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Boy Lead Patrol coming from an adult lead troop

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Ahh.. share my secrets.. I knew you were Eagle, because after you started this thread it stated you had 2 posts. Your post was close enough to Platapus that I wondered if you perhaps were his SPL friend who was having problems. I looked at the other post (the number of post is a link that brings up all your previous posts.) You talked about a book you got at you ECOH..


ScoutNut I don't think is against you seeking help, but against you going to district with the intent of finding someone to fire the SM.. Even with seeing help you should start with the most internal adults and fan out from there. It is sort of the chain of command thing still. You would not want a tenderfoot scout complaining to the SM or the COR about his PL before he first talked to his PL, then to you then if nothing was done the SM etc.. Also district will have no part in fireing an SM unless it is a serious Youth protection issue. That would be the COR and if the COR is inactive then the CC and their committee..


But your attitude should be of seriously seeking help.. First try again with the SM to get a working team between the two of you. To be able to understand what he feels is important so you can accomplish it for him, and to get him to understand you need to command respect from your troop by being able to do your job..


Look at your SM as he is your boss, but if you were say the foreman of the warehouse he should not be coming out and talking to your employees about issues but going to you and letting you know what he wants done, then you should make it happen along with your own agenda of what you want done (which you should talk to him about so he is in agreement with your vision.)


But if your boss at work started belittling you and threatening you, you would go to human Resource, not the president of the entire company when you are a foreman in a warehouse in a chain of 50 warehouses the company owns..


You need to work the chain of command.. First being trying again with your SM now that the battle of wills is over.


Look at the other thread, the bottom of the first page & 2nd page have some great suggestions you could use to get a working relationship started, and get the rest of your troop to work with you to politely remind the SM who should be reporting to whom..


Also the thread will have Platapus post on it.. Just in case he doesn't see this post. Send him a private message.. He has been spending the last 2 weeks or so coming up with ideas between him & the SPL and they have their Unit Commissioner on their side and working with them. He would be a great one to ask advice from.. He has his own issues, but is working on them and I think he has the picture everyone here is trying to offer you.

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Good Advice! I will talk to him and let him know and maybe give him the hypothetical situation that you gave me. I never intended to go and talk to anyone but my SM unless he forced the adult lead troop. As a SPL it is partically my job to make sure that the boys lead boys under the GUIDENCE of adults. If my SM wants to give me advice then i am all for that but when he jumps in and starts yelling out commands to the scouts of my troop then i think that defeats the purpose of a boy lead patrol. Again, i never attended to go to district or commitee unless nessaserry. I want a possitive experience from scouting and i want all the boys to learn leadership that i learned. And one of the best leadership qualities i have picked up is never backing down on an issue that i feel passionate about. I want my troop to get to a boy lead troop and that is where we are going to get. I get that leadership trait from my mother :)

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Advice from someone who is usually very passionate about what I believe in, and who on more then one occassion has let my tongue fly (and I'm talking about going head to head with doctors, and an occassipnal attorney), you have to make sure that you come across diplomatically & respectfully. Sometimes it is very hard to keep those two things in mind.


Next time SM blurts out "Hey, I want this or that", imeediately jump in with, " Got it handled Mr SM. John grab the uniform inspection sheets. Jack get them in uniform and lined up." Then run the inspection before he has a chance. Show him (respectfully) that you can do it. The next time he starts to "Hey...", "On it Mr SM". If you get an inkling that SM is planning on calling something, jump the gun, call it yourself, and beat him to it.


Start a "SWEAR & ANGER JAR". Everyone contributes if in violation, including adults. Next time he starts to run off at the mouth with the inappropriate language, or outburst, "no disrespect sir, but that's 50 cents". Just make sure that everyone is getting hit up. Don't just take aim at SM. See if this changes the dynamics of the Troop & the SM, & if things start to improve.


By all means, have a meeting with SM, and the ASM's. Have an advocate for you and the other Scouts present for moral support. Maybe a parent who knows Scouting, or your Unit Commissioner. Have a list of ideas & suggestions on how you all would like to see thing work within the Troop from the Scouts. When you set up the meeting with SM, suggest to the SM that it would be nice if he could have his thought and ideas down on paper.


Again, be very respectful and diplomatic. It will get you farther ahead in the long run.

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Hi, I'm that semiaquatic creature with a similar problem. Oh, by the way moosetracker, there is a Y in platypus. I'm sorry, that was irking me.:)


SPL, I think the most important thing is that you don't lose your temper with the SM. In my dealings with adults, both as summer camp staff and in the OA, when they are upset they expect you to start yelling also. If you stay calm and softly ask him to address you calmly, there is a good chance he will get embarassed and apolagise. Try to remember, this is Boy Scouts. It's not something to get upset over (when I say that, I mean that it is meant for kids to have fun, and shouldn't be too complicated). One of my favorite quotes from this website is that scouting is a game with a purpose, which means it is a game. Would you get so upset if the advisor for one of your school clubs did something similar(the u iform inspection thing, not the screaming thing)?


Once you are having a calm disscussion with him, explain what your vision is. I assume part of your vision from NYLT had something to do with being SPL? If not, make a new one. Try and get him on board with your ideas. It is much easier to lead a troop with the SM than against him.


Make sure the other scouts are on board. Try and invoke a sense of pride in them when they do something without adults. At the next plc, show up with a completed plan for your next campi g trip planned completely by the boys and show it to the SM. Make sure there are no problems he can fix. It'll show him you are capable of doing hinge yourself. On the next trip, spend most of your time with the SM talking about how to make things better, and delgate to your assistants. Make him see that all of the boys are able to lead, not just you.


