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Effects of Age Descrimination

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  • Effects of Age Descrimination

    This discussion on a worship music blog seemed to me to have connections to Scouting.

    Finding that balance between old and new is the challenge. We old guys can too often be a bit set in our ways; but we most of us still have much to offer and pass on. But in a program that is best when it has a viable outdoor program, many of us are no longer able to give the scouts the level of activity they want and need. But part of the problem is also society in general and the breakdown of the extended family unit. It is reflected in the growing public disrespect, often disdain, of the older generation. Likely does not help to have such poor examples in our governmental structures.

    I know on a personal level that my unit will not survive if I am unsuccessful in reestablishing its outdoor program and bringing in dedicated younger leaders that will appreciate the history and tradition. Am holding my breath that I may have begun that transition.

  • #2
    Good post skeptc. Less than 25% of adults today had a BSA youth scouting experience. It is challenging to offer a program for youth when the adult leaders only source of direction comes from adult training.

    Public disrespect isn't going to change, so the scouting program will have to change to survive. Likely the experienced adults will not approve of those changes because they will pull away from traditional outdoor program.



    • #3
      Barry, I think you said the key--"adult training."

      It's important that adults be trained...the skills and introduction to scouting are vital. But two things can happen. One, folks avoid training. Two, if folks show up, the training isn't beneficial (lots of time sitting on bench, listening) or the new volunteers are turned off by the condescending attitudes of the training cadre.

      Training cadres can really put new volunteers off with the "we're the good olde boys and you're the newbies" routine.

      Training aside, if the old scouters insist on keeping their exclusive club, it will discourage new leaders from making long term commitments to scouting. Many threads here about "no WB beads/no respect."

      Mutual respect is important. The old timers need to bring new folks on board and treat them as equals and instill scouting values for the next generation of leaders. New folks need to take the time and understand the old values, and not discard the old ways just because they are old.


      • #4
        Over the years, my perception of group dynamics is a bit different than what most believe is happening.

        The younger generation likes change. Growth is by itself change. New things, different things, pushing the envelop, etc. are all part of a young person's life.

        On the other hand the older generation has seen tons of change from "back when I was a lad!" More change is no big deal for them, just chalk it up to yet another wild idea and lets see where it goes.

        The locked in generation are those between 30 and 50. These people have an idealized state in which they will fight tooth and nail to preserve. Change to them means the end of the world as they know it. They also happen to be the parents of scout aged youth. Thus the rub.

        Ever wonder why kids get along better with grandparents and the older generation than they do their parents and that generation? I don't.

        Knowing this, the "old guard" of most troops/councils are not the 60+ crowd, they are the older end of the staunch generation of Don't Rock the Boat people. They are well seasoned in the ability to fight off change and no new whipper-snapper is going to move in on their turf and cause a ruckus.

        Once you realize this, it makes life a lot easier to work with the kids. However, be careful of the parents (and others in the 30-50 year generation), that's where 95% of the problems will arise.



        • #5
          A friend of mine pastored a church with a "contemporary" and "traditional" service. He said the older folks who attended the latter were very flexible and accomodating. The younger folks were incredibly resistant to change, even though their service was decreasing in numbers. Maybe one of these days I'll be that old scouter that all the boys love.


          • jblake47
            jblake47 commented
            Editing a comment
            It helps to be a 12 year old in a 60+ year old body. You get to act like a kid and society writes you off as eccentric or a "bit tatched".