You have got to be kidding me???

Ok.. so fair warning.. I am going to rant in this post.  I know that I try to keep this blog positive.. but this is something that I must get off my chest.  Why you may be asking?  Well its because what I am about rant about is a fundamental part of Scoutmastership.   And when I hear what I heard while at Summer camp, well it flat out worries me that there are Scoutmasters out there that are failing their Scouts.
Let me explain…
While at Summer Camp last week all of the Scoutmasters met daily at the program cabin.  Each day the staff would give the Scoutmasters a run down of the days events and take any questions or concerns that we may have.  On Tuesday night the Scouts would have to cook dinner in camp, so on Monday night, the commissioners gave the SPLs a meal order form.  This form had all the basics on it, the SPL was to scratch off the items that they would not need, sign the form, have the Scoutmaster initial it, and then turn it in on Tuesday morning.  Pretty simple.
So on Tuesday at the Scoutmaster meeting, the staff reminded us that the SPLs would be turning these forms in.  As soon as the staff made the comment three Scoutmasters (well we will call them Scoutmasters.. after all they have the patch on their uniforms) began to laugh.  The program director asked what was funny.  The Scoutmaster in question stated “Not sure you can trust an SPL to get it done..hahaha”  One of the other Scoutmasters suggested that he never saw the form and that the staff should had given the form to the Scoutmaster.. after all, he would be the one doing the cooking.
My jaw hit the deck and smoke began to appear from my ears.  I told myself to just shut up and let it go.  And then the following statement came ooozing out of this Scoutmasters mouth.  “You can’t trust a boy to this stuff”.  WHAT?
I looked at this dude and asked him if he ever heard of Youth Leadership?  He looked at me and said.. uh yeah.
I asked him if he was embarrased?  He said what for?  I asked him if he ever trained the SPL.. I mean after all.. it is the Scoutmasters job to train the Senior Patrol Leader.. right?  He replied its hopeless.. he’s just a kid.  I asked again if he was embarrassed.  Again he said what for?  I shared with him that I would be embarrassed if I would have said something like that, especially on a deck full of Scoutmasters.  He told me that I would not understand.  I asked him to help me understand why he would not train a Scout to lead, I asked him to explain to me why he had no faith in the Scout.   I asked him to share with me what he thought his responsibility was as a Scoutmaster when it came to training, coaching, and teaching the SPL.  He looked at me with a puzzled look.. that was all could take.  The staff at that point stepped in and said they would take care of it.
So there it is… This saddened me.  I was dumbfounded at the lack of training this Adult offered his Scouts.  I am saddened that the Scouts of his unit will not get opportunities or the trust of an adult allowing them to be successful.  It is tragic that the Scouts of his unit are getting the benefit of the full Scouting program.  I can only imagine how the rest of the program in that Troop is lacking.  At the end of the day, it’s the Scouts that will suffer.. but then again.. what they don’t know.. well, yes it will hurt them in the long run.
They do not have a leader willing to Train them, Trust them, and let them lead.
An hour in the middle of the lake in a row-boat made me feel much better.

I apologize for the negative post.  I try not to do this, but this one has been on my mind since Monday of last week and I could not let it go another day.
Please everyone.. Be a good Scoutmaster!  Train them, Trust them, and Let the Boys lead!

Have a Great Scouting day!


  1. I don’t know how you held it in that long! Good for you for saying something at the time. That guy at least needs to know that it’s not something that true leaders are going to just laugh off, too.


  2. Over Lunch at Camp this summer, I interviewed a SM from Florida who traveled with his Troop to South Dakota for Summer Camp.

    One quote he gave me was: “If a Scout can do it… Let him…”




  3. At summer camp this year our small troop stayed in a campsite with a large troop, and I must say, it was the worst example of an Adult run troop I have ever seen. The adults got the boys out of bed in the morning, herded them to breakfast, lunch and dinner, put up the bulletin board, made the boys all take showers at night, put up a cup rack with a cup for each scout, and herded the boys to drink water in the heat of the day. If the patrol leaders ever met with the scoutmaster or each other, I did not see it. I doubt the average scout in the big troop knew what the PLC was.

    The adults in that troop stayed segregated from the boys by closing off the “adult” area of the campsite to the boys. I really prefer to be around our scouts more. The adult camp had covered picnic tables with fans blowing, lounge chairs, and lots of beverages.

    On the second to the last day of camp, the big troops patrol leaders came to the scoutmaster and said that they needed to take their scouts on some service project, and could they organize it and lead it. The scoutmaster consented. The three patrol leaders had a harder time than the scoutmaster in lining up the troop of 45 scouts to lead them out of camp, so the adults came over to the road and berated the patrol leaders for being so disorganized and dysfunctional (in front of three other troops, no less.)

    It made me sad to think that a troop does not see the plan of scouting; to instill some sense of self reliance in a young man at the point that his character and personality is being formed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s