scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Troop Leadership Positions
Wed Jun 07 2000 - 04:32:43 CDT
In a message dated 6/6/00 4:21:55 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> We have three Eagle candidates in various stages of completion on their
> Projects. Between the work on the projects, exams, and other outside the
> Troop activities, two of the three have sort of shirked their
> responsibilities. But, they have done exceptional on their projects. I
> am seeking advice on how to handle this delicate situation.
The Eagle candidate is required to serve in a leadership position in
Scouting. The requirements also allow the unit leader to assign an alternate
leadership opportunity. In the past, I've allowed Eagle candidates to perform
their leadership outside the unit as a leader of a church youth group and the
> Secondly, as the Troop as aged a little (we are now 4 years old) we have
> developed leadership positions such as Den Chief (we have 3 now), OA
> Representative, Historian, Librarian, and Scribe. In other words,
> positions unlike the SPL, ASPL, Troop Guide, or PL, which are sort of
> hidden behind the scenes....Is there some effective way to be sure
> that these Leadership positions are being handled effectively?
It doesn't matter whether the other members of the unit see the Eagle
candidate perform leadership service. What matters is that the unit leader
and the board of review are satisfied that he has exercised his leadership
skills. If the unit leader hasn't had the opportunity to actually see the
leadership (ie a Den Chief) all he needs to do is ask the Den Leader how the
Scout is doing in the job.
> It is not fair to wait until a SM Conference to let a Scout
> know he's falling down on a job.
Here's a pet peeve of mine. When does a unit leader conduct a Scoutmaster's
conference? It seems that most unit leaders think it's 5 minutes before the
board of review. No more, no less. On the contrary, I believe the unit leader
should conduct a Scoutmaster's conference every time he sees the need for a
little counseling (encouragement, guidance, goal-setting, etc.). The
conferences need not be formal interviews either; they can simply be a
one-on-one chat by the campfire or holding a fishing rod. The scout need not
even know he's getting a Scoutmaster's conference! A new SPL likely needs a
ton of Scoutmaster's conferences while he learns the ropes. So, if you think
an Eagle candidate needs some counseling concerning his leadership, talk to
him immediately! If he doesn't respond, have the unit committed bring him in
for a board of review (these aren't limited to one review per rank
advancement either) to talk about his progress. Warn the committee ahead of
time that the candidate is weak in his leadership. They can back you up by
encouraging the Scout to exercise his leadership requirement.