Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Fri, 17 Mar 1995 22:46:57 CDT
The Senior Patrol Leader should be elected by ALL of the BOYS in the
Troop. NOT by the Scoutmaster (a directed dictatorship). NOT by
"aspiring to the throne" (in the case of Assistant Senior Patrol
Leaders serving and then "taking their turns"). Let the boys
themselves elect their leaders.
This is *representative democracy* at work, gang. Follow.
Each "state" (in this matter, Patrols) elect a leader and perhaps
an assistant to lead them in activities and to represent their desires
at the Patrol Leaders' Council/Troop Leaders' Council.
The "nation" (in this matter, the Troop) elects a leader to represent
the entire nation. The "state" leaders can run, if they feel ready to
assume "national duties", for "national leader". If they succeed, as
does many of our Governors in our past, then their assistant serves as
Acting "state leader" until an election or "public demand" is served
and the new leader is appointed or elected.
The "national leader" appoints his assistant, and a slate of "cabinet"
leaders to run various aspects of the "national bureuacracy": a
financial and advancement manager, a logistics manager, several
"Ambassadors" to "younger nations" (Scribe, Quartermaster, Den Chiefs
for Cub Scout Packs), perhaps some older folks to teach skills to
each "state" (ala the Peace Corps...some instructors and Leadership
Corps/Varsity/Venture Scouts probably say that this is "the toughest job
you'll ever love" *grinning*), and perhaps some others to serve as
religious or historical advisors, guides to newly created "states", and
other jobs that the "national leader" asks them to do for the "nation"
(chaplain aide, Troop Historian, Troop Guides, and other jobs appointed
by the Senior Patrol Leader).
Leaders need to be in their office long enough to understand the
importance and not too long to intrench themselves (as we are
experiencing now with Congressional term limits) into "permanent
roles" no matter who's in office. In our context, six to nine months
is long enough. Nine months allow for a three month "trading and
training period", a three month "execution of program period" and a
three month "sliding period". It also allows for the Senior Patrol
Leader to be elected at times OTHER THAN before camp and at the start
of the program year (September or August, when many Scouts don't know
anyone except those Scouts that came with them from Cubs or in
They need to be elected by ALL of the members of their "nation" or
"state", and once elected (or appointed), given the opportunity to be
TRAINED in their new jobs by those adults advising them, and LET THEM
GO to do their jobs with minimal influncences or "pushing" by the
adults in the unit, including not only the parents of the Scout
but also the Scout's Scoutmaster and Assistants.
Please don't short-circuit what is an important part of the experience
of being a follower and later a leader only in the interest of "seeing
things run smoothly". If we take this same approach to our election
of State and National leaders, perhaps we won't look always to "what
the person did wrong" and instead in "how much he or she progressed
over the same period last year (month) (day)".
And LET THEM FALL....we experienced that when one of our Presidents
"fell from grace". Let THEM experience ALL aspects of being a leader
including sometimes NOT doing the right things (of course, looking
after their and all safety and security needs, as parents and
responsible adults *should* do anyway) and "accepting the consequences
of that decision". A good part of what may be percieved as a failure
of youth to take responsibility and to act responsibily can be traced
backwards to "not letting them fall...we can't let him (or her) NOT do
Jut a few words based on just good ol' trial, error and personal
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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