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A few of questions:


How do the older scouts respond to the SPL's leadership? Do they pay attention, listen courteously, follow directions? The older scouts, and especially the leaders of the troop, will demonstrate how to behave in the meeting by their own behavior.


Perhaps each new scout could be assigned an older scout as a buddy/mentor.


Also, does your troop use the troop instructors to deal with a smaller group of new scouts each, to train them in the basic details of scouting? By this I mean not only that which is in the Scout Handbook, but also deportment in meetings, how to make and maintain some form of personal achievement records, etc.


Does your troop assign an ASM or two to oversee the new scouts? He/They would also be of assistance to the troop instructors, as well as maintaining crowd control.


Finally, how does your SPL lead? Does he yell &/or make demands when things get out of control? Does he speak kindly and respectfully to others? Does he lead by excellent example?


Our troop has experienced similar problems at times. There is no perfect solution. However, we have used the above ideas with a great deal of effectiveness.

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Hi t23nolasplscrbhst,


Good question and probably quite common. Before you start to think "What's wrong with these new kids?" think about this... first they are new kids, they came from a program where the only people they had to listen to were adults, so they are not used to peers as leaders. Secondly they don't want to be seen as the new kids, so there is a tendency for them to try an act up to show they are not afraid of the older scouts. It's like the young bulll in the pen scuffing the ground and snorting at the older stronger bull. It's not because he thinks he is strong enough to take him on and survive, he justs wants the bigger one to know he's a bull.


Here are some tips that can help.

1. Use the New Scout Patrol program. If the boys are in a patrol with scouts their own age they are less prone to acting up to fit in.


2. Give them a Troop Guide, an older scout who treats them with respect and shows genuine concern for their scouting growth.


3. As a senior scout don't try to tell others what to do. Thats not your job or the SPL's job. The patrol leader is responsible for the individuals in the patrol as well as the patrol as a whole. Only talk to the PL when it comes to giving instructions.


4. Get your junior leaders trained. There are new handbooks available for the patrol leaders and senior patrol leaders. They are excellent and will give you a better understanding of what "running the troop" means.



I hope this helps. Keep your questions coming, there are some very good leaders on this board who are always happy to help a scout.


Happy Scouting,

Bob White

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