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Struggling with this at our Troop.Was thinking of using this criteria:

1. Rank must be Higher than 1st Class (Star or above)

2. Must have 2 years experience as a Boy Scout (ie.. Starting 3rd Year or


3. Must have attended 75% of the meetings & campouts in the preceeding 6


4. Must agree to attend 75% of the meetings & campouts after attaining


5. Must have approval of the Scoutmaster to run for SPL. Approval will be

granted based on Attitude, Scout's application of the Scout Law and the

Scouts display of leadership qualities.


One of the biggest issues is that we have a couple of Scouts who are very disruptive within the Troop when they are around. One doesn't show up too much to campouts or meetings. When he does, he is disruptive. The other shows up for meetings, but not for campouts. In any case, he has a very poor attitude, is only there because his parents make him. The both don't fit the attendance criteria for the last 6 months and certainly from the SM perspective wouldn't be eligible based on attitude.


However, the other take is let the Troop make the decision. That gives them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Let them judge whether these folks are poor candidates and if they make the woring decision, the live with it. At the same time, maybe we are missing an opportunity for the Scouts to make a turnaround. WIth the responsibility, maybe their attitude will change. It may require a lot more mentoring from the Adult Leaders, but maybe more will gained for the Scout.


In any case however, we will have a requirement for the elected SPL to attend the majorty of the meetings and campouts. We will also want the ability to remove the SPL if they Don't live by the Scout Oath or become a disruptive influence.

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in our troop the bylaws say that the spl must be Star rank. most of the time these scouts have had a real taste of the scouting experience. they know what is expected and wht to expect. i will agree that this inst always true. right now we have a scout who is life rank, but doesnt have the maturity, know-how or experience to run the troop. sometimes you need a younger boy to run the troop. in our case it is better to have an older one.


what your troop needs, they will vote into office.

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The boys in our troop have suggested several times that we impose minimum requirements to be a candidate for SPL. Sometimes the proposed requirements are so restrictive that only 1 or 2 boys qualify. Asked why they want restrictions the reasoning is they don't want the wet-behind-the-ears Tenderfoot to be the SPL, or the disruptive knucklehead, or the kid that rarely attends campouts. Of course those kinds of candidates would never get enough votes to be elected anyway, so what's the point in screening them out?

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"Of course those kinds of candidates would never get enough votes to be elected anyway, so what's the point in screening them out?"


FS - I'm not so sure. I guess it depends upon the age and maturity of the troop. In our young troop, one of the most disruptive kids we have is also one of the most popular. At this point, I'd give him at least a 50/50 chance of getting elected. If that were to happen, it would legitimize his actions (in his mind). I'd rather use my role as a mentor to help him develop into a more mature young man and position him to run a little farther down the road, when he'll (hopefully) be more mature and more successful.


Another valid reason for having some criteria (and I don't believe in a long list of them) is that it gives some minimum requirements for a young man to shoot for. For example, we have a requirement that they serve in a PLC position prior to running for SPL? Why? Because you need to understand the PLC process before you can run it. This menas he needs to be elected as a PL, appointed ASPL by the SPL or appointed Troop Guide by the SM. Any of these roles will qualify him to run for SPL. It also gives him several routes to take in getting "qualified". By having this as a requirement, it helps him understand some real practical ways to get the experience needed as SPL.

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IF the objective was to protect the boys from themselves, the best approach would be for the SM to appoint the boy leaders. Consider the possibility however that the objective is not to ensure that the best leader is elected.


Rather than erect barriers to keep out undesirables, I'd give the electorate a speech about the characteristics they should consider when selecting their leader. Then let them do it. "Train them, trust them, let them lead."


If they elect a bad leader, perhaps there was something lacking in their training, their ability to choose a good leader. If the Scoutmaster is doing a good job training boy leaders (his primary task) and teaching boys to select good leaders, then qualification rules should not be necessary.

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i found out tonight how the power of the boys can work. i was the only one running for SPL. another scout (who was first class) wanted to run, so they let him. the scouts made their decision, and even though i was the one with a higher rank, they picked him. i am in no way sore at them for this. i know he is a great leader. this just goes to show that there really shouldnt be any limit on it, the boys will decide their leader themselves.

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