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Should the scouts have a voice in choosing the SM?

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It may be a good idea to get from the PLC a composite of what they are looking for in a Scoutmaster, what traits they proze and which they do not. Not so much as for selection, but to give the new Scoutmaster a glimpse into what the scouts would like. Adherence to these guidelines is of course voluntary

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Do the students get to pick who the faculty will be? When teaching positions open are the students to be consulted? When someone is up for tenure do the faculty think the students should get a say? No, Universities are not student or faulty run. Put are we at the point where if I don;t get to pick my superior I won't support that person? Is the problem what this new Dean does, has he been given the chance to be judged on his own merit or was he found lacking by default?

Let's think about "boy run" for a minute. Should the PLC have a say in who the CC is? Should they get a vote on who sits on the TC? After all these are very important positions and can impact the decisions of the PLC as much if not more than the SM. How about COR? If this is truely boy run why does the PLC need "permission" or "consent" from the TC to do anything?

The boys know who they like and who they work best with but are those the things that should decide who the SM is? As has been asked what is the role of Scoutmaster? If I have three equally qualified candidates and I'm told that if I pick the wrong one the boys will quit the troop, I have to ask what kind of scouts these boys are and are they mature enough to be asked for imput in this decision. Input from the boys is good, the fact that this PLC has asked to be a part of the process is great but framing things in the context of "boy-led" does not make them right or advisable. If your worried about losing boys if you say no think about what will happen if you say yes and they make a bad choice and you have to take that authority away from them next time. Give they the opportunity to be heard but interviewing candidates is beyond their positions. The SM does not work for the PLC.


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I think that allowing the PLC to make a recommendation, through the SPL to the Troop Committee is a positive productive thing. The boys should feel empowered to help make decisions alongside adults. That's where they learn to do it after all.


Case in point: My family owns a small business. My father, a Scoutmaster by the way, made each one of us (6 sibs) equal partners in the business. By the time he retired, we each had 1/6 ownership in the company. We also each had 1/6 ownership in the decisions and problems too boot. We do business with other family owned operations. In one of them, and I'm talking a huge company, the father would make ALL of the decisions until he died. The next generation quickly drove the business into the ground because they were never allowed to make mistakes.


We need to provide for good, healthy youth/adult relationships to foster independent ethical thinking and decision making. We use the Patrol Method to help this out, holding PLC's, empowering our leaders to do their jobs...I think allowing this input from the boys to the committee is a good thing.

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Do the students get to pick who the faculty will be? When teaching positions open are the students to be consulted?


Don't know 'bout where Lisa'bob is, but every college and university 'round these parts sure will consult with its students about faculty appointments. Pretty common to have candidates come and do a lecture or teach a class, and ask for written comments from students. Fairly common to have a graduate student on the hirin' committee.


When someone is up for tenure do the faculty think the students should get a say?


This is pretty common, too. Almost all the colleges and universities use a teaching-evaluation system that collects student feedback, and that's certainly used for tenure decisions. What weight it gets just depends on the values of the institution, eh?


I'm told that if I pick the wrong one the boys will quit the troop


Yah, not sure where this came from, but it might have been from my comments. So let me be more clear. I didn't say that if the boys expressed strong reservations about someone that they would quit. I said that not listenin' to that would be harmful to the troop and its program, provided the troop is a strong youth-run unit with a positive culture. Because in a good youth-run unit, da boys generally know what they're talkin' about, eh? And they care a lot.



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John & Eammon,

I stand by the body of my last post, but agree the voting as a bad idea. Wasn't thinking clearly when I tossed that in. 10 PM is nap time. I do better at this time of night being a long term nighter.

The first part of the last post is pretty much the same as you all are recommending.

Let the boys hold the interviews using either example.


Lisa, if the committee, CO and IH feels better with it, use #2. Let them narrow it down to the best two candidates. By sending them forward in the process, the Committee has conveyed their belief that either one will be a good choice.


Have the PLC sit down with a couple of mentors from the committee and run through:

How to hold an interview.

Appropriate Questions.

Inappropriate questions.

Proper Behavior.


After the PLC interview, have them sit down with the committee, the CC and IH and give their input.

Since the blessings were given prior to the interview by the Committee, the CO and the IH, being that either candidate was fine, let the boys feel that they were the real deciding factor in the process.

As stated in earlier posts,

They have seen them at their best,

Probably close to their worst,

How they act in front of the adult,

How they act away from the adults,

How they interact with the boys.

To deserve RESPECT, you need to show RESPECT.

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I would just say that if you give the PLC a voice in the process, you must listen carefully to what they say, and be prepared to explain to them your reasoning if you don't follow their advice.

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Thanks everyone for your responses. I will share these with our committee chair as we move forward. I really appreciate your willingness to offer your views and experience in this, as with all things scout-related.

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