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LeCastor

How Do We Make Boy-Led Understood By Adults?

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Wow, I would never have thought about the Troop Committee making any decision about when and where the troop was camping. The PLC decides that, and tells the TC. That said, there have been times when the TC has had to veto PLC plans, due to lack of adult availability, or due to finances. 

 

Well said.

 

@@blw2 our PLC meets every June to plan the following year. They bring school calendars, band calendars, sports schedules (or last year's schedule since they change little), religious calendars (to plan around major holidays), and put 12 months of calendars on the wall. They put all those dates on the calendars and THEN plan around it. They add in troop meetings and meal planning 2-3 weeks prior to camp outs. They work in national high adventure base submission deadlines. They work in our standard service projects and all sorts of other dates. When they get all those dates on the board, they then discuss where to go. The PLs work with their patrols to keep a list of ideas and bring that with them. The adults help with logistics because sometimes the kids don't understand basic physics and the laws of time, space and dimension (e.g., We can't drive to CA and back in a three day weekend, but we can do it for spring break). The PLC even works out sample budget and costs.

 

Like @@perdidochas, our TC only validates, rarely overrules. The TC works up the costs based on the budget the PLC submits. If there are discrepancies they send it back to the PLC to work on.

 

BTW, this was the beginning of becoming boy-led several years ago. Annual planning was the perfect chance to get the boys to buy in to the process...and for the adults to learn to but-the-heck out. ;) Start with that and working from there helped out unit big time!

Edited by Bad Wolf
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Coming up with a resource like the one you request would be an excellent Wood Badge ticket item!   :laugh:

Yeah, well, I took Woodbadge to learn about boy led, I wanted to read the book, not write it. ;)  But yes, that would have been a much better ticket than what I did.

 

All Scout Masters will tell you that their troop is boy run, and they are to some degree. But a troop can only be a boy run as the SM is willing to let it be.

The rubber hits the road when it comes to dealing with problems. Who finds them and who solves them will point to who's leading. That takes a lot of patience by the adults.

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Not to split hairs, but is there a difference between boy-run and boy-led?

 

Reason I ask is because, for me, boy-led is allowing the SPL and the PLs to lead and make the decisions. Those decisions are then executed by either the boy or adult leadership teams.

 

Boy-run, on the other hand, would suggest (to me, anyway) that the boys run the whole show; inclusive of planning and execution of all aspects of the unit. This is a MUCH larger task and, I believe, outside of what is meant by boy-led.

 

That's my take anyway.

 

I'm really close to this, but I still get hung up on the terminology.

 

Boy-led and boy-run are two different issues in my book.  Boy-led implies where the leadership originates.  In this case with the boys.  However, boy-run does not define that very well.  I believe one can have an adult-led, boy-run troop.  The adults make the decisions and the boys carry them out.  Adults use leadership to direct, boys are limited to management of the goals defined by the adults.

 

To me when someone proudly states their troop is boy-run, it doesn't impress me one bit.   All that means is the SM runs the show and the boys are the minions who carry it out.

 

For this reason when I am teaching my boys, it is only at their request and directed by them.  There are times when the boys are "in over their heads" on some issue and they have the option to consult with the SM on possible solutions to the situation.  I offer suggestions, opinions, etc. and the PL picks the one he thinks best for his boys.  I then support him in his decision (even if I don't think it's the best choice.  It's still HIS choice and that's all that counts.)

 

Until BSA defines the situation correctly and starts teaching to it correctly there will always be a misunderstanding of the roles involved.  Boy Led requires boy leadership, boy run requires boy management.  And so when the SM tells you he is the adult leader, he's also making the claim he's the boy's leader as well, but for management purposes the boys manage the goals he lays out for them.

 

A truly boy-led unit is a rather rare entity in the BSA.  The temptation is just too great for adults to get in there and fix thing and make them better. 

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One doesn't need to be in WB to do a ticket.

