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boy scouting advancement

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#21 Stosh

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 10:44 AM

Not according to the BSA.  APL is nothing more than sitting around waiting for the PL to now show up.  So what does the SPL handbook and PL handbook say about the APL's duties?  NOTHING!!  So if they are doing nothing they are doing their job!

 

So if the APL does anything they are doing something outside the role of an APL, and the only ones the PL bring to me are those that have done something substantially outside the role of an APL, like being a real asset to the PL and his work with his patrol. 

 

The SPL is supposed to be elected by all members of the troop by secret ballot... that's never happened in my troops.

 

The SPL is the top leader in the troop, that has never happened because the boys in the patrol method view their PL as the top leader.

 

My PL's generally are not elected by their patrols.  They can do rock, paper, scissors as far as I'm concerned and yes, I have seen them doing that occasionally.

 

The SPL is selected by the PL's.

 

So there are a lot of things I do that help maintain the patrol method in my troop and none of it is dictated by the adults, this is how the boys like it and it's my position that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.    Or as I have said before, there's nothing so bad in the patrol method of operation that can't be made worse by adults messing with it.


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#22 Krampus

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

Not according to the BSA.  APL is nothing more than sitting around waiting for the PL to now show up.  So what does the SPL handbook and PL handbook say about the APL's duties?  NOTHING!!  So if they are doing nothing they are doing their job!

 

C'mon @Stosh, you expected BSA to put all of their requirements, policies and documentation in one, single location which was easily obtained and cross-referenced? Shame on you. ;)

 

From bsahandbook.org. Second page. And yes, it is considered an official BSA publication for APL duties.


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#23 blw2

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 11:32 AM

I've lost where this conversation came from now....but I'll comment on the APL thing.

My son was appointed APL for his patrol of mostly new scouts (aka NSP  ;) )

interestingly enough, he is the only scout in the patrol that attended the obligatory ILST ppt slide show.  It was 'offered' before his patrol fully formed, and being full of energy and being eager for scouting, he wanted to attend.  His friend, who ultimately was voted in to be PL made no effort to go.

as a baseline to the back story, the troop "requires" all newly elected and appointed PORs to attend the class, so every 6 months they hold their elections then soon after have the class.  The elections were held when only my son and his one friend (the current PL) were in the troop, their 2nd meeting I think it was.  So they held the ILST before the rest of the new scouts had crossed over out of WEBELOS.

 

So anyway, it is interesting to watch these guys.... the PL has absolutely no clue what the idea is....and my son honestly isn't in a much better place really.

but he does have the trained patch at least on his sleeve

and he has me in the back seat, trying to steer his thinking through questions and suggestions....really trying hard to not tell him what he "should" be doing and so on..... just giving him nuggets to hopefully get his mind leaning towards  and around the idea of supporting his patrol.

 

So, he really hasn't done much of anything as APL, but he has done every bit as much as the PL has....

 

In the end, I can say confidently that he got little to almost nothing out of the PPt slide show (by his own admission and by my observation)

but what he has received is a great lesson in a contest of popularity vs resume.  I think he was just a tiny bit disappointed initially, but really not all that much.  It truly was one of those shoulder shrugg moments.....ehhh.....oh look, can I have one of those cookies?


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#24 Stosh

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:08 PM

:)  In my patrols it would seem that everyone is an APL then.

 

At one time or another everyone is a GrubMaster, I seldom see only one patrol member doing the QM job,

 

Generally speaking only the PL wears a patch  I don't think any of my boys have ever worn a APL patch even though they function as one.

 

With times when we only had one patrol, does the patrol QM get credit for troop QM? or is there some special BSA regulation against it or maybe the SM has to fudge a bit on the advancement requirement?  :)

 

I have given POR advancement credit for a boy being the Popcorn Chairman for the troop.  Didn't have a POR badge for that, but the work he did was fantastic as a SM-approved leadership project.

 

I have even given POR credit for boys doing 4-5 different POR's during their 4-6 month tenure.  If they can document it and their PL approves it, they get credit for it.

 

i do have to admit that when it comes to POR's the PL's are pretty tough on the boys.  They think they are under heavy obligation to do a good job especially when it comes to POR's.  The troop POR's are even more stringent in that a consensus of PL"s have to be met before they are signed off.  They are not members of the PL's patrol, but the patrols are the recipient of the troop POR's work.  If it is not up to par, the PL's are not going to approve it.

