Jump to content
John-in-KC

Positions of Responsibility

Recommended Posts

It falls under a number of basic tenants we hold dear in our country. 

 

One does not need to go along with the crowd if they choose something one doesn't want to do. 

 

Nor should they be forced to pay someone elses way.  "A Scout his Thrifty, he pays his own way."

 

Why do the people in New York, Atlanta and Denver get to vote whether or not Chicago builds a new civic center?  3 patrols cannot mandate what a 4th can or cannot do.

 

By the way, the older boy's summer trek cost less, and the boys were challenged more with their scouting skills than had they been forced to go with what the other 3 patrols wanted to do.

 

We're not talking free-for-all tactics of a bunch of rebels here.  We're talking trusted older scouts that have earned the opportunity to chose wisely the course of activity for their patrol.

 

Instead of leading the troop, the PLC pretty much nullified it's authority by overreaching.  The PLC's role and vision were permanently altered at that point.  In the long run, it was a good thing that happened.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a natural tension between what one team in a league wants to do and what other teams want to do.  Different people with different experience often have different opinions.

 

One solution is for all teams to agree on majority rule.  That is not  contrary to Scouting values.  Not bad to learn about compromise (which has come in our polity to mean I get at least some of what I want and you get nothing of what you want so eventually I get all of what I wanted).   If that is the agreement, then I believe that all teams are honor-bound to go along.  Bill says as much.  

 

Another option is for each team to decide where they want to go.  That is not contrary to Scouting values.  An issue might be availability of resources to support separate programs.

 

I have experienced both approaches, and they both worked in the sense that the Scouts had a good time.

 

All the above assumes that you agree with Bill and B.S.A. (some of the time and in the Rules and Regulations) that the basic unit of Scouting is the patrol and that there is no "troop method."  If you think solely in terms of troop, troop, troop, it may seem like a kind of disloyalty not to support the league decision.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If majority rules all the time, the troop will have to always cater to the lowest common denominator.  Every summer will be summer camp in the council camp because the young boys aren't ever going to be old enough to vote to go to Philmont or Sea Base.  And the older boys can mark that option off as never a possibility.

 

This is why I like my boys broken into at least NSP, Regular and Venture patrols.  That way the NSP can go to Council Camp, the regular patrols can if they want, branch out to a different camp or maybe something they are interested in besides camp, maybe a canoe trip, etc.  and the Venture patrol can pack up and head to Philmont.

 

Your mileage may vary, but this is how I cake care of my boys.    If it strains the adult resources to do it this way, it's my job to find the help.  After all these years, I've never had a problem finding people to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

We're not talking free-for-all tactics of a bunch of rebels here.  We're talking trusted older scouts that have earned the opportunity to chose wisely the course of activity for their patrol.

 

Not a question of choosin' the course of activity for their own patrol, eh?

 

The question was "if we don't get what we want, we will not support the rest of the group (in fact, we'll undermine it)".

 

Reminds me of the fellows camped out in da wildlife refuge in Oregon, eh?   Not my notion of good citizenship to refuse to pay your taxes or grazing fees. 

 

Question for yeh @@Stosh.... if this had been adults rather than older scouts, how would yeh have felt about it?   The adults sayin' "we don't care what da PLC decided, we won't support it or contribute to it since we don't get to do what we want."  

 

Do yeh think it's OK to celebrate your older scout "trusted" youth leaders doin' somethin' that you'd castigate adult leaders for doin'?   How does that work, exactly?

 

Nuthin' stoppin' older lads from goin' to Seabase.  Da issue is older more responsible youth not supportin' the younger lads in goin' to camp.   That's just not a lesson of character or citizenship I'm personally comfortable with.

 

Beavah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If majority rules all the time, the troop will have to always cater to the lowest common denominator.  Every summer will be summer camp in the council camp because the young boys aren't ever going to be old enough to vote to go to Philmont or Sea Base.  And the older boys can mark that option off as never a possibility.

 

This is why I like my boys broken into at least NSP, Regular and Venture patrols.  That way the NSP can go to Council Camp, the regular patrols can if they want, branch out to a different camp or maybe something they are interested in besides camp, maybe a canoe trip, etc.  and the Venture patrol can pack up and head to Philmont.

