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Hedgehog

"You Guys Were Awesome!"

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Yawnnnnn!  Just another typical boy led, patrol method troop.  No big deal!

 

:)  Seriously!  Well done, congrats to your boys and NO it does not surprise me that the key to boy led is true Servant Leadership!  The management of the tasks will fall into place without a hassle with servant leadership.  And as you quickly found out if everyone is a servant leader ("What can I do to help?!") some awesome things can happen. 

 

Thank you for letting your boys experience REAL scouting!

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We are very boy run, but summer camp is always a good realignment for us because it's seven days of intense boy run. We usually get two campsites, one for the boys and the other for the adults. The SPL goes to all the unit leaders meetings and works the patrols with the camp leadership. He works so hard that he has little or no time for his own activities. Because of that, our troop has a tradition of paying for the SPLs camp fees. 

 

Barry

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And as you quickly found out if everyone is a servant leader ("What can I do to help?!") some awesome things can happen. 

 

What really surprised me is how contagious servant leadership and boy-leadership can be.  In talking to my son, we both realized that there was a lot of factors that all converged to make this happen.  A big part is that the boys who were in charge had been being primed for this role for three years.  The idea of boy-led was ingrained in them and they saw some leaders (both adult and youth) do the opposite of servant leadership (authoritarian or "do as I tell you to" leadership).  So the groundwork was there and a bunch of other things (me being there to keep the other leaders in check, my son being SPL right after NYLT, the other leaders being eager to lead, having the other adults at camp buying into boy-led and even the Camp SM being out of camp for a couple of days) were the cataylist. 

 

The next challenge is to build on this at our leader training campout in September.

 

We are very boy run, but summer camp is always a good realignment for us because it's seven days of intense boy run. We usually get two campsites, one for the boys and the other for the adults. The SPL goes to all the unit leaders meetings and works the patrols with the camp leadership. He works so hard that he has little or no time for his own activities. 

 

I could see how the SPL is fully occupied.  My son had no free time even with two free periods until Friday (and he used that time to finish up work on two merit badges).  

 

Although it would be nice to have a separate campsite for the adults, that really hasn't been a problem.  Three of the adults that are there all week have tents that are together at the front of the camp (they are a little bigger than the scout tents) and the other adults tend to tent on the fringes of the scout tents.  

 

I'm now jotting down my notes and thoughts on how we can build on this for next year.

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Are SPL's more occupied than they used to be?

 

I don't recall the position being a burden to me. I can't recall what MBs I was earning at the time ... probably nothing too serious. I'd fill out a roster, march to flags, report attendance, chill at the trading post, inspect camp, help resolve the conflict du jour, chill in the hammock, go with SM to leader's meeting, go shoot/swim/hike during open program, catch some tree frogs for the camp snake.

 

I leaned on my PL's a lot. They rose to the occasion.

 

In general, we find the PL's to be the most occupied with their time. It's on them if food isn't picked up, cooked, and dining area spotless immediately thereafter.

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I haven't had much experience with SPL's, but your SPL's seem to be far more "involved" than need to be.  If the PL's are running their patrols, what is the SPL up to?  Coordinating communication from the SPL meeting is about all I see his role in summer camp being.  The reason I haven't had much experience with SPL's is because when the PL's are doing their jobs, one really doesn't need them until the troop gets up to 4-5 patrols.  Then the extra hand helping with coordinating things is useful.

 

If everyone in the patrols are doing their job, the PL has a handle on everything, the SPL like the SM pretty much have more free time than they want. 

 

Seriously!  Let the PL's do their job, it's the basis of the patrol method!  An SPL running around hovering over them is no different than an adult doing it.  Either way it undermines the patrol method.