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Indoctrination.  Anytime I get the chance, I give the pitch about how great a boy-led troop is.  We tell the Cubs when they visit that we are boy led and they are responsible.  The SPL takes the visiting Cub Scout parents aside and explains boy-led.  Every parent that hangs around meetings watching, I tell them how a boy-led troop works.  Every time a parent comes on a campout, I tell them why boy-led is important.  Every parent who becomes a leader gets trained in the "coffee cup and chair" management method.  Every decision that the adults want to make, I tell them that we should have the PLC make the decision.  Every time a new scout asks me a question, I point out that it says "Boy Scouts of America" on my uniform but I'm not a boy and tell them they should ask a boy leader because they are in charge.  Everytime a boy leader comes to me and asks me if they can do something, I tell them as long as it isn't illegal or against G2SS, its their decision.  The patrols and adults camp as far apart as possible on campouts.  Everytime I see another adult telling a scout to do something, I tell them that I will mention it to the Patrol Leader because it is the Patrol Leader's responsibility, not the adults'responsibility.  

 

This week, I had two new parents come up to me and tell me how much fun their boys had on their first Boy Scout campout.  One parent said that their son loves Boy Scouts and said "it is so much cooler than Cub Scouts.  In Cub Scouts the parents were teaching everything.  Here, the boy are in charge and it is so much more fun."  Parents always tell me about how their sons come back from the campouts so excited and so proud of how independent they can be.  Parents see how boy-led empowers the boys.

 

It is amazing what happens when you make it clear to everyone that the boys are in charge.

Edited by Hedgehog
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I'm really close to this, but I still get hung up on the terminology.

 

Boy-led and boy-run are two different issues in my book.  Boy-led implies where the leadership originates.  In this case with the boys.  However, boy-run does not define that very well.  I believe one can have an adult-led, boy-run troop.  The adults make the decisions and the boys carry them out.  Adults use leadership to direct, boys are limited to management of the goals defined by the adults.

 

I'm sure those definitions work for you, but the BSA only use the one "boy run", term with a broader definition. Right or wrong a listener likely doesn't use your same definitions. And many times you might hear the terms used synonymously in a discussion. Many of us who do (did) training try to use the same terminology as the materials provided by National to prevent confusion. And sadly to my wife's frustration, must of us don't read minds. LOL

 

Barry

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I'm sure those definitions work for you, but the BSA only use the one "boy run", term with a broader definition. Right or wrong a listener likely doesn't use your same definitions. And many times you might hear the terms used synonymously in a discussion. Many of us who do (did) training try to use the same terminology as the materials provided by National to prevent confusion. And sadly to my wife's frustration, must of us don't read minds. LOL

 

Barry

 

BSA uses boy-run for a reason.  They teach management as the core of scouting today, and leadership, if any is merely an adjunct idea that might occur if it occurs naturally within a unit.  The blurring of the line between leadership and management is the number one problem facing scouting today.  Whereas we expect leaders, we train managers.  As a result, this forum will find new life over and over again until that is corrected.  

 

Helicopter parents, adult led, POR's that are riddled with problems, boys not doing their jobs, youth that really don't want to be in scouting, etc. are all indications that leadership is not taught, not expected, or even not welcomed in the units.  And if one can't see that, then that's yet another problem for the development of any leadership among the boys.

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Not to split hairs, but is there a difference between boy-run and boy-led?

 

Reason I ask is because, for me, boy-led is allowing the SPL and the PLs to lead and make the decisions. Those decisions are then executed by either the boy or adult leadership teams.

 

Boy-run, on the other hand, would suggest (to me, anyway) that the boys run the whole show; inclusive of planning and execution of all aspects of the unit. This is a MUCH larger task and, I believe, outside of what is meant by boy-led.

 

That's my take anyway.

I think that's very insightful actually. While most use the terms interchangably. There's not a whole lot of clarity in those terms. One could argue that in a "Boy Led" Troop that the boys lead, but the adults make all the decisions.. That's about what my Troop used to do. 

 

In the end, we slap a lot of monikers onto what we should simply called the Patrol Method. In the Patrol Method, the Scouts make the decisions, and they lead. (Something I didn't really grasp until I joined this forum and was promptly reeducated by Stosh and Beavah. 

 

Sentinel947 

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Get rid of the inbred training offered by districts.. trained by trainers trained by instructers who sat in a class ect. get " guest" trainers from sucessfull troops outside district.

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BSA uses boy-run for a reason. 

Not true, I met one of the authors of the SM Training program and boy-run is just a term that has been used for years. There was no clever strategy to take over the world with it. In fact, their task of just defining it so 1000's of Scoutmasters who come from every walk of life would understand the intention of Boy run was the real challenge. Read the definition and you will agree it is quite vanilla in it's description.

