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htusa31

New SM not new to Scouting

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Had my first meeting last night. 

Things went great.

You got good people! That's 80% of it. Another 10% will be figuring out ways to thank them as often as you can without annoying them. What you all actually do with the boys is the rest of the equation.

 

The goal is Eagle, with learning a few usable like skills along the way. If we reach Eagle great if not then do not hang your head. Smile that you experienced something great, and you learned some useful life skills along the way....

How do I state this politely without repeating the other replies?

THIS HAS TO CHANGE

For you and I, as Eagles, the goal was to make Eagle.  We were first class scouts, the Eagles around us were good eggs, they devised cool projects, we wanted to devise a cool project, the troop needed leadership, we were gifted in providing that leadership, the folks didn't need much help minding the store ... it made sense for us to round it all out and get that bird. But that will not apply to every one of your first class scouts.

That may be the goal for all of the boys you met last night, but that's them.

That may be the goal for every boy's parents, but that's them.

 

But that's not your goal for them. It can't be. Otherwise, there will be no point in keeping a 17 year old boy with Star rank. There would be no point in keeping the boy who barely avoids robbing a liquor store to buy drugs.

 

Your goal ... for every boy ... is that he be a first class scout until he ages out. First class if he's ranking. First class if he's not. First class at meetings. First class at school. First class in the woods. First class at home. First class even if he never obtains that rank!

 

That "Eagle churn" that you heard about? It's because the SM had the wrong goal. Everyone bought into the wrong goal. Suddenly boys who had no business making Eagle their goal forgot about being first class -- and parents were okay with it.

Edited by qwazse
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qwazse,

 

it's good to see there still are Real Eagles out there.  :)

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You got good people! That's 80% of it. Another 10% will be figuring out ways to thank them as often as you can without annoying them. What you all actually do with the boys is the rest of the equation.

 

How do I state this politely without repeating the other replies?

THIS HAS TO CHANGE

For you and I, as Eagles, the goal was to make Eagle.  We were first class scouts, the Eagles around us were good eggs, they devised cool projects, we wanted to devise a cool project, the troop needed leadership, we were gifted in providing that leadership, the folks didn't need much help minding the store ... it made sense for us to round it all out and get that bird. But that will not apply to every one of your first class scouts.

That may be the goal for all of the boys you met last night, but that's them.

That may be the goal for every boy's parents, but that's them.

 

But that's not your goal for them. It can't be. Otherwise, there will be no point in keeping a 17 year old boy with Star rank. There would be no point in keeping the boy who barely avoids robbing a liquor store to buy drugs.

 

Your goal ... for every boy ... is that he be a first class scout until he ages out. First class if he's ranking. First class if he's not. First class at meetings. First class at school. First class in the woods. First class at home. First class even if he never obtains that rank!

 

That "Eagle churn" that you heard about? It's because the SM had the wrong goal. Everyone bought into the wrong goal. Suddenly boys who had no business making Eagle their goal forgot about being first class -- and parents were okay with it.

Ok I see your point with the "First Class" scout. Totally agree.

MY GOAL is do my best help a kid reach Eagle.I will not/do not impersonate that goal to them. That is their personal choice if they want to reach that achievement. 

But my personal goal is provide ample choices for every kid to earn that and reach that, I will start including to help them be a "First Class" scout first. 

 

I will say during the meeting I told the boys there were going to have to earn their badges. I also said that we will start wearing Field Uniforms (Class A) to meetings and other places etc... to produce exposure. Told them that if you dont have one dont worry we will be having fundraisers and such to get them. 

One kid asked how to quit ans started to leave. I stopped him before leaving (privately with another leader) He said he does what he wants and refuses to wear the uniform and will not "earn" his rankings. If his presence is not good enough to earn rankings he wont participate. 

I told him sorry he felt that way, that scouts is more than a hangout. He refused to accept it and said thanks Im leaving.

 

Now to re address the parents suck comment. Let me be clear on my reasoning if I havent before.