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Interesting observation, Stosh.  You, at least, are probably old enough to recall that until 2000 B.S.A. had an official syllabus for a one-day, district-level  training course for "Junior Leaders" call J.L.O.W.  (A few councils have refused to give it up.)   It contained a session titled "Welcome to Scouting's Toughest Job."  The message was that the PL had the toughest job in Boy Scouting.   With good PLs, the SPL had it easy and without them his job was impossible -- becasue it was the Patrol Method.  The same message was in the Patrol Leader's Handbook from 1980-1990 written by some guy named "Bill" and was a theme in the week-long JLTC.  

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=2mYEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=%22Welcome+to+Scouting%27s+Toughest+Job.%22&source=bl&ots=ybXZqiOPGB&sig=8Z6x5ucISVLl8aN2vA-_K9hZtM4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigkJCd8onOAhXJ5SYKHRQ5DOgQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=%22Welcome%20to%20Scouting's%20Toughest%20Job.%22&f=false

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Are SPL's more occupied than they used to be?

 

I don't recall the position being a burden to me. I can't recall what MBs I was earning at the time ... probably nothing too serious. I'd fill out a roster, march to flags, report attendance, chill at the trading post, inspect camp, help resolve the conflict du jour, chill in the hammock, go with SM to leader's meeting, go shoot/swim/hike during open program, catch some tree frogs for the camp snake.

 

I leaned on my PL's a lot. They rose to the occasion.

 

In general, we find the PL's to be the most occupied with their time. It's on them if food isn't picked up, cooked, and dining area spotless immediately thereafter.

 

 

I haven't had much experience with SPL's, but your SPL's seem to be far more "involved" than need to be.  If the PL's are running their patrols, what is the SPL up to?  Coordinating communication from the SPL meeting is about all I see his role in summer camp being.  The reason I haven't had much experience with SPL's is because when the PL's are doing their jobs, one really doesn't need them until the troop gets up to 4-5 patrols.  Then the extra hand helping with coordinating things is useful.

 

If everyone in the patrols are doing their job, the PL has a handle on everything, the SPL like the SM pretty much have more free time than they want. 

 

Seriously!  Let the PL's do their job, it's the basis of the patrol method!  An SPL running around hovering over them is no different than an adult doing it.  Either way it undermines the patrol method.

 

 

The structure of the camp makes the SPL the "coordinator in chief."  In the past the SPL did EVERYTHING leaving the patrol leaders feeling like figureheads.  This year, the SPL worked to push down responsibility to the PLs (as well as the ASPL and APLs).  The SPL didn't "DO" a lot (with the exception of the Thursday build-it project) except attend meetings and take care of his PLs.  As he said at the pre-camp PLC to the PLs - "You guys are in charge, my job is to help you succeed."

 

Some of the SPL duties (with parentheticals of how the PLs were involved this summer):

