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I reiterate my previous opinion. This is NOT a PLC decision, but one that should be made at the Patrol level. Each patrol needs to decide how their patrol will operate during patrol meetings/activities. The PLC should be a place where the PLs can report on their progress as a patrol, seek advice from other PLs and make TROOP level decisions. The PLC should not dictate how a patrol decides to operate. 

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On 5/16/2019 at 5:29 PM, CarlosD said:

We are training the PLC on the use of Robert's Rules.

That's fine, but ya know this is not about Robert's Rules or creating the perfect mini-legislature.  It's a gang of kids that should be doing things.  It's probably going to look and smell like a gang of kids when planning.  

Pay attention to the social dynamics and mentor the scouts there.  Being kind, helpful, loyal, etc.  IMHO, Roberts Rules are applied when there is opposition and winners and losers.  Now if you want to use Robert's Rules to get to trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, ... fine.   It can be a tool.  It's just not required.  

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38 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

...  Now if you want to use Robert's Rules to get to trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, ... fine.   It can be a tool.  It's just not required.  

Rules of order just serve as a means to make space for everyone to listen to everyone else. Experience with them is good thing. I've had friend from church whose first exposure was as an adult at a congregational meeting. Being a programmer/engineer he was amazed at the recursive logic built into human interactions. I pointed out that most folks want computers to imitate our nobler traits. ;)

That said, I've seen masters of those rules use them to justify any disdain they had for leadership and authority. So, while it might be good to encourage scouts to use rules of order at a PLC, you want them to use different listening skills within their patrol. And, you want to discourage them from being indignant if rules of order aren't used properly at other meetings (e.g., O/A Chapters or Venturing Officers Associations).

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17 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Rules of order just serve as a means to make space for everyone to listen to everyone else. Experience with them is good thing. I've had friend from church whose first exposure was as an adult at a congregational meeting. Being a programmer/engineer he was amazed at the recursive logic built into human interactions. I pointed out that most folks want computers to imitate our nobler traits. ;)

That said, I've seen masters of those rules use them to justify any disdain they had for leadership and authority. So, while it might be good to encourage scouts to use rules of order at a PLC, you want them to use different listening skills within their patrol. And, you want to discourage them from being indignant if rules of order aren't used properly at other meetings (e.g., O/A Chapters or Venturing Officers Associations).

I agree.  I was attempting to say that scouts is not about teaching Robert's Rules.  If anything, those rules can get in the way of our teaching our scouts to listen and be compassionate and thoughtful to each other.  But if you can use those rules in a constructive way to teach listening and compassion and thoughtfulness, then great.  

The key is ... We are not there to teach our scouts to master bureaucracy.  It's about the social dynamic and how to work with others.  That's the leadership we're teaching.  

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I teach SMs to guide their scouts to at least use an agenda because it keeps them on track from a starting to an end. Without an agenda, meetings tend to run really long because the leader will jump to what they remember in the moment. I let my SPLs run a couple of meetings without agendas just to prove me wrong, but they have always admitted agendas are the greatest thing since internal backpacks. The participants of our NYLC course planned at least 12 meeting agendas, and lead 3 during our course. 

I believe the SPL Handbook, or PL Handbook has a simple agenda. Basically:

Officer and PL reports

Old business

New Business

Closing if you need one.

You could add Roberts Rules and let the Scouts work out what they like to use.

Our SPL plans and runs an averages of 50 meetings every six months. They get quite good at them.

Barry

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I'm with @TAHAWK and @DuctTape. Being an adult leader is not always easy. Particularly if you are going to truly follow patrol method and youth led. Being hands off, or more accurately, the invisible hand that guides, is much easier than it sounds. Gut instinct is to jump in and take charge, but resist that urge. Mentor, guide and set expectations, but do not try to run things.

The PLC makes the rules of the Troop as long as they adhere to BSA Policy (G2SS, YPT, G2A etc), the law and CO rules. The PLC is also responsible for the all of the planing, for meetings, outings, service, fundraising etc. for the TROOP.  There are elements of the opening and closing that must be maintained, but everything in-between is theirs to do with as they wish. It is their program, they make it. The Patrol/PL plan and run the patrol corner. 

The only way to keep the youth engaged is via the program. If they don't like the program they will not attend. If they plan the program, hopefully it will be one they like, but if it is not, then they can change it. If the program is boring to them, it is because they made it boring, but they can fix it. 

A better way to get Scouts to outings is to help the PLC plan outings that the Scouts want to attend. It is all about the program. If they don't like it they will not attend. If they see it is fun and they are missing out, they will bend over backwards to get there. 

