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Eagledad

Adult led and youth led

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13 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

I don't know that we're all in disagreement here, but I think it is worth clarifying what is meant by "adults have the over all responsibility for something such as an event."  This is probably the biggest challenge I face as a concept with adult leadership in my unit. 

There are very few things where the adults have over all responsibility for an event; they are generally where the effect of having the event go poorly will fall not on the scouts but on folks outside of the troop.  We adults always have some very specific responsibilities for an event: health and safety, and adherence to BSA and CO policies, but as long as no one is getting unnecessarily hurt, endangered, or misbehaving, neither the success nor the failure of an event is the adults' responsibility. 

I'd point to @HelpfulTracks post on leading vs. commanding.  I thought that was very well said and matches my thinking here too.

13 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

Let's look at an example.  On a campout, the PLC has as its goal that in the morning each patrol will set up a station of basic T21 skills like lashings, knife and axe safety, and fire building so that newer scouts get a chance to learn and all scouts get a chance to practice.  Come that day the plan falls apart; some patrols don't have the supplies they need, the PLs aren't effectively leading, the scouts within the patrols aren't working as a team, and it just sort of breaks down.  The adults can provide some coaching along the process, but they shouldn't step in and take over just to make sure that the program is a "success".   

I think this is a great example and it gets to a related concept.  My belief is that generally, letting scouts learn from failure is the right approach.  I also believe that in just about all situations adults simply taking over is the wrong answer.

I'm glad you mentioned coaching though.  It feels to me that in these discussions, the value of the adult as coach gets lost.

13 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

It's OK if it's a complete failure, the adults' role at that point is to work to help the boys later analyze what went wrong and how they can perform better in the future.  This is one of the hardest parts of being a scout leader --- watching the boys fail when you know how easy it would be to step in and make something a success. 

Adult leaders may get some criticism from other adults when they get back, "why didn't X happen, I thought the guys were going to accomplish Y" and the adult leaders have to be able to defend the program:  "X and Y didn't happen because the scouts weren't able to make them happen, and they're going to learn from this, but it wasn't our job to step in and make sure X and Y happened." 

Agreed.  Failure is a useful tool in learning.  We do need to be careful about letting failure become the norm, but as long as that's not the case, failure is fine.  That's where the SM, CC, etc. can set the tone about the overall goal of why we're doing what we're doing.

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20 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

Because leading isn't synonymous to commanding. But even in command structures there are leaders besides those in command.

When I was in the infantry, the Captain was the company commander, he sets the direction (based on higher orders). But the 1st Sgt was also a leader, as was the platoon Sgt and Section/Squad Sgt. At each level NCO's were autonomous and were the leaders of the troops. The President as C-in-C is not the only leader in the military, there are literally thousands of leaders.

In Scouting adults lead by training, mentoring, and guiding, not commanding. Although, ultimately they are in "command" because they are responsible and will face consequences if they do not lead appropriately.

Boys run the program. They plan and carry out the program. The lead others during that process.

Training boy leaders to run their troop is the Scoutmaster’s most important job. Train Scouts to do a job, then let them do it. Never do anything a boy can do.”
Sir Robert Baden-Powell (also quoted on page one of Troop Leaders Training, 2010 printing)

“Your Scoutmaster and other adult leaders will help Scouts become good leaders, then will step back and allow the troop’s youth leaders to take charge of planning and carrying out activities.”

“An important goal of boy scouting is that troops are scout-planned and scout-led.”

I do not disagree. Reading your other post about how you train is excellent. However, I still maintain that using the term "adult led" is wrong, especially when linked to "boy run" as it makes a specific distinction that the youth are NOT to lead... that is the adults job.

I like the final quote you posted above. 

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11 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I went back this evening and checked my Scoutmaster Leaders Specific Training Syllabus.  It's from 2010.  Not sure if there is a newer one or not.  In that material, the first third of the course is all about the role of the Scoutmaster.  It's called "Getting Started: The Role of the Scoutmaster in a Boy-Led Troop."  The session runs about 2 hours and is broken down into smaller pieces.

In WB, there is still the model PLC meeting & I know there's a section on coaching and mentoring youth in there as well.  But, what I remember was it was certainly less instructive on the topic of boy led.  It feels like it was a pervasive theme in the course - it was referred to a lot.  Though not necessarily something that was a focus session on.  Thinking about it, I almost would describe it as if the course developers assumed everyone got boy led and they built materials on top of that.

