Finding the Leadership Challenges

Baden Powell suggested that if you want the Scouts to be responsible you should give them responsibility.  If you want the Scouts to lead than they must be given the opportunity to lead.  What I have found is that most teen aged young men will first look for the “alternative” or easy way out, thus burning energy in a process that will eventually lead them back to doing it right.  Adults stand by gnashing their teeth wondering why the boy just didn’t do it right the first time.  Well Mom and Dad.. he did.  He worked his way around the task in an effort to find the easy way and in the process he learned.  He wins!
As Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, Merit Badge counselors, and Committee folks discovering how this young mans mind works is less important than allowing him to discover and learn through the process.  Helping him find the leadership challenges and ways to solve them.
As you know, if you have read the blog for any amount of time, I love the football analogy.  Quarterbacks take a play into the huddle, a play that was called from the coach on the sideline.  He calls the play and expects his team mates to execute.  But the left tackle slips and the defensive end comes crashing down on the play caller…  Scramble to the right, look down field, and try to get the play off.. if not.. run!  Quick problem solving, literally on the run.  And so it is with our Patrol leaders and Senior Patrol leaders.  They have coaches standing all around them.  Advice comes in or is offered, but when a member of the patrol ‘slips’ it is then up to the leader to find and react to the leadership challenge.
So lets go back to the “alternative” way that he is going to immediately look for.  Time and experience will cure him of that, but in the mean time, patients and coaching will keep him ‘looking down field’ for either the play (answer) or another plan that accomplishes the same goal.
Giving up is never the answer and failure is never an option.  Our Scouts do not fail when learning about leadership, first aid, map reading, or citizenship.  They win when they learn and grow.  That my friends is the path to finding the leadership challenge.
More later.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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One thought on “Finding the Leadership Challenges

  1. That's nice. Sounds good. It is a good analogy in some cases.However. Hah, you knew that was coming :-)It's a little bit hard, difficult, almost impossible to bring the immediacy of a raging, hormonal, 17 year old in full pads running full tilt right at you and fully prepared to TAKE YOU DOWN! For instance, half way through a rapidly failing Troop meeting there are no crowds cheering, no scholarships and NFL salaries to be inspired by and lots of people trying to chase you down."Giving up is never the answer and failure is never an option." Nice thought. Last week the SPL resigned. Said he was tired of the older guys not helping out and the younger guys are driving him crazy (along with the rest of us!). The motivation to make something happen has dissipated. The younger guys like to get down on the floor and play like a box full of puppies. Throw stuff. Call each other names. Slap and punch. Sort of like a bunch of pre-schoolers.Right now it's a mess. The older, leadership Scouts were doing fine until this group of Webelos came along. They have been good instructors and motivators. There is a small cadre of medium aged guys that get it and have learned well. The lower end!?!? What a mess. So what happens when the quarterback just walks off the field, hands his helmet to the coach and plops down on the bench? Then all the rest of the players head over to the concession stand for some goodies. The band plays one last tune and heads off to Dairy Queen. Nobody left but the other team and some coaches standing on the side of the field, scratching their heads. (Hint, I'm standing here scratching my head right now :-) )

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