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#1 MattR

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:58 PM

No, the title has nothing to do with the other threads (they honestly seem fairly good). But you have to admit it caught your attention and that's what I'm trying to get at.

 

The challenge is to come up with a tight description of why someone should not only put their son in scouts but also volunteer. And by tight I mean just a few words. I'm a lousy salesman but one thing I've learned is that a short succinct message, even if it's not completely accurate, is worth a lot more than a rambling committee based mash up.

 

Take sports as an example. The short message from coaches to parents is we'll teach your kid to win. The longer version can include something about hard work, teamwork, and good sportsmanship, but that's way too long. People understand winning. It connects. The BSA does not connect.

 

What is it for scouts? Scouts is similar to sports but not quite the same. Teamwork and hard work are there, but there's more to it than that. Selfless? There's a huge overlap between theological free will and scouting but it will never fit in a couple of words without sounding stupid.

 

I'm looking for a short, one or two word phrase of what Boy Scouts will teach a boy. We'll teach your son ... to grow up, to be a man, honor. I like growing up. The average frazzled parent of a teenager will get that. I also like we'll teach your son honor, but the idea of honor in today's world sounds like a wish more than a necessity. But I wouldn't mind being corrected on that one. 

 

The reason I'm doing this is because my committee asked me to write down my vision/philosophy/whatever it is that drives a lot of decisions I make and I told them about the aims and methods of scouting. Unfortunately they said that's all, to put it kindly, poorly written. So I'm going to just rewrite the aims and methods. I also think it would help talking to parents outside of cub scouts, something that we need to start doing.

 


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#2 jr56

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:19 PM

In scouts, every boy can go as far as he wants. 


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#3 Eagledad

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:23 PM

One reason I have enjoyed your posts Matt is because I'm reliving my Scoutmaster experience through them. :cool:

 

I also spent a lot of time trying to explain scouting from the noble perspective of the end product. This isn't mine, but it is my favorite phrase I tend use for explaining what our program does for your sons.

 

"Building Citizens of Character and Leaders of Integrity".

 

And if I am asked, I can explain how in the most boring detail, so I'm told. :blink:

 

Barry


Edited by Eagledad, 28 February 2017 - 02:24 PM.

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"Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson."


#4 Col. Flagg

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:25 PM

The reason I'm doing this is because my committee asked me to write down my vision/philosophy/whatever it is that drives a lot of decisions I make and I told them about the aims and methods of scouting. Unfortunately they said that's all, to put it kindly, poorly written. So I'm going to just rewrite the aims and methods. I also think it would help talking to parents outside of cub scouts, something that we need to start doing.

 
@MattR, there's a big difference between a mission, a vision, a value statement, a philosophy and a slogan, so there's a lot of territory to cover in the charge the committee has given you. In a previous life I helped organizations develop such planning and governance tools. Here is what we usually advised companies to do:
 
A mission statement explains the reason for existence and what the organization does. It should support the vision statement and serve to communicate purpose and direction to the committee and the unit. It should state the units priorities and methods to accomplish its vision. So in this example I would see the Methods of Scouting fitting in nicely.
 
A vision statement describes the unit down the road in the future. Developing a vision statement should answer this question "What will the unit look like in 10 years?" An effective vision statement is inspirational and illustrate the future state the unit wishes to achieve. It should inspire.
 
A values statement is a bit like the Aims of Scouting. A values statement describes what the organization believes in and how it will behave. It should define deeply held beliefs and principles of the organizational culture. This is the framework leaders use to articulate their core beliefs and how they unit will operate. In addition to the Aims, I think the Oath and Law fit in nicely here, BUT you have to actually EXERCISE them, not merely say them.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 28 February 2017 - 02:26 PM.

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#5 David CO

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:39 PM

No, the title has nothing to do with the other threads (they honestly seem fairly good). But you have to admit it caught your attention and that's what I'm trying to get at.

 

The challenge is to come up with a tight description of why someone should not only put their son in scouts but also volunteer. And by tight I mean just a few words. I'm a lousy salesman but one thing I've learned is that a short succinct message, even if it's not completely accurate, is worth a lot more than a rambling committee based mash up.

