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Adult leaders who were never Scouts......

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I was in girl scouts for at least 2 years because I remember being a brownie and a junior and attending 2 summer camps, but not sure if I was acutally in more than that. I quit because by troop was a crafty group and I wanted to get outside and do things.


My son's troop is looking for a new SM to step up in a year or 2... I have thought of doing so, but do prefer it to be a male.


but when it comes to camping and teaching skills... for the last few years if it weren't for me there are a lot of boys that would still be at scout rank that are now 1st class scouts. I work with the boys with their T-2-1 rank work. I've been trying to teach a couple other leaders that camp quite a bit on how to do the same things, but they just don't get it... they can't pick up on the knots and lashings, and all the other stuff. I will admit the only 1 requirement that I am terrible with and either need to teach myself or find more adults who are good with it (some are dropping as their sons age out) is the plant identification. I've been doing it all for so long now that I don't need a book... but I do need someone to teach the bowlin knot with tying it with two hands as I only tie it with 1 hand and I do teach it that way because I think that's the most important way to learn it.



but with all of this you're also talking to a woman that can coach any sport except hockey (just don't know enough about it) and only didn't coach football because my hubby wanted to. but I coached boys and girls - soccer, baseball, softball, basketball. and have been involved with boy scouts since son was a tiger (now in 10th grade) and with girl scouts since daughter was kindergarten daisy (now in 12th grade and final year)

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As a former scout, I've had big gaps in my scouting service as an adult due to military commitments.


I was a scout growing up, and then served for several years as a scouter at the troop level. Towards the end of my tenure, although rewarding, I didn't feel like I was contributing as much, or as committed as I should have been. Just lost interest. So now I'm a UC which matches my travel and work schedule well.


It may be alot of former scouts feel that way. They experienced scouting...and while there may be happy memories, they are looking for new adventures in life. Or they are fully committed to their profession, or family, or another service organization that is tied to work or faith. New adventures.


So...why do these former scouts act so pesky during training? Good question! Truth is, many training staffers seem to expect trainees to sit quietly in their folding chairs, take lots of notes, and nod in an appreciative manner.


This may be why the non prior scouts are beloved by training cadres. It's all new, the trainer is the experienced hand, and everything lands jam side up.


Then introduce the former scouts. If you've been a PL, or SPL, you know that scouts don't sit quietly--they will challenge your instruction! Either they outright question you, or bust your chops for the fun of it, or tune out. Wonderful early lessons in how to facilitate a discussion, keep it on track, and still train everyone.


So I think many former scouts are used this give and take, but training staffers are looking for a more docile audience.


Frankly, if former scouts a) are staying away in droves or b) openly questioning training, the BSA would do well to sit up and take note. Former scouts are the BSA's "product." For good or ill. Three possibilities:


- We didn't raise 'em right as scouts

- The attitude, salesmanship, and methods of training staff need an overhaul

- The course content stinks


If you have to beat someone over the head to get them to do something, "they" ain't the problem--it's the salespitch and the product that need scrutiny.


Sure, some of those former scouts have a bad attitude. They have a responsibility to fix it. But gotta wonder--how did they get to that point?


If we wish to assessment blame, let 50 percent be on the former scouts, and 50 percent on the training cadre attitude of "sit down, shut up, and respect my authority...the course is wonderful because I said it was." I've been in training courses where that was displayed right from the start.


The solution is frightfully simple: respect. Both ways. Student to instructor, and (gasp) instructor to student. That former boy or girl scout can add so much to course if the experience is drawn out properly. And it would not threaten the instructors' authority in the least.


But if an instructor wishes to pontificate, and convey their disdain for the former scouts, expect the fireworks.


The new scouter bring fresh perspectives and keeps the BSA from being hidebound. The former scouts keep the traditions alive, and are living testimony to what really works in scouting. We need both.


Good training does exist in the BSA. When it works, it works great.(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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Yes there appears to be a female drop off toward the end of cubbing (to use an old term) and Boy scouts. I have talked about it with some of my ex-fellow lady DL's (retired). Here is what I got:


1- They are tired. They are mom's (working or at home) and always really busy. It is great if the dad'd take over. The dads need to do more anyway. A number of AWOL cub dads jump into Boy Scout activity.


2- A lot of moms are not outdoorsy or mostly car campers/cabin campers. They were comfortable with crafts, field trips, and class-room type activities; not so much with knives and fires.


3- Positive male role models. Scouts is part of the "masculine process" and it is easier with all or mostly male leadership. I can help the Troop by doing a MB. I have heard this from several outdoorsy mom's who would like to go but limit their participation.


4- Male/Female complications. A number of wifes have expressed discomfort at other woman spending long weekends around their husband while they stay home. I think a number of woman have picked up that vibe.


5- After the first year they start enjoying that weekend a month away from the boys...


For all that the SM's and ASM's tried to recruit a number of lady "brown-shirts" but the (outstanding)candidates declined.

