scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Using your SPL... was RE: Table manners
Mon Jun 26 2000 - 22:45:59 CDT
Hey Bob & All,
As I was reading Bob's missal, I was again reminded of an incident at
summer camp. The SM from an adjoining troop complained bitterly how his SPL
rarely if ever invoked discipline in their troop. He also told me how he
admired the way our whole troop seemed to jump right into our tasks and
accomplish things and that I did not seem to ever have to correct my boys.
Not long after, I watched him accost a young Scout for walking outside of
his tent without shoes and then again to his SPL for the same infraction. My
SPL had heard what we were talking about and immediately connected the dots.
"Is that why you are always pulling me to the side and pointing things out?"
YUP! You see, a boy has little chance of learning to lead, if you do all of
the talking. Let him lead the boys in your troop. He will also be frustrated
if he sets a bad example. Counsel him privately to do what is right all of
the time. He will be exasperated if he feels he has to do it by himself.
Teach him to include his Patrol Leaders when leading and give him
suggestions as to what needs to be done as well as how. Obviously in times
of physical danger, you may need to preclude him, and there will always be
those times when he needs the extra clout of the SM stepping in to establish
order. But for 99.9 percent of the time, I counsel my SPL, and my SPL leads
the boys. More often than not, when I say something to a younger Scout, its
only encouragement. Catch them doing something right and you will make a far
better impression than a hundred corrections. IE, if a Scout rarely helps
out at dinner time, counsel the SPL to counsel the Pl to counsel the boy.
However, when you see the same Scout actually helping out, praise him
appropriately. He will almost always want to hear THAT again. Is my SPL a
perfect Scout? Not hardly. However he takes both my criticisms and praise
and tries to do his level best. I can ask no more. Was that SM correct about
me not having to correct my boys? No, we probably pointed out more things as
a group. I just never made an open fuss about it and constantly pointed
those things out to my SPL, especially if he was setting a bad example. Then
I let him lead his troop. "It can't be fun, if it's not boy run!"
>(come to think of it, when I was a kid, I did eat the noodles from
>Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup on buttered bread as a sandwich, which
>probably explains quite a bit about me!)
You just had to go there, didn't you Bob?
I used to be a Bobwhite... NECS-59
I used to be a Knot-Head... SSD-20
Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner
Central Florida Council, Semoran Springs District