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Scouting’s Positive Rites of Passage

Nov 08, 2013 12:05 pm | clarkegreen@gmail.com (Clarke Green)

 

Carrying backpacks for the first time, Scouts leave the familiar comforts of home and strike out on the trail. Following flashlight beams through unknown territory, they arrive at the campsite with their friends. Tents are set up, a fire is lit and they gather around trying to shake off the cold.

They talk excitedly about tomorrow’s climb over a mountain peak to the destination on the other side. They strain their imaginations in anticipation, careful to mask the uncertainty and vulnerability they feel in the volume and bravado of the conversation. Excited anticipation and the fear of the unknown make it hard to sleep that night.

In the morning, the Scouts are up and on the trail. The day unfolds in a series of struggles and challenges that strain their backs and minds. By late afternoon, they reach the campsite on the other side of the mountain. Tired, relieved to drop their packs, they are aglow with a sense of accomplishment. They made it through! They overcame their doubts and fears, they encouraged and helped one another along the way; and now they have arrived.

Our backpacking Scouts have been through a ‘rite of passage’. The term may be familiar but it bears explaining. A rite of passage has three stages :

  1. Separation – Leaving the familiar comforts of home for a new challenge.
  2. Transition – Enduring a period of uncertainty and vulnerability.
  3. Accomplishment – Reaching the goal.

Understanding these stages helps us guide young people on a journey through the series of experiences and challenges that lead to adulthood. We may be familiar with a given experience but it’s new to our Scouts. They are encountering new physical, mental and spiritual challenges. They have voluntarily separated themselves from the familiar and entered into a transitional state subject to their own fears and uncertainties.

Every young person wants to belong to something larger than themselves, to gain acceptance, to be identified as a full member of the group. This desire is so strong, so instinctual, that it blurs the lines between good and bad. Young people are desperate to fill this void whether the group coerces them to negative, destructive behavior like a street gang, or positive, constructive activities like Scouting,

We are familiar with the movie stereotype of a demanding, harsh, insulting, military officer who berates and rides his recruits. We may even have been subject to this sort of thing . As Scouters, we never stoop to hazing, harshness and discouragement. How you experienced of rites of passage will inform your reaction; perhaps you received support and affirmation; perhaps you met with discouragement and harshness. Our instinctive reactions may be positive or negative. As Scouters we check our negative instincts and champion positive, affirming, encouraging rites of passage.

Some rites of passage end in clear outward symbolism like the ceremonial presentation of a badge. Some are more subtle transitions that we mark with words of affirmation in recognition of a Scout’s progress. We are never harsh or disapproving, but unfailingly supportive and understanding. Even when the going is tough, or our Scouts efforts look less than encouraging, we maintain a positive outlook. Scouters trade discouragement for honest praise. We trade demeaning, abusive hazing or ‘initiations’ for ceremonies that honor accomplishment.

How we express honest encouragement is vitally important; it is not simple platitudes or disingenuous praise. To be honestly encouraging we strive to understand the scale of the challenge from each individual Scout’s perspective. Bold, outgoing, and enthusiastic, or shy, meek and fearful, we never belittle or demean a Scout’s effort, even in jest. What we intend as good-natured chiding may be received as a devastating blow. We put the best face on every step forward and support each Scout’s effort towards the goal.

Guardian of the Gate

Nov 06, 2013 03:00 pm | clarkegreen@gmail.com Guardian of the Gate by F. Darnall Daley Jr. (advancement chair Area 6 of the NE Region).

 

Some of you appear to be standing guard at the gate. Like good guards you are not letting anyone pass who does not have the correct password. When someone appears at the gate who does not have the correct password, you send them away. The treasure that you believe you are guarding is the SACRED ADVANCEMENT REQUIREMENTS. You believe that you must guard the gate to make sure that no boy advances who has not only met the requirements but who has met the requirements 110%. Your watch word is, “We’ve gotten soft on the Boy Scout advancement.”

The problem is that you have gotten you orders wrong. You are guarding the wrong side of the gate. The treasure is not behind the gate but in front of it. The reassure is the character of the boys in our care. Your duty is not to prevent boys from passing through but to make sure as many boys as possible do pass through.

Advancement is a method, as tool if you will, that we use in Scouting. It is not an end in itself. The purpose of the advancement system is to build a boy’s confidence and self-esteem. A boy learns something new, he is tested in that skill, he is reviewed, and he is given advancement. Whenever possible the test should be a natural part of the unit’s program. For example, in the requirement is to cook a meal, the test should come when it’s time to eat at a regular unit outing. Remember that we are not authorized to either add to or subtract from any requirement. The review is to be a reflection on a boy’s experience in Scouting, not a retest. The advancement recognition must come as soon after the review as possible.

