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AnnLaurelB

Alpha dogs

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I had a lot of time on my hands this weekend, and as is my wont occasionally, I went thread-diving. I'm fascinated by a developing theory; I hope I can articulate it.

 

So many, many of the forum members are, for lack of a fancier term so SMART, especially in this, the no-holds-barred "Issues" forum, where posters, topics, and opinions swing wide and encompass much, even more so than the other Scouting-related forums.

 

And what do they have in common? It may be several things. But most obviously, aren't most people here Scout leaders? As I've scrolled through many, many posts, learning the leanings, writing styles and passions of some of the most active participants, something else stands out to me.

 

I think you're all Alpha Dogs. I recognize this, because I suspect that I'm one, too. I notice that there's a ...mentality... for lack of a better word, that sets most of the prolific posters here apart from your average joe/jane. NOT, mind you, that that means they each AGREE with each other, because as evidenced in the thread about Christianity, for examply, passionately differing opinions abound.

 

In the short time I've been hanging around this joint, I've followed threads where several one-or-two-time posters (whom I'd call "Beta" dogs), try to bait the pack (aptly named), only to receive certainly not a fatal chomping, but for SURE what was an Alpha-Beta Dog Smack Down, crafted of intelligence and often wit.

 

But what you Alphas have in common is a certain... certainty, if you see what I mean. Is it a coincidence that THIS type of person accounts for so many Scouting leaders? I don't think it's random at all! I think it's rather a default.

 

Does this make sense? Just rambling...

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It may be more of a characteristic of they people that get drawn into these discussions.

 

As for "certain... certainty". I was in a management training seminar many years ago. The instructor asked "How do you describe your discussions?" After a few "thoughtful"s and "considerate"s I said, "Its the right one".

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"...It may be more of a characteristic of they people that get drawn into these discussions..."

 

Ah. Perhaps that's so. :0)

 

 

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It's like people say: Some people lead, and some follow.

 

Bet most ogf the people who stand up and lead are Alpha while many who kinda think they might lead..if it's okay with everybody else..are Beta.

 

Yeah, it probably is a default characteristic.

 

But of course, my dad used to say that sometimes I could be so hard headed that I really could win an arguement with a wall! :)

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Ann

Interesting points, many of the people who have been around a long time remember when years ago this forum was a dog eat dog confrontational knock down dragout, and maybe some of that style is still in our posts. However speaking for myself even when I disagree with someone strongly and might answer bruskly I still respect them as a person who like myself is devoting many hours to scouting to make it a better organization. There are many ways to peel an orange and all of us like to think our way is the best way. There are a couple of posters who I usually disagree with but I still have found gems of wisdom in their posts.

 

IMHO whether you are a first time Tiger Cub Leader or a 30 year seasoned veteran of scouting we all share a love for this organization and the youth it serves. As long as the new members understand NOT to take any comments aimed at you too personally there is a lot we can learn from each other, whether you are an alpha, beta, gamma, or sigma dog we are all in this together. However watch out for the I&P threads as those are still a "minefield", lol.

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Dog!!!??? Moi?

As tempting as it is to apply the canine model, I suggest that for the men at least, pigs are closer. Just kidding. Well,...maybe not...anyway...as I often note, if you want to explain human behavior, you merely need to think of three words: We Are Monkeys.

Want evidence? Watch some cub scouts. Want to understand why we do what we do? Go to the primate hall at the zoo.

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I blame it on Scouting. I wasnt a High D personality when I was a happy-go-lucky 10 year old.

 

And, btw, you're all wusses.

 

 

JTS

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Hey Ann,

 

I would hesitate to translate one's online behavior directly to offline actions.

 

There are plenty of Alpha Scout leaders who don't have the keyboarding skills to blaze away 200 word opinions. Some of us have to hunt and peck our words, so we're not very agressive online.

 

And if you're a parent of scout age kids, you probably don't have a lot of time to waste online, even though this forum does provide a useful vent for daily frustrations. Which probably keeps me from being as 'Alpha' offline as I might be otherwise.

 

I am most indebted to these online folks for helping me resist the 'made-up' rules that we all run into in our dealings with entrenched know-it-alls at home, and for providing resources to links that help me teach our kids.

 

Something you might take into consideration as you flesh out your theory on who wets the highest on the hydrant, is the number of posts and how long it took that person to get there.

 

We've got one sage who has written in 5,815 times over a six year span. That's a couple of books! You could choke a good computer searching all those posts...

 

On the other hand we have a friendly member who has reached 2,159 posts in only 20 months.

 

Is there a difference between an Alpha Dawg and an Alpha Puppy?

(This message has been edited by joebob)

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We've got one sage who has written in 5,815 times over a six year span.

 

Yah, hmmm....

 

I reckon that makes the fellow more long-winded than sagacious. Or maybe he's just stuck inside too long durin' northern winters. :)

 

And what's with da dogs anyway? We've got enough Beavers and Bobwhites and Eagles and Antelope and whatnot without lettin' the canine patrol in.

 

I think there's probably truth to da leaders are leaders notion, be they dogs or monkeys. Any gatherin' of scouters who don't know each other well it takes a while to get past da war stories and puffery. Just folks who are proud of their programs is all. They take ownership in what they do.

 

I reckon there's also some truth to the notion that scout leaders are good-natured souls who want to share what they know rather than let someone else learn the same hard way they did. As a group, I don't think Scoutmasters are the sit-back don't-get-involved types. We're all roll-up-our-sleeves-and-fix-it types, eh? And we all love a good long late night discussion/argument around da campfire, too. Makes yeh think, gives yeh new perspectives even if yeh don't admit it at the time. ;)

 

For da rest, I think there's truth to typing skills being a big piece. I generate text in my real life at a blazin' rate. Just look in here when I need a break from that. Easy to whip off somethin' fast, typin' like I talk. Of course, that means I don't always get da tone right, even when I mean well. Fast writin' isn't crafted writin' if yeh know what I mean. It depends on the reader to see da old furry fellow behind the words tryin' to be a helpful friend and fellow scouter, eh? Not imagining an Alpha Dog administering a text-driven beat down. :(

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Yeah or another theory is that these "Alpha Dogs" have waaaayyyy to much time on there hands!

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Oh yeah, used to be a hot dog stand around here years ago called Alpha Dogs. Name was aptly applied too: Those dogs were great, but would tear you a new one a few hours later ! :p

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Well pack, we "old farts" do appreciate the clever riposte here, sometimes even when it is directed towards us.

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If you aren't the lead dog the scenery never changes.

 

I care very deeply for my scouts, We have struggled fought to establish a credible scouting program. The cub pack has exploded....the troop went from ghost scouts to 20 scouts. Our new crew has 4 girls and 3 boys... It is a program I would hope BP would be please with.

 

Yes I am ruff and gruff, It comes from years of battle scares from inside and outside of scouting. The District and council people telling me NO.....Fights with the COR and CC to straighten out the Pack and Troops finances and program direction....

 

I have been thru the wars of stolen fund raising money, SM/CM's mis appropriating money, Affairs and resulting divorces with in the Pack leadership, drunk and drug addicted parents, Assorted parent issues, I have stood at flag ceremonies where the rich kids make fun of our rag tag bunch, Some of our boys wear the olive shirts from our uniform closet.

 

But you know, scouting means more to my scouts than those rich kids. We aren't the best troop out their, but I put our kids scouting spirit against any ones.

 

 

 

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