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The units I have served as direct leader (2 Cub (DL), 2 Boy (SM), 1 Venturing (CA)) have all had the same rules.  1) Safety First, 2) Look and act like a Scout, and 3) Have fun.

 

Adults can and are expected to step in and stop behaviors contrary to these rules.  That is not guidance, it is immediate Cease and Desist only.

 

This of course has nothing to do with "guidance" or "mentoring" or even bumping the boys in some adult determined direction.  It's a stop what you're doing, now.  And that's where the adult involvement ends.  But I'm sure that there are those who feel it necessary to "instruct" the boys properly, make sure they are learning processes the adults have defined as proper and use methods of measurement to qualify the adult expectations for POR requirement fulfillment.  It's a kind of "in their best interest" approach to an adult led operation.

 

My involvement with the boys generally is peer-to-peer association, I ask questions, I pull my own weight, I offer opportunities when asked, and on rare occasions I have offered suggestions, normally 2-3 at the same time, for them to consider multiple options to choose from.  The evaluation of their efforts (POR's) are self-evaluated.  

 

Rarely do I find it necessary to invoke discipline on a Scout, the PL's are expected to handle it as they take care of their boys.  Any concerns I have about any scout is directed to his PL.  I do not get involved in patrol operations unless the PL requests it.  If I catch a boy doing something good, that, too, is shared with the PL to deal with as he sees fit.

 

The less I as SM get involved in the operation, guidance, mentoring, instructing, etc. etc. or whatever word one makes up for adult interference the less time I have for SMC's, fireside chats, homesickness drama, and getting to know each boy personally, his likes, his dislikes, who's it going at school?, etc.   I have also noticed that whenever an adult does get involved in such interference, it will undermine the operation of the patrol and the alter the authority of who's really calling the shots around here, the adult or the PL.  Once an adult steals that authority from a PL, it will take some time to reestablish it in the patrol.  Usually what happens is the PL steps down.  Why listen to your PL when one knows the real authority is with the adults? 

 

In my units the responsibility of leadership is given to the boys and along with it is the authority to do it.  It's a package deal that most adults find difficult to trust to kids.  I don't.  I do it all the time.

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I'm sure it's my age, but what I hear you saying is that even when the troop culture is going opposite of "take care of your boys", the adults should not provide any guidance because the scouts will eventually figure it out? So help me, what will the scouts figure out since nobody is guiding them of what they are doing?

 

Any time the PATROL culture is going opposite of 'take care of your boys':, it is correct that the adults should not provide any guidance because the boys in the patrol will know they are not being taken care of and will remove that PL and put one in that will.  It is their choice at any point in time, the boys know it and the PL's know it and if the PL wants to keep his POR, he had better "take care of his boys."  No adult intervention, guidance because the boys are taking care of there situation.  To assume NOBODY is guiding them is an adult justification technique to step in and fill the gap.  Well, there is no gap, the boys aren't stupid, they can figure things out, it's called leadership, thinking on one's feet, problem solving, and teamwork.  I see it all the time.

 

You have briefly been a SM twice while on this forum. How many times have you told the forum that you instruct the scouts to "take care of your boys"? Is that instruction by you the SM not adult guidance? Did we misunderstand? 

 

I have had experience of 45+ years of working with community based, church based, and scout based youth organizations.  I have "briefly" been a SM for almost 10 years, 14 as a Venturing CA and youth director for 30+ years in various church congregations and in order to facilitate all of these I take a brief few minutes with each young person I have a responsibility to and instruct them in leadership of taking care of their people.  That's it.  It takes about 15-20 seconds to present the lesson and I'm done from that point onward.  No guidance, no mentoring, the lesson has been taught, my work is done.  I don't have to go back and revisit it over and over again so the young person walks the line I want them to walk.

 

I think it is important because a lot of scouters scan this forum for help and the subject of guiding scouts to make conscious choices in changing their behavior is a challenge for almost all troops and adults.  

