Re: PL & SPL Elections
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET)
Fri, 10 Jul 1998 10:22:31 -0400
Youth leader elections can be as simple or complicated as you, the committee
and the PLC want them to be. Simply put the only "requirement" is that the
Scouts get to vote for their own leaders. That basically means the boys
should decide who is eligible, who isn't, and whether or not there should be
campaigning. Whatever rules the PLC comes up with for elections should be
approved by you and the committee.
I prefer a secret ballet because it is easier on the Scouts with fragile
egos. I also tend to let each candidate have a few moments to talk about why
he wants the particular job. We have no minimum rank for PL but we do try to
keep candidates for SPL in the First Class and above range (not many of them
at the moment so it's moot in our situation).
* DO let the boys elect their own leaders. Even if you are concerned about
the strength of the leaders they pick, they need to learn to live with the
decisions they make.
* DON'T let other adults interfere in the election. Patrol Leader elections
should be handled during patrol meetings and should be run by the current
patrol leader. Adults can observe and advise, but they shouldn't go beyond
that, and they shouldn't advise any Scout on who to vote for (except to say
"vote for whomever you want").
* DO recognize all of the newly elected Scouts immediately. They don't have
to start their term of service immediately, but they should be recognized at
the end of whatever meeting the elections take place.
* DON'T put off PL elections because one Scout isn't at the meeting. As long
as a majority (half-plus-one or 2/3rds depending on your preference) is
present you can have an election. One of the most important things a Scout
can learn by electing his own leaders is not just learning to live with his
own decision, but the decisions of others as well.
* DO make sure everyone knows what the results of the election will mean
before they vote. If the PLC and adults have decided that the Scout with the
next highest number of votes will be the APL, let the patrol know that going
in. Same with SPL elections. If the Scouts know how the election is supposed
to work, they'll put a little more thought into their choices.
There are most likely several other points to be made on this subject, and
probably some disagreements as well. This is just what I had the patience to
write down before my first cup of coffee today.
AJ Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org, Scoutmaster Troop 381
http://members.aol.com/Scouts381/ "Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout Desktop
Great Trail Council - Old Portage District - Akron, Ohio
PS: If you need any clarification or further help don't hesitate to call
(Jim White has my number). I'm just down the street.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City