Re: Order in the Court!!
Dr. Steven C. Myers (R1SCM@AKRONVM.BITNET)
Thu, 16 Dec 1993 22:11:21 EST
On Thu, 16 Dec 1993 11:48:27 PST Marc Godbout said:
> So now I'm taking an informal survey and replying with my
> experiences of about 3 months in our "new, radical" format:
Here is the response for Troop 1, Akron, with 20 registered scouts
all 11-14 (except one 17), four ASMs, and a mmeting room that is
a gym with kitchen window on one end and a stage on the other.
> How many boys show up for Troop meetings?
> What is the chaos level of your Troop meetings? How about a rating
> of 1 - 10 where 1="Should model for Fast Start" and 10="Black
> Monday on Wall St."?
varies a lot. 3-4 when the plan is moving well along
5-8 when the plan starts to fail or lag along
> When during the meeting is it at its highest?
Patrol meetings when they are not well directed plus
pre-opening and post-closing. (We can't get some to go home!)
Announcements, scoutmaster minute, closing time
all at the end.
> Does it change as the year progresses?
No, it changes with the quality of the plan and
is always less when there is a "hot" goal of being / getting
ready for camp
> Who generates the most decibels/disorderliness - older,
> younger,newer, experienced,...?
Scouts of all levels that have failed to learn to respect the
position of PL and SPL
> How often do adults have to step in?
rarely. it is the boys job. If I step in it is with the
SPL - I back him up. My assistants back up the PLs.
Sadly this does not always work.
> When do adults run the meeting?
When asked by the PLC and planned in advance.
If a meeting plan fails, the boys must restore.
SOAPBOX ON: If the boys including the leaders know
the adults will step in, they learn QUICKLY that all they
have to do is mess around until an adult gets fed up and
takes over. Thus the boys have the easy way out and
will suffer the heat not to have to be responsible. Remenber
being responsible means not only planning and carrying out
a successful plan, but being willing to take the blame when
something goes wrong and figuring out a way to repair the
damage. SOAPBOX OFF/
> As in every good survey - Comments?
i think I just did. This is what a few of us on the list
have been so vocal about over the past year or so: The only
ONLY way to a successful troop is a boy planned, boy run
progran in a troop with functionning (and elected) PLs and
SPL who are given full authority to run their troop. Yes,
their troop. If I do not like what is happening at a meeting
(safety aside) I have no other option except to allow it to
run its course and await an opportunity to counsel the SPL
and PLC. But in the end -- they have the votes -- not me!
Look, I can be quite persuasive in a PLC meeting and I can even
direct the scouts to the goals I want, but they have to accept
those goals and want to achieve them. So, have a planning
conference, lay out the entire year with their help and when they
vote on a feature or camping trip, they have signed on!
This is why I tell anyone who will listen that I do not emphasize
advancement in my troop too much. It is just one of the methods
like uniform and patrol method. I have young scouts who have
a lot of problem recognizing a good plan when they see it. But
it is still their plan. They don't have the skills to do too
much, so we have to take it easy. They are all learning, just
not all advancing. BTW, I have two 12 year old stars, and I do not
necessarily want 13.5 yr old eagles. They will be ready on their
Chaos, yes, but controlled chaos. The test of a good troop
is "do they get the job done?" Last year some breakfasts
ended just in time for lunch. Lately there has been plenty of
morning time between breakfast and lunch. In both cases, the job
(breakfast) got done, only now they are actually better at it.
A final plea. Scouters and Scoutmasters especially, don't ever
do a boys work. "Don't send a man to do a boys job."
I can't believe I wrote the whole thing!
Steve Myers, Scoutmaster
I used to be a bear
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City