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ItsBrian

When To Not Be Calm?

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Brian-

 

Have you gone to NYLT? I know that you are close to earning Eagle (as is my 15 year old son, who is also the SPL of our Troop). He spent a week this summer taking the course, and came back with the tools to engage both the younger boys, some of whom sound just like the boys in your OP, as well as the older boys who ordinarily wouldn't generally listen to anyone younger than they are, regardless of who is wearing the SPL patch on their uniform. He has stepped up his game, and is truly committed to improving the Troop program.

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I just want to focus on the second sentence of what you were told. I assume you were told this by an adult leader.  Assuming that is the case, I think the adult leader was confusing his role as an adult leader with your role as a youth leader.  (And I am leaving aside the issue of whether you were actually playing the role of an SPL or  a PL; the fact is that you were the youth leader in charge of those Scouts at that time.)  Adult leaders are supposed to take a mostly hands-off approach when Scouts are engaged in an activity, as long as they are engaging in that activity in a safe manner.  It is not the role of the adult leader to make sure each individual Scout is doing their "job" in the activity or is exactly where they are supposed to be.  That is the job of the youth leader, which was you, and that is what you were doing.

 

I strongly disagree. It sounds to me like the adult leader did exactly what he is supposed to do. Brian didn't say that the adult scout leader interfered during the activity. He said that the scout leader talked to him that night. 

 

 

Where was the PL?

 

 

 

 

 

PL is immature, doesn’t care, and more. 

 

Brian didn't actually answer the question, did he? My impression is that the PL was there. PL may have been one of the boys playing in the field. 

 

Brian also doesn't tell us if the adult scout leaders had observed his handling of the matter, or if they were acting on second hand information. I wasn't there, but I am inclined to think that they would not have allowed the boys to build and operate a catapult without adult supervision. I certainly wouldn't.

 

Brian is a 15 year old kid. If his adult leaders think he mishandled the situation, my suggestion for Brian would be to listen to them and heed their advice.

Edited by David CO
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There's one snapshot in time (your asking the younger scouts to do something) and no context. Just my two cents but this looks like a typical team failure. You tried to lead and they didn't follow.

 

I may be wrong but here's my 2 cents. I've noticed that before there can be leadership there needs to be teamwork. A lot of scouts don't understand the basics of teamwork. Without teamwork things can get Machiavellian real quick. Assuming you don't understand that reference, if there's no teamwork then it's really all about power. You're the SPL, do the scouts ever listen to you? If there's no respect between you and them, either way, then they won't listen. They may know that they only need to listen to adults because the adults have power over them. It might be that the younger scouts have figured out that if they whine to other adults about how you're such a hard ass, and the other adults come over to you and tell you to back off, then the scouts still don't have to do as you say. BTW, where was their PL in all of this? Were you overstepping and doing his job by telling his team what to do?

 

Why should these scouts listen to you? If it's just because you're wearing a patch then you're going to need the authority to bring the boom down on them if they don't listen. You need more power. However, that's not going to end up happy for you or them. Wielding power to get what you want is not what scouts is about. Rather, developing teamwork, looking out for them, giving them a say in decisions, are things that indicate that teamwork is developing.

 

Assuming I'm right and there really is no teamwork within your troop, since you're only 15 you have plenty of time to change this.

 

I could also be wrong.

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I strongly disagree. It sounds to me like the adult leader did exactly what he is supposed to do. Brian didn't say that the adult scout leader interfered during the activity. He said that the scout leader talked to him that night.

 

Well, talking to him later was certainly better than if the adult had berated the SPL in front of everybody.  But, based on the facts we have been given, it sounds like the adult leader's advice was incorrect.  He was telling the youth leader not to do something that is clearly part of the youth leader's job.

 

Brian is a 15 year old kid. If his adult leaders think he mishandled the situation, my suggestion for Brian would be to listen to them and heed their advice.

Adults can be wrong sometimes. I see adults being wrong about something almost every day - mostly outside the Scouting context. Fortunately, the other adults in my troop seem to do the right thing the large majority of the time, but not always. Of course, 15-year-olds can be wrong sometimes, too.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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There's one snapshot in time (your asking the younger scouts to do something) and no context. Just my two cents but this looks like a typical team failure. You tried to lead and they didn't follow.

