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  • #16
    It seems like you have a pretty good grasp of your situation Bokris, you just need some experience to learn how to do your job better. We are all there because good scout mastering is continued growth through humility. It never stops. I tell folks all the time time that I did more things wrong than I did right, but somehow we did ok. Learn from the trials so you know how to do it better next time. As for the 12 year old maturity, I teach adults to balance the youth leadership with enough of adult energy to give the scouts growth. Understand that growth comes from the Scouts' discovery of making good decisions baised from "their" experiences, not what the adults tell them they should learn. But we must understand that 12 year old SPL has neither the maturity or experience of a 16 year old SPL. Your program has to challenge the 12 year old to grow so they can be the mature 16 year olds without overwhelming them and taking out the fun. That is a HUGE challenge for the adults because they have to constantly step back as the scouts grow. How much room should you give scouts? Enough to find their limits to crossing the line of not being fun anymore, then pulling back just a small bit. Remember, adults have to learn more faster so they don't get in the scouts' way. Where troops fail is when the adults get lazy and quit learning from the experiences. Barry

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    • #17
      My experience is that being a scout leader is a lot less about rules and much more about people skills, communication and coordination. Great idea to communicate expectations and talk about it. You don't really need to specify any extra rules. Just discuss what it means to be SPL. Then if the scout can't live up to the expectation, talk with him about it and work thru the situation. That's where the people skill comes in.

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      • #18
        Thanks All, for great feedback. I have been able to absorb much of the information, and have utilized it well (for now, until the next mistake!). I have since, reached out to the mom, the divorced dad, and the Scout, and let them know that while the Scout may not be the most organized, and the family may struggle with time commitment, that the Scout is a great boy. He stands up for the boy who is weaker, the ones who are picked on at times, and when he doesn't know how to handle a situation, he comes to my Assistant Scoutmasters or myself. He is a leader; with or without title. Tonight is Court of Honor, and the Patrol leaders will run it, and then its Christmas break. On January 7, our first meeting back, we will have new boy leader elections (this has been scheduled since our Annual planning meeting in August).

        The family were all in agreement that the Scout was still too "disorganized and immature" to handle a leadership role, but loves Scouts, and will continue in the program.

        I have learned:

        1. Don't respond to upsetting emails by email (I keep learning that one)
        2. Take a few moments (days possibly) to respond, and use the time to reflect on the most appropriate response, as to not react out of anger.
        3. Have a pre-nomination counseling session with the Scouts AND the family, to review expectations and time commitments.
        4. An 11/ 12 year old Scout does not need the same level of expectation in a role as a 15-16 year old Scout. (This one is hard, as I want to allow the Scouts the responsibility for their program, and not "do it for them," but when the Troop is 11/12 year old boys, I find that they don't have the organizational/ communication skills and experience to do it alone, and I struggle to find balance).
        5. When I continue to make the same mistakes, I am obviously not learning from the mistakes I'm making.

        It is great to be able to air things on this forum, as there are so many differing opinions from which to gain knowledge and insight, as well as constructive criticism and affirmation. Thank you all for taking the time to review and offer help.

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