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John-in-KC

Positions of Responsibility

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That's a pretty liberal reading of the leadership project's intent. I'm pretty certain they meant to award POR credit for an actual project with a defined role, objective and deliverable...and not give it to a kid exercising the patrol method.

 

Explain to me now the APL working as the PL's right hand man, making sure everything is running smoothly for the PL's relationship  to the patrol members is any different than the SPL working as the PL's left hand man, making sure everything is running smoothly for the PL's relationship to the adults.  This is why I have no problem with it being a troop project.

 

If the boy goes into the APL position, just sits on his hands waiting around for the PL to not show up for some activity and then stumbles around not knowing what's going on in the patrol, then there is no way on God's green earth he's getting credit for the project.  But if he is working hand in hand with the PL, learning how to work the relationships between the PL and each patrol member, is knowledgeable of every detail necessary to help make things run smoothly, and is capable to of shifting those dynamics at any moment to working the relationships between the PL and each adult leader as SPL, then I would have a difficult time denying the boy leadership project credit.  That is the project!

 

Is the Eagle project to demonstrate leadership or manage a service project for an outside organization?

 

For me the role, objective and deliverable for PL (patrol method structure), SPL (PL support of the patrol method structure between the patrols), APL (PL support of the patrol method structure within the patrol), TG (patrol method structure orientation for the new boys), is all the same.  I view my "troop" not as a troop but as a grouping of individual patrols.  The only thing we do as a troop is flags, but the boys do so as a patrol.  Even traveling to and from scout activities is done as a patrol.

 

In reality the ASP generally does more work than the SPL and TG and sometimes more than the PL who he is working for.  He is a true assistant and if anyone wants to talk to the boss of any major corporation, they have to first get by the administrative assistant,  They are the people in the real leadership position.  :)

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So if the Patrol is the basic operating structure of scouting, why is the Assistant Patrol Leader not a position of responsibility?  As for that, why aren't any patrol leadership positions other that Patrol Leader positions of responsibility?

 

This leads to the silliness of having our Assistant Patrol Leaders being designated as Troop Guides and our Patrol Quartermasters being designated as Troop Quartmasters.  

 

We should just get over the idea of the title ("serve" in a "position of responsibility") and reward scouts by changing the requirement to "Show leadership and/or responsibiity as a member of your Patrol."  

 

I think this is yet another area where the BSA has missed the mark on Patrol Method.  As you have pointed out, the 'work-around' is that the BSA allows multiple Troop Quartermasters, so the Patrol Quartermasters also function as Troop Quartermasters, and the problem is solved.  Only the Assistant Patrol Leaders are left without a good option, and I think Stosh has showed us that there is a work-around even for that.

 

I think the real question is why any role with a patch on the left sleeve is excluded from POR?  I think the BSA intent is that the role be one that accomplishes something significant... so they limit which roles count.  Instead, perhaps they should leave it up to the discretion of the unit on whether a boy has fulfilled the role in which he is serving.

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Explain to me now the APL working as the PL's right hand man, making sure everything is running smoothly for the PL's relationship  to the patrol members is any different than the SPL working as the PL's left hand man, making sure everything is running smoothly for the PL's relationship to the adults.  This is why I have no problem with it being a troop project.

 

 

A project is usually something that has a timeline, set of expectations and objectives with a defined outcome which is usually a tangible asset. It is meant to be something a Scout can do that otherwise would not be able to hold a POR. It is not meant to be a POR work around.

 

By giving project credit for what is essentially the APL's role anyway, you are just playing nuances with the whole project concept. I always applaud when someone can fill in the grey BSA likes to create with creative problem solving, but this is hard to overlook even by my liberal reading of certain standards. ;)

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A project is usually something that has a timeline, 4 months for Star and 6 months for Life set of expectations Assist the PL just like the ASPL assists the SPL and the ASM's assist the SM and objectives with a defined outcome which is usually a tangible asset. usually, but not always.  The outcome I am looking for would be, "did the APL perform at a level that stood out as exemplary in the eyes of the PL enough he would recommend it to the SM for approval?"  It is meant to be something a Scout can do that otherwise would not be able to hold a POR. It is not meant to be a POR work around.

 

By giving project credit for what is essentially the APL's role anyway, you are just playing nuances with the whole project concept. I always applaud when someone can fill in the grey BSA likes to create with creative problem solving, but this is hard to overlook even by my liberal reading of certain standards. ;)

 

In all seriousness, the PL signs off on the advancement of all his patrol members, but because of the SM-approval necessary for the POR the APL has had to do some pretty impressive work to have the PL come forward and ask for that approval.  The validation and documentation necessary along with even references from patrol members... made it difficult for me to say no.  We aren't talking about helping your buddy get by on the requirement.

 

The Catch-22 occurs when no one wants to be APL because they don't get POR credit and the SPL's tend to get picked from the good APL's.  So when a boy steps into the APL position and busts his butt and takes a pass on rank advancement for Star and Life, that seems like a major injustice and the boys all know it.

