Adults and the PLC, revisited

Earlier I posted my opinion that the PLC is for the boys and that the only adult who attends is the Scoutmaster, and not members of the troop committee or parents.

Recently, a post to the Scouting Magazine blog touched on this topic, where one of the parents (who also happened to be the Committee Chair) stated that the Scoutmaster told her she was not welcome at the PLC meeting, and she felt this was in violation of the “no secret meetings” policy of the BSA. The clarification was in the distinction between a secret meeting and a closed meeting.  The PLC meeting is a closed meeting, where only the youth leaders participate, and the Scoutmaster is there for advice and counsel and to give the SPL the support he needs.  The response indicated that other adults – parents, committee members – should be allowed to attend but must be careful to attend as spectators only.

I still encourage parents to stay away, for reasons I stated in the original post – boys will clam up in the presence of lots of adults, especially adults who can’t behave themselves and sit unobtrusively and off to the side.  Attend if you must, but do so as a guest.  Under no circumstances should adults ever participate in the discussion!  Any adults who do attend need to sit apart from the boys – in the “gallery”, so to speak, not at the main table – and refrain from talking or making comments. Any observations you have should be brought up with the Scoutmaster.

Personally, as committee chair I make it a point to not sit in on our troop’s PLC meetings (as much as I’d like to sometimes) and I discourage my fellow committee members from doing so.  I have faith in our Scoutmaster and trust him to guide the SPL toward a successful PLC meeting, knowing that we can openly communicate about it beforehand or afterward.


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