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Asking an SPL to Resign?


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#41 ItsBrian

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 12:54 PM

@ItsBrian, you need to spend more time in your hammock, or at the trading post, or lashing your own personal giant hamster wheel. The position needs to look like fun before PL's will start running for it.

 

Talking to your SM about necessary adjustments is a good idea. Needing to focus on your Eagle project is a good excuse. Not just between you and the SM, but between the SM and the boys. He needs to say to them "The current SPL to focus on his Eagle project, that means you all need to take up the slack and be more accountable to do things the way he was doing them."

 

By the way, that is a REALLY BIG ASK for many SMs. Parents aren't comfortable with the ensuing "storming" among boys who are now finding that the spoon-feeding has stopped. Unless he's heard from ASMs or other adults who see what you're seeing, he'll likely get some agitated phone calls. So, expect a little give-and-take on this one.

 

 

@qwazse Noted. I also think they know they can't handle it, unfortunately (I didn't think I could either), past SPLs, now Eagles, say I'm the most efficient one the troop has ever had. I guess that may be a reason why they wouldn't want to run because they actually have to do something as SPL instead of adults doing it because of me? My troop HAD to be adult-led before I started growing up and gaining higher leadership roles because no scouts did anything. There was NEVER a PLC, CC always made the schedule, SM did all teaching. I fixed all of that gladly, now I made the schedule with help from the PLC.

 

My troop is small(12), everyone knows each other. (besides the "ghost" parents). Basically, every parent knows every scout's name, so that wouldn't be a problem if someone gets told something no parent gets upset.


Edited by ItsBrian, 06 September 2017 - 12:55 PM.

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#42 Eagledad

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 01:27 PM

Well it's not easy letting failure happen, it goes against our human nature. I'm curious what your SM says.

 

We have a local troop that has a great reputation as a well run troop. It's over 100 years old and the alumni always try to recruit the best Scoutmasters. One of their SMs was a mentor for me when I started as a SM. About 20 years ago this troop of about 70 scouts had two senior scouts that were outstanding leaders. I knew these scouts because they were my son's friends at school and they joined one of our Philmont crews. These two scouts were so good that their adults didn't have to do anything for about four years while they led the troop. Well, when they aged out of the troop and went East (MIT) to school, the troop fell flat on its face. The Troop lost almost half of it's membership in a years time. The simple cause was that these two senior scouts never trained any scout with the leadership skills to perform up to the "expectation" of leading the troop. The two scouts just assumed the next generation of leaders would be as good as they were. But because these two scouts did all the work, the next generation never experienced the kind of leadership required for meeting the expectation of leading a troop. They never really understood true leadership even at the patrol level because the older scouts jumped in for them when the PLs struggled. 

 

I don't have an answer to your situation because I don't know your scoutmaster's expectations. But you would be doing it wrong in our troop.

 

What is the worst that will happen if your PLs don't do their job? I don't need an answer, I've heard them all. I'm just throwing out the question for you to consider for a while. But, I would tell my SPL that he is being prideful (arrogant) thinking he is better than his PLs. 

 

Failure is more of a teacher than success. The Scoutmaster that  the OP is talking about appears to me to be afraid of failure. And because of that, he is afraid to risk allowing the SPL prove himself by succeeding. It's easy doing someone else's work when you assume they will fail. The real challenge is figuring out how to motivate them to rise up and succeed. It's a skill that will be used for a lifetime.

 

I know your doing your best and trying hard. I'm not asking for more because you might be doing the best in your situation. And for that, I'm excited for your accomplishments.

 

Barry


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#43 ItsBrian

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 01:56 PM

Well it's not easy letting failure happen, it goes against our human nature. I'm curious what your SM says.

We have a local troop that has a great reputation as a well run troop. It's over 100 years old and the alumni always try to recruit the best Scoutmasters. One of their SMs was a mentor for me when I started as a SM. About 20 years ago this troop of about 70 scouts had two senior scouts that were outstanding leaders. I knew these scouts because they were my son's friends at school and they joined one of our Philmont crews. These two scouts were so good that their adults didn't have to do anything for about four years while they led the troop. Well, when they aged out of the troop and went East (MIT) to school, the troop fell flat on its face. The Troop lost almost half of it's membership in a years time. The simple cause was that these two senior scouts never trained any scout with the leadership skills to perform up to the "expectation" of leading the troop. The two scouts just assumed the next generation of leaders would be as good as they were. But because these two scouts did all the work, the next generation never experienced the kind of leadership required for meeting the expectation of leading a troop. They never really understood true leadership even at the patrol level because the older scouts jumped in for them when the PLs struggled.

