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Bob White

Patrol Leaders Council Meeting

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This is what usually occurs at our PLC (I am trying to change it):

 

PLC sat and looked at the SM:

A) SM: We are going canoeing. This what we will do ... (no division of tasks for troop meeting ... it's shooting from the hip most of the time).

PLC writes, writes, writes.

me: frowning, frowning, frowning.

 

B)SM: The new scouts will do Tenderfoot requirement. Older patrol plan for trip.

PLC takes notes, takes notes, takes notes.

me: frowning, frowning, frowning.

 

C) SM: We are going to Summer XXXX. Coordinator will send out information.

PLC writes, writes, writes.

me: sratching my head wondering, huh, when are the boys going to have an input?

 

D) SM: The new scouts will stay at base camp. The older boys can stay at base camp or go on High Adventure.

PLC writes, writes, writes.

me: frowning, frowning, frowning.

 

E) SM: We are not doing Popcorn Sales. We are doing car wash to pay for new trailer.

PLC writes, writes, writes.

me: giving up

 

F) SM is either sleeping or not going to campout. One of the ASM would take the lead.

 

G) SM: We are going to somewhere close.

PLC writes, writes, writes.

me: frowning, frowning, frowning.

 

H) SM: Scout shirt is all that is required in my Troop (yes, he started the troop)!

PLC writes, writes, writes.

me: frowning, frowning, frowning.

 

I) SM: (I don't know about this one) He would stop the boys from teasing; however, this is the same guy who introduce me to the PLC as ..."as for the geeky guy standing over there ..."

 

 

 

 

Needless to say contemplating on talking to my son about joining another troop! The problem is my son likes this troop since a lot of his friends are there.

 

By the way, I'm not the SM. I'm just one of the 8-10 ASMs that he has!

 

1Hour(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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A) the program theme for the next month is canoeing. Hawk has opening ceremonies for the month, panthers agree to do closing ceremonies. The troop is going canoeing on the last weekend. They boys have heard about a river 5 hours away that they have never canoed before so they decide to go there.

 

1. Listen 2. if they don't bring it up - mention, Safety afloat - do we have the appropriate requirements met, equip & leadership avail, etc - if not, how do we meet them? or how must we restrict the trip to meet those criteria (maybe make it a trip for tested swimmers and trained boys only? venture patrol?

 

B) They decide on topics to learn at troop meeting and divide responsibilities among patrols.

 

Smile and nod

 

C) They decide they are tired of summer camp and want to go to the BSA High Adventure Canoe Base instead. The troop Guide points out that the new scouts would not be eligible and need summer camp but he would rather go to the canoe base.

 

Smile & nod - i would encourage scheduling to allow BOTH - NEXT year - as it is too late to change this years camp plans (May) & as even the older boys may want the adventure trip AND the opportunity to do badgework available at camp.

 

AFTER the PLC, I would pull the Troop guide aside and commend him in being conciencious of the younger boys needs. it is not mandatory that the troop guide attend camp with the younger boys.

 

D) They decide to offer both options to the scouts. But they still want to use a different summer camp.

 

go for it!

 

E) Popcorn sales is coming up and the scouts want to use profits to reduce the trip and summer camp cost. In the past the troop has put 60% into the troop fund and 40% into scout accounts. this time the boys decide it should be 80% to the scout accounts and 20% to the troop treasury.

 

listen and see if they come up with contacting the committee about this themselves. If not - propose they talk to the comittee and find out what that money is otherwise earmarked for if the troop can afford this change. I may suggest they think about other fundraisers to ermark for that purpose.

 

F) The Scouts decide to stay up till 4am on the August campout to watch the Purseus metorite shower that starts at midnight and runs till dawn.

 

GREAT! I'd volunteer the use of my telescope....

 

 

G) The guys decide that next year they should go to Hawaii to witness a total solar eclipse.

 

Great! go for it! As this is a year away - if they don't mention HOW they are going to make it happen, I would speak with the SPL after meeting about any fine point of making this happen that they missed.

