Jump to content
Adamcp

Patrol leader election questions

Recommended Posts

As @@Stosh says, because of da CARD Act it's now easier to just use other card types, like debit cards or prepaid cards.   As far as I know, just about every bank/card company offers linked debit card and checking accounts for minors.   One of da legal absurdities is that although a scout of age 12 can have a bank account and debit card, he can't use online banking or change his personal information online until he's 13 because of da COPPA Act... even though da personal information on a bank account is private/confidential.  Yeh gotta love Congress. :rolleyes:

 

Worse than that....because of Obamacare, youth 13 and over are now responsible for their medications under their insurance provider. At age 13 they must give their parents permission to see their records and order medication on their behalf. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worse than that....because of Obamacare, youth 13 and over are now responsible for their medications under their insurance provider. At age 13 they must give their parents permission to see their records and order medication on their behalf. 

 

Socialized medicine means the government, not the parent is in control of the welfare of the child.

 

From cradle to grave, the government owns your soul.  Used to be the company store we were slaves to, now it's the government.

 

Sorry, had to edit this so it wouldn't get set to I&P....

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been a very interesting thread.  Although, sometimes the finder details have gotten more attention than I think they deserve.  I think early in the thread the original question was answered a couple of ways and I'm sure the OP got way more than he was expecting on the ins and outs of boy leadership and patrol method. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@JosephMD

 

One has to remember that on this forum we offer a little something for everyone.

 

The Wolves bring down the elk and get the choice cuts, but the Bears come along and now we're talking a different story.  The flies get their shot at it as do the turkey volchers get their shot, and by the time it's all over the field mice have ground the bone to powder.   :)  Who da thunk that white powder in the forest used to be an elk.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any age limits on a pre-paid card, gift card, or debit card on a legitimate bank account?

I asked first.  (HInt: skip Chase.)

 

A debit card is not a credit card.  No (more) cheating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked first.  (HInt: skip Chase.)

 

A debit card is not a credit card.  No (more) cheating.

 

That's why I left credit card off the list.  It needs a credit history to get it because it is a loan.  Pre-paid, gift and debit cards are all backed with existing funds.  If a boy has a bank account his debit card will "expire" when the funds are not there, the same way a pre-paid and gift card once it has no money is useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, the follow up from my original post about reorganizing patrols and patrol leader elections goes like this:

 

It took me several times of tossing it towards the boys before I got much of a response regarding the Scouts developing their own patrols, although they did express a desire to change the current patrols (without coming up with much of a plan to do so). But it was still a struggle to get these boys to think outside the box of what they have been used to so far. For example, even this past Saturday, the SPL said, "I just think the Scoutmaster should make the patrols." Another boy said, "Friends shouldn't be in patrols together. They'll never get anything done." As I am the SM, both times, I paused and took a breath before responding, and then tried to convey calmly that I trusted the boys in the troop more than that.

 

So I think we found a "next step" solution (with my personal hopes that there will be even more "next steps" down the line). Previously, the adults had made the patrols and the SPL had then assigned roles within the Senior Patrol. Tonight, the SPL and the four current PLs formed the new patrols, which included determining patrols for the 15 newly crossed over Scouts from the Cub Pack. I might have hoped for even more discussion and empowerment of even more of Scouts, but I stayed true to the goal of letting the Scouts make the decision. The SPL and PLs worked rather well together overall. Next week the patrols will conduct their own patrol leader elections.

 

The SPL then wanted to "promote" the four current patrol leaders to the Senior Patrol. Here was my only exerted influence. The troop culture has supported this idea that older boys (somewhat automatically) join the senior patrol almost in gratitude for prior service. These older scouts then have done very little for the troop and primarily have focused on their own Eagle-required merit badges and their Eagle project. When we got home and I was talking about it with my wife, she called the senior patrol a "retirement home" for the older scouts. And the way things have been till now, she's right.

