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LeCastor

How Do We Make Boy-Led Understood By Adults?

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I think a key issue for adults is a willingness to accept challenges/failure/problems when moving to boy led.

 

Depending on the quality of your youth leadership, and the willingness of your youth to follow their leaders:

Yes - you might not break camp on time - are you willing to live with that?

The dishes did not get done - so are you going to store a dirty patrol box until the next campout?

How much discipline authority to you allow the leaders? What is permissible? 

How hungry will you let a patrol get when they do a poor job of planning?

 

Basically - how far do you let it fall while they learn to take control? Your tolerance for chaos, problems, etc. will impact your ability to shift responsibility from adults to youth.

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I think a key issue for adults is a willingness to accept challenges/failure/problems when moving to boy led.

 

Depending on the quality of your youth leadership, and the willingness of your youth to follow their leaders:

Yes - you might not break camp on time - are you willing to live with that?

The dishes did not get done - so are you going to store a dirty patrol box until the next campout?

How much discipline authority to you allow the leaders? What is permissible? 

How hungry will you let a patrol get when they do a poor job of planning?

 

Basically - how far do you let it fall while they learn to take control? Your tolerance for chaos, problems, etc. will impact your ability to shift responsibility from adults to youth.

The problem with all that Horizon is understanding how doing any of those actions (non actions) benefits the scouts. The perception of scouting is easy in that by going camping grows a boy's character. But when the adults get into the nitty gritty parts of the program, they lack the vision and wisdom as to why allowing a scout to fail develops positive growth. I've use the example several times of the Uniform method; how many adults can give a scout an explination for uniforming that makes sense to him? A parent does everything in their power from the day their son is born until now to protect him from struggling, now you want the parent to change that habit? 

 

Adults have to be willing to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. Then they have to be willing to continually change so the unit doesn't develop habits and traditions that hold older scouts to expectations of young scout maturity. 

 

Honestly, we are asking a lot of these parents. We are asking them to change everything they know about raising children and start learning how to develop adults. So you can't just simply say, "Ah, chaos is part of patrol method, ITS OK!". That simple explanation not only doesn't make sense, it also makes  you look incompetent for taking their son out into the wilderness. A better explanation is something like, "It's not chaotic to them, It only looks chaotic to us adults because scouts react slower to situations that are new to them while the reaction is obvious to us experienced parents. You will see them get faster and better as they practice more.".

 

Scouting is the real world scaled down to a boys size so that they scouts learn real world actions to real world situations in a safe environment. Safe meaning that it is not only ok for a scout to make a mistake, mistakes are actually welcome because we know human nature drives us to learn through adversity, not security.

 

LOL, I actually taught a course for helping unit adults get past their fears of giving scouts the independence to make their own decisions and live with the results. I developed that course for a new troop that had no adults with previous scouting experience (all women). They wouldn't even allow their scouts to perform opening ceremonies because they feared that failure of not doing a perfect opening would hurt the scouts (their sons') self esteem.

 

We need to help adults understand the goals of building character and how every action contributes to that goal. Once they get on track to understanding how independent thought and decision making leads to better character and decision making processes, the adults jump on board  accepting the challenges of a patrol method program. 

 

Barry

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I think a key issue for adults is a willingness to accept challenges/failure/problems when moving to boy led.

 

It is very difficult to allow the boys the opportunity for taking responsibility for themselves.  I kinda figured that is what we are there for in the first place, but not everyone agrees with that.

 

Depending on the quality of your youth leadership, and the willingness of your youth to follow their leaders:

Yes - you might not break camp on time - are you willing to live with that?

 

I don't have to live with that.  I'm not the ones who have to tell their waiting parents why they are late getting back.

 

The dishes did not get done - so are you going to store a dirty patrol box until the next campout?

 

Is this how the patrol QM takes care of his boys?  Is this how the GrubMaster takes care of his boys?  Is this how the PL takes care of his boys?  If this kind of thing is happening, there is a serious lack of leadership in that patrol.

 

How much discipline authority to you allow the leaders? What is permissible? 

 

My boys never have had to worry about that.  The issue has never come up.

 

How hungry will you let a patrol get when they do a poor job of planning?

 

It takes more than 3 days to starve to death.  One needs to only go through this process once and it'll never happen again.

 

Basically - how far do you let it fall while they learn to take control? Your tolerance for chaos, problems, etc. will impact your ability to shift responsibility from adults to youth.

 

I find the biggest problem with the shift is getting all the adults on the same page.  The boys tend to be more resilient than the adults.  Every fiber in an adult's body works to make things successful for youth.  Because of that they tend to over parent to the point where the child basically doesn't need to grow up and take responsibility for oneself.  If a person spends 95% of his/her time in front of an entertaining electronic device and have the parents constantly nurturing them with food and support, why would they ever want to do anything else, or what would anyone assume that these young people were even capable of doing anything else.

 

I had a conversation with my step-son who was excellent in school, graduated 4.0, went on to prestigious college on a scholarship and ended up with a nice job.  But he confessed he's terrified of failure.  His life is all planned out so that there cannot be any opportunity for failure and he was curious about how I handle the stress.  I said I don't worry about it.  I have failed enough times in my life that I know how to recover and become stronger.  A month or two later he got a DWI (first time is a misdemeanor).  One would have thought the world had come to an end.    His mother asked me what we were going to do about it.  I said, nothing, it's not our problem, he'll figure it out.  It's too bad he had to learn at 24 years of age, what boys in my troop learn at 11 and 12 years of age.  I think my advice kinda fit because he did ask his mother after a while why she didn't force him to be in scouts when he was younger.  :)

 

Scouting is where you go to grow up.

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Answers in blue.

 

I think a key issue for adults is a willingness to accept challenges/failure/problems when moving to boy led.

 

Depending on the quality of your youth leadership, and the willingness of your youth to follow their leaders:

Yes - you might not break camp on time - are you willing to live with that?

Yes. And we let the boys explain to mom and dad why they were late. They own the problem, the solution and the consequences.

 

The dishes did not get done - so are you going to store a dirty patrol box until the next campout?

Nope. We don't break camp until the QMs are satisfied that the gear is back and clean.

 

How much discipline authority to you allow the leaders? What is permissible?

Whatever they are allowed under BSA policy. We help them with the boundaries but they own the implementation....with guidance.

 

How hungry will you let a patrol get when they do a poor job of planning?

Well, menu approval and quantities needed are approved by the PL three weeks prior. If they missed their mark then they learn. The result is never enough that a boy starves.

 

Basically - how far do you let it fall while they learn to take control? Your tolerance for chaos, problems, etc. will impact your ability to shift responsibility from adults to youth.

Adults step in if it is a matter of health or safety. Going hungry one night because a kid had one burger and not two won't kill him. If someone forgot a sweatshirt on a cool spring camp out the PL usually gets him one, but the boy learns next time to check the weather. If a kid REALLY screws up (brings only shorts to a winter camp out) we have mom and dad come get him. We couldn't take away from other scouts to cloth him and we were too far away from how to drive him back. Kid learned a lesson, parents learned a lesson, the boy is still in scouts...and is one of the better prepared kids now. ;)

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I have always loved this line, "No Boy Scout has ever starved to death on a weekend camping trip."

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