How To Become A Sports Scout latest 2023

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Developing Boy Scouts in the 21st Century: Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

A few years ago, I joined a group of boy scouts gathered for a march in a July 4th parade held in West Jordan, Utah. I was impressed by the group of scouts who were happy to walk a few miles in warm weather, carrying the banner of the scouting program. Scouts liked to walk side by side with their scout leaders. The march was large – thousands of people lined the streets to cheer and in some cases greet the passing Boy Scouts. The Scouts had a wonderful experience. I imagined that many of these scouts would become future leaders in their community, state and nation.

John Gardner has spent his life studying leadership in America. In a publication on leadership, Gardner posed the question: Where are today’s leaders? America today has more than 300 million inhabitants. America should produce more leaders. I believe that the Scouting program is the source of production of future great American leaders. I have been part of the Scouting program for over four decades and would like to offer seven strategies for developing our future leaders.

First, recognize that we are losing too many of our boys.

The number of boys who drop out of school is dramatic. The number of young boys who later go to university is rapidly decreasing. Many young boys are more attracted to gangs, pornography and violent video games. Our prison population is increasing while the number of working men is decreasing. To reverse these trends, Scout leaders need to be creative, innovative and seek more resources to improve the quality of their programs.

Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement in America, observed: “The spirit is there in every boy; it had to be discovered and brought to light. Scouts today need energetic leaders who will provide the tools they need to realize their potential.”

Second, develop a strategic plan that includes specific goals for each Scout.

Taking the time to plan is taking the time to succeed. A few years ago I visited a Cub den in Albany, Georgia. The scoutmaster was a very busy doctor. Although this doctor is busy, he has taken the time to plan interesting activities for the scouts. It was obvious that he spent many hours using software on his laptop to develop a strategic plan for the program. The leader had a spreadsheet that detailed the progress towards badges for each scout.

The Scouts in this program were very motivated and looked forward to attending each week. Powell observed, “Be prepared…the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare by thinking and practicing beforehand how to act in the event of an accident or emergency so that they are never taken by surprise. ” The same goes for Scout leaders – if they are prepared, the program will succeed.

Third, update your activities and resources.

Inspiring and motivating today’s Scouts requires the latest information. Many online resources and training activities are available for every Scout leader. Albert Einstein said: “The real genius is access to information. The genius behind successful programs is leaders who are lifelong learners and are motivated to learn the latest program or activity available to their scouts. One way to see how things have changed is to take a look at a Boy’s Life magazine from twenty years ago and a copy of the magazine from today.

The latest magazine focuses on new technologies, interesting Scouting topics and innovative programs. Powell urged leaders to: “See things from the boys’ perspective.” Survey your scouts and find an audience-centric activity that will increase their motivation and enthusiasm.

Fourth, reach out for that one.

Successful leaders take the time to investigate Scouts and work with them to develop Scout-centered activities. Successful leaders have one-on-one interviews with each Scout to assess their personal needs and interests. Successful leaders pay attention to the one scout who doesn’t participate or doesn’t seem to fit in. Sir Robert Baden Powell said, “If you make listening and observing your occupation, you will gain far more than you can talk about.”

Fifth, manage your meetings, don’t let meetings manage you.

Too many meeting agendas get lost in discussing upcoming activities. A carefully written activity document reduces the number of questions asked. Today’s meetings should focus on how to increase retention. Too many boys find other activities more appealing. Use meeting time to brainstorm ideas and strategically plan for the future. Powell observed, “We never fail when we try to do our duty, we always fail when we neglect to do it.”

Sixth, be on the cutting edge of technology.

Leaders need regular readers of current issues of Boys’ Life. This magazine is a great example of “cutting edge” articles, humor and games. For example, a recent month included articles on automotive innovations, GPS technology, and paper planes. I attended a Boy Scout meeting in Deland, Florida, where each Boy Scout made his own rocket. The competition was fair. Spike contests encourage the scout (not the parents) to build the project, earn the badge, finish the job. Cutting-edge programs encourage Scouts to go to college and learn throughout their lives. State-of-the-art programs include the latest technologies and inventions. Cutting-edge programs teach Scouts effective interpersonal communication and leadership skills. Powell observed: “I have always believed: that if there is the right spirit, we can chase the ‘im’ out of ‘impossible’.

Seventh, promote a proactive strategic vision.

The 21st century presents a number of challenges for Scout leaders. How do you deal with the competing distractions the boys face – electronic video games, local team sports, the Internet? The old days of scouting are over. It’s a new day, with new challenges. In an increasingly negative world, Scouts can learn to be optimistic and proactive role models. Tomorrow’s leaders will need to know complex technologies, possess strong communication skills, and recognize the value of working together to ensure the success of our home, our communities, our nation, and the world.

Baden Powell was a great optimist. He acknowledged that the future can be bright. To ensure a bright future for our young Scouts, adult leaders must be technologically advanced, excellent role models, and evolve with innovation and flexibility in developing an exciting strategic program for their Scouts. Baden Powell concluded, “The most valuable thing is to bring happiness into the lives of others.” The opportunity to bring happiness into the lives of Scouts has never been greater.

Reed Markham

Eagle Scout

Former speechwriter for the United States Supreme Court

Faculty, Daytona State College

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