Bruce Henry (BHENRY@INDYVAX.BITNET)
Fri, 9 Sep 1994 11:20:09 -0500
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>How to develop those skills (in the shortest possible period of time,
I had the same problem when I took over as SM right out of Webelos.
The situation was the current SM wanted to retire ( after 25 years) but the
committee never didn't want him to leave. The SM decided if he was absent
a lot of the time they would get the message. I took over the troop after
about 4 years of this. The troop consisted of 5 older boys (13- 17) who
held leadership positions but never ran the troop. Several had some
leadership skills from working at summer camps. Unfortunately they didn't
want to be bothered with the younger boys and most of the time hindered the
younger scouts in their development by teasing. We finally got the older
boys to basically do their thing and leave the younger ones alone.
Several times we tried to persuade them to teach the younger scouts some
skills by doing basic tasks, but they would just push them asside and do it
themselves. The adults of the older scouts openly opposed a youth run
troop and stated so at every opportunity. What worked for me was taking
the younger scouts to a district JLT training program and letting them see
how a youth run program worked. This got them started on planning their
outings, but they were apprehensive about the older scouts. Reinforcing
what they learned at the training with in troop training and the return of
the old SM as an ASM help. The transition has taken about 2 years but we
now have older scouts with good leadership skill and a desire to have a
youth run troop. I guess what I am trying to say is developing a
leadership corp takes time and patients. SEEK OUT troops who have a
successful program an take your leaders to observe and talk with their
leaders. Get your youth as much training by district or council as
possible and don't expect miracles.
>Secondly, we have a few older boys who have lost immediate interest
>Thanks in advance,
The older boys in my troop didn't start getting involved again until we
started a venture crew. At first I had to do the planning, but once they
started seeing the possibilities they wanted more. We are currently at
the rocky stage of turning this program over to the youth to run. The
encouraging thing is that several of the original boys in the troop have
come back and have been helping as ASM with the program. They many times
have remark " Why didn't we do this when we were in the troop." To this I
reply "because you were sure you couldn't." Check with neighboring
troops, your district and council to see what Venture programs they may
have and start participating. Remember, learning by example is one of the
most powerful teaching tools. You just need to find the right ones.
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Bruce Henry Snail mail:
2325 N. Irwin Street
Scoutmaster Troop 137
Indianapolis, In 46219
District Training Chairman
Pioneer District e-mail:
Crossroads of America Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City