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.