 

I hesitate to admit that I exerted any influence in this patrol process at all tonight, knowing the opinions of several of the scouters who post regularly on this forum, but in my efforts to support the patrol method, I made the point that our current patrol leaders (who are actually only 13 & 14 years old) are some of our most active scouts. It seemed to me that keeping these strong and active scouts within our regular patrols was a way to keep the patrols strong, whereas moving them into the "retirement home" would deplete and diminish the patrols. (I didn't actually call it the "retirement home" to the scouts, I am just repeating my dear wife's comment.) We'll see how this plays out.

 

The dad in me takes a bit of a showing here, and I have had to make a concerted effort to not let my dad-ness take over. The troop had a rule that scouts needed to be first class or higher in order to be patrol leaders. Last year, there were four patrols and only four boys eligible based on these rank criteria, other then several boys who had already accepted their rocking chair in the retirement home. So as it turned out, my two sons have both been patrol leaders for this past year. (Yes, I did identify them as some of our stronger and more active scouts earlier in this post. And I am not ashamed to say it, because it's just true.) But both of them feel that it is unlikely that their new patrols will elect them to be patrol leaders again for this coming year. They seem aware that elections turn into popularity contests no matter what you try to do, and although neither are at all unpopular, they seem aware of the fact that some of the super popular scouts are likely to win out in next week's patrol leader elections. And I think some of those new patrol leaders actually will do well and it will be good for them to assume a position of responsibility. I am proud of my sons because they both appear proud of what they have accomplished this year. There are patrols actually functioning as patrols for the first time in their experience of Scouting. But I am even more proud of the fact that they seem to understand and accept that they can contribute significantly to the patrol and to the troop regardless of any title. They are not power-hungry or greedy, and are acting in a more collaborative manner. (It might help just a bit that both of them already have their rank requirement signed off for their "position of responsibility" requirement for Life, but I will not allow that potentially self-serving thought to get in the way of my pride in their collaborative view about their roles in the patrols.) :-)

 

Thanks for the advice and support, as the vision of a Boy Led troop takes another baby step forward in my home town.

Edited by Adamcp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just remember, if one stays out of the whole issue of patrol member selection and PL selection, they can never come back on on the adults as having any blame in the train wreck.

 

For many years I have not had any issues with my involvement in patrol selection or personality conflicts, or buddies being lazy together, etc. or whatever.  The boys caused the problem, they can fix it.  I just sit back and pour another cup of coffee and let them have at it.  It usually takes longer for me to drink my coffee than it does for them to correct the problem.

 

Form your patrols and let me know who's going to be the PL. 

 

I have no idea why adults think that they have to be part of that whole process in the first place.  Making decisions like that places a huge bull's eye on one's back.  I just as soon have it on someone else's back.  Thank you.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice and support, as the vision of a Boy Led troop takes another baby step forward in my home town.

 

Well done.  Boy-led is a a continuum and your troop is moving in the right direction.  I like the "ladder" concept explained here: 

 

http://scoutmastercg.com/ladder-of-youth-leadership-infographic/

 

Our troop is between a 2 and a 3, hopefully moving closer to a 2.

 

The irony is that moving an existing troop to be more boy-led, patrol-method  troop does require adult leadership.  Your troop's tradition of the "senior" patrol seems contrary to boy-led and patrol method because it is taking boys who are leaders and removing them from the patrol.  You were right to discourage that tradtition.

 

They seem aware that elections turn into popularity contests no matter what you try to do, and although neither are at all unpopular, they seem aware of the fact that some of the super popular scouts are likely to win out in next week's patrol leader elections. And I think some of those new patrol leaders actually will do well and it will be good for them to assume a position of responsibility. I am proud of my sons because they both appear proud of what they have accomplished this year. There are patrols actually functioning as patrols for the first time in their experience of Scouting. But I am even more proud of the fact that they seem to understand and accept that they can contribute significantly to the patrol and to the troop regardless of any title. They are not power-hungry or greedy, and are acting in a more collaborative manner. (It might help just a bit that both of them already have their rank requirement signed off for their "position of responsibility" requirement for Life, but I will not allow that potentially self-serving thought to get in the way of my pride in their collaborative view about their roles in the patrols.) :-)