 

Well I call that coercion, propaganda, manipulation, behavior modification, and/or even bullying at times.  As a person with a degree in psychology, and having spent many years in the Christian ministry as a pastor, I can totally assure everyone that the only way to have a person grow to fulfill their potential as a person is to open to them the opportunity to seek and change on their own into what they want to become, not be forced to become what I want them to become.  Maybe this is why some have more problems dealing with youth than I do.  Ask yourself how many truly satisfied people are there in the world today that are a result of what their parents wanted them to be?  This is why I have chosen a different path to youth development than the accepted norm of parental "guidance".   Your mileage may vary.

 

Barry

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All good stuff, stosh, but nothing in your post addresses subject of guiding scouts to change the troop culture. When it was suggested that adult guidance was needed to change the troop culture, you said; ""I have always found that whenever adults step in to "help" it actually slows things down and along with drinking coffee, I find myself spending more time with keeping the adults out of the way than I do having fun with the boys.  It shouldn't be that way.  I'm thinking the trial and error that is being addressed here is the adult trial and error attempts.  I find that the boys figure things out much quicker when it is THEIR trial and error dynamics in place

 

How can he boys figure it out by THEIR trial and error when nobody tells them the error?  How will the scouts figure out how to change through THEIR trial and error if nobody steps in to explain the goals or vision? Isn't "take care of your scouts" simply giving a goal or vision for the scouts to work toward?

 

I think MattR has it right and you haven't said anything to make me think differently. When the scouts are driving the program the wrong way, someone has to step in for a course correction. The correction can be a simple as "take care of your scouts". But I believe it is the responsibilities of the adults to step in and encourage scout growth. That is really what the program is all about.

 

Barry

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All good stuff, stosh, but nothing in your post addresses subject of guiding scouts to change the troop culture. When it was suggested that adult guidance was needed to change the troop culture, you said; ""I have always found that whenever adults step in to "help" it actually slows things down and along with drinking coffee, I find myself spending more time with keeping the adults out of the way than I do having fun with the boys.  It shouldn't be that way.  I'm thinking the trial and error that is being addressed here is the adult trial and error attempts.  I find that the boys figure things out much quicker when it is THEIR trial and error dynamics in place

 

How can he boys figure it out by THEIR trial and error when nobody tells them the error?  How will the scouts figure out how to change through THEIR trial and error if nobody steps in to explain the goals or vision? Isn't "take care of your scouts" simply giving a goal or vision for the scouts to work toward?

 

Who's vision is important here?  Some adults? Or would one think that the vision of the people being served should be the guiding factor?  I always hated it when some adult told me what they were doing was for my own good.  That didn't fly 50 years ago, it doesn't fly today.

 

Guidance needs to come from the customer!  If the boys in the patrol aren't getting satisfaction, they will find a product elsewhere that does.  The boys in the patrol want a leader that tends to their needs, not some generic puppet leader that was taught by some adult reading a book on leadership.

 

I think MattR has it right and you haven't said anything to make me think differently.

 

It's not my mission in life to convince anyone of anything.  I only offer another option out there that works for me and doesn't seem to generate anywhere near the same number or intensity of problems others out there are identifying in their units.  If they wish to read my posts, they may do so.  If they choose to adopt my processes, they may do so.  It might make a difference in their unit, might not.  But I can assure you it has absolutely no impact or influence on me or my program.  I am extremely happy with what I have, and if others are extremely happy with they have, that's fine too.  I'm not going to change being extremely happy for something else any time soon, too, so it looks like neither of us are going to change our ways of thinking.

 

When the scouts are driving the program the wrong way, someone has to step in for a course correction. The correction can be a simple as "take care of your scouts". But I believe it is the responsibilities of the adults to step in and encourage scout growth. That is really what the program is all about.

