Back to the Basics

Today I spent the better part of it assisting with New Scoutmaster training.  On the training team, it is my job to lead the discussion on the role of the Scoutmaster.  As we wrapped up today’s session, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss on the blog some of the basics of Scoutmastership.
Baden Powell, in his book, Aids to Scoutmastership warned us not to overcomplicate Scouting, he said that Scouting should be Simple, Boy led, and Fun.  And that basically sums it up.
But what of the modern day Scoutmaster?  I would love to say that things have not changed, but they have.
The basics have not though, the times, the uniforms, and the gear has changed, but Scoutmastership is the same.  It is still simple, it is supposed to be boy led, and it is fun.
So what it is that a Scoutmaster must BE, KNOW, and DO.
Over the next few posts we will discuss that answer.
Today we discuss what a Scoutmaster must BE.
The Scoutmaster, as in days gone by must be certain things, first of all he needs to be a Role Model.
I always share that I am a Scoutmaster all day, every day.  At the supermarket, at sporting events, and in Troop meetings, we Scoutmasters need to understand that we are role models.  We are to model good behavior, skills, and model the Scout Oath and Law in our daily lives.  Is this tough?  Heck yeah it’s tough.  But just when you think no one is watching.. they are.
The Scoutmaster must be a Friend to the boys.  This friendship breeds confidence, credibility, and trust.  You need to be able to communicate to the Scouts in a way that they can understand and meet them where they are in their development, being their friend is important.  They need not look to you as an authority, you are their Scoutmaster not their boss.  You are not their disciplinarian you are there to teach them the discipline of living the Scout Oath and Law.
Be careful, you are not their buddy.. but you are their friend, there is a difference.
And finally, the Scoutmaster must be a good example.  In particular in wearing the Scout uniform properly.  We are the standard bearer of the Scouting movement and the Scouts will do what we do and they will want to meet our expectations.  Wearing the uniform completely shows that it is an important part of Scouting and that we care about it as a method.  The uniform is a great part of Scouting, it is a fantastic equalizer and shows that we are part of a team.  Wear the uniform properly and set a good example for your Scouts to follow.
I am sure that you can come up with some other things that the Scoutmaster must BE, but keep in mind, we are trying to keep it simple.
Next time we will discuss what the Scoutmaster must Know.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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