We had an SPL use Roberts Rules of Order to run PLCs. He did it to make sure things ran smoothly and quickly, everyone provided input and that issues/program was actually put to a vote. He had several years of practice with RRO from school. He was smart enough and well versed enough in RRO that he didn't try to run the PLC using strict RRO, but a streamlined version. It worked well and was still being used by other SPLs when I left the troop. I think using RRO is great as long as it does not become an obstacle or a way to bludgeon scouts.

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I think its important to establish the notion of a quorum so that any decisions are representative of all of the patrols ( our vote only had 50% of PLs). Collegiality is also an important skill that is not easy for kids at this age.

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14 hours ago, qwazse said:

Rules of order are next-level. Your PLC should be proud for even trying to use them.

I wouldn't ask for a recount based on technically. If some PL's felt left out, they could move for a vote of no confidence in the SPL. But, it is probably better to just wait until the next election cycle and see if candidates bring up these changes as justification for election/reelection.

The democracy in our Scouting is not parliamentary.  The Scouts in the troop elect the SPL, not the "MPs."  So there are no votes of confidence in Scouting.  The PLC may change the election cycle.  If, as is supposed to be the case, a Scout spends the great bulk of his/her Scouting time in Patrol activities, missteps by the SPL are less critical.  

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On 5/2/2019 at 11:24 PM, CarlosD said:

Hi,

Am new to the forum. I have been an adult leader for the past nine years. My younger son recently crossed over and I was asked to be the SM for our troop. Since I had previously taken the SM/ASM training, I accepted. I was wondering how much latitude the Scoutmaster has in setting up troop meeting structure. We now have a segment during the meeting where patrols plan their next campout. We (the SPL and I) are requiring all Scouts to participate even if some are not going on the campout. We feel this keeps all of the Scouts engaged in planning outdoor activities, which is an important training element in itself and even induces more Scouts to attend outdoor activities, which of course is a crucial element of Scouting. One  Scout (the previous SPL) thinks Scouts should not be forced to help with campout planning if they will not be attending and was able to get a vote in the PLC in favor of this. Can the PLC change the rules on who may participate in certain activities? Thanks for your input.

Your question "Can the PLC change the rules on who may participate in certain activities?" doesn't really match the situation. You explain it as the PLC saying that scouts not going to the activity shouldn't be forced into planning it.  I think your question really is "How much authority does the PLC have in actually running the troop?"  

 

Personally, I agree with the PLC and the former SPL. I don't want Scouts who don't want to be involved in planning an activity to be forced to plan an activity.  It's different if they want to. A scout forced to plan an activity is not necessarily going to be doing so in the best interest of the patrol.  That said, I also wouldn't look too kindly to a scout that doesn't want to help their patrol out, even if not going.  

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On 5/3/2019 at 9:33 AM, CarlosD said:

We used to let the non-attendees do other activities, but this created problems with having enough adult supervision, etc. Having all Scouts participate in planning is something new we are trying. Would be interested in hearing how other troops do this.

Why would Scouts need much adult supervision?  The older Scouts should be doing supervising.  

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On 5/3/2019 at 10:10 AM, qwazse said:

I'm a little confused as to the "other activities". We let our scouts go out around the church and cemetery grounds. They may get the (somewhat flat) basketball from the shed and shoot hoops. We don't require adults to be there. One of us may go around to check on them periodically. They often manage to make themselves useful. For example, last meeting they collected a bunch of junk that was dumped in the woods.

We've also had times when everyone was expected to stay in patrol corners even if the patrol was working on something that the scout wasn't interested it. Patrol corners are rarely more than 20 minutes, so that process didn't seem to trouble everyone. Note: we don't micro-manage patrols. Come up with a menu, or not. It's their stomachs on the line.

I don't think it's a bad idea to have the scouts in patrols for a set portion of the meeting. But, if you do, I think you need to figure out what you expect from the non-participants at that time. Maybe you need to have them join you halfway through the patrol time and go over something else relevant to troop life (e.g., the next event they will be attending, general equipment needs, projects to do for the CO, ...).

If your complaint came from a first-year, I'd brush it off. But, maybe the old SPL is seeing something that's bothering him. Maybe some scouts are disrupting the boys who are trying to pull their weekend together. I'd try to listen to him and ask him his suggested plan B.

It could also be that he's not comfortable with change.

I pretty much agree with your views.  Talk to the old SPL and see what's going on.  

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