scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: Is This A Job for the Scoutmaster?
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Wed Feb 23 2000 - 14:17:23 CST
<Paula Sheridan wrote>
I have a few questions about that advice. If, for instance, Scouts in
leadership positions are ignoring their responsibilities to the extent that
the overall quality of the Troop's program is being negatively impacted,
isn't this a legitimate concern for the Troop Committee? And since it may
take a year or more for a Scout to need a Board of Review for rank, doesn't
that seem to be an exceptionally long period of time to wait for the problem
to be addressed? Or how about if the TC hears from other Scouts during
Boards of Review that they feel some Scouts are not carrying out their
responsibilities? Shouldn't the Scoutmaster be alerted to these concerns?
Yes, the overall quality of the Troop's program _is_ the concern of the
committee. However, they should address those concerns to the SM. Their real
concern should be "What is the problem, what are you doing about it, and how
can we help?" Developing the youth leadership in the troop is the job of the
SM. The committee is responsible for making sure the SM does the job, but
During the BOR, committee members learn a lot about the status of their
troop. Essencially, the BOR is a quality control check. If problems are
discovered, they should be addressed. The SM, who is there from week to
week, should be in a much better position to identify problems, and fix
them. He should be alerted to the concerns of the committee (regardless of
where they come from), and given the chance to identify and correct the
Yes, ideally, the concerned Troop Committee member should go to the SPL for
answers. But what about a case where ALL the Scout leaders in positions of
responsibility were not appointed by the SPL, but elected by the
Troop-at-large. And what if this decision to elect all Scout leaders was
not made by the PLC, but by the Scoutmaster himself? This "hypothetical"
Troop has inadvertently designed a situation where accountability kind of
The committe should only step in when it's clear the SM or his assistants
aren't doing the job. If the committee is concerned about the quality of
leadership among the youth, they should talk to the SM about their concerns.
If all of the youth positions are elected, there is still accountability.
The other positions still report to the SPL. They still represent the
members of the troop.
<Anthony Hitchings wrote>
My feeling is that the Troop Committe should be active in exercising
oversight of the troop and its members, to ensure that the program is being
delivered. The SM and ASMs may be too close or in a rut.
There's a difference between exercising oversight, and micromanaging the
troop. The committee should be able to rely on the SM to do his job. This
committee seems to be micromanaging the SM, not trusting him to develop the
youth leaders. If the SM and SA's are too close to the situation or "in a
rut" that's something for the troop committee to address. They shouldn't go
around the SM, though. Let the youth leaders report to the SM, and the SM
report to the committee. The SM should be reporting on the activities of the
troop, the progress they are making, and the problems they are having.