 

When we did not have troop POR's and yet multiple patrols, the PL's still evaluated the POR's for the 2 QM's in a 2 patrol troop.  How well did they work together, was the equipment in good order, did each patrol get a fair shake in the equipment, etc.   Scribes were even tougher to get passed because they needed the nod of approval from the the treasurer and advancement MC's.

 

Knowing this, we seldom have issues with boys not fulfilling their POR duties even when we don't have anything in writing as to what those duties might be.  The PL's need only ask once for help from them and if they don't support that request, they run the risk of "not getting the job done."

 

It works well for us, your mileage may vary.


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#25 Stosh

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:17 PM

I've lost where this conversation came from now....but I'll comment on the APL thing.

My son was appointed APL for his patrol of mostly new scouts (aka NSP  ;) )

interestingly enough, he is the only scout in the patrol that attended the obligatory ILST ppt slide show.  It was 'offered' before his patrol fully formed, and being full of energy and being eager for scouting, he wanted to attend.  His friend, who ultimately was voted in to be PL made no effort to go.

as a baseline to the back story, the troop "requires" all newly elected and appointed PORs to attend the class, so every 6 months they hold their elections then soon after have the class.  The elections were held when only my son and his one friend (the current PL) were in the troop, their 2nd meeting I think it was.  So they held the ILST before the rest of the new scouts had crossed over out of WEBELOS.

 

So anyway, it is interesting to watch these guys.... the PL has absolutely no clue what the idea is....and my son honestly isn't in a much better place really.

but he does have the trained patch at least on his sleeve

and he has me in the back seat, trying to steer his thinking through questions and suggestions....really trying hard to not tell him what he "should" be doing and so on..... just giving him nuggets to hopefully get his mind leaning towards  and around the idea of supporting his patrol.

 

So, he really hasn't done much of anything as APL, but he has done every bit as much as the PL has....

 

In the end, I can say confidently that he got little to almost nothing out of the PPt slide show (by his own admission and by my observation)

but what he has received is a great lesson in a contest of popularity vs resume.  I think he was just a tiny bit disappointed initially, but really not all that much.  It truly was one of those shoulder shrugg moments.....ehhh.....oh look, can I have one of those cookies?

 

And this is why I don't have elections!!! and I don't have terms!!!  Elections and 6-12 month terms are an adult political agenda item.  I have boys selected by their peers to do the job.  If the job ain't gittin' done, someone else is put in that position and they keep doing this until the right guy is doing the right job.  If you want to be PL you gotta earn the right to be there.  This is why my APL's get selected as SPL's!  Tommy wants to be PL and Johnny is the PL now.  The only way he's going to get the job is to prove to the patrol he would be a better PL.  Get to work!

 

It would take about 2-3 weeks for @blw2's son to be noticed as doing a better job as PL and in a heart beat he'd be PL.  End of discussion.

 

This is the beauty of the NSP, it automatically sorts the boys into who's going to work for the group and who isn't.  If you haven't had an opportunity for 2-3 different jobs by the time you reach FC, how in the world do you know if you can do the QM job or the Scribe job or TG or Instructor?  Better get your feet wet before the time comes when it counts for real.


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#26 blw2

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:21 PM

I'm with you Stosh, as you know.... I totally buy into that idea of no elections or terms.... well at least the adult defined or adult driven ones....

just dealing with the cards that are dealt

and embracing that I am basically powerless to change it as a mere committee member


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#27 Stosh

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 12:44 PM

I was 15 years with a troop as ASM before I couldn't handle it any longer and moved on  to a unit that needed a SM.  Since then that old troop kicked out their Silver Beaver, WB SM.  They haven't come to me for advice for at least a month now.  I left 7 years ago.... :)


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#28 Eagledad

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 01:05 PM

And this is why I don't have elections!!! and I don't have terms!!!  Elections and 6-12 month terms are an adult political agenda item I have boys selected by their peers to do the job. 

 

Does one need to say more?

 

Barry


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#29 TAHAWK

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 10:02 PM

APL may be worthy of being a POR.  That;s not the issue.  It's not a POR.  Only B.S.A. can change that fact.

 

Is there guidance for Corporate about what constitutes a "Scoutmaster-approved leadership project to help the troop" ?  If BSA is vague, it invites loopholyness.

