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So Many Scouts, So Few Offices ...

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Our troop has a large number of high ranking scouts that need a position of responsibility. At present, we have every position filled with the exception of den chief and junior assistant scoutmaster. We have a couple of positions where we have "doubled up" (ie quartermaster and instructor). Interested to hear how other units are dealing with this issue.


We currently have several Eagles on the roster. A couple of these are holding leadership positions. Any feedback on moving Eagle scouts to junior assistant scoutmasters?


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How many instructors do you have? Why not have one for knots, one for fire building, one for cooking etc.


How Many Quartermasters do you have? Why not one grubmaster for all things food and food preparation, another for all tents and another for all troop equipments,(lanterns, dining flies, etc)


the above supposes you have a large troop and each of these is a "full time" job


Then again, there is the afore mentioned scoutmaster assigned leadership project

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What positions do you utilize right now?


A couple of things we have done are:


A. used the Troop Guide position as a year round position


B. Have a Troop Recruiter that establishes recruitment opportunities, helps scouts fill out applications, and helps those under First Class with the new First Class requirement


C. Communications Leader who does a unit website and newsletter

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hotdesk makes a good point, you can create special positions (although they are NOT valid for Eagle). Also, multiples is a good idea.


Finally, and this is a little harsh, I've seen that the kids who don't get chosen are the ones who are lazy and don't want to do the job. They are just going through the motions and the SPL knows it. Perhaps they need to prove that they have what it takes so they'll get chosen next time.

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you can create special positions (although they are NOT valid for Eagle).


Sure they are. They are Scoutmaster-approved leadership projects. Or if some Chief of Officiousness asks, da communications guy is "Scribe #2" and da Recruitment guy is "Junior Assistant Scoutmaster for Recruitment".


The only thing to be cautious of is to make sure that any new positions you create are "real." They should demand the same level of responsibility and lead to the same amount of personal growth as being QM, PL or ASPL. (Which is why people like CNY have trouble with positions like "Bugler", but that's another sorry tale for another time).


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The positions are the positions.

I am against creating any unlisted positions of leadership, as indicated in some of the above messages you do not want to get into a grey area with a Scouts POR for his advancment to Eagle.


If the boys did not vote that scout into a postion, then he needs to approach the SM for a project, or wait till the next opening.


With repect to Eagle's to JASM, YES, but I would look at thier maturity, under age 16 iffy, above that fine in our experiance.


But most of all have a program, and provide encouragement.



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Beavah.... I hate to tell ya this, but you are mistaken. I didn't know this eithah until someone pointed it out to me.


The Star requirement reads:

While a First Class Scout, serve actively 4 months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop). (it then lists all the PORs).


Here's the entired text of the Eagle requirement:

While a Life Scout, serve actively for a period of 6 months in one or more of the following positions of responsibility:

Boy Scout troop: Patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, Order of the Arrow troop representative, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, junior assistant Scoutmaster, chaplain aide, or instructor. Varsity Scout team: Captain, cocaptain, program manager, squad leader, team secretary, Order of the Arrow team representative, librarian, historian, quartermaster, chaplain aide, instructor, or den chief. Venturing crew / Sea Scout ship: President, vice president, secretary, treasurer, boatswain, boatswain's mate, yeoman, purser, or storekeeper.


Did ya notice what was missing? There is no "or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop". I do not think this is an oversight. I believe the intention is to make sure the scouts coming before the Eagle Board of Review have successfully fulfilled a term in office for one of the real, documented positions.

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Again, if you want to follow BSA guidelines, JASM's are to be "at least 16 years old and not yet 18". I realize it's not a concern for some whether they follow the guidelines, but I'm just stating the "policy". I find it helps eliminate the problem with immature Scouts & immature parents wanting their son to fill this role. They can't until they are 16, period. This is a position that is appointed by the SM for his leadership ability. In our troop, we also request they have attended NYLT prior to accepting this office. This helps in their maturity, knowledge, and understanding. Is this "adding to the requirements"? I don't think so, because JASM isn't a requirement for anything.

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OGE writes:


How Many Quartermasters do you have? Why not one grubmaster for all things food and food preparation, another for all tents and another for all troop equipments,(lanterns, dining flies, etc)


Multiple Troop Quartermasters is a good idea. Alternatively you can have one assigned to each Patrol. If you physically separate the Patrols so that the Patrols are truly functioning independently, a reliable Quartermaster is probably more important to a successful campout than the Patrol Leader.


A Patrol can limp by with a popularity-contest PL. As long as the Quartermaster provides all of the equipment they need to stay warm, dry, and well fed (and double-checks the food), natural leaders will emerge to do what is necessary.




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Beavah - you are right- I don't think "Bugler" should be used for a POR for Eagle. The requirement clearly state that the POR for Eagle comes from the following list:


Patrol leader,

assistant senior patrol leader,

senior patrol leader,

troop guide,

Order of the Arrow troop representative,

den chief,





junior assistant Scoutmaster,

chaplain aide, or



However I do agrre for Star and Life ranks that a Troop "Bugler" can be used as the special leadership project.


The real problem I have is when Troops, like my son's, require nothing for the POR's. They have a Chaplins Aide and an Assistant Chaplin Aide, but no Chaplin. My son was made the CA in Sept. No one told him what he was require for this. The only thing he had to do was to read some at a COH, which was given to him by an adult in the Troop. It's now 6 months later and he has enogh time in for his POR for Life.

