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Incorrigible

Resistant To Common Sense?

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Oh yeah, rule #1: never ask someone for a rule they'll give you one.

 

You're an aviation crew. Grounded?

 

Hazardous weather training is a good idea. Assign it and discuss it. But, I'm pretty sure it will hardly touch what needs to be discussed if you are talking about planning a flight. Not every youth (maybe not every adult) will do the online course. So with your key youth, think about the practice exercises you all need to go through. But if they are in he room when you all evaluate a weather report, it's a step in the right direction.

 

Do not wait for those mystical older venturers to appear. Your leaders are among the ones who appear at meetings now. Heck, that boundary pusher young lady might be a natural born leader. Just needs to set her compass straight. If you haven't elected officers, do it now.

 

Pull your officers together. Consider creating a health and safety officer position. Help that youth bring in someone who might address aviation related injuries and emergencies.

 

We all have the parent who drive us to face-palm! Don't let them hurt your head. Get your youth to use their heads to compensate for your adult's shortcomings.

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I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that anyone has to be 'trained' to protect themselves with sunscreen. It's as if there are still people who don't understand what sunburn is (or in an analogy, that cigarettes are not good for your health).

Edited by packsaddle

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"its sunny today" == "hazardous weather" 

 

???

Edited by packsaddle

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"its sunny today" == "hazardous weather" 

 

???

@@MrBob. Every kind of weather poses its unique set of hazards!

Although, we easterners would be liking to hazard a few sunny days.

Edited by packsaddle

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Sorry it took so long to respond. My notifications got caught by the spam filter.

 

Thanks so much for all the input! It's really reassuring to hear other opinions and experiences and not feel so alone in this. I ended up asking someone at the council office when I was in the other day, concerned maybe I had overstepped. Just about every person in the office took turns lecturing me about being too lenient. There are an absurd number of people in there with health issues caused by sun damage. They want all our leaders and youth to take hazardous weather training (or repeat it) before we can have any more outdoor activities. Plus, if I want to stay a leader, I am to require sun protection at all outdoor activities, regardless of parental permission. They were really upset that a kid had blistered on my watch.

 

And when I informed the crew, that same parent tells me he already took the training so he is already in compliance. Turns out he trained almost 5 years ago. He hurts my brain on so many levels.

 

The problem with the youth leadership is that I've just barely started teaching them how to lead. We've been chartered roughly a month. With parental examples like that, I'm sure you can imagine what their idea of responsibility is. They are just starting to take responsibility for themselves. Taking responsibility for each other is too foreign a concept to wrap their minds around. I'm hoping to recruit some older youth when school starts back up. We only have one member over 17. I think more like her would do wonders!

 

Natural leaders just happen along every now and then, but one cannot rely on that process to just show up at the door.  If you are looking for older scouts to show up to lead, you've probably got a long wait.

 

I have 11-12 year old scouts that are well on their way to making good leaders so age has nothing to do with it.  You need to train leaders just like one trains managers.  It is probably easier to train leaders than managers, but most people like to take the long back roads to get there.

 

I have no idea what "training" program you are using, but leadership does not come out of a book with worksheets at the end of each chapter.  

 

Here's the formula I use.

 

The BSA has for many years used the Buddy System.  Yeah, yeah, that means always walk around in pairs, go swimming in pairs, tent in pairs, etc etc yadda, yadda, yadda.  What they don't tell you and is an important point to drive home to kids is the Buddy System is the first step in leadership.  It's probably the first time in many of these kids' life where it is expected they take care of someone other than just themselves.  (Well, some of these kids can't even do that, but that's another whole story, too.) When my kids walk around alone, I always ask, who it is they are supposed to be taking care of and why aren't they doing it?   Most of the time I hear leaders saying, "Where's your buddy?"  The quick answer is as long as you know where he is, there's nothing more one needs to know.  One doesn't need to account for their well-being, just their whereabouts.  

 

Once a scout has mastered the Buddy System and can take care of both themselves and someone else, they move on to taking on the responsibility of taking care of small groups.  Now, I didn't say take charge, I said take care and that's the difference between management and leadership.

 

So the ultimate leader is also the ultimate follower.  :)  They walk into a situation and immediately say, "What can I do to help?"  Everyone wants people like that hanging around and will willing work with them (follow them) because they are walking in and immediately stating their leadership.  Ever hear the expression, we couldn't do it without them?  Well that's leadership identified.

 

So, what's the reason for teaching ALL the scouts leadership?

 

Maturity = taking care of oneself and taking self responsibility.

Buddy System = marriage, taking care of someone else.

Full Leadership = family, taking care of small groups of people that rely on you.

 

What I have seen out of a lot of scouts is a 7 year struggle just to get to level 1 and they become a Paper Eagle.  They may be a bit narcissistic and self-centered, but at least they aren't needing 24/7 babysitting.