I have been a soccer ref and coach for 13 years. Started when I was 15. During my time Ive had parents get mad upset, angry. :Story time: About two year into my refree career, I had one to try and fight me after a game, because he felt I didnt call it fairly. (for the record I called every single foul I seen that day, I did it to keep the game under control, I didnt even use the advantage rule). The guy chased me to my car, threw a punch, in return I ducked and returned one to his midsection. It did stop his advancement. Guy curled up and was acted like I attacked him. Luckily I had witnesses. Cops were called. Guy went to jail, banned from any more soccer etc.. It was not fun. 

Ive also had a few other games I called off early because parents started using vulgar language etc... Kids dont need to hear that crap. Most of the above came from one specific region. They were finally shuttered by AYSO. Restarted about 4 years ago with new management. Much better over all. 

There are a ton of other stories that are less worse than that, but still no kid should have to witness. 

So during my soccer coaching career I used that all parents suck phrase. Most of them took it as a challenge to prove me wrong and they did. The others either got mad and left or they would keep quit and eventually see that I have nothing but the love of teaching kids the game of soccer and help them excel at life. A vast majority are now my friends and we laugh about it. Their kids still come to me for advice and guidance.

 

My dad was probably the worst parent of all when it came to sports. He would belittle refs, coaches, me... the list goes on and on. He sucked as a sports parent. He wanted to live through me so much that he even kicked me out of the house for quitting football my senior year in high school. I loved track and field (throwing) more. He after 4 months finally came around but those months were utter hell on me. 

 

So that is why I use that phrase.  If you dont like it, then I am sorry, but it works for me. 

Now after the first meeting do I need to repeat that in Scouts. Not that I can see. The parents I have now are on cue and know what is needed. I pray they dont turn into a nightmare. In reality none of this is for us adults, its for the kids. If we can keep that as a main focus then we can accomplish anything.

Edited by htusa31

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A boy is not required to have a uniform in BSA.

 

A boy is not required to advance.

 

But he is allowed to hang out and have fun.  I have had boys like that, given time they come around.  In this case, that opportunity probably just walked out the door.

 

If this is "their" program and not "yours", there seems to be a lot of gauntlets thrown and lines in the sand drawn.  Ever ask rather than tell?  SM's #1 job is to listen to the boys.  The #2 job is to listen again.

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Let me add. Anything I have implemented, they voted on. Nothing I have done without the boys telling me, Yes or no.

I take what they tell me and I run with it. Doing the behind the scenes leg work to get it setup for them to do. And by doing by delegating parents to do it for me. The ones that want to help.

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"MY GOAL is do my best help a kid reach Eagle.I will not/do not impersonate that goal to them."

 

My goal is to bring out the best in each of my boys regardless of whether they get advancement credit for it or not.

 

"But my personal goal is provide ample choices for every kid to earn that and reach that,..."

 

My personal goal is to provide opportunities and allow the boy to create whatever choices he wishes to follow.

 

"Their kids still come to me for advice and guidance."

 

I want my boys to go to their Patrol Leaders and older boys in the troop for advice and guidance.

 

"I will say during the meeting I told the boys there were going to have to earn their badges. I also said that we will start wearing Field Uniforms (Class A) to meetings and other places etc... to produce exposure. Told them that if you dont have one dont worry we will be having fundraisers and such to get them."

 

I want my boys to have a safe place to grow and develop, make choices, experience failure and mature in character.  It's important that the experience is fun at the same time.

 

"In reality none of this is for us adults, its for the kids. If we can keep that as a main focus then we can accomplish anything."

 

In reality this is not an adult program, if we remember that THEY can accomplish what THEY want.

 

I'm hoping it's just your writing style, but I'm not hearing boy-led in any of these comments.

 

Keep it in mind, they don't keep score in Scouts.

 

It's not universal throughout scouting, but many of those that are trained professional teachers find the boy-led process of scouting difficult to understand and even more difficult to implement.  They are passionate about the boys learning, but they all agree that when the student doesn't meet their expectations they fail.  In scouting there are no scores and there are no grades, not even pass/fail.  Every scout is measured by a different measurement criteria than any other because each boy is unique.  That's a concept that us totally foreign to the standardized testing regiment of a standard school system.

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Every SM has two options: filter in the boys who fit the mold he wants to stay in, or grow with his boys as he learns how to positively reinforce his vision.