 

Take sports as an example. The short message from coaches to parents is we'll teach your kid to win. The longer version can include something about hard work, teamwork, and good sportsmanship, but that's way too long. People understand winning. It connects. The BSA does not connect.

 

What is it for scouts? Scouts is similar to sports but not quite the same. Teamwork and hard work are there, but there's more to it than that. Selfless? There's a huge overlap between theological free will and scouting but it will never fit in a couple of words without sounding stupid.

 

I'm looking for a short, one or two word phrase of what Boy Scouts will teach a boy. We'll teach your son ... to grow up, to be a man, honor. I like growing up. The average frazzled parent of a teenager will get that. I also like we'll teach your son honor, but the idea of honor in today's world sounds like a wish more than a necessity. But I wouldn't mind being corrected on that one. 

 

The reason I'm doing this is because my committee asked me to write down my vision/philosophy/whatever it is that drives a lot of decisions I make and I told them about the aims and methods of scouting. Unfortunately they said that's all, to put it kindly, poorly written. So I'm going to just rewrite the aims and methods. I also think it would help talking to parents outside of cub scouts, something that we need to start doing.

 

I strongly disagree with your characterization of the short message given by team sports (we'll teach your kid to win).  That is not our message.  

 

I was a baseball player.  Even the best of players will succeed at bat only 1/3 of the time.  We fail far more often than we succeed.  The message of team sports is, we'll teach your kid how to lose, get back up on his two feet, and try all over again.

 

The short message I give to my athletes is the same short message I give to my scouts.  Try again!


Edited by David CO, 28 February 2017 - 02:40 PM.

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#6 frankpalazzi

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:41 PM


The reason I'm doing this is because my committee asked me to write down my vision/philosophy/whatever it is that drives a lot of decisions I make and I told them about the aims and methods of scouting. Unfortunately they said that's all, to put it kindly, poorly written. So I'm going to just rewrite the aims and methods. I also think it would help talking to parents outside of cub scouts, something that we need to start doing.

MattR, if you feel you  have to do this for your committee then they clearly don't "get it".  Suggest training, chuckle, and keep doing what you're doing!


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#7 NJCubScouter

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:46 PM

I strongly disagree with your characterization of the short message given by team sports (we'll teach your kid to win).  That is not our message.  

 

I was a baseball player.  Even the best of players will succeed at bat only 1/3 of the time.  We fail far more often than we succeed.  The message of team sports is, we'll teach your kid how to lose, get back up on his two feet, and try all over again.

 

The short message I give to my athletes is the same short message I give to my scouts.  Try again!

 

That may be your message, for which you are to be applauded.  But I think the general message from team sports, especially at the more competitive levels, is what Matt says.  And even worse is what kids and, especially, their parents often take away from whatever they are told about competitive sports.  Which is something like "We'll make your kid into a star who will make the pros and support you in lavish style in your middle and old age."  Whatever is actually being said, I think that is what is being heard.  Of course, it is almost never true.  (As far as I know, one (1) graduate of our local high school went on to big-league professional sports, specifically the NBA.  But that's one student in a school where the average population per grade is around 700.  So add up all the students in the school over the past 40 years, and one is a pretty small number.)

 

But some parents want to believe it, and in their starry-eyed wishful thinking they steer their kids toward more and more sports and away from things like Scouting.  I have seen it.


Edited by NJCubScouter, 28 February 2017 - 03:47 PM.

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#8 qwazse

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:12 PM

I feel @MattR's pain. An MC with all good intentions will toss out something that begs the question, "What are we really about?"

All eyes are on beleaguered SMs or Advisors and you can see, especially in the newbies, the blood rushing to their face and the veins pulsing out of their temples. So, I've come up with a few ditties to diffuse the tension ...

 

Troop _ _ _, we take bad kids.

 

Forced marches in bear country solves a multitude of ills.

 

Safe scouting: getting you as close to your creator as possible without making it a permanent stay.

For this, there are two corollaries:

  1. Stupid happens fast.
  2. Be prepared = forestalling death.

 

Not everyone advances one rank/year, and we're not gonna worry about it.

 

We want everyone to be 1st class scouts, the concept, not the patch.

