Scenario # 3 – Eager Beavers
What problems do you see in this situation?
|1.||You sure get the impression that the Parents in this case are acting as though the Troop was just for them. Perhaps their only experience with Scouting was with the Cub Scout Pack and they have no idea of what a Troop is supposed to be like. Actually their enthusiasm is likely to deprive the Scouts of significant leadership experiences and will ultimately destroy the patrol method and effectiveness of the Patrol Leader’s Council as a leadership development ground.|
|2.|| These parents probably do not understand the eight methods used by Scouting to achieve the three primary aims of the program. This is when you should step in and offer to make a presentation with the Fast Start Video Tapes. Now this will be a little tough, because you don’t want to destroy the enthusiasm they have.
What positives do you see?
|1.||This unit could have a wonderful future on the horizon because there is enormous enthusiasm among the parents to support the Scouting program, even if they do not yet have a good grounding in how it works.|
|2.||This enthusiasm and desire to help can be channeled to adult leadership and unit committee positions, but has to be carefully crafted to avoid harming the chances for the boys to have the opportunity to learn leadership and other skills.|
How can you use those positives to help the situation?
|1.||Invite the leaders to see an experienced Troop in action so that can get more ideas.|
|2.||Invite them to Scoutmaster Fundamentals|
|3.||Invite them to Roundtable|
|4.||Ask the SM or CC to help you put on a presentation about using the Patrol Method and PLC for Troop Planning at a Roundtable. Nothing like teaching to force one to really learn.|
|5.||Show them how it works and ask them to step back and give their sons some breathing room.|
What needs to be changed?
|1.||The PLC needs to be given responsibility for planning the Troop’s activities soon.|
|2.||The SPL and leaders need to be elected by the other Scouts to foster leadership development.|
|3.||The Scouts need room to be allowed to succeed and/or fail at their own pace. They will learn from both and without the experience they will not grow.|
How can they make the changes?
|1.||This group is great with planning. Why not be their informal advisor (you already are) and help them plan to turn the reins over in say a month. Focus their planning on leadership training and support for what the boys are doing. Be the mentor to this group.|
What resources do they need?
|1.|| This is something you will have to determine as you get to know them. It may be that they need:
What is your role in this situation?
|1.||Your role as always is that of powerless advisor there to help by sharing information and to guide from your training and experience. Of course you are neutral and an idea person as well. Be someone they can trust not to be judgmental, always encouraging, and full of good humor.|
|2.||Perhaps you could share with them other successful experiences from other Troops (now where do you suppose you could learn about what 60 different Troops around the Country are doing and give tanigible evidence of this? Try looking at the different Troop Web Sites, many of which were built by the Scouts and see what you find. You may be very surprised and do may this committee and the parents.)|
What must you do to make sure that you will still be able to be effective as a UC in the months ahead?
|1.||Be careful not to get over enthusiastic and insert yourself as the de facto leader.|
|2.||Let them learn and change at their own pace. They may not get it right immediately, but they have to own the change for it to work. Give them the resources, knowledge, and support and back off.|
|3.||Above all else be patient and always there to listen and from time to time offer a friendly suggestion.|
|4.||Remember that you are a guest and that you should act like a guest. Be thankful for every courtesy and every kindness extended. Likewise, be sure to be a friend in your relationships. Demonstrate that you can be trusted to be of help and that you are not there to pass judgment or to take over.|
|5.||At every opportunity to provide positive reinforcement for the good things that are happening, give praise and a pat on the back. I don’t know many people that don’t appreciate being recognized for their efforts. Be generous in your praise and stingy with criticism.|
What can you do to help?
|1.||See # 8 above. I have lumped the two together for ease of presentation.|