Jump to content

I need a job title. . .

Recommended Posts

since the computer ate my first attempt at this post and I am out of time.


The troop needs to learn how to lead. We have been doing things wrong and that has to change.


Due to school, work and family schedules, there is one weekend that looks ok for the Scoutmaster to camp. My plan (as nagging wife of SM, not CC) is to book a site that is easy for us, plan for the adults and INSIST the boys plan for themselves.


The problem is the SPL and PL have never stepped up to 'lead' anything. (lets not digress onto that topic). We plan by as a group. The group cannot all be in the same place at the same time.


I envision 2 boys coming to plan, a 3rd being late and 4-5 being at camp. Most likely 4. Now, they could bring friends, but since they don't lead well as it is, it is unlikely they would be prepared or have much fun.


So, if there are two or three boys there, I'd like to see someone step up and take charge as to the menu, the shopping, the equipment, etc. You know, lists, notes, requests.


I do not want to see them hand a list to mom so that she can buy everything and add what they have missed.


I do not want to see them waiting for us to tell them what they will be doing.


I am not opposed to handing them a checklist of things to consider with what may sound like obivious options to you. {I'm think a blank page that says Breakfast, menu, cook - Activity (call ranger about service project? take a hike on the new trails? fishing? Scout skills? Which ones - who???)) but if it is left blank - empty it shall be.


But, what do I call this Scout? We can't do new elections and call him a PL. (and it could be the existing PL) I don't want to even say PL for the campout because the parents don't grasp the idea that a POR includes some Responsiblity - they seem to think that we will tell them what to do every week, every camp out and as long as they do it, they are fine. But, I want to have a person who is the go-to Scout for this trip. Can I just say that 'Scout Fred is in charge' or is there a temporary title I have missed??






(OK, here is the situation, this Momma/Wifey is mad and knows what needs to be done. Between a wedding, a birthday, Girl Scouts, OA, football, band and cross-country the only way they will camp before mid-October is if we set up at the scout camp as it closes and move my son out to home at the same time - or as far as the troops campsite. So, I have to be there, we will need one car for troop stuff, one car for son's stuff. If I'm not needed I could leave, but that would leave me to unpack the boy - not the best idea. If I stay, I can keep the girl out of the way - or help keeping the helicoptor parents out of the way - which ever. And yes, the girl would need to go. Sorry - it isn't perfect, but if there aren't any other adults to go, it is the way it needs to be. She is self sufficent and if it is only me and dad, she can work on Girl Scout stuff)


I have no problem hiking with my sweetie. Playing cards with the SM. Taking DeeDee and going home since there is two-deep leadership? Leading adult skills review.


But I don't want to do for these boys.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First off I am a Cubmaster, but I am also a ASM with our local troop and we have worked the boys into planningtheir own meals and setting up things by the patrol method, although they needed direction and help staying on track.


I think that the best way to handle this would to enforce the patrol method. Have the boys that show up to meetings on time and ready to organize things, do the planning. This is the only way I can think that you can make it boy led. When they show up to the meetings before the campout, give them a few blank forms. Menu, duty roster, and a schedule. You have two boys that show up on time from what I am understanding in your post. Have them start with the activity planning.


Give them a schedule with activity times outlined. Note on there the following time frames:

Wake Up

Flag Raising (if your troop does this)

Breakfast (including Prep, Cook, Eat, and Cleanup)

Morning Activity Block

Lunch (including Prep, Cook, Eat, and Cleanup)

Afternoon Activity

Flag Lowering/Retreat

Dinner (including Prep, Cook, Eat, and Cleanup)

Evening Activity (If you have one)

Light out/Taps


If you know the daily schedule and have everything already planned except for specifics like what the activity is and what the meals are, then they can fill in the blanks.


Then give them a blank menu with all of the meals that you will need with each componant listed. Have them make a menu. Also provide a shopping list. So they will know what they need. Have your chuck box or what ever you use, available so they can look in it and see what they have (EX if they choose PB&J sandwiches for lunch, there is no reason to buy Peanut butter if you already have it.)


Then they need to make a duty roster. Maybe by this time the 3rd scout has arrived and he can fill it out. The three that are there will have the choice of duties, and the ones that are going camping but not attending meetings will get what is left. Or do it by rotation, with alternates of course due to no shows.


