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OCTroop32

SPL-less Troop

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Next week are our troop elections. As a requirement we ask all the scouts eligible to hold a postion fill our a form explaining why and how they feel they are qualified. Well no one has stepped up to want to run for Senior Patrol Leader. We have some that are intrested in the Spring by with Fall sports just do not have the time. Talking with the other leaders one of the suggestions was have an adult leader step in and run the position until one of the older scouts steps forward.

 

Being a scout for 8 years and a leader for 6 I have never heard this and need outside imput.

 

One thought is it would be nice for the PLC because our three Partol Leaders are young and tend to follow the older SPL's advice without ever asking questions. Also our adult leadership has failed to create a troop with a strong patrol method. Having a leader step in for a couple months would give us the opportunity to reinstall some of the basic fundamentals.

 

My problem with this is it goes against what I believe to be scouting.

 

If anyone could offer advice it would be much appreciated. Thanks, Bill

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As a former politician once said, "I feel your pain." For whatever reasons (I don't want to get into it now, they are being addressed) our troop has lost most of our senior boys. This past week our SPL, ASPL and youth Quartermaster (ages, 15,15,and 13 have left the troop. Our most senior boys are now boys who are 12 and will have two years of experience come February. The SM wants to "promote" the two most senior boys to SPL and ASPL (promote, not elect mind you). The more I think about this the more I don't like it. They are our best patrol leaders and while good kids, they are not ready for SPL in my opinion. I would like them to remain as patrol leaders and have some of the ASMs serve as conditional Senior Patrol for a brief period (three to six months) to act as role models. I know this may fly in the face of most BSA doctrine but do not have an easy solution. If those boys become part of the senior patrol the troop will become essentially one big patrol because their will be no effective patrol leaders or patrol identies. I admit I am in the minority with this view in our troop. Right now my efforts are focused on correcting the problems that I feel caused the senior boys to leave. Thoughts?

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Having the adults step in doesn't sound like a good idea, IMHO. The example that would be set is "if the scouts can't/won't do it, the adults will take care of it" which definitely isn't the idea.

 

How about suggesting to the PLC that they jointly take on responsibility for the SPL role for the next six months? They jointly appoint the other PORs, and each then serve as SPL for two months of the next six. While acting as SPL, their APL runs the patrol those two months. You'll end up with three scouts who got to "test drive" being SPL and maybe three candidates for the spring election.

 

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I would strongly discourage you from having an adult fill the position, the whole purpose of a boy run troop is to give leadership opportunities to boys, not adults.

 

Why not reduce the restrictions on who can run and let the troop elect whomever they feel would do a good job?

 

Bob White

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Let me give you a little more background.

 

I really like the idea of the Patrol leaders each taking 2 monthes. What has happen in the past is the young man who has stepped into the SPL position should really be the partol leader. After six months at the job he never wants it again.

 

The two scouts who are more than qualified (each were the SPL when they were too young) want to help. The problem is they are too busy and can not make the commitment. They have volunteered to step in when available, mostly at the weekly meetings. But they would not be able to attend the camping trips.

 

What do you think of running the two older scouts when available and using Cubsrgr8's idea of letting the PLC fill in? What I don't want is for our troop not to have an identtity for 6 months. Again thank you for your wisdom Bill

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Don't send an adult to do a boy's job!

 

One of the foundations that scouting is based on is the boy lead troop.

 

Have an election, reduce the requirements, have the boys chose who they think will be the best leader. Next, take the adult who was going to function as the SPL and make that scouter the new SPL's mentor. That way there is a boy in SPL position as there needs to be but he is being coached (and learning) how to be a leader by one indivudual. The mentor should be able to help the SPL re-install the basic fundamentals.

 

I can understand the adults thoughts of it would be just easier if I/we did this ourselves, but why waste such a great educational opportunity.

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Have the scouts that are intrested (but do not have the time) shair SPL duties. You can have several ASPL until one is ready to take the job. Scouting works best when the boys run the program.

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