  • Setting tone and preparing ASPLs, PLs and APLs at PLC meeting prior to camp.
  • Coordinating unloading of Troop gear and boys moving into tents (asking PLs and ASPLs to take specific roles)
  • Leading Troop on camp tour, dining hall table assignments and swim test
  • Lining up the Troop whenever we leave camp (PLs were responsible for lining up their patrols and making sure guys were in uniform if appropriate.  APLs were responsible for taking attendence.  Duty was delegated to ASPL if SPL was unavailable).  
  • Helping PLs by providing materials to make patrol flags at camp
  • Coordinating with Patrol Leaders to do daily responsibility charts for their patrols to make sure that campsite wide jobs are assigned.
  • Serving as a waiter every day at lunch (with PLs and ASPLs to show that they were working as hard as everyone else)
  • Doing morning and evening flag ceremonies at campsite (each Patrol was assigned to handle the flags at one ceremony)
  • Lead the Troop to Campwide Morning and Evening Flags (relatively ease after line-up because each patrol was led by its PL)
  • Attending Daily SPL meetings with Camp Staff (and then relaying the information to the PLs through a PLC meeting or one-on-one)
  • Making sure camp is ready for inspection in the morning (APLs were charged with guiding their patrol members on what needed to be done and ASPLs did one final inspection during line-up)
  • Making sure that waiters report on time (PLs were responsible for knowing who their two waiters were and making sure they were ready)
  • Attending to issue related to playing music in the morning with neighboring Troop's SM
  • Deciding on Troop activities on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (done at PLC with PLs)
  • Being cheerleader in chief by telling ASPLs, PLs, APLs and others what they are doing well.
  • Taking new scouts to First Year Campfire on Monday while ASPL led PLs to participate in Older Scout Competition
  • Coordinating Troop boating activity on Tuesday night
  • Leading Patrol Leaders in deciding roster for Troop Games on Tuesday night at ad-hoc PLC meeting
  • Acting as a liason between Adults and PLs and PLs and Adults (i.e. keeping everyone informed of how everyone was doing)
  • Coordinating participation in Troop Games on Wednesday (games were not done by Patrol but by Troop)
  • Coordinating service projects on Wednesday (for the first time they were done by PLs and SPL and ASPLs joined patrols under PLs leadership)
  • Coordinating Wednesday Troop activitiy (ultimate frisbee game against staff)
  • Checking on how PLs were doing and asking them how the guys in their patrols were doing.
  • Backing up PLs on any issues with their patrols.
  • Addressing any issues that arose during the week with PLs, APLs, scouts and activities
  • Coordinating building of Troop Build-It Project for Thursday (OK, didn't do the best job coordinating but stepped up to get it done)
  • Making sure PLs knew what they were doing for Patrol Games on Thursday night
  • Coordinating Troop Campfire on Thursday night (advance planning to get snacks, soda and music, having one PL build fire, another make popcorn and another make dump cakes)
  • Attending waiter auction where Troops buy staff waiters for Friday night (asked PLs who their patrols wanted him to get).
  • Coordinating making of Troop plaque for Dining Hall
  • Coordinating move-out and clean-up of camp.

Add that to the regular camp schedule (line-up at 7:50, Breakfast and then MB classes till lunch, a break and then MB classes until 5:00, line up at 5:50 for dinner and then a campwide campfire every night except Tuesday (activity) and Thursday (Troop campfire).  The guys are usually pretty busy without being in a leadership position.

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Interesting observation, Stosh.  You, at least, are probably old enough to recall that until 2000 B.S.A. had an official syllabus for a one-day, district-level  training course for "Junior Leaders" call J.L.O.W.  (A few councils have refused to give it up.)   It contained a session titled "Welcome to Scouting's Toughest Job."  The message was that the PL had the toughest job in Boy Scouting.   With good PLs, the SPL had it easy and without them his job was impossible -- becasue it was the Patrol Method.  The same message was in the Patrol Leader's Handbook from 1980-1990 written by some guy named "Bill" and was a theme in the week-long JLTC.  

 

 

Each of the PLs at camp had not served as PLs before.  Only my son (the SPL) and one of the PLs were APLs last year at camp and during the year and had undergone our troop's leadership training.  Neither of the other two PLs had any experience or training.  Simply put, to enable the PLs to lead under those circumstances, the SPL had to almost serve as their "guide."  Could the PLs have done more?  I'm sure they could have.  However, their role was 1000 times greater than it was in the past.  I find that to be an accomplishment worth celebrating.

 

The strength of the patrols in our Troop is an issue that we need to work on.  We have historically been a Troop Method troop in the outdoors.  We have made some progress in the patrol method but still have a long way to go.  I'm currently reading GBB's Patrol Leader's Guide and a book called Working the Patrol Method.  There are some structural changes that need to be made... but that is another post.

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Interesting stuff....

 

Just my 2-cents to indicate probably why my SPL's "don't exist" when the troop was small.