 

And will someone explain why only a project that benefits the troop counts.  It's as if the troop was the fundamental unit of Scouting, whereas BSA says expressly that the patrol is the fundamental unit of Scouting.  A troop, says the new Handbook, is a collection of patrols, not a collection of Scouts, so the troop is as good as its patrols.  With strong patrols, The SPL's job as leader of troop-level activities is easy.  With weak patrols, a young  Vilhelm Jensen.would have a hard time leading the troop.


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#30 qwazse

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 05:24 AM

...
And will someone explain why only a project that benefits the troop counts.  It's as if the troop was the fundamental unit of Scouting, whereas BSA says expressly that the patrol is the fundamental unit of Scouting.  A troop, says the new Handbook, is a collection of patrols, not a collection of Scouts, so the troop is as good as its patrols.  With strong patrols, The SPL's job as leader of troop-level activities is easy.  With weak patrols, a young  Vilhelm Jensen.would have a hard time leading the troop.


In general, it seems that the positions that count are troop-oriented. (PL is really accountable to the troop for the activities of his boys.) So, it makes sense that the service project have a "for the troop" objective.
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#31 Stosh

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 06:59 AM

In general, it seems that the positions that count are troop-oriented. (PL is really accountable to the troop for the activities of his boys.) So, it makes sense that the service project have a "for the troop" objective.

 

Interesting phrase: "PL is really accountable to the troop for the activities of his boys."  @qwazse and then we have:

 

" It's as if the troop was the fundamental unit of Scouting, whereas BSA says expressly that the patrol is the fundamental unit of Scouting." @TAHAWK.

 

So which is it?  is the patrol or the troop primary?  With patrol method, I am leaning heavily with TAHAWK and going with the patrol controls the flow of activity in the troop, it is not just a sub-set section of a troop and the troop is the impetus behind the activities.  To me that is troop method.

 

I would find it very difficult to operate a patrol method program if everything is accountable to the troop.  If that be the case, just go with the troop method where everything IS ACCOUNTABLE to the troop. 

 

With POR's then, I would drop PL as a POR along with APL because it is the only patrol level position and would be useless in a troop method program where everything is run from a troop level.  Don't get me wrong, as UC I see this happening all the time especially in a micro-managing SM or SPL.  I wouldn't however, define such an operation as patrol method scouting.

 

The phrase just kinda struck me odd in that with my boys the PL is accountable to his boys, not the troop.  The phrase I use is PL's take care of your boys, not your troop.


Edited by Stosh, 11 May 2016 - 07:09 AM.

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#32 TAHAWK

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 10:02 AM

Not according to the BSA.  APL is nothing more than sitting around waiting for the PL to now show up.  So what does the SPL handbook and PL handbook say about the APL's duties?  NOTHING!!  So if they are doing nothing they are doing their job!

 

So if the APL does anything they are doing something outside the role of an APL, and the only ones the PL bring to me are those that have done something substantially outside the role of an APL, like being a real asset to the PL and his work with his patrol. 

 

The SPL is supposed to be elected by all members of the troop by secret ballot... that's never happened in my troops.

 

The SPL is the top leader in the troop, that has never happened because the boys in the patrol method view their PL as the top leader.

 

My PL's generally are not elected by their patrols.  They can do rock, paper, scissors as far as I'm concerned and yes, I have seen them doing that occasionally.

 

The SPL is selected by the PL's.

 

So there are a lot of things I do that help maintain the patrol method in my troop and none of it is dictated by the adults, this is how the boys like it and it's my position that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.    Or as I have said before, there's nothing so bad in the patrol method of operation that can't be made worse by adults messing with it.

"Assistant Patrol Leader The assistant patrol leader takes charge of the patrol whenever the patrol leader is not available.

 

The duties of the assistant patrol leader include:

• Assist the patrol leader in planning and chairing patrol meetings.

• Lend a hand in leading patrol activities and building patrol spirit.

• Help the patrol prepare for troop activities.

• Assist the scribe in keeping current the advancement records of patrol members.

• Monitor the advancement progress of patrol members.

• Represent the patrol at patrol leaders’ council meetings when the patrol leader cannot attend.

• Set a good example.

• Wear the uniform correctly.

• Live by the Scout Oath and Law.

• Show Scout spirit.

 

In addition, the assistant patrol leader may be given special assignments such as working on a patrol service project or assisting certain patrol members with their advancement."

