Tuesday Talkback: When youth leaders aren’t allowed to make decisions

Tuesday-TalkbackFather (or Mother) knows best?

Maybe, but that’s not how a Scout troop, Varsity team or Venturing crew is supposed to work.

Scouting is a youth-led, youth-run organization. Your responsibility as an adult leader is to train the young men and women, provide direction, coach and empower. Then you step aside.

That means you’re observing from the back of the room, not barking out orders from the front of it. Scouts and Venturers are free to make mistakes; that’s where real learning happens.

For today’s Tuesday Talkback, tell me this: Do youth leaders make the critical decisions in your unit? If so, how do you prevent adults from taking too big a role? How do you resist the urge to step in? If adults are the leaders in your unit, how can you change that?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts, and let’s have a discussion about the best way to handle this important issue. 

13 years ago…

Read what Scouting magazine readers said in response to a similar question in 2000.


Photo from Flickr: Some rights reserved by stepol

About Bryan Wendell 2880 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.