Re: New SM Questions
Jim Sleezer (JHS8@OSUVM1.BITNET)
Wed, 20 Oct 1993 11:36:41 CST
On Wed, 20 Oct 1993 08:19:40 PST Marc Godbout said:
> I'm a fairly new (2 months) SM and I'd like some of your experience here.
> Problem 1: Based on the training I've had and what I've read on SCOUTS-L
> and rec.scouting, I firmly believe in the "Boys run the Troop" goal. But
> wondering how far does "Guiding" go before it turns into "Running".
> How much of the Troop is "their" Troop?
The difference between guiding and running can be a fine line. If the scouts
get all of the necessary information (not colored by the leader's personal
interests) they will generally make good decisions. In the case of Scouting
for Food, it sounds like they didn't have all the information--they did not
have important information about how the pack felt. They should have checked
this out before making their decision. If they didn't, that is a good time to
guide them by suggesting that they ought to check with all of the parties
involved. You may want to suggest that in light of the response from the pack
the troop should reconsider their decision and perhaps make it in concert with
the pack. Given the history, I'm not entirely sure that the decision should
rest with the PLC since they represent only part of the group. When the
decisions affect only the troop, the Scouts should make them. Your veto should
only be used when there will be significant adverse effects.
BTW, for next year, you might want to suggest that the pack and troop take
different areas. A lot of the pleasure comes from picking up the food, not
from distributing bags! Ask your PLC if they would have considered taking over
the whole operation without consulting the pack leadership? I think not!
> Problem 2: The old SM, who's still on Committee, ran Troop meetings. . .
> How do I handle his constant "I'm
> trying to criticize,... but" statements? He and a couple others in the
> really don't believe the boys should run the Troop.
Old SMs often do this. You have to stick with it a while and show them that
the boys can do the job. Thank him for his concern and note that you are
planning to give the Scouts every chance to be successful. After all, they
develop leadership skills by practicing them and that's what we are all about.
> Problem 3: What do I do with a JASM?
JASMs are in training to be ASMs. We always hooked our JASMs up with an ASM
and rotated them every six months or so. Over a two year period, they worked
with four different ASMs and learned a lot of different techniques.
> Problem 4: How old are boys ready for the Camping Merit Badge? I think
Scouts are old enough when they can complete the requirements! We usually
suggest that scouts concentrate on Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class
before they get into merit badges. This is not a hard and fast rule. I am
always disappointed when a SM decides for a boy that the boy is not ready
for a particular MB. I prefer to guide the boy into recognizing that he
might be better off building a strong foundation (T,2,1) before he gets lost
in merit badges. But, sometimes the opportunity is there and the boy should
complete the merit badge (i.e., summer camp). I sometimes point out that
the requirements for some MBs are hard for 13 and 14 year olds and that the
Scout must meet requirements at that level. (Unfortunately, some counselors
accept lower performance based on age.) If a Scout has completed all of the
camping related activities in Tenderfoot, second class and first class, then
I see no reason why he should not try to earn camping merit badge.
Roundtable Commissioner, Pawnee Bill District, Will Rogers Council
JHS8 at OSUVM1.BITNET JHS8 at VM1.UCC.OKSTATE.EDU (Internet)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City