Be there as oversight and an advisor. Don't do it for them. Make them do it and make sure that it is done right. Do not correct every mistake. Just the ones that would make somethign completely fail. If they are having hot dogs, and no one thinks to get ketsup, then you can say what about toppings for the hotdogs. if they still forget, then let it be. This is the only way they will learn. And next time they will remember the hot dogs with out the ketsup and remember to bring some.


I think this way would not force them to do ALL of the planning, but keep it enough of a BOY led that they start learning what it is that they need to do. And you are there for the oversight to make sure everything is covered.


As for the boys who do not show up to meetings and just want to go camping. THey will learn that if they are not there for the planning, then they will have to go with what the others that were there planned. If they do not like it then there is only one way to change it. Go to meetings.


You can find a lot of sample forms (Duty Roster, Menu Planning, Shopping Lists) online and you can adjust them to you needs.


GOod luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The wheel has already been invented.


The meeting you speak of is the Patrol Leaders' Council meeting.


The boy leader is the SPL.


The entire troop need not (should not) attend the SPL meeting. The patrol leaders decide what activities they want to do, (with the input of their patrol members that they have already polled). The "schedule" is developed by them.


The patrol leaders develop a duty roster for their patrol. The patrols, at their respective patrol meetings develop a menu. With the guidance of the PL, a patrol member agreed to secure the food. This could be a boy that needs to complete a rank requirement.


The Boy Scout Handbook and the Scoutmaster Handbook and the Patrol Leader Handbook tells you how to do it. No need to search the internet for new-fangled custom inventions of the wheel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kinda got lost with all the comings and goings.


Seems to me that the Troop is not planning ahead?

Maybe the weekend that you are talking about would be better spent having the PLC meet with the SM and work on a plan for the next year.

Bring all the dates of all the other activities along, bring the District, Council and the SM's work/family calender along. Put down on paper what is happening when for the next year.

Have a theme for each month that will train the Scouts in things like cooking and menu planning.

Right now it seems like the Troop is failing to plan and as you know this ends up as a plan to fail.


Link to post
Share on other sites





It sounds like the troop needs to work on planning and communications.


I'm with Eamonn. I kinda got lost in your post as well. The adults/parents should not do everything for the Scouts. But they are the as "Adult Association" for role models and guidance.


The Scouts will not know how to do many things, unless they have practiced EDGE.


An ASM or older Scout will have to demonstrate menu planning or even purchasing. A fill in the blank sheet as you stated will help alot. But I would not just tell a new patrol, "Here's the blank sheet, you're responsible for everything."


Similarly, they will not have any meetings planned if they don't learn to plan or hold a separate PLC. Again, EDGE fits in here nicely. For this the SPL and as many PL's as you can, should be sent to NYLT, so that they can see what communications and planning are about.


Finally, the parents look towards you it sounds. As a parent and "Jack of All Trades", the parents look to the SM-ASM team to have all of the answers. In my troop, we know we are good; but not "that good" to be called "All Knowing". So as the various parents ask the adult leaders about the plan, we send out emails placing the communication responsibility back on the Scouts and stating something similar to this. Then we will follow up with a brief calendar, date-time-location, subject to change.


"If you want to know what is happening, ask your son.


If you son does not know what is happening, he should ask his Patrol Leader.


If his Patrol Leader does not know what is happening, he should ask the Senior Patrol Leader.


If the Senior Patrol Leader doesn't know what is happening, then we don't have a plan (or we are in trouble)."


Possibly you need to send similar emails, to groom your parents to understand it is their son' responsibilty to communicate with his PL or SPL.


So, my bottom line. Send the Scouts to NYLT, send the adults to Wood Badge, and practice/apply communications.


Good Luck!


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

Link to post
Share on other sites

What Crew21Adv said.


Now, I will reach my hand into Rick's rucksack. I do not advocate the current unit level youth leader training. STAY AWAY FROM IT. Find a copy of the past generation unit Junior Leader Training (JLT). It's more outdoor skills focused in teaching the skills of leadership.


I will say, though, send the older youth to Council level youth leader training (that's next summer). Get the adult leaders fully position trained, and then get them to Wood Badge.


