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Been to NOAC? Heading there? Chat about the Order's bi-annual gathering


    • I would not say that -  it s just that the Navy is more technical than the army.  Pretty much all of the officer communities has a about a year + pipeline before you get into an operational command.  As such, there is no real opportunity (other than failing to pass the different schools in the pipeline) to assess an officers capabilities.  There is no Infantry equivalent for the Navy - even surface warfare takes time.
    • Hi All. I heard a lecture that put all my experiences and wisdom from scouting in a nutshell. This isn't a thread on god, or God, and scouting. This is about the scoutmaster setting the example of servant leadership by being a servant leader. Our definition of Servant Leadership here is Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy built on the belief that the most effective leaders strive to serve others. It's an easy leadership style to understand, but much harder to do because servant leadership requires the humility to learn the desires and needs of the followers, and then serve them toward those needs and desires. Christians have the example of Jesus preaching that the one who seeks the most must serve the least. The  problem with leaders these days is most don't serve with humility and they don't have a consistent vision to agree on. We have often discussed here that scouts learn by watching, not by hearing. For a youth to change their philosophy of behavior, they must observe the behavior and believe it is one worth duplicating. Humans of the scout age don't permanently choose to change a behavior from intimidations or lectures. They must accept the behavior is better than the one they have. One of the biggest obstacles troops struggle to over come is developing a culture where the scouts trust and respect the adults enough to believe their behavior is worth watching and duplicating. That respect takes time and requires a lot of effort of humility from the adults. But, if the adults behavior is consistent and they provide unselfish reasons for the direction of the troop activities, they will buy into it because their choices in the activities generally make them like themselves better in those activities. That may sound selfish, but the prepubescent mind is paranoid of danger, so changing behaviors requires changing to watch what they feel is a safer behavior. Which is one reason why threats of punishment or sway of lecture generally doesn't have much affect on personal growth. Scouts need to watch safe-decision-making behavior to desire it.  As for giving scouts a direction to develop their activities, I found, through my years working with Scoutmasters, that very few of them have vision. And without vision, the Scoutmaster doesn't have a rudder to hold course. That is OK, the program can still be fun and rewarding, just not a life changing experience. Scouts in successful scout-run type troops generally observe two visions from the adults, specifically the SM. They  see a belief in a higher spiritual power, and moral direction for behavior. It's not that scouts are looking for a godly person to lead, they are just respecting a leader who doesn't believe they are the supreme authority. How is this person any better than any other adult? The main reason god is mentioned in Scouting in general as a moral action for scouts is that god is the highest authority and gives unit leaders more power to encourage a moral changing program. Kind of a Good Cop Bad Cop relationship. God sets the rules, the SM just guides the program with them. The traits in the Scout Law are the righteous actions of Scout. They are not the opinions of just another blow-hard adult. All actions by anyone in the unit can be held accountable by god. If not the units leaders, then the family. A scout is supposed to learn how to judged their personal decisions toward others with the Scout Law. So, the Scoutmaster who credits (in words or actions) a higher moral authority for their application of the Scout law is showing submission to the higher authority. Servant Leadership starts at the very top.  Also, the cultural vision sets the direction of the program activities for all the scouts. That doesn't mean the Scoutmaster lectures the vision over and over. The Scoutmaster consistently judges the actions and activities of the program and relates a tone of direction. And, Scoutmaster's behavior goes far with setting the tone. I had a little time on a campout and walked over to watch the scouts play Capture The Flag. I was in the shadows, so they couldn't see me. When a new scout on his first campout started cursing, a senior scout said, without an interruption to his actions in the game, "we don't cuss here." As far as I knew, we never talked about cussing in the troop. When I asked about it with my son, he said nobody cusses in the troop publicly dad. School yes, but not here." The leader is the gatekeeper of the moral actions of the community. Good or bad, the actions of the community come from the top. Whether the vision is freedom to make choices or a strict environment of rules and guidelines, it generally comes from the leader. In this discussion, the Scoutmaster. And he was right, we adults didn't cuss. And that culture bled into the scouts culture. It was a profound moment for me. When I was the district Scoutmaster course instructor, I also invited Troop Committee Chairs because I wanted them to understand what the patrol method program was, and I instructed them to take responsibility for picking the right Scoutmaster. Or maybe righteous Scoutmaster. A leader with vision and humility of the higher power makes all the difference in the world. Well, I have rambled enough. I am hoping for some  discussion because the subject of Scoutmaster servant leadership can be complicated. We don't seem to have a lot of experienced guidance lately on this forum, although there are few here with really good wisdom. The forum has been dominated by the nonprogram struggles from outside interference and forum membership has dwindled. Maybe the scouters in the trenches can change that trend. If scouting is to keep going, the wisdom of experience would go a long way helping the present and future adults run a great program.  I love this scouting stuff.  Barry
