Re: Scout mentality
E. C. HALE (ARTHALE@EKU.BITNET)
Mon, 19 Apr 1993 15:12:48 -0400
I'm sure you are aware what you described is not the "Scout-
Mentality", rather, it is the mentality of some scouts!
That said, I'll have to agree that that's the way some troops seem to run
and it is to be guarded against. It seems to me that the best thing to do
here is for the adult leaders to set the example by doing a share of the
work, especially when it will result in teaching a skill. However, you can
carry this too far. A lot of the boys are used to being waited-on at home
and will cheerfully let the leaders "do it all". Of course, they learn
nothing! Not skills, Not attitudes (esp. self-reliance)! One of the major
points to be made during JLT is the sharing of duties among the boys. Let
your boy leaders do the example setting whenever possible.
Probably the hardest thing I had to learn as a Scoutmaster and
teacher was to let the boy/student do the work (after proper teaching).
It's almost always easier or quicker to step in and do the tricky things
yourself . . . but the boy/student wont learn. When it comes to simple,
"gut" labor all share.
Regarding playing with the boys: I think it is sometimes a good
idea to show that you can be "one of the guys". But there is some real
danger here. You can seriously compromise your authority. Sometimes the
boys stop seeing you as a leader and view you as just a big kid. More
serious, is the compromising situation that occurs when feelings are hurt
or physical injury happens with the scout leader as participant rather than
observer. Stay on the fringes . . . Remember, you are an ADULT leader.
Pay close attention to young assistant scoutmasters - they can forget that
they aren't boys. Old guys like me cant forget how old they are whent
shooting a few hoops or pitching for kick-ball etc. . . Oh! my back!
I hope this doesn't sound pompous . . . It's not meant to be.
Yours in Scouting,
Carroll Hale (SM T-118) St. Mark - Richmond Ky.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City