New SM Questions
Fred Rogers (fredrogers@VNET.IBM.COM)
Wed, 20 Oct 1993 13:15:51 EDT
On Wed, 20 Oct 1993 08:19:40 PST, Marc Godbout <Marc_Godbout_at_Notes-Gate@SCENG
> 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". One
> example - Our council once a year does the "Scouting for Food" good turn.
> Basically, we put out empty bags on one weekend and pick them up,
> hopefully filled with food, the next. When this started about 5 yrs ago,
> our unit
> decided to have the Cubs drop the bags off on the first weekend and the
> troop pick the food up on the next. When the Troop shrank they asked the
> Webelos to help pick up. This evolved into the whole Pack helping the
> pick-up. Now our Troop is large enough to do the pick-up on our own, so
> asked the PLC what they wanted. They preferred to do the pick-up on
> their own,
> so that's what we told the Pack. Now the Pack is angry at us for not
> including t
> hem and I'm getting flak from the Troop Committee for letting the boys do
> they want. Should I have steered them or over-ruled them on this
> How much of the Troop is "their" Troop?
I am all in favor of having the boys run the troop and make the
decisions. Sometimes we do have to guide them a bit. This is a case
where guidance probably would have been helpful. What I have in mind
is guiding them to sit down with the leadership of the pack and discuss
the situation. Since the pack had been involved in the past, the
decision affects the pack as well as the troop. By sitting down with
and working with the pack leadership, the boys have the opportunity to
learn a bit about negotiating. Maybe that way everyone could have been
happy with the result.
> Problem 2: The old SM, who's still on Committee, ran Troop meetings, had
> PLC meetings, and had boy leaders - up to SPL - in more or less
> roles, ie. no real responsibilites - just a patch to make tenure for
> He obviously does not like the way the meetings are run, doesn't believe
> boys should break up into Patrol Meetings, and has problems with the ways
> the boys lead their respective groups. 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.
I wish I had an answer for this question. I think you are doing the
right thing, but it is very difficult to convince someone who does not
believe to change his mind.
> Problem 3: What do I do with a JASM? The Scout books are very vague on
> what duties I should give him. The lates org charts show him reporting
> to the
> SM and also to his PL, but with nobody reporting to him.
The literature on JASM functions is almost non-existent. Basically,
you can use a JASM in the same ways as an ASM. You must remember that
he is still a youth and, thus, certain restrictions apply. For
example, he cannot drive other youths to troop activities. A good job
for a JASM is to work with the Troop Guide and the New Scout Patrol.
Handling the Venture Crew is probably not a good idea because the JASM
is probably too close in age to the members of the Venture Crew. The
position of JASM is a transition from youth to adult. The JASM must
start thinking of himself as more like the adults rather than like the
younger scouts. Not every 16 or 17 year old Scout is suited to be a
JASM. When you have one with the right level of maturity, he can be a
great asset to a troop.
> Problem 4: How old are boys ready for the Camping Merit Badge? I think
> if they're camping now they're ready now, but the old SM (not him
> again!!) feels
> that the young boys won't retain anything if I go through it with them.
> Any ideas, experiences, suggestions, ... would be most helpful.
I feel that the readiness of a scout for Camping (or any other) merit
badge must be judged on an individual basis. Some scouts are ready for
Camping merit badge at 12 or 13 and others aren't ready at 15. There
is no magic age for any of our badges or ranks. I think you have to
know your scouts and guide them to the badges that are right for them.
If you feel the scout is ready for Camping merit badge, then he
> Marc Godbout
> SM Troop 402
> Derry, NH
I hope that these thoughts are helpful. I am sure that others will
have their own opinions (which may agree or disagree with mine).
SM Troop 30
Newark Valley, NY
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City