Some of you may have heard that advancement recognition can only be received once. I assure you that is not true. Recognition can be made many times and as often as possible. Advancement is to be positive reinforcement for a boy’s achievements. If done properly it will encourage a boy toward even more advancement and toward greater confidence in himself.

So get out in front of the gate where the treasure lies. Guard it no more. Become an advocate for our Scouts and provide the leadership that will help them through the gate. The world will be a better place tomorrow.

 

Epic debate: Stuffing vs. rolling tents

 
The age-old debate of how to care for a tent never seems to stop.
 

During an unofficial poll, answers seemed split down the middle on whether to roll a tent or stuff it when packing it either for the off-season or between camps.

Many of the most adamant answers were from people who were die-hard stuffers. Others, like me, heard both sides of the argument, saw substance in both and still didn’t know what to do.

So instead of staying in the dark, I went straight to the people who ought to know – tent designers at some of the most well-known tent manufacturers in the world.

Explore It!: Do you recommend stuffing or rolling your tents and why?

Big Agnes: I say do what suits you. Be cautious of poking the tent with pegs, poles, twigs or what have you. – Chris Pottinger, tent designer

Eastern Mountain Sports: I prefer to roll when stored, so as I roll I clean off any debris on the tent that can damage the materials. Plus it is better for the coatings to have the materials be as flat as possible. I will stuff in the field to be quick. – Tony Roina, equipment sourcing and product engineering director

Kelty/Sierra Designs: It is best to roll/stuff/fold your tent a different way each time. This way you will not create permanent creases in the same place of the tent. A good way to store your tent is to fold the body of the tent in thirds length-wise. Drape the rainfly over the folded body so that no part of the rainfly is wider than the folded body. Lay the collapsed poles and the stakes across one end of the folded tent. Loosely roll up the tent from one end to the other, rolling it around the poles and stakes. – Phil Mesdag, product manager

Mountain Hardwear: Rolling, it’s better for the tent in appearance and for the long-term wear and tear on a tent. – Sean McDevitt, designer

MSR: Some will argue that rolling a tent repeatedly will form permanent creases and will lead to the weakening of the fabric. I have never met anyone who can fold and roll their tent the exact same way every time. When you need to save space in or on your pack, roll the tent. If you are caught in a storm and you need to quickly pack your tent up or if space is not a concern, then just stuff it. – Dale Karacostas, tent and shelter product director

Nemo Equipment: I recommend stuffing tents. Tent fabrics have a lot of technical coatings to keep them waterproof, breathable (in some cases), UV resistant, and have other specific properties. Repeatedly creasing your tents along the exact same fold lines will stress and wear out those technical properties faster than other parts of the tent. Stuffing your tent ensures randomness so that you aren’t ever stressing out the same areas, and it also gives moisture a better chance of escaping. – Suzanne Turell, product design director

The North Face: Not as much care goes in to stuffing and can often result in catching and tearing mesh, poles getting stuck into mesh or tent body, etc. If you look at a brand new tent in the stuff sack, they are usually folded and rolled up tight. The poles and stakes are almost always in the middle of the fabric. This is also good practice for backpackers if you are going to store your poles with your tent. – Scott McGuire, equipment product director

Explore It!: Does it depend on the type of tent or the material?

Big Agnes: No. Not really.

EMS: Nope, but sometimes keeping polyester flies and nylon floors away from each other are better when wet. This is why I stuff separate in the field. Nylon color can migrate onto polyester when wet.

Kelty/SD: This goes for any fabric type.

Mountain Hardwear: No.

MSR: My experience is limited to lightweight backpacking tents, but I believe that this would hold true for most backpacking tents.

Nemo: There is no tent, to my knowledge, that doesn’t even try to be water resistant/proof. As long as you have coated fabrics, creasing and stressing of fabrics is always going to be an issue. With a folded tent, you might have a slightly smoother looking tent when you first pull it out of the bag to set it up, but when you are talking about shelter function comes first.

The North Face: For a super light tent, I recommend folding and rolling. It keeps the mesh “inside” and away from the dirt that may remain on the floor. It also makes one more cautious and aware of the dirt, debris and care needed on the tent as it is stored. If it is an expedition tent, it is bomber.

Explore It!: Are your tents sold stuffed or rolled? If opposite of what you recommend, why?

