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Kcaine

Election question

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...Or one can teach the boys the various choices and then give them the permission and authority, sit back, trust them to make the right choices for their particular needs.  It's tough as an adult to turn over such ownership to the boys and trust them to make the decision.  After all isn't that what an election really is - them making the decision?  The only difference if allow is the choice of election, selection, consensus, straws, volunteering, or whatever.  The decision is still the boys'. they own i.

I don't know stosh, you are a lot more hands on with the Scouts than we are. The Scouts run a simple process where each scout can apply for a chance to be a leader. It's not rocket science and I don't think the Scouts need a masters degree to pick leaders. They have their handbooks if theywant new ideas. It's such a small part of the program that We don't see the big deal. The one time I proposed something different, the PLC politely voted me down. They like how they pick leaders. Who am I to say otherwise.

 

Elections are a big deal for you. Maybe because your 5 Scouts are so young. Our troop is more mature, so are adults don't get involved.

 

Barry

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I have no idea where you get the notion that that I am "hands on" or even focused on leadership selection.  My experience comes from large troop of 40+ boys to a troop that grew from 5 to 30 in 3 years and now a new troop sporting 6 boys.  I have observed a large troop of adult led elections and even SPL placement by adults down to total hands off boy led (Lord of the Flies) approach and observed how the boys how it all works.  Presently I have 6 boys and their selection of PL has occurred twice.  The first PL quit because he preferred sports and the second PL has been in that position for well over a year.  No one has said anything about the leadership being a problem.  In the second troop I was involved with the transition between adult led and boy led produced the quick growth of 5 to 30 and I never was involved in the leadership selection process.  Again, there was only incident where two boys wanted to be PL and APL of a new patrol, went out and tried to get new recruits from the community, decided it wasn't any fun and then went back to their old patrol.    The main issue for them was while they were off camping with their "new" patrol that didn't happen, all their buddies were hanging out having a great time.  The patrols were kept as separate as possible considering the site.  I watched this process for almost a year without saying anything and they finally made the decision to return to their own patrol on their own. 

 

I am about the least involved adult in any youth leadership selection.  I really don't care.  But I'll add the caveat that all the boys are mentored in the leadership process, so that eventually all have a chance to be involved.  For me leadership is required of all participants, not just a few.  Sometimes the PL leads, sometimes the APL leads, sometimes the QM leads, sometimes the GrubMaster leads, sometimes the Chaplain's Aide leads.  Just depends on the needs of the patrol at any given time.  The only time a duty roster is posted is at summer camp where the camp staff insists on it.  Everyone ignores it because it really isn't needed.  My job as SM is to offer advice when asked and watch and make sure it doesn't turn into Lord of the Flies which has never happened. 

 

I initiated the process in both my last two troops with Green Bar Bill's leadership training process.  It's terribly outdated, but it still works just fine for my boys.  I had only one boy take NYLT and he came back and let everyone know that the system we were using was better than what he learned there.  It was impossible for me to get boys to NYLT after that.  Why?  Because the boy was one of my best scouts and everyone in the troop respected his leadership.  I was kinda disappointed in his comments, but I didn't interfere. 

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The SM is the advisor to the PLC, SPL and PLs. Scouting is not like Lord of the Flies, where the boys reign without input. The SM is like a firearms instructor. He ensures safety, teaches technique but in the end allows the shooter to aim, fire and adjust. The SM gives advice and they try again.

This is one of the best comparisons I've heard.  Analogy?  Simile?  Metaphor?

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This is one of the best comparisons I've heard.  Analogy?  Simile?  Metaphor?

 

As a shooting sports instructor I have always believe this example of the SM's role. We never grab the gun (unless it's a safety issue). We instruct on form, technique and process. They miss the target and we advised them based on observations how to correct their mistake. They hit a few, miss a few. We readjust, provide more commentary and advice and they try again.

 

My biggest issue with leadership within the unit is not with the youth, it's with the adults. We hold TLT every year. We have special classes on program planning and event planning. But the parents think that "once taught, forever retained". Again, I use the shooting sports analogy: Scouts don't become expert marksmen (leaders) overnight. It takes practice, practice, practice.

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Scouts, you are about to vote for Senior Patrol Leader.

 

In case you have not noticed, I want you to understand the job of Senior Patrol Leader,

 

The SPL is responsible for running all Troop activities, including troop meetings, campouts, and Patrol Leaders' Council meetings.  He is responsible for keeping those activities running properly.  He must help resolve any conflicts at those activities.  That takes maturity, understanding, organization, and a certain level of intelligence.

 

The SPL represents the Troop at district events such as the Camporee and Klondike Derby.  So your SPL needs to be someone the other SPLs respect and will listen to.

 

Your APL runs the [annual/semi-annual] planning meetings where the troop's program is planned.  Once that plan is decided on, the SPL must convince the adults of the Troop Committee to go along with the program.  So you better elect someone whom the adults will take seriously.

 

The SPL appoints his assistant(s) and the other Troop officers, such as the Quartermaster and Scribe.  This means he needs to be good at deciding who can do a job and good at supervising their work.

 

Above all, the SPL has to be present to do his jobs.  Someone who is not present almost all the time simply cannot be a success as SPL.  So think about who is almost always at the meetings and other activities.  That is the kind of Scout you want as your SPL.

 

Make a good choice.  You will have to live with how well - or how poorly - your chosen SPL performs.

Edited by TAHAWK

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