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.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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