Re: Survey In reply to 199312282031
Dale Ward (DPL/d5d@CGSMTP.COMDT.USCG.MIL)
Wed, 29 Dec 1993 12:05:04 EST
I, too, am a strong believer in the patrol method and the "boy run program" ---
BUT I, too, have some problems with too much of this "allow them to fail to
allow them to learn." Obviously, a balance has to exist between adult SUPPORT
and GUIDANCE and boy leadership. Boys don't teach leadership to themselves.
Yes, they learn by doing, but if there is not an adult to HELP THEM SUCCEED, to
prop them up and show them the way (not travel it for them, of course), then
why do we exist (other than to keep them safe)?
If the boys do not have the skills, then how do they teach them? If they don't
know even the basics of how to give a demonstration, then how can they teach a
skill? If a new Senior Patrol Leader has never planned an event, how can we
expect him to "invent a way" -- much less the right way? If the program
suffers for the rest of the Scouts while the Senior Patrol Leader is busy
failing, then what have we really accomplished? Inevitably, we must intervene
to get the process started. Set the end goal. As the Junior Leader Handbook
says, we should ask the right questions and allow the boy leader to discover
how to lead. Standing back and passively allowing failure doesn't work. And
worse yet, evaluating with the boy his failure certainly doesn't develop
leadership or intsill in him a desire to do better.
Having said all that (I know, it's easy for me to say), I will agree that it
ain't easy. Some insurance policies you might use are:
Send your potential leaders to a council's Junior Leader Training Conference
(JLTC). As a past course director for this week-long training experience, I
can report that it is worth it. The boy going in is a lot different (and
better) than the boy going out six days later. And if you have the courage to
use the boy's experience in your troop program and planning, then I guarantee
you will reap the benefits.
Conduct Troop Junior Leader Training in your troop. Better yet, send your
new/potential boy leaders to another troop's training. In our district, we
have different troops host the one-day Troop JLT for boys that would like to
come. It's good to do it in your own troop and you should from time to time to
stay current on the material and have an opportunity to "do your own thing"
with your own boys.
And, of course, get your more experienced adult leaders to Woodbadge. It never
hurts for us to learn, too, right?
Eventually, we do have to let them lead. But first we owe them some hard work
in getting them there. Good luck.
Dale Ward (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Merrimac District, Tidewater Council (Virginia Beach, VA)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City