>Positions of Responsibility

>Ok… so a Scout needs a Position of Responsibility (POR) to complete the requirements for Star, Life, and Eagle, he was not elected to a position so he comes to Mr. Scoutmaster seeking, lets say… Troop Historian.
He figures, well I get to wear the patch and in 4 to 6 months I can call it good.
NOT SO FAST… what do you expect from the young man?
It is easy to see a Scout demonstrate leadership in a POR when he is the SPL, ASPL, PL etc… but what about those “behind the scenes” POR’s?  How do you know when he has completed or at least functioned in the capacity of the job he is wearing the patch for?
There are many resources out there that describe those positions, but are we holding those Scouts to it?  The POR should not be a gimme, by design, the POR is there to teach the Scout and develop in him self confidence, leadership, communication skills, citizenship, and dependability.
I had a young Scout that is nearing the Star rank come to me the other night.  He asked if he could be appointed to the Historian position.  I asked him to speak to the SPL about it and find out if that was something he would really be interested in.  He came back to me and said the SPL ok’d it but wanted to know what he should do.  I told him to get his parents camera, a pen and paper, and a scrap book and start documenting our Troops activity, special events, and any news paper clippings that may come out within the next 4 months.  He looked at me in shock.. “that’s a lot of work and it means I have to go on the winter camp outs” he said.  Well you need to be able to see what the troop is doing to keep its history right?  Well what if I get someone else to take the pictures?  I guess that will work, but then are you demonstrating any leadership by not being there I suggested.. after all this is a leadership position within the Troop right?
Now you may argue that Historian, Chaplains Aide, Scribe, Webmaster.. they are not really leaders.. but I would argue to the contrary.  In teen ager thought.. those that wear patches are the leaders.  Just watch them.  If they don’t have a patch, for the most part… they won’t lead.  I explain it like this to the Scouts that are not “Green Bar” leaders… Every leadership position needs a support staff.. the President of the United States has his cabinet.. CEO’s have a board…and Scout leaders have Scribes, Historians, Librarians, Quartermasters, Webmasters, Leave No Trace trainers etc. that support the functions of the Troop.
So what do I expect from them.. after all, I have to sign off their books… well I just expect them to do the job.. not just wear the patch.  Not adding to the requirement.. not taking away from.  Just doing the job that the patch indicates.
Expect great things from Scouts and they will do great things!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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One thought on “>Positions of Responsibility

  1. >Most of my leaders that are not SPL or PL are Instructors. Their job is to lead, train and inspire Scouts to achieve First Class rank. They mentor the SPL and PLs and they train Scouts. I can tell how they are doing by the younger Scout's advancement and how well the younger Scouts are learning their skills.I think that you are right on with your Historian. Leadership means leading. POR means taking responsibility and you laid out for him what that responsibility means.It's really good to understand that if we lay out their responsibilities for them, they may not do very well or they may do a great job. If we fail to lay out their responsibilities clearly, then they are sure to fail.

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