The Boy Scouts of America is a great organization. When Baden Powell first printed his “Guide to Scouting” boys began taking the book, creating patrols and troops and going out and enjoying the woods. They did this with NO adult leaders. Powell realized that if he wanted to expand what he had created he would have to make a few changes. There had to be some adult guidance. However, the leadership, planning and organization had to stay with the boys. I am tired of dealing with people, boys and adults, who do not have the courage to let these boys lead.
Yesterday after a training session on how the program was supposed to be run I had several confrontations with boys who would not accept the decisions and authority of their youth leaders and also with adults who would not surrender their illusion of control. As typical in these confrontations the manner in which I confronted the offenders became the topic of conversation. It’s a valid discussion and something I’m consciously working to improve. However, I will not let the authority of these boys be usurped. I did find it interesting that in both instances yesterday the youth leadership got what they had planned from the beginning anyway. Once the adults were pulled aside to talk about “my” behavior, the youth did just fine.
I love the Scouting program. Accept for a few years as an adult I have been involved in the program continuously since I was 8-years old. I have supported the program financially and given thousands of hours to the program. I will continue to support the program as long as I am physically and financially able. But right now I’m just exhausted. Not from the seven days at camp, but from the constant struggle to get people to listen to and obey their youth leaders.
“If they are not utilizing the Patrol Method it is not Scouting”
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