 

I may be wrong but here's my 2 cents. I've noticed that before there can be leadership there needs to be teamwork. A lot of scouts don't understand the basics of teamwork. Without teamwork things can get Machiavellian real quick. Assuming you don't understand that reference, if there's no teamwork then it's really all about power. You're the SPL, do the scouts ever listen to you? If there's no respect between you and them, either way, then they won't listen. They may know that they only need to listen to adults because the adults have power over them. It might be that the younger scouts have figured out that if they whine to other adults about how you're such a hard ass, and the other adults come over to you and tell you to back off, then the scouts still don't have to do as you say. BTW, where was their PL in all of this? Were you overstepping and doing his job by telling his team what to do?

 

Why should these scouts listen to you? If it's just because you're wearing a patch then you're going to need the authority to bring the boom down on them if they don't listen. You need more power. However, that's not going to end up happy for you or them. Wielding power to get what you want is not what scouts is about. Rather, developing teamwork, looking out for them, giving them a say in decisions, are things that indicate that teamwork is developing.

 

Assuming I'm right and there really is no teamwork within your troop, since you're only 15 you have plenty of time to change this.

 

I could also be wrong.

They usually listen fine, perfect, but this camping trip and this weeks meeting was just horrible, even the adults raised their voices. Some of these boys in the troop have been in the troop for 1/2 a year, but they are all best friends (which is a factor), and can’t handle being split.

 

As I’ve said in another reply, no youth leadership besides me actually wants to lead. The two PLs wants nothing to do with leading, etc. Their friends just voted for them because they didn’t want it. Another reason why I had to be SPL again, because nobody wanted it and we can’t force anyone.

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I strongly disagree. It sounds to me like the adult leader did exactly what he is supposed to do. Brian didn't say that the adult scout leader interfered during the activity. He said that the scout leader talked to him that night. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian didn't actually answer the question, did he? My impression is that the PL was there. PL may have been one of the boys playing in the field. 

 

Brian also doesn't tell us if the adult scout leaders had observed his handling of the matter, or if they were acting on second hand information. I wasn't there, but I am inclined to think that they would not have allowed the boys to build and operate a catapult without adult supervision. I certainly wouldn't.

 

Brian is a 15 year old kid. If his adult leaders think he mishandled the situation, my suggestion for Brian would be to listen to them and heed their advice.

PL was in fact yes, was playing in field. Sorry if I forgot to say that.

 

Yes, there was adults around but as I said before they don’t care as long as nobody gets bullied or hurt.

 

Finally, I take advice from my leaders ALL the time, I just disagree this one time.

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Also please realize I’m not one of those 15 year olds who exagrate everything.

 

Also, I don’t know if I said this but, the SM didnt yell at me or anything, he just had a “talk†with me.

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Brian-

 

Have you gone to NYLT? I know that you are close to earning Eagle (as is my 15 year old son, who is also the SPL of our Troop). He spent a week this summer taking the course, and came back with the tools to engage both the younger boys, some of whom sound just like the boys in your OP, as well as the older boys who ordinarily wouldn't generally listen to anyone younger than they are, regardless of who is wearing the SPL patch on their uniform. He has stepped up his game, and is truly committed to improving the Troop program.

Unfortunately, my councils NYLT fills up quickly and is currently filled. During the summer I work to help pay for future college, due to me planning on getting my masters.

 

I have not had a single issue leading during my two years, the scouts have suddenly changed which was odd.

Edited by ItsBrian

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Well, talking to him later was certainly better than if the adult had berated the SPL in front of everybody.  But, based on the facts we have been given, it sounds like the adult leader's advice was incorrect.  He was telling the youth leader not to do something that is clearly part of the youth leader's job.Adults can be wrong sometimes. I see adults being wrong about something almost every day - mostly outside the Scouting context. Fortunately, the other adults in my troop seem to do the right thing the large majority of the time, but not always. Of course, 15-year-olds can be wrong sometimes, too.

The adult leaders do stuff correct the majority of the time, which is fantastic, and I understand that 15 years olds can be wrong as wel. I’m not saying I’m perfect or anything haha.

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PL was in fact yes, was playing in field. Sorry if I forgot to say that.

 

Yes, there was adults around but as I said before they don’t care as long as nobody gets bullied or hurt.

 

Finally, I take advice from my leaders ALL the time, I just disagree this one time.

 

It sounds like you not only disagree with the adult leaders, you also disagree with the patrol leaders and most of the scouts. You have become the odd man out.

