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Roadkill Patrol

What to do with SPL now?

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I am looking for input on how to deal with the following situation.

 

We just had a two scouts become SPL and ASPL of our 2 patrols as they have recently completed NYLT and we did not have any NYLT trained youth before. Since these 2 are no longer in the patrols, one patrol has 6 and the other has 5 (had 6 but one just aged out). The patrols are currently working on their patrol leader elections. Even though we did not really need an SPL or ASPL for 2 patrols, we felt the boys deserved to put the skills they learned to use in managing 2 patrols.

 

Now, during the midst of patrol leader elections, one of our families just informed us they are moving out of state due to their parent's work. It would not normally be a problem losing a youth, however there were 4 boys from this family in the patrols (none of them were the SPL or ASPL). Now the patrols would be down to 4 and 3. In my opinion, these patrols sizes are way too small. The remaining boys prefer to form a new patrol of 7, but what do we do about an SPL and ASPL who would only have one patrol to lead and would be pointless?

 

One easy answer would be to make a new patrol of 9 and have the SPL and ASPL become the PL and APL, respectively. Normally the SPL is elected by the troop, so this option would not be a problem since the patrol leader is selected by the patrol members. However in our case, the SPL was not elected as out of the 2 youth that went through NYLT, one wanted to be ASPL and not SPL at this time, so it was basically down to one scout wanting to be SPL, therefore no voting was needed.3

 

Should the boys that are SPL and ASPL have their name on the ballot for patrol leader and then have the patrol vote? I would be dismayed if the 2 boys were not elected as patrol leader after we asked them to take a week of their summer and complete NYLT. And I would really hate to strip them of the titles they were recently awarded as they really wanted to be in those positions.

 

Should the SPL and ASPL remain in their positions and lead one patrol? Although not necessary, it could help them grow as leaders.

 

As the SM, I do plan to sit down during our troop meeting tonight with the SPL, ASPL, and committee chair to discuss what we should do. I thought if anyone has any other ideas on the forum, I could bring them to the meeting.

 

Thank you.

Roadkill

 

 

 

 

 

 

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With a troop of 9 Boys, I'd highly recommend 1 patrol. That is a sticky situation in general. I think making the SPL and ASPL be a PL and APL will help them MORE than managing 1 patrol from the outside as SPL, ASPL.

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One patrol. Boys elect their leaders - who may or may not be the trained youth.

Or two small patrols. Boys elect their leaders as above.

Leave the choice up to the boys.

Provide basic training for whoever is elected (maybe the NYLT boys could do this).

 

Don't elect an SPL/ASPL until you have about 24 boys.

 

Never appoint SPLs. You have other things to worry about.

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Sentinel947,

 

Sticky situation indeed. How do you tell a patrol "These 2 boys are now your PL and APL even though you didn't elect them" when they have always voted for their PL? I can't do it and at the same time say the troop is youth led.

 

 

 

 

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There are two parts that I would try to insure happen, get the scouts involved in the discussion so that they have ownership of the results, and make sure you have your own ideas going into the discussion. Im not a fan of sending the blind off into the wilderness in the name of boy run.

 

Present the situation to all the scouts and then step back and watch the discussions. Likely it will go toward the obvious of one patrol with trained leaders. If the discussion is more of just randumness of no direction as a result of inexperience and maturity, then ask a question to get them on track and then sit back to watch.

 

Personally I think there is nothing wrong with trained leaders being pushed to start the new program. Its OK to suggest qualifications for leadership should be considered for good direction of the group. You are the mentor and a guide of wisdom. If they dont consider the direction you suggest, then you have some challenges. But Scouts generally are pretty good about these things when the future of their fun and adventure are in question.

 

This will be a test of your patience, scouts work at a forth the speed of adults because they dont have experience to guide them. If you dont get in a hurry, they will figure it out. And it will be fun for all involved.

 

Barry

 

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Yah, why not sit with all the boys and ask them, eh?

 

It's easy enough to have a discussion with 9 boys.