 

Now, I suspect Mr. How-to-quit was just itching for a reason to oppose change. So I disagree with Stosh that the opportunity "just walked out the door." Whatever boundary you would have drawn, he probably would have balked. Anyway, this is where your other adults come in handy. They need to give you his back-story. Then you need to decide if and how to flex for this kid. Again, nothing any of us on this side of the Internet can do to help you with that decision. Your people, and maybe the kid's parents, can give you an honest appraisal such a boy. (Yep, there'll be more of them.)

 

With my oppositionally defiants, I usually emphasize skills acquisition. I tell the kid that It's not about the patch, but is he able to do something this week that he couldn't do the week before.

 

Regarding uniforms, BSA recently allowed boys to wear neckerchiefs independent of their filed uniforms. Your boys might not be interested, but it's useful to know.

 

Oh, and your dad? It's like I have an evil twin! I started announcing soccer games to improve my behavior!

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Oh, and your dad? It's like I have an evil twin! I started announcing soccer games to improve my behavior!

 

Become a referee. That will change your behavior in 90 minutes. ;)

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A boy is not required to have a uniform in BSA.

 

A boy is not required to advance.

 

But he is allowed to hang out and have fun.  I have had boys like that, given time they come around.  In this case, that opportunity probably just walked out the door.

 

....

This makes me think of a conversation I had while I was Cubmaster, with a lady that was starting the Daisy girl scout troop that my daughter was in.  We are chartered by a catholic parish.

So this leader was new to the whole game, and she was marching under the idea that only church members could join.  Correct or not, I told her that I look at it as another ministry of the church.... an extension of the youth group program if you like.... and with this in mind, if we can get a non-member to attend scouts, they will bring their parents through the door, at least occasionally.  That family will get exposure to the church taht they wouldn't otherwise have had.  They might like what they see or who they meet through scouting and they might end up joining the church or even more coming to know Christ.

(edit: even if it's not a church, you could look at "scouts" as very similar to the church in my example.  That boy may have sorely needed some of the growth that is possible through scouting)

 

So excluding someone is an opportunity lost.

 

BUT, all that being said

Every SM has two options: filter in the boys who fit the mold he wants to stay in, or grow with his boys as he learns how to positively reinforce his vision.

 

Now, I suspect Mr. How-to-quit was just itching for a reason to oppose change. So I disagree with Stosh that the opportunity "just walked out the door." Whatever boundary you would have drawn, he probably would have balked. Anyway, this is where your other adults come in handy. They need to give you his back-story. Then you need to decide if and how to flex for this kid. Again, nothing any of us on this side of the Internet can do to help you with that decision. Your people, and maybe the kid's parents, can give you an honest appraisal such a boy. (Yep, there'll be more of them.).....

I'll also bet that qwazse is spot on.

That boy probably would have left anyway sooner or later.

and even worse, he might have injected a bad attitude that affects others in the troop.

SO, in that regard, perhaps its a win.

 

But is it a win or loss?

Edited by blw2
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Every SM has two options: filter in the boys who fit the mold he wants to stay in, or grow with his boys as he learns how to positively reinforce his vision.

 

Wow, this is pretty good. 

 

Barry

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This makes me think of a conversation I had while I was Cubmaster, with a lady that was starting the Daisy girl scout troop that my daughter was in.  We are chartered by a catholic parish.

So this leader was new to the whole game, and she was marching under the idea that only church members could join.  Correct or not, I told her that I look at it as another ministry of the church.... an extension of the youth group program if you like.... and with this in mind, if we can get a non-member to attend scouts, they will bring their parents through the door, at least occasionally.  That family will get exposure to the church taht they wouldn't otherwise have had.  They might like what they see or who they meet through scouting and they might end up joining the church or even more coming to know Christ.

(edit: even if it's not a church, you could look at "scouts" as very similar to the church in my example.  That boy may have sorely needed some of the growth that is possible through scouting)

 

So excluding someone is an opportunity lost.

 

BUT, all that being said

I'll also bet that qwazse is spot on.

That boy probably would have left anyway sooner or later.

and even worse, he might have injected a bad attitude that affects others in the troop.

