Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer Camp is a rite of passage not to be missed by any Scout. This was my 3rd year to tag along as an adult and once again the experience reminded me why I love Scouting so much. Interacting and observing other Troops also reminded me why I think Troop 168 is indeed among the best you will find.

I work mostly with the newer Scouts and for all of them this is their first summer camp. For most of them it is also their first time to face multiple days of autonomy and self-reliance. We help the first day or two to make sure they know where to go and after that we step back and leave them alone. Classes are theirs to find and requirements are theirs to make. We drop by for pictures from time to time and of course inquire as to how things are going. Teachable moment advice is around as the situation allows.

I unfortunately observed this not to be the case for New Scouts in many other Troops. These well intended folks treated the Scouts as Webelos IIIs and hovered over every move they made. By not allowing the boys room to figure out things on their own a huge opportunity for personal growth is lost. Sure things might run smoother and sure more items might not get finished but that is nothing compared to the learning that takes place when failing positively and learning on your own how to succeed.

Adults leaders! I know it is our nature to want to feel involved and useful. At the same time, let me challenge you to remember that doing nothing is sometimes the best something.