I'd be all for a session on the WB course that would focus just on this.  It's such a simple concept that so many people get hung up on.  

I'd also be up for a course at other venues - University of Scouting, Roundtable, etc.  To me, this is pretty fundamental to what we do.

I’d have to go back to my notes, so I can’t comment on my memory (really lack there of) specifically. Seems I recall that “boy run” was only mentioned once in the SM Handbook.

I’ve created courses specifically to teach boy run. I start with the Scouting Mission and Vision, then Aims and Methods. Methods are the adults primary objectives using the tools of the Methods, which are totally the Scouts responsibility. Then I work into the Method of Patrol Method and Boy Run. 

I found that most adults don’t understand what actions by Scouts are boy run. And even more difficult is the idea of mistakes being a positive learning opportunity. Our nature as parents is preventing mistakes, so scouters don’t even realize they are preventing boy run. One example I use is how adults react to how a scout is dressed. Do they feel a scout out of uniform is wrong? Why? The adults responsibility is Character, Fitness, and Citizenship. Is the scout failing in any of those areas? 

Good performance of the 3 Aims leads to go performance of the BSA Mission and Vision. The challenge is turning adults from their expectations of the 8 Methods and focus on always improving performance of the 3 Aims. Of course the SM might need to give some help with performing the 8 Methods at the beginning, but it’s more to get the Scouts started torward the 3 Aims. The Scouts have plenty of guidance from the handbooks for the 8 Methods, so adults really don’t need to get involved. Instead, they should focus on measuring the Scouts decisions against the 3 Aims.

When the adults give the Scouts the independence to do the 8 Methods without adult input or interference, the troop is boy run. 

Of course giving the scout total autonomy with the decisions in the 8 Methods is almost impossible. We adults are who we are and can’t help ourselves stepping in (intruding) now and then. We have to develop fhose skills just like the Scouts developing their decision making skills. But understanding the roles and responsibilities of a boy run program is 90% of the battle. 

The SM Handbook does (or did) a terrible job getting adults to that understanding. Ironically, the SPL Handbook and PL Handbook combined do a better in helping both the Scouts and adults understand their roles in a boy run program. That is why I would request participants in my classes bring those Handbooks. The SM Handbook makes for a great sleeping pill, but the SPL and PL Handbooks are easy to read in an hours time. And, the Scouts and SM can use them together.

Barry

 

Edited by Eagledad
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On 9/8/2018 at 10:30 AM, LVAllen said:

Sure, for certain definitions of "leading." I prefer Stosh's explanation of leadership (and have shamelessly stolen it when dealing with my own Scouts): leadership is taking care of your boys.

With that in mind, what kind of activities do the adults do that take care of their Scouts? Well, since the adults' goals, i.e. Scouting's Aims, are to develop physical fitness, citizenship, and character, the adults "lead" by coaching and developing the scouts. They don't lead by dictatorial fiat, because that eliminates the boys' opportunity to grow, and that's not "taking care of the boys." 

Sounds like servant leadership:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_leadership

The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership turns the power pyramid upside down which puts the customer service associates at top of pyramid; instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. When leaders shift their mindset and serve first, they unlock purpose and ingenuity in those around them, resulting in higher performance and engaged, fulfilled employees.

I also like the Army definition: the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation.

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8 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

Sounds like servant leadership:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_leadership

The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership turns the power pyramid upside down which puts the customer service associates at top of pyramid; instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. When leaders shift their mindset and serve first, they unlock purpose and ingenuity in those around them, resulting in higher performance and engaged, fulfilled employees.

I also like the Army definition: the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation.

Good post. Our troop also calls it servant leadership. 

I also used the Army definition in my training material and in our JLT courses.

Barry

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It seems to me there's a problem when we're trying to define the meaning of words that are used to define what we're doing. Run vs lead vs led vs ....

How about this: The job of the adults is to make the boys successful, where success is described as growing towards the ideals of scouting. If the scouts are taking on more responsibility then we're doing something right. A 12 year old PL is going to have a different definition of success compared to a 17 year old PL.

I just got back from a backpacking trip with the scouts. One of the older scouts, who is 17.5, I met at a store a week ago and asked him if he'd like to go. He went, he was really a lot of help, and it was wonderful to see him help out. This same scout earned eagle when he was 14 and was a real pain in the butt. He was obnoxious and nobody really liked him as a leader but he did all the work and did a great eagle project. He kept coming by and I kept trying to get him interested but it took until last week before he took the bait. We did talk at one point and I told him how happy I was to see him. He told me he was a real butt when he was younger and apologized for that. We both agreed he had learned a lot.