 

The structure of the camp makes the SPL the "coordinator in chief."  In the past the SPL did EVERYTHING leaving the patrol leaders feeling like figureheads.  This year, the SPL worked to push down responsibility to the PLs (as well as the ASPL and APLs).  The SPL didn't "DO" a lot (with the exception of the Thursday build-it project) except attend meetings and take care of his PLs.  As he said at the pre-camp PLC to the PLs - "You guys are in charge, my job is to help you succeed."

 

Some of the SPL duties (with parentheticals of how the PLs were involved this summer):

  • Setting tone and preparing ASPLs, PLs and APLs at PLC meeting prior to camp.

With only 1-3 PL's they pretty much coordinated this stuff between themselves.  When they got to 4 patrols, the SPL did help with keeping them a bit more "on task".

  • Coordinating unloading of Troop gear and boys moving into tents (asking PLs and ASPLs to take specific roles)

This of course would have been done by the QM which usually ended up being the patrol QM's from the Venture Patrol boys.  QM's rule the roost at this point!

  • Leading Troop on camp tour, dining hall table assignments and swim test

Each PL/APL team was responsible for his boys to keep up with the orientation, etc.  Patrol Scribe took notes, or at least the good ones did.  :)

  • Lining up the Troop whenever we leave camp (PLs were responsible for lining up their patrols and making sure guys were in uniform if appropriate.  APLs were responsible for taking attendence.  Duty was delegated to ASPL if SPL was unavailable).  

Each PL/APL team again was to make sure his boys were ready for any group activity the troop was participating in.

  • Helping PLs by providing materials to make patrol flags at camp

PL's were responsible for bringing their patrol flags from home.

  • Coordinating with Patrol Leaders to do daily responsibility charts for their patrols to make sure that campsite wide jobs are assigned.

Patrol level "duty rosters" no campsite wide jobs necessary.    The patrols camp separately from each other and the adults.

  • Serving as a waiter every day at lunch (with PLs and ASPLs to show that they were working as hard as everyone else)

PL took volunteers from his patrol to handle this and usually initiated the volunteering by doing it himself in the beginning.  (Servant leadership stuff)

  • Doing morning and evening flag ceremonies at campsite (each Patrol was assigned to handle the flags at one ceremony)

PL/APL team's rotated this on their own.

  • Lead the Troop to Campwide Morning and Evening Flags (relatively ease after line-up because each patrol was led by its PL)

Venture patrol usually initiated this and lead the others with NSP bringing up the rear as patrols.  Adults were the real tail end of the procession.

  • Attending Daily SPL meetings with Camp Staff (and then relaying the information to the PLs through a PLC meeting or one-on-one)

Usually the oldest PL would do this and let the other PL/APL team's know what's going on.  If the Venture PL was busy with HA events as sometimes happens, another PL would step in and be the ad hoc SPL.

  • Making sure camp is ready for inspection in the morning (APLs were charged with guiding their patrol members on what needed to be done and ASPLs did one final inspection during line-up)

This was the PL/APL team's job.  They are responsible for their patrol's area.

  • Making sure that waiters report on time (PLs were responsible for knowing who their two waiters were and making sure they were ready)

We pick camps with in-site cooking.  GrubMaster rules the roost at this point.  (Everyone is a leader at some time throughout the activity)  This is the PL/APL teams opportunity to relax.

  • Attending to issue related to playing music in the morning with neighboring Troop's SM.

No troop revielle, PL is responsible for gettig his boys up in the morning.

  • Deciding on Troop activities on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (done at PLC with PLs)

Don't know what the "troop activities" would be.  Things tend to be kept at the patrol level.

  • Being cheerleader in chief by telling ASPLs, PLs, APLs and others what they are doing well.

:) Everyone from the patrol members to the adults get to do that!! 

  • Taking new scouts to First Year Campfire on Monday while ASPL led PLs to participate in Older Scout Competition

TG does this the first day and the NSP PL/APL team does it for the rest of the week.

  • Coordinating Troop boating activity on Tuesday night

These kinds of things are done on the patrol level.  Usually a troop showing up to do canoeing is more of a nightmare than a patrol showing up.