 

When the boys in the patrol judge things as being done the wrong way, they have the immediate right and expectation to step in and make a course correction.  They do it all the time in my units.  I have seen PL's change at the drop of a hat.  Joe went out for football and can't make the meetings for the next 9 weeks. (This means he won't be available to take care of the patrol boys)  Tommy is now our PL.  Voila, no adult involvement at all.  It's also a very responsible and mature decision on the spot to handle a normal situation.  After 9 weeks, Joe may once again be placed in the PL position, but if Tommy is a better PL, he might not.  It's always a chance a leader takes when choosing between scouts and other activities in his life. I see a real problem when the boys are totally satisfied with what they have in their patrol and some adult comes in and messes around with it.  It happens every time some forced election is imposed at 6 month or 1 year intervals. It happens when patrols are shuffled around, and it happens when adults mandate the leadership structure of the unit.  And then all we ever hear about is, boys that quit, boys that won't listen to their PL's, boys not doing their job, etc. etc. etc.  I just don't see any adult involvement in the functioning of the unit as all that positive of an ideal.

 

Maybe this is where the idea came from where firefighters turned to arson to improve their heroism status.  Scouters don't need to get in there and cause problems so they can heroicly solve them for the boys.  Too much work, let the boys figure it out themselves.  That's leadership too.

 

Barry

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Who's vision is important here?  Some adults? Or would one think that the vision of the people being served should be the guiding factor? 

 

You're fooling yourself believing that "take care of your scouts" isn't your adult vision, expectation or goal.

 

Barry

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You're fooling yourself believing that "take care of your scouts" isn't your adult vision, expectation or goal.

 

Barry

No I'm not, the disconnect comes in HOW that vision is applied.  How the boys are being taken care of can be one vision for the adults and a totally different vision for the boys.  This is the area when one moves out of leadership into management. 

The adult vision is to have mixed patrols, but the boys want to hang out with their gang of buddies.  Two different visions.....  Mistake was made on the SPL election and the boys will suffer for the next 6 months or even a year, but the boys want a do-over RIGHT NOW!  Two different visions....  This goes on and on and I hear it all the time on the forum.  The vision of the boys trumps the adults when it comes to scouting and passes the Safety first, Look and act like a Scout, Have fun requirements.  Are those rules adult made?  Yep, but I have yet to run across a scout that doesn't think they are a good idea.

 

And as far as it being MY vision or goal?  A long time ago it was, but over the years, the boys have made it their own and pass it along because they know that it guarantees their leadership in the unit.  It is the one thing that forces adults out of the process.  If I'm taking care of my boys, the adults have no excuse to interfere.  They know it works and they apply it liberally to all aspects of scouting.  I have also had many occasions where the boys have told me it works at school and at home too.  Imagine that.

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No I'm not, the disconnect comes in HOW that vision is applied.  How the boys are being taken care of can be one vision for the adults and a totally different vision for the boys.  This is the area when one moves out of leadership into management. 

 

THAT"S EXACTLY RIGHT!

 

AS you just pointed out, adults stepping in isn't wrong and neither is using an adult expectations for guiding scouts. Truth is the scouts would be lost without adult intervention and expectations at some point in their scouting career to set their direction. As MattR was pointing out, there is a trial and error process where everyone is learning to find the most efficient and least adult intrusive method to accomplishing the task of guiding scouts toward the vision. It takes time and humility.

 

And as far as it being MY vision or goal?  A long time ago it was, but over the years, the boys have made it their own and pass it along because they know that it guarantees their leadership in the unit. 

 

Yes, that is of course is another adult goal, but the vision has to start somewhere. An 11 year old boy could care less about joining a club to take care of others. Boys this age want fun and adventure. not touchy feely discussions with other boys. The outdoors and patrol method were created by the founders to guide young boys to learn from the decisions made during fun and adventurous activities to grow into men of character and citizens of integrity. They learn to change their behavior habits as they take on responsibilities during their fun and adventure. They don't even really have to know the adult vision or visions, they just practice the behavior until they make a conscious decision to change because the behavior makes sense. 

