Re: Willow in the Wind (fwd)
Paul H. Brown (phbrown@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Tue, 27 Jun 1995 14:49:28 -0400
This private response was so "on point" that I asked the sender if I could
post it to the list in its entirety.
All opinions not "borrowed" from unattributed sources are my own.
Paul H. Brown, ASM T807, Great George Washington District, NCAC
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 1995 09:25:18 -0500
From: Jeff Agle 5-5738 <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Willow in the Wind
It is too bad that the boys approached this exercise the way they did.
I have had really good experiences with this exercise. My troop is mostly
of kids from middle class families with parents still married to each
other (kinda 50's families). So their home environments are pretty good
and trust is not generally a problem. However, there is one boy in my
troop who comes from a very different situation. He has 2 brothers, his
mother has never been married and she is somewhat retarded. He carries
the load at home and lives in a very non-nurturing environment. He has
lots of trouble with trusting other people. He was elected as a leader
in the troop and attended the last JLT. Most of the other boys had
already gone into the center of the circle and had their turn before he
got his chance. As an adult watching from a little behind the circle
(spotter position, some of the boys are pretty big to redirect) it was
quite evident that he was not very willing to give up control of his
body and where he was directed. He did have a good experience at it,
but his experience was very different from the other boys.
We had the rest of the JLT that day and had some time before we needed
to leave to come home and the boys suggested that they wanted to play
a couple of the games again before we left. So, we played again. One
of the games they wanted to play again was Willow in the Wind. We did
and this boy was much looser than the first time we played it. Not
wanting to miss a teaching moment we temporarily stopped the game after
his turn and I asked the boys if they had noticed a difference. They all
had. The first time we played, all of the boys were trying to help him
understand how to relax. The second time, he wasn't quite as good at
it as the rest of the boys, but they had noticed a big difference. So,
we asked him about the difference. He had grown to trust the rest of the
boys during the day and was brave enough to give up some of the control.
The boys were very excited about this and rallied around him and said
let's play again. He wanted to go back in the middle and the other boys
were happy to oblige him. This time he gave up virtually total control
and had a great time.
As I have talked to him since, he has commented to me about how much
he learned in this game about how other people could act and that they
could be supportive. This was a pretty new concept to this boy.
When I reflect on the aims of the program, this was one of the golden
Character Development building moments for this boy.
Having had this positive an experience with this game, it is very
disappointing that it did not go well for you. I think the observation
in the reflection about how easy it is to destroy trust may have been
just as useful an outcome. Definately not as upbeat though.
Jeff Agle firstname.lastname@example.org
SM Troop 127
District Cub Scout Training Chairman
Potawatomi Area Council (WI)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City