I just got Promoted...SM
Barry Runnels (barry_c_runnels@MMACMAIL.JCCBI.GOV)
Wed, 16 Sep 1998 15:39:59 -0600
>What I need is advice on how to deal with a very bullheaded Committee
>Chair. He is a former SM of the troop and believes that he is still in
>charge. With the previous SM he planned all the troop program, not the SM
>or the Boys. I understand that it is the boy leaders, with the support of
>the SM when needed, that plan the program and run it. The chair doesn't
>seem to realize this.
>Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
>Robert M. Lewis
>SM T-12 Ithaca, NY
You have an exciting and very enjoyable task ahead. It will take some
training and patience to work with a boy lead (or boy run) Troop but it's
worth it because the rewards for you and the Scouts are tremendous. Your
leaders will quickly realize that the adults learn as much as the boys.
Most adults are more comfortable telling youth how to do it instead of
letting them learn for themselves because "boy run" goes against our natural
adult instinct, at least today's instinct. One of my leaders feels we are
extreme compared to other Troops, yet when I read books and manuals issued
by the BSA, I think we follow their model pretty close. Getting used to the
idea of letting the boys run the Troop and allowing them to learn from the
results of their activities takes time, so I understand the resistance to
your wild idea of boy leadership.
When we started with our Troop, we knew what our goals were for the Scouts but
didn't know how to get there. So we started asking questions and we read the
Scoutmasters handbook which is a great starting point. Then we got on the
Internet and Scouts_L and found a gold mine of help and resources. Steve
Tobin's Netwoods Virtual Campsite has a lot of good information. Look under
"Leader and Training" then point to the subjects under "Working With The
Scouts" and "Working with Adult Leaders and Volunteers". Some really great
stuff there. (http://www.isd.net/srtobin/scouting.html)
Another resource that kind of gets you to understand our job as Leaders is
"Aids To Scoutmastership"
http://www.johnco.cc.ks.us/~mbrownin/badenp/bp-aids.htm. This gives a good
over all philosophy of why Scouting exist and some hints for the adults.
Don't forget the "Three Aims of Scouting" and "Eight Methods of Scouting"
found in the Scoutmasters Handbook. Many Troops don't know or ignore the
Aims and Methods because they feel their program includes them already. But
when you start working toward the Three Aims of Scouting, you see Scouting
is more an opportunity to influence the Scouts conduct, instead of a place
for boys to camp and tie knots. The objective of a Scout program is build
desired habits that form character. That requires us to focus on the boys.
Measuring the growth of the individual, not the progress of the group (unit)
as a whole. The adults job is working with each boy to build fathers,
husbands and community leaders of our future (citizens of character and
leaders of integrity). "Boy lead" seems to be natural byproduct of that type
Each year when we get new leaders, we try to have an adult leader meeting
were we talk about our boy run Troop philosophy. We give handouts of the
resources above and discuss our program. I am learning that we
Scoutmasters need to talk "boy lead" a lot with all your parents and
leaders and as they see it work, they will support the program. Hopefully
the CC will come around and see the benefits to your program as well. The
CC may be the head of the Troop but the Scoutmaster is the program
leader. Keep pressing your program. Keep backing up your program
information and support from Scouts_L that shows how the program works a
how it works. But don't expect an instant change in his attitude.
Something else that we did that I now see helps visitors understand our
Troop program is create a Troop Mission Statement. A written statement that
describes the goals your trying to achieve with your boy run program. Sit
down and write some very basic, brief statements that describe how your
program runs and where you expect it to go. Bring this up to the committee
so they can agree to support you and give it a chance to work. Find a Scout
Leader with a program like yours that could come in and explain the
benefits to your program. I have a couple of Scouters near me from Scouts_L
that offer to help when ever I need them.
Finally, try sitting down with your CC and talk it out. Get him to
understand you want to give this a chance. Tell him how it's been very
successful for other Troops and you want to try it. I hate any tension
among leaders in a Troop or Pack, so I like to get out and settled. You may
not agree to the means to the end but at least you can agree to give it a
try. Hopefully the CC will become a great benefit to your program. I also
have a former SM in our CC slot and I really enjoy it because he knows what
the SM needs in his committee. He takes a big burden off of my ASMs. Get
him to understand that is what he needs to do for you.
I hope this helps a little. Your efforts will be reworded. Your Scouts and
your adults will enjoy your program and boys will be better Scouts.
Have a great week!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City