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Where can I find recommended "rank/experience "

for Troop Youth Leadership positions. SPL, ASPL, PL ...etc.

Thank you for your efforts in the support of Scouting programs !!

 

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I haven't seen any requirements listed in the standard literature. In fact the new SPL Handbook says it's up to the individual troops to decide. This is probably so that a brand new troop doesn't have unrealistic limitations.

 

The old unofficial rule of thumb for a PL was being First Class. This goes back to "Green Bar Bill" days. They really need this level of maturity and drive to have a sense of what a leader is and what they are supposed to do. Unfortunately, with the creation of the "New Scout Patrol", which I don't personally care much for, they don't have anyone of that rank, so this is even a problem.

 

For SPL our troop uses a minimum of 13 years old and at least Star rank. The know-how is there for these boys, but unfortunately the maturity level for this position isn't always there. If we had enough older boys I'm sure we would make this a tougher position to gain but like many troops, we seem to lose a lot of boys around 15 or 16 to girls and cars.

 

 

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"The old unofficial rule of thumb for a PL was being First Class. This goes back to "Green Bar Bill" days. They really need this level of maturity and drive to have a sense of what a leader is and what they are supposed to do."

 

I'm confused. What level of maturity is a requirement for 1st Class? I was not aware that maturity was a requirement for ANY scout rank.

 

However, I do recommend that a PL has learned the basic skills (as required for 1st Class) and the more mature the better. In our troop, the boys have decided that they do not want rank restrictions on leadership positions. I have no problem with that.

 

 

In our troop, we had a patrol consisting of four first class scouts (approx. 2 yrs of experience) and two tenderfoots (one yr experience). Only one boy wished to be patrol leader (the least prepared in my view) and the boys elected him. I believe they "learned" from their mistake when the next six months did not go to smoothly for them. I told the boys, just like when adults elect a leader (president, senator, representative, mayor, etc.) we have to live and suffer with our decisions. Chalk it up as another learning experince.

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OGE, either name is just dandy.

 

First off, I understand that new scouts need time during the troop meeting to work on the basic skills needed to get up to First Class. And that the skills they need are different than the ones that the Regular Patrol boys need.

 

My problem with New Scout Patrols is that I don't have any older scouts that are willing to be a full time baby sitting service for 11 year old boys at every meeting, and every campout, and every PLC Meeting.

 

If we had more older scouts there might be a better pool to choose from, but that might not even matter. When I was 15 to 18 years old I wouldn't have wanted to do this, nor was it expected back then.

 

We recently started a Venture Patrol for the older boys to try to give them more adventure and incentive to stay in scouts. This might give us a better pool to draw from. We are encouraging them to take 4 local high adventure trips this year. In addition we have reserved time for Sea Base next summer, and plan to go to Philmont the following summer and Boundary Waters the year after that. (We have a lot of very successful fundraisers)

 

We are currently running a modified version of the New Scout Patrol, where the Venture Patrol boys rotate through teaching the skills during that portion of the Troop Meeting. This keeps them from feeling they are always stuck with the new kids. Then, for the Patrol Meeting and competition parts of the Troop Meeting, and at campouts, the new kids switch over to being a part of the Regular Patrols. This way they can see first hand what a "Real" PL does, and how to interact as a patrol. We feel that seeing and doing makes the Patrol Method much easier for them to grasp.

 

I have also seen where tha New Scout PL's have a very difficult time learning what they are supposed to do and how to do it, even with constant supervision. They are still trying to understand what their patrol's place is in the big picture, and to a certain extent what a patrol even is. This is where maturity comes into play. By maturity I mean experience, expertise, patience, and time to have SEEN how problems are handled by the other boy leaders. We still let them elect a different PL for each month, as a point of contact more than anything else.

 

Junior Leader Training is a big help too. This is something else that our troop has recently started doing twice a year. We now explain to the boys prior to an election the importance of choosing a boy with this traing. It's not a rule but their told to give it weighted concideration.

 

 

 

 

 

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How do scouts who have never been PLs get JLT trained? Do you offer it to all scouts, all the time? Is it restricted to a certain rank? Is it automatic at a certain rank?

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As I see it, the main benefit of the rotational PL duty in an NSP is not to teach leadership, but followership. That is to say, the payoff is not during the month the new Scout is the PL, but the months that he is not...if he remembers how difficult it was for him, he's more likely to support the PL of the month and by extension, the other PLs, SPL, and ASPL.

