Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Positions of Responsibility (Part 1/2)
Re: Positions of Responsibility (Part 1/2)
Thu, 29 Jul 1999 20:04:45 -0400
.......posted on behalf of Mr. Frank Piccione, SM T225:
Let me start this by advising everyone on this List that the first time
I was aware of this issue was two weeks ago. In addition, despite
everyone that she has talked to advising her that this needed to be
worked by the SM, I have not yet been provided an opportunity to
address this matter.
>>Geoff was assigned in Feb. to serve as an Instructor for his 4 month
position of responsibility to advance to Star. Everything else has been
accomplished. His assignment was given to him by the Senior Patrol
The assignment of positions of responsibility, within our troop, is made
by the SPL with the advice and concurrence of the Scoutmaster. I take
this position for five reasons:
1. It insures that appropriate thought has been
given to the nature of the positions and the relative strengths and
weaknesses of the various youth needing positions of responsibility.
2. Because of the size of the troop, and the
relatively limited number of positions available (though we typically
assign multiple instructor and troop guides, and have created a troop
webmaster position) I want to insure that all youth having a need for
positions of responsibility are considered and, when appropriate,
3. It provides me the insight necessary to provide
mentoring and instruction to the youth assigned the positions.
4. There are some youth who are not "ready" for
this type of position and it allows me the flexibility to work with
them, and their parents (if necessary) to address issues without
them into positions that they are not prepared to deal with.
5. It insures that proper record-keeping is
accomplished to insure the ability of a youth holding a position of
responsibility to advance in a timely manner.
The "assignment", in this case was not accomplished in accordance with
the process defined above. In fact, it was not until the "completion"
of the period of performance that either the youth, or the parents,
contacted me concerning the issue. AJMako provided an excellent
description of what a SM should be doing with youth holding leadership
I normally try to do those things. I cannot do them when I am not aware
of it however. Which is why leadership appointments are made with the
advice and consent of the SM.
>>Geoff then went to the Training campout for the new scouts
and took part in the training of them for the weekend. <<
The Training campout is a "new scout training weekend" which is open to
all youth in the troop to participate in. At this time, Geoff was NOT
yet "assigned" as an instructor (even within the definition provided by
Marcie) and, in the course of the weekend, did NOT conduct/lead any of
the twelve requirements taught.
He did attend (I think) two PLCs, at the request of the Patrol leader
(the PL and the APL were not available).
>>Since then, Geoff has asked the same Senior Patrol Leader numerous
times for his badge. He was told he has to be patient, and that the
Scout store is frequently out of them and it takes a while to arrive. <<
At no time did the parents or the youth contact either the advancement
person for the troop (Troop Committee), the ASM that I have monitor
troop advancement procedures, or myself concerning this matter. It
should be noted that I announce all Troop Leadership appointments and
provide position of responsibility patches as part of troop meetings,
Geoffs was never announced, and neither the scout or the parents have
approached me (or any ASM that I am aware of) concerning this issue.
>>Meanwhile, Geoff has on occasion asked the Scout leader for the new
Scouts patrol to help out with instruction, and has been told no thanks,
it's not needed.<<
Since: 1. the ASM of the New Scout patrol was not aware that
Geoff was an instructor, and
2. the troop has assigned both instructors and Troop
Guides to work with him, and
3. the troop has assigned two JASMs to work with the
new scout patrol,
I would not expect any other response.
I do NOT state the following as justification for the situation, only to
putin context the response of the ASM. Our troop roster is published
on a regular basis and contains notations of all youth holding positions
of responsibility in the troop. My ASMs use this roster to identify
youth who should be used to support troop activities based on their
position. Geoff's name has not appeared with a position of
responsibility at any point in the last six months. Therefore he would
never have been asked by them to perform. The SM, my ASMs, and
the Troop Committee were not aware of the appointment, and would
not have considered the youth. The other scouts in the unit were not
aware of the appointment and would not have considered him in THEIR
planning either. Again, no comment was made to the troop leadership
or advancement person by the youth or the adult.
>>He also has attended all the meetings required of those scouts with
positions in the troop, in addition to all other meetings.<<
>>Also, during this period, this Senior Patrol Leader was replaced by
Troop elections were conducted in June, at the last troop meeting prior
to our participation in two summer camp programs and a high
adventure program. There were no other troop meetings between the
time of the elections and this issue being raised by the parent.
>>When conferring with the Scoutmaster's wife 2 weeks ago, Geoff was
informed that he was actually never entered into the computer list as
an instructor, and therefore this past 4 months doesn't count and he
will have to start over.<<
"The Scoutmasters wife" is an ASM with the troop and is/has been my
administrative "right arm". Her statement was made after a 45 minute
discussion with the parent, after saying REPEATEDLY that the issue
needed to be addressed by me, not her. Even here, her statement was
based on the fact that there was no record or knowledge on the part of
the troop leadership or advancement personnel of the "assignment", no
performance in the "instructor" position, and the advancement report
report reflected full leadership time still being required.
(As a personal aside, Marcie's discussion with the "Scoutmaster's Wife"
was the last straw for her. Two days later, she advised the TCC and I
that she was resigning from the Troop effective the next Troop COH.
She would no longer accept the abuse.)
>>In researching this problem, I have spoken to other boys that were
listed on the computer as instructors, and they have done less than
Geoff has done towards this position. Including not attending the
I have refused leadership credit for non-performance in the past (after
working with the youth to insure they understood what constituted
acceptable performance and defining a "recovery plan"), and will do
so in the future (assuming I don't resign because of this). I do not do
this arbitrarily, nor have I ever penalized a scout for non-performance
if an honest effort was made. A failure of the adult leadership to take
advantage of the resources of the troop is NOT a failure of the scout.
>>I was under the impression that the building of confidence and trust in
yourself and others is a prime goal of the scouts, <<
>>and this has seeded a deep resentment in this child towards the word of the
Scouts in higher positions. <<
Since I have not had the opportunity to work this issue with the Scout
or his parent (other than in the instance described below) I cannot
................to be continued!