In the year we have been in the Troop the SPL (serves 1 year term) has made only 2 camping trips and summer camp. The same is true for the two ASPL's. They show up for about half the weekily meetings and there have been times none are there. He will recieve credit for his Eagle POR.

This type of troop should not be a problem for you "tweekers". The adults in my son's troop know that this is not the way it should be done but have decided to make changes where ever they feel.


The funny thing is that I have the minutes from the Troops adult annual planning sessions for the last 3 years. The number one issue on every one for these was improving youth leadership in the Troop.


This is just one of these units that is spending all of its time trying to figure out a program to run instead of learning how to run the program as intended by the BSA.

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Wow - this thread kinda blows my mind.

I was lost right from the beginning with the statement "...scouts that need a position of responsibility..." and downright disgusted later with description of signoffs for merely wearing a badge of office.


There's no such thing as scout who "needs" a POR. He needs water, food, love, and shelter. He (or his parents) might "desire" for him to have a POR to fulfill a requirement for rank advancement, but nobody should confuse that with a need. He'll earn it through election or appointment when he's ready. Adults never make it better when we mess with the program - no matter how good the intentions.


As for Eagles holding leadership positions - congratulations! That's a good sign of a very healthy troop and program. The scouts holding leadership positions are supposed to be the best available who are both willing and able to do the job. If Eagles continue to learn, grow, and serve their troop, they are to be commended for staying in the game (and not just filling the "Eagle" square on their college application and checking out). This will eventually be self-limiting as the Eagles (and all of the oldest group of scouts) will migrate to cars, girls, jobs, sports, college, etc.


Anyone who signs off a scout for a leadership position when the scout hasnt done the job is doing the scout, his unit, and all of scouting an incredible disservice. This has resulted in some of the ugliest tangled messes Ive seen recently in scouting. Boy was signed off with little or no effort for the Star/Life rank requirements. As a result, he didnt learn the leadership and organizational skills associated with the junior positions and didnt earn the respect of the other scouts. Later as a 16-yr old with SM intervention, the inexperienced young man was pushed into SPL so he could complete Eagle. It was a disaster. Scout was totally unprepared hadnt learned the small lessons at PL and Jr Staff level. There was soon open rebellion and chaos. Well-intentioned SM tried to help, but ineffective. Boy quit scouts. Parents mad at everyone. Plenty of guilt to go around


Follow the program its the only thing that will keep the boys on track, on their schedule. And keep you the adult leaders and parents out of trouble. Elect/select per the book. Start training at lowest levels (Asst PL, etc.) before they count for rank so guys can start to learn concepts early. Train, coach, cajole, encourage, and celebrate victories. Never do for a boy what a boy can do for himself.



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I can't tell from your description what it is that you think the adults are doing wrong. Sometimes in "Boy Run" (into the ground) Troops the older Junior Leaders don't want to go camping anymore. This is one of the disadvantages of placing too much importance on SPLs & ASPLs.


As far as I'm concerned Scouting is all about Uniformed camping Outdoors in Patrols, with Advancement as something to do when you get there. The other four Methods (especially "Leadership Development") are secondary and follow from that primary experience.


All a Patrol needs to go camping is a good Quartermaster, hopefully a Patrol Leader, and the proper adult permissions. So if you are looking for a way to get them camping again, why not bypass the SPL, the two ASPLs, the Chaplain's Aid, and the Assistant Chaplain's Aide, and just motivate one or more of the single Patrols and a couple adults to go camping?


Two monthly campouts a year is not Scouting, and waiting until you fix the leadership isn't either.





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I know that older scouts often don't want to go camping. However, I feel that if they are in a POR they need to attend most, if not all, Troop activites, during the time they hold their POR.

How can the SPL, ASPL's or PL's be fulfilling their duties if they are not there?


I think this goes along with the thread about "being active". We are here to teach are kids to make ethical decisions.

I think one of these is having a Scout decide between holding a POR for rank and doing another activity.

I have heard of some troops telling kids that want to join their troop that they can't do anything else.

I don't support this, however I do feel that if a Scout wants to hold a POR like SPL, he needs to commit to doing the job and be at Troop activities. I think having him make this kind of choice is important and one of the main purposes of the BSA.

Allowing him to "blow off" Scouts for other activities and giving them credit for something they didn't really finsih teaches him nothing.

I think this is done a good deal of time as Troop Leaders are so worried about a kid quiting scouts they will do anything to keep them in the troop.


My's troop has a outing every month, its just there is no requirement for youth leadership to be in attendance.


An example of this is this months outing. There are 6 (out of 27)scouts signed up. The SPL, ASPL's or any patrol leaders are going on this trip.

An adult has planned the trip, made the menu and bought the food.


The Troop has switched to only having 4 PLC meeting a year. The reasons behind this as the other leaders have determined the scouts are too busy with other activities to have them meet more than this.


What are the adults doing wrong?

How about little or no expectations from the youth leadership.

Scouts are given a POR, not told what is exected of them in this POR and 6 months later after doing little or nothing in the form of leadership, the POR for rank being signed off.


I could go on butI think this gets my point across.

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