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WisconsinMomma

New Volunteers vs the Old Guard

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1 minute ago, Stosh said:

This is the conundrum I have always had with this forum.  All the adults, whether they are young or old are all fighting and bickering about who's calling the shots.  Well guess what, it's supposed to be the boys.  The more I get into the hands of the boys, the less I have difficulties.  I don't make it my problems and I don't ever get caught holding the bag.  If the parents get involved and try to make it their problem, they quickly learn that's not a good spot to be in because I always side, right or wrong, with the boys and their decisions.  It's always two against one against the adults.  If the boys make a bad decision and the parents are upset, I always remind them this is the place to learn, fail and grow.  After a while the parents do run out of steam and life goes back to having fun.

Stop and think about all the forum threads dedicated to bickering among the adults.  Every one of those "concerns" revolves around adult led troops.  And from where I stand, whatever decisions the boys make, it can't ever be worse than the behind the scenes bickering going on with the adults.

Amen, brother.

I have said it here before as well as in the non-virtual world.

Scouting would be so much better if we could get the adults out of it.

I say that with a bit of tongue-in-cheek because adults are needed (adult association, safety, ensure BSA policy and standards etc.), but the vast majority of the adult participation I see regularly has nothing to do with why adults need to be in the program to begin with. Mostly, I see adults doing things counter to being youth-led and counter to the Oath and Law to one degree or another.

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To true. 90% of the problems we have in my troop are adult related. Good news is that my sons don't see the problems and want to stay. But they know I got the Scouts interest.

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Amen Stosh!

of course I have never been blessed to see a really well "scout lead, adults out of it"  sort of troop...... so the conundrum I've always had is how to keep the scouts on track WITHIN the game of scouting.

I was talking the other day with the 1st year parent/scouter/former den leader that was going to be my replacement treasurer.  That scouter really seems to have a strong desire of wanting to keep the scouts in line and such, teach them "the way", make them tow the line, yes sir, and all of that......  I was trying to make the point that I feel that the scouts and troop would be better served by less adult imposition on the scouts.... letting them decide what they want to do, let them have more ownership..... let them find and enjoy a sense of discovery

I mean really, based on my years of studying on the subject, thinking different scenarios through, and so on....

I firmly believe that the scouts would have more fun (AND get more growth/character/leadership development on the side without directly knowing it) if the adults would leave the room.

The SM should coach the PL or SPL before and after the PLC, and be there to support them during the patrol and troop meetings and outings.... but only support when asked or when serous danger/injury is immanent...

but

at the same time when i boil it down to say "that the scouts should decide what they want to do...."

I remember that many of these scouts would really just prefer to do something that really isn't within the game or realm of "scouting".  They are perhaps more likely to choose something easy, such as hang out and play video games together. 

That is where the true art of scoutmastership really lies I think.

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13 minutes ago, blw2 said:

at the same time when i boil it down to say "that the scouts should decide what they want to do...."

Says who!

I was watching the discussion with Wisconsinmomma and Eagle94 and concluded that scouting is quickly changing from a "Game with a Purpose" to a "After School" outdoor experience program. I respect Wisconsinmomma for her intentions of expanding her son's youth experiences, she is no different than most of us. Just like most new leaders, the instinctive nurturing nature limits the "Game" part of the program. And it's OK because without the experience of the "Game", she doesn't know what she doesn't know. But in the past, it was the experienced guys with a youth experienced that basically kept the program somewhat on track of the "Game" and the "Purpose".

So, why have I lost hope?

I have said many time on this forum that units with adults who have a youth experience are at least three years ahead of all the other units. When the BSA brought female leaders into the troop program, that increased the pool of unexperienced adults around 70% through the next 10 years. It's been increasing even more since. Now it seems the adults with experience appear to be getting shouted down. Having a youth experience is becoming irrelevant because the "purpose" is what is really changing.

And now the BSA is bringing girls into the mix for a family camping program, or something or other. I don't know what to say.

I find it interesting that in 10 or 15 years in the future a troop program like ours 10 years ago will be seen as extreme. I'm shaking my head as I type. Those Adult leaders won't be able to imagine that that our scouts were allowed to camp without adults.

And, after recent events, I have a lot of confidence that National will reinforce the will of the new generation of leaders making it even harder on those who want to follow the more traditional program.

Barry

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58 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

...I am dying for the next chapter Qwazse...:)

Oops. clipped.