 

Your mileage may vary, but this is how I cake care of my boys.    If it strains the adult resources to do it this way, it's my job to find the help.  After all these years, I've never had a problem finding people to help.

I know you appreciate that we are trying to raise youth into good citizens in a nation and a collection of states and local governments where majority driving decisions is said to be a good thing.

 

Majority rule often produces the least common denominator.  It also produces the exceptional on occasion, even the exceptionally talented and the exceptionally crooked (See Detroit, mayor of, prison).

 

Minority rule has not done notably better.  I respectfully remind the community of the bald guy's statement: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."

 

Majority rule in Troop 43 produced backpacking summer camp every other year.  Explorers went two-three days earlier, pioneered the trail, identified possible patrol sites, ran advancement sites at camp, and took separate side hikes.  At the TLCs I attended for nine years, the older Scouts and the Explorers (later Senior Scouts) were the more influential members.

 

Of course, all the patrols and crews were regularly hiking and camping separately, so the issue of same ol' same ol' was less likely to come up.

 

Anther tenant of our society is supposed to be respect for minorities.  The Scouts are supposed to learn that too. Oh look!  The two sides went their separate ways.  The world kept spinning.  You like Rap and I like classic R&R.

Edited by TAHAWK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh, I've got a big problem in jumping in too quick to a majority rule, especially in scouting.

 

Coming to some sort of consensus is a much better thing to strive for in my opinion....  It's hard.  Much easier to go with mob rule of course...but folks will be happier if they work on some give and take....

then everyone feels that at least they are heard.

 

jumping into mob rule is a sure fire way to have people quit.

 

Personally

I don't really see where there's an issue in what was described. if patrol A didn't want to go, but patrols B, C, and D do want to.... let patrols B, C, D do the fund raising for it.  A can do their own fundraising for their own thing.

Guessing here, but when they said "nor would they work to help pay for summer camp camperships."  

they probably weren't being mean about it.... surely they would be helpful, courteous, and kind.... they probably just didn't want to run point doing all the work FOR them.

   so B, C, and D sell mulch..... they need a few extra hands next Saturday to unload the shipment.... and ask A for a little help.  They'd probably say sure.......

right?

 

I suppose part of this depends on if you are looking at the patrol as the central organization, or the troop.  I'm looking at it form the perspective of scouting happening at the patrol level here.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clarification on the can of worms.....

 

The older boys planned on doing something on their own rather than the same-old-same-old they had been doing by going along with the others to council camp.  So the vote comes in and says that no, you can't do that, you have to do the same-old-same-old once again.  Be a team player here boys!  Well, they aren't part of that team.  They are a team of their own and given a choice of going to, lets say, Philmont or going to council camp, why waste the time and energy, lets stay home and go to the state park and camp.....There's nothing in the book that says they HAVE to go to council camp yet again especially when everyone was all excited about doing something different.

 

So as far as the fund raising, the troop doesn't do ISA's, but it does do IPA's individual patrol accounts.  A percentage of raised funds goes to the troop and a percentage goes to the patrols that raise the money.  If we don't need patrol money, why are we all gung ho on putting more money in a bloated account that was supposed to be paying for a trip we can't go on anyway.  I totally agreed with them.  It wasn't vindictive, it just was their special activity that got shot down by everyone else in the troop because the PLC decided to vote.

 

What it did spark in the troop was a discussion on how the patrols were to interact with this new PLC grouping.  Up until now with 1 patrol it was not necessary.  2 patrols, the 2 PL's just talked to each other over the phone.  Basically it was are we doing this summer camp thing together or not?  They somehow always came to some kind of agreement,  At that point we basically had 2 regular patrols.  3 patrols, now we have 2 regular patrols and 1 NSP..  The NSP isn't going to raise a ruckus so things still are worked out between the 2 regular patrol PL's.  Now the one patrol matures to a venture level patrol and wants to take on new challenges,  the old NSP moves up to regular status and a new NSP moves onto the stage.  So now we have 4 patrols and the vote is taken.  1 NSP, 1 just over being NSP and 1 regular and 1 Venture.    Now for the first time there's enough voters to seriously out-vote a single patrol.  New territory for the boys.  3 to 1 we're going to council camp.  The older boys said, that's fine have a nice time.  What people don't realize was the vote was not that everyone in the troop HAD to go to council camp it just meant the majority of the boys were going to council camp.  WHAT?  The older boys aren't going?  We voted.  No, the vote was to go to camp not force the older boys to go to camp.  The older boys asked if the adults were going to support them.  I said I would but they needed to work things out with the PLC, being new and all.