Big Agnes: They are loosely folded then rolled. It’s a clean presentation to the customer.

EMS: We roll them at the factory.

Kelty/SD: Our tents are sold rolled.

Mountain Hardwear: They come rolled. I don’t think anyone sells tents stuffed.

MSR: Our tents are sold rolled. This is so that they take up the least amount of space in transit as well as look nice and crisp when they are set up for the first time.

Nemo: Our tents are sold rolled because this offers the neatest presentation for customers when they are making a purchase decision.

The North Face: The North Face tents are rolled, which is easy care in the factory.

Explore It!: Do you stuff or roll your personal tent(s)?

Big Agnes: When I’m backpacking I’ll stuff the tent. I usually pack the poles and stakes separately from the tent. When I’m car camping I loosely fold then roll.

EMS: Roll for storage, stuff in the field.

Kelty/SD: I roll my personal tent – it packs better in my pack (less bulk) and looks a little better when set up (I am a tent guy, so I want my tent to look good!).

Mountain Hardwear: Roll, religiously.

MSR: I usually roll my tents, but if they are wet or if I am in a hurry, I just stuff them.

Nemo: I always stuff my tents. It’s faster, easier, and most importantly – better for the tent.

The North Face: I stuff while out and stuff depending on weather. I roll once I clean and put the tent away.

Ask for Authority – Take Responsibility

 Jul 18, 2013 10:56 am | clarkegreen@gmail.com (Clarke Green) at ScoutmasterCG.com

Frustration in organizations begins with someone saying “If I only had the authority to I’d … (fill in the blank)”.

When someone says this one of two things are happening ; they are either expressing a strong propensity for leadership, innovation and initiative, or just cloaking a complaint in language that doesn’t make them responsible for change. We understand authority as the power to make things happen. That’s the organizational chart way of looking at things; top down, low-risk, chain of command.

What if we turned this on it’s head, stopped looking at the organizational chart, and linked the power to change things to responsibility? Opening the door to this way of thinking is one way to tap the initiative of our Scouts.

How do you respond to a Scout who says “I think we ought to go on more backpacking trips”? How about; ” Okay, then, make the arrangements and we’ll go”? The real challenge is creating an atmosphere where that sort of question is welcomed.

 

May 28, 2013

Why should you be a Scouting volunteer? Through three decades of guiding my Scouts as a volunteer Scouter I’ve camped and hiked and canoed my way through some beautiful places, shared a thousand campfires and grown older (perhaps even wiser) in the company of many great Scouts and Scouters.

We covered many miles of literal trails together as my Scouts traveled the figurative trail towards adulthood. The tremendous trans-formative potential of the Scouting is an extraordinary journey, a precious opportunity that happens one step at a time, one trail leading to the next, always moving forward.

As you journey through Scouting you won’t just be a tourist seeing this world of adventure and challenge, you will be a traveler experiencing it.

All you need to do is take that first step…

Why You?

Well why not?

Perhaps you don’t know if you are ideally suited to be a Scouter; or doubt you know enough to lead Scouts, or even wonder of all this effort is worth your time. Every single Scouter has had to overcome those doubts and reservations so you are in good company!

Any journey begins with an idealized picture of we here we are headed, then that ideal meets reality and we may become disillusioned. Disillusionment is actually a pretty good thing – once we trade illusions for reality we can begin making a difference.

As a boy but I had a copy of the patrol leader’s handbook illustrated with drawings of perfect campsites, of Scouts dressed neatly in their uniforms lining up eager to listen to their patrol leader, cheering heartily, rallying around the patrol flag waving their hats. I was quickly disappointed when youthful attempts to organize our neighborhood gang didn’t resemble those idealized pictures.

It’s a very human thing to form illusions of perfection; we commemorate and idolize the perfect almost unconsciously. But experience soon teaches us the important lesson that there’s not much pure black and white. The idea that a perfect solution exists and that any solution short of perfection is unacceptable mistakenly reduces complex situations to two black and white illusions.

Reality is so much more interesting, complex and compelling! We all want to be comfortable and sometimes we recoil when we come up against reality. What I have found is that we can bear with a lot of uncertainty and discomfort to get to see what’s around the next bend. We aren’t always sure what awaits us – it may be bitter, it may be sweet, but we’ll never know unless we go. We’ll all have stupendous achievements along with the occasional dismal failure but that’s the true joy of any journey!

You really ought to get going!

Why now?

I have never known a parent to regret the time spent with their child in Scouts, some do regret they had not spent a great deal more.

