scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Re: How many committee members
Rik Bergethon (rberg@RMI.NET
Wed Apr 19 2000 - 07:03:57 CDT
Ginny Gilliam's letter to us asking about committees and Sm's and SA's,
sounds full of frustration and some personal agony. Allow me two minutes
and some personal observations and experience. There is no one correct
First of all, didn't the boys (the PLC) do the annual troop planning?
The committee should just support the plan, no run a plan of their own.
I never had a problem of too many committee members. My problem was
always finding enough committee members.
Second, training: Arrange to have the committee members go through the
new Troop Committee training session. Non-believers will learn about Boy
Scouts and Cub Scout committee members will learn the difference. That
training is only about four hours, compared to BSLT which is about 16
hours of training. With proper encouragement, they may be more receptive
to additional training.
Third, SM and SA's can't vote: BSA set it up this way as a system of
checks and balances on troop operation. Yes, the SM and SA's do all the
work with the boys, but they are like the executive department of our
government. The operation of the troop (rules) should come from another
department (the legislative), the committee. Could you imagine what
Nixon or Clinton would have done if they didn't have the Senate and
House looking after his actions?
Fourth, Cub power vs. scout power: It sounds like you have a new group
of un-trained committee members. They will learn the difference, real
soon. They too will either learn by training or quit in frustration.
Fifth, advancement: I'm a little surprised you don't have some form of
advancement recognition at least monthly or chance for a Board of
Review. Our PLC set up the third Monday of each month as BOR night, so
each boy would know when he had to be ready, if he was close to rank
advancement, etc. If the committee is told that there will be BOR's on
the following dates, by the PLC, who planned it, you will have the
proper people there at the right time. We have four Courts of Honor a
year, but by then, the boy usually just gets the card, because he has
already received the merit badge or new rank patch. If you went before
a BOR last week, you get the immediate recognition in front of your
peers at the end of the meeting, the patch at the next meeting and the
card at the next COH.
Roundtables: I don't know how to get them to go to roundtables. I'm as
frustrated as you are on that topic. If you tell them it will make for
better operation of the troop, they might go. Why does every committee
member need to go to roundtable? One or two would may me happy.
It sound to me like you have two choices here. Try to work with the
committee and get them turned around to the way you want it done, or
quit and start with another troop, that may be better operated or more
agreeable to your way of thinking. I guess that is why we have
republicans and democrats, not everyone agrees on how things should be
Just my two cents worth.