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Eagle94-A1

Adults At It Again

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Do I understand you correctly? The unit was given their "marching orders" and they failed to comply?

 

Did you comply? Did your son comply?

 

Unit was not given marching orders, the adults were. Adults were suppose to have specific responsibilities, basically be "patrol counselors" for their assigned patrol which did not include their own son, except for the venture patrol ASM. However my responsibility is to work with the SPL and ASPL when the lead ASM cannot, and to back up the assigned patrol counselors if they are not in attendance, inlcuding my son's patrol, if needed.. The challenge is that there have been NO (emphasis) opportunities for the patrols to work together as a patrol, with the exception of the venture patrol we have. Only reason they are "clicking" is that they are actually doing stuff as a patrol, although not the entire patrol. A few of their members are having some real issues with the troop, as well as family.

 

By failing to comply, because activities have been a hodgepodge, leaders are working with whomever shows up as there hasn't been any camp outs utilizing the patrol method. So instead of leaders working with everyone, including their own sons, and that has caused some issues in the past.

 

As for me, yes I'm complying, but it is frustrating to see when others are not. As for son, he's one of the junior leaders in the troop, so he is one of the troop officers under the SPL.

 

 

     If you were involved with Cub Scouting, this is a very different role that can take some time getting   

     used to."

 

That's the problem, the folks in the adult led faction, even if they should know better, have only been out of Cub Scouts 18 months tops and are in Cub mode. Issues with our NSP have not helped matters.

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Unit was not given marching orders, the adults were. Adults were suppose to have specific responsibilities, basically be "patrol counselors" for their assigned patrol which did not include their own son, except for the venture patrol ASM. However my responsibility is to work with the SPL and ASPL when the lead ASM cannot, and to back up the assigned patrol counselors if they are not in attendance, inlcuding my son's patrol, if needed.

This is the problem. How does a patrol counselor differ from a patrol leader? It is an invitation to interfere. This is one of my pet issues with our Troop. The adults sitting in on the patrol meetings get too involved because they feel it is necessary to get the right result (I've been in that situation) not recognizing that as @@Stosh says the right result is the ones the boys come up with.

 

Get a big banner for your next meeting that says "Never do Anything a Boy Can Do for Themselves - And That is Pretty Much Everything."

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This is why I always say my PL's are the highest ranking officers in the troop.  From the SPL on down to the SM and ASM's, they are there to support when asked.  Otherwise, when things go amok, the adult will always get blamed first and no adult wants to be in that position.  This is a program of success/fail on the part of the boys, not the adults. 

 

Coffee time.

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Get a big banner for your next meeting that says "Never do Anything a Boy Can Do for Themselves - And That is Pretty Much Everything."

 

That or put up a banner saying "Coffee, donuts,  and card games for leaders in XYZ room"

 

Seriously though

This is the problem. How does a patrol counselor differ from a patrol leader? It is an invitation to interfere. This is one of my pet issues with our Troop. The adults sitting in on the patrol meetings get too involved because they feel it is necessary to get the right result (I've been in that situation) not recognizing that as @@Stosh says the right result is the ones the boys come up with.

 

That is the problem. We got leaders acting like den leaders and not Boy Scout leaders.

 

 

Otherwise, when things go amok, the adult will always get blamed first and no adult wants to be in that position.  This is a program of success/fail on the part of the boys, not the adults. 

 

And what the adults do not understand is that there interference is making matters worse.

 

On a different note, SM put me in charge of this meeting coming up. I've already talked to the SPL and one of the older Scouts to run it. I plan on being the SSD and SA guy. :)

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One thing that I've found is that the language we use both reflects our perspective and informs our actions.  So some suggestions:

 

 

That or put up a banner saying "Coffee, donuts,  and card games for leaders Adults in XYZ room"

 

Seriously though

 

That is the problem. We got leaders Adults acting like den leaders and not Boy Scout leaders.Assistant Scoutmasters

 

 

And what the adults do not understand is that there interference is making matters worse.

 

On a different note, SM put me in charge of asked me to coach the SPL for this meeting coming up. I've already talked to the SPL and one of the older Scouts to run it. and told them they are in charge.

 

The subtle differences in language are part of the paradim shift.  A gentle correction to someone else's language (or even correcting your own in front of them) is a gentle reminder of the way the program works.  I know what you mean and how you are operating, but being aware of what we say helps keep other in line.  So when the SM says "you're in charge of the meeting and get the SPL on board" your response is "I will.  I'll talk to the SPL and tell him he is in charge and be there if he needs any assistance."  Rather than telling the SPL that "this is what we are going to do" ask the SPL "what do you think we should do?"  