I don't have an answer to your situation because I don't know your scoutmaster's expectations. But you would be doing it wrong in our troop.

What is the worst that will happen if your PLs don't do their job? I don't need an answer, I've heard them all. I'm just throwing out the question for you to consider for a while. But, I would tell my SPL that he is being prideful (arrogant) thinking he is better than his PLs.

Failure is more of a teacher than success. The Scoutmaster that the OP is talking about appears to me to be afraid of failure. And because of that, he is afraid to risk allowing the SPL prove himself by succeeding. It's easy doing someone else's work when you assume they will fail. The real challenge is figuring out how to motivate them to rise up and succeed. It's a skill that will be used for a lifetime.

I know your doing your best and trying hard. I'm not asking for more because you might be doing the best in your situation. And for that, I'm excited for your accomplishments.

Barry


@Eagledad Sorry, I didn’t mean that like “I’m so great I’m the only one that can do it”, more like it’s one of my traits? I guess that’s how I would explain it. I was never taught how to lead either. I also kinda meant since they saw how nobody else did anything, meaning they could get away with it, but now I kind of set a “standard”? Might be confusing not sure.

What would you say is the best way for them to gain leadership ability? They have 0 interest in being in a leadership position unfortunately.

Edited by ItsBrian, 06 September 2017 - 02:00 PM.

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#44 qwazse

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 02:56 PM

@Eagledad Sorry, I didn’t mean that like “I’m so great I’m the only one that can do it”, more like it’s one of my traits? I guess that’s how I would explain it. I was never taught how to lead either. I also kinda meant since they saw how nobody else did anything, meaning they could get away with it, but now I kind of set a “standard”? Might be confusing not sure.

What would you say is the best way for them to gain leadership ability? They have 0 interest in being in a leadership position unfortunately.

In a small troop, this can be really tough. As SPL, you're seen as the "uber patrol leader", not the "patrol leaders' leader." Son #2 was in this position. I think it cost our troop dearly in that they avoided the patrol method like the plague.

 

Pick your battles. Of the things you are doing that should be offloaded, choose one or two things you want the PL to do from here on out. They should be one or two of the more important tasks. Discuss with the SM.

 

Then, here's one way to transition:

You and your ASPL (I assume you have one) need to pick a couple of things you do "just for fun".  For now, it could be some fun aspect of your Eagle project(s). It could be cooking some awesome dessert, a survival shelter, or a pioneering project. (They giant hamster wheel? That was a former SPL's obsession at camp one week.) Your line then becomes, "I'll be busy doing X (cool thing) while you do Y (offloaded tasks). Come ask me if you're having trouble."

Set yourself up some distance away from the patrol, so that it will take some effort to come ask for help.

 

Inasmuch as they succeed, reward them with praise and maybe a patch, or slice of that awesome dessert, a try at your shelter, or time on the hamster wheel!

Failure is par for the course. Inasmuch as they fail, give them a fair evaluation and encourage to do better next time.

But, if something's not done, don't bail them out. Remember, you're "too busy" doing X.

 

By the way, don't be discouraged about having to adjust your style of leadership. Leadership development is a method of boy scouting. That implies that any given scout comes in with or without natural ability, but each one develops it from there. So, you came in as an "I'll git 'er done" kind of guy, now you can develop into a "we'll git 'er done" kind of guy. (Sounds like you're almost there.)


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#45 Eagledad

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 03:16 PM

@Eagledad Sorry, I didn’t mean that like “I’m so great I’m the only one that can do it”, more like it’s one of my traits? I guess that’s how I would explain it. I was never taught how to lead either. I also kinda meant since they saw how nobody else did anything, meaning they could get away with it, but now I kind of set a “standard”? Might be confusing not sure.

What would you say is the best way for them to gain leadership ability? They have 0 interest in being in a leadership position unfortunately.

I worded it wrong. I am not suggesting you were acting arrogant in your job. I'm confident you are selfless and work very hard. But when "my" SPL (or ASMs, or Committee members) suggest that we compensate for scouts who can't or won't make the effort (either by asking them to leave or doing their job for them), then I point out that they aren't letting the program work as designed. If the scout doesn't improve performance or take himself out of the game, he hasn't experienced is responsibilities enough.

 

It is true that a percentage of scouts will fail at expectations and not learn anything from the experience (or want to learn from the experience). But the objective is for them to see their personal limitations so they can make good decisions in their future.

