Jump to content

How are the leaders in your troop?

Recommended Posts

I couldnt for the life of me figure out how to edit posts.



I read some guys post about a cubscout seeing a troop wearing jeans etc. Its not so much the fact that I don't like wearing the uniform (at scout outings), its the fact that our leaders have a cow if one little thing is wrong.


And there is a difference between letting scouts have fun, and letting scouts swear at eachother. You don't always have to be a rah rah type leader.


Although this board, and scouts for that matter don't seem to be big sports fans, look at the Colts, more importantly their coach Tony Dungy. He is a man of God, not the typical coach who yells at his guys, a calm man at that. Well last month his team won the superbowl.


What I'm trying to say is that as a leader, yes there are times for discipline, bu t you dont have to constantly get on your scouts about the smallest thing. I'm sure alot of people read my OP and took it the wrong way, its understandable, I do it alot too.


But again, I am not complaining about having to wear the uniform, or the lack of "phantom" swearing in our troop. No, I am just saying that sometimes the leaders in our troop need to back off a little, not too many scouts respond positively to yelling.


And to the person who brought up leaders who are too laid back, and almost lazy. As stated earlier, those were our Jamboree leaders, in fact, they even admitted that they were laid back guys. Guess what, we didn't have any incidents, and our troop was composed of alot of the guys who were somewhat troublemakers in their home troops. Not everyone likes to get yelled at, and usually, it has a negative effect.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What exactly are they yelling about?


Since i have been an ASM (which at 28 is now a decade-yikes!) i can only remember having to scream once and that was at Philmont in 2005 due to a major safey issue and scare. Other then that i dont recall any.


Tone is more effective the volume.


Last tuesday a scout was doing a demo. He is a 9th grader. When some younger scouts were talking during his presentation he pointed them out and said "Shut up!"


After his demo i pulled him aside, complemented him on his orginization, preperation and use of visual aids and then i gave him advice. I told him saying shut up alienated the person who was talking and that a better option would have been to first ask politly for them not to talk and then later use a stern but collected tone demanding respect. If you give respect you are more likely to get respect back. Finished, i gave him a smile and my fathers favorite send-off "Get outta here, kid, yur botherin' me." Message sent, message received.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well now, we are having a discussion.....


Firstly when it comes to football, Tom Landry is the greatest man who ever graced the Gridiron. I don't come from Texas either. Mr. Landry had bearing.


From what you have said here, it is time for you to "cowboy up" and get the leadership back in the hands of the boys. Work with you PLC and your senior Scouts and decide if you all wish to lead the Troop.


You conduct the meeting. You conduct the activities. You plan the campouts. You hold the uniform inspection.


Look at the title of the thread.

YOU are a leader in your Troop.

How are YOU?



Nobody should be yelling at you unless you are doing something unsafe and are about to get hurt.


Are they really yelling or is that your perception?


Feedback is a gift. Give the adults some and become a boy led unit. Get together and tell the SM what you want.


Once you commit to this you and the older Scouts"own it".

You make corrections and set the standards, If you cannot commit to this they you just will be whining. If you and your cohorts don't run the unit somebody is going to have to.


If as you said, for now the only thing you are doing is writing a thank you speech then it's no wonder you don't have a boy led unit.


You have "a tall hat but no cows"

Image but no substance.

How did YOUR unit get like this?

Link to post
Share on other sites

How did our unit get like this? Overprotective parents. At parent meetings (i dont know why i was in there to begin with) a leader brought up a camping trip. The first things that were asked were IS IT GOING TO BE COLD, things to that extent. The parents want the leaders to do everything for their kids, well the majority for that matter.


And at first, I just thought I was getting paranoid, etc, singled out. But I began to ask other scouts, and they seemed to agree that some of the leaders were a bit too aggresive. I realize now, that its not so much that they yell, but like you said the volume. The constant nagging is really what it is.



And about the boy led troop comment. My Jamboree troop was a boy led troop, I was a PL for a bunch of guys who didn't get along at first, yet in the end, they were all friends. If you're going to take a shot at me, look elsewhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was never on active duty, but I did take two years of Army ROTC in college. Our instructors were in Infantry CPT and an Armor CPT just back from Vietnam. The Lieutenant Colonel was God and we never got to talk to him. They taught us Von Clausewitz and the Art of War, and how to handle your calling cards when you pay the CO a courtesy call. The supply Sgt taught us how to clean our weapons properly and how to lose money at poker. The Senior cadets taught us how to march and act important, since they had just been to Ranger school and could kill a snake and eat it raw. The only lesson I remember is that "discipline is what happens when the Leader is not around." You don't gain that by yelling and lecturing.