 

It is the one thing that forces adults out of the process.  If I'm taking care of my boys, the adults have no excuse to interfere.  They know it works and they apply it liberally to all aspects of scouting.  I have also had many occasions where the boys have told me it works at school and at home too.  Imagine that.

 

Yes, yes, yes. The vision starts somewhere from someone and it is to be nurtured and encouraged through trial and error until the scouts have the maturity to take on the trial and error of the vision themselves. You can't just throw boys in a group and expect them to have a vision of character and know how to get it. Call it what you want, Living the Oath and Law", "Servant leadership", "take care of your scouts"; none of that is instantaneous or easy. It is a challenge for adults to implement in the program and a challenge for scouts to master.

 

My point is telling everyone that any adult intervention is corruptive to the program is a misstatement and turns away those seeking help because we all know that adults do have to intervene somewhere to help the scouts grow. The key to the best boy run programs is how adults can step in with the least disruption to the patrol method with the most influence to developing their growth. 

 

That is the advice being asked of experienced scouters. 

 

Barry

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And as far as it being MY vision or goal?  A long time ago it was, but over the years, the boys have made it their own and pass it along because they know that it guarantees their leadership in the unit.  It is the one thing that forces adults out of the process.  If I'm taking care of my boys, the adults have no excuse to interfere.  They know it works and they apply it liberally to all aspects of scouting.  I have also had many occasions where the boys have told me it works at school and at home too.  Imagine that.

After reading this again, it occurs to me that you despise the BSA program so much that you have lost much of the knowledge to really understand the program. You obviously don't realize that the scouts are suppose to eventually accept the vision as their own. And you seem to think that adults aren't expected to step back as the scouts mature, but that is part of the BSA program. You think you are being profound, but you are just doing what the BSA ask.

 

As a result, your leadership is likely more adult run than most Scoutmasters in mature BSA boy run troops. You simply don't know of the tools available to you for building a high performance patrol method program. Let me show you what I mean; lets assume that each of us start with two identical groups of boys of identical ages and experiences. I believe my group will be a functioning independent patrol in half the time of your group with only a 3rd adult guidance from me. How will I do that? We've agreed that scouts require some intervention to provide them the knowledge for moving forward. I will simply give them the Scout Handbook, SPL Handbook, PL Handbook and the BSA Field Book, which have enough vision and guidance in the contents to start a functional working patrol with very minimal adult guidance. It's all there, roles and responsibilities of each member, how to cook, what to eat, how to start fires, set up tents, run meetings, how to dress, and on and on. 

 

Most of my guidance will likely be requested by the scouts and in the areas that require some on-the-spot adult wisdom for clairty. Most of the request are usually scouts requesting guidance on character challenges. That is usually the time when suggestions like "just take or your boys"or " what does the law say?" helps encourage scouts through their challenges. But for the most part, the patrol method and operation details that are insequential to the Aims are left up to the scouts and their handbooks. Those handbooks make the 100 yard separation easier to acquire. 

 

All I'm saying is that adults who use the tools provided by the BSA are likely less adult run.

 

Barry

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No I'm not, the disconnect comes in HOW that vision is applied.  How the boys are being taken care of can be one vision for the adults and a totally different vision for the boys.  This is the area when one moves out of leadership into management. 

 

THAT"S EXACTLY RIGHT!

 

AS you just pointed out, adults stepping in isn't wrong and neither is using an adult expectations for guiding scouts.

 

Not following here.   How is using an adult expectation for guiding scouts not adult-led?

 

Truth is the scouts would be lost without adult intervention and expectations at some point in their scouting career to set their direction.

 

Again, the boys have been lured into scouting with the promise of fun and adventure, they don't need adult intervention and expectations to tell them what that fun and adventure is.  They have a pretty good idea what that is even before they register.  What is often harped about on the forum is the lack of older scouts sharing their vision of fun and adventure with their younger scouts.  Maybe once they get into the program the fun and adventure is replaced by adult expectations so there's no vision to pass on.  In my troops that door is always propped open to their initial vision of fun and adventure.  The logistics of the program, "helping other people at all times," insures there is no need for an adult vision or expectation, it's already spelled out in the Oath.

