Re: Getting the boys to lead
Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Tue, 14 Jun 1994 01:13:02 +100
On Mon, 13 Jun 1994, Susan Ganther & August Treubig wrote :
AT: Anyway, back to your problem.. Generally the first rule should be...
No part of weekend deals. The boy should in for the whole deal.
SG: I have to disagree with this one. If they have to choose between Scouts
and anything else that happens on a weekend, you are doing a disservice
to the Scout who stays by denying him the felxibility to be able to
participate in other activities. ...
I agree that Scouts should not be penalised if they honestly try to resolve
conflicting comitments. " A Scout is Loyal " - not only to Scouting but to
the other commitments - sports team, family, school or whatever. OK, if a kid
is always putting Scouting last then I might have a problem. But sometimes
an " all or nothing " rule in not possible, particularly if you depend upon
parents who have different priorities.
Last year we had a Scout in Troop 401 who earned his Eagle Scout rank.
Yet he would not have made most of our campouts if we had this rule - his
" excuse " was that he went to a British private school which had Saturday
morning lessons. His mother would meet him with his uniform and drive to the
appropriate train station. I or one of the adults would meet him and he'd
get in to camp usually around 2.00 to 3.00 pm on Saturday. But he always made
sure that his patrol was organised and that his APL had everything in hand.
For what it's worth, I would say that it is more to a kid's credit if he
has to put himself out to attend than if he just waits for his parents to
deliver him like a parcel. I agree that some kids have so many leisure
activities that they cannot give much time to Scouting - again, that's OK
provided they do not expect to be " carried " through leadership roles. My
problem is the kid who thinks he can be a straight A student, play on three
sports teams and be Senior Patrol Leader or whatever ... and possibly fails
at all three, or else drives himself to the verge of a breakdown.
We as adults need to help boys to set realistic targets and priorities. But
that is not always easy, as in my twenty years as a Scouter I have seen
marriages destroyed because one partner was spending too much time with
his or her pack / troop , or leaders who just " burnt out " under the strain.
Scouting is a game ... a game with serious purpose, but still - just a game.
We need to encourage kids to make choices, understand that those choices have
consequences, but to be sympathetic when those choices do not fit in with
I speak from experience. Thwenty five years ago I nearly crashed my O-Levels
( I guess the equivalent would be High School graduation) because I had
been spending too much time on Scouting.
I didn't get the grades I might have done, and ended up putting in a lot of
extra time to make up lost ground at college. OK. I survived, but it was
a close thing. I vowed I would try never to let a Scout in my troop get
in the same position through lack of a bit of advice.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City