    • Forgive the length. This is from a case and is in my POC. For me and others, this type of strong "trust and revere your SM" applied to all volunteers and professionals. (Please forgive any wonky formatting. I'll take assistance if it ends up a hot mess.) It states in pertinent part as follows:[1]             BSA has issued various publications available to scouts, parents, and the general public. The Boy Scout Handbook typically contains the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. It also contains a description of troop leaders. The Seventh Edition of the Handbook was copyrighted in 1965 and reprinted in 1967. It states:                          First, there’s your Scoutmaster. What a wonderful man he is! He spends hours figuring out how to give you fun and adventure in your troop. He takes special training to learn exciting new things for you to do. He is present at every troop meeting and goes hiking and camping with the troop. He is the friend to whom you can always turn to for advice. He coaches the patrol leaders. Why does he do all this? Because he believes in Scouting, because he likes boys and wants to help them become real men.             The Seventh Edition also directs scouts to obey their Scoutmasters. “A Scout is Obedient. He obeys his parents, Scoutmaster, patrol leader, and all other duly constituted authorities.”             The Eighth Edition of the Handbook was copyrighted in 1972 and reprinted in 1973. The Eighth Edition states:                          The Scout Oath states “On my honor I will do my best / To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; / To help other people at all times; /To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” The Scout Law states “A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous,  Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”                          “Over there watching things is your Scoutmaster. He’s a great guy. He gives hours of his time to you and the troop. And do you know why? Mostly because he knows Scouting is important to his city and nation. Besides, he is interested in boys.”             The Ninth Edition of the Handbook, copyrighted and printed in 1979, again states that the scoutmaster “is the friend to whom you can always turn to for advice” and directs scouts to follow the rules of their troop. The Ninth Edition is dedicated to “the American Scoutmaster who makes scouting possible,” and directs scouts to be “loyal” and “true” to their Scout leaders.              In 1970, BSA published the “Parent’s Book.” It states that “Scouts benefit immensely from companionship with [their Scoutmaster],” who is a “man of good character.” The Parent’s Book also states that the Scoutmaster is “the kind of guy [scouts] would like to be,” and that the Scoutmaster has “the unique ability to get inside a boy and gain his confidence.” It states that the Scoutmaster has a “profound influence” on boys. Finally,   the Parents Book states that the Scoutmaster is a “mature adult of sound character,” and lists the “desirable qualities” for which a Scoutmaster is selected.  [1] https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Boy-Scouts-ORDER.pdf POST SCRIPT: THIS is the standard of the day BSA needed to rise to and above. Not what the Babe Ruth League was doing. I took part in a ton of activities and only BSA and the RCC did this sort of pre-death cannonization. For the RCC, it was deeply engrained and implied, occasionally reinforced, but not codified like the above. 
    • To me this is the similarity with the abuse cases in the Catholic Church and to a lesser degree other religious denominations. Even more so than other religions, the position of the Catholic priest in a community was revered as above reproach, as was someone who embodied the highest of scouting's ideals, the scoutmaster. For that matter, even at the youth level, rank and file scouts are given a measurable level of higher regard by their community. How many times have we heard something along the lines of, "It will be fine, he's a scout." We still default to it here to this day on this forum, most recently with our pride in the two scout troops who assisted the dying and the injured during the recent train crash in Missouri. Of course they would be heroic, they're scouts.  This similarity in viewing priests and scoutmasters as being on a higher moral plane than everyone else likely contributed to the abuse scandals in both institutions. Parents couldn't believe such things of the people they held in such high regard, in some cases even questioning the claims of their own children. The community at large also often couldn't comprehend such behavior and was perhaps exceedingly reluctant to act on reports. And we all know how the leadership of each institution reacted to the decades of claims. 
    • In what specific form(s) and substance did that "warning" come down to LCs, COs, Units, volunteers, parents and Scouts? Interested, not poking. I used the excerpts from the book to make a point and launch the discussion. As I've said, there is much I don't know. Thanks. (Sorry I didn't have a chance to respond to you thoughtful, detailed post up yonder.) One of the topics I brought up when I started speaking up way back when is the issue of the elevation of the SM. I said something to the effect of, "Our SM was set on a pedestal and was larger than life to us." I was summarily slapped down for that. No one has responded to the things that were widely published from the Parent's Handbook (thing) and some of the other key publications. It's neigh on to deification to the point questioning a SM fitness for service and moral purity was clearly verboten. Still curious. That makes it very hard for a Scout to even consider speaking up, maybe even for parents. 
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