 

You provide da information on what NYLT is, and how the two lads spent a bunch of time and money to learn how to be the best leaders for the troop they could be. Yeh perhaps offer a thought or two about patrol size. Maybe yeh do it along the way, rather than up front, depending on how much your troop culture normally includes havin' open discussions with kids.

 

Then let them decide on da whole thing, eh? One patrol or two, who is PL/APL, etc. With a group of 9, there's no reason for them not to set this up by discussion and consensus.

 

Maybe they'll surprise you and launch a recruitin' drive for 5 more scouts, once they realize that it's theirs to run!

 

Beavah

 

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The other issue is getting the remaining 9 boys together at one time. With sports and band heavy until mid October, we have just over half attending troop meetings and outings. We may have to go with the makeup now, and hold elections once sports have let up and boys can actively participate.

 

They would like to have a larger troop and have tried recruiting with little success. Currently there are no Webelos that will be crossing over next February. Also, the schools in our area do not allow any groups to come in and do any kind of recruiting. Our DE has tried multiple times.

 

 

 

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My first post was hastily done, allow me to expand on it.

 

First off, I would move down to one patrol of 9. I'd have open elections, your SPL and ASPL, who are both NYLT Trained correct?, shouldn't have issues winning a fair and open election. Is there currently a patrol leader or APL? How far away are the standard elections in the Troop? Perhaps I need to read your OP more clearly.

 

As for recruiting issues, there are many threads here on the subject, I urge you to look over them and possibly have a chat with your DE. Den Chiefs are great for it, if a Cub Scout pack/den wants one, and one of your Boys is willing to step up to the plate.

 

You seem to be a Boy Led Troop, which I applaud that. Be sure to include all the Boys in this process, so everybody's interests and concerns get addressed.

 

Lastly, I think keeping the SPL and ASPL and then having one Patrol with a Patrol leader is too many leaders and not enough followers. There isn't enough, In my opinion, going on in a 9 boy troop to warrant that many being in charge. There could be conflict between the SPL and the PL. So unless you HAVE to, or are already in the middle of a term, I wouldn't go that route. I think your Scouts will get much more out of being a PL and APL than Boys being an SPL and ASPL over a 7 man Patrol. Just my humble opinion.

 

I hope all goes well! Keep us updated!

 

Yours in Service!

Sentinel947(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)

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Sentinel947,

 

The SPL and ASPL are both NYLT trained. They were each the outgoing patrol leaders for their patrols and began their term back in March. Now it is time to re-elect patrol leaders which we do every 6 months. That is my other issue is that by forming 1 patrol and "making" these boys the PL and APL, no one else in the patrols that were eager to be on the ballot get a chance. Until they finish the PL election, the APL's are stepping up to the plate to fill the role of PL.

 

I would really hate to see the SPL or ASPL get disgruntled over the issue that myself and the last SM (now committee chair) began when we requested they take NYLT so the troop could elect an SPL. The troop paid half of the course fee, but there was still the other half they paid for and the time they spent from their summer break.

 

I have been striving for a boy led program as much as possible. When I came aboard as ASM, the troop was 80% adult led (from leaders no longer there). I took Wood Badge and one of my goals was to turn the troop around to boy led. This is why I am trying to keep from telling them what they need to do. Maybe until I can get all 9 together, we will function for a week or 2 as we are with the APL's running their patrols and postpone the election until after the group discussion.

 

 

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"That is my other issue is that by forming 1 patrol and "making" these boys the PL and APL, no one else in the patrols that were eager to be on the ballot get a chance" -Roadkill Patrol

 

" I'd have open elections, your SPL and ASPL, who are both NYLT Trained correct?, shouldn't have issues winning a fair and open election." -Sentinel947

 

Again, I don't advocate PoR appointment, ever. I think that would be the worst direction you could go. If I was in your shoes, I'd get the boys together, explain the situation, and let them come up with the solution, moderating as need be. I think your SPL and ASPL would be able to win a fair election. They sound experienced and NYLT trained. I think the Boys collectively will make the right decision. If the other kids want a POR perhaps they can become den chiefs in local Cub Scout Dens.

