Friday, 1 February 2008

The Super-Lazy Scout Syndrome

I have come to the conclusion that the largest and most deadly item to the Boy Scouts of America is not attacks from the outside but the attacks that come from within. What I am referring to when I say attacks is the laziness of the Scouts to the point that they barely want to do anything related to the program. It our these people who are lazy and have a carefree attitude that are bringing down the program. The program is not designed to take abuse from its own members but is designed to take abuse from others. This abuse from its own members, has so many of our resources tied up, instead of allowing the unit leadership to be able to focus on expanding and growing the members and the program of his unit. Yeah sometimes we can have lazy scouts especially in Cub Scouts but really it does not do us any good. Here are some of the best solutions that I have been able to come up with that rectify the problem:
  • Engage the Scout, especially older Scouts by providing them with a more strenuous program than your beginning scouts.
  • Ask opinions of the Boys, don't just assume a smile on the face or a positive attitude mean they are having fun, children learn to be very clever at hiding their true feelings
  • Don't always be the superior, learn to work as a equal. Learning to work as a equal will show that you have respect for the people under you and the gap between them and your authority will shrink.
  • Do not patternize your program, this makes for a very boring program that does not allow for the growth of the scout or a unit. Yes you can have unit traditions but be open to all ideas
  • Remember scouting is three-fourths outing that that is what your unit will demand from you. Know that if you do not have outings beyond your meeting you will loose members
Hopefully you get the idea that if you follow the eight methods of scouting you will be able to engage most of the lazy scouts but occasionally you will have scouts that persist and that is when you need to learn how to examine why this Scout is behaving the why he is. Is it because their are family issues, school issues, peer issues, scout issues, being harrassed, abused physically or emotionally, does he not like the program, is he being forced by his parents to complete the program, or is it just a stage that he is going through. I hope that it does not lead to the scout being kicked out or dropped out but sometimes it does and you as the leader need to know how to respond to this situation. React but don't overreact or you will have huge negative consequences.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616

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