Jump to content
atrox79

Linked Troop Question

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

Just, why? Let the two SPLs discuss plans and make decisions for themselves who will be the primary leader for the events.  Handcuff yourself and the other adults from stepping into this.  It is their choices to make for their units.

That's what I said we were going to do at the next election.  This election is done and over.  She was elected by both Troops to be SPL.  Whether that was wrong or right, it still isn't something you take away from any youth after they are elected.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You can hold elections whenever you want. Yes you just had one - but it wasn't done properly, and that negates much of the whole affair. Also, it's (frankly) irrelevant how recently your past election was held. There are no time limits, no term requirements, and no stipulations stating that you can't hold another election whenever it's necessary or desired. And right now, it is. You aren't taking ANYTHING from the youth by doing so - in fact, you are GIVING them back the proper program that you should have been giving them in the first place. You are in no way bound to your past election, and if you explain how their troops SHOULD be run, and give the boys and the girls a new opportunity to elect their own leaders as you should have done before, you will be empowering both the boys and the girls by granting them more ownership of their programs. So let the girl SPL keep her title and role for the girls, and let the boys elect their own SPL and start running their own activities. Both programs will expand and succeed far more if you will just bend to proper patrol method and give the power back to each unit.

Edited by The Latin Scot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the only sensible course is to leave the SPL position in place. You cannot remove a female SPL from a joint position that was previously given to a male SPL until the term runs out. You have to consider the optics on that. More importantly, the impact on the scout. However it happened,  pushing the idea now that children are being irreparably harmed by having a female SPL for a few months is a potential PR debacle. I can see her being interviewed on CNN now. You'd have to be pretty process blinded to not see that.  

Also, I would not be so sure that National would have a cow over a female joint SPL. At some point, BSA is likely going to whip out another survey or press release and say that scouting families overwhelmingly want the option of blended units. I think the Bryan on Scouting post shows where the thinking on that is headed.  

 

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, yknot said:

I think the only sensible course is to leave the SPL position in place. You cannot remove a female SPL from a joint position that was previously given to a male SPL until the term runs out. You have to consider the optics on that. ...

It's a bad day when SM's have consider optics on anything besides their field specs.

I've always been frank with scouts when we haven't been running the program as its designers intended. (Generally that's because the committee has some apprehension about youth leadership, apprehensions about a specific youth, or apprehensions about the integrity of advancement.) I try to explain why. If the youth think I'm stupid, we adjust. This has usually meant getting the committee to chill regarding youth-lead, but it has also meant getting them to stay sharp on training.

1 hour ago, yknot said:

... Also, I would not be so sure that National would have a cow over a female joint SPL. At some point, BSA is likely going to whip out another survey or press release and say that scouting families overwhelmingly want the option of blended units. I think the Bryan on Scouting post shows where the thinking on that is headed.  ...

@yknot I think most scouts or scouters reading the BoS article would conclude that it was written specifically to highlight how a linked troop should work with two SPLs. The last CSE (Surbaugh) was on record being explicitly concerned about girls being more prone to leading to the exclusion of boys. You and I can think that's all bunk, but no BSA publication that I've found suggests that a single SPL for both units is a model that national would endorse. Feel free to provid sources to the contrary.

Now, if national doesn't endorse it, would they denounce it? I'd almost say no. But, if a committees from a half dozen units in similar situations make phone calls, we'd probably see an article or two about it. We could see them circulate a memo to SE's and down to DE's about defining their brand on this matter. (Thus my "don't ask for a rule" policy.)

I also don't believe in beating a drum against another unit when they go rogue. If that SM's made peace with the unit committee, fine. If not ... those folks are your safety net from stupid happening fast. Best to show you care about what they think -- especially when the literature favors their view of things.

And the youth? It's easy. You say, "I didn't deliver on the promise of scouting like it says I should in this article. My committee is concerned that I'm doing you a disservice. Can you forgive me? What's the best way to work to make it right?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, yknot said:

I think the only sensible course is to leave the SPL position in place. You cannot remove a female SPL from a joint position that was previously given to a male SPL until the term runs out.

Of course you can! One, policy dictates that the girl cannot be SPL of the male unit in the first place; ergo, her election was invalid before it even took place. Second, there are no such things as "terms" when it comes to BSA troop positions. Youth leaders serve until the unit realizes they need - or decides that they want - new leaderership. If you read the various handbooks, guides and publications regarding the BSA troop leadership positions, you will find that you can hold an election whenever you want, whenever it's needed. Here it is CLEARLY needed; the only problem is that the adults don't want it, and the youth haven't been taught well enough to know it. There's a lot of good happening, as we've established - but there's a whole lot that needs fixing too. 