 

They stewed about it for a month, talked at length about what was happening and decided in the end, voting was causing more problems than it was fixing.  They decided the PLC would be an information repository where all the PL's share what's happening in their patrols, but retain their individual patrol autonomy.  They then asked if we as adults would support both efforts, which we did.  ASM and parent took the boys to council camp and a parent and myself took the older boys on their trek.  It worked out just fine and the boys picked up on some interesting dynamics that needed to be addressed as the troop grew.

 

It never dawned on me that we were screwing up these boys' perspective on citizenship.  I just figured they had this new PLC and needed to work out the kinks as to how they wanted it to work.  I think they came to a consensus that made everyone happy.  Isn't that what it's all about anyway?  No, they didn't vote anymore, no they did not all have a common calendar, but for the most part, things turned out  well and from my POV as SM, I didn't really care if they got a lesson in civics or not.  They resolved their issues and that's all that I was worried about.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Characterizing representative democracy as "mob rule" sorta' dictates your conclusion, does it not?  Who would be in favor of that?   (Those who say they are for mob rule soon call for a whiff of grapeshot in the streets.)

 

What if we call adults refusing to let the mandated elected representatives make the mandated decisions "benign tyranny"?

 

Would it be better to leave off the pejorative labels and stick to reasons?.  Like, "It's not fair to expect the boys to make adult decisions" or "The boys are just not ready to plan their own program" or "How dare a patrol consider its own interests?"    Probably no more agreement but a lot more courteous discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking of something a few minutes ago.  Talking to my son about cooking, and camp cooking

 

So I recently found out that Wednsday's evening meal at summer camp is going to be foil soldiers.

After my last experience with them, I told my self never again if I can help it.

So I have it in mind to bring a few fixin's in my pack, so that I can do up something like Stosh often describes with his tin cup or mess kit meals...use the foil soldier ingredients to make something more fit to eat.

 

SO should I be chastised for bucking the vote, and not eating the planned meal?

 

Now what if my son, who has a similar opinion of these meals, wants to do the same thing?  What about him.... is he being un-scoutlike?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At a Roundtable in 1961, they distributed a pamphlet from Reynolds Aluminum about uses for Aluminum foil in camping.  Therein we found plans for a "Camp Meal in Foil" and a coupon for $.10 off a box of foil.

 

I think I had three foil meals in the next five years.

 

Jump forward to 1981 and retaking SM Basic.  Somehow, foil meals had become THE prototypical Scout meal..   I have never understood that.  Maybe the same way buses replaced trolleys in Southern California - lots of propaganda.  Just had my umpteenth one last Saturday.   :( 

 

But "foil soldiers" ??????   Is that entirely PC?  If not, I'll try one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or how's about the utensil-less cooking using onion and orange halves or scooped out green peppers which end up becoming so burnt they are inedible. 

 

And seriously has ANYONE really made a meal like that or is it only for demonstration purposes only?

 

Sorry, I use a mess kit and cook well.  I'm not really in the mood very often trying to eat a meal that's burnt onto aluminum foil.

Edited by Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, hmmm...  what's a foil soldier?

 

Doin' meals and meal cleanup as a patrol is one of da great learnin' experiences of Scouting.  If every lad brings his own food stash and refuses to participate in da meal prep or cleanup with the group, I'm wonderin' what we're teachin', exactly.

 

If the older and more experienced lads just want to do their own thing and not help support others less experienced than they are, and we as adults encourage 'em to think that way, I'm wonderin' what we're doin', exactly. 