Growing up is a transitional process for parents and children alike. Young children tend to stay in their parent’s orbit, but before long they become confident and comfortable on their own. Scouting is a great way to enable this incredibly important transitional process for a child and for you as a parent.

The adult role in Scouting progresses from serving as the principal leader for younger Scouts to the older age divisions where adults become advisers.

In the first few years you’ll spend more time directly relating to your child as a Scouter but eventually you’ll be working with them in less direct ways. Even if you aren’t spending a lot of time in each other’s company during a Scout meeting or outing you’ll have still have plenty to discuss.

As our children grow up circumstances sometimes strain the parent/child relationship and the opportunity to talk driving to or from a Scout meeting or preparing for a camping trip can be an incredible gift.

Sitting around the campfire or the meeting room you’ll learn that other parents are experiencing the same challenges and triumphs. You’ll have the consolation of being able to give each other some perspective and support when things are difficult. While you are taking refuge in the company of other parents your child is taking refuge in the company of other Scouts.

You’ll have a perspective that few parents enjoy, you’ll see them relating to their peers, leading them, working with them and you’ll watch how your child relates to other adults.

Your child will be watching you too. They’ll see you relating to your peers, leading them, working with them and they’ll watch how you relate to other children.

When the time your Scout is ready to make their own way in the world finally comes you’ll send them off with confidence, independence and skills that grew through Scouting. The transition may even be easier because you have progressively let go and watched them stand on their own two feet through the Scouting years.

Even decades later you will have something beyond the average parent/child relationship; sharing Scouting experiences in common is the basis of an enduring, meaningful friendship.

Why Scouting?

Scouting is a direct encounter with life rather than just thinking about or considering the possibilities of life. ‘Scout’ is a noun but it is also a verb. Scouts reconnoiter, explore, discover, reveal, observe, experience, evaluate, advance, venture, and pioneer. Scouts are always moving, always advancing.

Scouting is aimed at building character. During our childhood years the adult we will soon become is forged in the heat and hammered into shape at a time we are more malleable and impressionable than we ever will be again. Scouting provides direction and structure, a framework for growth that takes the long view of youth development.

Many other worthy pursuits for children don’t build so much as reveal character.

Why Scouting instead of sports or other kinds of youth groups, clubs and teams? Scouting isn’t an either/or decision. A family that chooses Scouting chooses “all of the above’. There’s specific commitments of time and dedication to Scouting but Scouting actively includes community, school, and family.

We may recall our childhood as bitter or sweet (more likely some amalgam of the two), but we may not fully recall the depth of how we experienced those years. We had our joyous, enlightening, empowering moments and our doubtful, dark and dangerous ones.

The powerful potential of childhood can go well but things can also go tragically wrong – an uncertainty that is equally inspiring and terrifying for parents.

When we reach the tumultuous, stormy, uncertain, years of adolescence we do our best for our children. They resist, we, fight for control, they fight back. It’s almost never easy.

Scouting is a stable, engaging and enriching path through adolescence because Scouting not only stabilizes the powerful instincts and uncertainty of adolescence, it is built on them.

Nearly anywhere in the world young people on the path to adulthood instinctively form groups, adopt uniforms, establish standards, develop a credo and create initiatory challenges. The ‘uniform’ may be torn jeans and black tee-shirts, their standards and credo may be more directed at mayhem than order, their initiatory challenges may be dangerous or anti-social.

We don’t ignore, battle or acquiesce to all this youthful energy – we clear a pathway, offer direction and solace, we cooperate with the powerful forces at work. Scouting uses uniforms, standards of conduct, credos, and initiatory challenges to channel adolescence’s instinctive energy towards positive ends. Scouting can be an island of stability for young people where they can exercise independence, associate themselves with positive values and ideas, and shape a bright future.

Scouting’s adult volunteers are good practical people. We are concerned about what’s going to happen at the next meeting or camping trip. We’re curious about rules and regulations, policies and procedures. We’ll want to measure and quantify the progress of our Scouts. We’ll have plenty of forms to fill in, records to maintain and plans to develop. But these practicalities are meaningless if we don’t appreciate the importance of the less practical, less tangible elements of Scouting.

Scouting is not a system that manufactures a product – it’s a journey that transforms lives, a developmental quest that never ends – we’re not traveling to a final destination we are following a direction; there’s always another step, another challenge.

That challenge, the chance to make a difference, and the joy of journeying forward; that’s why you should volunteer for Scouting.