  • Leading Patrol Leaders in deciding roster for Troop Games on Tuesday night at ad-hoc PLC meeting

If need by the ad hoc SPL can cover this.

  • Acting as a liason between Adults and PLs and PLs and Adults (i.e. keeping everyone informed of how everyone was doing)

Yes, this is an area where the SPL can be useful.  Generally with 2-3 patrols, the SM can "wander around" fo each of the patrol sites and get in a brief SMC with the PL's as to how things are going.

  • Coordinating participation in Troop Games on Wednesday (games were not done by Patrol but by Troop)

We've run into this problem with different non-patrol method camps.  They always want to do things as a troop.  We tell them we are a patrol-method troop and each patrol will be entering in to the games as patrols like they would be if they were a small troop.  Never had a problem with that from the camp staff and are often times impressed with the set-up we use.

  • Coordinating service projects on Wednesday (for the first time they were done by PLs and SPL and ASPLs joined patrols under PLs leadership)

The ad hoc SPL of the situation was already the PL of one of the patrols, usually the Venture Patrol, but not always.

  • Coordinating Wednesday Troop activitiy (ultimate frisbee game against staff)

The staff can break down to competitive numbers to compete against a patrol.  :)  Waterfront against NSP, Shooting sports against the Venturing Patrol, etc.

  • Checking on how PLs were doing and asking them how the guys in their patrols were doing.

Mini-SMC's here with each PL.

  • Backing up PLs on any issues with their patrols.

TG does this with the NSP, otherwise, he is there to assist other patrols.  He is the TROOP Guide.  Usually issues like these get escalated over the SPL or TG rather quickly anyway.

  • Addressing any issues that arose during the week with PLs, APLs, scouts and activities

Whoever went to SPL meeting as ad hoc SPL generally handles this.

  • Coordinating building of Troop Build-It Project for Thursday (OK, didn't do the best job coordinating but stepped up to get it done)

Don't know what this activity is, never ran into it in any camp we've attended.

  • Making sure PLs knew what they were doing for Patrol Games on Thursday night

Sink or swim, PL's chance to show why the boys selected him to lead!

  • Coordinating Troop Campfire on Thursday night (advance planning to get snacks, soda and music, having one PL build fire, another make popcorn and another make dump cakes)

Like any other patrol supported activity, this is generally coordinated by consensus of PL's

  • Attending waiter auction where Troops buy staff waiters for Friday night (asked PLs who their patrols wanted him to get).

Not something we've seen done.  PL's invite staff to patrol dinners/luches throughout the week.

  • Coordinating making of Troop plaque for Dining Hall

Not something we've seen done.

  • Coordinating move-out and clean-up of camp.

Squarely on the PL"s head for his area of the site.

 

Add that to the regular camp schedule (line-up at 7:50, Breakfast and then MB classes till lunch, a break and then MB classes until 5:00, line up at 5:50 for dinner and then a campwide campfire every night except Tuesday (activity) and Thursday (Troop campfire).  The guys are usually pretty busy without being in a leadership position.

 

With this broken down this way, No one ever seems to be overwhelmed.  The PL gets the "brunt" of responsiblity but he has a fully function assistant to help him if he uses him correctly.  SPL is just an information gatherer at the SPL meeting so that each patrol doesn't have to send a representative.  Just an efficiency thing.  Depending on how busy the NSP is the TG can sometimes function as the SPL in some instances but he is usually quite busy with the new boys that it is difficult to break away for administrative issues.

 

All in all, I just don't see where the SPL is ever an over-worked position if the PL's are all doing their jobs. 

 

It was interesting how the SPL came about in my troop.  The boys became a 5 patrol troop and one of the PL's said something about why did they always have to be looking to the SM for support.  I said they didn't.  Just pick someone from the troop who could do that.  They picked their best APL to fit that role.  He had been assisting 1 PL, now he was assisting 5.  Worked out just fine.

