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Bob White

Who is an SPL "in charge" of?

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Who is a Senior Patrol Leader "in charge" of? How would you answer that question? The same could be asked regarding a Crew President or a Ship's Boatswain.

 

 

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All other youth positions report directly or indirectly to him.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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The SPL is in charge of the Patrol Leaders Council who are responsible for planning and executing the program. He selects the ASPL(s) and reports directly to the SM.

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Only the Patrol Leaders and the ASPL would report to the SPL. All the other troopo level positions report to the ASPL.

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I would say he's not "in charge" of anyone. Being "in charge" connotes, imo, being the boss. An SPL isn't a boss, he is a leader. As such, he is the leader of the PLC, of the "Senior Patrol" (if your unit uses this concept - ie older youth leaders who do not belong to any specific patrol but still have leadership responsibilities (ASPL, Instructors, Troop Guides, etc.)and through the PLC, the Troop as a whole (overseeing the Patrol Leaders to get the work of the Troop done).

 

Calico

 

PS:

Ed - I humbly suggest that there is one Youth Leadership POR position that does not report directly to the SPL (note the POR qualifier - Assistant Patrol Leader wouldn't report to the SPL either but it is not a POR). That position is Junior Assistant Scoutmaster who reports directly to the Scoutmaster, just as an Assistant Scoutmaster would.

 

 

 

 

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I'd sit down with an SPL who asked me that question, and I'd say "wrong question."

 

The right questions are "What am I responsible for?" and "How do I do my best to be of service to others in my role?"

 

Beavah

 

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"Report to" sounds so military. As in "step forward and give me your report, grunt", or "go report to your senior officer and get your assignment".

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William Hillcourt's Patrol Method: Until the invention of "Leadership Development" in 1972, the SPL was elected by the Patrol Leaders. He was "in charge" of carrying out (coordinating) the plans made by these PLs in the Patrol Leaders' Council. Thus the "chain of command" in Hillcourt's Patrol Method is: PLC -> SPL, not: SM -> SPL -> PLs.

 

In theory this is still true because the PLC (not the Scoutmaster) runs the Troop, and the Patrol Leaders can outvote the SPL. This is likely to happen only when the Patrol Leaders are more talented than the SPL and ASPL. The advantage of this (if you can arrange it) is that you can then separate your Patrols by 300 feet under the leadership of your Troop's most talented leaders rather than squishing them all together as in the Troop Method.

 

Robert Baden-Powell's Patrol System: In this model of Scouting the SPL (called the "Troop Leader") is optional. If used he is appointed by the Scoutmaster in consultation with the Patrol Leaders in Council (called the "Court of Honor"). In this model of Scouting most activities are done by Patrols independently of the Troop and the SPL position is largely ceremonial. Thus if leadership talent is not in abundance one of the Patrol Leaders can act as SPL as needed. There is no "ASPL" nor POR requirements so any holder of the appropriate Proficiency Badge can act as Quartermaster, etc. The SM attends but does not interfere with COH meetings and waits to be asked by the Patrol Leaders for advice, thus the "chain of command" is the same as Hillcourt's.

 

How B-P's (and Hillcourt's) model is designed to work can be seen in:

 

http://inquiry.net/patrol/court_honor/coh_session.htm

 

Kudu

 

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It's good to see that there are those out there that understand the concept servant leadership. The PL's run the show in their patrols.

 

The SPL is the #1 supporting player for these PL's He facilitates their discussion and decision making in the PLC, and coordinates and leads intra-patrol (improperly named: Troop-wide) support officers, i.e. TG, Instructor, Bugler, ASPL's, etc. to assist in supporting the PL's work with their patrols.

 

He is the #1 assisting coordinator of intra-patrol activities that will provide for the PL's as needed. He's "in charge of" making sure the QM has equipment as needed by each PL, if there's a problem a PL faces, coordinates a solution between PL and adults if necessary.

 

He's the "Gentleman's Gentleman", the "Man Friday" for the PL's and if the task is too overwhelming, he takes on ASPL's to assist him to make sure the PL's are not burdened with the details as their responsibility is to focus on their patrol members and patrol activities.

 

I would think if the SPL had a NSP that needed more attention/support than he could provide because he had 5 other patrols to worry about, then maybe he would enlist an ASPL to work specifically with that patrol.

 

In a nutshell? He assists/provides the PL's with what they need to run their patrols. He's "in charge of" the resources to make that happen.

 

I like to think of him as the "Radar" O'Reilly of the troop. He was the glue that held everything together and made sure things happened as they were supposed to, yet even in a MASH unit he did nothing medically.

 

Stosh

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Like all of us - himself.

 

I agree with earlier posts, the question is not who but what.

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Hey Bob,

I think your playing dirty pool!!

I know that you know all this "In Charge" bit is for the birds.

How about in place of "In Charge" We go with the word "Serve"?

Eamonn.

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My apologies Eamonn, I am by no means supporting an "I'm in charge" leadership.

 

I was working my way to a point regarding the way many scouts and scouters view leadership. How often have you heard the complaint from scouts and scoutmasters alike that "the scouts won't do what the _______(fill in the leadership title of choice) tells them to"

 

Would you agree that strongly suggests a leadership environment where there are people "in charge" of others?

 

If everyone seems to agree that the SPL or PL is not an "in charge" position, then where does that attitude and leadership style come from, and what can a Scoutmaster due to avoid that problem in a troop or patrol?

 

It seemed a worthwhile topic. When I teach knots and lashings I first try and find out what knots the participants already know. So sometimes when I discuss a topic it helps me to find out what participants already know.

 

BW

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To answer BW's question...

 

The Scoutmaster is responsible for the implementaiton of the BSA program to the Troop, meeting the Chartered Partner's side of the BSA annual charter agreement.

 

In his program capacity, his is in charge of, responsible for, and accountable for (to the COR of the Chartered Partner) the actions and failures to act of the Assistant Scoutmasters.

 

If he does his job right and well, the SM is a mentor and older friend to the SPL. That's the perfect world.

 

Of course, as we've noted in other threads, all this implies a COR that actually cares about the Charter Agreement beyond one signature a year.

 

Reason for edit: PM from a certain WB bird that tastes like chicken.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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