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In addition to what has been said, I think the change in leadership needs is a factor. I think a lot of female CS leaders step up because there is a need for leaders. A CS pack needs 10-12 adult leaders to have a full roster of two den leaders/den with one den per rank. Larger packs need even more leaders. The same size troop can function with a SM and a couple of ASMs. So female leaders move to the committee where there is a need and they generally feel more comfortable with the skill set required.

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Never saw a big problem with NS leaders. We all come to the table with different skills. And sometimes different baggage.


On the flip side, I am excited that some of my first venturers are now old enough to sign on as co-advisors. I would like my replacement to have a better "from the bottom up" perspective than I had starting out as a non-venturing leader. (Yes, having a bit of scouting experience helped, but not much.)


No problem with female SM's. If the boys love and respect 'em, keep them in charge. If you ever make it down to Key West, check out the sculpture garden on the edge of Mallory Square. There's a bust of one lady to whom all the scouts in the Keys owe their gratitude.


No problem with former scouts who aren't helping with the program now. Invariably they are caught up helping others, and those recipients of the good turns just don't happen to be members of the BSA.

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Your comment about female den leaders reminded me of something I saw last year. for the record, I'm a SM with two boys in the troop, one almost 1C and the other Life. I quit at Webelos because no one in our pack even mentioned Boy Scouts. I literally knew nothing about anything beyond Cubs.


Man did I miss out.


Anyway, about 18 months ago, we were at a council wide 100th anniversary campout and I was walking on the midway. There was an old, I mean old lady at one of the booths. Just then, a Cub leader and his son walked up and recognized the old lady. She was his den leader way back when. That was pretty cool to see their reunion and that he was continuing her legacy in scouts.

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'Boy' scouts grow into men who are comfortable in the woods on their own.


So when they're adults, they participate in Scouting with their sons. But when their sons move on, so do the men. They still go into the woods, but as hikers, hunters, and fishermen. And all of those activities work better in groups smaller than a scout troop or patrol.


Scouters who join up as adults, are used to going into the woods in groups. And they've just begun to satisfy their curiousity about all things Scouting. NS Scouters are still learning and stay satisfied longer than men who scouted as a youth, did it again with their sons, and arre ready to move on.


I was wondering about this topic last month when I observed that all of the Scouters with a chestfull of knots on their uniforms, were all lacking that one little Eagle knot at the bottom of the pile. Is that an observable charateristic in your councils?

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Not to go too far down that road, but there are a bunch of other WB/Eagle threads of old, in the training forum. And I don't think they're at all comparable (said as a WB'er/not an Eagle scout); Eagle is much more of an accomplishment, in my book. But I also don't think they're intended to be comparable.


JB: I think the comment about former scouts having moved on while NS leaders are just beginning to enjoy & learn about the outdoors varies much too widely to be helpful. It would depend on the individual as well as on the troop's program. So I'm having a hard time swallowing that one.





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I don't think non-Scout leaders are a problem, I think the problem is a lack of Scout leaders. Please allow me to explain the subtle distinction.


A person who was never a Scout can be a great leader, but a unit that doesn't have any influential leaders who were Scouts themselves has a handicap. Very little else in the way of Youth programs are set up to be youth led the way Boy Scouts is, and parents who've never experienced that can have a hard time believing it is really possible. If you have at least one old neaderthal around who can say "whaaal, back when ah wuz a Scout...." maybe the unit will have a little more faith in the idea of letting the boys run the program. Without that, even with all the official training, it's pretty easy for well-meaning parents to run a program for the Scouts. That's what most every other organization does, right? If you're on the Little League board, the boys show up and play. They don't schedule the games, reserve the fields, etc.


So if you were never a Boy Scout but you want to be a leader, step on up! Go get the training, and try to recruit a former Scout to be part of your program and pump him for information on what it was like. Hopefully he came from a real boy-led program...

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Joebob hit the nail on the head.


I have also seen the trend, GOBC that caused me the grief when I was trying to work on the district level, none had earned an Eagle. The idiot that caused us all the grief with the webelos event was a star scout as a youth.


So is it that the Adult eagles work at the unit level and aspire to do nothing more? Or do they understand that the UNIT be it Troop, Pack or Crew is the most important level in scouting????


Our troop has 9 eagle adults registered. NONE are active at the district level.


With the politics and nonsense that goes on above unit level....I have no desire to be involved or encourage my parents or leaders to be involved.



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One of the advantages I've seen with "leaders who were never Scouts" is they tend to bring a fresh perspective to the program. The finest scout leader I know was never a boy scout.


If a leader who was never a Scout has enthusiasm, enjoys working with youth, believes in the values of the boy scout program, and gets basic training, his unit will grow and thrive. Enthusiasm is contagious and inspires other adults to step up and volunteer.

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In regards to Eagles on district, it depends. I know I stayed on the district level so as to not show any favoritism to units since I was the DE once upon a time, and knew almost everyone. Unfortunately I am still on b/c I do see needs on the district level, i.e. CSDC, and training.


But we also have had Eagles who no longer serve on the unit level. Usually they are the ones who served as unit leaders and have stepped down to recharge their batteries.

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