 

 I tend to think that elections go more toward competence and commitment than popularity.  Well, at least that is what I told my son who is running for PL next week.  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Giving "The Speech," as my SM called it, helps get the electorate in the right frame of mind,  When they hear that whomever they elect must convince the PLC to include that patrols' ideas in the program or must convince the Troop Committee to support the PLC's program, the tend to elect someone within the Range of the Acceptable. If they do not not, they have the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson about electing someone not in that range - a lesson well worth learning before the stakes get real high. 0___0

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, @@Adamcp, thanks for takin' the time to give us an update, eh?

 

You're tryin' to change a troop culture, and that does require some adult guidance and settin' up of structure, eh?   The Senior Patrol / Old Scout Retirement Home is a structure, eh?  One that teaches lads that the most involved and capable youth should aspire to doin' nothin'.   That's not what we want to teach.  Older and more experienced scouts should be challengin' themselves by leadin' and teachin' and taking the troop to new heights.

 

So it's just fine if you choose to abolish that structure as Scoutmaster.   Explain your reasons, inspire 'em to take real leadership, tell 'em they need the time for POR requirements anyways. ;)

 

Similarly it's just fine to give "The Speech" prior to elections like @@TAHAWK says.  In fact, I strongly encourage it.    I think it's also fine to think about alternatives to elections, eh?  If you're just beginnin' to build a new troop culture, havin' popularity contest elections can set yeh back a whole year or more sometimes.   That's not good for Scoutin', and it's not good for the boys.    So sometimes yeh impose other requirements, like PLs must have done JLT/TLT/whatever it's called now, or must be First Class, or must get da signatures of 3 adult leaders to appear on the ballot, or whatever.

 

Another thing to consider is that PLs in a lot of ways should be the natural "gang leaders" of da group.   Boys don't find their natural gang leaders by talkin' and votin', eh?  They find their natural gang leaders by doin' stuff together, which lets the natural leaders emerge... naturally!   Don't hold elections at a meetin'.  Hold 'em at the end of a week of summer camp or a long weekend outing where the boys are workin' as patrols and doin' hard stuff together and da natural leaders have a chance to emerge.   Don't let 'em give speeches either.   Just give a short version of The Speech and let 'em pick based on da experience that's fresh in their mind.

 

For me, I also prefer da outcomes when da SPL is chosen by and from among the PLs, eh?  It's the PLs who have seen who on da PLC has been doin' the most (and best) work and who they want to help coordinate among the PLs.    Da rest of the troop doesn't see all that, so they're more prone to joke candidates and electioneering and such.... or just votin' for their own PL because that's who they know, eh?

 

Once you've got a troop culture that's up and functioning, then yeh can fade off on some of da support and the lads will maintain the culture themselves.  So hands-off youth run is da end goal, eh?  It's not what yeh start with, and it requires a lot of effort settin' up structures and teachin' and trainin' the lads and lettin' 'em develop experience first.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Speech"?  How is this not just plain politickin'? 

 

First of all a POR is basically a Position of RESPONSIBILITY, not leadership!  Sure, as PL I can convince my patrol members to keep busy at their tasks at a campout.  Of course a gun or whip would augment those efforts tremendously, but in BSA we frown on such things.  Instead we can always fall back on fear, intimidation, threats of no advancement, and downright bullying.  At least those don't leave a mark.

 

Convincing the PLC to see things your way?  Now there's a true definition of Leadership.  Of course one will have to leave the guns and whips at home and rely on coersion, politics, promises one may or may not be able to keep or threats of no involvement or support if one doesn't get their own way.  Kinda like a tantrum kind of thingy.  That sometimes works.

