with milestones and check points), had monthly meetings with the SM, reminders from the SM, PERSONAL meetings to help him out of his paralysis, meeting with his team (several) to support him and get him back on track, numerous supportive phone calls, discussions and emails all designed to help him find his way. Heck, the last two months the PLC practically planned and executed his job plan for him, all he needed to do was read and follow it.

 

At some point the personal accountability falls with the SPL. The kid was a honor student. He had notebooks for everything. He APPEARED über organized. Turns out it was mom and dad doing most of the work. Without them as training wheels he was a house of cards ready to fall (apologies for the mixed metaphors).

 

Sorry, but sometimes it is NOT the adults' fault. Sometimes the buck stops with the kid. We cannot have boy led without boy accountability. 

Edited by Krampus
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I can see only one reason why an SPL would be removed from that position.  He isn't taking care of his PL's.  As far as running the troop, I would never expect a boy to do that, it runs counter to the Patrol Method and there are a lot of SM's that can't even pull that off.  The only time I had an SPL was when there was 4 patrols and the SPL focused only on making sure the PL's were successful.  It worked out very well and had no issues to contend with.  The boy did very well (natural leader) that the contact with SM was information passing only.

 

To have a scout of any rank or talent consistently say to his PL's, "What can I do to help you be a good PL for your patrol?" will NEVER garner an impeachment movement in the troop!  The SPL that doesn't say that to his PL's opens the door to drama.

 

From Krampus' comments, it's a total waste of time and money to send a non-caring boy to NYLT, district training and multiple JLT sessions.  I concur.  And I would also insert, that a caring scout intent on helping other people at all time, focused on his PL's success will not need NYLT, district training and multiple JLT sessions to be successful.  The boys will cut a ton of slack for the scout who tries his best, and won't give the time of day to the one who doesn't care about anyone other than himself.  I have seen this work for just about every POR in the troop and even the non-POR positions like APL, GrubMaster, etc.

 

Give me a boy who cares and he can make a difference in the world.  Give a boy a book, send him to school and you take your chances.

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I can see only one reason why an SPL would be removed from that position.  He isn't taking care of his PL's.  As far as running the troop, I would never expect a boy to do that, it runs counter to the Patrol Method and there are a lot of SM's that can't even pull that off.  The only time I had an SPL was when there was 4 patrols and the SPL focused only on making sure the PL's were successful.  It worked out very well and had no issues to contend with.  The boy did very well (natural leader) that the contact with SM was information passing only.

 

To have a scout of any rank or talent consistently say to his PL's, "What can I do to help you be a good PL for your patrol?" will NEVER garner an impeachment movement in the troop!  The SPL that doesn't say that to his PL's opens the door to drama.

 

From Krampus' comments, it's a total waste of time and money to send a non-caring boy to NYLT, district training and multiple JLT sessions.  I concur.  And I would also insert, that a caring scout intent on helping other people at all time, focused on his PL's success will not need NYLT, district training and multiple JLT sessions to be successful.  The boys will cut a ton of slack for the scout who tries his best, and won't give the time of day to the one who doesn't care about anyone other than himself.  I have seen this work for just about every POR in the troop and even the non-POR positions like APL, GrubMaster, etc.

 

Give me a boy who cares and he can make a difference in the world.  Give a boy a book, send him to school and you take your chances.

 

He fooled everyone. He was a paper leader, paper scout. In it for the bling.

 

His PLs took care of him and ran the troop, he just fell down on HIS job.

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He fooled everyone. He was a paper leader, paper scout. In it for the bling.

 

His PLs took care of him and ran the troop, he just fell down on HIS job.

 

Totally understand.  I have had PL's like that as well.  But with my system of no election terms, the boys quietly have the ineffective PL step down and replace him with someone else who wants to do the job..  Yeah, the boys get fooled some of the time, but they quickly remedy their poor judgment.  Because the patrols tend to be quite cohesive, even if the boy does step down, it doesn't preclude him from ever being the PL in the future when he gets a bit more maturity under his belt.  It just means the patrol doesn't have to suffer in the meantime.  It's not that the boy failed, he just isn't ready and mature enough yet.

 

The paper leaders do well with management tasks and can show grand accomplishments, but that measurement is not what is good  for leadership qualities.  Put a carrying SPL with a highly organized ASPL and you have a dynamite team!

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Totally understand.  I have had PL's like that as well.  But with my system of no election terms, the boys quietly have the ineffective PL step down and replace him with someone else who wants to do the job..  Yeah, the boys get fooled some of the time, but they quickly remedy their poor judgment.  Because the patrols tend to be quite cohesive, even if the boy does step down, it doesn't preclude him from ever being the PL in the future when he gets a bit more maturity under his belt.  It just means the patrol doesn't have to suffer in the meantime.  It's not that the boy failed, he just isn't ready and mature enough yet.

 

The paper leaders do well with management tasks and can show grand accomplishments, but that measurement is not what is good  for leadership qualities.  Put a carrying SPL with a highly organized ASPL and you have a dynamite team!

 

Not sure you can make that model work in the large troop. Plus, working through total failure would rob him of the learning experience...or rob those under him of their learning experience.

 

I will say this, the last four SPL and PL rounds have yielded some great young leaders. They still refer to "the dark times" and use it as a learning tool. ;) Who said drama was reserved for teenage girls? ;)

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I don't know if it robs anyone of anything.  The leader who is asked to step down usually knows he's in over his head and a bit more time watching another boy lead can be of benefit.  Remember I place a heavy emphasis on boy-selected patrol method.  When a boy steps down, he's among friends and it's not as traumatic as one would think.  I have seen cases where a PL will step up for 6 months to get his POR and his buddies basically carry him through.  Whether or not he actually earned that requirement is questionable, but his buddies saw to it he was successful even when he really wasn't.  He was PL for 6 months, the patrol members were okay with it, he just wore the patch, no problem, it gets checked off.  What did he learn?  Probably that the caring leadership of his buddies is something he needs more of and may come back in time and make a better QM or Scribe.