 

Barry

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Not true, I met one of the authors of the SM Training program and boy-run is just a term that has been used for years.

 

Then maybe it's time to rethink the words they are saying and matching them up to the meaning they are looking for rather than use the same old notions that people think they have preconceived notions about.

 

There was no clever strategy to take over the world with it. In fact, their task of just defining it so 1000's of Scoutmasters who come from every walk of life would understand the intention of Boy run was the real challenge. Read the definition and you will agree it is quite vanilla in it's description.

 

Barry

 

One would think that if the program is a leadership program they would use a derivation of the root word for it.  Leadership and Led seem to promote the same idea.  Managers run businesses, Leaders lead people.

 

When BSA starts promoting leadership training, hopefully they will at that point change their terminology accordingly.  Until then the current management training is just fine with boy-run, adult led because we all know scouters are the scout LEADERS.  Again, not necessarily a misconception to many who aren't paying attention.

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My thoughts.

 

1) While training is important, it is not the  "be all, end all solution." I had some extremely knowledgable, extremely pro Patrol Method scouters AND SCOUTS (emphasis) teach ITOLS with me, and one of those staffers also did SM and ASM Specific. We had one gentlemen in both of those classes we taught, and 4 years later is STILL not using the Patrol Method. He also got a bunch of counseling and mentoring to boot. But " Scouting has to change with the times." :mad:

 

2) Someone mentioned "indoctrination" and talked about starting out in Cub Scouts.  I second that as I have constantly talked about how the Patrol Method is "Organized Chaos" from the time my boys are Tigers. I've taken the Cubs to visit Boy Scout activities and see the chaos in motion. I constantly talk it up. And it's funny when a Webelos can tell you "They 're doing it wrong."

 

3) Mentoring by expereinced Scouters is another method that can help. We have a brand new, just Crossed Over WDL to ASM, and he sometimes has challenges adapting. I've had to have a conversation or three at various functions about how the boys need to work out the problem, don't get too stressed out about the situation, etc. I also told him to start noticing the little things, i.e. working together, dealing with each other, helping each other out, etc that slowly works it way out with a NSP.  And he is catching on.

 

4) No troop will be perfect. Even Green Bar Bill used the SM as an SPL for training a new Scout troop or reinstilling the Patrol Method in an existing troop sections of the 3rd ed. SMHB. But he also had the troop cpmpletely boy-led in 6 months.

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When BSA starts promoting leadership training, hopefully they will at that point change their terminology accordingly.  Until then the current management training is just fine with boy-run, adult led because we all know scouters are the scout LEADERS.  Again, not necessarily a misconception to many who aren't paying attention.

OK, but my point was there wasn't any clever plot by National to use boy-run over boy-led because of their approach to teach leadership. Honestly I think you give them too much credit.

 

Personally my own definition of the differences between boy led and boy run are completely different than yours. So who should the BSA follow?

 

Barry

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3) Mentoring by expereinced Scouters is another method that can help. We have a brand new, just Crossed Over WDL to ASM, and he sometimes has challenges adapting. I've had to have a conversation or three at various functions about how the boys need to work out the problem, don't get too stressed out about the situation, etc. I also told him to start noticing the little things, i.e. working together, dealing with each other, helping each other out, etc that slowly works it way out with a NSP.  And he is catching on.

 

This is key to me. How can we change wrong thinking without an example of correct actions. We try to get adults to come to three campouts before we discuss a position in the troop. We encourage them to ask questions so that we can point out the intention of each action in the program. Even then it takes adults awhile to adjust. This way it is important the SM have a good handle on the boy run vision.

 

4) No troop will be perfect. Even Green Bar Bill used the SM as an SPL for training a new Scout troop or reinstilling the Patrol Method in an existing troop sections of the 3rd ed. SMHB. But he also had the troop cpmpletely boy-led in 6 months.

 

Yes, from the outside, boy run troops look like the least perfect troop. Interesting about Green Bar Bill. My observation is that it takes three years to get to a mature boy run program. But then I never thought about using an adult SPL. I forgot about that and need to ponder on it's benefits more.

 

Good thoughts Eagle

 

Barry

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