Jump to content

So Many Scouts, So Few Offices ...

Recommended Posts


It sounds like you're right on target - the adult leadership has low expectations and the boys live up to them.

Kids today are busy and seem to have more opportunities & demands on their time. So they learn at a young age how to prioritize. About a month ago, the mother of two of our junior leaders (ASPL and PL) tried to explain to me that her boys wouldn't be able to attend our troop junior leader training weekend because their Jr ROTC commander had rescheduled a leadership class for the same Saturday. I volunteered to call their commander to explain we had set our date to avoid his original plans, the boys also had a leadership commitment with us, and would be missing out of critical training for their jobs and about 15 hours of intensive leadership training. The boys were there for T-JLT.


If you don't expect much effort, that's what you'll get. Your biggest challenge is getting the SM and other influential adults to understand this simple fact.


How about starting off with something simple, like letting the scouts take care of their own food? They might need some help in planning a menu and figuring out what they need, but it will only take a time or two before you don't have to do this again.


Do you have some other troops in the area who seem to have a better grasp of this "boy-led" stuff? You might find it very instructive to go visit a few troop meetings and talk to the leaders - scout and adult. I suggest this because it can be hard to convince your gang that these "radical" ideas they've never tried before really work. If you can find a local example, your gang can see with their own eyes that boys right there in your area really can do much more. Once you open some doors, I'll bet you could convince the other troop's SM, SPL, and some other leaders to support a training workshop with your leaders. This local example and cross-flow of ideas could help jump-start your rebuilding process.


One other thought I used at the beginning of our recent T-JLT:

At the beginning on Fri evening, I asked all the guys to think about what they wanted to accomplish in their lives over the next 40 years. Some offered to share them.

Then I asked what scouting could do to help prepare them for this future. The list they generated was impressive, with leadership, skills, confidence, and communication ability near the top. I kept this list posted on the wall for the rest of the Fri/Sat workshop. As we moved through generating list of goals for the troop and started outlining plans to make these things happen, I kept pointing back at the "preparing for my future" list to show them how their work TODAY and for the next 6 months of their term was really preparing them for their future. The concept seemed to really click for about 2/3 of them and they are showing some impressive initiative.


Good luck!



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...