Gimme the Ball!

So now that the Squabbling is over and the dust has settled.. we can get back to Scouting…and Leadership.
But to get there we need to talk about… yes it’s October.. Football.
Last night the Reynolds Raiders (our High School) won its first game this season. We drove the 17 miles or so to a neighboring town to watch.
It was a cold and extremely rainy night, the visitor bleachers were soaked and we had to cross a nice mud pit to get there, but it’s what you do to support those guys that go out there and give it 100 %. Just like the way we go on those camp outs when we are not feeling well, or the weather is not cooperating.
The game started out kinda slow, the rain was keeping the ball on the ground.. it did not take too long till the middle of the field was a mess. The Raiders scored first, a nice fade pass to the corner of the end zone. The crowd of about 75 went wild.
It seemed like that was going to do it for scoring for Reynolds. The second quarter was dominated by the opposing team.
That’s where leadership came in.
You know it only takes a spark to get a fire going. And that’s were leaders step up and make that spark happen. You can sit around and wait for lighting to strike wishing and hoping that a fire will start.. or you can do something.. take some action to get the flame rising. Hope is never a Plan.
We were sitting not to far from the side lines and could hear certain members of the team trying to get the others fired up. One player in particular walked up to our Quarterback and said.. “Lets get this thing going… get me the ball!”
After a quick 3 and out.. the Raider offense took the field on their 40 yard line. The first play they ran a passing route and the Quarterback hit the receiver (the one that asked for the ball) right down the center of the field. He ran for another 35 yards before he was tackled on the 3 yard line.. a spark had been lit. One play later we were in the end zone. Touchdown!
4 plays later the defense recovered a fumble and within 10 minutes the Score was tied at 21.
The fourth quarter was back and forth and with 1:45 left in the game… and not a seat occupied in the stands.. the Raiders put the game away on a 60 yard drive resulting in a touchdown.

Ok.. Scouting and leadership. Momentum is a crazy thing. We see it move Patrols forward, and we see it keep them still. Just like on a football field, the swing of momentum of the game can be the difference between success or disaster.

Once a Patrol starts doing things well, once they start working as a team. The momentum starts to swing in their favor. They start seeing the rewards of doing things right.
Last summer we saw that in our SWAT patrol. It seemed as though everything they had been taught finally clicked. They started working as a team and accomplished great things. Each day the Assistant Scoutmasters and I picked a “Patrol of the Day”. It was awarded to the Patrol the exemplified the patrol method. That Patrol that demonstrated leadership, helping the troop as a whole, keeping their area clean, being good examples, etc. The SWAT patrol demonstrated great leadership. They were the spark that kept the Troop motivated throughout the week. They cheered at flag, they helped other patrols get meals cooked and cleaned up. They wore their uniforms with pride.. and even came up with a way to hang them up so they would not get dirty.

It was as though the SWAT Patrol asked for SPL to “get them the ball”. And instead of a touchdown they score leadership points. They gained respect of the rest of the troop. They gained respect of the Adults, and they were rewarded with a cool Patrol camp out/ canoe trip.

Momentum has swung for that Patrol. It is fun to watch. Now the secret is to keep it going.. and in Scouting..share it.
It takes a leader to recognize when the group needs a lift. When they are down and what it takes to get them out of the sump. It is important for Adult leaders to let the valley’s happen. It is important to let the Scouts find solutions and a way to get the spark lit.
Coaching and mentoring through the process.

Look for that Scout to ask you to “Get him the ball”. That is the signal that momentum is about to shift.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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