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There's a bit of disagreement within my troop as to whether Assistant Scoutmasters should be expected to attend Patrol Leaders' Councils. What are ya'lls thoughts on the subject?

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1 hour ago, Calion said:

There's a bit of disagreement within my troop as to whether Assistant Scoutmasters should be expected to attend Patrol Leaders' Councils. What are ya'lls thoughts on the subject?

The presence of an additional trained adult over 21 is required per the Guide to Safe Scouting. It would make sense for this individual to be an ASM. 

Otherwise the attendance of ASMs at PLC meetings is up to the Scoutmaster.  

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While I was SM, anyone other than a member of the PLC weren’t allowed without permission from the SPL. ASMs needed permission from the SM to call the SPL. That was so the SM could explain that unless they had announcement during new business, they weren’t allowed to speak. ASMs rarely visited.

More often than not, the SM doesn’t attend either, or for only a few minutes, because the SPL briefed the SM on the meeting agenda the night before. The SPL briefs the SM on the PLC discussions later after the meeting.

 I don’t know why, but ASMs just can’t keep quiet. And once they start giving their strong opinion on the discussion, it takes a confident mature SPL to politely interrupt the adult and continue the meeting forward. 

Now there was some concern the ASMs weren’t getting important information from the PLC, so we asked a senior scout to attend the meeting for anyone who wanted a briefing after the meeting, and that worked great. The senior scout role kind of turned into a Troop Guide Responsibility for the adults because he turned into their goto person for information, which everyone enjoyed.

One other thing about our troop, we run 30 minute weekly PLC meetings before the troop meetings. We found keeping up with troop business weekly was a lot easier and they fit into the scouts personal time better. We did add 30 minutes to the first PLC meeting if the month to plan the next months theme agenda.

Barry

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In my opinion the more adults you add to a PLC meeting the more likely they will add to the conversation, As SM I rarely speak unless the PLC is hung up on an issue or needs guidance. I always answer thier questions with a question to get them to make up their own minds. I am not sure how adding an ASM would help the PLC. The quickest way to adult led troop is to have 8 or 9 ASMs for a 40 person troop and allow all to guide the scouts at the PLC.

Reasons to allow an ASM in a PLC: 1. It will help the ASM know how a PLC meeting is run by the SPL. 2. The SM may be away on business for a few weeks and the ASM should understand fully the PLCs ideas and plans. 3. You actually are following the new rules that mandate 2 adults (I don't)

 

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4 hours ago, TMSM said:

 3. You actually are following the new rules that mandate 2 adults (I don't)

You had me until point 3. Why do you think it is ok to not follow the mandated rules? 

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2 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

You had me until point 3. Why do you think it is ok to not follow the mandated rules? 

I don't think this rule is meant for PLC meetings, the SM is only needed so why do I need 2 leaders? There is always other adults within hearing distance so I'll break the rule that I need 2 leaders.In fact I usually excuse myself from the meeting after the first 10 minutes and come back at the end to get the details. The scouts run the troop - so let them.

Sorry I am a bit of a rebel you should follow the rules.

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I sit in on a lot of PLC's for our SMs. But, now that the boys are hitting their stride, there's not much to say to them anymore. I'm expecting our new SM will take his seat back now that he's starting to hit his stride.

Like Barry, we hold ours weekly after the close of each meeting. YPT is a non-issue. Plenty of leaders are at the other end of the hall sorting out paperwork, counseling scouts, etc ... I'm gonna miss the PLC, but it will be nice to be back on that end of the hall.

Bottom line: no more than one adult at a functioning PLC, please.

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I've seen different ways that PLCs are run.  In my view, the best PLCs are where the SM guides the SPL outside the PLC meeting and doesn't even attend the PLC.  Essentially, PLC is for youth.  Troop committee meeting is for adults.

Before the PLC, the SM meets with the SPL and asks what is being covered, what needs planning, etc.  He also asks the SPL what the scouts need from the troop committee.  Then, the SPL runs the PLC and the SM listens into the troop committee meeting.  Sometime during the troop committee meeting, our SPL reports to our troop committee that is meeting at the same time as the PLC.   When the SPL is ready, the troop committee simply pauses their meeting to hear the results of the PLC.  Ideally, the adults have been coached to stay as quiet as possible during the SPL report so that the adults don't take over the SPL report.  

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While I wish we could go back to the pre-2018 days when Scouts didn't need 2 Adults over 21 for day activities, sadly these are the current rules. Since you need one other registered adult over 21 in attendance, MAKE SURE THEY CAN SIT ON THEIR HANDS AND KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT! (emphasis)

As others have posted, many adults cannot keep quiet and interject into the PLC. At one PLC I attended, It went from the SPL starting the meeting, to one ASM taking over and running the meeting among the adults and organizing the year for the Scouts. After that PLC, SPL didn't care anymore, and didn't do his job.

Best PLC I ever attended had the 2 adults present cooking hot dogs and hamburgers for us and STAYING OUT OF OUR WAY! Once we finished, he ate and swam in the SPL's pool.

