How many times do we see our Scout try to take the “easy way out”? It is a natural thing to seek the path of least resistance. Pop Tarts rather than cooking a breakfast, pre fab meals rather than doing the prep work, planning shorter hikes rather than get to the beauty of a hike deeper into the wilderness. Those and many other decisions are made all the time by our PLC’s and Scouts in general.
“Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.” – Reed Markham
We also see this played out in the decisions for Scouts to do the right thing and call out their buddies when they are not doing the right thing.
In a youth led troop it is the SPL and Patrol leaders that should be monitoring and adjusting attitudes and policing themselves. Now I am not suggesting that Scouts discipline one another, but leaders setting a good example and holding their patrol mates to the same standard is good leadership. There need not be punishments, but using good old-fashioned peer pressure to change behavior may be what the doctor ordered.
But it all starts with the decision to make the difficult choice of confronting the Scout that is misbehaving.
As adult Scout leaders, we need to seek those opportunities and turn them into learning opportunities. Scouts that are disruptive or acting contrary to the Oath and Law need to be made aware of their behavior and that it is not acceptable in our organization. I have seen many Scout leaders turn the other way because they fear the Scout will leave the unit, tell his parents, or face the fall out from “above” when discipline is measured out. I would not suggest that a Scout ever be physically disciplined and two deep leadership should alway be exercised when dealing with a youth that has gone out of control. But the choice must be made by both youth and adult leaders to do something about what ever needs to be fixed.
As this applies to no discipline areas of Scouting… encouraging our Scouts to seek opportunities that challenge them and take them out of their comfort zones will lead to successful leadership and enthusiastic scouts.
Theodore Roosevelt said “ I dream of men who take the next step instead of worrying about the next thousand steps.”
That is a perfect way for your PLC to break the fear of decision-making.
Have a Great Scouting Day!
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