If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. Let me know if any of this helps. If it seems confused, I aologise, I am tired and about to go to sleep after a very long day.

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Platypus - No I was unsure, at first, more we posted I was sure he wasn't, that is why I asked him to PM you.. If I thought he was your friend and you were already working together on the issue, no need to talk to you..


Sorry about the typo.. and good advice you have given to Warwick on the issue..

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My mother was a master of conflict resolution and often offered sound advice when dealing with problem situations I faced.


Her #1 rule was instead of tit-for-tat yelling, simply state what your position is, i.e. the problem you are facing, and then outline what the other person needs to do to correct the problem. Too often blaming and arguing rule the discussion and is definitely counterproductive and doesn't resolve much if anything.


Do your research on boy-led, patrol-method approaches to the scouting program, there are plenty of resources in BSA literature to support this. Outline it as to how it pertains to your troop and draw conclusions as to where deficiencies are obvious. THEN offer up sound suggestions as to how to resolve the problem, what you would like to try out to see if it works for the troop, etc.


If the SM refuses to even listen to such suggestions, take it to the CC and make the same presentation and let them know you as scouts would like to have some help implementing it and support in helping the SM with the process.


Yes, you can "take candy from a baby"! Just give it a toy when you do and 99% of your problems will not have a chance to happen.


My mom's words still echo in my ears: "Here's the problem, ... and this is what you're going to do to resolve it... " Nothing vague, no blaming, no games, just spell it out and see where it goes.



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SPL Warwik,




First, Eagle92 said it: You are a one patrol troop, for now. Let's start from there, and work forward...


(--) You do not have to have adults present to have a Patrol meeting or a Patrol outing ... do you all go to the same school? If so, have what we grownups call an "offsite" meeting ... at lunchtime.


(--) Even if you don't have a common place M-F, make a place ... get everyone to go to an impromptu pizza and games party at the local pizza joint. The point: GET YOUR PEERS IN ONE PLACE AT ONE TIME, on their own volition.


(--) It's going to take a bit of maturity from all of you ... but if everyone commits to working inside the grownups decision cycle, well, you quickly take effective control of the program. That means everyone is listening and feeding you what they hear ... then you have to process, get agreement to, and act on the information you receive.


(--) Several of the posters have given you other good ideas. Run with those.


Finally, a personal request. Grammar and spelling help sell your case! Please, take the minute, put your drafts on your PCs word processor and spell/grammar check them. Literacy matters in the adult world.

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I think the thrust of the advice is to keep working with the SM.


That's because going "up the chain" to oust them usually has unsatisfactory results for both sides. (Lot's of adult threads around here testify to it.) Let your CC attend to hearding adults towards fundraising, tracking advancement, and recruiting. Definitely keep her on the sidelines when it comes to your issues with the SM.


One thing that hasn't been mentioned: coffee. When you have these

"discussions", make it the way your SM prefers. When it comes to goals, there's always compromise, but it's palatable if a nice warm drink is involved.

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Wow... tough situation. Lot's of good advice from others on the thread.


You've got a "control" issue in play in your Troop, and that is a hard nut to crack...


I find most people (Scouts and Adults) don't have a clue what "Boy-led" is. Some folks genuinely believe they are fostering "Boy-Led" by giving orders and dictates to the Scouts - when in fact, they simply have "Scout Puppets".


Other folks think they are fostering "Boy-led" by letting the Scout do "whatever" and letting nature run its course. I don't think that is what Lord Baden Powell intended either.


Turning the Scouts loose without any framework or guidance is what I call "Blind Man's Bluff".


Balance is everything. One Senior Scouter on this forum told me once "It's OK to let a Scout fail. It's NOT OK to let him flounder".


You may have a Scoutmaster who's a control freak. You, as a Scout, may also be a normal teenager who is questioning authority. You know the situation better than I do, so I'll let you decide which (or both) it is.


Personally, I think it's important for a Troop to have a defined framework to operate within. That said, once that framework is in place, the Adults need to back off and let the Scouts lead and learn. Yes, Adult Leaders may need to "guide" a Scout Leader on the side - and the Scout should welcome constructive guidance. The more experienced and responsible the Scout, the more the Adults should back off. Ideally, the Scouts are so well trained and mature that the Adults sit around, shake their heads, and say, "wow... looks like they've got it. Why am I here???"


Question - Would it help to sit down with the SM and see if you two can arrive at common "goals" for the Troop? Many times the reason we have conflicts is because we have different visions - or maybe we both want the same thing, but have different ways to get there.


I know it's much easier for me to back off if I know that in the end I and another person have the same goal...


I think most of us guys are wired to compete - whether intentional or not. Insecure guys will want it "my way or the highway". Secure ones may have differing visions, but will always keep the welfare of the Troop and its members as their highest priority.


As St. Augustine said, "In essentials, Unity; In non-essentials, Liberty; but in all things, Charity."


Hang in there!

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  • 2 months later...

As a fellow SPL, I have seen 4 different SM's since joining (I am 16.5) while they all had different beliefs and opinions, on both ends of the spectrum of Adult v. Boy led, One thing That has helped me is going over my detailed meeting plans with them via email or phone prior to the meeting. Meeting plan forms can be downloaded all over the internet, and filling these out at the PLC, with you leading this discussion, and then going over the Agenda with the SM and your ASPL a week or so before the meeting allows for each Person to get an idea of their role...just my $.02 My troop is about 15 scouts, in two patrols, so we are rather small as well.

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