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Wow, sounds like you, your buddy and a handful of others are the only ones with real leadership ability.


My suggestion: (again, it's only a suggestion) is to adopt the approach that a good SM/adult should be doing with a troop like the one you are describing. Baden Powell told the adults that they should not do anything a boy is capable of doing for himself. This means that you, your SPL buddy and any PL's that wish to function as leaders, needs to start expecting the boys to carry their own weight. This means that if something doesn't get done because they refuse to do the work, it simply does not get done! If the boys are all standing around waiting for you to do the work for them, then the work doesn't get done.


Many years ago when I was dealing with my dog, the brand of dog food we normally got was no longer available. My ex-wife was concerned that the dog wasn't eating the new stuff. I told her not to worry because when it got hungry it would "learn" to eat it. The dog wasn't so stupid it couldn't figure it out. If the old stuff was never going to be served up, it would have to deal with the new stuff. She lived to be 15 years old and so it must have worked.


If another patrol wants you to do their work, politely respond, "that's not my responsibility" and walk away. If they have NOT been shown how to do something, use EDGE and make sure they know how to do it and then walk away. The more you encourage them by doing it for them, the more they will take advantage of you. Train them, then walk away. That is how a Scout is Helpful.


You don't need to get in any hassles about it, simply state the obvious and walk away. If the boys won't get water when asked, when they get thirsty, they will figure out how to use the tap at the water source.


It may take twice as long to get things done, but out of necessity, the adults will eventually make sure it gets done.


When a boy asks you a question their PL should be answering, like a trained adult, answer: Talk to your PL. If they don't like the food, let them scrounge from the adults. That's not your problem, don't make it one. Instead, prepare really nice meals for your two-man patrol, continue to recruit the better scouts, and eventually THEY will complain to the SM to make some changes. In my former troop they were eating some really crappy meals and I would refuse to eat with the boys. I always ate by myself. However, I had hit my recipe book and was eating such things as sweet-and-sour pork over rice out of a mess kit while they were boiling a few dozen hot dogs. They were eating foil dinners while I was having hamburger/onion gravy over mashed potatoes with glazed carrots. (All the same ingredients of a foil dinner prepared in a different manner.) It didn't take long for them to figure it out! Lead by example!


You don't actually have to leave the troop but you CAN lead from the back seat! If your meals are really great, even better than the adults, they will come to scrounge from you. Give them the recipe and suggest that next campout they try it, but this time there's only enough for the two of you. Lead by example!


I suggest: that in your mind you clearly define the expectations you have for leadership and then stick to it no matter how much whining and complaining comes your way (from youth or adult). Eventually they will figure out that you aren't going to do it for them, and change their ways. (Eventually they will figure out that they're going to have to accept a different dog food) My dog figured it out, so can they.


Be helpful to all the other boys, offer assistance when you are able, not when they demand it. Do your part to hold up the troop, but realize you have your limits to only your responsibility. In this case TEACH, if they don't learn, too bad. If the adults start on your case about not doing other people's work, explain to them just that, it's their job to do it and that you have your own responsibilities to do. Take your time, do it right, set up a model camp every time the two-man patrol goes out. Make it an example of what the boys could have if they ever started doing things. If you plan it out right, setting up a tent, cook area, dining fly, campfire pit, etc. for just your patrol on a Friday night, should kill off all the time so there won't be any necessity on your part to run off and do someone else's work! I'm assuming the SPL is your other buddy? If he's off at SPL meetings, etc. then you will need to keep yourself busy setting up this model campsite all by yourself. I can't see how you would find time to babysit another patrol! That's their PL's problem, don't make it yours. If an adult comes and hassles you about not helping, simply state :) "With all due respect, Mr. SM, I believe it is the responsibility of the PL to get their patrol site set up and I have my hands full with my own." It expects the adults to be adults! If they won't, then it's not your problem. :)


Hang in there, you're going to make a great SM some day!!



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Hi platypus, I'm with John-in-kc, he has some good advice. Scouts are limited only by the adults. And it takes 3 yeas even for the best SMs to get the hang of their job. Adults just dont change that fast. So the small bite analogy is good.