 

Boy Scouts of America, http://www.bsahandbo...PDFs/patrol.pdf[incorrect capitalization as in the original]

 

The SPL in the Petrol Method  is elected by all the Scouts in the patrols,  leads troop-level activities, chairs the PLC, and has one vote in the PLC deliberations, and represents the troop to the Troop Committee and staffs of camps and events.

 

In the Dale Olsen method, the SPL, line a PL,  does what SM Dale tells him to do  ("Line the boys up.")

 

And we have learned about the Stosh method.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.  It's what we do that counts.  


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#33 Stosh

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 10:36 AM

It's what we allow the boy to do that counts.  :)

 

None of my boys "take charge" of anything.  They might "take the lead" on a project, or they might "Take care" of the boys, but never "take charge" of anything.  How they go about doing that depends on their particular style of leadership, some boys copy the style of their predecessor and others develop their own style.  Either way works for me.


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#34 Hedgehog

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 11:23 AM

I've lost where this conversation came from now....but I'll comment on the APL thing.

 

 

That would be me ranting about the APL not being a position of responsibility.

 

 

 he really hasn't done much of anything as APL, but he has done every bit as much as the PL has....

 

In my son's case, he has been more of the patrol leader than than the PL.  Also had served as a PL on outings more than anyone in the troop.

 

he end, I can say confidently that he got little to almost nothing out of the PPt slide show (by his own admission and by my observation)

but what he has received is a great lesson in a contest of popularity vs resume.  I think he was just a tiny bit disappointed initially, but really not all that much.  It truly was one of those shoulder shrugg moments.....ehhh.....oh look, can I have one of those cookies?

 

 

I'm working on our training program  The first step is doing a leadership campout.  The second step was to decide to have the materials printed on 5 x 7 cardboard cards that are connected by two round binder rings (so they can flip through them or tear them out as needed).  It will cover the ILST materials PLUS teach real leadership.  I'll post the card deck when it is done for comments and feedback.


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#35 TAHAWK

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 05:11 PM

It's what we allow the boy to do that counts.  :)

Sure.  So long as what we are talking about is the extent to which we allow the boys to "do" Boy Scouting as defined - or at least arguably defined - by the B.S.A.

 

We had a troop whose boys decided to wear only Army surplus camo duds and "patrol" around the camporee site at night, cutting tent ropes, setting trip-ropes on the trails to the toilets, and jumping out tpo BUGGA !!! isolated Scouts.  Now it was true that the inspiration for "Montgomery's Raiders" came from SM Montgomery, but equally no Scout decided the SPL is not the leader of the troop for troop-level stuff without inspiration.  They are expressly told what the SPL's role is in the Handbook and the PL Handbook.  

 

There are limits.  There are rules.  If you elect to ignore those limits and rules, you are running your own program.   


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#36 qwazse

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 08:19 PM

Interesting phrase: "PL is really accountable to the troop for the activities of his boys."  @qwazse and then we have:
 
" It's as if the troop was the fundamental unit of Scouting, whereas BSA says expressly that the patrol is the fundamental unit of Scouting." @TAHAWK.
 
[size=4][color=#282828][font=sans-serif]So which is it?  is the patrol or the troop primary? 

The answer is yes.
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#37 Stosh

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 08:49 PM

Let's cut to the chase.

 

blw2's son is APL doing the PL's job because PL got elected and he's sitting back not doing training, basically taking up a leadership opportunity for another scout for the next 6 months.  The boys ask why, and all the adults do is recite back, "Because that's what the book says."  The situation festers for 6 months and if they haven't already checked out, they get a chance to correct the problem.  In the meantime the PL takes the slings and arrows from the adults who spend an inordinate amount of scout time trying to budge this boy off this butt.  To no avail!  So the boy doesn't get credit for being PL for 6 months.  In the meantime blw2's son had to postpone his leadership opportunity credit for 6 months and that too is a total waste of time for him as well.  Well, the PL needed his chance at a POR, well, so did blw2's son and in my book he and his fellow patrol members, once they realized their mistake needed a chance to correct things and were denied by the adults that are reciting "the book!"

 

And who's in complete control of this whole fiasco?  It ain't the scouts, that's for sure!

 

As SM I am there to create opportunities for the boys.  NOT ALL BOYS WANT THEM!  NOT ALL THE BOYS ARE READY FOR THEM!  And I really don't want to waste my scouting time teaching boys how to tolerate poor leadership for 6 months,  I would rather have them exposed to great leadership so they have a chance to learn something useful.

