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Actions and verbalism adults can take toward Boy-Led?


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#1 Deaf Scouter

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 03:33 PM

http://scouter.com/i...dge-completion/

 

In posting the topic above, I've come to the realization that I miss much more than I thought due to my hearing loss.  So what I'm seeking is written examples to read through of situations where adults steer scouts towards skills developmental for the scout themselves and toward being boy-led.  Do you have good examples to share in educating those of us that are weak as adults in doing boy-led troops and events?  

Another option is sharing what was not boy-led and how you wished an adult thought to do this as it is more boy-led behavior.


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#2 Stosh

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 04:21 PM

Let the boys make the mistakes.  A vast majority of the problems, the conflicts, and drama in the units are adult based and if the program is aiming for boy-led, then they better step back and quit interfering with the boys' development.

 

Just looking at the posts on this forum we see problems with "what's an active scout" and the answers are adult definitions.  We expect the boys to lead, but then immediately jump in and save them when they stand on the precipice of failure.  Adult led is mostly not letting the boys direct their destiny, allow them opportunities of their choice, and letting them fail.

 

Does it really make sense that the boys will avoid an activity that they planed and wanted to do in the first place?

 

Does it really mean the end of the world if the boy forgets his mess kit?

 

When all hell breaks loose do they blame the SM because it was all his idea?

 

But a new Webelos cross over can't be SPL his first time at camp!!!  Why not?  who decided that?  Why not let them learn from their failures.  God forbid the young 'un does a great job at it.  After all I have met a few 6th graders that have more sense and maturity than their 16 year old counterparts.

 

It doesn't happen very often, but when I don't think it will make it and it does, I don't mind being surprised.


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There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#3 T2Eagle

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 08:47 PM

Where currently in your troop is the line between what the boys get to decide and are allowed to fail at and what decisions adults retain and don't allow the boys to fail at.


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#4 Stosh

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 09:06 PM

Where currently in your troop is the line between what the boys get to decide and are allowed to fail at and what decisions adults retain and don't allow the boys to fail at.

 

In my troop the only adult interference is on the side of safety.  Will this failure cause physical or emotional harm to others?  If yes, then adults step in.  If not. let it go.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#5 DuctTape

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 05:43 AM

I have seen "safety" as the excuse for adult interference taken to some ridiculous extremes. I am in no way suggesting this is the case for anyone here. Some extreme examples I have seen or heard in my past:
1. Adults must approve meal plans because proper nutrition is a matter of safety.
2. Adults will cook the food because they will follow safe food prep.
3. Scouts must camp close to the parking lot for emergency situations.
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#6 qwazse

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 07:23 AM

I have seen "safety" as the excuse for adult interference taken to some ridiculous extremes. I am in no way suggesting this is the case for anyone here. Some extreme examples I have seen or heard in my past:
1. Adults must approve meal plans because proper nutrition is a matter of safety.
2. Adults will cook the food because they will follow safe food prep.
3. Scouts must camp close to the parking lot for emergency situations.

it's like some in my committee have evil twins.

My replies:
I've eaten plenty of burnt toast, you can too.
Soap washes young hands faster than old.
This is a youth lead movement, it ought to taste that way.

I have not dealt with the parking lot excuse. I guess I just kept walking. ;)
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#7 DuctTape

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 08:44 AM

My general reply is usually, "is this really a safety issue, or is someone just using safety as an excuse to interfere?"
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#8 Stosh

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 08:47 AM

I have seen "safety" as the excuse for adult interference taken to some ridiculous extremes. I am in no way suggesting this is the case for anyone here. Some extreme examples I have seen or heard in my past:
1. Adults must approve meal plans because proper nutrition is a matter of safety.
2. Adults will cook the food because they will follow safe food prep.
3. Scouts must camp close to the parking lot for emergency situations.

 

You missed one... only cabin camping with indoor plumbing allowed.  We wouldn't want any boy falling into a latrine.  :)

 

@DuctTape  you are correct, there will always be adults who will find any and all excuses to retain control by abusing the policies of the BSA's program.

 

Let's look at each of your examples.

 

1. Adults must approve meal plans because proper nutrition is a matter of safety.

 

In order for this to happen, the adults must pencil whip the advancement requirements on this and thus every scout in their unit has gained rank inappropriately.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being totally honest, troops like this would rank at the most generous level maybe a stretched 1.  Dishonesty begets dishonesty.

 

2. Adults will cook the food because they will follow safe food prep.

 

See above. 

 

3. Scouts must camp close to the parking lot for emergency situations

 

See above.

 

If any of these issues are legitimate, then the training of the S->FC is woefully inadequate and the scouts of these troops are well on their way to becoming Paper Eagles.                    

 

Troops run like this are not following the BSA Policies on advancement and not only are the boys cheated out of the program they are paying for, they are also cheated out of their opportunity to grow and develop as the program promises. 

 

By the way, my answer to these food/cooking issues is, "We won't be eating this weekend, it's too dangerous and one isn't going to starve to death in 3 days anyway." 


Edited by Stosh, 21 January 2017 - 08:50 AM.

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Stosh

 

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#9 MattR

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 12:01 PM

Deaf scouter, these all get down to who solves what problems. Yet one of the main points of scouting is to teach scouts to solve problems. That leaves us with the idea of don't waste a problem that could be a learning experience. So, while we say let them fail, what we really mean is don't steal the opportunity for them to learn. It will be much easier dealing with type A parents if you use the latter words.

 

There are different types of problems.