It appears you have respect by the troop, so you are going to have to be the voice (example) of reason. In that, do like John suggested and support the SPL. Help him learn from his experiences, struggles and all. Give him something positive he can take from the experiance. Set the example of good mentorship for even the adults to see, but without stepping on anyones toes. Be mature not confrontational. You may be the smartest guy in the room, but to the adults you are still the kid. They do have their pride to protect after all. Always listen, never yell for any reason and always walk. Then you will set the example of "calm". Something even adults admire.


You are in a tough spot, but you and the troop can gain from it. And sadly enough, this is part of life, so learn the lessons from it and grow for your own future.


I have enjoyed reading your post because you appear to be pretty sharp. I use to be the Council JLT Chairman and enjoyed working with many scouts just like you. You will do well in the future. Is your troop near Oklahoma?



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Again, thank you all for teh great advice. I really hop ethat I can make some kind of a change.


There are two ASMs who seem to agree with me and my friend, so hopefully they will be able to offer us support with the other adults. In our troop, asm and the sm are given votes in the commitee, so maybe they will be able to be our "voice of reason" at the commitee meetings.


Next weekend my troop will be having a campout, and it will be teh first I go on this year (one of the others ws during our OA work weekend, and I was staffing our council jamboree for the other). My patrol is having a Mexican themed menu, and we are entering churros for the desert competition. Our November trip is traditionally an inter-patrol competition, but my patrol will not be competing, as we are helping to run the challenges.


No, the SPL is not in my patrol. My PL is a thirteen yeaar old who I am trying to train to be an SPl one day :).


We were hoping to "train" the SM to allow us teh be boy-led, but one scout actually used that phrase in front of him, and he took offense to it. He says that he doesn't get trained by the scouts, its his job to train us. Though he is actually correct, he doesn't seem to know how to go about training us. As I have said before, he had to ask our previous SM to run TLT.


Eagledad, we're not from Oklahoma, we're from New York.


P.S. i am sorry for any poor grammar or spelling in my other posts. I did a few replies from my iPod, and the automatic spell check doesn;t always know what its doing :).

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Yes, but you have to give the SM a break, it's a hard responsibility. As you will learn in life, when you don't have experience to work from, you revert to theory. Most of the humble SMs on this forum will admit that theory rarely looks the same as experience. Once I was brought down to my knees by the failures of my theories, I understood that I needed to learn more from our troop activities than the scouts to begin to be a good scoutmaster. Your SM hasn't had enough time to learn that yet. The next best thing would be for you to do your well enough that he learns by watching you.


You have a good plan, you will do well by training your SPL and PLs. If all goes well, you might even be training a SM as well.


Sorry, New York is a bit far on motorcycle. But if you ever pass through going to Philmont, I will buy you lunch.


I love this scouting stuff.



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Well, I just got home from our PLC and I am very excited. Our new UC showed up and was very unhappy with the way the adults ran the meeting, mostly because it was the adults running it. After the meeting, he asked the adults to leave the room and had us go over how it went, and making some changes to what the adults thought we should do fob the next trip. He said he will go to the next commitee meeting and ask the adults to give us heir trust and let us lead the troop the way that we are supposed to. Hopefully they listen.

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Ahhh.. missing info.. You were getting a new COR!! And one with backbone! That is the biggest person to have in your ballpark, even though they don't run the meeting they can hire/fire and rearrange as needed to get the unit running the way they want it to..


Now if you work the plans jblake & others suggested, the adults can not point to your total change of approach as some sort of teenage hormonal thing.. They will know that this is how you intend to go forward with the troop, and they better get on board with you guys sooner rather then later..


I am very excited for you.



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One way to approach the change that is needed in this troop is:


1) Have a monthly key three meeting with the UC, SM, and SPL, a week before PLC. That way the SPL and SM can get on the same page on where they both want the troop to go which will get them working together, and the UC can providing support and training to both.


2) Hold monthly PLC meetings, the SPL should come prepared with an agenda, which was decided on at the Key three meeting. Follow the outline in the SPL and PL handbooks. Part of this meeting could be some training 5 mins no more on leadership/responsibilities, which is assigned to one of the PLs to teach.