Here's the thing. We all go on and on about the "momma bear" effect.

A scouter like @WisconsinMomma might have been more comfortable had she been brought up through the scouting program in an era when kids were told not to come home until the streetlights came on. That's not the case, she was denied the privilege of being a bear or webelos or his/her sister/girlfriend and seeing us make our club and whittle our own derby car.  The notion of "trust the village, it'll raise your kid" is foreign, if not outlawed.

Instead, she was brought up to be a post-modern nomad in among a bunch of other similarly informed (terrified?) parents that have been taught not to trust each other ... let alone those older boys. Moreover, they have been taught that "getting with the program" means, at minimum, shepherding their kids. They all need to go through desensitization. I see no realistic scenario where WB does this.  There are two things that troops need to be trained to seek out:

  • Separate rooms for each patrol to comfortably meet ... plus a common room for opening and closing ceremony/games ... and maybe an ante-chamber for the old goats' committee meetings, BoR's, etc ...
  • Big open spaces not for each patrol to camp 100 yards away from any other patrol and adult campsites. Ideally, these would be close enough to home for scouts to fit in other activities (town hikes, service projects, parades, fundraisers).

In other words: physical space makes people feel the "youth led" in a troop without ever having to mention the word. Parents begin to learn their role by watching their boys from across a field.

Maybe, just maybe, a few girls coming up through the program will give us moms who can "trust the village" because they will now remember growing up in it and developing leadership through it.

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9 minutes ago, qwazse said:

.....

A scouter like @WisconsinMomma might have been more comfortable had she been brought up through the scouting program in an era when kids were told not to come home until the streetlights came on. That's not the case, she was denied the privilege of being a bear or webelos or his/her sister/girlfriend and seeing us make our club and whittle our own derby car.  The notion of "trust the village, it'll raise your kid" is foreign, if not outlawed........

I was about to write that I'm not so sure I agree with the idea that scouters that were scouts as boys have the advantage

   my thinking being that a scout coming up through an adult lead program really has no advantage....except maybe that they have first hand knowledge of a sub-par program.  But do they know how to fix it?  Do they even know that they need to fix it?  Most folks just re[peat what they know.

but

your point about being a scout in the day that we roamed the neighborhood on our own probably adds a twist that i wasn't considering.  I was a cub scout back in those days, but my tenure as a boy scout was so short, and given my situation coming in older.... that I didn't get the full experience.... 
     disadvantage to me.

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12 minutes ago, blw2 said:

   my thinking being that a scout coming up through an adult lead program really has no advantage....except maybe that they have first hand knowledge of a sub-par program.  But do they know how to fix it?  Do they even know that they need to fix it?  Most folks just re[peat what they know.

 

This is the reason I don't see the program with that addition of girls staying where it's at or ever going back to a more patrol method program. Eventually the adults without a scouting experience will level off to male and female adults with a scouting experience. But the experience will be from this generation, or next, view of the how the program should be used. The Canadian Scouts are already there.

As for not picking on females as the problem, I agree. The only reason I used them as an example is because we saw the program change when they we brought in as leaders. Not because they were female, but because they had no experience as a youth in scouts to base some of their expectations as an adult.

Barry

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2 hours ago, Tampa Turtle said:

One of the worst is a 1980's Eagle who made it at 14 back in the day and wants to turn the place into an Eagle mill. He (and his wife) win a lot of hearts and minds because they are very financially generous and pull a lot of strings for special events. Of course their sons HATE scouting.

WOW,  If you were not in Tampa, I'd say you were in my troop. The parent who brought up the tent issue has $$$$$. He also "persuaded" the PLC to switch their camp out to a fundraiser. All said and done, since the troop provided 95% of the manpower ( and the 5% are coming to us tonite) , we got a larger share of the profits than we were entitled to by ticket sales. BUT in order to get it, he made made so that the money is limited to what he wants to troop to get: equipment. It's not enough to outfit the entire troop in new tents. He wants to make a donation to get additional tents.

What he fails to realize is that if the youth do not have a vested interest in what they get, i.e THEY ARE THE ONES DECIDING WHAT TO GET, they will not take the care it needs to keep it.

 

 

25 minutes ago, blw2 said:

I was about to write that I'm not so sure I agree with the idea that scouters that were scouts as boys have the advantage

   my thinking being that a scout coming up through an adult lead program really has no advantage....except maybe that they have first hand knowledge of a sub-par program.  But do they know how to fix it?  Do they even know that they need to fix it?  Most folks just re[peat what they know.