I don't know where this story fits in with run vs lead vs adult vs scout but it just seems like I did the right thing.

On another topic, someone mentioned that woodbadge is based on what Bill Hillcourt set up years ago. I heard a different story. An old guy in my town went to a woodbadge class run by Hillcourt and the first thing Hillcourt did when he showed up was to tell everyone to ignore the flip charts and everything they were told. He then proceeded to focus on fun with a purpose. Each patrol made games based on skills found in various scout manuals. Then everyone played the games. That was it.

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We had a scout the same as your scout, MattR. He droves us crazy mouthing off to adults and teasing other Scouts. Some today would his antics bullying, but they weren’t personal, more of just burning energy. Anyway, when he went through puberty, he became a poster boy for scouting. It really wasn’t anything we did, Mother Nature gets the credit for that one. That was 18 years ago. His dad is my neighbor now, so I get to him and his two daughters often. 

As for WB, at least from the 60s, it wasn’t a course intended to teach boy run. The course was designed to teach SMs additional mentoring and teaching skills. It was designed for experienced Scoutmasters. So, it was never intended to help adults understand boy run better. 

I’ve been involved in several courses and classes over the years that put adults in patrol settings during their training. But I’ve concluded that adults with life experiences in patrol settings can’t have the same experiences of growth as young men without those same life experiences. Also the expectations are different; Scouts are in it for fun and adventure. Adults are in it to learn and experience the patrol life. Those are two very different motivations for being in a patrol. I can’t ever recall an adult who stood up and yelled, “eureka! I get it now.”

I believe the best way to teach adults boy run Patrol Method from the perspective of the scout is to observe Scouts in Patrols. Whether they observe a JLT course or a patrol in their troop with no personal or emotional attachments, they can observe the struggle of Scouts making tough decisions and growing from those decisions. I have observed several adults see the lightbulb turn on at both our troop and council level JLT courses.  They were moms in most cases. 

That doesn’t mean they turned into good leaders, but they had a sudden respect and trust of the boy run program. Give me that much, and I can teach the rest.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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For whatever reason, my post from last night didn't make it. I know it's late in the game, but I've been busy getting ready for an unwanted visitor named Florence. This is a rough one for me since I will not be home with the wife and kids, but working.

1) I am glad to hear @HelpfulTracks explanation of what he meant. Anyone whose read some of my posts for the past 12-18 months knows some of the challenges I am encountering regarding adults interfering with troop operations. Between Gunship and the helicopter parents we have Scouts beginning to lose interest in the program.

To make it more interesting, at the sametime the "Adult Led, Scout Run" consistency comment was made, some one of a FB group I'm on commented how the troop committee should make the plans. Person stated that Scouts are incapable of making plans, and SMs  incapable of advising them, since "moms know their families schedules" or words to that effect.

 

2) As others commented, training has changed over the years. From a Cub Scout Trainer Wood Badge Course and Boy Scouter Wood Badge Course from when I was a new Scouter ( and there was a 3rd Explorer WB course before my time) to a one size fits all WB course of today. From reading syllabi and talking to WBers, especially those who have staffed all of either  two of the three courses, and in one case all three courses,  the current one leaves out so much program specific material that in the long term it is hurting the program. As for the basic training, one of the sad things about online training is that it does not give the opportunity to ask questions, network, and get some real life examples. Even my Exploring Basic Leader Training Self Study Course  had me meeting with a counselor and going over things with him one time. As for the outdoor training,  haven't seen the 2018 syllabi yet, but the last few updates have cut time spent on topics, or eliminated topic altogether.

3) BSA needs to get on the ball as we are now going to get a bunch of new volunteers with either no Scouting expereince, or experience from GSUSA, which ias completely different from BSA.

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Sometimes you have to let the process work.  We are in the southeast and going on an outing.  Saturday looks good for weather, a little windy, but good.  Conditions will deteriorate (maybe) early Sunday morning.  Adults were communicating back and forth about options

We had a group text with our SPL and ASPL for the weekend to consider options.  Honestly they came up with different options than we had bandied about.  Our thought was a day trip to do the activities (kayaking), then head back to the ranch.  They determined to go and then make the decision about staying when we clear the river.  They are considering the data provided, looking at weather channel, etc

Their decision, so that's what we are doing.  

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