Tuesday, 15 January 2008

How to Deal with the World's anti-Scouting Syndrome

First off before I going in the strategies lets take a look at some of the major reasons why people will misunderstand or dislike the program. Below> you will find a list of the most common reasons why kids or adults will not join scouting but remember this is not going to be a complete list and will focus on broad topics instead of being specific. So here it is:
  • Dislike of going camping or hiking: Yeah some kids don't like spending their weekends in a a sleeping bag at temperatures somewhere between -40 and 120 degrees F. Sleeping in a sleeping bag requires people to be able to going without your normal comfortable bed in your house for a fair amount of time. Let me be the first to tell you that sleeping bags are definitely not as temperature or comforted rated or changable as your own room but it gets the job done. This outdoor activities requires lots of energy and work in order to accomplish these tasks in a reasonable amount of time
  • The Coolness Factor: No I am not talking about temperature about about the cool that has to do with social conditions. Most people in your average high school who are not involved in scouts will say that Scouting is not a cool thing to do and will then influence others to believe the same thing. Scouting and being accepted by your classmates if you are open about your involvement in scouting is slim to none and I would lean more towards the none side of the scale
  • The teasing factor: Yeah some kids will probably make fun of you but isn't that true about whatever activity you participate in. Someone on the outside is going to find something activity you particpate in to tease you about.
  • The cost: Should not be a issue if your Troop is doing its job by providing a program that is fit for everyone in the community. Yeah everybody has to pay dues but beyond that, we can probably work with you to determine how to pay for your scouting experience. You may not get to do everything that other people are doing but just being their means that you are involved.
  • The Values: Yes we do have a system of values that we will teach to the youth involved with the program but if you really look into the ideals that we are trying to teach, we are just teaching ideals that will help you be a better person and leader for your community.
Again this are just a few of the reasons why people not involved with Scouting will trying to make a person who is involved with the program have a miserable life. Here is the strategy that I use. When I can keep my cool. I try to use the STOP and ACT method for problem solving.
  • S-Stop: just don't continue what you are doing and begin to remove yourself from the situation temporarily if at all possible.
  • T-Think: work up a list of ideas that will help you solve the problem. At this point it does not matter whether you are thinking positive or negative thoughts just organize them it a reasonable order that makes sense to you.
  • O-Observe: take in who you are dealing with as a whole, take in the resources and the support system you have surrounded yourself in. Try to get yourself to put yourself in the other person's shoes.
  • P-plan: chose the best option that you have come up with and make up the contingencies and other details that you may run into.
  • ACT: Follow through with the plan you made and evaluate your progress once the action is completed.
Here are a few general hints about dealing with these social issues.
  1. Know that you are part of a organization that is a worldwide movement of more than 28 million members, obviously with numbers this high you are participating in a activity that is good for you and for the world.
  2. React but don't overreact. Overreacting just fuels the fire and fueling the fire means that you are going to have to deal with more and bigger problems in your future.
  3. Know which adults to go to when the teasing steps over that fine line of being considered harassment.
  4. Know which peers you can go to for guidance, support, and possibly help with dealing with this person.
  5. Use your friends that you trust that are not part of the scouting movement, to get the bully to realize that you really are not that weird of a person
  6. Prioritize who you are going to let get under your skin.
  7. Be tough and stick it out through the program because it is well worth it
Hopefully here is a list that will arm you with some of the tools and information need to dealing with the "World Anti-Scouting Syndrome".

Please feel free to e-mail or post comments about problems you are having

Yours in Scouting
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

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