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swilliams

Throw in the Towel on Advancement for Now?

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Eagle94 says it so eloquently, if the adults insure scouts learn and experience the skills, those adults will watch their scouts grow to be the best kind of scouts. Instead of taking responsibility for the scouts ranks, take responsibility for scouts developing their skills of self-independence and ethical decision making. Take pride in watching them grow into responsible citizens, or as I like to say, citizens of character and leaders of integrity. 

I admit that not taking responsibility for each of scout's personal choices in the program was a challenge that I had to practice everyday. We all have a vision in our head of the ideal boy scout and temptation tends to steer us toward pushing scouts that direction. But in reality, the program is intended for each scout to make decisions for his dream of being a scout. In that bigger vision of building adults who use the scout oath and law to make moral and ethical decisions, we find that advancement is a small by product of the scouts personal experiences in their lives, not ours. But, I found that when I focused more to enhancing their experiences by pushing a fun adventurous program, the scouts eventually found more ambition toward ranks.

Getting adults to look at the troop program as a resource for the scout's personal vision of their experience is challenging, and maybe one way to start in that direction is ask the adults to think of ways to enhance the other 7 Methods so as to trust that the scout will eventually include advancement in their vision. If the program becomes more exciting by supercharging Patrol Method and Camping, the scouts focus more energy in the troop program over other outside activities because not only is the troop fun, it's gives the scout some self-satisfaction from the accomplishments of the program challenges. I've seen it work exactly like that, but developing that kind of program is even more challenging for the adults because they have to be creative enough to provide that kind of program without getting in the way of the scouts running the program. It's a test and practice of the Adult Association Method within the context of a Scout run patrol method program. Adult Method in that context is hard and requires humility and practice.

Sorry, this went way off, but I found Eagle94's post exciting and wanted to support him. 

Barry

 

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2 hours ago, MattR said:

... I'm beginning to think the only way I can continue with scouts, between my frustrations with my council, bankruptcy and the virus, is to find a happy place where I can help and just ignore the rest of it.

I think that's how Venturing saved me. I was able to discover a few "happy places."  BP's water colors "My House in the Woods" also gave an indication of where a scouter should aim.

Applying that to advancement, I only advise the parents who ask me directly about how to help their son with a requirement. Doing more than that is a drag on everyone's time.

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

I think that's how Venturing saved me. I was able to discover a few "happy places."  BP's water colors "My House in the Woods" also gave an indication of where a scouter should aim.

Applying that to advancement, I only advise the parents who ask me directly about how to help their son with a requirement. Doing more than that is a drag on everyone's time.

Along the lines of what everyone has posted, I generally don't do anything for the troop other than keep our electronic records and arrange BORs.  Our Venture crew doesn't do advancement at all, though there are two girls who are working on it themselves.  I'd say Venturing is a happy place for me, too.  (I'm not sure our Crew Advisor feels the same way at all times.  😁)

Is anyone else finding that with the shutdown your scouts aren't leading the troop the way they used to?  Maybe that's why I keep feeling the need to throw ideas out there.

On the topic of the orienteering course, I've finally heard back from two scouts/parents.  Both are Tenderfoot scouts, who don't need to do this as a requirement for their next rank.  They want to do it as a way to get outside and do something 'in real life', which is awesome and why I put this forward as something to do during the shutdown in the first place.  Interestingly, one of my friends wants to learn how to do it - she's about my age, so somewhere around 50 - and she wants to bring her 15 year-old daughter to learn as well.

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And... the teaching of the sheet bend knot didn't happen tonight.  I'll admit defeat.  I'll still be here when any of these boys decide it's time to move forward.

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