 

But as we have all been taught by the BSA, APL is a worthless POR, but the boys need a piece of bling on their shirt while they sit around on their hands waiting for the PL to not show up.

 

On occasion I have had a APL turn that position into an art-form and have done some really impressive work and I for one if the PL requests it will not stand in the way.

 

:)

Edited by Stosh

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@@Stosh, you are still giving credit for the APL doing his job. That's not a project, that's a role...and a role defined by BSA as not being worthy of a POR. You slice it pretty finely, but in the end you are giving the APL POR credit for doing nothing more than his job. That's not a project.

 

EDIT: Now if the kid does something like build an Instructor's Manual, creates a new service project (or leads one) or something substantially outside the role of an APL, then heck yeah, give him credit.

Edited by Krampus

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Not according to the BSA.  APL is nothing more than sitting around waiting for the PL to now show up.  So what does the SPL handbook and PL handbook say about the APL's duties?  NOTHING!!  So if they are doing nothing they are doing their job!

 

So if the APL does anything they are doing something outside the role of an APL, and the only ones the PL bring to me are those that have done something substantially outside the role of an APL, like being a real asset to the PL and his work with his patrol. 

 

The SPL is supposed to be elected by all members of the troop by secret ballot... that's never happened in my troops.

 

The SPL is the top leader in the troop, that has never happened because the boys in the patrol method view their PL as the top leader.

 

My PL's generally are not elected by their patrols.  They can do rock, paper, scissors as far as I'm concerned and yes, I have seen them doing that occasionally.

 

The SPL is selected by the PL's.

 

So there are a lot of things I do that help maintain the patrol method in my troop and none of it is dictated by the adults, this is how the boys like it and it's my position that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.    Or as I have said before, there's nothing so bad in the patrol method of operation that can't be made worse by adults messing with it.

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Not according to the BSA.  APL is nothing more than sitting around waiting for the PL to now show up.  So what does the SPL handbook and PL handbook say about the APL's duties?  NOTHING!!  So if they are doing nothing they are doing their job!

 

C'mon @@Stosh, you expected BSA to put all of their requirements, policies and documentation in one, single location which was easily obtained and cross-referenced? Shame on you. ;)

 

From bsahandbook.org. Second page. And yes, it is considered an official BSA publication for APL duties.

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I've lost where this conversation came from now....but I'll comment on the APL thing.

My son was appointed APL for his patrol of mostly new scouts (aka NSP  ;) )

interestingly enough, he is the only scout in the patrol that attended the obligatory ILST ppt slide show.  It was 'offered' before his patrol fully formed, and being full of energy and being eager for scouting, he wanted to attend.  His friend, who ultimately was voted in to be PL made no effort to go.

as a baseline to the back story, the troop "requires" all newly elected and appointed PORs to attend the class, so every 6 months they hold their elections then soon after have the class.  The elections were held when only my son and his one friend (the current PL) were in the troop, their 2nd meeting I think it was.  So they held the ILST before the rest of the new scouts had crossed over out of WEBELOS.

 

So anyway, it is interesting to watch these guys.... the PL has absolutely no clue what the idea is....and my son honestly isn't in a much better place really.

but he does have the trained patch at least on his sleeve

and he has me in the back seat, trying to steer his thinking through questions and suggestions....really trying hard to not tell him what he "should" be doing and so on..... just giving him nuggets to hopefully get his mind leaning towards  and around the idea of supporting his patrol.

 

So, he really hasn't done much of anything as APL, but he has done every bit as much as the PL has....

 

In the end, I can say confidently that he got little to almost nothing out of the PPt slide show (by his own admission and by my observation)

but what he has received is a great lesson in a contest of popularity vs resume.  I think he was just a tiny bit disappointed initially, but really not all that much.  It truly was one of those shoulder shrugg moments.....ehhh.....oh look, can I have one of those cookies?

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:)  In my patrols it would seem that everyone is an APL then.

 

At one time or another everyone is a GrubMaster, I seldom see only one patrol member doing the QM job,

 

Generally speaking only the PL wears a patch  I don't think any of my boys have ever worn a APL patch even though they function as one.

 

With times when we only had one patrol, does the patrol QM get credit for troop QM? or is there some special BSA regulation against it or maybe the SM has to fudge a bit on the advancement requirement?  :)

 

I have given POR advancement credit for a boy being the Popcorn Chairman for the troop.  Didn't have a POR badge for that, but the work he did was fantastic as a SM-approved leadership project.

 

I have even given POR credit for boys doing 4-5 different POR's during their 4-6 month tenure.  If they can document it and their PL approves it, they get credit for it.

 

i do have to admit that when it comes to POR's the PL's are pretty tough on the boys.  They think they are under heavy obligation to do a good job especially when it comes to POR's.  The troop POR's are even more stringent in that a consensus of PL"s have to be met before they are signed off.  They are not members of the PL's patrol, but the patrols are the recipient of the troop POR's work.  If it is not up to par, the PL's are not going to approve it.