 

Have I explained better this time? If I havn't post again!

 

Yours in Service!

Sentinel.(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)

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RK, you are right in waiting until you can get nearly all the boys in the same room. And I can certainly relate to the autumn disruptions.

 

This is a decision that can wait. Keep in mind that in waiting to long, boys might realize that they can do things differently anyway.

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We just came out of this situation of having a troop of 9. I had the troop of one patrol select a PL, and he appointed the other patrol (and therefore troop) officers. We gave him the title of single patrol leader (SPL) and he had to be duly elected by the patrol. If your SPL and ASPL were elected by the troop, you would do well to ask the troop if this election should still stand for a troop of one patrol. If you appointed these two, then let the single patrol decide. I would still have the single patrol come up with a patrol name, flag, yell, etc.

 

Someone suggested forming two patrols out of a low number of scouts (under 10). This did not work for us, as outside activities like sports and band took its toll, and patrol identity disappeared. Do the two patrols when you get at least five in each.

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The SPL and ASPL were neither appointed or voted in as it would have been a moot point having the troop vote for only 1 person who wanted to be SPL. Even if we said he was elected by the troop, therefore he can be Patrol Leader, they just came off of their stint as Patrol Leader and others need their shot at becoming Patrol Leader. And if an election is held for Patrol Leader and they didn't win, where would that leave their training?

 

I love eating pickles, but I hate being in one.

 

I spoke to my ASM and CC (previously SM) last night to come up with any ideas that we could offer the boys when they meet all together if they get stumped. I also spoke to the SPL during our SM conference for his Life rank last night about the direction we may take.

 

The idea we are leading to is keeping the SPL and ASPL in their positions for a 1 patrol troop. I know...not necessary. I told the SPL that if things stayed the same, there would not be much for him to manage as the PL would be doing most of the work. He could help guide the PL, but not trump the decisions the PL made as long as they were sound. We think this could work if we tweak the SPL and ASPL positions (let the PL lead his patrol) and focus their work to recruiting efforts, big event planning, skill instructions during troop meetings, and work closer with the adults in training the youth.

 

And yes, two small patrols did not work well for us as we barely had enough for 1 patrol when it came to outings. I think focusing their efforts to recruiting will help the troop in the long run.

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"The idea we are leading to is keeping the SPL and ASPL in their positions for a 1 patrol troop. I know...not necessary. I told the SPL that if things stayed the same, there would not be much for him to manage as the PL would be doing most of the work. He could help guide the PL, but not trump the decisions the PL made as long as they were sound. We think this could work if we tweak the SPL and ASPL positions (let the PL lead his patrol) and focus their work to recruiting efforts, big event planning, skill instructions during troop meetings, and work closer with the adults in training the youth."

 

I like that idea to be honest.

 

The idea of keeping the SPL and ASPL apart to focus on the above has merit. A 7 member patrol is a reasonable size. Your (A(SPL)s ability to focus on putting together good recruiting pitches, and plan a fun exciting program, without some of the painful day to day operations SPL's usually have to do could be an excellent learning experience for everyone involved, and could help grow your Troop to boot. Both the SPl and the PL would have different responsibilities and you would be helping train a new SPL for the future.

 

However, who would be in charge on camping trips?

 

Your SPL becoming SPL is valid. If he was the only one that wanted to do it, then He has valid claim to the job. If he took NYLT to heart, than his mentoring of your PL would be a fitting continuation of his NYLT training.

 

Whatever route your Troop goes, make sure your Boys have their ideas and opinions heard and addressed.

 

Yours in Scouting,

Sentinel

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One patrol, let the boys vote who they wish to be PL/APL.

 

The trained boys can mentor and lead from the back, they don't need a patch to be a leader.

 

Nothing wrong with two non-NYLT boys learning leadership from their NYLT patrol members.

 

There's something seriously wrong with a troop of 7 boys with a SPL, ASPL, PL and APL. Sounds like too many chiefs and not enough Indians. (Sorry for the totally non-PC expression.)

 

Stosh

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