 

The first is a fairly innocuous one where a scout makes a mistake and the impact is only on himself and it's not that big a deal. Eg: a scout forgets to bring eating utensils or Friday night dinner for himself. The adult response to this should be "bummer!" Or even "why not go ask your patrol members for some help." The worst thing that can happen is that he gets hungry. The best is that he learns not to do that again and also his patrol might learn to look out for each other. It's a good trade off.

 

Next, a scout forgets his sleeping bag and it's a winter campout. Depending on your definition of winter camping this could be a very serious problem. Here the trade off between the worst and the best that can happen leans a lot more towards the worst. I wouldn't let him go to sleep without enough insulation around him but I'd encourage him to ask around before I helped him out.

 

These cases are easy to figure out because the impact of a scout's problem is on himself. The scenarios that cause the most angst is when a scout does something that impacts other scouts. Eg, a scout forgets to buy lunch for his patrol. If hypothermia weren't an issue I'd say Bummer, start scrounging, maybe we have some oatmeal for you. The benefit here is that possibly there's an opportunity for a patrol to learn about better communication. "You said you were going to buy lunch." "I never said that!" If the adults get involved in this one then the scouts miss an opportunity.

 

Next, some scouts are treating some other scouts poorly. The parents want to jump right in and remove some scouts from the troop or at least change all the patrols around to "split up those bad kids." The opportunity is for scouts to learn how to bring up tough issues. Here's where "they need to learn how to fail on their own" probably doesn't convey the right thing and parents will go ballistic. Rather, the adults need to get the scouts to talk in a respectful manner about real problems. I think this type of problem is getting harder to deal with than it used to be just because adults are not allowing the scouts to deal with people problems. I have the most upset parents over things like this and also the most growth with scouts once they learn to find their voice.

 

Next, some "scout leader" drops the ball and the rest of the patrol, or even the troop, is sitting around with nothing to do. Again, adults will want to jump in and solve the problem, fire the scout leader, or who knows what. Now we're getting closer to boy-led issues. If the scouts don't know how to solve other types of problems then they won't know how to solve problems related to leadership. They need to talk, they need to plan, they need to be able to adapt, and they need to learn how to do all of this while they're doing it. This is where the rubber hits the road with respect to living the ideals of scouting. It's easy to say you're cheerful, but not when someone else forgot lunch.


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#10 Eagledad

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 01:15 PM

Boy run is my favorite subject of the BSA program and I spent a lot of time helping units turn that direction. Still, I tend to get in the weeds and go over the top, so I will try to keep the post simple by giving multiple posts.

 

Boy Run in my perspective is "the practice of making choices". Why is that so important, lets read the BSA Mission Statement:

 

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

 

The Mission of the Troop Program is to prepare boys to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime. The statement also says the boundaries of those decisions are the values of the Scout Law and Oath. Very important, but we will get to that later.

 

Experts tell us that the more choices a youth makes before they enter the adult world, the more prepared they will be for the tough choices as an adult. Experts also tell us that we humans are more likely to learn from the stresses and struggles of choices because we are forced to reason (make our brain actively work) to ease the struggle. In other words, growing in maturity isn't simply making choices, but it's making choices that force us to reason. The brain is instinctively figuring out how to get away from the stress and struggle of the context in that choice. Simply, the wrong choice we make in our early life helps us make better choices as adults.

 

I teach adults that the more wrong choices a boy scout makes, the more his maturity will grow. But that is a tough fact for parents to appreciate because our parental nature is to protect. Give their sons the independence to screw up and then deal with the consequences of that screw up is painful. It's not easy to watch your son suffer. So they simply don't want to allow choices. But we have to get past that.

 

I had a reputation for having a good understanding of boy run program, so I got a lot of calls from other units for advice. I got one call for a new troop of 40 scouts where the leaders wouldn't even let their scouts lead the Troop Meeting Opening Ceremony. Imagine such a fear of failure that you couldn't even let the scouts lead a flag ceremony.

 

Fear of failure is the number one cause of adults not letting scouts make choices. Adults have to teach themselves how to get past that fear. I worked with a lot of units to help adults push those fears back to allow their scouts to make more choices. But I will get into that later.

 

Another place where many adults also fail their scouts is in understanding that the patrol is a safe place. Not safe because the boys are protected from physical harm of predators or accidents, but the harm of be made to feel a lesser person for their choices.

 

The Patrol is the real world scaled down to a boys size. For scouts to grow from their choices, they have to feel the patrol is safe from ridicule and condescension of their choices, especially wrong choices. A choice should be an opportunity for growth, not an instant that should be discouraged.

 

Boy Run is the practice of making choices. The adolescent mind wants to grow and the more challenges of learning the mind gets from the choices, the more it wants to learn and grow from the practice of making choices. The brain feeds on reasoning, so it wants more. But while it wants to grow from reasoning, it also protects itself from continued stresses,so a scout will quickly learn to stay away from decisions where he risk exposeing himself to the harm of ridicule. I know you are deaf, but I imagine you have seen situations in other troops where the adults over reacted to scouts action or choice. What is the lesson the scout learned, that he made a bad choice; or how to prevent the hurtful reactions of that adult? We want scouts to learn from their choices, but we don't want the experience to push into making NO choices.

 

Of course there are instants where adults have to react to choices, mostly for the safety of the scout or scouts. But even the scout can understand the difference of actions toward his choice. However, as the patrol and troop mature with the experiences of their choices, scouts will replace the adults where quick reactions are required for bad decisions. It is rare for scouts in our troop to approach the SM with bad behavior because through practice of reacting to all choices, the scouts have matured greatly and deal with very few behaviors that they can't handle within the boundaries of the Law and Oath.

 

Tobe continued

 

Barry


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