Link to post
Share on other sites

How did our unit get like this? Overprotective parents.


Good observations, C-BOLT.


I would add "fear" to your list. In fact, "fear" is probably what's behind overprotective parents. But it extends to scouters just as easily.


Lots of fear out there. Legal liability fears come up a lot. For lots of adults there's fear of being "out of control." Or the fear of not really knowin' what you're doing. We create structures and behaviors to try to protect us when we're afraid. We "fort up", rather than opening up and looking for adventure or growth.


Da forums here show you a pretty good spectrum of adult personalities and worries, eh? ;) And fears.


Hope yeh keep posting and reminding us of what it looks like from your angle.




Link to post
Share on other sites

C-Bolt, a few things for you to think about:


What was the difference between your Jambo troop and your regular troop besides the leaders? Did the Scouts behave or perform any differently? My observation is Jamboree, OA and high adventure groups tend to attract not only the top-line leaders, but the top-line Scouts, too. Could it be that because the Scouts in your Jamboree troop had their act together, there wasn't much to yell about?


Is there a pattern to the yelling and/or nagging? What are the Scouts doing when the yelling/nagging is taking place? I am a SM and tend to yell more than I like. But I tend to yell when things aren't going well. Generally speaking (and not always, I'm not perfect) if I'm yelling about something it's because I was ignored when I 1)hinted around about what needed to be done, 2) suggested at what needed to be done, and 3) out-and-out told someone to do it. I will admit to getting cranky when ignored. I also tend to yell more on Sunday mornings than I do on Saturday mornings. On Saturdays if the Scouts want to goof off, have breakfast late and not get things squared away, then the Scouts tend to suffer the consequences by missing or shortening whatever activities were planned. On Sunday mornings the same behavior tends to be on my dime. I'm the one who hears about it when we are late returning home.


As an Eagle Scout and troop leader, how and what can you change to make things better in the troop? What is the easiest way to get the leaders to shut up about uniforms?


You've mentioned that the Scouts want to have fun, but the adults want to be serious all the time. I get this from some of the Scouts in my troop. My first question is how do you and the other Scouts in your troop define "fun"? If fun is hanging out with the guys, talking game and styling for your friends, then why not just go to the mall? There are girls at the mall, the food's better there, and you can dress however you like.


The fun of Scouting is participating in activities like camping, hiking, climbing, shooting, mountain biking and canoe trips. If the guys in your troop don't consider those things fun, they really should find an organization that better meets their needs. As an Eagle Scout, you know that these activities take work, practice, planning and effort.


I talk to the Scouts in the troop I serve about having a "seriousness of purpose." This doesn't mean we run around with a scowl on our faces memorizing passages from the Citizenship merit badge books. It simply means we try to stay focued on those things we as Scouts do. The payoff -- the fun -- comes from being able to participate in those fun activities.


There is a time and place for everything. We try to include time for the guys to just goof off and be themselves with their friends. But if the Scouts are goofing off when they are supposed to be packing up on Sunday morning or maybe while another Scout -- or worse yet, ME -- is talking to the group, we going to have a problem.


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all honesty, our Jamboree Troop was made up of "troublemakers."


What do I mean by that? Our head scoutmaster was also SM of his home troop. Our District (or council) sent 4 troops to the Jamboree. Well our SM took alot of the more "active" scouts from his hometroop and put them in his jambo troop. I found that interesting, because it was the exact opposite of what the SM of my home troop did. He took all of his "golden boys" and put them in his troop. Sure, it could have been a coincidence too, but I doubt that.



And as a leader, I understand what you say. I know that you have to be responsible for scouts, because you don't want them to misbehave too much, and of course that is totally acceptable. My dad is also a leader, so I see some of it from his point. He agrees with me sometimes, that the leaders can get too "intense."


But how to get our Troop to ease up on things is a tough one. Thinking back, my OP might have been more of a rant, because we have alot of old fashioned leaders in our troop who probably won't change their ways.




