scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Important Update
Tue Feb 08 2000 - 13:18:31 CST
>My questions remains - is holding advancement or accomplishments back until a
>Blue and Gold "by the book". If it is not - then this Pack has a different set
>of issues beyond this situation with this one young man.
I learned rather quickly after we started our Troop that adults have to learn
twice as much as the boys just to keep up with them, or we loose the value of
the program. This is especially true in a boy run program. I also believe that
Scouting is a great program until the adults get involved. Let's face it, with
little or no training and experience in Scouting, we adults have a self-centered
attitude towards what's good for our kids. Go ask any Scoutmaster how long it
takes to reprogram a Cubmaster or Webelos leader. Cub Scouts is such a adult
driven program that we ask our new adults to just watch for a few months, then
ask questions. Of course we are talking and training the whole time but we want
to open their minds long enough to see their boys grow from the boy run program.
Many of the post are pretty hard on the Pack leaders. But the Truth is, I am the
only adult that I know the figured out the Aims and Methods of Scouting right
away. I still wonder why I know it all and everyone else doesn't get it. Right!
In my first year as Cubmaster we issued out awards at the Blue and Gold just
like the Pack leaders before me. It took me a year just to understand that Cub
Scouting isn't about Fun Pack Meetings, but more about building character using
the tools of adult role models and a program of Fun, rewarding Activities. We
changed a lot after that first year but I had a very good mentor that taught me
the true meaning of Scouting.
Are the Pack leaders who caused this young man's struggle bad people? Who knows,
some folks just aren't meant to lead Scouts. But more than likely, they just
don't really get it YET. A little education and experience will go a long way to
helping these adult mature to the Aims of the Scouting program. I believe the
BSA is deficient in the area of instilling philosophy along with the mechanics
of Adult Scout Leadership. Especially in Cubs. Our Pack was lucky, I have two
sons, so I was a Pack leader for several years, but the average Cubmaster is
only in the position for less than two years. Any training he gets is more on
the "hows", not the "whys". My goodness, I just started my third year of
Scoutmastering and I feel very small right now with my performance. We have so
much to learn, so much to learn to be worthy adult Scout Leaders for our
We need to help these Pack leaders, guide them and teach them about the values
of Scouting. Help them understand that their interpretation of the letter of the
law may miss the mark of what the boy is suppose to get from his scouting
experience. Invite these pack leaders to your Troop and point out the values of
instant recognition and the joy the Scouts get from the experience. Show them
that Scouting isn't about what we adults think the boys performance should be,
it's what he thinks it should be. Just last night during a SM conference, the
Scout decided he wasn't ready for his BOR because of the direction our
discussion went. He choose to step back and review his performance, not me. We
adults have to be taught that Scouting is about the individuals Scout
performance, not our adult expectations.
Cub Scouting is more of a family theme program, but that doesn't mean the Scout
shouldn't have some control of his performance. The first year I was a Cubmaster
we set a goal of 100% Webelos earning all 20 activity pins. We adults
accomplished our goal and three years later none of those boys were in Scouts.
Three years after that, our goal turned to building confidence of learning,
planning and teaching. Most of those Webelos didn't earn all twenty pins, but at
least 80% of those Scouts are still in Troops. We had to learn the hard way that
our focus was wrong. We adults made a mistake and had to learn from it.
We talk a lot about working with youth Scout leaders, but we have to get a lot
better at working with the adult Scout leaders as well. Not just guiding on
teaching first-aid or knots, but also how these skills help a young boy develop
habits that lead to good character as an adult. If we don't understand the value
behind learning a Scout Skill, we can do more harm than good. If the Cub
Leaders don't understand the value of instant recognition, then advancement may
cause more harm than good. I look for guidance everyday from you guys so I can
do a better job of delivering the promise. We all need to keep learning all the
time. We also need to guide those adults who struggle, even when they don't know
Have a Great Scouting Week.