Re: An SPL Needs Advice
Mike Walton ("Settummanque)
Fri, 17 Nov 1995 01:58:23 -0600
Brynte's son (I'll call him "Sonny") wrote:
>"Hello, I am a 15 year old SPL. I have two questions: first, what do I do
>about the boy and the scoutmaster; and second, where does the line of
boy-run end, >and when does the scoutmaster intervene?"
Here's my thoughts on what you can do:
First, have a "heart-to-heart" with your Scoutmaster. During the meeting,
explain to him that although you know that he's trying to keep you in
charge, that you need to know when your job of running and managing the
Troop ends and his job of insuring safety, security and respect begins.
This is one of those cases whereby this Scout has clearly stepped over what
you can do with him and what the Scoutmaster MUST do in order to keep the
Troop running on somewhat an even keel.
You need to talk with the Scoutmaster because he or she may have some idea
of how far this Scout is going to go with this misbehavior. There are two
off-shoots that you need to be aware of: first, is the Scout BORED of the
present program? How long has he been in the Troop and how long ago was it
when he was last placed in a leadership position? Second, is there the
possibility that the scout could be jealous of your role as Senior Patrol
The end result from your meeting with your Scoutmaster should be the
following: The Scoutmaster should re-affirm the fact at the next Troop
meeting that "you are the person in charge, the Senior Patrol Leader of this
Troop. If there's a Scout that has a problem with the person that they
elected (they did elect you, right?), then they need to come and talk with
both you and the Scoutmaster after or before the meeting;
the Scoutmaster should make an appointment to see the parents of the Scout
that is causing you grief and talk with them about possibly informing him
that *they* are now aware of his actions during the Troop meetings; also,
Sonny, you need you be able to
find out just where your authority ends and where the Scoutmaster's picks up.
Second, during your next Troop meeting, state whatever rules that your Troop
has (do you? You should) concerning misbehavior and that you and the
Scoutmaster will stick to them. Then, stick to them. If this guy is really
out of line, then he *needs* to go home and not be a part of the Troop's
program. The Scoutmaster should be the one to tell him so, so that if the
kid's parents show
(and they will, from time to time), an adult is talking to another adult and
also backing you up.
Third, have you considered appointing the Scout to do a leadership project
for the Troop? I had a troublesome Scout once that thought that he could
have done a better job of running the Troop than the boy that was elected
(he transferred into the Troop).
So, the Senior Patrol Leader and I came up with this idea that this is the
Scout that is going to serve as our primary Leadership Development
Instructor during the next go-around of Troop Leadership Training that we do
every nine months (tours of our Troop officers are for nine months instead
of the traditional 6).
That calmed him down, gave him something productive (and fresh) to work on
during each week's meetings, and when he starts "cutting up", all the SPL
had to do is to remind him that "Hey! I'm looking forward to the
training...are you going to be ready?"
If you are still not getting any cooperation from your Scoutmaster, it's
time to approach the Troop's Committee and explain the problem and your
Scoutmaster's reluctance to resolve it. Don't do this first, try the other
three first. In this way, when the questions come up "what did you try to
do to resolve it yourself" comes up, you can say with confindence that after
you thought about it, talked with several other Scouters through Scouts-L
and got our collective opinions and thoughts, and after going through
several of the things we'd suggested (and some that we have no clue about
that you may have come up with all by yourself!), and after you've talked
with the Scoutmaster and attempted to hand the problem Scout off to him or
her (as you should), you are still having
problems with this guy.
Let us all know what you decided on doing, and how you and your Scoutmaster
handled it (or didn't).
And thanks, Sonny, for writing to us all and asking impartial folk out here
what we thought (just give us your first name next time, so that we don't
have to call you "SPL" or "Sonny"! *smiling*)
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
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