Edited by The Latin Scot
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone needs to show me some documentation that says a linked troop cannot operate in this manner.  I sure have not seen any yet.

From everything I've seen this troop is acting within the rules.  Who says that two troops cannot work together and share a common SPL?  This is especially true of liked troops where there are very likely to be a number of joint activities.

Linked troops are a new invention of the BSA in light of situations just like this.  I find it remarkably telling that the BSA struck all such language restricting how linked troops operate from their latest FAQ.  Given that they removed the content limiting linked troop operations, it sends a clear message that linked troops are increasingly free to operate as they best see fit for their particular scenario.  If they wanted to continue to restrict how this works, the language would still be there.  The language is not - which shows the BSA is not stopping cases like this.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Someone needs to show me some documentation that says a linked troop cannot operate in this manner.  I sure have not seen any yet.

From everything I've seen this troop is acting within the rules.  Who says that two troops cannot work together and share a common SPL?  This is especially true of liked troops where there are very likely to be a number of joint activities.

Linked troops are a new invention of the BSA in light of situations just like this.  I find it remarkably telling that the BSA struck all such language restricting how linked troops operate from their latest FAQ.  Given that they removed the content limiting linked troop operations, it sends a clear message that linked troops are increasingly free to operate as they best see fit for their particular scenario.  If they wanted to continue to restrict how this works, the language would still be there.  The language is not - which shows the BSA is not stopping cases like this.

 

https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Family-Scouting-Program-Update.pdf

https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/UPDATED-Family-Scouting-FAQ-2-11-191.pdf

"BSA is single gender – all girl troops or all boy troops. Chartered organizations may choose to have an all boy troop and all girl troop “linked” with a common adult volunteer troop committee."    Zero mention of a common youth leadership...

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/familyscouting/pdf/Program-for-Older-Girl-Update-and-FAQ-3-5-18.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Not only the above as shared by @HashTagScouts, but also, Scouts cannot serve in positions of responsibility outside the units with which they are registered. The girls may share committees and unit numbers with the boys, but they are still registered as different units, and therefore cannot serve in positions outside their own troop. Technically, those poor boys have no SPL - certainly not according to the BSA. They have a Scout from an outside troop doing the job, but nobody from their own unit gets the experience. That's a real shame.

Mind you, I doubt that this kind of controversy would arise if the reverse were true - if a BOY was usurping the role of SPL over a girl unit, there would be all kinds of hullabaloo over denying girls the right to run their own troop. Well, that's exactly what's happening to the boys in this unit, and it's both unfair and against BSA policy. Both the boys and the girls are hurt by the current violation. 

Edited by The Latin Scot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Family-Scouting-Program-Update.pdf

https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/UPDATED-Family-Scouting-FAQ-2-11-191.pdf

"BSA is single gender – all girl troops or all boy troops. Chartered organizations may choose to have an all boy troop and all girl troop “linked” with a common adult volunteer troop committee."    Zero mention of a common youth leadership...

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/familyscouting/pdf/Program-for-Older-Girl-Update-and-FAQ-3-5-18.pdf

Thanks.

Upon further reading of the doc "UPDATED-Family-Scouting-FAQ-2-11-191.pdf", I do detect a theme of separation between the boy troop and girl troop.  I believe the third doc (FAQ 3-5-18) is an earlier version of the second doc (FAQ 2-11-19).

None of these first two docs either directly or indirectly even mention how youth in the girl troops and boy troops should interact.  I do think it's reasonable to infer that the BSA really does intend for these to be seperate troops.  Yet, I find it odd that the earlier version of the FAQ was trying to start addressing how the two troops interact, but the newer version does not.  Generally that only happens if an organization wants to remain purposefully vague on the subject.  I have no idea here what their motivation was - but do think it's entirely possible that the BSA was trying to leave room for troops make independent decisions like this one.

I'd pose one last question.  Does all this really matter?  At what point does all the rules and debate and structure get in the way of good programming and growing Scouting?  For the sake of argument let's stipulate that this is not technically allowed.  If this unit is active, successful, and growing, where do we take a step back and say - nice innovation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, atrox79 said:

 

I feel like we were doing that, but now the Committee wants to step in and tell me how to run the program.

 

You should be aware of the fact that both the COR and the IH have the authority to step in and tell you how to run the program.  If the committee knows what they are doing, they will go to the COR, the IH, or both.  Maybe they have already done so.  The committee doesn't need to go to national. This can be handled in unit.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

Not only the above as shared by @HashTagScouts, but also, Scouts cannot serve in positions of responsibility outside the units with which they are registered. The girls may share committees and unit numbers with the boys, but they are still registered as different units, and therefore cannot serve in positions outside their own troop.

I read all of the FAQs and still don't follow this logic.