 

Also, can you start doing an ASM's minute at the end of every meeting?  That is a great way to talk to the adults in the guise of talking to the youth.  I'm sure the adults in the Troop would think it is a good idea (hey, an adult stepping up and teaching the kids).  You first one could be on failure with the theme being how we learn from failures but that the biggest failure is not trying.  The second one could be on learning by doing.  The thrid one being on leadership.  

 

What is the role of the PLC in the troop?  When I joined our Troop, the Committee planned the outdoor program.  Ugh.  With the new SM's approval we started asking the PLC about their ideas.  Three years later, we are having one member of the PLC do the research and planning for each activity.  In other areas, having the PLC decide something pre-empted the adults from stepping in.  

 

Also, it sometimes helps to have the boy-led faction adults take charge of activities (like you are at the next meeting) and then turn control over to the boys.  With our outdoor program, the adults used to announce the outings and collect the permission slips, etc.  When I took over the program, I had the SPL make the announcement.  After a while, the SPL collected the permission slips.  Because it was my "job" in the eyes of the adults, no other adult would step in to take authority away from the boys because that would be stepping on my toes.

 

Along the same lines, having an agreed upon command communication structure in place helps.  I know, this sounds very adult led, but it actually acts as a defense against adult interference.  Communication issues go from scouts, to PLs to SPL to SM (or ASM in charge) OR from ASM to SM (or ASM in charge) to SPL to PL to scouts in patrols.  That is, the SM (or ASM in charge) is the only one who talks to a boy and that boy is the SPL.  This has help me maintain boy-led in the outdoors because it prevents the ASMs and other adults from interfering.

 

I plan on being the SSD and SA guy. :)

 

 

????  Solid state drive?   Also, I can't include the top Google result when I type in "SA."  I need some help on the acronyms.

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Thanks for the solid points. I gotta work on language. And also how things are presented. When I talk to the Scouts, I try to leave things as open ended as possible. But I to automatically give orders at times. That does make a difference.

 

The SM's Minute is off limits UNLESS the SM is not there. Part of that is that he is a wealth of knowledge. Part of it is the SM is declining in his abilities, and the SM's Minute is a big deal for him that we do not want to take away. I'm hoping that the SM realizes that the troop is in good hands for him to step down. We had an AT crew, a summer camp, and two prep backpacking trips either without him involved, or  meeting us and having lunch for us.

 

As for the PLC, unfortunately they do very little. In the past they met 2-3 times a year, yes you heard me a year. I've tried to get not only the SPL, but also the SM and lead ASM, but the Scouts do not seem interested, and the  the adults don't have the time for another meeting.

 

As for the boy-led faction taking stuff on and letting youth run it, that's my game plan. And every single chance I get, I praise the Scouts in front of the adult led faction. Not only does it build up the self-confidence of the Scouts, which I'm afraid to say is lacking in some BUT that's because they have not been given the chance to shine, but I'm trying to remind the adults that the Scouts can do it. But because of the way the adults have divided with responsibilities, it does indeed get interesting.

 

As for the "chain of command" communications,  That is something the ADULTS need to work on, and a few of the Scouts.

 

As for abbreviations, SSD= Safe Swim Defense, and SA= Safety Afloat. I'm still certified in both Aquatic Supervision programs, and am a BSA Lifeguard, so the swimming and boating is my game.

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As for the PLC, unfortunately they do very little. In the past they met 2-3 times a year, yes you heard me a year. I've tried to get not only the SPL, but also the SM and lead ASM, but the Scouts do not seem interested, and the  the adults don't have the time for another meeting.

 

Ours has a retreat at the beginning of the year for training and planning (this year we've up it to a weekend campout) and meets the first week of every month for 45 minutes prior to the Troop meeting.  It really isn't a hassle to arrive for a meeting a little early.  I think this is critical.  The PLC needs to plan the meetings, otherwise.... yep, you know where this is going... the adults will.

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Our calendar planning has taken on the campout/retreat in the fall.  Saturday AM, fire up the campfire after breakfast and start putting together the old fun stuff from last year with the new potentially fun stuff to try next year.   Same summer camp next year or some place new?  etc.  Once the calendar is set, then it's time for some fine tuning on the servant leadership training.  What's working, what's not, etc.

