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How do you decide who is SPL for Summer Camp?

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Original poster here. The question was specifically about summer camp (wasn't sure if the regular troop positions automatically extended to camp). The ASPL boys who were "passed over" for leadership at camp were taken by surprise to be told (at camp) that they would not be SPL and ASPL for the week. They accepted the authority of the (new) leader who did the assigning.

 

@ CalicoPenn -- Agreed! They'll get over it. All part of the learning. 

@ Senior Member - Thank you for "The key really is that this is a choice made by the boys" -- and a good reminder to carry and use the handbook!

@ BSA Heretic - Great idea! To share with the boys.

 

These are my takeaways:

 

1) The ASPL boys could have taken ownership of the role in advance and gone to the summer camp leader before the event. That may have circumvented the situation. They are new ASPLs. Now they'll know.

 

2) The adult leader could have sought the involvement of the SPL and ASPLs during the preparation period. That may have circumvented the situation. He is a new summer camp leader. I hope he'll do it again and next time he'll know.

 

3) The committee chair (who was present at camp) could have stopped the assigning and demonstrated that this is a boy-led organization. By both his position and experience, he knows.

 

My suggestion to the boys will be that they go to their SPL and make sure he understands what happened. Most likely he'll go to the SM who can address it at the next committee meeting.

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3) The committee chair (who was present at camp) could have stopped the assigning and demonstrated that this is a boy-led organization. By both his position and experience, he knows.

 

Only if the TC chair spoke to the SM about enforcing the boy-led approach. Never directly with the boys.

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Elections in our Troop are held in June.

The newly elected SPL and the outgoing SPL get together and decide who is SPL for summer camp.

Last year there was an issue because both were working at summer camp and wouldn't be going with the troop.

The PLC got together and voted on who was going to SPL for summer camp.

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Elections in our Troop are held in June.

The newly elected SPL and the outgoing SPL get together and decide who is SPL for summer camp.

Last year there was an issue because both were working at summer camp and wouldn't be going with the troop.

The PLC got together and voted on who was going to SPL for summer camp.

 

What the PL's elected an SPL  HERETIC!    :)  Did anyone think that just maybe the ASPL is next in line before the outgoing SPL?

 

Ain't it jus' great how BSA spells this all out so that all the negative fallout gives us something on the forum to talk about?  SM decides this, PLC decides that, The boys vote, the troop votes, serves at the pleasure of the troop but has to do it for a full 12 month term or the will hold his rank advancement back, etc. etc. etc.

 

I hear SM/ASM's all walking around telling the boys, "Go talk to your PL", "Go talk to your PL." and with an adult led troop, the boys know this is code word for "Don't bother me.  I know your PL doesn't run the show and can't make decisions, but I"m busy now, so go talk to your PL."  Then the SM's and ASM/s get on the forum and complain about the boys not wanting to lead.  Well, everyone knows who makes the ultimate decisions in a group.  If the boys are constantly looking to the adults for decisions, it's because they know the pecking order.

 

So, when it comes to the SPL?  What does it really matter.  In all the summer camps I have attended, they have a daily SPL meeting (which is duplicated in a daily adult leader meeting.)  It is as if the SPL really doesn't matter, but they get to hold the title and waste their time in a meeting.

 

I have had more than one camp director get on my case about not attending the leader's meeting.  I always tell them, my SPL is too busy to attend two meetings every day that have all the same information.

 

Not many SPL's need to really be an SPL because the SM/ASM at the leader's meeting will tell the boys what they need to know for the day.

 

If the SPL knew he was solely responsible for the passing of camp information and there was no SM/ASM safety net out there, he'd step up to the plate.  We got the train 'em part down (that's all we ever do), we don't really trust 'em, and there's no way in God's green creation we are ever really going to let them lead.

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....

3) The committee chair (who was present at camp) could have stopped the assigning and demonstrated that this is a boy-led organization. By both his position and experience, he knows.  ....

This is always a dodgy proposition. The push-back tends to be something like "It can't be boy run into the ground." Or, "I'm just trying to make sure their experience is positive." Not every CC-SM pair can have an honest conversation about it.

 

Either the boys are going to read their handbook and insist that adults "Play by the rules." Or this kind of behavior will repeat itself.

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Original poster here. The question was specifically about summer camp (wasn't sure if the regular troop positions automatically extended to camp).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps the question should be "why would a Troop treat Summer Camp as some kind of separate and special Troop activity with it's own leadership set?  Do units create "summer camp only" patrols?  (ok, I get it sometimes a unit might temporarily combine a couple of Patrols if the participation rate is low but that should be something that is rare). 

 

We hold elections for Senior Patrol Leader every 6 months - a Scout is welcome to run for re-election if they desire.  Though not mentioned in the official literature, we do limit a Scout to two terms as SPL (the Troop is large enough to be fortunate to do so).  The Patrols elect their PL's every 6 months as well.  Elections are held October and March.  The SPL is the SPL for the entirety of their term, summer camp included. 

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Perhaps the question should be "why would a Troop treat Summer Camp as some kind of separate and special Troop activity with it's own leadership set?  Do units create "summer camp only" patrols?

One possible reason:

 

Our summer camp group's highest rank was two Second Class Scouts. One was SPL, the other ASPL. The boys decided. All other higher ranking Scouts in the Troop were at Philmont.

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... Do units create "summer camp only" patrols?  (ok, I get it sometimes a unit might temporarily combine a couple of Patrols if the participation rate is low but that should be something that is rare).  ...

Our scenario: merged troop of boys with preferences for two different camps on the same week. 2/3rds went east, 1/3rd went west. Divisions were not along patrol lines. I forget which contingent got the SPL/ASPL.

Anyway, whatever problems it caused, the boys were expected to sort it out for themselves.

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We don't usually have an issue of the SPL not going to summer camp. They work hard and the troop pays their camp fees. But, the experience is so desirable that many scouts wanting the SPL position only run for it during 6 months that include summer camp. The SPL is first in camp and last to leave. He deals with almost all issues and goes to all camp leader required meetings. It's a great experience, but a lot of work as well. Knowing how much responsibility is required, the SPL knows to choose his ASPLs wisely. They also get their share of practice.

 

Barry

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