This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Austinleme3 3 years, 11 months ago.
January 24, 2015 at 1:07 pm #31987
This was on another forum, but since it was in discussing a Scouting Magazine article, I thought it was fair use to repost it here. If this helps evaluate your unit, leave a reply …
There are times when
A: adults are fine with youth leading, and the youth are confident that they can do it.
B: adults are fine with youth leading, but the youth lack self-confidence.
C: adults are uncomfortable with youth leading, in spite of the youths’ confidence.
D: adults are uncomfortable, and youth lack the confidence to lead.
E: adults are uncomfortable in their own leadership as well as the youths’.
I would argue that this is not a continuum, take a snap-shot of any unit, Pack, Troop (girl scout or boy scout), or Crew and they will be getting one of these grades. Just like school, once you start earning A’s, you get it, and they tend to self-perpetuate. The right mix of adults and youth yields a Grade-A unit every minute of every day in the life of your unit. But …
B’s happen. Most adults know when the unit is coming home with B work. If your unit generally makes A’s , most youth probably know when they are slipping too. It takes a little coaching/cheer-leading to get away from those B’s. And sometimes on the youths’ side it takes asking for help. (I find the latter problem with my crew a lot. It is very hard for a teen to admit they need help.) On the other hand, it’s all too easy to be satisfied with a 3.0 average.
C’s are where most packs and dens are by design. You have boys who think they can do anything, and adults who have spent a decade pulling them back from the brink of disaster. So, we’ve built a program where crushing defeat is unlikely (except perhaps during the pinewood derby). But at some point that mentality has to end. Jr. high’s mature very quickly, and their confidence begins to be well-placed. Even if they will take multiple tries to get that fire lit, you have to let them try.
D’s are a bad place. And many of us look at a snapshot of a troop at its worst and give their entire program that grade. I think that’s because if the sampling is representative, a unit isn’t long for this world. A D-average unit is full of youth sitting on their hands, adults who are distant and unapproachable, and a bully or passive-aggressive manipulator (youth or adult) can run the program straight into the ground. Just like parents should be in panic-mode with a report card like this, a unit needs to scramble and get help. A few years before I joined my troop, my SM had an SPL donated to him from another troop so that his program could be revived. It seemed to be a fairly common occurrence. Not sure how often that happens now, but I haven’t seen it in my district.
E’s also happen. Some of the posts in this forum refer to scouters who were called to their position by their church, or the poor den leader who just had the job dumped on them because everyone else took one step back! Training and teamwork can remedy that quickly, but an E doesn’t even have to be due to anybody’s fault. A fatality can put a leader in a serious funk, as can repeated failures because of circumstances (increased expenses, job-losses in the community, adults spinning off new units to avoid personality clashes). In situations like this, the CO might need to scramble to change leadership. Or, God bless them, the youth might dig deep and remind us of what we’re all striving for.
What seems like a continuum is really folks failing to make straight A’s all the time. Now, many don’t like calling anything short of perfect marks a failure. Personally, I’d rather know my shortcomings and receive unconditional love, rather than a pablum of “Don’t worry honey, nobody’s perfect. So give yourself an honest B if that’s where you all stand, confess to the failure, and see what you can do to earn an A the next meeting or activity.
June 15, 2015 at 9:06 pm #41611
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