THEN: Start giving the working democracy of the Troop to the youth. Sit back. Shut up. Be there as a mentor and a role model. Let them fail---> THEN, help them learn from the failure, and let them go again.


As our friends Lisa and Gunny will tell you, it can work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I give up...I need that falling over in a faint smilie I use elsewhere.


I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel. I'm trying to put the wheel on the cart.


There are five boys in the troop. Total. If we do not camp the weekend of the 15th, we cannot camp until the second weekend in October. And, there is already an activity for the 3rd and 4th weekend for two of the boys.


The SPL has never led a PLC. He has never camped with us (he is a transfer and doesn't 'need' camping anymore. He is unlikely to come.


The PL will do whatever I ask, and is iffy to good on attending camp.


The Troop Guide never led a PLC, never oversaw a campout and hasn't camped with the troop in two years. His mom planned all the camp outs he went to, except summer camp.


This leave two boys as scouts. One is at work and cannot be anywhere until after lunch time on the 15th (hence, have a campout where he is to eliminate travel time)


The other has never camped with us and has been taught by an ASM that is no longer involved in the troop that you can sleep on the living room floor and it is camping, as long as you pitched a tent in the garage. He will come to a meeting if dragged. He is unlikely to camp but if it is fun and doesn't effect track and he has a ride, he may do it.


So, the likely planner will be the PL, maybe with Scout 2 to help. The likely campers will be PL, Scout 1, and MAY BE Scout 2, if I drive him up.


The likely adults are the SM, (who is my hubby) and me.


If the SPL is there, he needs to do his job. If he isn't, the PL can step up. If neither of them show, then Scout 2 may plan or may bail. At which point, there is NO planning for any boys who can go, but can't be there to plan. But Scout 2 may just step up to the plate and surprise us if given the chance. Is there a non-POR title for doing that job? That is the only question I asked.


Oh, why bother?


I should just turn in my patch, tell my hubby he is done too and take the son to the next town over. The troop will fold but hey, at least I let it go on its own boy led way rather than trying to help.


It may be worth the work, it isn't worth the hassle.


I know it was 4am when I started typing. So sorry it was unclear.


And I'm tired now, and I know I sound short.


I just don't get it. I described the same round wheel y'all use. I am willing to jack up the cart and put it on - I just thought I may be missing a cool name for that hubcap.



This list I was going to give would look like this...


Friday - Setup, Opening, Anything else? Saturday. Breakfast? Who what how? Morning activity? Lunch. Who what how. Afternoon


Oh you get the idea. I can give my troop of 6th grade girls a blank sheet of paper and they can plan a weekend - how much help would a 10 grade boy need?




Link to post
Share on other sites

"Oh, why bother?"


I agree. IMHO the troop should fold. Some might argue that it has folded already.


Troop has only 5 registered scouts of which maybe three can be counted on to come to a campout.


Troop is led by an husband and wife team as SM and CC (BIG RED FLAG!). There is no effective youth leadership. SPL is absent. Why even have an SPL when you barely have a patrol? Can you even have a PLC when there aren't enough scouts for a patrol?


"The PL will do whatever I ask..." Is the PL your son? Does he have any say in the leadership of his patrol (what there is of it)?


"I should just turn in my patch, tell my hubby he is done too and take the son to the next town over". I think it is pretty clear who is in charge here. Do hubby or son get a vote?


There appear to be no other adults involved in the troop, including the mother (from another thread) who thinks you are a "lying liar who lies". This troop sounds totally dysfunctional. If Dr. Phil had scout troops on his show he would have a field day with this one.


I would bet that the active 3 scouts would be happier in another troop. I think your hubby might be happier as an ASM in a larger unit. I think you should take a break from troop leadership. It sounds like you are a bit (or maybe a lot) overextended with church, Girl Scouts and other activities. You clearly have a strong personality and just possibly some control issues. It might be best not to have all three of you hit a new troop at once.


I hate to see a troop fold. My original troop (from when I was a scout) folded about 35 years ago after it dwindled to 5 boys of which only three were active. It was nobody's fault, just a victim of changing demographics. The SM and CC tried to hold it together but the troop was already dead. I think yours is probably dead too.


Best of luck whatever you three decide,



Link to post
Share on other sites

momma bee,


Greetings again!


During your 0400 forum post, your typing read much more easier and coherent.


