Re: SPL AT Committee Meetings?
John Durbetaki (JohnDurbetaki@WORLDNET.ATT.NET)
Wed, 9 Apr 1997 16:48:35 -0700
blaine a. jackson wrote:
>> John Durbetaki writes:
>>The adults have to work on logistics such as "Charlie's truck is not
>>available to haul canoes this weekend, and what are we going to do?"
>>These are support issues. If the committee is unable to support the
>>program, then PLC needs to adapt the program. We had a case of a
>>planned hike having to be shifted to another location bacause we found out
>>about a very recent slide which closed the road and trail head. We had to
>>adapt, but the adults had to work on logistics for supporting the
> It is interesting that you mention this type of planning. This is
> exactly the kind of issue that I am trying to get my SPL to be aware of
> and take some responsibility for planning. When I mentioned to him
> immediately after the election that he would have to rely on the ASPL for
> running many troop activities because he would have to devote some time
> to paper work, his response was, "My job is to run the troop!"
Our troop has over 60 boys registered and logistics can sometimes be
more than ant boy should be aware of. We split the task of logistics
amoung a number of committee members so that it is not too burdensome.
Just getting up to date vehicle information means dealing with
potentially well over 100 drivers and perhaps as many vehicles. I think
it is enough to run the program at this point.
> I am trying to convey to him the idea that the paperwork and logistics
> planning is a part of running the troop. I have explained to him that he
> will be helping prepare tour permits, making travel plans, arranging for
> transportation, assembling and maintaining medical forms and permission
> slips, etc. I am sure that it will take a while for the idea to sink in,
> but I think he will be able to handle many of these items with support
> from the adult leaders.
Some, yes, but the troop committee is specifically charged with the task
of supporting the program. Refering to the Scoutmaster Handbook (c) 1990
beginning on page 19:
The Troop Committee
Can a conductor conduct a symphony without an orchestra? Not very well.
Can a Scoutmaster run a Scout troop without a troop committee? Not even
The one-man-band idea works no better in Scouting than it does in music.
Scoutmaster Dan said it in chapter 1. "Every troop has a group of adults
whose main job is to back up the Scoutmaster and help him run a good
troop. They help with our advancement and outdoor programs, handle the
troop finances, work with parents; do whatever they can to help the
Scoutmaster do the job."
He might have added that they also raise funds, keep records, recruit
other adult leaders, run troop boards of review and courts of honor, and
oversee troop communications.
Their two primary responsibilities are supporting the troop program and
handling troop administration.
No Scoutmaster could do all this alone, and none will be expected to.
It's a committee-sized job, and to get the job done many committees
delegate a specific assignment to each member-camping, finance,
advancement, and so on. The larger the committee, the less likely it is
to run out of members before it runs out of jobs.
Whether your committee is large or small, experienced or just starting
out, one thing is sure: You will develop a working relationship with
them, and the more effective this relationship is, the better your troop
will be. Here are some tips on making it tops.
Start by looking at the committee's job. Check out the Troop Committee
Guidebook. Discovering what their job is can help you with
yours-including the job of forging a good relationship with your
The Scoutmaster is not on the committee, of course, but meets with them
and works with them. At these meetings you should share plans and ideas,
discuss problems, and make decisions-together. Your mutual target:
Remember that while you and your junior leaders run the troop program,
the troop committee supports it. You will need this support, and will
sometimes have to ask for it. But when you ask, be specific: Put your
request in terms of transportation or funding or parent contacts or
volunteers to help on a camping trip.
> I am sure that there are differing opinions about this approach, and that
> I will hear about all of them. That is why I am posting this comment to
> the list. I await your advice.
It is good for the SPL to understand what it takes to put on the
program, but to have the SPL have to fill out trip permits is like
having the SPL also be responsible for the troop's gear (the
Quartermaster won't have anything to do if the SPL is doing his job
also). Or, to use sports as an example, you can play football with just
one guy doing everything, but it sure makes more sense to have a bunch
of people working together to get the job done. Your SPL may need to
have a check list so that he knows everyone did their part, but the SPL
doing the job of other folks is not good, just as it is not good for
adults to take over and run things that the boys should be doing.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City