scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Leadership Requirements
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG
Fri May 19 2000 - 09:24:53 CDT
Rank requirements to hold leadership positions in troops is typical; the
PLC can and should have discretion to make these decisions. The point of
it is to make sure that the scouts in these positions are at least somewhat
experienced and thus more likely to do a good job than a brand new scout or
a tenderfoot (of course, sometimes, especially in new or reorganizing
troops, you have to elect younger scouts to these positions because there
aren't any 1C or higher-rank scouts available).
Another reason to support this approach is that to earn the ranks of Star,
Life and Eagle, the scout must serve in some leadership position If a
scout who is a 2C serves a 6-month term as PL when a 1C, Star, or Life
scout in the same patrol needs the tenure to fulfill a rank requirement,
the kid who needs the tenure in a leadership position doesn't get it, while
the service as PL for the 2C scout doesn't count toward any rank
requirement at all (he can't apply it once he makes 1C; he has to serve in
the leadership postion for Star, for example, "while a First Class...").
Yet another reason is that most teenage scouts are certainly not going to
appreciate being led by an 11-year-old. This is not because teenagers are
inherently bullies or mean-spirited; there simply are massive psychological
differences between young scouts and teenage scouts. That's why there
should be separate programs for the two groups of boys in a troop.
Unfortunately, many adults do not recognize this simple biological fact,
and when the troop's teenagers act "cool" and don't react to stuff with the
same level of Norman Rockwell-type enthusiasm that younger scouts typically
do, they imagine that their teenagers are just a bunch of slackers and
ne'er-do-wells who've lost interest in the program and have lost their
Baloney! My good friend Cooper Wright I hope will not object to me quoting
him on a point he made to me about this issue once that is the best wisdom
I've ever heard on the subject:
"Young scouts are puppy dogs; they always need your approval. Older scouts
are like cats; mostly they could care less about your approval. But--every
once in awhile they want to come sit in your lap."
I have a "cat" myself, and truer words were never spoken.
I would urge that the boys who are not 1C simply be patient; their time
will come. They need to concentrate on learning their scout skills first.
Five years a Scoutmaster