As we finished talking, I think that the wheels really began to turn. I didn’t know what Joe was thinking, but I am thinking it was along the lines of “this is my troop, and I have to make is succeed”…
And then, as fast as that came into my head, that much faster, it went out.
“I became SPL because I was worried that if I didn’t, soinso would, and derp would have become the ASPL, and those guys aren’t leaders. Me? I like to be the quartermaster…did it a couple times, and I liked it, and even as SPL, I still do it, because that’s what I like to do. When the next elections happen, I won’t run for SPL.”
So I told him that he should make the best of his time as SPL and lead the troop the way that he would want to be led.
Aaron chimed in that he doesn’t know what the future holds, as they (being his age-group) are the leaders of the troop now, and that they don’t know how the young guys will ever be able to do it. All three of them nodded their heads in agreement, wondering how they would do it.
“Look fellas, in my troop, I trained them, now I trust them and I let them lead…there isn’t a whole lot of rocket science to this whole scouting thing. I use three things to help me run the troop. The Scoutmaster Handbook, the Boy Scout Handbook and the Guide to Safe Scouting. All of my leaders are trained and we just follow what is laid out in front of us.”
“But how do you do it all? I mean, isn’t that a lot of work?”
“No,” I replied, “the youth leadership does the work, they have been shown how to do it, and when I don’t get involved, they excel…it’s when the adults get involved into thinking that they know better. Scouts know what they want, and sometimes, it’s not the same as what the adults want…and it’s important for the adult leaders to recognize that, and back off.”
They still weren’t really understanding how our troop gets this to work. I could see it on their faces. I think that they couldn’t believe that I trusted guys younger than them, to run a troop meeting. I believe that their leaders don’t have the faith in the Scouts to do what they feel is right. It is something that really disturbed me.
I made a comment to myself about all of the leaders of the committee that they have in their troop. I am all for help, but a greater part of their committee is scouters that don’t have a vested interest in the troop…meaning that their sons have long been gone, and they are still controlling what the troop does. But I couldn’t keep that comment to myself anymore, along with a couple other comments.
But before I could say anything, Joe asked about our meetings. I asked him specifically what kind of information was he looking for. He asked when do we meet, where do we meet and how often we meet.
“Every week, 7:30, Moose Lodge except for a couple times a year, like when we go bowling or the week of summer camp we don’t meet,” I said.
“You guys meet every week? We take off in the summer. I don’t really mind that we do, but I tire of having to go to the committee meetings.”
“Why would you have to go to the committee meetings? I am assuming that you mean the adult committee meetings? Although the SPL can certainly attend and report back to the committee, we don’t do that. It’s a good idea, maybe something that our troop will bring up. I guess that if your adult committee is meeting, that you and the PLC is meeting during the summer to plan out the year?”
“No, the PLC doesn’t meet. Besides, we do the same thing every year, other than going to different summer camps,” said Joe.
I knew where and what they do in a year, as it has been that way for the last 7 years that I know.
Something had to be said…
to be continued…