Re: Help! Leader Won't Follow
Susan Ganther (susan@EMAIL.UNC.EDU)
Sat, 8 Apr 1995 08:13:02 -0400
Making the speed hikers follow the slowest hiker may be S.O.P. and for
good reason, nobody ever hurt themselves by forcing themselves to go
slower than their natural pace, but there are other ways to get the job
I have become one of those snail paced hikers, and I know how badly I
feel about making people stop and twiddle their thumbs waiting for me, so
I give them something better to do than twiddle their thumbs.
I am talking about activity stations along the trail for the faster
hikers to be involved in, they may not even realize they are waiting if
they are done well. You don't have to have pre-established stations along
the way, they can be a set of tasks that are carried with them and
carried out on a timed basis.
[Example, on the half hour and the hour, take compass bearings on the
major landmarks and plot them on a make as you go map. Give estimated
distances from the trail to the landmark. Use alternate direction finding
methods (other than your compass) for two of these stops.]
The above example is not geared to cubs, but you get the idea.
If you plan for it in advance you can turn having everyone spread out on
the trail into an advantage. An opportunity for the Scouts to attempt to
signal each other and determine the location of the other patrols at
pre-determined times, a chance for the faster group to practice leaving
signs for the slower group to practice reading (and removing after
As for the leader who will not follow, there could be a lot of things
which could be causing this.
1. Poor communication, did the leader understand that you were
communicating a decision and not an opinion about the way life ought to
be in a perfect world.
2. Did the leader understand the decision.
3. Did the leader feel a part of the decision making process? People can
become uncooperative if they feel that they are being told what to do all
of the time and never allowed to give input. Even if their input is a
mistake and you know from experience that it is a mistake, sometimes you
have to let them learn from their own mistakes. It goes a long way toward
helping them to learn to tolerate the mistakes of others if they are
allowed to make some of their own.
We don't always have the luxury of the time to discuss decisions that
have to be made, but if we make every effort to include other leaders in
those decisions when we can, they will be more forgiving when we cannot.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City