Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Boy Ran or Ran Over?
Re: Boy Ran or Ran Over?
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 00:37:55 -0600
"What is the definition of Boy lead/Run Troop? Some of the parents
of our Scouts say that "If it's a boy-lead/run troop you can do
anything you want"; or is it or more like "If it's a a boy-lead/run
troop the boy leaders make their decisions based on the Oath Law
and Motto and the willingness to give unselfish and wholehearted
service to others?
Which is it??"
It's a good cross between the two. The BSA defines a "successful
Troop" as being "boy run and adult managed". While the boys
themselves have the liberty to develop their Troop's program, and
boys take the lead during Troop meetings, outings and other events,
there are always adults behind them to manage their activities, to
insure their safety and compliance with BSA rules and policies, and
most importantly, to insure that the chartered partner and Troop
Committee can safely support the activities and events planned or
organized by the youth leadership.
So, a Troop's Patrol Leaders Council can plan for instance, a trip
to Ely, Minnesota in the dead of winter to take part in their
special winter training program for Boy Scouts (a real popular
thing up here...I haven't done it yet...but it's booked every
winter!!). The PLC plans the event and seeks the approval of the
Troop's Committee and Scoutmaster. The Troop Committee confirms
that they can't support the trip because it would be too costly and
because they feel that the youth of the Troop haven't received the
neccessary training for such an activity; but they do approve it
for the coming year for those Troop members that have received such
outdoor training in advance and are willing to help raise the
funding to go.
That's an example of "boy lead - adult managed" Troop operation. A
lot of people leave out the "adult managed" for some reason....it
gives a false impression that the boys are just there to "run wild
over everything, with no adult oversight or restriction".
And that's what scares a lot of adults in allowing their Troops to
be run that way. It's a needless assumption.
Remember that your Senior Patrol Leader is firstmost, your ally and
your link to the Patrol Leaders' Council. You and he should be
talking through all of these issues. If I "hear" you correctly,
you want your Scouts to have more of a concern for others in their
community; and again, if what I'm "hearing" is correct, all they
want to do is run out and camp or ski or do something related....
with no concern for their community.
There should be a good balance between the two. One of the things
you should expose your Senior Patrol Leader to is the idea of
helping other people in your community. He and you should go out
to various organizations and groups in town, see what they're all
about, and have them meet your SPL and the SPL to see what they
need in the way of community support. This could be the breaker
you need. He's the leader of the Troop and (in most cases) the
leader of the rest of the boys. If the rest of the boys in the
Troop sees him willingly doing those other things, it will spur the
rest of the boys in the same direction.
If the Troop sees YOU and other ADULTS taking an interest in their
community, then they will do the same.
Remember, the program of the Troop is NOT JUST DEVELOPED BY THE
YOUTH. We don't "put them in a room and expect them to crank out a
Troop program." That's not the way it works. The way it works is
that TOGETHER, the adults of the Troop AND the youth leaders of the
Troop develop a plan of action for the Troop, taking into
consideration what the Troop Committee's looking for, what
each Patrol and the Troop's leadership is looking for, and what
that Scoutmaster and his or her Assistants are looking for....the
program is planned, then coordinated and approved by the Troop's
Committee (and chartered partner,in some cases) and then given to
the youth to implement.
It is THEIR PROGRAM -- WITH ESCAPE CLAUSES, not strings.
(c) 1999 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle Burnsville, MN 55306-7130 (612) 435-3068
privately at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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