If you are looking for a job title for the one Scout that is purchasing the food, cooking, and running the program. You may call him a "grubmaster", but if the weekend program falls on his shoulder he may be the Senior Patrol Leader.


I concur with Hal. I don't like to see troops fold and retire, but I equally don't like to see program and families suffer.


Of the five Scouts, the remaining active Scouts (two or three) may really enjoy a drive to the next town to join an active troop.


I have known parents and families that will drop the Scout off at the corner of the meeting location, or parents that will allow their son to walk to meetings, but those few parents won't drive their son two miles down the road. Then I've met many parents that have seen a quality program and will drive 30-45 miles (or more) to take their son to a quality troop each week, weekends and every event. Because their Scout is actually benefiting from the new troop and long distance drive. Those that make the choice to commute the distance to a good program really get alot from their own Scouts growth and family friendship within the pack/troop.


It is admirable that you and your husband have given it your best attempt to maintain the current troop in your community. But there is usually a minimum threshold to decide that it is time to retire the flags and equipment. Equipment may sometimes be donated to another neighboring troop (topic for another discussion). And the flag may later be unrolled and brought out of retirement, if the community ever decides that a troop is needed in the community.


Good Luck in your decision!


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, no, my son is at camp and can't help plan.


The PL who would do what he is asked is the child of the mother that doesn't care for me*. If I said to that young man, here is a blank piece of paper, create a shopping list and we will meet you at the store to write the check to pay the bill - he'd be there and have the cooler ready (because mom nagged him to take it)


He and my boy have been together since diapers - I know what he can do and what he WILL do. (two different things)


I knew the troop was in trouble when then 14yo SPL told me at camp he didn't need to tell the 11yo scouts what to do at camp because no one told him - and his parents backed it up. And, I two campers who knew more than the SPL (mine and the PL above)


Because I am the wife of the then ASM I shut my mouth and held it shut for 4 years. The other SM (who switched places with hubby when personal issues became a problem) said to let the boys do what they want.


I believed that letting them see it done RIGHT for once would encourage them to do it again.


It is probably too late.


The problem was I kept my mouth shut for too long and opened it up to the wrong group of people.


I commented to someone the other day that he heard me preach that sermon many times. Preaching it here doesn't help the troop, it just hurts my message.




*let me tell you why. He child did something stupid. Another one saw it and told his mom, his mom told me and I went over to the parents and said 'this may have occurred, make sure he knows better'. No names. Then I got the call about my son (who wasn't involved at all) and how he and I both lie about her son. This was many moons ago and I think that my response in the years that have passed earned their respect. But I endeavor to keep her away from any place she could hold my son back - in case I'm wrong. I'm sure that is a mistake too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are willing to give it a few more months, AND invest in some resources, get a copy of the 3rd. ed. SM handbook, it's a 2 volume set. Got mine as a bday gift and it is phenomenol. In it has a section on starting a new troop and the process it will take to get them up to par. It takes 6-12 months if memory serves.


there is also a section on training the PLs and SPL. Since your troop is so small, you may be able to combine both sections of the book to jumpstart your troop.


One thing, as a CC, your job is support the troop, not run the program of the troop. SM needs to do that. SM needs to get the youth started and doing things, not the CC. Yep the SM needs to show them a time or two how to do things, BUT eventually the scouts need to do it on their own, and be allowed to succeed or fail on their actions. failure can be a great teacher and motiovator.


As for travelling. I was one of those that bypassed the local units, one of which met 4 houses from mine, to find the right troop for me in the next town. If need be, it is worth it!


Link to post
Share on other sites

A minimal Troop such as yours is at risk. The loss of one Scout at recharter means no charter renewal.


Simply put, these youth need to be mentored to start making the Troop grow. Peer-level recruitment is the short-term solution. Deploying Den Chiefs back to a Pack, building relationships, and bringing boys along in due course is a long term solution.


Of course, good program is an essential. That means moving to the Patrol Method. There is another thread on Scouter on how a 1 Patrol Troop can run. Simply put, it's called simplify the Troop into a single Patrol. Instead of PLC, it's a Patrol Council. The object of the exercise, of letting the youth be a miniature working democracy and community, still works.


Again ... complete training sequence through WB for adults. Training through Council NYLT for youth.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...