 

KS

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To CubsRgr8

 

Junior Leader Training (JLT) is something that is run at the unit level in our council. Our troop runs this twice a year, prior to elections for PL, and SPL.

 

We offer this program ro ANYONE, regardless or rank or ambition, who even remotely thinks they would eventually, or currently like to hold these offices in addition to APL's and ASPL's.

 

To Korea Scouter.

 

I'm not sure what the former PL boy should be following from a different new PL that doesn't understand what he is leading.

 

Followership is something that I can teach, (or have taught by my Junior Leaders) in one JLT course. in one day. If you look closely, the program teaches both. That is why we are not very hard and fast about who takes it. We welcome boys of ANY age or rank that show interest.

 

I still contend that even with JLT and a Troop Guide, (who'd agenda could be very different than the NSP's needs) unless there's a THOROUGH understanding of the Patrol Method we are not setting the PL's of a NSP up for success, but to flounder aimlessly.

 

This is why I believe they need to be led by the ewxample of mature / experienced PL's, in a patrol that they are actually a part of until they get it. This can take 6 months, a year, or even more for some boys.

 

 

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Actually silver-shark I believe you will find that the BSA course put on in the troop is Troop Junior Leader Training (TLJT) and is found in the Scoutmaster's Junior Leader Training Kit available through the local Council Service Center. JLT or Junior Leader Training is a one-week course offered by the Council Training Committee. To further confuse things many councils (with national's approval) rename JLT to give it more of a local identity, so it is not called JLT in all Council's. Here for instance it is known as Birchbark.

 

BW(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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In our troop we have a very structured set of minimum requirements for each leadership position. They are as follows:

 

JASM: Eagle Scout, and has been SPL in the past.

 

SPL: Life Scout, has been a PL in the past, and has been in the troop for at least three program years (September1 to August 31).

 

ASPL: Star Scout, has been a PL in the past, and has been in the troop for at least two program years (September1 to August 31).

 

PL: First Class Scout, has been an APL in the past, and has been in the troop for at least one program year (September1 to August 31).

 

APL: Second Class Scout, and has been in the troop for at least 1/2 of a program year (September1 to August 31).

 

I know this may seem very ridged but these requirements have been in place with our troop for more than thirty years. This creates a very orderly progression of responsibility, experience, and training for the scout.

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SilverShark;

 

I think the whole construct includes the presumption that people are doing what they're suppposed to be doing. That is, the Scouts (new, experienced, or Venture-aged) are following their leaders enthusiastically; the youth leaders, elected or appointed, are motivated, trained, and have their heads screwed on right; the adult leaders are similarly motivated, trained, and have their heads screwed on right, too.

 

If any of these ingredients are not present in any quantity, it's incumbent on the adults to first recognize it, then get the gaps filled in.

 

For example, the NSP PL of the month has no idea what to do? The SM should spend the hour or so it takes to go over that portion of the TJL Training Kit. It won't make him the reincarnation of Omar Bradley, but he'll have a clue. The Troop Guide's agenda doesn't match the NSP's? Appoint a new Troop Guide who's with the program. I guess my bottom line is, if someone in the Troop I serve is foundering aimlessly, that's not their fault, it's mine.

 

One of my non-scientific observations is that adults tend to bring workplace baggage with them to Scouting. That is, everything must be perfect the first time, flawless in execution, and brutally efficient 24/7 -- because that's what our jobs demand. In a true boy-led Troop, everything will not be perfect, flawless, and efficient, and it's nothing to wring our hands over. We can measure the quality of our program by how closely a NSP PL models Alexander the Great during his month in the position, or we can measure our program by how that NSP PL turns out when he's an adult (what's the BSA mission again?). Two extremes on the continuum, I suppose, but I think my point is that if we take a longer view, remember this is a marathon versus a sprint, and orient ourselves in that fashion, we're operating closely to what BSA has in mind. I'm no expert with a hotline to Irving, but I keep the mission, aims, and methods on the back of my business card, and use them to guide my activities.

 

I've had both good and bad experiences with an NSP. There's merit to having those Scouts in a group, and the program in its design assumes a troop has an NSP. It takes a good supporting cast, though.

 

Here's a radical thought: if a given Troop doesn't have a solid Guide and NSP ASM, recommend the Scouts join a different troop, one that does???

 

KS

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