[July 19, 2019] This article is the second in a short series on leadership lessons from a Scout Camp. Back on June 22nd, I asked six basic questions [see link here]. Our Scout Camp has gone through several stages of learning; much of it having to do with the leader psychology of young boys.
One question I raised was, “When boys learn leadership, can it be fun?” The answer is an emphatic “yes.” In fact, if there is no “fun” or some entertainment value, then none of them would be willing to step into a leadership position. All our boys (those with at least one year in the program) used their skills to good affect. For example, we had a good time learning safety through funny stories of the past.
Another question was, “Are boys really different today than boys of my time?” The short answer is “no”; there is really no difference in things tat matter the most. For example, new Boy Scout leaders (mostly aged 14 and 15 year old’s) needed extra mentoring and they readily accepted it. Other than some different games and television shows, their discussions were no different than mine. I will note, however, I believe today’s young boys have a greater exposure to leaders directly and are, overall, smarter than my generation.
In our Boy Scout troop, our philosophy is mostly hands-off and the boys run the troop. Adult leaders are there to ensure safety is not bypassed or a critical deadline is not missed. We also offer lots of positive reinforcement to the mentoring. How to handle a homesick 11-year-old is a challenge for any of us but the young scout leaders are doing a good job of it.
More to follow later this coming week. I’ll post a few more articles answering basic questions and on my general observations.