scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Scoutmaster Conferences (was Troop Leadership Positions)
William N. Dilla (wdilla@IASTATE.EDU
Thu Jun 08 2000 - 17:59:44 CDT
On June 7, Blaine Nay wrote:
>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!
Dave Loomis wrote:
>Scoutmaster conferences should be done at least once a year, preferably
>oftener <snip> Leaders who
>only do a conference in connection with advancement are doing the unit,
>the boys, and themselves a disservice.
Franco Piccione wrote:
>While I understand your position, please don't paint with such a broad brush.
> I am the Scoutmaster for a fair sized Troop (60+). In the course of the
>year that means I formally hold roughly 100 Scoutmaster Conferences a year
>JUST for Rank advancements. When I get back from our 2 week Troop
>International Trip (Peak 2000 Camporee in Great Britain), I will be looking
>at about 25 Scoutmaster Conferences in preparation for the Court of Honor,
>which should also include over 300 completed merit badges.
>Maybe I'm doing "the unit, the boys, and themselves (myself) a disservice"
>but its the best I can do.
>Please be gentle.
I will try to be as "gentle" as I can, but this exchange suggests the need
to go back and think about the "sharing leadership" skill taught in Wood
Badge. Even as the SM of a somewhat smaller (about 40 active Scouts) troop,
I see no way that I could get through all the "required" SM conferences
without some help. I handle the more difficult cases (e.g., Scout not
exercising adequate leadership, Scout not advancing, Scout not showing
Scout Spirit) myself. However, I often delegate SM Conferences needed for
advancement to one of my assistants, especially if we're getting close to a
Court of Honor and several boys need a SM conference at the same time. I've
got enough trust in my assistants that if they do uncover a problem in a SM
conference, they will bring it to me. As a result, I probably end up doing
more of the type of SM conferences that Blaine talks about than the
"required" type. With a little help from one's assistants, one ought to be
able to meet the goal of at least one SM conference per year that Dave
SM, T 196
"I used to be a fox..." C-34-98