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From "The Scoutmaster's Blog"

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This has a lot of simple common sense and seems to be on target.


Before you read these ten common Scouting mistakes, let’s agree that being a Scouter means always moving towards the ideal, but we never truly arrive.


Ideals are like stars: you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the ocean desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny.


- Carl Schurz


1. Making Things More efficient


Would things would go so more smoothly if we just made a few changes? Perhaps, but some changes to gain efficiency would compromise the opportunity for Scouts to do for themselves.


Read Maintain Inefficiency!


2. Applying Uniform Standards


Our standard for badge earningâ€â€as I have frequently saidâ€â€is not to attain a certain level of quality of work (as in school), but the AMOUNT OF EFFORT EXERCISED BY THE INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATE.


Baden-Powell Standardization of Badges


3. Over-Valuing Metrics


Scouting is more a mirror for individual assessment and development than a measuring stick. The answer is not in numbers of camp outs, number of hours or contracts; not snap judgments or fits of temper.


Instead of metrics just ask The Guy in the Glass.


4. Thinking of themselves as the boss


“Scoutmaster†doesn’t mean “master†of anything. In fact, if we substitute “servant†for “master†we’ll be a lot closer to the truth of the matter.


Read Just What Does Scoutmaster Mean?


5. Making Our Own policies


Every once in a while we run across doctrinaire, fussy, hairsplitting, nitpicking, people who promulgate rules and regulations from thin air; these self-appointed “experts†are specialists in Scouting’s Urban Legends


6. Being the Senior Patrol Leader


The young man was still puzzled. “Okay, let’s go back a minute. If you guys do everything without the SM’s guidance, how do you know what to do at meetings and activities?â€Â


Read The Scoutmaster at the Troop Meeting


7. Not Using the Patrol Method


The Patrol is the unit of Scouting always, whether for work or for play, for discipline or for duty.


Read The Patrol Method


8. Discouraging Scouts


I spent a few years discouraging Scouts by throwing every possible impediment in their path. I was the worst kind of Scoutmaster; a self-appointed guardian of an unattainable standard of perfection.


What I became was a grumpy old man ready to swat any hand that reached for my holy awards.


Read Scouting Standards


9. Managing Instead of Cultivating.


There is too much “management science†in Scouting. We should stop trying to manage programs, Scouts, patrols and troops. Scoutmastership is much more akin to gardening than management.


Read Cultivating Scouting


10. Skewed Perspective


If you look at the first nine mistakes they are all about skewed perspective or basic misunderstandings.


Certainly our work is important, but we must not allow that to cause us to be selfimportant.


If we look at things from a Scout’s perspective we’ll see things differently, and change our approach to make things better.

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I love Clarke Green from Scoutmastercg.com His articles always remind me that scouts are kids that need encouragement and freedom more than lectures. I have made all of those mistakes on and off again.

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