 

As MattR was pointing out, there is a trial and error process where everyone is learning to find the most efficient and least adult intrusive method to accomplishing the task of guiding scouts toward the vision. It takes time and humility.

 

Trial and error for whom?  The adults or the boys?  The purpose of scouting is defined without adult intervention.  The only time adult intervention is needed is when the boys aren't leading.  Someone's got to do it.  If the adults can't pass the leadership baton to the boys there's something wrong with the process.  I don't see the repeated interference and instruction and constant guidance of the adults anything other than adult led.  I guess everyone has their own definition of what boy leadership is all about.

 

And as far as it being MY vision or goal?  A long time ago it was, but over the years, the boys have made it their own and pass it along because they know that it guarantees their leadership in the unit. 

 

Yes, that is of course is another adult goal, but the vision has to start somewhere.

 

Every council and district has it's known boy led and adult led programs.  Long before a boy even comes into a troop choices have to be made based on different opportunities.  I provide an environment in which the boys will be allowed carte banche on how the unit will be led.  It goes hand in hand with the principle of adventure and fun.  Are those goals of adventure and fun defined by the boys' or the adults'?  I'm thinking that if the adults are guiding and mentoring, they might be the adults' vision and not the boys'  One of the major differences I suspect between the different approaches is that in my unit, the vision changes from year to year because the boys change from year to year..

 

An 11 year old boy could care less about joining a club to take care of others.

 

Obviously not, but if they wish to interact with the older boys, they better figure out that this club does take care of others because it promised to do so in the Scout Oath, that verbiage they had to memorize even before they joined.

 

Boys this age want fun and adventure. not touchy feely discussions with other boys.

 

No, boys this age want acceptance and a sense of belonging.  They want to feel they are valuable to those around them.  Some want to feel they have power to do good things.  Some really do care about others and want to be around them and help.  Others are still focused on narcissism and tend to be looking out only for themselves and what's best for them.  Still others want popularity because it validates who they are.  Fun and adventure is really quite a ways down the list.

 

The outdoors and patrol method were created by the founders to guide young boys to learn from the decisions made during fun and adventurous activities to grow into men of character and citizens of integrity. They learn to change their behavior habits as they take on responsibilities during their fun and adventure. They don't even really have to know the adult vision or visions, they just practice the behavior until they make a conscious decision to change because the behavior makes sense. 

 

It's different for me.  I get more traction out of the boys learning from other boys.  Since day one in their lives they have been told what to do, where to go and how to act by adults.  Now, for the first time, people of their own age and own position in life can instruct guide and empower without the world coming to an end, like the parent or teach says it will if they don't behave.  Under the premise of the Scout Oath, this experiment in youth, which has survived for 100 years, will not deteriorate down into the Lord of the Flies motif that every scouter Chicken Little says it will without constant adult intervention.  Very few adults with the "I gotta guide" mentality ever think that their ultimate job is to work oneself out of it.  

 

It is the one thing that forces adults out of the process.  If I'm taking care of my boys, the adults have no excuse to interfere.  They know it works and they apply it liberally to all aspects of scouting.  I have also had many occasions where the boys have told me it works at school and at home too.  Imagine that.

 

Yes, yes, yes. The vision starts somewhere from someone and it is to be nurtured and encouraged through trial and error until the scouts have the maturity to take on the trial and error of the vision themselves. You can't just throw boys in a group and expect them to have a vision of character and know how to get it. Call it what you want, Living the Oath and Law", "Servant leadership", "take care of your scouts"; none of that is instantaneous or easy. It is a challenge for adults to implement in the program and a challenge for scouts to master.

 

Nope, but the boys who have already walked that walk can be the ones to guide them, it doesn't mean the adults have to do it.   By the way, the original vision was established by BP, the rest of us are only passing it along.  By the time the boys have the Oath and Law memorized., they are well on their way without any other adult "vision" to interfere.

