Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

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Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby Troop Committee Mom » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:09 pm

Several scouts in our troop are also athletes who have weekend sports commitments (generally Friday night or Saturday morning games). These scouts would also like to serve as leaders in the troop - SPL, ASPL, PL, etc. - but have been told that they must forgo their weekend commitment to their sports team if there is a conflict with a scouting event. If they are unwilling to do this, they should not run for these positions. The scouts would like to be free to keep their commitments to both their troop and their team by dividing the weekend between the two activities (honoring their commitment to both) when possible. Unfortunately, our troop's leadership term is October-March and April-September and interferes with both fall and spring sports schedules. How do other troops handle this issue? Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes? Thanks in advance for your time and input.
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby Billiken » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:37 pm

Troop Committee Mom:

First, welcome to the forum.

As I'm sure you know, adults leaders can not make attendance a requirement for any rank.



In our case, our recent SPL is a high school varsity swimmer. (So the answer to your "can a Scout be both" is yes.)
When elected, he made a public promise to the troop (Scouts) that if he could not be at a weekend campout, that the ASPL would be there. He attended every Patrol Leaders Council meeting and, frankly IMO, orchestrated most of the planning for nearly every weekend event.

I too feel frustrated with the issue you bring up.
All of these other extra-curricular activities have MANDATORY ATTENDANCE.

However, when you're 30 do you put "Member of High School <fill in>" on a job application?
Only if you want to get laughed out of the interview.

You can, however, put "Member, National Eagle Scout Association"
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:44 pm

Yes they can. There is no difference between sports and Band in most High schools these days. I had Band Kids, Soccer players, Fencers and yes a cheerleader in my troop. All the above earned Eagle and were great leaders. They made what they could and Deligated when they could not That is a sign o a leader. Your troop leader is not a good leader. He better retake all his BSA Training and use it properly. You as the Troop CC Chair can request him to step down with your CO. ALso the TC can say STop this Crap or your gone. Don't tippy toe around go right for the Jugular and tell him. :twisted:
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby FieldSports » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:48 pm

Welcome to the Board.

My son has done both. It requires flexibility on both the scouts part and the Troops part. The events should be planned by the youth in the Troop. That should given them some ability to time when events and games overlap. The youth leaders should determine when a particular leader is needed for an event. (ie. a Camporee should have the SPL, ASPL and QM. a weekend hike should not require any of them).

Unfortunately, adults get stuck in the all or nothing state of mind. This goes both for Scouts and coaches. Gentle persuation on your part might help. But, be ready for the "he's not committed" line. My reply was "Yes he is, he is just becoming a well rounded young man who needs your help in getting there". Remind the adults we are here to help our sons grow and a "take it or leave it attitude" will only drive away the really talented youth to more flexible programs. This is no longer 1950's, the youth have a lot more choices (and believe me they WILL vote with their feet)

The young man needs to be flexible also. Have them know ahead of time, what is required in terms of days, times, duties, etc. That way if they take an assignment, then they can honor their committments.

Good luck
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:06 pm

ALso this would not be an issue in a Venturing Crew Hint, Hint. Is your Son in the OA? He could be Troop OA Representative Not muc time involved.
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby hops_scout » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:47 pm

Yes it is more than doable. I did it for 4 years. I don't remember what position(s) I had as a freshman, but as a sophomore I was the ASPL and SPL. My junior and senior years I was a JASM. I played 3 varsity sports during that time and while there were conflicts, it always worked out.. INCLUDING ME MISSING TWO WEEKS OF FOOTBALL my junior year for Scouts...
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby lifescoutforlife » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:38 am

Troop Committee Mom wrote:Several scouts in our troop are also athletes who have weekend sports commitments (generally Friday night or Saturday morning games). These scouts would also like to serve as leaders in the troop - SPL, ASPL, PL, etc. - but have been told that they must forgo their weekend commitment to their sports team if there is a conflict with a scouting event. If they are unwilling to do this, they should not run for these positions. The scouts would like to be free to keep their commitments to both their troop and their team by dividing the weekend between the two activities (honoring their commitment to both) when possible. Unfortunately, our troop's leadership term is October-March and April-September and interferes with both fall and spring sports schedules. How do other troops handle this issue? Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes? Thanks in advance for your time and input.

Welcome! In our Troop we tell the boys to play sports and do what the coaches tell you but when there is not a sport going on then get yourself to the meeting or outing. This way has worked very well in our Troop for a long time and over 90 % of our boys play at least 1 sport. Not every boy reguardless of position is going to make everything the troop does.
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby kwildman » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:41 am

You will generally find that the people that want to institute these rules are the ones that have kids that are not involved in any extra-circular activities. A healthy troop will find ways to encourage all youth to be more involved. I have found that the kids that are involved in other activities are generally better leaders because they understand team concepts.
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:34 pm

Yes they can. My experience is that the Coaches have no interest in being flexible. My SPL who is a State Track Qualifier was benched by the coach because he chose to go on a campout with us.

Be careful that these guys are actually performing their PORs so you don't get to the point where they have completed the time and then you want to not give them credit. The Troop SM needs to monitor all PORs (not just the athletes) for actively doing their jobs.
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Re: Can scouts in leadership positions also be weekend athletes?

Postby FieldSports » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:26 pm

Remember that Coaches have Athletic Directors and Prinipals to answer too. Flexibility should be on both sides.
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