Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Scout Led
Re: Scout Led
Mon, 13 Dec 1999 15:16:14 -0600
> >transitioning WEBELOS parents have commented on the chaos, apparent
> >unruliness, pandemonium, etc., but after a few meetings, they see the
> >activity, and understand the chaos. Failures, yes, but failure teaches
> >as much as success. When a program doesn't go because a boy forgot to
> >call a guest, or prepare for the event, hip pocket things come out of
I know of an organized troop where a group of adults work to take their
sons, and son's friends camping. They have well run orderly meetings,
perfect uniforming and earn lots of badges. They always recruit the
largest number of Webelos, but rarely have boys stay beyond the age of 14.
The troop I'm with sounds more like the first troop in the quoted message.
There is chaos, unruliness, and pandemonium at times.
I keep telling people our Motto is "Be Prepared", not "Be Organized".
The organized troop has a strong troop committee which plans everything to
the smallest detail. The adults yell out commands to the boys, the boys
About a year ago we camped next to them. They were up early eating
breakfast then taking down camp. There was all sorts of commotion coming
from their site, they had nearly as many adult leaders as boys.
I stepped over to chat with another leader at a nearby campsite. We sort
of took stock of the two campsites, both busy with activity. He with his
coffee and I with my hot chocolate mused over the differences between the
My Scouts were quietly working together getting the job done with my
assistant working along with them, the other organized troop was comprised
of adults barking out orders with boys nervously running about trying to
carry them out.
Their troop was still taking down camp as we drove off.
Part of "boy run" involves ownership. The "adult run" program has adults
owning the program. In a "boy run" program the boys feel ownership of the
troop. If a problem arises, the boys are allowed to deal with it and
solve it. That creates an opportunity to fail, but more importantly it
also provides an opportunity to succeed.
Don't take the ownership away from your boys, make it their troop, not
yours. I think that is one of the most important things to remember.
Our boys plan out the year's events, not me. At our PLC Retreat they vote
on what we will do. I have only veto power. They do a great job.
We are not a perfect troop. We have our weaknesses as well as our
strengths. I've been Scoutmaster for 23 years, and I continue to try to
get it right.
One thing I am very proud of, our boys feel they own the troop. They feel
it's theirs, not mine nor the committee's. I trust and believe in their
abilities. They rarely let me down.
Our Scouts compete in sports, are on the honor roll in school, I encourage
them to be involved in positive things beyond Scouting.
I lost Trent, Andy, and Brad this fall, and will be losing Jeremy, Nelson,
Jamie, J.T., Scott, and Francis later this year. I am losing them
to the Air Force, College, and work as they turn 18. Of course some of
them will stick around as ASMs.
Scouting is for the boys, allow it to be "their" program.
Scoutmaster Troop 33