 

I'm not about to have to deal with the hassle of 6 months worth of dysfunctional patrol method just because the adults with the book forbid it.  I don't have the discipline problems that will naturally arise because of this entrenchment.  Attendance will be down, morale will be poor, the boys will argue and the campouts, if planned at all will be miserable for the boys.  The adults will need to constantly referee the situation.

 

I HAVE SEEN IT DONE MANY TIMES OVER THE YEARS!  I don't want to hassle with it.  I simply say, "It's your problem, you fix it."  99% of the time they dump the worthless PL and put in another one that will do the job.  The fix takes about a half hour.

 

On the other hand if the PL is doing a great job at the end of 6 months, he just stays on as long as he and the boys want him to stay on.  If that locks up a POR for other boys needing POR credit for advancement, it's the PL's job to find him a POR he can do.  It's all part of taking care of your boys.

 

Sorry, I just can't justify to my boys waiting for six months to pass before they can have a functional patrol that the adult leaders aren't yelling at their PL to get his act together.

 

The reason my leaders mature faster than a lot of others is because they don't need to wait 6 months for some slug to get out of their way.... just because some book said that's the way it needs to be done. 

 

So what about the slug PL's?  eventually they mature and get their opportunities as well.  My boys learn from their failures and failing is not a negative thing in the troop.  It's just a temporary setback. 

 

My POR leaders are either functional or they are history.  The boys simply have the authority to run the program effectively and if that isn't happening, they can fix it on the spot...and they do.


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#38 Stosh

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 08:53 PM

The answer is yes.

 

Which is no answer at all.  It's not a yes/no question, it's a pick one or the other question.

 

One cannot be the servant to two masters.  Mt. 6:24


Edited by Stosh, 11 May 2016 - 08:55 PM.

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#39 qwazse

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 08:58 PM

@Stosh and @TAHAWK, all you have to do is produce documentation that PL has no obligation to the the other patrols in his troop. Any wording that says, for example, he is not obliged to attend any PLC, so long as the APL is available?

But, I look at the PoR's for advancement, and the common thread is the time that should be devoted to more than your chosen/assigned fundamental unit in fulfilling that responsibility.
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#40 Stosh

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 09:36 PM

When I had 4 patrols in the troop, the PL's did select an SPL to kinda coordinate things between patrols, attend SPL meetings, etc. kinds of things that assisted them in their duties in the patrols.  The patrol QM's however still continued to operate on a 4 patrol QM consensus without having to have a troop QM.  I suppose they could have created one if they really felt it necessary.  Maybe if they had gotten to 5-6 patrols it would be more of a necessity.

 

I kinda just left them alone with what they felt was necessary.  On the other hand we did have boys trying out the different POR's and journaling their activities for POR credit.  They might have 2 months worth of QM work, inventorying the troop and patrol inventories, repairing tents, recommending purchases, etc. then moving on to a couple of months as Chaplain Aide duties, did some classes for the NSP and marked down a month or two as Instructor, etc.  

 

While "the book" says these positions are to be assigned by the SPL, we didn't have an SPL so the boys kinda assigned themselves to the position.  Their journal documentation and evidence of the job being done and done well was enough for the PL to give POR credit under these conditions. 

 

Now that I am down to one patrol of all new boys (2 older boys) none of them are yet FC so they are in the process of trying out the different POR's and journaling their insights.  This is kind of a "on the job" training for the time when the POR will really count for advancement.  With no older boys, the new boys can pick and choose what they want to try out for leadership and not get in anyone's way of advancement while picking up valuable experience in the various positions.

 

Right now I am working with Web II boys who have grouped themselves into two "patrols" and have selected a "PL" for each.  My two boys in the troop are both functioning as TG's to this process.  So if asked, do I have PL's, my answer is "Kinda"  :)  Is it by the book?  Nope, one of the PL's was selected by rock, paper, scissors, the other by patrol consensus.  So what do the PL's do?  They organize the flag ceremonies (alternating) they take attendance, and keep their patrol members on task with what's going on with the AOL instruction.

 

Is any of this "by the book?"  Nope.  Are the boys learning things?  Yep,  Are they having fun?  Yep.  Are they excited about going camping this weekend?  Yep.  Are they going to be joining up with the troop the end of the month?  Yep.  Is the SM about to change the way he does things?  Nope.  :)


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