 

My younger (introverted) son learned quickly in scouts that he didn't like leadership, so he stayed as far away from it as he could. Ironically he, at age 17, was delegated the team leader of a non scouting group (soccer team) on the 3rd day of a Northern Tier trek because it became obvious that he was the only person with the kind of wilderness experience to get the crew thru the planned trek. I was told by the adult members of the group that he saved their trip from becoming a disaster. It wasn't so much that he was the natural leader, he just became obvious that only he the kind of experience needed for the crew to complete the trek. But I know my son would have declined going on the trip if he known that he would become the team leader. Even now as an adult, he turns down promotions that require him to manage other people. He doesn't understand that even in his quit understated manner, his style expresses confidence. A lot of people feel comfortable around people like that. 

 

qwazse (should I capitalize qwazse?) hinted earlier that the expectations of programs are based mainly from the SM. You and your SM are a team and so your goals should be about the same. I imagine you are meeting your scoutmasters expectations quit well and he is very proud. I shouldn't be so forward in suggesting your troops performance based on my expectations. And I apologize for that. Folks here will tell you that sometimes I go two steps back for every step forward.  :rolleyes:

 

Barry


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#46 ItsBrian

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 03:37 PM

@Eagledad @qwazse Thank you guys so much for all that advice. Here’s what I’m planning on doing:

- have my ASPL retrain all non-leadership positions (such as chaplain aide, quartermaster, etc)

- On camping trips send scout to PL that asks me something before talking to PL

- have guide / instructors do more

Thing is though, I had the guide and instructor teach one meeting, I was so bored it wasn’t even funny.
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#47 MattR

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 04:07 PM

ItsBrian, bored is good. That means everyone is doing something. That's teamwork. I''m sure you can find something else to work on. Some other way to make the patrols stronger?

 

But getting back to PLs that won't lead. Given that the PLs have likely never experienced good leadership they are likely learning on the job. Something I realized is that it's easier to learn leadership if the rest of the team is willing and able to follow. In other words, they need to understand teamwork. Each scout has a job and does it. The PLs job is not to plan everything, it's to get everyone busy, helping the patrol reach its goals. Recently I've been working with some younger scouts on teamwork. The result is we have a PL, who's 11 years old, and the only help he needs is a bit of focus. Well, the entire patrol needs to be kept on task, but that's it. They just planned their own campout. The grubmaster brought menus everyone could vote on. There's a scout in charge of the activity and he has a list of ideas the patrol went over last night. The PL is talking to everyone to make sure they're getting things done. Sure, there are a few parents asking if anything needs to be done and how is it going. But the teamwork is developing. Leadership in this case will be easy.

 

You said that your PLs can't plan. I'm sure that's true. But part of the problem might be that they are frozen with fear in that nobody will help. So one thing you might try is to start working on teamwork. I've tried with 14 and 15 year olds and I'll tell you, it's a lot easier with 11 year olds. Sure, it's like herding cats at times but they want to try.


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#48 Ranman328

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 07:04 PM

@ChristianDad  I would like to say Thank you to you and your son for being passionate about Scouting.  I think you have raised an exception young man that is going to do great things in life.  Please do not let this deter him in his leadership training.  It breaks my heart to hear about your wife and his mother.  As a man that has lost his mother, I know what a blow some day this will be.  Spend every chance you can together and do what makes you happy including any Duty to God that will make mom happy.  My priorities in life are Family, God and Country.  It appears yours might be as well.  Everyone on this thread is well meaning and helpful, use it as a guide or just advice.  My advice would be to follow your own instincts, they appear to be spot on.  Good Luck and Thank you.


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#49 ItsBrian

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 08:23 PM

@MattR @Eagledad @qwazse Tonight, I had the ASPL lead the activities (see who knew what knots game), guide/instructor teaching about hiking (upcoming hike soon), and I was able to focus on my ES project.

Just wanted to say thank you to the three of you!
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#50 David CO

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:28 PM

ChristianDad doesn't actually tell us much about how well the unit's expectations were communicated to scouts before the Senior Patrol Leader elections.


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#51 Stosh

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 07:40 PM

Missed out on the discussion, but I skimmed through everyone's responses.

 

2 issues that come up that haven't been mentioned.

 

1) The SPL has only one month left before his term in office ends.  He will be short on time for his advancement if he needs it.  There's nothing in the book that says the POR requires that the scout serve the 6 months in just one position.  All he needs do is 1 month in another position to achieve advancement.  It's not the end of the world.

 

2) With only 1 month to go, I would think it a good idea to start training a new SPL to take over and what better way than to have the new guy get some hands-on experience?  Sink or swim is a rough way to learn, but it does work.  The new guy could get some "no safety net" experience handling the situation before he has an obligation to take on the job full time.

 

After all, what better way to get "selected" for the SPL position?  A well prepared speech to the boys or a demonstration of what he can do for the boys?

 

I don't know what the motivation is behind the SPL's decision, or the SM's decision, but in either case, it's not the end of the world.


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