 

My point is telling everyone that any adult intervention is corruptive to the program is a misstatement and turns away those seeking help because we all know that adults do have to intervene somewhere to help the scouts grow. The key to the best boy run programs is how adults can step in with the least disruption to the patrol method with the most influence to developing their growth. 

 

That is the advice being asked of experienced scouters. 

 

And in the interest of Scouting, let us agree to disagree.

 

Barry

 

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After reading this again, it occurs to me that you despise the BSA program so much that you have lost much of the knowledge to really understand the program. You obviously don't realize that the scouts are suppose to eventually accept the vision as their own. And you seem to think that adults aren't expected to step back as the scouts mature, but that is part of the BSA program. You think you are being profound, but you are just doing what the BSA ask.

 

As a result, your leadership is likely more adult run than most Scoutmasters in mature BSA boy run troops. You simply don't know of the tools available to you for building a high performance patrol method program. Let me show you what I mean; lets assume that each of us start with two identical groups of boys of identical ages and experiences. I believe my group will be a functioning independent patrol in half the time of your group with only a 3rd adult guidance from me. How will I do that? We've agreed that scouts require some intervention to provide them the knowledge for moving forward. I will simply give them the Scout Handbook, SPL Handbook, PL Handbook and the BSA Field Book, which have enough vision and guidance in the contents to start a functional working patrol with very minimal adult guidance. It's all there, roles and responsibilities of each member, how to cook, what to eat, how to start fires, set up tents, run meetings, how to dress, and on and on. 

 

Most of my guidance will likely be requested by the scouts and in the areas that require some on-the-spot adult wisdom for clairty. Most of the request are usually scouts requesting guidance on character challenges. That is usually the time when suggestions like "just take or your boys"or " what does the law say?" helps encourage scouts through their challenges. But for the most part, the patrol method and operation details that are insequential to the Aims are left up to the scouts and their handbooks. Those handbooks make the 100 yard separation easier to acquire. 

 

All I'm saying is that adults who use the tools provided by the BSA are likely less adult run.

 

Barry

 

It's rather strange that I'm the one who is asked to start new units, be involved on Cub, Scouting and Venturing levels, am sought out by other organization in the community as well as be available to church youth groups of which I'm not even affiliated.  I somehow get such a reputation because of my disdain for the BSA program principles?

 

My Eagle scouts are SM trained and WB trained BEFORE the go off to college? because of my disdain for the program?

 

My Eagle scouts are asked to speak at the Council's major fund raiser along with nationally known key note speakers because I have a disdain for the program?

 

I have young men and women going into the ministry to fulfill their mission of working for the betterment of other because of my disdain for the BSA program?

 

I help young men and women who's next step is Juvenile Hall and have been abandoned by their families and they turn themselves around and get their HS diploma and go on to college because of my disdain for the BSA program?

 

Sorry, I follow the principles of the BSA program well beyond the boundaries of the patrol-method out into the community.

 

So, I guess others have their way of doing things and I have mine.  The neighboring District wants me to start a new Venturing Crew, they must have heard of my disdain for the program.....

 

I'm sure I'm somewhere down near the bottom of the list and will have to settle for me anyway.

 

I'm not worried.  We are not all judged the same.  Some see, hear and understand others don't.  Been a problem for humanity for thousands of years.

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Not following here.   How is using an adult expectation for guiding scouts not adult-led?

 

How is the vision of "take care of your boys" not adult?

 

Again, the boys have been lured into scouting with the promise of fun and adventure, they don't need adult intervention and expectations to tell them what that fun and adventure is. 

 

Adults don't give them intervention of fun and adventure, the BSA does that.

 

Trial and error for whom?  The adults or the boys? 

 

Both, adults use trial and error for learning how to step back and the scouts use it to learn how to step forward. 