 

WAY TOO MUCH DRAMA for me.  I'll just stick with Servant Leadership, support from the troop officers including the SPL and PL's that "take care of their boys".  They can have elections/selections anytime they want.  They can select anyone they want, they can associate with anyone they want in a patrol.  Don't need any SM political pump priming, nor wait until some magic time to do the switches, or any other such nonsense. 

 

The group selects a PL.  He does the job.  If he doesn't someone else is given the RESPONSIBILITY to function as a supportive servant leader.  If they do, they stay for ever, if they don't, they're history.  No drama, no hassles, no threats, convincing, or politics.  Just functional units that determine their own destiny.  It works for the new scouts just as well as for the veteran scouts and everyone in between.

 

If there is major dysfunctionality or drama 99% of the time it is adult instigated as they try and set the pace of what should happen.  This occurs most often when the adults having trained the boys simply can't trust them to do what's best for themselves.

Edited by Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many paths to wisdom.  

 

Convincing the group to support/own the job is one excellent definition of "leadership."  

 

Historically, convincing MAY involve threats and all those other eeeevil things you list, Stosh, but it need not.   I'll bet you don't use threats when convincing Scouts to do things contrary to the Handbook and B.S.A. policy.  Hard sell or soft sell, you're selling.

 

There is nothing contrary to Boy Scouting in someone, adult or Scout, influencing decisions by giving information, asking questions, or even making suggestions, so long as the leaders are free to make the decisions in the end.  So says B.S.A. for over eighty years, mainly through the words of Bill Hillcourt.

 

By the buy, the Scouts are supposed to learn about politics -- pretty essential to informed citizenship.   Few "servant" leaders on the ballot these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many paths to wisdom.  

 

Some more easily traveled than others.  Some far more efficient than others.  Some more benign than others.  Some more beneficial than others.  ETC.  :)

 

Convincing the group to support/own the job is one excellent definition of "leadership."  

 

It's also an excellent definition of bullying, tyranny and oppression as well. 

 

Historically, convincing MAY involve threats and all those other eeeevil things you list, Stosh, but it need not.   

 

And yet in servant leadership the eeevil things are never an option.  There's always the possibility with convincing.

 

I'll bet you don't use threats when convincing Scouts to do things contrary to the Handbook and B.S.A. policy.  Hard sell or soft sell, you're selling.

 

If BSA has made a policy, I don't have to sell anything.  The boys know the policy and that's the end of the discussion.

 

There is nothing contrary to Boy Scouting in someone, adult or Scout, influencing decisions (for whose benefit? is always a question that must be addressed) by giving information, asking questions, or even making suggestions, so long as the leaders are free to make the decisions in the end.  So says B.S.A. for over eighty years, mainly through the words of Bill Hillcourt.  And this may be why the PL handbook uses the term "servant leadership" in it's opening chapter....

 

By the buy, the Scouts are supposed to learn about politics -- pretty essential to informed citizenship.   Few "servant" leaders on the ballot these days.  And see where it's has gotten the country.  Compare what the people had 200 years ago and what we have now.  We once could claim to be the most powerful country in the world, the richest, and people contributed to it's welfare.  Not much of that can be said for today's USA.  The reason why servant leaders are not around anymore is because most of them are looking to get elected and stay elected rather than taking care of their people.  They don't do what will benefit the people, they only do what will garner the most votes come reelection time. 

 

Your comments speak to the heart of the issue of servant leadership vs. convincing leadership.  Just review the motives.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've had guys that LOOKED like they were great leaders. They SOUNDED like great leaders even.

 

However, when compelled to give "the speech" about their vision and how they would lead, they fell completely on their face. The speech was the great equalizer. 

 

And yes, we Scouters counsel those who may not be gifted speakers on how to deliver a message. And no, the best speakers are not always elected. In fact, the guys who normally get elected are the ones that speak from the heart.

 

Occasionally one slips through like we had a year or so ago. Within 1 month my PLC wanted to "impeach" him. ;) He was a silver-tongued Devil. All flash, zero substance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×