SO, in that regard, perhaps its a win.

 

But is it a win or loss?

 

As for the boy that left. Yes I got his background, and pretty much what I said is what he does. His father and mom are not around and he has extreme trouble reading. He hasnt had any real structure in his life. There is more but essentially the people that raised him just let him do whatever. If he doesnt like something he leaves. Which is why he is home schooled. 

 

I consider it a loss anytime a boy walks out the door, but its their decision.

Edited by htusa31

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Become a referee. That will change your behavior in 90 minutes. ;)

Every parent should volunteer for something like refreeing. There will be a revival at kids activities. 

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Let me clear the informing them to wear a uniform or other things I have done. Im not very detailed on the reporting back. I deal with less is more at work. So my lack of details may be causing confusion in my intentions and thoughts.

 

I had a meeting with the SPL and PL before the meeting started. I asked them what they wanted to do. 

(I shut my mouth and let them tell me how they wanted to run the troop.)

 

They told me they feel its more a hangout, with occasional skills thrown in. They wanted it back to the way it was a couple years ago. Uniforms worn, and more fun stuff. They want to set an example of how to be a Scout. (Essentially the result of the meeting) 

They also said they become tired of being ill prepared going to district campouts so they just decided to quit going.

The used my uniform as an example for uniform wear. They thought it was cool I had everything neat and tidy on it. They said the SM said not to wear them anymore so everyone stopped. They didnt feel it was right but they really were not given an option.

 

I told them I would make it happen.

Edited by htusa31
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Let me clear the informing them to wear a uniform or other things I have done. Im not very detailed on the reporting back. I deal with less is more at work. So my lack of details may be causing confusion in my intentions and thoughts.

 

I had a meeting with the SPL and PL before the meeting started. I asked them what they wanted to do. 

(I shut my mouth and let them tell me how they wanted to run the troop.)

 

They told me they feel its more a hangout, with occasional skills thrown in. They wanted it back to the way it was a couple years ago. Uniforms worn, and more fun stuff. They want to set an example of how to be a Scout. (Essentially the result of the meeting) 

They also said they become tired of being ill prepared going to district campouts so they just decided to quit going.

They used my uniform as an example for uniform wear. They thought it was cool I had everything neat and tidy on it. They said the SM said not to wear them anymore so everyone stopped. They didn't feel it was right but they really were not given an option.

 

OK, good you know how to listen.  Your scouts know what they want and you agree with them.  You didn't even need to use suggestion or Jedi Mind Tricks to get them to do what you want.

 

I told them I would make it happen.

STOP!  You tell them  "I will help you make it happen."

 

Your PLC should be the voice of the change.  If you wanted to impose stricter uniform standards on the troop you could have used Jedi Mind Tricks and asked the PLC "What can WE do as a troop to encourage wearing of the uniform?"  and guided them to better uniforming.  As it turns out, they want more uniforming already so the same question (with out mind tricks) can be asked.

 

See what the scouts come up with.  My current troop has used a scout-originated, scout-conducted uniform inspection at the start of each meeting.  Points are tallied and a prize awarded at the end of the year.  This really helps, our scouts even wear single-badge or empty merit badge sashes since a sash adds an extra point.

 

Once they have a good idea (or Scoutmaster/Jedi Master Yoda has steered them to a good idea [while letting them think they came up with the idea and OWN it]) let them announce it to the troop.  Not you.  You should only be speaking for the 60 seconds necessary to deliver your Scoutmaster's Minute.

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Probably the best strategy to implement uniforms:

  • Wear yours. Apologize to the boys if for some reason you are at a meeting out of uniform (e.g., you get stuck at work with no time to change). Teach the SPLs to do the same. Thank them when they look sharp.
  • Train your SPLs in using the uniform inspection sheet, and have them put inspection night on the calendar. Pass out copies of the sheet one week. Give the PLs a chance to practice inspect/fix problems the next week. Have the SPL do overall inspection. Have some little flag-totem for the patrol with the highest average score.
  • Spout off uniform trivia from time to time. (You'll find plenty of it on this forum!)

You really don't have to do inspection often. Our troop hasn't done it in years. Uniforming has its own momentum.

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