 

I provide an environment in which the boys will be allowed carte banche on how the unit will be led.  It goes hand in hand with the principle of adventure and fun.  

 

Yep, most troops do.

 

Obviously not, but if they wish to interact with the older boys, they better figure out that this club does take care of others because it promised to do so in the Scout Oath, that verbiage they had to memorize even before they joined.

 

Yep, "take care of your scouts" comes from the Oath and Law.

 

Fun and adventure is really quite a ways down the list.

 

Really! Try recruiting boys you accuse of being narcissist and see where that gets you. In fact, take your list to the Webelos and ask what they want from the troop program. 

 

It's different for me.  I get more traction out of the boys learning from other boys. 

 

Yep, boys learn most from older scouts.

 

Nope, but the boys who have already walked that walk can be the ones to guide them, it doesn't mean the adults have to do it.

 

Who told them the walk "take care of your scouts"?

 

And in the interest of Scouting, let us agree to disagree.

 

It seems we do agree.

 

Edited by Eagledad

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So, I guess others have their way of doing things and I have mine.  The neighboring District wants me to start a new Venturing Crew, they must have heard of my disdain for the program.....

 

 

OK, it's just seems you keep describing the BSA program when you brag about stosh scouts. I guess well done is in order.

 

Barry

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I think it has something to do with drinking espresso from a tin cup with fancy 19th century etching on the outside. :?

Steampunk is a mix of the wild west and scifi. The original steampunk was the Wild Wild West. Cowboys and Aliens and the remake of the Wild Wild West are more recent versions. I loved all those shows. What could be better to a 12 year old than a turbo charged steam engine shooting lasers at the bad guys?

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Guess I loosened the hive of opinions.  That is good; hope it will stay in the realm of a Scouting Spirit molded discussion.  

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After decades of military training and leadership as well as unit-level adult Scouter leadership, the first thing I do when encountering quotes from business school "leadership experts" is skip to something more productive like a toenail fungus commercial  :p .  Between another "leadership manifesto" and week-old fish, I'll take the week-old fish (preferably quadruple-wrapped in plastic) because I can at least bait crab traps with the fish (I'd take the manifesto if I had a bird cage but I don't).

 

I don't blame the new Wood Badge program for everything but from what I've seen on the periphery, it has as much value as an essay from Karl Marx on capitalism's virtues.  In our council, WB hasn't been some super-elite society -- at least, it didn't stop them from asking me to teach at University of Scouting, participate on council-level committees, or providing advice to the SE on restructuring some of the program.  The curriculum I saw led me to believe WB had as much value for me as IOLS would have after 3 decades of camping and leading in Scouts at multiple levels.

 

I don't pretend to know-it-all and eagerly take classes that will extend my knowledge or understanding but I'm just not enthused about wasting 2 weekends or 2 days or 2 hours of my life on something whose major benefit seemed to be to make me "more eligible for a Silver Beaver nomination".  I joined Scouting as an adult for the kids, not for me.

 

@@TAHAWK, so in the old days of more outdoor skills and patrol method, how was leadership taught?

 

In my experience, it was taught by getting the kids to do things.  We had mixed age patrols so older Scouts instructed the younger Scouts and younger Scouts observed the older Scouts.  In some key activities, adults might review the Scout plans for adequacy (less likely after Scouts had proven themselves) and offer constructive critiques but it was up to the Scouts to plan the campouts or activities, do the leg work, organize menus and transportation and budget, etc.  Adults met in committee but I couldn't tell you much of what they did beyond drive the vehicles, buy the camp fuel or propane, and file the paperwork (when I was a Scout).  When I first got involved as an adult, it was much of the same except we did some of the legwork for the Scouts in terms of researching costs and facilities for activities.  The boys who were Scouts while I was an ASM and SM learned to lead by DOing.  They followed and they led and they learned along the way.

 

Most boys (and girls) aren't stupid -- they can see who gets things done and they'll even watch to see HOW they get things done if they know there won't be any crutches.

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