 

Maybe I'm just an old fashioned furry critter who grew up before da "Me me me!!!" generation. :(

 

Beavah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, hmmm...  what's a foil soldier?

 

Doin' meals and meal cleanup as a patrol is one of da great learnin' experiences of Scouting.  If every lad brings his own food stash and refuses to participate in da meal prep or cleanup with the group, I'm wonderin' what we're teachin', exactly.

 

If the older and more experienced lads just want to do their own thing and not help support others less experienced than they are, and we as adults encourage 'em to think that way, I'm wonderin' what we're doin', exactly. 

 

Maybe I'm just an old fashioned furry critter who grew up before da "Me me me!!!" generation. :(

 

Beavah

 

That's a pretty much myopic point of view.  How is anyone going to get beyond hotdogs and pop-tarts if no one thinks outside the box?  Just because I don't want to eat my Spam on a stick doesn't make me a bad Scout.

 

Sorry, but stifling creativity and experimentation and everyone has to eat the same thing prepared in the same way just isn't my thing.  Not when I can out cook 95% of my scouts.  When I get handed the fixin's for a foil dinner, the last thing I end up with is a foil dinner.

 

Doin' meals and meal cleanup as a patrol is one of da great learnin' experiences of Scouting.  If every lad brings his own food stash and refuses to participate in da meal prep or cleanup with the group, I'm wonderin' what we're teachin', exactly.  Well, it sounds like the lesson for the day is: "adults are making up a lot of rules on how the boys can run a program.  Way too much adult dictates here for my liking.

Edited by Stosh
  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doin' meals and meal cleanup as a patrol is one of da great learnin' experiences of Scouting.  If every lad brings his own food stash and refuses to participate in da meal prep or cleanup with the group, I'm wonderin' what we're teachin', exactly.  Well, it sounds like the lesson for the day is: "adults are making up a lot of rules on how the boys can run a program.  Way too much adult dictates here for my liking.

 

 

Exactly.   There is no need for the boys to do anything as a patrol.  I mean, the concept of a patrol is an adult rule.  Also, forget the uniforms, that is an adult rule.  How about knife safety and getting a Tottin Chip -- more adult nonesense.  Oh, and the advancement rules and rank requirements... complete adult claptrap.  Give the boy a badge when they think they should get it regardless of the requirements.  :blink:

 

To quote Baden-Powell, "Scouting is a game for boys under the leadership of boys under the direction of a man."  Playing soccer by picking up the ball and running with it is no longer soccer.  Boy Scouts without having the boys function as a patrol (which includes cooking as a patrol) is not Boy Scouts.

 

@@Stosh, I know you are always looking to decrease the amount of adult involvement and I generally agree with you.  However, there are adult directions that are necessary so that what we are doing is Boy Scouts.  Given a decision of having the boys all bring their own food and having them cook and clean up as a patrol, in my opinion, the rules of the game of Boy Scouts require them to function as a patrol.

 

That's a pretty much myopic point of view.  How is anyone going to get beyond hotdogs and pop-tarts if no one thinks outside the box?  Just because I don't want to eat my Spam on a stick doesn't make me a bad Scout.

 

Sorry, but stifling creativity and experimentation and everyone has to eat the same thing prepared in the same way just isn't my thing.  Not when I can out cook 95% of my scouts.  When I get handed the fixin's for a foil dinner, the last thing I end up with is a foil dinner.

 

Our former SM let the boys do what they wanted on campouts.  There was no patrol cooking.  There were no patrol activities.  There were no patrols.  When the new SM came in (and my son and I joined the Troop) that changed.  The boys now cook as patrols.  They use dutch ovens (based on them noticing how much better the adults were eating).  The older scouts are getting involved with the younger scouts in figuring out the menu so that they don't eat the same thing.  The boys know who has gluten allergies and who doesn't eat meat for religious reasons and adapt the menu for the boys.  The older boys automatically teach the younger boys how to do the cooking.  What caused this change?  The adults told the scouts they were required to cook as a patrol and the adults set an example with the cooking for their patrol.  

 

@@Stosh - My question is do you think that the adult direction (in B-P's words) in this situation was inappropriate?

  • Upvote 1

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

×