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4 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

While I wish we could go back to the pre-2018 days when Scouts didn't need 2 Adults over 21 for day activities, sadly these are the current rules.

Two adults do not have to sit in the PLC.  The troop may need two adult leaders to open the building and have the scouts gather, but you don't need them in the room with the PLC.  That would be like going to summer camp and two adults have to escort each and every set of scouts everywhere.  It's not the point or the expectation.  

Have a special room for the PLC.  Adults and other non-PLC scouts stay in the main area or another room.  Troop committee could even meet in yet another room if you have that running concurrently.  

 

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The Safety Bubble speaks:

"Adult Supervision

Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided."

"at"  "present"  "supervision"  "provided"

Clear as mud.

 

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1 hour ago, TAHAWK said:

Clear as mud. 

I agree.  At some point a measure of reasonableness needs to be applied.  Here is my thought process.

  • Two - So that a single person can't act in issolation.
  • Registered - So that background checks are done.
  • 21 years of age - Creates separation between the scouts they are protecting.  
  • Including meetings - To make it clear that when scouts gather, we want two leaders.

My reasonable view is based on a common scenario that has happened multiple times.   If we take the 20 scouts camping with two valid adult leaders, then we can't be everywhere at all times.  Scouts go get water.  Scouts go on day hikes and explore.  Scouts find activities to do.  This is something we want.  We want scouts to go off independently.  IMHO, this is just like a meetings.  We need two adults to open the building to enable scouts to gather.  But it is ridiculous to expect those two adults to be everywhere at all times.  

Instead, apply the G2SS rule prohibiting one-on-one contact.  It's okay for one adult leader to go into a meeting with the PLC (multiple scouts).  It's also okay for two adult leaders to meet privately with the SPL.  It's the one-on-one situation to avoid.   

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15 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

As others have posted, many adults cannot keep quiet and interject into the PLC. At one PLC I attended, It went from the SPL starting the meeting, to one ASM taking over and running the meeting among the adults and organizing the year for the Scouts. After that PLC, SPL didn't care anymore, and didn't do his job.

One of my WB tickets in 1995 was visiting 5 troop PLC meetings to learn ideas of how scouts run them. Four of the five troops I visited went exactly this way. I visited other troop PLC meetings over the years along with OA youth leaders meetings over the years and saw the same problem. It happens a lot and the main reason is the adults don't know how to run meetings, so they don't teach the SPL how to plan and run meetings. Dysfunctional PLC meetings lead into dysfunctional youth run programs. As a result, the adults takeover.

Adults have a hard time taking themselves out of the process of a boy run program. One ASM taught me a very good lesson at our first summer camp, if you can see that you are getting so involved that you can't shut up, it's time to go on a 5 mile hike. That advice changed they way I involved myself in our boy run program.

As for the adult requirement, I handled this a couple of ways, even back in the 90s; I either sat near the open door of the room where the PLC was meeting, or we found a place outside or inside where all the adults and scouts could observe the meeting from a distance. Now I don't know how those applications work with the new rules, but I find that either the adults look for a way to make it work, or they look for a way to not make it work. I was a "take a 5 mile hike" kind of leader.

Barry

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On 5/4/2019 at 1:02 PM, Calion said:

There's a bit of disagreement within my troop as to whether Assistant Scoutmasters should be expected to attend Patrol Leaders' Councils. What are ya'lls thoughts on the subject?

The Scouts meet and determine topics and plans, the leaders sit to the side, most of the time we quietly discuss a variety of topics not related to Scouting

For meetings our involvement is typically:

  • Can we do X at the meeting (yes or no)
  • The leaders ask questions such as what are the items you want cover in class sessions
  • We confirm how many meetings they are planning for at this time
  • We review their plan

 

For the annual planning our involvement is questions from the the scouts, these are typically:

  • About a possible outing  and Yep we can do that, or no we can't do skydiving
  • You guys know that is 4 hours away, is that really a good weekend?
  • That's a lot of money, are you sure?
  • Things like that

Also we sometimes step in to keep them on task if the discussion goes waaay to far and afield

 

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13 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

The Scouts meet and determine topics and plans, the leaders sit to the side, most of the time we quietly discuss a variety of topics not related to Scouting

For meetings our involvement is typically:

  • Can we do X at the meeting (yes or no)
  • The leaders ask questions such as what are the items you want cover in class sessions
  • We confirm how many meetings they are planning for at this time
  • We review their plan

 

For the annual planning our involvement is questions from the the scouts, these are typically:

  • About a possible outing  and Yep we can do that, or no we can't do skydiving
  • You guys know that is 4 hours away, is that really a good weekend?
  • That's a lot of money, are you sure?
  • Things like that

Also we sometimes step in to keep them on task if the discussion goes waaay to far and afield

 

Jameson, I always enjoy and look forward to reading your posts about your troop because it is a well oil machine. But, the adults handing over all those bullet points to the scouts (including your last sentence) is the next step toward stepping up to a new plateau of scout growth and program maturity. I have the t-shirt.

Barry

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