 

EXTREMELY TRUE!!!!!! One of the Eagles wants the troop to replicate his troop growing up. I knew his SM, and the SM was a micromanager. Adults interfered alot. And his style is reflective.

 

I'm on the opposote end. Very youth led. SM had high expectations, worked through the PLC, and didn't get invovled too much with the minutia. Outside of PLC duties and SMCs, I can count on one hand the number of times he intervened in something. And I really deserved the chat I got too. 

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OK guys, so now I have to decide how much of a rabble rouser to be at tonight's committee meeting.   Do I...

a) suggest the candy fundraiser as something for the PLC/Troop to consider (I would offer to coordinate if the Troop wants to pursue it).

b) suggest that the boys pick their own summer camp destination and have choices, although there is already a deposit on the 2018 summer camp venue? 

c) smile and nod

d) look for opportunities to ask - what do the boys think of that? 

e) ask what the PLC has been working on lately

Thanks for your help!

Honestly I am tired and I'm hoping for a short meeting.

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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42 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

OK guys, so now I have to decide how much of a rabble rouser to be at tonight's committee meeting.   Do I...

a) suggest the candy fundraiser as something for the PLC/Troop to consider (I would offer to coordinate if the Troop wants to pursue it).

b) suggest that the boys pick their own summer camp destination and have choices, although there is already a deposit on the 2018 summer camp venue? 

c) smile and nod

d) look for opportunities to ask - what do the boys think of that? 

e) ask what the PLC has been working on lately 

In your situation, I think I would go with (d) and possibly also (e).  On (e), I do not think there is anything wrong with a committee member at a committee meeting asking the Scoutmaster (but only the SM) what the PLC has been up to.  The SM is the link between the committee and the PLC. 

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42 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

OK guys, so now I have to decide how much of a rabble rouser to be at tonight's committee meeting.   Do I...

a) suggest the candy fundraiser as something for the PLC/Troop to consider (I would offer to coordinate if the Troop wants to pursue it).

b) suggest that the boys pick their own summer camp destination and have choices, although there is already a deposit on the 2018 summer camp venue? 

c) smile and nod

d) look for opportunities to ask - what do the boys think of that? 

e) ask what the PLC has been working on lately

Thanks for your help!

Honestly I am tired and I'm hoping for a short meeting.

d) look for opportunities to ask - what do the boys think of that? 

Anytime any adult starts talking about the program and what they Scouts want/need - 'What do the Scouts want to do/what do they think?' is my first, second and third response.

It is fine and well to ask questions, but rather than suggesting a specific fundraiser, give a prompt. For example. A Scout is thrifty, have you considered how you are going to pay for Summer camp or that white water rafting trip? Let them take the lead, they will likely fire back questions, then, if they ask for suggestions, you can give them. But they need to work for the answers, it is how they figure out what they need to do and when. If we spoon feed them suggestions, they will never start to come up with the answers on their own, let along learn to ask the questions on their own.

In many troops, the Secretary also works with and mentors the Scribe. If that is case in your troop, your scribe should be including you on the minutes he sends out after each PLC. If that is not how it is working, perhaps that is a place you can start working with the direct contact leadership to help your troop.

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It's like TT's my evil twin!

Regarding what the PLC has been working on ... that should be in the SM report. If not this time, let the SM know (maybe through your husband, who's an ASM, if I recall) that you'd really enjoy hearing more about what the PLC's decided.

P.S. - A lot of SMs' reports to committee are from the PLC's point of view. (E.g., the boys really liked X, they want to do Y, they had four advance in rank, we picked a new bugler, etc ...).

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1 minute ago, Tampa Turtle said:

A good secretary is important. Great position to find out what is going on. I guess you can spin some items as 'clarifications for the record'.

I don't think any committee member needs to justify asking a question of the Scoutmaster at a committee meeting.  It is part of the committee's function.  I am advancement chair but I don't only talk or ask about advancement at committee meetings.  This rankled our former CC, which is one of the many reasons why that person is the "former" CC.

That does not mean that a committee member should sit there and fire question after question at the SM and take up the whole meeting.  There has to be balance.  I think WisconsinMomma understands that, which is why her item (d) includes "look for opportunities to ask."

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