scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Patrol Method or Not Patrol Method
Dalton, Lloyd P. (Lloyd.Dalton@UNISYS.COM
Thu May 25 2000 - 16:14:27 CDT
I like that idea about "If it's part of a merit badge, you can do
It seems like some of the leadership problems can easily form a
viscous cycle--similar to your description of suspicion coming from
community & school contributing toward teens acting in ways that warrant
The same pattern might be found in the poor scout leadership leading
to loss of high adventure trip, leading to worse leadership, etc.
Obviously, we all want to get to the point where scouts run their
own meetings and plan their own activities, and support them as much as
possible, with no need for placing conditions on meeting attendance or
eligibility for events.
It's easy to draw the line for adult intervention when we're talking
about physical safety. We know when to step in, and when to stay quiet and
let the scouts do things themselves.
But the Oath and Law aren't about physical stuff. They are about
hearts and minds. The "line in the sand" for adults becomes quite blurry
when we're talking about things like poor leadership, lack of ambition,
discourteous behavior, etc. All the things that violate the Oath & Law but
don't present a direct threat to life & limb.
I don't know any perfect ways to deal with this stuff, but I can
offer a guideline that I use:
When dealing with behavior problems, talk to one scout at a time,
regardless of how widespread the problem is. (Actually, for YP, it has to
be two scouts at a time). It's easier to be friendly when talking to a
couple scouts, as opposed to a large group. I think it also communicates
that you care about that individual scout.
This may not always work, but it probably improves your odds.
SM, Troop 28
St. Cloud, MN