Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Leading Slackers

One big issue that your scout troop could be facing is dealing with leaders that are slackers. First off lets define the word slacker:
  • Slacker: a person who evades his or her duty or work; shirker.
Being a slacker in scouting is normally okay for the majority of things like advancement and merit badges but when it starts affecting the Troops ability to lead itself with minimum adult interference then it becomes a big problem. The adults are not there to lead the meetings they are there to assist the youth leaders in carrying out their assigned responsibilities. Adults also have to take care of logistics approval and planning and health and safety issues but beyond that the Scouts are responsible for running the Troop.

Slacking in scouting and for that matter in anything you do is not acceptable. May you need to take the following steps in order to ensure the negative behavior stops:
  1. Rethink the whether or not you A) have time for the position, B) are interested in doing the position, and C) if you are needing to work in the position. If there is any hestitation or cloudly areas to the answers of these questions find a adult leader you trust and work through why or why not the leadership position is not working for you.
  2. If rethinking is not enough then maybe you need to take a break from scouting. Taking a break from scouting even while in a leadership position is okay if handled in the right way. It is not okay to just stop showing up to meetings but you should contact your assigned adult advisor and inform him/her you are having problems and need a break. Hopefully the adult will understand, even if he does not at least you were communicating your needs which is the mature think to do.
  3. Set a time frame for when to comeback, don't just say "I will come back in 2 months" instead agree to a specific date and stick to the date.
  4. Return the the program and pick up where you left off.
  5. If after the return the the program you still find you are just being a slacker and nonchalant about scouting then maybe your interests could be changing. Try finding something in scouting you enjoy but if you can not find something you enjoy then pursue other alternatives to ensuring you are enjoying life.
Obviously, number 5 could be seen as very controversial in a organization that is rapidly loosing members but as I always say a small group of dedicated scouts is better than a group that is just wishy-washy about the program.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Troop 1616

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