 

The adults can speak to answer direct question posed to them,  otherwise they drink coffee and get more firewood.  They serve to support the PL's (or PLC) in their deliberation.

 

After the calendar is complete to the nth detail, then the move is into training of whatever topic the boys want.  That is usually identified prior to the outing.

 

The evening campfire is the fellowship/brotherhood time when everyone participates equally.  Old stories, new ideas, trips they went on as a family that might be good to consider.  How many new Webelos do we expect, etc. kinds of things.

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I'm going off topic slightly as it does have some relevance. This week has been a long stressful one for me, not only because of what I found out about Monday's meeting, but also everything else going on in my personal and work life.  With finding out that things went backwards Monday, I completely forgot about a conversation last weekend until I was talking to oldest.

 

Anyway, I found out that the troop that has had problems over the past few years will be getting a new adult as an ASM, and may possibly take over as SM.  The CM of my pack, who is good friends with the SM, and has actually influenced him to do some stuff I suggested the CM suggest to the SM, will be going there. So out of my old den, I see 2 definates, and 1 possible coming to the troop I'm in. Hopefully the rest will remain with the troop. Fresh leadership is a good thing, and the CM taking over as SM may be a very good thing. He gets Scout-led. I found this out talking to Gunship because he has talked to all the CM and SM about "helping" them out. I know back in May, Gunship made a comment about after July he's leaving, so maybe he's going to join them. Considering the schedule he and his sons have, their meeting night is a better fit. Plus I found out our SM may be stepping down. And the reason Gunship and his sons joined us was because of his old SM.

 

So the biggest proponent of adult led may be moving. Also if the other troop can keep the Webelos they get A) we won't have a massive group of 23 new Scouts and B) that troop can stay alive and grow. Some folks do like adult led.

 

As for the conversation with oldest, it was interesting. He's come to realize that as much as he likes working with the new Scouts, if he wants change, he needs to be SPL again. He'll be running next election.

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"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!"

 

I had a nice chat with the 2 Scouts in charge of the meeting Monday. They had a good plan, they agreed with one suggest as it "makes sense," and then really liked a second suggestion, and took off with it. So far so good.

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"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!"

 

I had a nice chat with the 2 Scouts in charge of the meeting Monday. They had a good plan, they agreed with one suggest as it "makes sense," and then really liked a second suggestion, and took off with it. So far so good.

 

 

Now you just have to come up with an urgent project that the adult-led faction needs to handle durng the meeting to keep them occupied - like getting all of the black off the Dutch Ovens.

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Now you just have to come up with an urgent project that the adult-led faction needs to handle durng the meeting to keep them occupied - like getting all of the black off the Dutch Ovens.

 

ACTUALLY, I was reminded that several of the adult faction had not taken swim tests this year. So they are non0-swimmers and can't do boating unless they ride with an adult. :)

 

Unfortunately more of the Youth led faction are in the same boat, and 1 is Aquatics Supervision certified. :(

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Funny thing about the second suggestion, they were joking around coming up with what they thought were crazy ideas, then when it went to put down what they were doing, completely ignored their crazy ideas. I had to say they forgot them and they needed to be added to the list to chose some. I could visualize the faces when I told them that.

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There is a lot to be said for encouraging them to think outside the box.  Even more to be said for reminding them there really isn't a box.

 

Our incoming SPL and one of the ASPLs were over my house the other night because they had questions about the NYLT program my son attended in June because they were going in August.  After they were done talking to my son, I told them that they should use what they learn to transform the Troop and that if they had any ideas how to change things in the Troop that I would back them up.  

 

We then talked about the leadership campout.  I mentioned an idea my son, one of his buddies and I came up with to watch Monte Python and the Holy Grail on the campout.  Their eyes lit up.  I told them that we could do other fun things on the campout including water baloon fights, rock climbing, etc. because I want it to be fun not just a bunch of lectures.  They started smiling.

 

We talked about ideas for the first two campouts for the next year - the first being a canoing trip across a lake to camp on an island and the second being a beach campout.  Then the SPL asked, can we do that trip where we did the hike across the boulder fields and up the rock faces?  I turned to him and said "I'm not in charge, you guys are.  Whatever the PLC wants to do, I will work with you guys to make it happen."  I think they got it.  I think they understood that if they imagine it, the Troop can do it. 

Edited by Hedgehog

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