Re: Getting boys to lead
John Economides (JohnEcon@AOL.COM)
Mon, 15 Jun 1998 14:55:12 -0400
Ted Aamland wrote:
<<The boys are supposed to run the
troop. But the adults provide no encouragement. Up untill now I always
blamed the leaders for the poor program also I had no idea of what a patrol
leaders' council was or that we could choose what we do and where we go. Well
actually we can't choose where we go because the leaders won't support our
decisions. The scouts just don't care anymore.>>
Ted - you're in a tough place, but if you are planning on being an Assistant
Scoutmaster next year, you are probably 16 or 17 - prime leadership material!
Here's a plan for you:
1) Call your Patrol Leaders, Asst. Sr. Patrol Leader, and Scribe, and set up
your first Patrol Leaders Council - invite your Scoutmaster or an Assistant -
hold the meeting anyhow if they can't come. By the way - YOU are in charge
of this meeting - not ANY adult. They are there to advise and suggest, but
they should NOT CONTROL the meeting. In theory, you should be doing all of
this in consultation with your Scoutmaster - seek his support, but do it
if he can't or won't participate. Also - you can buy from your Council the
Junior Leaders Handbook - it will greatly expand on everything that I have
2) Here are some suggestions for an agenda:
a) plan the upcoming campout.
b) plan the program for the next 4 Troop meetings.
c) plan for the following campout or two - especially if you do not have
a location yet. Talk about where you want to go, and what is reasonable.
To decide on upcoming campouts, look at where you have gone for the
last year or two, and decide on places you want to go to again. If anyone
on the PLC knows of other places to camp, list those as potential new
places to go, and then check them out. Our State, Illinois, has it's own
web site, and all of the State Parks are listed - New Jersey may have
the same type of resource.
d) come up with a plan to get input from the rest of the Scouts as to
the kind of program they want - merit badges, skills, special guests, etc.
Woods Wisdom - a resource book that you can buy at your local council
has lots of planning tips for Troop meetings and campouts. The Scoutmaster
is ultimately responsible for the program of a Troop, but within reason,
it should be the program that the Scouts want.
3) Take your planning decisions to your Troop Committee for support -
a call to your Committee Chairperson would be a place to start. They
are the group that is supposed to approve and support the plans and
agenda of the Patrol Leaders Council. (or advise the PLC what they
4) If your Scoutmaster has not come on board with your agenda by
this point, or is putting roadblocks in your way, have a talk with any
of the following people: your Chartering Organization rep, your Unit
Commissioner, your District Executive, or your District Commissioner.
Call your Council office if you need names and phone numbers for these
I would also suggest that your adult leaders attend the basic training
provided by your Council - by not having a REGULAR (as in monthly)
Patrol Leaders Council meeting, they are NOT RUNNING THE
PROGRAM RIGHT!!!!! If they have taken the training any more than
3 to 5 years ago, they should go again! If people think you're crazy,
or "uppity" show them this e-mail. I am Wood Badge trained, have
served on training staff, and have been a Scoutmaster for 4 1/2 years.
You are well within your rights as Senior Patrol Leader to do everything
that I have suggested.
By the way - 14 year olds are also capable of amazing feats of leadership if
they are given the room to grow. My SPL is 14, and has COMPLETELY
planned a hi-adventure trip that our Troop is running this summer - a group
of 14 Scouts and adults are going backpacking, canoeing, and bicycling in
northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He even printed
up a brochure about it - including graphics.
So - good luck, and feel free to e-mail me privately if you have any
SM - T55 - Downers Grove, IL
" . . . and a good old Bear too . . . "
P.S. By the way - where are all the dads (or moms) of the 10 active Scouts??
They should be trained, and get involved in the Troop as well. Training
is for ANY adult wanting to be active in a Troop, not just the Scoutmaster
or Assistant Scoutmasters.
P.P.S. - if I have missed anything, or mis-stated something, someone on
this list will surely correct me - ;-)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City