Time to Train Another SPL
Mark Ritter (RitterME@STNY.LRUN.COM)
Thu, 10 Sep 1998 04:32:33 -0400
There are many things you've left unsaid. How old is your new
Eagle/SPL? How mature is he? Did he come up through the ranks in your
troop? Or is he a transfer from another troop? (Did he complete his
Eagle in your troop after the transfer, or was he already an Eagle when
he transfered in?) What prior offices has he held in your troop? Did
you also have PL elections?
The answers to the preceding questions might affect my opinion as to
whether or not you should have given him another call to arrange the
meeting. My initial reaction is to agree with you ... it should be his
responsibility to call you.
Beyond that, I don't see that you have (or had ... I see this is now a
moot point) much choice.
(1) You *MUST* be prepared for him to be prepared. He may show up 2
minutes before the CoH with hist list of appointees, and will be
disappointed if you expected anything less and were not prepared
(2) You *MUST* also be prepared for him to be present but not prepared.
If Ryan is present you should probably go ahead and induct Ryan as SPL
even if he is not ready to name his appointees. I would make a simple
statement that "appointees to the positions of xxx, yyy, and zzz have
not been named yet", without publically indicating that Ryan's lack of
initiative is the cause for this. You want HIM and the other scouts to
get the hint, without broadcasting it to all the parents.
(3) You *MUST* also be prepared for him to be absent or late. You
*could* hold a brief PLC meeting to decide whether Ryan's election
should at least be announced at the CoH, or that the announcement should
be skipped for the night. But what if he comes in late? I recommend
going ahead and inducting him if he does show up late, and if he doesn't
show up at all announce that you would have liked to induct the SPL and
appointees but Ryan isn't here and hasn't yet told you who his
appointees are. (Yes, this is a form of public censure which I would
normally frown upon, but it is mild and warrented. Just watch your tone
of voice and make it a statement of fact and not a condemnation.)
Failing to recognize Ryan's election only gives the message to the
scouts that YOU are the boss of the troop, that the PLC is just a
figurehead. WHENEVER POSSIBLE, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE, LET THE
SCOUTS RUN THE TROOP. Don't do their job for them.
In my opinion, it isn't your decision whether or not to induct him
(unless he's totally unfit for the position in which case you should
have immediately vetoed the election when it first took place), the
troop has already made that decision when it elected him. It isn't just
Ryan who needs to learn the consequences of his actions (or inactions),
the scouts need to learn to live with the leaders they elect. And it
isn't *you* that he's letting down, it's the scouts who elected him.
If Ryan steps up to the job and begins meeting your expectations (and
the troop's) over the next few weeks, fine. If not, it may be time to
see if your troop bylaws need an ammendment to add a recall/impeachment
provision. (If an ammendment is needed, it should be adopted by the
PLC, not the committee.) *IF* Ryan needs to be removed from office for
failure to perform, it should be as the result of a vote of the PLC - or
whole troop - and not by edict of the SM. (Yes, I'll concede that there
are reasons that justify removal from office by the SM or committee, or
expulsion from the troop by the committee; but failure to do the job
isn't sufficient, in my opinion.)
Now that I've given my $2.00 worth, what did you do?
Mark Ritter - RitterME@stny.lrun.com - Committee Member
Sea Scout Ship 90 - The S.S.S. North Star - New Milford PA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City