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Eagle94-A1

Why Can't Adults Trust the Scouts

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45 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Regarding training, I don't know. He is wearing a Trained patch though. He was an ASM back in the late 90s, early 80s when he was an 18-20 y.o. But I also know he regards training as pretty useless if you are an Eagle, which he is.

 

Regarding failure, you are right. When I commented about the Scouts know what to do and we need to let them, he viewed the lack of blue ribbons from camporee as proof that they don't know what to do. Irony of the situation, and I know because I did hte past 2 district camporees, is that when we moved from aged based patrols to traditional patrols, and started letting the Scouts do things on their own and fail if need be, their camporee performance was a lot better this year than last year.

He thinks training is useless as long as you're an Eagle? :confused: Sounds like someone misses his Boy Scouting days and wants to relive them by agenda pushing.

I feel for ya. This guys appears to have not learned a thing as an Eagle or as a "trained" adult. I feel mostly for the kids because they are not learning a thing. Check that, they are learning the wrong things.

Keep plugging away doing what you are doing. Someone needs to be the voice of reason.

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After rereading my post, I can see where the word "failure" might come off a bit blunt and ambiguous. We could call the failure, "struggle", instead so as to understand the point better.

So let me give a small example of a programmed structure with the purpose of failure (struggle) as a teaching partner. "Time" is a great teacher of failure. In the early years, most troops planned their program activities around an agenda. Meeting starts at 7:00. Patrol Corners from 7:13 to 7:40. Program 7:43 to 8:20. Closing 8:23 to 8:30. If the scouts fail anywhere in the schedule, they leave the meeting  late. Not a huge deal in the scout world, but the PARENTS are a different story. If late meetings occur often enough, the parents will inflict enough pain to drive change for better performance. Our troop has a 45 minute PLC meeting before every Troop meeting. It didn't take the SPL very long to insure the PLC meeting was over in time to start the Troop meeting on time. 

One thing that impresses a lot of scouter visiters from other units is that our troop meetings start on time. One scouter asked how we did it. He said the adults spend 20 herding the scouts around just to get the meeting started. I told him the adults aren't even in the room when the scouts are getting ready to start. In fact, the SPL disciplined the SM (me) once for being late. The SPL has a timed schedule he is driven to follow. It's not instant, but like a small slow stream that shapes rocks, time will shape the scouts to change to be more efficient. 

Same goes on campouts. Have the PLC make an agenda for the whole weekend that forces the patrols to perform their activities within a time schedule. While I was SM, the SPL would send me their agenda the night before the campout for the adults. The adults don't start any activity, we just follow the agenda. Sometimes the adults are at the designated activity area before the scouts, wasting the adults time, which the SM will certainly inform the SPL, painfully.

Time is a very powerful teacher.

Barry

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Barry-

No, failure is an appropriate term. Scouting is supposed to be an experiment for the Scouts, a safe place in which they can test themselves. How else do they learn? It used to be that much of youth was a laboratory. We did stuff, lots of it undoubtedly unsafe and probably outlawed now, and we learned what worked and what didn't. Occasionally those lessons were accompanied by some injury. Broken bones generally heal, and eyebrows DO grow back... In the new childproof reality, that experimentation doesn't happen very often. As an aside, I used to work at a small private college. The school president always addressed the parents of the incoming Freshman class at the beginning of orientation. He started his speech like this: Your children will, at some point, fail at something, often spectacularly. This, in my opinion, is the best place in the world for them to do so. I feel the same way about Scouting.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Col. Flagg said:

He thinks training is useless as long as you're an Eagle? :confused: Sounds like someone misses his Boy Scouting days and wants to relive them by agenda pushing.

I feel for ya. This guys appears to have not learned a thing as an Eagle or as a "trained" adult. I feel mostly for the kids because they are not learning a thing. Check that, they are learning the wrong things.

Keep plugging away doing what you are doing. Someone needs to be the voice of reason.

Very little I learned earning Eagle prepared me to be an ASM. Sure understanding in general how Scouting worked and having good scout skills has helped, but my Scoutmaster training was an eye opener. Joining this forum and lifting best practices from others was an eye opener. Following Clark Green's blog helped me too. Wood Badge training. All those sources have helped me become a helpful contributor to my troop as an ASM more than being an Eagle. 

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23 minutes ago, AVTech said:

Barry-

No, failure is an appropriate term. Scouting is supposed to be an experiment for the Scouts, a safe place in which they can test themselves. How else do they learn? It used to be that much of youth was a laboratory.

Agreed. We actually use the term "controlled failure". The boys get a chance to learn and grow in a controlled environment.

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4 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

Yeah we got an Eagle parent who does the same stuff. 

Hey now...we're not all that bad.  Many of us like to poke fun at the Woodbadge cult, so that's a plus

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We got some other Eagle-parents who are fantastic....it is just the Eagle-Helicopter hybrids that get a free pass for a while and muck things up.