 

The issue of an SPL in a larger troop is something I have only experienced in an adult led unit.  It was basically in name only, paper position and pencil whipping.  After all the adults ran the show.  As a matter of fact MULTIPLE adults were needed to run the show, which would lead me to believe that a single inexperienced scout would or could be set up for failure rather easily. 

 

On the other hand, I can see a corps of ASPL's to help with the larger troops of +8 patrols.  No one in the unit should be responsible for more than 8 other people.  PL = 8 patrol members, SPL = 8 PL's, or in a larger troop ASPL = 8 Pl's and SPL = 8 ASPL's.  Conceivably there could be hundreds of boys in the troop and no one has more than 8 people to care for, a number any youth should be able to handle at that age and small enough to learn quality leadership dynamics.,

 

Large troops today are rare because it's difficult for adults to control large troops. 

Edited by Stosh

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On the other hand, I can see a corps of ASPL's to help with the larger troops of +8 patrols.  No one in the unit should be responsible for more than 8 other people.  PL = 8 patrol members, SPL = 8 PL's, or in a larger troop ASPL = 8 Pl's and SPL = 8 ASPL's.  Conceivably there could be hundreds of boys in the troop and no one has more than 8 people to care for, a number any youth should be able to handle at that age and small enough to learn quality leadership dynamics.,

 

Large troops today are rare because it's difficult for adults to control large troops. 

 

Yup. The model we use. Target is 7-8. No more.

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Not sure you can make that model work in the large troop. Plus, working through total failure would rob him of the learning experience...or rob those under him of their learning experience.

 

I will say this, the last four SPL and PL rounds have yielded some great young leaders. They still refer to "the dark times" and use it as a learning tool. ;) Who said drama was reserved for teenage girls? ;)

this is an interesting topic for me right now.

I can see part of what both of you are getting at really make sense

a) letting the scouts live with a bad decision and work through it

b) giving them flexibility to fix the issue right away

 

But I'm not really tracking with why stosh's model wouldn't work for a larger troop.

 

Strikes me that a mix of the two ideas is perhaps an appropriate vision.

Personally, i don't like the idea of having fixed term lengths, but I do agree that it isn't ideal just to let em cut and run and the first hint of a problem, either.

 

 

On the other hand, I can see a corps of ASPL's to help with the larger troops of +8 patrols.  No one in the unit should be responsible for more than 8 other people.  PL = 8 patrol members, SPL = 8 PL's, or in a larger troop ASPL = 8 Pl's and SPL = 8 ASPL's.  Conceivably there could be hundreds of boys in the troop and no one has more than 8 people to care for, a number any youth should be able to handle at that age and small enough to learn quality leadership dynamics.,

 

Large troops today are rare because it's difficult for adults to control large troops. 

 

Boy, that kind of thing could really exponentiate quickly!

 

in the troop model you've outlined, I already see potential in it falling apart

.... I mean if each ASPL has a separate group and are in essence a stand alone SPL in their own right... there's already a built-in tripup layer of potential inconsistency between each of those 'sub troops' and the other sub troops... and between the scout and the SPL/Scoutmaster

Makes me think of How many degrees of Kevin Bacon?

 

Baden Powell wrote the following about troop size:

"The number in a Troop should preferably not exceed thirty-two. I suggest this number because in training boys myself I have found that sixteen was about as many as I could deal with — in getting at and bringing out the individual character in each. I allow for other people being twice as capable as myself and hence the total of thirty-two. Men talk of having fine Troops of 60 or even 100 — and their leaders tell me that their boys are equally well trained as in smaller Troops. I express admiration (“admiration†literally translated means “surpriseâ€), and I don’t believe them."

http://scoutmastercg.com/aids-scoutmastership/#TheScoutmaster's Duty

 

Now I can certainly understand the need in the modern age of expanding those numbers a bit.... & I might even buy that modern tools and such make it possible to increase the numbers a bit.

But I've gotta say his words kinda make sense to me.  I haven't experienced it one way or the other really in the scouting troop arena under the patrol method.... but I did in the pack, and in other ways...

casual observation is that a group of friends, a sports team for many games, cub scout den, a good class size for most training type classes or hands on presentations of all kinds, or many other groups naturally seem to be roughly around that 6-8 range.

And considering that the SPL is involved with more than just his PLs (SM, scribe, QM, etc..) then he shouldn't have a full staff of 6-8 patrols to worry with... so 4-5 patrols kinda makes some sense

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But I'm not really tracking with why stosh's model wouldn't work for a larger troop.

 

Strikes me that a mix of the two ideas is perhaps an appropriate vision.

Personally, i don't like the idea of having fixed term lengths, but I do agree that it isn't ideal just to let em cut and run and the first hint of a problem, either.

 

More correct of me to say it would not work in my large troop.

 

Our guys spent time developing the current process. They are very process driven. The "election cycle" is something they've come to rely on. It is easy for the guys to get their POR done and be able to plan on when they can manage a POR with their other activities. It is predictable and our guys like that.

 

Plus I think forcing someone to see through a commitment is a good thing. If we allow someone to step down because something is difficult, what lesson do we teach them? What lesson do we as followers learn.

 

In keeping a bad leader in place it forces several issues. The poor leader must step up his game. The followers learn to pick up slack and what traits they need in the next leader.

 

In ten years when these guys are in business, if they have a crappy boss who does not do the team's work he sure is not going to step down. The team will have to do HIS work too. ;) It's a life lesson. 

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