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By the way.  I am taking my boys next week to summer camp.  I haven't been to that camp in 15 years.  All the boys are Webelos crossovers. One patrol.  They have selected their PL, APL, QM, Scribe, GrubMaster and ActivityMaster.   Should be an interesting week.

 

I have high hopes they will win the overall camp-wide games.

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The PL gets the "brunt" of responsiblity but he has a fully function assistant to help him if he uses him correctly.  SPL is just an information gatherer at the SPL meeting so that each patrol doesn't have to send a representative.  Just an efficiency thing.

 

 

Stosh:

 

I know how you feel about SPLs from other posts.  Although I think we agree about delegating as much as possible to patrols, I think we disagree on the role of the SPL. In most of your responses you listed someone else who would do the job, be it the QM, TG, a PL or the SM.  I don't disagree with where you pointed out the TG doing things in line with their position (my son is TG next year which is why as SPL he took the new guys to the campfire) or the QM doing things in line with his position (the Troop QM was also an ASPL and did handle the unloading of gear while my son had PLs focus on unloading the gear for their guys).  However, you have PLs and TGs doing things that are outside their roles on an ad hoc basis or done on the basis of being the "oldest" or being led by the venture patrol.  Most of those activities require coordinating various positions within the Troop and I see those as being the role of the SPL.  To me, it makes more sense to have one person in charge of coordinating the activities of all the leaders.

 

I also agree the need for an SPL looks different if you have 6 or 12 boys vs. 25 or 50 boys.  At 25 boys, we had three patrols of 7 or 8, an SPL and 2 ASPLs.  The PLs were new, untrained and without a lot of experience.  If they were put in charge without an SPL, I suspect that there would have been a lot more adult involvement.  Having an SPL who had acted as a PL on a lot of outings and who was NYLT trained allowed him to work with the PLs to make sure they were able to do their job.  He very clearly understood that his job was (with the help of the ASPLs) take care of his guys who were the PLs.  The fact that the PLs and APLs felt more in charge and valued than in the past is all the evidence I need to know that my son did his job as SPL.

 

As I said in response to Tahawk, we had an amazing level of Patrol Level leadership for a Troop that has is very much a troop method Troop and was at a camp that is strongly focused on troops.  We had boy-led, servant leadership and some level of patrol method.  To misquote Meatloaf, "Two and a half out of three aint bad."

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Hedge, I totally agree with what you posted regarding SPL and if some of the boys were doing double duty i.e. ASPL/QM and such it wasn't clear.  The point I was making was that the smaller troops can easily handle the lack of any SPL and until enough work gets generated to justify the position, it can be handled most often with an ad hoc SPL such as at a camporee or summer camp or a consensus of the 2 or 3 PL's.  By the time one gets to the 4-5 patrol level, then there's enough coordination and communication needs that a full-time SPL can be very useful.  6+ patrol level the SPL is mandatory!

 

The troops that parade around with a PL and seven boys AND an SPL?  How can that SPL not be walking all over the PL's authority on the one hand or totally doing nothing more than getting POR credit on the other hand?

 

Okay, so we have 2 patrols and an SPL.  What's the SPL's function?  Run a PLC with 2 members?  Gets to vote with the PL's and break ties so one patrol can get what it wants over the other patrol?  Or do the two PL's just sit down and hash things out on inter patrol activities  So one patrol decides on Camp A for summer camp because it has a great first year program and the other Camp B because of it's high adventure program.  SM and parent goes to one camp and ASM and parent goes to the other.  No big deal.  Where does the SPL fit in?  At which ever camp he goes to he's pretty useless because the PL can do the SPL job when they get there.  I used the example of two different camps to emphasize the autonomy of the patrol method   Had they both been going to the same camp, sure, the NSP PL would have deferred to the Regular Patrol PL to stand in as the ad hoc SPL.  With 2 patrols we're talking a troop of about 12-16 boys here and still struggling to define a real job for the SPL position.