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2 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

We got some other Eagle-parents who are fantastic....it is just the Eagle-Helicopter hybrids that get a free pass for a while and muck things up.

Explained to a staff member at summer camp one time that the many pastel colored knots were Cub leader knots and the Red White and Blue knot was the Eagle Scout knot.  He had that look of sudden knowledge and advised that many things made so much more sense now.

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11 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Hey now...we're not all that bad.  Many of us like to poke fun at the Woodbadge cult, so that's a plus

I'm an Eagle Scout, and I've been through WoodBadge. Wouldn't say I'm part of the "cult" though.

I've met leaders that were Eagle Scouts who were awesome. But being an Eagle doesn't automatically make somebody an expert on the program, anymore than playing High School football makes you qualified to be a Football Coach. 

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I know when I became a Scouter, it was a VERY hard transition. First summer camp after turning 18 proved it. I was the ASM in charge since the SM and none of the other ASMs could be there the entire week. To put it mildly, I turned into a dictator. When the SM showed up for his 1/2 week, we had a long conversation about how I screwed up. That's when the mentoring started. In all honesty it has never stopped. I still come here to get advice.

 

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6 hours ago, Col. Flagg said:

He thinks training is useless as long as you're an Eagle? :confused: Sounds like someone misses his Boy Scouting days and wants to relive them by agenda pushing.

I feel for ya. This guys appears to have not learned a thing as an Eagle or as a "trained" adult. I feel mostly for the kids because they are not learning a thing. Check that, they are learning the wrong things.

Keep plugging away doing what you are doing. Someone needs to be the voice of reason.

Sadly, my most problematic Scouters have been Eagles.  Others seem to be more willing to not fall back on, "When I was a scout..."

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5 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Sadly, my most problematic Scouters have been Eagles.  Others seem to be more willing to not fall back on, "When I was a scout..."

In fact, tonight I had to tell an Eagle Scouter that he needed to wear shoes to the troop meetings.....  It is on our troop code of conduct and adults should follow it too.  Then I go to check on the meeting.  And an ASM comes to tell me how they are saying "where in BSA does it say we have to wear closed toe shoes.....".  Later he starts talked about all the BSA training he has taken.

sigh

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8 hours ago, mashmaster said:

In fact, tonight I had to tell an Eagle Scouter that he needed to wear shoes to the troop meetings.....  It is on our troop code of conduct and adults should follow it too.  Then I go to check on the meeting.  And an ASM comes to tell me how they are saying "where in BSA does it say we have to wear closed toe shoes.....".  Later he starts talked about all the BSA training he has taken.

sigh

I’m not saying that the Eagle Scout is right or anything, he shouldn’t be talking back first of all.

Why do you require closed toe shoes? I understand for camping trips, hikes, events, etc. But if it’s  just a simple meeting why do you need them?

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15 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Sadly, my most problematic Scouters have been Eagles.  Others seem to be more willing to not fall back on, "When I was a scout..."

My experience has seen the opposite. The adults who weren’t involved in Scouts as a youth have most issues with following the BSA program (and the boy-lead concept). Most have the attitude that they know how Scouting works and don’t need training. I lost count with how many adults I have run into with this type of attitude.

In response to the OP “Why Can't Adults Trust the Scouts?” Here is some insight on what I have experienced. It took me almost 10 years before I found a troop that even came close to being boy-led and used the patrol method. This is the Troop my youngest son joined.

After looking at a lot of the troops in my area and then being a UC and then DC I got a lot of exposure to the different ways troops do things.

My older son’s first troop – no patrols, POR’s were in name only. This troop had 2 ASM’s who were in the troop as youth (both at the same time) and stayed with the troop once they became adults. They made it well known it was their troop and they ran it their way. One acted as if he was still the SPL any time he was around. These 2 ASM's, the SM and CC made all the Troop decisions, from where to camp, to who was held POR's and even the weekly troop meeting agenda.

One troop I visited said that the adults do everything because the Scouts voted to be adult led and since the scouts make all the decisions that is what they were doing.

Another troop never went camping. When I inquired why, I was told that the adults decided that the Scouts were too young to camp and they had never camped before. This troop had been restarted and was made up of all first year scouts and the adults felt they were not ready. Adults were making all the other decisions in this troop also

Even in the Troop that was boy-led and did pretty good job with the patrol method had its issues.

When the time came to get new tents (Troop tripled in size in less than 2 years) 2 or 3 older youth from the PLC were recruiting to do research on tents.

At the next committee meeting one of the ASM’s presented his idea on what new tents the troop should bet. This ASM and the CC, which was his wife, decided that there was too much money involved for the Scouts to make this decision.

The SM didn’t speak up and sat quite during this conversation. I was expecting him to stick up to let the Scouts to make the decision but I don’t think he thought this was that big of a deal (or it might have that he didn’t care) who made the decision.

 

 

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