April 25, 2013

As we spend more times out doors during the coming months, I hope you'll read & heed the advice below. Cheers, Mr. O

From: The Scoutmaster Minute http://thescoutmasterminute.net/

A wall cloud like this is never good news. (The storm that followed caused tornadoes, thankfully a good distance from where we hunkered down!)
Scouting disasters in the wild loom when things start to get sketchy, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you get that feeling that something is not quite right. It’s time to stop, sit down and think. Bravely pushing ahead against all obstacles, having the grit and determination to keep on going, not giving in are all qualities we’d like to see in our Scouts.

But there are times those qualities will get you killed.

Read that last sentence again.

It’s not intended to be gratuitously shocking or dramatic, it’s the absolute truth. We ought to be prepared to withstand some discomfort, but we don’t want to put ourselves or our Scouts in danger needlessly. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is stop, turn around, or go back.

In my experience when things go bad they go bad in one of two ways:

Things go bad in seconds – an injury, an overturned canoe, a failed piece of gear.

Things go bad slowly – A series of decisions cascades into a bad situation.

When I look back at the times I have encountered these situations I can almost always point to two types of causes:

Factors beyond our control – Changes in the weather and similar unanticipated conditions.

Factors we can control - Preparedness, knowledge and reactions to problem situation.

I’ve had some close calls in the wild, almost all of them caused by a series of poor decisions, few were sudden events. Some of the close calls were caused or complicated by factors beyond my control. In the end I have learned that it’s our response to situations that matter. Sometimes that means stopping, sometimes it means turning around, sometimes it means getting out and going back.

Here are ten reasons to stop and think (Almost all the italicized scenarios are situations I have experienced personally, a couple are ones I read in the news):

1. Rain or Snow
A bit of rain or snow should not shut down every outdoor adventure, but it should change what you are doing. Inexperienced trekkers underestimate the seriousness of getting wet and cold even in the middle of summertime.

A group encountered rain on a winter trip. Cold, wet conditions render their handheld flashlights useless. A series of bad decisions requires hiking in rough terrain at night with one working headlamp for a group of eight who must spend hours covering a couple of miles.

2. Wind
High wind conditions can spell serious danger, they can shred tents and tarps, topple trees, blow you off your feet and sink watercraft.

The group set out on a windy lake in canoes and several of them upset within minutes. Despite this they try to tough things out and narrowly avoided loosing someone in the confusion, their gear and clothing was soaked through and they ultimately abandoned the trip.

4. Lightning
Taking precautions against lightning will interrupt your progress – how long you are delayed may even require a change to your plans. This ‘inconvenience’ makes some of us reluctant to take proper precautions; these are the folks who get struck.

Scouts close to a shelter are told to keep on going to their campsite several hundred yards away. One is struck by lightning and killed and another is injured.

4. The terrain is not what you’d expected.
When the going is tougher than you anticipated (the trail is steeper, rockier or more challenging, the river is high, the lake is windy) you’ll be tempted to push harder in the hope conditions will improve. In these instances it takes more fortitude and foresight to stop and consider changing your route, your destination or turning around and going back.

A group set’s out on a day-long river float trip. They are unfamiliar with the river and soon encounter rapids, they have to abandon the float trip and spend an arduous day hiking out.

5. Fatigue
The physical and mental pressures of any extended trip are fatiguing and fatigue leads to poor judgement. Because fatigue affects judgement the real danger is that a fatigued person will not know they are making poor decisions. When the going is tough the group should stop and assess each other’s condition periodically. When rest, food and water are needed stop and take the time required.

The group is tired after a full day of hiking, but the leader presses them to continue to the planned goal. It begins to rain and some of the group show symptoms of hypothermia . A long slog follows and the trip is shortened because some group members simply can’t continue.

6. Darkness
A late start, unanticipated challenges; anything that causes your travel to extend past daylight should be taken seriously. Traveling at night is inherently dangerous – learn to know how much daylight you have and adjust plans accordingly.

A later than anticipated start causes a group to canoe past sunset, they become separated and, after some tense hours finally reunite at the planned campsite.

7. Time
If you’ve underestimated the time it takes to travel, set up camp, strike camp, prepare meals, and get a proper amount of rest consider changing your plans. Pushing a group to keep an unreasonable schedule can lead to real problems.

The group reaches the foot of a mountain pass late in the day. They decide to press on and encounter difficult terrain that slows them down and hike through many hours of darkness before they reach their goal. They spend a day recovering from an all-night ordeal and ultimately abandon the trip days early.

