Re: New SM Questions
Settummanque, the blackeagle (WALTOML@WKUVX1.BITNET)
Wed, 20 Oct 1993 13:28:33 CDT
Hi Marc! Great to see you posting here!! ehehehe
Marc Godbout <Marc_Godbout_at_Notes-Gate@SCENG.UB.COM> writes:
> 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
> I'm wondering how far does "Guiding" go before it turns into "Running".
> How much of the Troop is "their" Troop?
As much as they are able to handle, Marc. Using your example, the
Senior Patrol Leader and you should have approached the Pack and
informed them of the Troop's decision. After all, it is their project
and the Pack has been helping, not executing, the project. The SPL
should still ask the Pack if they would like to HELP, but you and he
should remain firm that this is something that the Troop is doing and
if the Pack wishes to help, that's great...or that the Pack can
coordinate and get a neighborhood to do the project on their own
You are ALWAYS going to get conflict with adults that have this
screwed-up mentality that kids cannot lead, cannot think, and cannot
formulate a plan of action and execute it. The way I've always
answered those critics was by holding a clipping from a newspaper
stating "gang violence hits home" or "drive-by shooting kills three"
and saying "look, *those* people were NOT told to do that by adults!
If they've made a wrong mistake, let them find out on their own!"
And to those that ask "well, *you're the Scoutmaster...YOU are
supposed to be in charge...aren't you??", turn to your SPL and tell
both him and your critic that "I was appointed to insure that this
young man leads and don't tear the building down or hurts anyone.
HE was elected to lead, direct and execute programs. If you have any
quams about the way he's doing things, tell him. Don't tell me,
because I'm NOT the leader of the Troop. He is."
> Problem 2: The old SM, who's still on Committee, ran Troop meetings, had
> no PLC meetings, and had boy leaders - up to SPL - in more or less
> "figurehead" roles, ie. no real responsibilites - just a patch to make
> tenure for advancement.
> He obviously does not like the way the meetings are run, doesn't believe
> the 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
> not trying to criticize,... but" statements? He and a couple others in the
> Committee really don't believe the boys should run the Troop.
Have them to go to Scoutmaster Fundamentals, if they haven't went.
Ask them how they thought the BSA ever did without their guidance (no,
don't tell them that...it's been a bad day here, Marc!).
Okay, seriously. Inform him first of all that you are not "making
things up as they come along" and that you are attempting to follow
the BSA's guidance on how to work with youth leaders. Also tell him
that "perhaps you had problems with having youth leaders do the
leading. I don't. The Patrol method works only if we allow it to do
so". Your Troop Committee members that don't believe that boys should
be in charge should be invited to attend the next Scoutmaster
> 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.
Use your Junior Assistant Scoutmaster as another Assistant
Scoutmaster, hence the title. The JASM reports to you as do your
other Assistant Scoutmasters, and MAY report to a Patrol Leader if you
choose to do so. Most 16 and 17 year-olds rebel against a 13 or 14
year old "telling him what to do".
Note that the relationship of the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster and the
Senior Patrol Leader is quite different, Marc. The SPL IS the leader
of the Troop. He is responsible for all Troop activities and events
and leads the Patrol Leaders' Council. The Junior Assistant
Scoutmaster, like ALL Scoutmasters, ADVISE and ASSIST the youth
leaders of the Troop in carrying out their program. Some tasks for
your TRAINED Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (yes, Trained...by
attendance at Scoutmaster Fundamentals) would be to work with the Den
Chiefs and a related Pack to get WEBELOS Cub Scouts to come to the
Troop; to work with community agencies to foster a better
relationship between the Troop and the community; and to work with
the Troop's Committee to assist them in special activities that the
Troop can participate in. (those are the only ones I can think of
right off the top of my head, Marc...this evening, I'll be clearer
in the thinking department)
> Problem 4: How old are boys ready for the Camping Merit Badge? I think
> that 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.
It depends on the boy. Some boys are ready for the work in this merit
badge, and others (particularly boys that have only been camping once
or twice) are not. I would hold off teaching the merit badge until
the Troop went to summer camp once...but then, during camp, those that
are able can work on Camping there, so I don't see what the big
problem this guy is trying to make out of this.
If they are ready (days and nights wise), then they are ready to work
on the merit badge.
Sorry to be so short with many of my answers, Marc....it's been one of
those "gut and run" days at work...we've had three meetings this
morning before work and NONE of them were needed or necessary. It
seemed that everyone there was more interested in seeing off our boss
(whom has taken a new job in the eastern part of the state starting
the middle of next week) and going to the bar to wish her well; than
to do anything else this day.
Thanks for asking though, and again, it's great to see you here!
Mike L. Walton
former Scoutmaster and Commissioner
Greenwood, Kentucky (sometimes)
( Settummanque, the blackeagle... ) )
( (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (among other "endearing" names) ( )
( AIS/MR Recreation/Leisure Specialist, Lifeskills Inc. ___)_ )
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