It is not unusual for Troops and even Packs to help guest scouts from another troop to join up in some configuration for desired activities that might not be available in the home troop. These arrangements by default can result in an ad hoc leadership role for a guest scout for the duration of the activity. These situations can include provisional camping, hiking miles, leadership opportunities like a Den Chief, etc.  BSA does not have a policy expressly excluding girls from any of these opportunities based on gender. The only requirement is that appropriate leadership and YPT are followed on the part of the adults.

The FAQs provided above also create and endorse clear opportunities where blended leadership might occur. They reinforce it in fact when they state that blended dens and patrols can operate at Cub and Scout Day Camps. Activities at such camps would naturally include leadership opportunities. The FAQs further reinforce that different gender dens and patrols can meet at the same time/place and engage in joint activities which again would naturally result in opportunities for blended leadership. Nowhere does it state that a scout of either gender couldn't, say, serve as Chaplain's aide for the duration of a joint activity. The precedents have already been set. 

Unless there is a clear cut policy that says girls and boys may not ever hold leadership positions over the opposite gender -- and BSA would be falling on its own bad PR sword if it ever issued such a statement -- where is the policy that a girl or a boy can't serve in such leadership roles?

And as ParkMan said, why does this even matter?  

 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, yknot said:

And as ParkMan said, why does this even matter?  

To be honest, it matters because neither unit is getting the Scouting program the way it's meant to be delivered. They are being short-changed out of the full benefits and strengths the program can offer when the genders are respected and treated with singular, undivided attention. That's the way the program is meant to be. Changing it like this, however you may try to justify it, does a disservice to the very youth you are trying to serve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

To be honest, it matters because neither unit is getting the Scouting program the way it's meant to be delivered. They are being short-changed out of the full benefits and strengths the program can offer when the genders are respected and treated with singular, undivided attention. That's the way the program is meant to be. Changing it like this, however you may try to justify it, does a disservice to the very youth you are trying to serve.

I'm not at all convinced that this isn't exactly how the linked troop program was intended to run.  In the 03.5.18 FAQ they clearly say that a combined meeting space is OK, a combined opening and closing is OK, and the joint activities are OK.  So, someone, somewhere clearly was thinking there would be some overlap.  

But again, even if I'm wrong - so what?  I think we're taking this all too rigidly.  I think we need to lighten up on this one.  I don't see a grave harm to these kids because the share an SPL across the two linked troops.

Much of the rest of the world has co-ed Scouting.  I'm all for American exceptionalism, but I'm willing to concede that other countries probably know how to run a Troop too.

So again, there is ambiguity on this topic in the source materials and this works in much of the world today.  I think we do more harm to the future successes of program by trying to prevent innovation like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/10/2020 at 4:52 PM, atrox79 said:

Actually, none of the boys wanted to run against her because she is that respected in the Troop (17 and just earned her Star). 

I wouldn't dismiss the possibility that one or more of the boys actually objected to having a girl run for SPL of the boy's troop.  The current climate of the two units might be such that the boys felt like they could not express their opinions about the election without facing condemnation for being sexist.  Continuing on that thought, it might also be remotely possible that some of the boys expressed these feelings to their parents, who consequently raised these issues at the committee meetings.

Having some committee members object to the election is a problem.  If it is actually the boys who object to the election, it is a much bigger problem.

 

Edited by David CO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I'm not at all convinced that this isn't exactly how the linked troop program was intended to run.  ...

Intended by whom? By me and @atrox79? I've argued that the most sensible thing for two groups working closely together is identify one senior scout to be on point. Other senior scouts assist. But, I'm just a stranger on the Internet spouting off rogue advice.

If you pay too much attention to scouters like me and ignore the positive models that BSA promotes, you'll never be convinced. Sitting around waiting for BSA to say "no" to every variation on the theme is no way to identify the intended standard. Of the 360 degrees on a compass, only one is north. If asked what north is, I don't say "find Casseopia, that's not it, find Ursa Major, that's not it ...." Sure, you're not in grave danger most nights if you settle for splitting the difference between the two, but nobody should give you credit for being well oriented.

I have produced official literature that aknowledges in writing a prized linked troop that has an SPL for each sex. You have not produced anything that upholds a different model. There is no ambiguity. We may conclude that BSA intends linked troops to field two SPLs.

So, given that the literature cited confirms that you're wrong, so what? Well, for one thing it means that we can't have a scouter be dismissive of his/her committee. It's all he/she has in terms of folks who will dig deep and support the youth nearest and dearest to his/her heart. Some committees will drink the scouter's Koolaid and let him go rogue. Others will set boundaries. Worst case: they will just back away from the program.

Unite or untie. That's the choice facing adult leaders. Being honest about where they are and are not adhering to standards is the first step in being a team.

Edited by qwazse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...