 

Average Eagles tend to make it through to the Buddy System level, but the Real Deal Eagles are at the third level.  One doesn't really need to understand much to notice the difference.

 

If you're starting a crew and are a month in with this much "individualism" that can't even take care of themselves, you need to focus on real leadership development for your scouts.  It is how YOU take care of your people that makes YOU a good leader, too.  :)  

 

I put in 15 years as a crew advisor and had far more responsibility to worry about than just sun screen.  

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Exposure to UV rays from the sun is just as much a fatal cancer hazard as is smoking.  We ban smoking, don't we?  Most people don't use sunscreen properly anyway, so it's a moot point.  You need to be applying darn near half a bottle every time you put it on, which should be about every hour, depending on activity.

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.... or wear long pants and long sleeves and a full brimmed hat.  One doesn't see Bedouin nomads wandering around in the desert with nothing but swim trunks on.   

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I'm sympathetic to Scoutldr's sensitivity to this topic. When I was a child, I suffered probably 3 or 4 blistering sunburns every summer all the way to my teen years. I suspect that it's just been a matter of luck now, at my age, that I don't have skin cancer already but I know I'm at risk.

Back then sunscreen didn't really exist and my parents thought I just needed to get a tan (impossible with my complexion but they didn't know that).

 

But that experience was literally burned into my memory and I make sure that when I'm in the tropics, or even outdoors here in the South, I and my students take careful precautions. That said, I can't force them to use good sense or to take my advice. But after that first burn, they usually 'come around' to my way of thinking...almost obsessively. Why anyone would voluntarily repeat that burn is beyond my comprehension.

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Explain why you feel compelled to go to these lengths to get these kids to take care of themselves?  "Does anyone need to use the sunscreen?" is as far as I take it with 11-year-old Boy Scouts. 

 

Reminding them is nice of you.  Providing sunscreen is above and beyond the call of duty.  All this rigamarole about consent forms and waivers is silly.

 

Speaking of Scouting, our first, non-delegable, responsibility as Scouters is to do what can be done to insure the safety of the youth.  Youth may act as a force-multiplier, but it is all on us.

 

Getting a waiver does not satisfy that responsibility even were it legally possible to do so. Legally, minors cannot contract.  Parents cannot contract for minors without court approval (hence the requirement for court approval of settlements in cases of injury to minors) .  Parents cannot effectively consent for their children to engage in harmful activities.  Indeed, it is a crime in most states for them willingly allow their children to do so. (Which makes me wonder about high school football.)

 

You can only do what you can do.  Maybe "scared straight" tactics will work.  I've seen some pretty gory examples such as tops of ears missing.

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@@MrBob. Every kind of weather poses its unique set of hazards!

Although, we easterners would be liking to hazard a few sunny days.

 

Caution: Life may be hazardous to your health.

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...

 

You can only do what you can do.  Maybe "scared straight" tactics will work.  I've seen some pretty gory examples such as tops of ears missing.

I haven't had much luck with that at the venturing level. The youth who you would like to influence will just drop out of the program.

 

The most success I've had is to make very clear that a youth will only be welcome to the "next teir" adventure if he/she demonstrates discipline at their current level.

 

For example, my fire-bugs know exactly why I'm not planning a hike out west with them. They know exactly what I expect to see (or more precisely, not see) from them before we move forward.

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Explain why you feel compelled to go to these lengths to get these kids to take care of themselves?  "Does anyone need to use the sunscreen?" is as far as I take it with 11-year-old Boy Scouts. 

 

Reminding them is nice of you.  Providing sunscreen is above and beyond the call of duty.  All this rigamarole about consent forms and waivers is silly.

 

I'm with you. I remind and offer sunscreen to the Troop (part of the process when I'm putting my sunscreen on, a Scout is kind and courteous), but I don't make anybody wear it. I don't confront them about it.  I don't have sympathy when they burn.  I'm dealing with primarily 11-14 year olds in the troop.  I think I would laugh at a Crew member who got sunburned after refusing sunscreen.   Then again, we are in Florida, and our Troop meets less than a mile from the beach (as the crow flies). Most of them have gotten the message.

Edited by perdidochas

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Assuming the kids are under 18, you are responsible for their safety and they are required to do what you tell them in that area.

 

Don't ask, tell.  Refusing a request, "who want's to put on sunscreen?" is one thing.  Refusing an instruction, "Make sure you put on sunscreen" is insubordination.  What do you do about life jackets when canoing or kayaking?  Ask, "who wants to put on a life jacket?"  Of course not.  Safety is not optional.

 

A scout is obedient.  Make the rule that you must have sunscreen unless their parent provides you a written waiver signed by the parent and the scout acknowledging that the scout will likely get sunburn and could develop complications later in life.

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@@Hedgehog is right. Same with hydration. It's not a request, it's an order. The consequences of not obeying can affect the whole crew. Sunscreen or water or anything, if asked to,do it you do it.

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