Saturday, June 2, 2012

A LDS Scout isn't getting what he should..........

What would you do if a LDS Scout:

  • Isn't getting a trained unit leader like he should?
  • Doesn't like the unit?  Or the unit leaders?
Often in Scouting we discuss shopping units.  Finding a unit that best fits a boy.  It seems somewhat more complicated when we discuss the issue that LDS Scouts are assigned their units and don't get to pick or shop.  There are some out there that kick against tradition and actually go to community Troops, Teams and Crews.  I am actually OK with that.  A Scout shouldn't have to suffer because of a poor unit or poor adult leadership.  This is a direct reflection of the Charter and the Chartering Organization Rep.  If there are not good people picking the BEST people to put into Scouting adult leadership, there continues to be a problem within the unit. I wonder if we "hurt" a boy by telling him to just ride the wave of a poor unit for a long time.  We should not jump at every complaint but when there is a clear issue, what is the solution?

If a boy came to you and expressed that their unit wasn't cutting it for him, what would you suggest?


Brian Reyman said...

This can be a tough call because it isn't just about the scouting. It's also (hopefully) about the fellowship and spiritual strength that can be obtained when in a unit with your fellow priesthood holders.

Now, if the program (and not just the Scouting portion - but the whole YM program) isn't cutting it due to poor Adult leaders... the simple decision should be to release them and put in someone that will do a better job. The handbook and other resources are pretty clear that good leaders should be kept a long time and poor ones should be released as quickly as possible.

If a Bishopric doesn't understand the importance of that, it may require a sit down and heart-to-heart with them. Oftentimes, they're so busy or overwhelmed they don't know what they don't know - and need a reminder and/or education.

If that fails, then moving them to a community troop may be the last, most unfortunate option. That, or consider moving.

Evenspor said...

The Scouting program in most of the wards here has been less than stellar for a long time. As a result, several of our Cub Scout families (I don't know about the Boys Scouts) have joined the community pack.

I feel every family has a right to receive revelation about what's best for them, but the result here is that we have lost the families which could be helping to strengthen the program, because they are the ones who care most about Scouting. We have a lot steeper climb trying to create a great program when we lack the support of strong Scouting families.

I recently challenged our Primary presidency representatives to find out which families we have lost to the community pack and ask them what we need to do to get them back. My hope is that this will be a valuable experience for those Primary presidency ladies as well as a signal to the families that we want them back and we are trying to put out a quality program now. We'll see how well it works.

Evenspor said...

One more comment. I know that's what Ask Andy always says, "Shop for another unit." The idea is that if a unit is having enough problems that people leave, then the unit will (probably) eventually dissolve. In the Church, however, units continue indefinitely.

Eric the Half-bee said...

I think for starters, I'd go all Commitment Pattern and Find Out by Asking Appropriate Questions, then Asking Additional Questions of the boy and his family where the unit was failing him/them. I'd also Find Out what they'd like to have happen, and Make an Invitation to them to help bring about that change. Take copious amounts of notes.

Then, I'd Return and Report to the PrimPres/YMP/Bishopric, all at once, what the failures are and the stakes for that one boy if WE don't fix things (adequacy is not an option). There is one more principle which is necessary to follow here, as taught to me by several AFROTC instructors: Never take a problem to the commander without having at least one solution ready to go.

Alternatively, bring the parents and boy to the return/report meeting. Let him be his best spokesman. The family should declare they expect a decision today, so they can make their own decision. Candor is essential.

Tory said...

I'm not convinced that having a boy join a community troop/team/crew automatically means we lose the boy to that community unit. Boys can be dual registered in more than one unit. Case in point, my Venturing crew president is also the president of the local community crew.

I say if a boy joins a community troop, let him. But encourage him to keep coming to the LDS troop, and explain the importance of it (relating to his quorum). Hopefully, the experience he has in the community troop will let him see what is possible and he will help improve his LDS troop.

Fishgutts said...

I think it all comes down to how much of a Scouter the Bishop and COR is and what the parents want from the program - do they want skills taught or do they want 1.5 hours of free time each week.

I wish that there were a way to make every Bishop a true Scouter. They all need to go to Wood Badge for starters.