Re: SM Advice - quality unit
Joseph Alessi (JosephAlessi@COMPUSERVE.COM)
Mon, 20 Oct 1997 11:10:06 -0400
Clare asked about the key role of the SM, and Todd asked
what makes a unit a quality unit. They are somewhat
related, so I'll talk about them together.
IMHO, the one thing that the SM must do is work with the
PLC. His main function is to make sure that the troop is
boy led in a safe manner.
The PLC should plan the outing schedule and the outings
The SM should work with the troop committee on actually
making the physical arrangements. Let a committee person
get the tour permits, rent the cabins or campsite, get the
"guest instructors" (if needed for something like rappelling
or caving or water activities), etc.
Let a transportation committee person arrange for pick up
and delivery of scouts.
Let an equipment committee person work with the troop QM to =
make sure that the equipment needed is available.
Let the patrols take care of cooking, making up their menus,
and buying their food.
He should also have an ASM new scout patrol to work with the
troop guide and new scouts on getting to first class, and a
ASM venture to work with the older boys.
Again, I think that if the SM spends the time to work with the
youth leaders and delegates the paperwork and running around to
others, the troop will benefit and the SM can keep his sanity. I
do not think that there should be co-SM's - there should only be
one leader. =
If I had to pick one thing that makes a quality unit, it would
be boy-led. The adults should advise and make sure that all
of the methods of scouting are being used (I disagree with the
comment that someone made that if the PLC doesn't want uniforms,
it's ok). The adults should provide the PLC with a broad outline
of what's required. The boys should do the rest.
If the boys are actively involved in deciding what to do, in
handling problems, and are really running things, they will
stay active. They must feel that they can really make a =
difference with the troop. It's not school where the teachers
set the agenda. It's not sports where the coach decides
who is on the field and what plays to run. Scouting is theirs.
Yes, mistakes will be made. Yes, things won't always go =
neatly, and you may be embarrassed sometimes. But you
will more often be surprised and proud of what they can
Joseph A. Alessi in Ozwin 2.14
District Advancement Chair, Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313
Advisor to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge
I used to be an Owl
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City