Talking with my SPL

Troop 664 after the Polar Bear Swim

Last week at Summer camp, my SPL and I had the chance to sit in a row-boat together for 1 hour and 12 minutes.  During that time we talked about the week, leadership, attitudes, and his future.  It was one of the best hours I have ever spent in my life.  During that hour I met a new young man.. up until then, he was just another Scout that stepped up to meet the leadership challenge.  He has always been active and one of those guys that you can always count on.. some would call his type the core of the Troop.
I appreciated the fact that he was very open with the discussion and his sense of humor really came out.
I recorded our conversation and invite you to listen in.  SMMPodcast #93 is all us and a few guys swimming their mile swim.
I hope you enjoy the time spent with James, my SPL, as much as I did.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Sorry, Jerry, I am not a big fan of this kind of interview. It sounds like you were monitoring a mile swim event at the same time you were interviewing the scout. There were constant interruptions, and the sound quality went in and out. Neither of you were able to give full concentration to the interview. As a listener, I found it distracting and hard to follow, at times, and I think this show would have benefited by a more formal interview location.

    Also, of the first few questions you asked of the scout, you had a specific response you wanted him to give you. It was not until later that you gave him a wider latitude for responding. Toward the end, the scout was speaking freely, and I found that the best part of the interview.

    It may help by giving the scout a list of questions before hand, and letting him think about how he will respond. I think you will get his own original responses, without the need on his part to try to think of what to say. You would put the question to him, let him respond, and your only further interaction to his answer would be “Anything else?”

    Last year you did an interview over the phone with the scout leader from the European council, and that was a great interview. That kind of thing works.


    1. Thanks for the feedback Allan.
      Not going to try to explain why or how this “interview” came about… lets just say it was just my SPL and I in a Row boat talking. He grabbed the recorder and turned it on.. and it went from there.
      I enjoyed the talk, thought you all would want to listen in.
      And yes I was monitoring a Mile Swim. 9 Scouts from my Troop did the mile swim at camp this year. 3 of them for the 4th time.. so you are correct.
      Thanks for listening.


      1. Here is an idea for a show: Record about 10 minutes of a live PLC. Let the boys do the troop business and all. Then, have an interview with them and ask them why they do things the way they do, what the issues were, what each of them expects from patrol leadership, etc.

        Aside from the scoutmaster training videos of 20 years ago, we don’t get to see good examples of leadership in action. Since “a picture is worth a thousand words” a recording from an actual meeting would be a valuable tool to express your views on boy led leadership.

        Of course you would let them know the recorder is on. And then, just let it go. I bet it would be priceless.


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