3) Hold a short PLC right after each troop meeting. Use this time to discuss problems, successes, and to see that everyone is ready for next weeks troop meeting.


No matter how hard you try without holding these meetings and holding PL accountable for their assignment the troop will continue where it is and the SPL will continue to have problems.



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SHOOT!! ScoutNut you are right, I somehow misread UC for COR... Yeah they are more supportive guidence, then crack the whip.. You will do things my way.. (Although you UC seems to be taking that approach.) I have never seen a UC take this stance personnally.. Any past UC I dealt with would be on the first bus out at the sign of trouble, and not return any phone calls or emails until the dust settled.. I could never see them being the ones to stir up the dust in the first place.


I guess the current UC we have did work to organize the Pack that was going under due to parents not getting involved enough in the program.. He did get enough parents to take the needed positions to keep the pack afloat.. Any of my past UC would not have done even that.


Due to my expirence with UC's I guess I don't know how much power they can wield, for you.. And how much a unit can lodge a complaint over them over stepping their bounds.. I do know if the COR is at all involved, the COR can trump him, and nail him to the wall for wielding changes they did not want in their unit.


This will be very interesting. You must keep us posted.

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Platy - sounds like things are going in the right direction, it may take more than 6 months to be where you want them, so ...


#1 have fun. Hopefully your adults will recognize everyone needs a little coaching now and then. BTW, it's not a matter of votes on a committee. Usually a good committee will go back an forth over ideas until an arrangement works out that is fairly acceptable to all. The UC might facilitate this by showing how other troops do it. The ASM's might by saying "I heard this from the boys ..." or "they seemed really encouraged when ...". But probably everyone will decide to allow things to play out over a couple of months without pinning the SM down to hard-and-fast policies.


Come to think of it, this is how patrols work as well. We're getting some chilly mornings, eh? I remember as SPL/PL, nobody stood around "my" fire to watch me light it. If they were cold, they collected wood. If they didn't, I stopped working to light the fire. "Oh, I saw you just watching me, so I figured you wanted to get down here and light it on your own, I'm going for a walk. Let me know when you've got it set up to light ..." [exit stage right with your matches]


Follow your SPLs lead in whatever drama he needs. Whatever enforcement of yours the PL's ignore, nature can provide. (P.S. - if the forecast is good, don't sweat the tents.)


#2. Learn to make the coffee for your scoutmaster the way he wants. Get him to relax in his favorite chair faced away from your campsite. Ask him to pow-wow with the adults over politcs or religion or something boring ... Ask him to hollar over if the SPL fails to check in hourly. Tell him you'll send over any boys who need an "emergency SM conference."


You get the idea ... I can't emphasize that first scentence in #2 enough. Frankly, as chapter chief, it should be one of your objectives for every unit under your sway.

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"I can't emphasize that first scentence in #2 enough. "Learn to make the coffee for your scoutmaster the way he wants.""


The lads in my troop are doomed. I rarely drink coffee, and it's never part of my camping menu. Extra weight, extra bother. ;)

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qwazse, "#2. Learn to make the coffee for your scoutmaster the way he wants."


It's not the SPL's or any other scouts job to make coffee for the SM or any other adult. The adults should make their own coffee and food, it will keep them busy and out of the scouts hair.


qwazse, "You get the idea ... I can't emphasize that first scentence in #2 enough. Frankly, as chapter chief, it should be one of your objectives for every unit under your sway."


This is also not the job of a chapter chief.

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Jblake47, you stated "she lived 15 years". Were you talking about your wife, after she realized you were right, or the dog? LOL.


Platy, when ate you running for POTUS? I'll make sure to vote for you. Maybe you can straighten DC out.


Like another post stated, & like I informed your SPL in his thread, stay 2 steps ahead of the SM. Hold your covert PLC's, then bring your game an to the PCLC that the SM attends. Have everything ready worked out and assigned out for the unit meetings & next campout.


Let the PLs that don't listen & stick to the plan fail. That is the only way they will learn from thier mistakes.


Good luck.


Drop me a PM about how you are doing with your Chapter.

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