You’ve probably heard the term helicopter parents. These are parents who seem to hover above their children, manipulating them like marionettes and steering them around life’s obstacles. Afraid to see their children fail, they try to push them to make the right decisions, acting as managers and spokesmen and try to erase any uncertainty. We’ve written about the subject several times in the context of highly organized activity schedules, staying out of the Scouts’ way, and mentoring and guiding our Scouts, rather than directing and managing them.
I heard another term a couple weeks ago listening to a radio interview with a local parenting expert. In a discussion on raising resilient kids and teaching them the coping skills they’ll need later in life, Continue reading “Move over, helicopter parents: Here comes the snowplow”
One of the greatest virtues of the Scouting program is that it teaches young people how to solve problems in real time with the resources they have at their disposal. They’re not usually major problems – at least not to us, but to the Scouts, they can befuddle and confuse until they set themselves in the right direction.
I recently read an article by Tommy Gray, CPBE, in a broadcast engineering trade magazine. We broadcast engineers often face puzzling problems that need to be resolved quickly. Gray offered the advice that you are never totally down if you use your head. There are three things to keep in mind, Continue reading “A three-step problem solving process”
It seems like an ideal troop outing. A trip to a local ski area for a weekend of snow sports. The slopes are not too steep but still full of fun and challenge. They offer downhill and cross-country skiing trails, snowboarding runs, ice skating and tubing. There are lights for nighttime skiing as well. Lessons are available, and there’s camping on site. The ski area is less than an hour’s drive away, and the cost is reasonable. There should be plenty to do for everyone.
But when only a few Scouts, and fewer adults, choose to attend, the outing has to be cancelled.
What went wrong? Continue reading “When campouts fail”
Teaching and developing others, particularly young people, can be a challenge. We try to organize a set of facts in a logical manner and deliver it to the receiving parties coherently, so the transfer of information is correct and goes smoothly.
But does it?
Sometimes it seems like we can talk and lecture until we’re blue in the face, but it just doesn’t engage the others. People tend to zone out if they’re getting too much information. There’s not an infinite capacity to receive and store what’s being explained to them.
It’s important to engage the brain in a manner other than just listening to what’s being said. Continue reading “Ask more questions!”
While some people seem to be natural leaders, it’s generally held that leadership is something that can be learned. The esteemed football coach Vince Lombardi believed that
Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.
Our Scouts, most likely, are not great leaders. In fact, they probably don’t know the first thing about leadership when they take on their first leadership position of responsibility – most often as a patrol leader. It is through Scouting that they begin the process of learning about leadership. Continue reading “Learning to lead”