Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Respecting the SPL

One of the biggest issues that the Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 1616 is facing is that of not getting respected by any of the scouts from the Troop. This disappoints me because of the fact that the SPL is one of the most important youth members in the Troop. He is the most important member in the Troop because it is him the adult leaders rely on to hold the Troop together. Unfortunatley right now the rest of the youth are out of control and have no respect for him. This needs to stop but the Troop is running out of options. Here is the plan we have layed out so far but would really like help from other people. So lets get the plan layed out:
  1. Raise Scout Sign: To get the scouts attention and to try to get them to stop talking
  2. Raise Scout Sign with verbal reminders: Raise the Scout Sign to get attention and then remind individual scouts to stop talking.
  3. Raise Scout Sign with stern verbal reminders: Raise the Scout Sign to get attention and then in a near yelling voice get the scouts to be quiet. (This is the normal stage we get to before we even get there attention. I do agree that yelling is not appropriate but what can you do if it is the only thing that works.)
  4. Send another youth leader to get adult and still have the SPL have the Scout Sign Raised: More often than not the adults can keep some order but still requires a lot of work.
  5. Involve Parents: Haven't gotten this far but I think I may have to with some of the scouts in order to keep sane. I do not like involving parents because it only causes more problems for the scout but I am beginning to think that this may be necessary.
Before you think that I want to turn scouting into a another school hour, let me tell you that I do not want to do this. The problem is that i realize we are always going to have to get their attention when transitioning activities but it shouldn't take 5 to 15 minutes to get their attention. Remember that this is a Troop with only 10 active scouts. I do not under any circumstance think this is adequate or appropriate. The next step for me will be to research the topic and ask questions from other scouters in order to get more information on how to handle this problem.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

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