 

So now we're up to 18 to 24 boys in three patrols.  1 NSP PL and 2 Reg Patrols or maybe for illustration sake, 1 Regular and 1 Venture Patrol PL's. So, who's the natural ad hoc SPL for the summer camp and/or camporee?  The Venture Patrol PL?  Not necessarily, depending on whether or not the High Adventure program for the summer camp is on-site or off-site.  If it's off site, the Venture Patrol is gone most of the week and the SPL will need to stay on-site and take care of the NSP and Regular Patrols while at camp and he misses out on the HA activities.  Suck it up cupcake, that's what SPL's do.  Or the Regular PL simply does the SPL routine and the Venture PL goes off with his patrol on the HA activities.

 

4 patrol?  24 to 32 boys?  Now we're getting at the tipping point of needing an SPL to start sorting things out.  That's quite a good sized troop to now see the need for a full-time SPL.  1 NSP, 2 Regular and 1 Venture patrols.  The dynamics of things being pulled three different ways necessitates someone with the ability to handle 4 boys (PL's) with divergent needs and interests.  The NSP PL wants the local council camp because of the First Year program is good.  The 2 Regular PL's are itchy for something a bit different this year and the Venture Patrol is wanting Philmont.  Now we begin to see an SPL that is going to have to earn his patch supporting the 4 PL's.and getting them to the programs and activities the want for the summer.  It's not just, "Who's going to go to the SPL meeting at summer camp" kind of thing, it's going to require some serious Servant Leadership of taking care of his PL's to pull it off.

 

5 patrol?  30 to 40 boys?  Yep, now we can easily see the need for an SPL.  Maybe he came onboard at the 4 patrol level to gain some experience, but now he has some serious sleeve rolling up to to.  Now he is going to need some real staff, too.  He needs a qualified TG to handle 1 maybe 2 NSP's, a Troop QM to make sure the 5 patrols' equipment is kept organized, a Scribe that can handle the organizational management of funds and paper work of supporting 5 patrols. etc.

 

6-7 patrols?  36 to 48+ boys?  Now it's mandatory to have a functional SPL AND STAFF!  And I emphasize staff.  The reason maybe that troops find their SPL's running all over burning themselves out is because they don't have a functional troop level staff to help them.  The SPL doesn't need to do it all anymore than the PL has to do it all on the patrol level.  He has staff, use them as they are supposed to function!

 

Hedge, you indicated your son, the SPL was quite busy at camp..... how big is the troop, how many patrols, and how many troop officers did he have to help him?  You mentioned an ASPL was functioning as a QM when they were unloading the equipment.  Where was the QM? or isn't the troop big enough to justify a QM?  You see, it's not an issue of right vs. wrong, it's an issue of troop structure fitting the needs of the boys.  How can the structure take care of the boys or do we have a structure just because BSA makes patches for POR's so the boys can sit around and get advancement credit?  I"m not suggesting this is happening in troops, I'm only indicating I have seen many cases where this is happening and I don't think it's unique only to my neck of the woods.  Having a troop of 75-100 boys without an SPL would be stupid, without a QM, Scribe, etc. would be ridiculous.  Add on Bugler, Chaplain Aide, DC's and other staff positions it makes it mandatory to have troop staff to coordinate and take care of the PL's and their boys.

 

I use GBB's Patrol Method of making sure every boy in the unit has a leadership job to function at.  Whether he be a patrol QM or the troop QM it makes no difference.  The only difference between a patrol QM and a troop QM is the patrol QM is worried about his boys in his patrol getting the right equipment at the right time.  The troop QM makes sure he's successful at that.  Same for the SPL, the troop Scribe, etc.  All these troop level officers are there to insure the success of the PATROLS.  If that's happening, then I as SM am happy.

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