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Servant Leadership vs. Rank Advancement

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  • #16
    The adult unit leaders control this......No debate about it.....

    How many times have you heard or watch unit dynamics.....you can't trust the boys to do it they will just screw it up.....Yes they will, nobody will starve or get killed so it will be ok.

    The boys simply can't lead if the adults won't get out of the way. Let them burn the pancakes or set their tents up in the depression

    Train them
    Trust them
    Let them led

    Honestly it would be easier for me to plan events and just do the grocery shopping and training......

    It is also hard to drop them off at the trail head and watch them disappear over the hill or around the corner. But the simple presence of an adult changes the group dynamic.

    My unit has about 20 hours of service possible in a month......Most at the CO either in the food pantry or the community meal.... I think the service hours required for rank are to low....what 12 hours will get you to life scout.

    It takes the adults to guide the PLC and then support what they want to do even if you don't agree with it. I don't like the December lock in.....Don't like the pizza and video game theme.....

    Comment


    • #17
      "EDGE is a teaching skill, but if the boy only teaches because he gains advancement, what's the big deal?"

      Resist. Resist. Resist. Can't do it ...

      EDGE undermines servant leadership from step 1. Explain. This presumes that you have something someone else can't get any other way. Now, that does happen from time to time. (For example for some fundamental process, you may come up with an English acronym that nobody else knows of and your Korean scout can't figure out!) In terms of scout skills, that simply isn't the case.

      Servant leadership says, "Let's find a common reference. Do you have your book?" and works from there. It encourages a person to believe that skill attainment is in the learner's own hand[book]s. It promises community with a wider body than just the teacher and student. When that community falls short (perhaps because the student doesn't read well or the publisher confounded the material -- at least for this individual), it offers the more intimate fellowship to step through the reference together.

      The first step to using the advancement program for the purposes of develop servant leadership is to abandon EDGE and provide your boys with the teaching method that lifted the West out of the Dark Ages.

      Comment


      • jblake47
        jblake47 commented
        Editing a comment
        Maybe I should have said, "EDGE is one of many different teaching methods", but if any of the skills learned are only for advancement and not the betterment of the student, then I have a problem with it. Okay, if the EDGE doesn't work, maybe a PowerPoint and laser pointer would work, or a lecture, or maybe I have to read the book out loud to him, all of which are different teaching methods. When servant leadership is used, any and all tools/skills necessary to help the student learn is okay. If the lecture and flip chart isn't working, maybe a story of how the bunny comes up out of his hole runs around the tree and goes back into the hole will work. The boy that sits down and uses whatever skills he has learned to help someone else is demonstrating quality servant leadership.

        I also dislike the BSA emphasis on EDGE because not every boy learns the same way. The BSA implication is that if you can't figure out how to learn from EDGE, you're a lost cause. So, how does one teach a skill using EDGE to a blind scout? the deaf scout? or the scout with only one arm? We have them out there.

        So as to calm the waters:

        There are a variety of different teaching skills available, but if the boy only teaches because he gains advancement, what's the big deal?

        HASLUAMP method is good servant leadership teaching method (Help A Scout Learn Using Any Means Possible)

        Stosh

    • #18
      Jblake, I agree with you, absolutely. The selfish should be balanced by the selfless. That's a well rounded scout.

      What can the BSA do? Based on JTE and the Venture rewrite, I don't see anything useful.

      I like what you're ideas are, but they can't be requirements and check boxes. As you said, a culture change is needed. The only way I can see that is if the adults truly understand what the methods are and also how to implement them.

      I'd like to see better training or information for scoutmasters. The scoutmaster handbook is a nice introduction but it could go a lot deeper into the methods of scouting. Not just a paragraph for each method but at least a chapter, as well as how the methods work together and how to get them working in a troop. The patrol method section could include a good description of what leadership is and how to develop it. I would really like to see such a manual and I know many other scouters that would use it, too. The next best alternative is discussions like this website but often adults are trying to fix symptoms and not the underlying problem. Most adults want to do a good job, but they just don't know how.

      Comment


      • jblake47
        jblake47 commented
        Editing a comment
        Would you agree that the advancement part of the program is easier for people to teach than the leadership part? I'm thinking the easy cop out is to simply make check marks in boxes than it is to sit down and work with boys developing their character and leadership abilities. Other than in the oath ever month, how many leaders emphasize helping other people at all times in their troop. We do an inspection of the the uniforms, but do we do an inventory of the boys' Daily Good Turns? We all know how much more powerful praise is over chastisement, and yet the only time we haul out our copy of the Oath and Promise is when the boys do something wrong..... If SL isn't going to start at the national level, at least let it start at the SM/adult level in the troops.

      • MattR
        MattR commented
        Editing a comment
        "Would you agree that the advancement part of the program is easier for people to teach than the leadership part?"

        Yes. I tell my scouts that the scout spirit requirement is the hardest one for them to get checked off. They don't believe me until they ask me to check it off.

        "I'm thinking the easy cop out is to simply make check marks in boxes than it is to sit down and work with boys developing their character and leadership abilities."

        It's even harder when you're not quite sure how to work with the boys to achieve this. My point is only that I barely understand how to do it right because I've never seen it done right, and I'm ahead of most SMs in my district. I'm ever so slowly getting the adults to understand what I'm trying to do and I barely understand. This forum is one of the best sources of information I have but even then it's not obvious how to do some things. For example, when people say let the scouts run it and get the adults out of there, they're missing a critical point that the adults and scouts need to trust each other. The scout needs to trust that the SM has his back and has trained him well and the SM has to trust that the boy is responsible and capable. I've seen boy-led translate into ignoring the younger scouts because the older scouts just want to have fun. Boy led but not what we want.

        "the only time we haul out our copy of the Oath and Promise is when the boys do something wrong"

        That's one thing we do a reasonable job with. At courts of honor I have time to recognize scouts for showing exemplary leadership and scout spirit. At the end of every campout I'll also call out scouts that have really helped out. I'm not sure if it's enough, though.

        This is also more than just servant leadership. It's really about doing the right thing when it needs to be done. Not just knowing the right thing but doing it. Duty to God and country, others, and self. The scout has to pay attention enough to what's going on around him and step up when something needs doing. They can't wait for someone to ask them to help out, they need to see it on their own. It's an attitude, how do I teach an attitude? Is it just constant repetition? This is as much art as anything. We're working with kids. Again, I need help.

        "If SL isn't going to start at the national level, at least let it start at the SM/adult level in the troops."

        Yep.
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