 

H) They decide that any scout not in a correct uniform next week has to push a penny across the gym floor with his nose.

 

if they "decided" this, they obviously do not know or understand the no-hazing rules. if the SPL did not stop it before it got that far, i would.

 

I) Jimmy is a nerd, nobody likes him why does he have to be the troop. He doesn't like to camp, he's not good at games, why does he even come? They vote to have Jimmy leave the troop.

 

Same as above.

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Am I the only one who reads Bob White's original post as "when" (at what point) and not "what" for the items given? It is my understanding that he is asking when the SM gives input and not about what the input should be. If so, I would give input on all topics, either positive reinforcement or by inserting questions (to make sure they thought of all the ramifications of their decisions).

 

I would try to abstain from "giving answers" or providing cirtical comments. That is usually easier said than done!(This message has been edited by acco40)

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acco40

 

Our problem is that our SM is controlling the When's and the What's and alot of the time the How's and the Who's. It has been three long months of biting my tongues and lips. If I were to say anything or try to change anything, I will be the lone, rebellious wolf. Our CC indicated that changes are coming at the end of the Summer. We will see.

 

1Hour

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No one has posted here in a few days so I will stir the pot a little.

 

When does the SM or another adult give input during the PLC meeting. The from the Scoutmaster Handbook, and from the Scoutmaster/Asst. SM Leader Specific Training, as well as from converstaions with some of the people responsible for authoring the BSA Handbook, SM Handbook and Othe BSA training syllabi. (the style of presentation is my own.

 

The majority of the SM work is done before and after the PLC. (Just as the majority of the SM work at troop meetings is before and after not during). During the meeting the SM acts as the Sargent at Arms. He or she is there to make sure that no one interrupts the flow of the meeting and to insure the rules of Scouting are not violated. That being the case the only items that required the SM to step in were the last two.

 

The PLC meeting belongs to the boys. The only adult in the meeting should be the SM unless the SPL has invited another adult to be there for a specific reason. Once you get more than one adult in the room the scouts will naturely look to the adults for direction. This tends to create puppets rather than leaders. I especially like Matua's style. Listen to what is going on but dont make eye contact or send body language to influence their decision making.

 

You are there to make sure that time is not wasted taliking about the football game, or the latest Jim Carey movie. When they start to stray from troop business you give the SPL a signal to let him know it's time to rein in the horses and get back on the path.

 

Many of you commented on reminding the scouts to check with the committee treasurer regarding a decision. That recommendation should go to the SPL after the meeting, not during. You might even ask him which member of his cabinet should make that contact, he will hopefully decide to give that responsibility to the troop treasurer.

 

But it is in this brief meeting after the PLC that you do some of your leadership coaching with the SPL and in doing so teach him how to coach the Patrol Leaders and other junior leaders.

 

(A brief nod to the Youth Protection policies. Although you are the only adult "in the meeting" you need to have another person 18-years of age or older who is nearby paying attention to what is transpiring.)

 

So follow the lead of Matua, bring a book to divert your eyes and body language, listen to what goes on, step in briefly to get them back to business or to enforce BSA policies. Do your correcting and leadership development AFTER the meeting, with the SPL. Encourage him to do the same with the other junior leaders.

 

(Tip of the Month)

One more thing. Just as the SM does a SM Minute afetr the troop meeting, I strongly recommend you teach the SPL how to do a short leadership skill training at the end of the PLC. Take one skill a month, coach teh SPL on how to present it and have each of the other leaders give examples on how they could display the use of the skill in their role in the troop during the next four weeks. This is a very powerful tools and generates instant results. Be sure to personally recognize each scout you see use the skill.

 

(sidebar)

Be specific when you praise a scout. "Paul I noticed that you created a hands on activity for the scouts to learn the skill. That was a great teaching tool. People remember more when they do something themselves rather than just hear about it or watch someone else do it."

 

Thanks for participating,

Bob White

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>>During the meeting the SM acts as the Sargent at Arms. He or she is there to make sure that no one interrupts the flow of the meeting and to insure the rules of Scouting are not violated.

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