 

I sincerely believe that last one, a lot, because I can apply it to venturers, boy scouts, and even cub scouts should be growing in that direction. Heck, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that I expect that of scouters. If that's true, "trained" patches, and beads will prove mostly superfluous. And it comes with a vision:

 

The pinnacle scouting experience: hiking and camping independently with your mates.


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#9 Col. Flagg

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:13 PM

But some parents want to believe it, and in their starry-eyed wishful thinking they steer their kids toward more and more sports and away from things like Scouting.  I have seen it.

 

This is all part of the "everyone is special" mentality that we as a society are promoting. Rec league enrollment is down because select league enrollment is up. Why? Because every kids is a star and special. Oh, by the way, rec costs you $75/year and select costs you $1000/year. As you point out maybe 10% of the kids will ever get scholarships and maybe a fraction of a percent will make a living out of it.

 

Hey @MattR, maybe THAT is what you do! Create an info graphic that compares sports with scouting. Maybe something like this?

 

SvEuxaR.png


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#10 EmberMike

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:24 PM

Well if the sports angle is "We'll teach your kid how to win," I think a comparable slogan for scouts would be "We'll teach your kid how to lead." 


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#11 frankpalazzi

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:58 PM


Troop _ _ _, we take bad kids.

 

Forced marches in bear country solves a multitude of ills.

 

Safe scouting: getting you as close to your creator as possible without making it a permanent stay.

For this, there are two corollaries:

  1. Stupid happens fast.
  2. Be prepared = forestalling death.

 

Not everyone advances one rank/year, and we're not gonna worry about it.

 

We want everyone to be 1st class scouts, the concept, not the patch.

 

@MattR THIS is what you should give your committee. Yes!


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#12 David CO

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:26 PM

That may be your message, for which you are to be applauded.  But I think the general message from team sports, especially at the more competitive levels, is what Matt says.  And even worse is what kids and, especially, their parents often take away from whatever they are told about competitive sports.  Which is something like "We'll make your kid into a star who will make the pros and support you in lavish style in your middle and old age."  Whatever is actually being said, I think that is what is being heard.  Of course, it is almost never true.  (As far as I know, one (1) graduate of our local high school went on to big-league professional sports, specifically the NBA.  But that's one student in a school where the average population per grade is around 700.  So add up all the students in the school over the past 40 years, and one is a pretty small number.)

 

But some parents want to believe it, and in their starry-eyed wishful thinking they steer their kids toward more and more sports and away from things like Scouting.  I have seen it.

 

A lot of scouters say that sort of stuff about team sports (and team sport parents). In my 40 years of coaching and supervising team sports, I have seen very little of that.  

 

There are a lot of jobs in athletics other than professional athletes.  There are hundreds of thousands of people employed in various sports related occupations.  

 

The odds for a sports enthusiast of getting an average-wage job in athletics are actually pretty good.  A number of people on this forum have mentioned that they, or someone they know, have been employed in sports related fields.

 

You don't even have to be a star player to get one of these jobs.  Some of my best coaches and umpires were mediocre athletes.

 

I don't think it is fair for you to calculate the "odds" of success in sports professions by including only the 1 NBA player from your school.  I'm sure that your school has produced many fine coaches and supervisors who have gone on to lead very happy and successful lives without a multi-million dollar NBA salary.


Edited by David CO, 28 February 2017 - 05:49 PM.

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#13 frankpalazzi

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:46 PM

A lot of scouters say that sort of stuff about team sports (and team sport parents). In my 40 years of coaching and supervising team sports, I have seen very little of that.  

Once, since I graduated, in 1980. Jason Bere to the Chicago White Sox in 1990. 36th round draft pick.   https://en.wikipedia...wiki/Jason_Bere        I always told Jock-Scouts "The day after graduation, you start all over again."  The axiom proves true time after time.

 

Nicest kid, and made one heck of an Italian sub when he worked at Uncle Mickey's sub shop! :)


Edited by frankpalazzi, 28 February 2017 - 05:48 PM.

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#14 frankpalazzi

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 06:09 PM


There are a lot of jobs in athletics other than professional athletes.  There are hundreds of thousands of people employed in various sports related occupations.  

