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kmgfineart

Training for new SPL and ASPLs?

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My son just became SPL of his troop and the adults planned the entire year activities on a day and time when they knew that he would not be able to be there (he was still staffing scout camp and they knew that). There has been no communication from the adult leaders to the new SPL or ASPL, other than setting up and emailing them the calendar.

 

The first meeting of the year the SM and ASM yelled at the SPL and the ASPL for not calling them or planning the meeting. I know for a fact that no one showed them how to plan a meeting in the first place. I am wondering how much support and what kind of support the adult leaders are supposed to offer the boys and whether the boys are supposed to initiate that or have the adults contact them re: orientation to the position. And how long should that have to take?

 

My son who is almost 16 and has lots of scout experience, came home from the meeting very discouraged and said "They want a boy-run troop but they won't let us make any decisions. Mr. X (the asst SM) put together the entire agenda without involving us and then yelled at us for not having a plan. We had a plan but it was different from his."

Just wonder if anyone else has run into something like this before and what you would suggest.

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This is a little bit off of your question, but....

Our SPL is the last ASPL. Every six months, we elect a new ASPL. After that six months, he is the new SPL.

 

Our troop is kind of in the middle. Our PLC gets very little done, but do some stuff. Our SM does a lot towards planning and such.

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"Just wonder if anyone else has run into something like this before and what you would suggest."

 

Rest assured your son is not the only scout who has had to deal with this type of adult leadership problem. It is indeed unfortunate that not all troop leaders actually lead. It has been my experience that few if any of the adults who behave in this matter will ever change. They view this behavior as correct and enjoy being the "guys in charge".

 

As I see it you have two possibilities. One is for you as an adult to have a non-confrontational meeting with the SM and explain your concerns, site examples from the resources of the BSA to support your position, and hope that as a reasonable person who wants to do a good job for the boys he or she will change their leadership methods.

 

Secondly, if the first option does not get the hoped for results, would be to meet with the COR and state your case. Suggest that the SM and his assistants should either follow the BSA program or be replaced by adults who will.

 

Of course if neither approach brings about the change needed in the troop I would reconsider membership in the troop. A boy in this kind of scouting program will be a better person by spending 90-minutes with a caring father each week, than with a bad scoutmaster.

 

Best of luck,

Bob White

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Talk with the SM for sure. Preferably, away from the boys and better yet, not at a troop meeting. Get his side of the story.

 

I am currently a SM. My son is currently a SPL. What we struggle with is the fact that his plan is always in his head and not written down. To him, everything is kosher. To me, I want to see his plan, meeting agenda, etc. in writing. I'd like to review (best case) or at least be aware (worst case) of what he has planned for the upcoming meeting. He of course sees me as an overbearing father/SM who won't let the boys "do what they want."

 

Yes it is getting better. We are both trained and both still learning. He just turned 13 (we have a very young troop) and is maturing rapidly.

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I am a single mother - his dad left when he was two and I chose the BSA organization for examples of healthy adult role models. So far, excepting this current SM, I have been tremendously blessed. And so has my son. I talked with the ASM last night and he was sorry for how the adults handled it. It's unfortunate that the SM has such a bad attitude towards my son, who is an honor student and a good scout, and his attitude has badly affected my son's attitude towards him and the troop. But thankfully, not towards scouting. I will take a wait and see viewpoint and make my son tough out the next four months till the next court of honor when he will have completed his term. Then we will meet with the scoutmaster and discuss whether the SM wants my son to remain in the troop or send him on to another, where he also has friends, with his blessing. This guy also didn't file his initial Eagle Scout paperwork with council, which also disappoints me. My son has been working on his project for several months now.

 

Thank you for all your input!!

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KMG - sounds like some training is in order... One of the offshoots of the Troop-level JLT is that the SM and the PLC have a back-channel oppportunity to review things and get on the same page for the upcoming year. If local JLT isn't in the cards, would be well worth the time spent to find another Troop thats conducting one and try to audit? Or facilitate several small Troops working together on one. While this isn't the preferred way, it beats a blank.

If these folks are pretty familiar with the training regimen, maybe worth having your SPL get a little proactive and propose some details within the established annual framework - then present that at the next PLC for fine-tuning

Don't forget that everybody has bad nights and that Troop meetings aren't known for bringing out the best in anybody...

 

Acco40 - the written version of the plan isn't for YOU necessarily but for the PLC, Committee, etc. Its their best structure to move forward with, and can only come from one place. Maybe takes some of the sting out of the issue?

(Belated fractured syntax warning)

 

Hops - What are your thoughts on 6 month term versus a full year for that ASPL serving as understudy idea? I've heard it both ways

Thanks

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Well I agree with what everyone said. SPL with the advise of the PLC and SM runs the meeting and schduels events. Our troop is gonig threw another drastic change because I left as SPL in the begining of August and now the other SPL is leaving end of november so leadersip is going to change drastically in our troop. It was hard to organize the meetings cause after boy scout camp in early july, no one comes and they don't come back till school starts.

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