But in other news. I actually contacted my old Jambo leader, and talked to him about it. He talked to me about joining his home troops venture crew, so I'll probably end up doing that. I made friends with a bunch of people on the jambo that are actually in that troop, so that is definately a positive.

Link to post
Share on other sites



This thread has evolved from the original post.


I think the thing you must do is get the senior Scouts together and confront the adult leadership. Maybe they will listen maybe not. If you present it in a gentlemanly fashion I would think they have to listen to you.


Also know that they are probably tying to help you do your best.

Perfect Leadership has been described as, "When all is said and done, the task accomplished, the people led by the perfect leader will say, "we did this ourselves"


It doesn't seem you have this.


For one more meeting before talking to the adults look at what goes on.----Are you pleased? what is good? what corrections would you make?


Maybe the adults are trying to correct those problems.


The Scouts is not a mini Marine Corps. Not even close. However comma some, nay many of the small unit leadership skills and techniques do have a place.


1.know yourself and seek self-improvement.

2.be technically and tactically proficient.

3.develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.

4.make sound and timely decisions.

5.set the example.

6.know your _____________ and look out for their welfare.

7.keep your _____________ informed.

8.seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.

9.ensure assigned tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.

10.train your ___________ as a team.

11.employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.


Fill in the word Scouts instead of Marines and suddenly his culture is not all that different from yours.


To give you the mindset of the Marine SM I give you the NCO creed. Maybe this will give you an idea of his possible view.


I am the backbone of the United States Marine Corps, I am a Marine Non-Commissioned Officer.

I serve as part of the vital link between my commander (and all officers) and enlisted Marines.

I will never forget who I am or what I represent.

I will challenge myself to the limit and be ever attentive to duty.

I am now, more than ever, committed to excellence in all that I do, so that I can set the proper example for other Marines.

I will demand of myself all the energy, knowledge and skills I possess, so that I can instill confidence in those I teach.

I will constantly strive to perfect my own skills and to become a good leader.

Above all I will be truthful in all I say or do. My integrity shall be impeccable as my appearance.

I will be honest with myself, with those under my charge and with my superiors.

I pledge to do my best to incorporate all the leadership traits into my character.

For such is the heritage I have received from that long, illustrious line of professionals who have worn the bloodstripe so proudly before me.

I must give the very best I have for my Marines, my Corps and my Country for though today I instruct and supervise in peace, tomorrow,

I may lead in war.


The first day you enter the Marine Corps you hear the term "attention to detail". This is a foreign term to most American youth. Yet "attention to detail" is what makes you wear you uniform properly with pride. It causes you(after 15 hours of work) to properly tighten one of the million screws on a Marine vertical takeoff Harrier jet, that allows the pilot to return to his wife and young child, allows him to deliver bombs on bad guys so a bunch of 19 year old grunts can return to their families.


That same attention to detail allows a heart surgeon to properly install a stint in some little girl's grandfathers heart so he can push her on the swing again.


Only you know if the problem is them or you, or shared.


Good luck and best wishes, telling somebody they are wrong takes courage. Do your best to make the unit the best in the movement.





Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey C-bolt, How did the talk with the Scoutmaster go?


Harvey Mackay, whom I greatly admire, and who could teach us all a thing our two no matter what out profession must read scouter.com.

Check out his latest weekly advice.

If you are a senior C-bolt, I suggest his book "Dig you well before you're thisty" (best $16.00 I've ever spent) If I could I would give it to every senior in high School I would.


Harvey Mackay


by Harvey Mackay




Author Biography







Download Hi-Res Image Harvey Mackay is the founder, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Mackay Envelope Corporation. He is an internationally sought after public speaker who was named one of the top five speakers in the world by Toastmasters International. His weekly column of inspirational career advice is distributed to newspapers by United Feature Syndicate. Mackay's fourth book of business advice, Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need (Currency/Doubleday) made The New York Times best seller list 12 days after its release. His Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive was a New York Times No. 1 best seller for 54 weeks and was named the No. 1 business book in America in 1988. Mackay also wrote the best sellers Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt and Sharkproof. His books have sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. An active civic leader, Mackay led the $6 million ticket buyout to keep the Minnesota Twins in Minnesota, was a catalyst for getting the Metrodome stadium built and was instrumental in bringing the Super Bowl to Minneapolis in 1992. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the Stanford University Business School Advanced Management Program. Mackay's business insights have been featured in The Harvard Business Review, Inc., Reader's Digest and many other publications. Mackay is a member of numerous boards of directors including Robert Redford's Sundance Institute. Mackay and his wife have three children, five grandchildren, and reside near Minneapolis.