8. Water and Food
Conditions may make water sources you counted on unavailable, you may have underestimated the amount of food required to keep everyone going. If either of these situations occur they must be addressed, pushing on in spite of them is almost never a good option.

A bear manages to get a group’s bear bag and destroy’s all but a few of their provisions. After inventorying what remains the decision is made to cut the trip short.

9. Poor Morale
We expect and welcome challenge, challenge involves a level of discomfort, but when conditions conspire to crush morale we’d better stop and think. A dispirited, fatigued, group can be driven past the point of safety by an overzealous leader. Continuously assess the morale of individuals and the group and make changes when needed.

A group arrives late to their intended campsite to find it has been taken, they press on and find a place to camp hours later. Dispirited and fatigued they gather round a campfire discuss changing their plans to account for this unanticipated problem. The result is a the next morning’s start time and goal for the day is adjusted to allow more rest and offset the extra energy expended.

10. Gear Problems
A clogged water filter, broken stove, torn tent or lost headlamp can seem insignificant. Gear that fails, doesn’t work as expected, or get’s lost can be a serious matter.

January 7, 2013

All, I think this article provides great insight in "boy led". I have to partially agree with one of his comments: "Parents and Scouts alike do not like a disorganized and non productive meeting. I don’t mind them especially because they lead to teaching and learning opportunities…" I agree that it means they are learning: however; it does bother me and I have to ask myself - what type of training/guidance can I provide to minimze this?

You'll note that the tone is to let the boys lead and IMO that implies that in order to do this the onus is on the scouts to Be Prepared! I hope everyone, especially the scouts, will read this and think about their responsibilities are... to themselves, their patrol, the troop.

Cheers, Mr. O



From: The Scoutmaster Minute http://thescoutmasterminute.net/

The other night we had a spirited conversation with our Troop committee about, among other things, youth leadership and keeping older Scouts engaged.

One of the main ingredients of the Patrol method and effective youth leadership at the Troop level is that the youth run it. Well, no duh.. right. And sometimes that is not always a pretty process which in many cases parents are not happy seeing. And in many cases it has an adverse effect on the Scouts in the troop also. And there is the issue.

We can stand back and watch the Scouts struggle and bleed… or we can rush in and apply band-aids for every skinned knee.

Now if we are doing this right. We teach and coach, we train and mentor, and we allow knees to get skinned on occasion and see if the Scouts apply their own band aids. When the bleeding gets out of control.. there we are to assist in whatever the wound of the day is.

I presented that analogy to a parent the other night, I am pretty sure they got it, but I stressed that as a Scoutmaster we always try to find a good balance between the bleeding and the band-aids.
Scouts need to be in charge and allowed to make mistakes.. even fail. They need to struggle through some really bad meetings and then challenged to see where the issues are and make attempts and fixing them. We are always there with our first aid kits (figuratively speaking) to apply a band-aid when needed. Sometimes that band-aid comes in the form of a complete shut down, sometimes it’s a gentle talk with and offering of advice. But no matter what it is always the Scouts that come up with the solution, the right idea, and the plan to get out of the mess they are in.

Parents and Scouts alike do not like a disorganized and non productive meeting. I don’t mind them.. especially because they lead to teaching and learning opportunities…

But what of the Scouts (and parents) that decided that they are not patient enough to allow the process to work?

Well, they need to develop some patients, the Scouts need to be trained properly, and the program needs to be allowed to work. When those happen, learning happens and the Scouts start to see more success over failure.

If a Scout says they are going to leave… well, try to explain to them that this is all a part of the process. Ask them what they are doing to help. If they insist on leaving.. invited them back.
I don’t know that you can convince them all, those that get it get it. Those that don’t and refuse to be patient really don’t understand Scouting and what we are trying to accomplish here.
We are not a church club or a Cub Scout pack. We are trying to play a game with a purpose that forces young men to make decisions and develop leadership skills. We are asking that these same boys make ethical choices that will serve as the foundation of their decision-making for the rest of their lives. We are trying to show them through the process that life is hard and those that work hard, handle adversity well, and can work with others on a team will be successful in life. They will measure their success not in wealth, but in how they live a life of character.

So we can stand back and let them bleed a little, or we can rush in with the band-aids.

To be honest, I really don’t mind the sight of a little blood. It means that they are learning.

Before I get emails and comments about letting Scouts get hurt.. that is NOT what I am suggesting. It is just an analogy. If it doesn’t work for you so be it.

Train ‘em..Trust ‘em.. and let ‘em lead!

Have a Great Scouting Day!