Monday, 14 January 2008

One and a half hours a week! What Planet are you from

I here the following situation from youth at least on a monthly basis, "Scouting is just a hour and a half on tuesday night and then I am done with scouts for the week unless I have a service project or outing to attend over the weekend". Now I know that most hours would agree with me that scouting is not meant to take place in the 1.5 hour time frame for those of us who are entrusted and given the privilage of running such a wonderful program. Running the program to ensure the scouts have a successful meeting usually requires at least 1 hour of planning per 45 minutes of activity. So lets take your average 1.5 hour boy scout meeting which is 90 minutes long and divide that by 45 minutes which gives us two, then multiple the 2 by the one hour that you have of planning per 45 minutes and you get 2 hours of planning. In this planning time I include the time you talk on the phone, e-mail the troop, e-mail the committee, e-mail the SM's and ASM's, make sure your ASPL knows what his job is, check in with the Patrol Leaders and the the PL''s the weeks announcement, deal with emergencies that seem to always come up either the night before or a hour before the meeting is suppose to occur, resolve the emergency, delgate needed resources to the emergency, ovbercome the emergency, keep a cool and calm attitude, keep your wits about you and the finally after this list is not which is no where near complete attend your meeting that you worked to put together and see it (A) be a total success, (B) be a average meeting, (C) be a okay meeting, (D) have the adults take over because you can not engage the Troop or (E) have a complete failure and want to quit your position.

This is just for the meetings. These are the things that the leaders of the Troop worry their brains about, so when you complain to your PL or SPL about have to do a 20 minute assignment outside the meeting, remember that these leaders are counting on you to do your assignment so they can follow their original plan and not have to come up with something else on the spot.

Most teens I think now a days would think the following thought, "Why should I trust my peers to put together a meeting that I am going to attend even when I do not fully understand their capibilities or dislike like that person". The reason that they end up trusting this person is that you have to first set a high standard and then meet or break the standard every time after.

Leaders are here to serve, not to be serve. Yes we do have power but power abused is power loosed. The more power hungry you become the less likely I am willing to listen to that superior.

Now back to the reason why I think scouting is more than just a meeting. I am not even going to involve you in being a leader in your boy scout Troop. I am talking about your everyday average scout who is part of a Patrol.
  • Advancement: I believe that most of us have the want and the expectation that you will complete the Eagle Rank. Yeah advancement isn't suppose to be the main focus when scouting is suppose to be three-fourths outing but it is one of the methods and the more you earn the cooler your uniform looks. I am not saying that I encourage you to earn awards just because they will look cool but for your average youth mind you will certainly stand out. Who doesn't like being put in the spotlight and on display.
  • Scout Spirit: Scout spirit is not suppose to be a word thought about only when you are getting the requirement in the book, having a board of review, or participating in a Scoutmaster's Conference, it is about developing a lifestyle that will help you be successful in a world that openly promotes and allows so many negative actions. Yeah you may be criticized standing up for what you believe but if you don't stand up then who will. You should be proud of who you are. I will tell you that once most teens become young adults they continually saying that if they were a scout for even a very brief period it taught them how to live.
  • Outings: Sometimes when I come back from a outing and am sharing my experience with the rest of the Troop I look around and see a few disappointed faces on the people who couldn't go. I then begin to wonder whether or not it was reasonable reason or just because they didn't feel like putting in the effort the outing would require to be able to particpate in. If you don't attend the outings then you miss three-fourths of the program because the word scouting is three-fourths outing and that is what we stand for
Hopefully this few ideas will spark a few more and you will realize that scouting is not just on a particular night each week but it is life style that can require so much more than one meeting a week if you are willing to put in some effort.

Also I hope that I did not bore you or confuse you one bit.

Yours in Scouting
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

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