Boy-Led Challenges

It's always a challenge to teach, because we are teachers who know how to accomplish something. It's even harder to let the boys do what our experience tells us will not work, or will actually work the opposite of what they believe. Last night, the boys were mostly late, and then came unprepared for the activity which had been planned.

The boys did what boys do... flex, shift, change on the fly, and made it work. They decided to change activities to a different Merit Badge which was on their quarterly plan, but not for this night. The frustration for us adults is seeing the boys be erratic, not linear, not "organized." The difference in opinion really comes down to a difference in the definition of success which some parents and adult volunteers have versus what the boys define as success.

Some of the difference is generational, because we as adults measure success by tangible results, but youth define success as "we had fun, and we learned something." The real question is this: What can we do as adults to guide them toward what we consider results, while still accomplishing their goals of having fun and learning something? Adults need to flex more, and boys need to get more firm in their plan and execution. Welcome to Boy Scouts.

Another success in the books. The boys still worked on a merit badge, and had fun... and learned something. Adults let them do it. Way to go, Troop 5!

~ SM John