Credit for leadership & "active" status
John T. Peeples (john.peeples@STJUDE.ORG)
Fri, 6 Jun 1997 11:18:28 -0500
Okay, so we've been 'round and 'round on this one - both policy and
practice. Well, last night I got a call from one of my scouts who is
"less than active" in the Troop; he's been with us for at least 4 years
and when he attends he's usually an asset to the Troop - problem is he
hasn't attended a meeting in well over 6 weeks.
Mike is a Star Scout working on his Life, he's 16 years old (soon to be
17), wants to earn his Eagle and knows he's getting short on time. In an
earlier rank Mike has served as a Patrol leader but currently as a Star he
is not in any leadership position, I met with him back in January and
explained that unless he could attend meetings and outings and "actively"
serve in any of the specified leadership positions, then we really
couldn't elect or appoint him. I think he understands that we are
developing a strong PLC and are placing as much leadership on the boys as
we can; I'd like to have him as one of our youth leaders; but, have also
explained to him the adults and PLC have set expectations of youth leaders
- attending meetings and outings is at the top of the list for all
leadership positions - and it would not be fair to the Troop or other
Scouts to have a leader who can't do the job. Now for his Life rank
Mike's biggest road block is the leadership position - we have set the
requirements before him and it's up to him to follow through, we have
several "appointed" positions he could fill that meet the requirements if
he will only try.
The point is that we have not waited to the last minute to discuss this
with the Scout, the expectations of leadership and the advancement
requirements were discussed at his Star BOR, we (Scouters and PLC) have
not allowed him to hold a leadership patch without doing the job. The key
to helping a Scout advance (IMHO) is COMMUNICAITON along the way, not just
a SMC at the end of the trail. Scouts need to know what to expect - what
the adults, the PLC, and other Scouts expect and what HE should expect of
himself; plus what he can expect of us. As in my tag line below, I tell
my scouts to "DO YOUR BEST for others and expect the best FROM others", I
let them know that I will do my best to guide them in their advancement;
but, that I also expect the do to their best, nothing less will do.
Communication is (IMHO) a Scoutmaster's best tool, it works both ways and
when used can avoid many of the "last minute" problems that come up.
just my 2 1/2 cents worth (inflation hits us everywhere!)
John T. Peeples, Scoutmaster Troop / Pack 231
First Presbyterian Church, West Memphis, Arkansas
DO YOUR BEST for others, expect the best FROM others; it really does work!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City