Re: The Great Basketball Mutiny
Steven G. Tyler (sgtyler@EROLS.COM)
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 15:09:15 -0400
Storms, Randy wrote, in part:
> I was looking forward to last night's meeting, and I spent several hours
> preparing what I thought would be an interesting skill (map and compass)
> followed by a fun activity (The Scout "Beginner's Compass Game", wherein
> you follow a series of compass bearings between marked stakes and gather
> letters to make a "code" word). I arrived early and set it all up, then
> ran a few series myself to ensure everything was correct.
First, a question: who are you? Since you refer to an ASM, I assume
you're either the SM, another ASM or a Scout. If you're a Scout who
planned the meeting, most of my following comments are not applicable,
and the ASM's lack of support for you is a problem. If you're a
Scouter, there's a more basic problem: the Scouts, and NOT the Scouters,
should be planning and running the program.
> When the Scouts arrived, all they wanted to do was play basketball.
> They universally rejected the planned program, saying it was "lame".
> They raced around and got wild, and the meeting fell completely apart.
> The ASM said, "Let 'em go play basketball".
> I said, "Let 'em join the Boy's Club if basketball is what they want. I
> am here to teach Scout skills, and they are here to learn them. We
> can schedule basketball for 15 or 20 minutes every few weeks, but I'm
> not going to make it our entire meeting".
That sounds like a Scouter talking. Let me be direct: THE SCOUTERS ARE
NOT THERE TO TEACH SCOUT SKILLS! You are there to help organize a
program where the Scouts learn Scout skills, but NOT in a
teacher-student role. Can a Scouter demonstrate a skill? Sure! BUT, it
should be a part of a program organized and implemented by the PLC, NOT
something the Scouters spent several hours putting together with the
expectation that the Scouts will sit still for. To paraphrase, let 'em
join your private school if playing teacher is what you want.
Sorry if I sound harsh. You did say you were a new Troop. One of the
hardest lessons Scouters new to Boy Scouting from Cub Scouting have to
learn is that it is no longer acceptable for the adults to plan and
implement the program, but must find a way to turn it over to the
Scouts. Otherwise, you can expect the Scouts to deem a program (even a
good one) "lame" when they had no role in planning or putting it on.
Steve on Cattail Creek
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City