Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Scout Led
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 12:21:54 -0600
>It's not the location, Dave, as it is the *attitude* of those in leadership and
>those supporting the leaders!
Oh great Scouting one, you know all and see all. And your last statement is the
wisest. You should have started with it. I think it's important to learn, boys
have no trouble with a boy run Troop. In fact it's a dream come true. Think
about it, a chance to plan your own fun without adults telling you how and
where. Oh sure there are guidelines, but they are pretty vague. Boy run is only
a problem for the adults. Mikes post last weekend even talked about the amount
of time spent with the adults just getting them used to the idea. Mike, your
post was very good. I wish I had your way with words.
Boy run is an attitude or philosophy that the adults have to build in their
program. It's simply a matter of trust. It won't happen over night. Adults can't
just jump from the attitude of holding the Webelos hand to standing back and
letting him make mistakes. It just goes against parent human nature. Adults have
to practice the boy run attitude to understand it.
Here are a couple of hints to help you start towards the boy run or Scout led
The adults have two very important jobs.
1. Role modeling your lifestyle under the guide lines of the Scout Law and Oath.
2. Guide Scouts to live under the Scout Law and Scout Oath.
Scouts can do everything else. Scouts can do everything else. Scouts can do
Yes, I know the boys need to learn skills. But older boys can do that if you
have them. Boys need to learn leadership skills, but older Scouts can do that
too if you have them. If you have a healthy mature Troop, the Scouts can pretty
much do everything. Everything except role modeling and advising proper behavior
through conferences. Adults should be seen as standing back and guiding on
behavior and skills without taking over. Adults are also a resource of expertise
and knowledge. If your Troop is young, you don't have the resource of older
scouts, so you use what you have, adults. If your 12 year old SPL doesn't know
how to run a PLC meeting, the resource of the SM teaches the SPL how to run a
meeting than steps back to see how he does. The SM resource uses his experience,
knowledge and wisdom to advice the SPL to have a successful meeting. But then
the SM steps back to let the SPL learn from the experience. It's the same for
the Patrol leaders, quartermasters and scribes. Teach them to succeed and step
back so they learn from the experience. Guide them to learn when they want to
learn. But if they don't want to learn, then your probably stepping in to early
and taking away the boy run part from them.
Sounds simple but it's challenging. You, the adult will constantly make
adjustments to your role in the program to compensate from your experience with
boy run. If the adults aren't learning as much or more than the Scouts from the
boy run experience, then the program is probably is not very boy run. That's
because each boy is and individual and requires a different technique from the
adults to achieve the Three Aims of Scouting for that Scout. It takes a lot of
time, so don't waist it on leading their program, let them do that, you have to
much work guiding their behavior under the Scout Law and Oath to run their
By the way lets talk about behavior for a moment. Our objective as adults for
each scout is character, fitness and citizenship participation (Three Aims of
Scouting). Can we really build a boys character with a couple of hours of
Scouting a week? Not really. But we can teach that boy habits that lead to good
behavior, which builds character. It takes practice to build habits. So build an
enviroment that encourages practice. To many of us adults get focused on the
tools of the Eight Methods of Scouting. Put that burden on the Scouts and PLC.
Your objective is the Three Aims. In everything your Troop does, justify it
under the Three Aims of Scouting. Why should a boy wear a uniform? Justify it
under the Three Aims. Why should a Scout learn knots that he may never use in a
world of duct tape. Justify it under the Three Aims. Eventually you will find
the quickest way to accomplishing the Three Aims of Scouting for each Scout is
through a BOY RUN attitude from the adults.
The more I do it, the harder boy run gets. But it's an exciting experience and
very very rewarding. I get to watch Scouts feel good about themselves as they
master each step of his life in the Troop. There is nothing like an adult from
another unit say "wow, he's good". We are building fathers, husbands and leaders
of the future. Is there a better job than that? I love this Scouting Stuff.