 

The odds for a sports enthusiast of getting an average-wage job in athletics are actually pretty good.  A number of people on this forum have mentioned that they, or someone they know, have been employed in sports related fields.

 

You don't even have to be a star player to get one of these jobs.  Some of my best coaches and umpires were mediocre athletes.

 

I had one scout 10 years ago who got a master's in Sports Management, and works for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I'm very proud of him, and follow his adventures on Instagram.  But the parents don't often think of these kinds of positions (nor do the kids).  You might be a "big fish in a small pond" for four years, but the "pond" gets a lot bigger, as do the other fish, after that.  That's culture shock to the kid who was the star quarterback on the varsity high school team, but now is the third-stringer who rarely gets to play in a college three states away.


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#15 mashmaster

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:02 PM

I liked to old marketing campaign of "Prepared for Life" 


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#16 Chadamus

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:04 PM

I liked to old marketing campaign of "Prepared for Life" 

Agreed mashmaster. I can't think of anything better off the top of my head. But there's a significant difference between what you typed and "Prepared. For Life."


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#17 SSScout

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:57 PM

Would you rather have your child "play to win" or "Play to be better"?    That is what I asked my team parents when I coached daughter's local soccer team.

 

Scouting may, indeed, be a "Game with a Purpose".    What do folks see as the purpose (for THEIR child) of the game of football?  Soccer?  Traveling Baseball? 

 

I often speak of the "soccer syndrome", meaning the parent wants to drop the kid off, and come back in 2 hours , having trusted the coach to teach the kid How To Be an Adult. 

  I guess I also would include the schools, too.   Teachers and coaches are often seen as the "professional" that can do the job of child raising ( not just knowledge relating)  better than the parent. Perhaps that is too simplistic. It also includes the role of "sitter" (as in baby?).  Here is a place, situation that will devolve me of the need to watch, care for, teach, example my child.  

I see a Scout unit , properly done, as allowing  the child to observe, be instructed in hand skills, and learn from his/her mistakes in cooperating with others in obtaining a goal.  Living in camp, traveling by foot, building a tower or catapult or just setting up a dining fly.

 

Maybe a good sports team does that.  Maybe we both set unobtainable ideas (pro sports?  Eagle leading to college? ).   Is just being the Scout Law (recite it here to yourself) is sufficient?  


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#18 MattR

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 11:02 PM

"Building Citizens of Character and Leaders of Integrity".

 
Hmm, doesn't exactly grab me.
 

Try again!

 
I will teach you to fail? :) I knew someone was going to bring up sports is more than just winning, but competition, at it's very basic level, is about winning. I agree that good coaches at the secondary school level don't focus on winning. And yet, at higher levels it is all about winning and big money.
 

We want everyone to be 1st class scouts, the concept, not the patch.
 
The pinnacle scouting experience: hiking and camping independently with your mates.

 
I know what that means, you know what that means, but your average parent can't relate to it.
 

SvEuxaR.png

 
A picture is worth a thousand words, so this fails my brevity test :) As David CO would say, try again.
 

Well if the sports angle is "We'll teach your kid how to win," I think a comparable slogan for scouts would be "We'll teach your kid how to lead."

 
How about: We'll teach your kid to lead, starting with himself.
 

I liked to old marketing campaign of "Prepared for Life"

 
Just change the tense: Preparing your son for life. That's a lot better than grow up, but it's still vague. What does it mean to be prepared for life?
 

 Is just being the Scout Law (recite it here to yourself) is sufficient?

 

 

You're right. You're all right. Being the Scout law should be enough. As should Integrity, Being Prepared, Leadership, Character, and Independence. I wonder how many parents really respond to that.

 

It reminds of a quote I found from Heraclitus. Character is destiny.


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#19 David CO

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:08 AM

The object of the game is to win.  The purpose of the game is much more.


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#20 RememberSchiff

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 07:02 AM

The New England Patriots' motivation phrase "Do your job" has been in the media and given the current world affairs, maybe a hook that leads to further explanation of our mission and program.

 

Together we have a job to do.

 

and yes, its a bear.

 

 

My $0.01


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