scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: SPL elections
Neil Lupton (NeilLup@AOL.COM
Sun Mar 12 2000 - 20:16:24 CST
Normally, I agree with you very strongly but here, I disagree with your
logic. Not your conclusions about boy leadership, but your reasoning.
Here was some of what you wrote.
<< However, try the following exercise on adults (maybe including yourself)
don't trust the boys to run their own troop the way the BSA provides. Do the
"And then what happens?" exercise. It goes like this: Announce to the PCl and
the TC that, upon further review, you have discovered that a youth-led troop
as intended by the BSA will hold elections for SPL, and the patrols will
elect their PL's.
(adult) "They'll just elect somebody they like."
(you) "Then what happens?"
(them) "The meetings will be a mess and nothing will get done!"
(you) "And then what happens?"
(them) "The boys won't like it and we'll have no program!"
(you) "And then what happens?" >>
THE BOYS GET BORED, TURNED OFF AND QUIT---QUICKLY!!! OR THEIR PARENTS WILL
SAY THE UNIT IS DISORGANIZED AND PULL THE BOYS OUT.
And that can be the problem. When poor boy leaders are elected and the unit
program is poor, we have real trouble in our competition with the myriad of
other things the boys can choose to do. Very frequently, our members don't
give us the time to wait out a round of poor boy leadership. They are long
So this is why I would suggest that a unit attempting to establish boy
leadership use great care and skill. As many of us learned in Wood Badge,
there is the balance between keeping the group together and getting the job
done. I would suggest that it is the duty and responsibility of the adult
leaders to train the boy leaders so that performance is excellent and then to
share responsibility gradually and appropriately so that the errors of boy
leaders do not drive out members.
One wants to end up with a totally boy run Troop. But I am not certain that
the process of getting there is as error tolerant as it once was.
I must say that this is a change from what I would have believed and argued
years ago. The difference is the quantity and quality of other activities
which compete for our member's interest.