Re: What to do with ex-SPL
Bill Warde (billw@OKWAY.OKSTATE.EDU)
Fri, 5 Jul 1996 17:14:24 -0500
On June 26th., George R. Davis responded as follows to my comments on
ex SPLs. I have taken the liberty of annotating (a la Mike Walton).
Presumably, your Eagles who are staying are working toward Palms.
-- A rash assumption. My experience is that rather few Eagles are challenged
by Eagle palms - 3 months + any 5 merit badges etc. is not a great challenge,
and even those who obtain their Eagle and already have 30+ merit badges have
rarely bothered to get palms. A better challenge is the Horniday Award, but
I have never been able to sell that one! Likewise, if the Eagle does not
already have it, the appropriate religious award is more of a challenge.
On the other hand, if the Eagle in the patrol has available to him all of
those other positions (Den Chief, Scribe, QM, etc.), those positions would be
open, unfilled, and available to the younger scout who would otherwise be
elected as PL. There is no net loss of available opportunity for the younger
If you are going to say that the younger scout is not qualified to be Den
Chief, Scribe or QM, I would say that he is also not qualified to be PL. PL
is the single most important (and hardest) youth job in the troop. Good
(even mediocre) PL's can make up for a lousy SPL. A great SPL cannot make up
for a group of non-performing PL's (unless you have a one patrol troop ).
-- I never said anything about the younger scouts being qualified or not
qualified to hold any of these offices. However, the PL and SPL as ELECTED
offices can be viewed in a slightly different light from all of the other
APPOINTED offices in a troop. In my own opinion, the most important office in
the troop is actually that of Den Chief!!
When I conduct our Den Chief training at Summer Camp and at Pow Wows, I
emphasize this point to the scouts and to the Den Leaders, and also at Scout
Round Tables to the Scoutmasters. The best Den Chief is a brand new scout who
goes back to work with a Wolf Den, where he is around 4 years older than the
boys in the den. Some of the worst den chiefs are the 16yr old Life Scout who
need the time for rank because he cannot get elected PL or SPL and trys this
route instead of being the token scribe, librarian, etc.
Regarding the latter comment, many of the appointed offices are non-essential to
the conduct of the troop, and when I was an SM I would only allow a boy to be
appointed to those positions if he showed some qualifications and interest in
performing the job. They were never used as an artificial way of qualifying a
Star, Life or Eagle for rank.
Will Rogers Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City