Most Recent Column


Attention: Leadership lessons from the Marines


Follow the leader -- it's a game we learned as little kids. As I recall, we would follow whoever was in front of the line all over the neighborhood, through puddles and over fences. When it was finally your turn to be the leader, you tried to prove your worthiness, at least until everyone got tired of the game and found something else to do.


Not much changed, except maybe the geography, as we grew up and went into business. Leadership became a major factor in our success: Could we convince our employees and associates that we had the right stuff to lead a company? Or would they get tired of the game and find other jobs?


Some people are born leaders; they just know what needs to be done and how to motivate others to do it. However, if you don't fall in that category, I have good news for you: Leadership can be learned!


A phenomenal lesson comes from our brave military, specifically the Marines, where good leadership can mean the difference between life and death. These 11 principles of leadership are found in the "Guidebook for Marines," published by the U.S. Marine Corps. The first sentence -- listed in bold -- is from the guide, and I've added my thoughts to each. Feel free to substitute employees for Marines to make it suit your situation. Study them, and hone your leadership skills.


Know yourself and seek improvement. Be honest when you evaluate yourself. Seek the honest opinions of your friends or superiors to learn how to improve. Have a definite goal and a specific plan to achieve it.


Be technically and tactically proficient. Know your job, and work to broaden your knowledge.


Know your Marines and look out for their welfare. Know their problems, and make sure that they receive all appropriate help that they need. Encourage their individual development.


Keep your Marines informed. Make sure that people know that they can always look to you for the truth. Provide information so that subordinates feel like part of the team and could carry on without your personal supervision if necessary.


Set the example. How you conduct yourself says more than any instructions you may give. Set high personal standards and expect the same from your staff.


Ensure the task is understood, supervised and accomplished. Employees must understand what is expected of them in order to complete a job or assignment. Follow through to make sure the job gets done.


Train your Marines as a team. Employees should understand that the contribution that each one makes is critical to the entire effort.


Make sound and timely decisions. Learn to think on your feet, to evaluate a situation and decide on a course of action in a reasonable amount of time. If you realize you have made a bad decision, correct it as quickly as possible.


Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates. Delegate authority to give your subordinates the opportunity for professional development.


Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities. Set goals that are achievable and make sure you are realistic about the tasks at hand. At the same time, don't underestimate your staff either.


Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. If you wish to lead, you must be willing to assume responsibility for your actions as well as those of the people who report to you. If your subordinates fail, determine if the fault lies with you.


That set of lessons is a mini-MBA in management. Making it work demands that you are brutally honest with yourself about your abilities and strengths as well as your weaknesses.


To help you evaluate yourself, here's the list of the 14 basic leadership traits identified by the Marines to help leaders earn the respect, confidence and cooperation of other Marines: justice, judgment, dependability, initiative, decisiveness, tact, integrity, enthusiasm, bearing, unselfishness, courage, knowledge, loyalty and endurance. Each of these traits is so important that the Marine Corps has developed an acronym to help remember them all: J.J. DID TIE BUCKLE (taken from the first letter of each trait.)


Consider these lessons one more reason to be grateful for our brave men and women in uniform. Not only are they protecting our right to do business, they are setting a fine example of how to get the job done.




Mackay's Moral: Good commanders look after their troops, and good troops look after their commanders.




Harvey Mackay is author of the New York Times best-seller "Pushing the Envelope" (Ballantine Books). He can be reached through his Web site: www.mackay.com; or Mackay Envelope Corp., 2100 Elm St., Minneapolis, MN 55414.

Copyright 2007, United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

United Feature Syndicate


Ya know C-bolt if you went to him with this and said, "I understand where you are going from Mr. Lejeune. But sometimes there is an absense of tact in the way you talk to us. Sometimes you lose your bearing when you yell at us.

HOWEVER comma My fellow older Scouts and I see where we could do more to help our Troop. We are ready and make a COMMITMENT to take more of the lead in fixing some of the problems in our Troop. Please PARTNER with us, show us how to lead and then step back and let us run the show.


Please let us know if you try this and how it works because I'd love to know the result and discuss this with the lads in our Troop.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...