 

When we did not have troop POR's and yet multiple patrols, the PL's still evaluated the POR's for the 2 QM's in a 2 patrol troop.  How well did they work together, was the equipment in good order, did each patrol get a fair shake in the equipment, etc.   Scribes were even tougher to get passed because they needed the nod of approval from the the treasurer and advancement MC's.

 

Knowing this, we seldom have issues with boys not fulfilling their POR duties even when we don't have anything in writing as to what those duties might be.  The PL's need only ask once for help from them and if they don't support that request, they run the risk of "not getting the job done."

 

It works well for us, your mileage may vary.

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I've lost where this conversation came from now....but I'll comment on the APL thing.

My son was appointed APL for his patrol of mostly new scouts (aka NSP  ;) )

interestingly enough, he is the only scout in the patrol that attended the obligatory ILST ppt slide show.  It was 'offered' before his patrol fully formed, and being full of energy and being eager for scouting, he wanted to attend.  His friend, who ultimately was voted in to be PL made no effort to go.

as a baseline to the back story, the troop "requires" all newly elected and appointed PORs to attend the class, so every 6 months they hold their elections then soon after have the class.  The elections were held when only my son and his one friend (the current PL) were in the troop, their 2nd meeting I think it was.  So they held the ILST before the rest of the new scouts had crossed over out of WEBELOS.

 

So anyway, it is interesting to watch these guys.... the PL has absolutely no clue what the idea is....and my son honestly isn't in a much better place really.

but he does have the trained patch at least on his sleeve

and he has me in the back seat, trying to steer his thinking through questions and suggestions....really trying hard to not tell him what he "should" be doing and so on..... just giving him nuggets to hopefully get his mind leaning towards  and around the idea of supporting his patrol.

 

So, he really hasn't done much of anything as APL, but he has done every bit as much as the PL has....

 

In the end, I can say confidently that he got little to almost nothing out of the PPt slide show (by his own admission and by my observation)

but what he has received is a great lesson in a contest of popularity vs resume.  I think he was just a tiny bit disappointed initially, but really not all that much.  It truly was one of those shoulder shrugg moments.....ehhh.....oh look, can I have one of those cookies?

 

And this is why I don't have elections!!! and I don't have terms!!!  Elections and 6-12 month terms are an adult political agenda item.  I have boys selected by their peers to do the job.  If the job ain't gittin' done, someone else is put in that position and they keep doing this until the right guy is doing the right job.  If you want to be PL you gotta earn the right to be there.  This is why my APL's get selected as SPL's!  Tommy wants to be PL and Johnny is the PL now.  The only way he's going to get the job is to prove to the patrol he would be a better PL.  Get to work!

 

It would take about 2-3 weeks for @@blw2's son to be noticed as doing a better job as PL and in a heart beat he'd be PL.  End of discussion.

 

This is the beauty of the NSP, it automatically sorts the boys into who's going to work for the group and who isn't.  If you haven't had an opportunity for 2-3 different jobs by the time you reach FC, how in the world do you know if you can do the QM job or the Scribe job or TG or Instructor?  Better get your feet wet before the time comes when it counts for real.

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I'm with you Stosh, as you know.... I totally buy into that idea of no elections or terms.... well at least the adult defined or adult driven ones....

just dealing with the cards that are dealt

and embracing that I am basically powerless to change it as a mere committee member

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I was 15 years with a troop as ASM before I couldn't handle it any longer and moved on  to a unit that needed a SM.  Since then that old troop kicked out their Silver Beaver, WB SM.  They haven't come to me for advice for at least a month now.  I left 7 years ago.... :)

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And this is why I don't have elections!!! and I don't have terms!!!  Elections and 6-12 month terms are an adult political agenda item I have boys selected by their peers to do the job. 

 

Does one need to say more?

 

Barry

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APL may be worthy of being a POR.  That;s not the issue.  It's not a POR.  Only B.S.A. can change that fact.

 

Is there guidance for Corporate about what constitutes a "Scoutmaster-approved leadership project to help the troop" ?  If BSA is vague, it invites loopholyness.

 

And will someone explain why only a project that benefits the troop counts.  It's as if the troop was the fundamental unit of Scouting, whereas BSA says expressly that the patrol is the fundamental unit of Scouting.  A troop, says the new Handbook, is a collection of patrols, not a collection of Scouts, so the troop is as good as its patrols.  With strong patrols, The SPL's job as leader of troop-level activities is easy.  With weak patrols, a young  Vilhelm Jensen.would have a hard time leading the troop.

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...

And will someone explain why only a project that benefits the troop counts.  It's as if the troop was the fundamental unit of Scouting, whereas BSA says expressly that the patrol is the fundamental unit of Scouting.  A troop, says the new Handbook, is a collection of patrols, not a collection of Scouts, so the troop is as good as its patrols.  With strong patrols, The SPL's job as leader of troop-level activities is easy.  With weak patrols, a young  Vilhelm Jensen.would have a hard time leading the troop.

In general, it seems that the positions that count are troop-oriented. (PL is really accountable to the troop for the activities of his boys.) So, it makes sense that the service project have a "for the troop" objective.

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