Edited by David CO

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It sounds like you not only disagree with the adult leaders, you also disagree with the patrol leaders and most of the scouts. You have become the odd man out.

 

But there’s nothing to disagree with the other Scouts or partial leader?..:

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It sounds like you not only disagree with the adult leaders, you also disagree with the patrol leaders and most of the scouts. You have become the odd man out.

This happens.

 

Actually, the worst case I know of did not involve scouting. The otherwise very competent varsity freshmen on a girls soccer team were not taking their cues from the goalie ... to the point that during a game, they asserted from the field that they didn't have to listen to her. Needless to say, that loss were humiliating. I only heard about it because I was announcing the following game, and prior to the opening, the coach visited me in the press box (which is odd) and requested that, after the usual introduction of each starting player on the visiting team, I read through his team's starting line up quickly instead of waiting for each individual to take center field. As I did that, they were to walk out on the field together holding hands. This was not the girls' proudest moment. But, they did manage to eke out a couple of wins during the remainder of the season.

 

With scouting, it's not always as clear cut.

Boys and their PL are goofs at a camporee. Do, I, as an SM/ASM ask the SPL to run a tighter ship, or do I encourage the him, as he's on his second term, to lighten up? Chances are, I recommend one or the other but:

I set a time with the SPL for us to evaluate if my suggestion is working.

 

Trust me, years ago I wouldn't have done the part in bold. So, maybe, @@ItsBrian, your way through this is tell the SM you will try to use the lighter touch as he suggests, but ask if you and he can review how it's going in a month.

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This happens.

 

Actually, the worst case I know of did not involve scouting. The otherwise very competent varsity freshmen on a girls soccer team were not taking their cues from the goalie ... to the point that during a game, they asserted from the field that they didn't have to listen to her. Needless to say, that loss were humiliating. I only heard about it because I was announcing the following game, and prior to the opening, the coach visited me in the press box (which is odd) and requested that, after the usual introduction of each starting player on the visiting team, I read through his team's starting line up quickly instead of waiting for each individual to take center field. As I did that, they were to walk out on the field together holding hands. This was not the girls' proudest moment. But, they did manage to eke out a couple of wins during the remainder of the season.

 

With scouting, it's not always as clear cut.

Boys and their PL are goofs at a camporee. Do, I, as an SM/ASM ask the SPL to run a tighter ship, or do I encourage the him, as he's on his second term, to lighten up? Chances are, I recommend one or the other but:

I set a time with the SPL for us to evaluate if my suggestion is working.

 

Trust me, years ago I wouldn't have done the part in bold. So, maybe, @@ItsBrian, your way through this is tell the SM you will try to use the lighter touch as he suggests, but ask if you and he can review how it's going in a month.

I’ve never had a issue before though, there has never been a issue before. Myself and the adult leaders have never, not even once have told them that much in one weekend to behave. I only had to tell them during that one task, then there was no need after that.

Also, took them 1 hour (not exaggerating) to do clean up after dinner because they were fooling around (that’s when the ASM lost his temper).

 

I wasn’t running that tight of a ship even, more like, asking them to help with the task.

Edited by ItsBrian

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It sounds like you are getting mixed messages. That's no surprise. SM's may tolerate things that ASM's have no patience for.

 

Clearly, you want to get to a point where neither you nor an ASM have to remind them to stay on task.

 

The only way through this, I think, is persistent after-action review. This is where you guide the guys with open-ended questions after each event. The three boiler-plate ones are:

  • What went well?
  • What didn't go so well?
  • What should we do differently next time?

You might be more familiar with "Thorns and roses." Same principle.

It's up to the leaders to decide if participants are the PLC or the troop as a whole. In your case, sounds like it needs to be the troop as a whole, at least for a couple of meetings and events.

 

What I've seen happen when this is done is that some of the things the leader likes to see happen become the scouts' idea,  But, the leader also gets an idea of some of the scouts' priorities. This allows you all to tweak plans to catch up on some things the boys my be missing, or set goals the boys might value.

 

But let's not whitewash things. You've got a tough crowd. Some attitudes have shifted, or they were never quite right in the first place. When that's happened to us, we've emphasized that everyone must develop leadership skills, even if they aren't wearing a patch.

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This problem is easily solved, @ItsBrian.  All you need do is use your condescending, baby-talk, mommy voice so they won't be offended.

Edited by Stosh

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