In many troops, there is an ongoing battle, or maybe just a misunderstanding, about exactly who is responsible for what. Â Without getting into the line between what is an adult function and what is a youth responsibility, I’m referring to committee and program functions and how sometimes the lines get blurred.
The Troop Committee Guidebook has a great description of the duties and responsibilities of the Scoutmaster and assistants, and the Troop Committee and various committee members. Â Sometimes, however, people cross out of their “lane” and handle other jobs. Â An example would be a troop treasurer who also handles membership and advancement. Â Not to say that this is incorrect (what works for you is good, as long as it furthers the aims and methods), and in a small troop it may be necessary, but Â there are defined roles for each committee function and it should be your goal to see that each position is filled with a different adult, so nobody has to do more than one job.
It’s important to keep from overstepping our bounds as well. Â Committee members don’t conduct Scoutmaster conferences, obviously, but there are other areas where the committee needs to leave things up to the Scoutmaster and his staff of assistants. Â Working directly with boys, for the most part, is a Scoutmaster job. Â There are, as always, exceptions – the Troop Committee Guidebook lists one of the Advancement Coordinator’s jobs as working with the Â troop Scribe to maintain scout advancement records. Â If something needs to be said to the boys, you would go first to the Scoutmaster, not to the boys directly (unless it’s a matter of immediate safety).
Likewise, Scoutmasters should leave committee functions to the committee, although their input is valuable and usually needed to make reasonable decisions. Â Equipment, budget, camp arrangements, record keeping – these are all committee functions. Â The Scoutmaster can also sit on the troop committee in an advisory role but is not a committee member.
Cooperation is the key to a successful troop, and if everyone “stays in their lane” the troop will run more efficiently and provide a better experience for the boys.This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.