From Scouting Magazine’s ‘What would You Do?’ department (formerly called ‘Front Line Stuff’) a question about a recent troop leader election:
We recently had our troop leadership elections, and the Scouts
elected a senior patrol leader who is inexperienced, uncommitted, and
has no real sense of responsibility. I am worried about the direction
of the troop, but I want to respect the boys’ choice. What do I do?
Fort Myers, Fla.
Three possible answers come immediately to mind – in all three the attitude you adopt is more important than your assessment of the Scout;
1. The experienced, committed, responsible Scouts didn’t stand for election because they had no interest in a role with no actual responsibility. This can happen when adults are more in charge than Scouts. In this case work hard to place the responsibilities for the Troop in the hands of the Scouts.
2. Your assessment of the Scout is off. His fellow Scouts elected him for some reason. See if you can help him discover those reasons. You’ll be amazed at his response if you find even the smallest reason to express genuine faith and confidence in the Scout.
3. You have a genuine dilemma on your hands and it is your chance to spin straw into gold. Take advantage of training opportunities and build on small victories. Coach, cajole, mentor, encourage and exhort from a respectful distance. Once again find even the smallest reason to express genuine faith and confidence in the Scout. Others will follow your lead encouraging the new senior patrol leader towards success.