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SPL has Zero interest in new Scouts

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If this is a one patrol troop, who cares what the SPL does? That patrol’s duly elected PL needs to be challenged and mentored in taking care of her youth. It doesn’t matter if he duly elected PL has only earned Tenderfoot. Her goal is now to qualify to take her patrol hiking and camping.

The SPL doesn’t have to have interest in all the young scouts. (It’s nice when we have one like that.) She has to invest in one or two scouts: the PL and APL. The SPL can be encouraged to keep doing that networking thing she’s doing and look for activities the PL and her patrol might like to do.

I remind our SPLs that their job is to be as fun as it is rewarding.

The absentee SM is a problem … especially if you don’t have seasoned ASMs who will take up the mentoring slack in her absence. This may mean the ASMs “renting” the most experienced ASM from the boy troop for a while to bridge that gap.

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  • 1 month later...

     Alright, where to start... First of all, I agree with MattR; one patrol does not constitute an SPL. However, being NYLT trained myself, I can say that if she has not shown interest in actually leading, then she isn't actually leading, and therefore she is not in fact a quality candidate for an SPL position.

     I would also inquire as to the activities your troop does for both meetings and campouts. If there are no scout related games at meetings, no EDGEing happening on campouts, or perhaps, as happens in a lot of troops including mine, they're on their phones instead of scouting around, then I would suggest doing a constructively competitive activity, such as bowling, pioneering stuff, and (my personal favorite) Capture the Flag.

     In terms of recruiting, instead of social media, like her vision, your troop might consider (if you're not already doing so) using recruiting campouts to bring cub scouts in. Pick a local place with plenty of space for things like a monkey bridge, tomahawk throwing, an axe yard, fire building competitions, and scavenger hunts. These activities show how much fun camping in the Boy Scout program can be. This in turn makes them interested in joining and wa la, five becomes ten, ten becomes twenty, and before you know it, you have a fully functioning troop! Other than that, visiting pack meetings is also a great idea. You can also perform uniform inspections there, as something to do. Just have a committee member contact the pack and arrange a day for it.

     To conclude this informative rant, I wish you luck, and may your troop grow ever larger.

Yours in Scouting, The Green Wizard

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On 10/19/2022 at 1:47 PM, BearsBeetsBSG said:

Thanks, MattR. 
That’s a great suggestion for the rest of the girls and getting things going for them.  

I think my question in regard to the Scout is, does this qualify as leadership for rank if she’s in the position but performs no actual leadership? Is that something the Scoutmaster can bring up in Scoutmaster conference and deny her credit for that position toward her next rank until she actually shows some leadership? I ask because she’s Life and closing in on Eagle. Does she get a rubber stamp on the requirement because she held the position?  That doesn’t seem right to me. She’s 15, so no risk of aging out before she gets another opportunity to lead her troop. 


     Additionally, on the quoted topic, I do not think she should get the credit. In situations like this, you must remember that scoutmaster conferences and board of reviews are not there just to let you pass; on the contrary. They exist to make certain that the scout advances in life, not just in scouts, and not just on paper.

     Thus, since she isn't becoming a better leader, she does not get the credit. No effort, no rank.

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