Re: What to do with Previous SPL's
Kim Hannemann (KHANNEMANN@WORLDBANK.ORG)
Thu, 20 Jun 1996 12:23:27 +0000
Robert Morley asks about what to do with boys who have held top
leadership positions - how ya gonna keep em down on the farm, after
they've seen Paree?
First, about the problem of - "I am unsure about putting them back
in the patrols. I don't want them to feel "demoted"" - I recommend
that they never _leave_ their patrols in the first place. Sure, they
can be listed as "Staff" on the roster for six months, but if we
encourage the patrol method and patrol pride, they will ALWAYS be a
Screaming Eagle or Rotting Roadkill (just like those snooty Wood
Badge guys <g>). They can camp with and compete as members of their
patrols (up to a point). They should not be cut off. The patrol is a
family, from which you might be physically absent for a time, but to
where you can always return, and you always belong.
Second, the SM can encourage a tradition of appointing the outgoing
SPL as ASPL - even a second ASPL - to be a friend to the new SPL. As
one who has hoisted the yoke of leadership, the outgoing SPL is in a
position to be particularly supportive. The SM has to train him how
to be supportive while remaining in the background.
Third, the SM can devise special assignments for the outgoing senior
leaders. Examples might include designing and operating a Web page,
updating the Troop handbook or brochure, taking charge of a Troop
service project or fundraiser, etc. If they like sports, perhaps
they could be in charge of a troop olympics or an outing to a local
sports event. It is useful here to understand what the boys'
interests are so that you can key the assignment to that interest and
keep them excited.
Then there are regular jobs. Boys who have "seen it all" often make
excellent JASMs (if they are 16) or Troop Guides (if younger). They
might also be elected as Patrol Leaders.
This sort of thing works for our troop. We emphasize to our leaders
that they will always be leaders, always setting the example, even if
they are temporarily unemployed or working a different job. At last
night's Court of Honor our Unit Commissioner was presenting Troop
1140 with a number of awards - Quality Unit, Outstanding Unit
(district award), etc. (toot horn) - and he had three scouts come
forward to accept the awards: the current SPL, just elected in April;
the previous SPL, now one of two ASPLs; and the SPL before that, now
the Patrol Leader of the Urkels (they get that name until they choose
a name, a flag and a yell), and in effect a Troop Guide because most
of the Urkels are new Scouts. All of these Scouts were troop leaders
when these awards were being earned, and they all have the respect of
the Troop and deserved to be there. There was no rivalry, no sour
grapes. The former SPLs know what the new SPL has in front of him,
and they can respect his need for their support.
Kim Hannemann (KHannemann@worldbank.org)
Troop 1140, NCAC, and Castor canadensis 82-65 (still working ticket)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City