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People reflect the behaviors they see, particularly our youth.


What we model is what we will see in others, particularly our youth.


When we call out others failing to follow the Oath and Law are we doing so in a way that follows the Oath and Law?


When we discuss a topic and have differing opinions are we doing so with the Oath and Law in mind?



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I found working with scouters over the years that the vast majority of them don't really believe their behavior is being watched by the scouts. I give them many examples, but until they see it in action (if they ever do), they don't respect the idea of scouts reflecting the behavior they observe.


To your question, if the adult leaders don't believe scouts mimic behavior (especially the adults' behavior), they tend to not be all that concerned of how their behavior coincides with the Oath and Law. 


It's frustrating to say the least.



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Modeling the behavior is the most important thing we can do.  

  • If we say the SPL is in charge, do we really step back to become less and to stand in the shadows so that the SPL is the focal point?  Or, do we constantly interject comments interrupting the SPL as the focal point?
  • If we say a scout his helpful and friendly, do we constantly look for ways to to be friendly and to help?  Or do we sit down and grumble as someone else is struggling to setup their tent or to pack up their gear?  
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Scoutmaster Minute time.   The SMMinute is a lost art.    After a hike or Campout,  ever do the Roses and Thorns thing?  

Don't mention names, but ask questions.  Let the Scouts reflect on their own behavior.  


Review the song "Scout Vespers" ....


 The cynical teenager will eventually "get it" if given a chance.  Even the cynical adult.  Remember the C&W song  about the lil' kid who keeps telling his dad "I wanna talk like you ...."


Ideals are just that, but maybe, just maybe they can become realities with our help...

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I am transitioning out of scouts, so my boys all know that the Scout Oath and Law is for everything one does.


On my honor I promise to do my duty to God and my country.... to help other people at all times...


I spent 2 weeks deployed with Red Cross flooding in Wisconsin, 2 weeks with the boys, then 4 weeks deployed to Hurricane Harvey, then 2 weeks with the boys, then 2 weeks with Hurricane Irma followed immediately with 2 weeks deployed to the California Wildfires.  Now I'm back home with the boys. 


They have never been given direct training on what those words of the Oath mean, but they have seen it lived out. 


My church is putting together relief teams to go help clean up after Hurricane Harvey.  They have asked me to take lead on one of the teams.... I may be missing even more scout meetings in the next month or so.  The example I set isn't just for scouts. 


I do find my church youth more receptive to understanding the Scout Oath in that they are scheduled to make blankets for the nursing home, ring bells for the Salvation Army and are scheduled for a number of other projects over the next few months.  


I teach leadership and the best way to do so is lead by example.  The kids figure it out.  If one strives to be a leader, look over your shoulder to see if anyone is following.  If not, you're not a leader.

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