Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Patrol Method
Re: Patrol Method
Wed, 28 Apr 1999 10:23:32 -0400
Sometimes the toughest thing is to let Scouts sort out things for
themselves. The urge we as adults have is to jump in and right things --
knowing just when the right moment is can be difficult. As a SM you are a
coach, a friend, an advisor, a leader, but not the person whose role it is
to make every decision. So when do you act and when do you watch? So much
depends on the chemistry of the relationships between the individual boys,
that it is hard to tell from afar whether things could of been better or
Don't be too hard on yourself. You followed good instincts in letting the
boys try to figure out things on their own. By doing this you gave them lots
of opportunities to learn. This learning process will help them later in
life to know how to choose leaders, to understand when things need to
change, and so forth. Not bad at all.
Yes, it is a shame that one Scout quit. Would it have been different, if
you'd acted earlier - nobody will every really know. You can flog yourself
with guilt over things like this, but it doesn't do much good. Could just
as easily have been a situation where boys might have left because there was
too much adult intervention and no room for fun, growth, or involvement. We
do the best we can and learn that we aren't perfect. Sometimes just like the
boys we learn along the way. It is sad when we lose a Scout, but
invigorating when we see one young boy learn lessons that will last a
lifetime. The ASPL turned PL has learned much and will learn more. If you
had acted too soon, how much would he have learned?
I'm thankful that there are leaders like you out there doing their level
best and always evaluating how to do it better next time around.
Mike Bowman, Vice President
U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.