If I do get my PSA and ace my fitness as an officer (rather impossible but let’s consider this prospect) I’d be an AVSL. If not, I would rather be an ASL.
To me, being an AVSL entails much more than just coming for the Venture activity. It involves the planning and the responsibility for your own men. After observing ASLs and AVSLs, I can really conclude that being an AVSL is tougher, for the reason that ASLs can only train your men for CCAs (and that is relatively easy, especially given the time span) and AVSLs are indirectly responsible for PSAs. AVSLs have to chart the whole route of progress for their Ventures (let them pass Venture Standard by x month, then go for Venture Cord ASAP, and lastly take PSA), and as for ASLs, progress is rather competitive and who does better or is more enthusiastic would naturally go for CCA earlier.
To be an AVSL you have to be very fit. Not to say that you don’t have to be fit to be an ASL, but you need to show your fitness as an AVSL, which is unlike being an ASL. I think fitness is an important component when it comes to gaining respect as an AVSL, while being an ASL earning respect does not require you to be very fit, you just have to be able to manage your men effectively (and let them manage themselves efficiently too).
Yet, in terms of discipline, I do believe ASLs have a more challenging job. They have the task of training a group of Sec 1s to develop a sense of urgency as well as team spirit. By the time these Sec 1s ascend to Sec 4, they should at least have the ambition of doing well in Ventures, whether it is getting the PSA or serving the troop. Thus the AVSLs have a much easier job when it comes to discipline and don’t really have to organise things like troop camps (with fire drills and so).
Lastly, AVSLs do have a simpler responsibility when it comes to managing progress of the troop. The AVSLs also do realise that by the time you are a Venture, your progress should be your own responsibility (other than their facilitating it). As a Scout though, you may not have the motivation to go ahead in your own progress and thus motivating your men to go ahead is a necessity for ASLs. This is because of the Sec 1-4 argument again, you have to inspire your men to work for themselves and make them learn that nothing in this world is “free”. In this aspect, I feel that the AVSLs have an easier job.
Overall, I feel that I would rather be an AVSL than an ASL. I’d like the planning for activities and the responsibility for your men. I think its an honour to do this. Being an ASL also encompasses responsibility for your men, albeit in a more minute manner (responsibility for the PLC, which in turn is accountable for the troop). Yet being an ASL does not involve much planning for activities, which means you have little control over what is going to happen every Saturday (which may be very boring). However I think that I would go for AVSL-ship if and only if I attain my PSA and am fit enough to survive planning for VMC and Venture Night Hike etc (without fitness, I doubt I will be able to gather much respect). Whatever my future in Venturez ’06 is, I am sure that I will return to the troop as at least an ASL.
The main reason for this is I feel after all Scouts has given me, I do have a part in passing on these lessons to my juniors, and fellow Scouts. Its the feeling I develop after comparing leaders like Edward and Kelvin to my Math teacher Mr. Benjamin Lee, who strangely doesn’t seem at all interested in coming back even as a teacher-in-charge. (BTW Edward if you still read this blog which is unlikely, you’d remember Benjamin Lee Ik-Lin) I’m sure Mr. Benjamin Lee has his own reasons for his choice (maybe to further his knowledge in Mathematics or as a teacher), but personally speaking this is a duty which I have and need to fulfill (not saying that its a burden). Hope many Venturez ’06 feel the same way and we can make an positive impact on the troop when we do return.
What are your feelings on this issue?
One for all. All for one. Venturez ’06