First off, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I apologize to those of you who visited here from time to time hoping I had something new to say. I’ve been busy finding a new job, and just working on keeping myself and my family healthy and happy. New job = happy Kyle = Scout musings….
We had a Troop meeting last night. There were 6 boys who attended. Only one was First Class or above. I expected it, however. See, most of the older boys had a football banquet to wrap up their season. Not a big deal. We were also supposed to have a PLC after the meeting, but since only one boy was there from the PLC, I made the call that we’d let the young Scouts who were there plan the next meeting. It went very well, and I’m glad these boys had the opportunity to see how a PLC meeting runs.
After the meeting, it got me thinking. And I realized something I think will help not only the Troop, but myself as well.
In this day and age it seems that the older boys are way too overcommitted. School, sports, other activities….they all add up and as these boys are getting older it seems Scouting is taking a back seat to just about everything. Some simply drop out – they get ‘the fumes’ as I call it – car fumes, perfumes, etc… Some stick with it, but just don’t have the time to participate fully anymore. This raises a question: How am I supposed to judge ‘active’? No, they’re not around much anymore. No, they don’t hold a position of leadership anymore because they’re not around much. Yes, they do participate fully when they are here, and they are great leaders when they are here. I know Clarke Green just had a podcast about this….think I need to re-listen to that one and take some notes.
I guess what I’m getting at is this: I can not assume that the older boys are going to be around enough to be considered reliable. At least, not the ones that are currently in the Troop. I won’t generalize, but as of right now, that is the case. I’m going to have to go back to the days when we didn’t have older Scouts in the Troop – almost like starting the Troop over. It’s not a bad thing. I’ve been running under the assumption that some of these boys will want to make the Troop their priority – and sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case. This has caused me quite a bit of frustration – and I think the Scouts that do participate can notice that as well. So – away I go!
I think the first thing I’m going to do is sit down with the older boys and find out what other things they have going on that will interferre with Scouts. What I mean is what extra activities do they particpate in that will keep them from regularly attending Troop meetings. Outings are a totally different thing – at least where I’m coming from. Once I know that, then I can move forward. We have a Troop election coming up – and then ILST….
It’s sad that the boys are overcommitted. Of course, I’m biased in saying that I feel Scouting will be with them for the rest of their life, and sports most likely will not. That being said, it’s not always the boys that make the decisions as to what they do – I have seen many parents live vicariously through their son in regards to sports. I always tell them the door is open to them if they ever want to come back, and I sure do miss some of them.