SPL Election Advice
Derleth, Michael (mderleth@CZN.COM)
Tue, 10 Dec 1996 13:55:41 -0500
Terry Lynch asks a number of interesting questions
concerning SPLs, elections and patrol-method or
"boy led" troops:
<How often should elections be held>
Each troop can do what works for them, but many use
6 months. Most requirements say "serve...for 6 months".
You can go longer, but may run into advancement
bottlenecks as scouts wait for the next election to
get a position. Note that 'Leadership' can also be
a 'scoutmaster approved position' so other jobs can
be used in addition to standard positions. You can
also have multiple Scribes, etc. Each boy should be
accountable and have specific duties if this is done
<Should the SPL be elected or appointed?>
Short answer: Are you serious about patrol method or just
paying lip-service? Appointing the SPL sends a strong
signal that the troop really isn't boy-led. There are
times when a scout is elected who does not have the
necessary skills. This is tough on everyone but is a
great learning experience, for the SPL, and the youth
that elected him. Just about any Scout will need
training for any position. Only the degree needed changes.
Please immediately get the JLT training tapes and job
descriptions from your council office if you don't have them.
<Should the rest of the positions be elected/appointed?>
Again, elected if you're serious about being boy-led, although
this one is not as clear cut. The SPL can appoint his officers,
but will you get people who want the job, or the SPL's buddies?
Sure, there may be some personality conflicts, but learning to
work with those you don't always agree with is a huge lesson
in personal growth that will benefit both parties.
Changing to a "Boy-led" troop takes time, Terry. It's a
mindset that takes many months and constant work to reinforce.
Just remember the overall aims and methods of Scouting in
choosing how your troop will implement this.
Michael Derleth MDerleth@CZN.COM
Ouachita Valley Council Roundtable Commissioner, Eagle Scout
Buffalo EC-424, Staffer SR-177
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City