Success in training the boy largely depends upon the Scoutmaster’s own personal example. It is easy to become the hero as well as the elder brother of the boy. We are apt, as we grow up, to forget what a store of hero worship is in the boy.

The Scoutmaster who is a hero to his boys holds a powerful lever to their development, but at the same time brings a great responsibility on himself.”

Gilwell, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden.  Aids to scoutmastership, . (Rev. ed. London: H. Jenkins limited, 1930. 4. Print.

I went looking for something with BP’s works that meant something, that would help me remember why I am here, within Scouting.  That would help me understand how to guide myself when others seem to just bicker amongst themselves.
I am getting this view because I read a lot of Scout based forums.  There is one, that I have stopped reading since it’s highly negative.  It seems that the know-it-all Scouters think that they are better than thou and really push to prove it.  Some of them even write in slang.

Another site, which I generally post on is sometimes worthwhile reading and posting.  Yes, the same group of people post their comments.  I know some of them via Twitter and they have good comments.  Others seems to not to notice when the Shark has jumped and the horse is still dead.    While all are giving their opinion on the current topic as that they see is a good solution, some just seem to play devils advocate without being the devils advocate.My suggestions and solutions are based generally on what I have learned in talking to other Scouters and reading.  I have no real first hand knowledge on how to be a Scoutmaster or Committee Chair.  Nor do I have the experience of being on a Board of Review or helping Scouts through the Eagle process.  What I have is four years of Cub Scouts and lots of training.  I also bring common sense, fair play and a willingness to listen and learn.  Because of that, I generally have to look-up rules, polices and procedures on, and other Scout related websites.  While the non-BSA approved websites are not official, they are written and updated by Scouters who have a lot of experience and knowledge directly from the BSA and within their own Units, Districts and Councils.  However, when I or others post links, we get tagged for handing out misinformation.  Sometimes, that information is better, more complete or just plain easier to find.  Yes, I work to find an answer with a link to where I got it.  I try not to comment on Boy Scout issues, but sometimes there is information that I know of or a solution that might work and I want to post it. Hence, I do that.

While I understand that We, as Scouters are here for the Scouts and we trying to “Do our Best”.  Sometimes we forget that.Time and time again, there are stories posted about a Dad doing something just for his son that ends up throwing the entire Pack into a tailspin that several leaders and a Committee Chair leaves, that we just need to comment on. (No, it’s not my pack. All examples are from the Forums.) Stories of Scoutmasters holding boys back because they are too young, or it’s one rank a year.  It can be even as simple as demanding that the BSA buy American made products for the Scout Store.

Why do we do this?  As I have stated, the people posting the original question are reaching out for support and answers.  After a couple of good solutions, the forum twists into a pissing match.  Yes, I get that all Districts and Councils are not doing what my Council and District is currently doing.  Not all Professional Scouters are created equal.  We and they have flaws.  However, if you say you believe in the program and live by the Scout Oath and Law, you really need to step back and look at your actions.  Your actions speak volumes, more than words.  If a Scout read some of these forums that are posted by maybe one of their Adult Leaders, they might think differently.

One real interesting tidbit is that people will use “I am a Wood Badger” and that seems to be played as a trump card. King of the Hill mind you.  Remember, even idiots can go to Wood Badge.  Just because you have gone, does not mean your a genius.  If you really have gone to Wood Badge, then you will “listen” to the others and seek understanding and then work to find a solution.  Also, just because your an expert in your field of Robotic Nuclear Rocket Medicine, does not make your an expert of what Scouts need to learn. If you get suggestions on how to do something over and over again, and your not getting it….

Remember, if you want to teach the Scouts what you think they should know, you should first be what you want them to be.  Live by example.  It is as Lord Baden-Powell said “Success in training the boy largely depends upon the Scoutmaster’s own personal example.”  Remember, what you post, is your example.  And treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Yours in Scouting….

About Adam R. Cox

Current Skyloo District Commissioner Current Skyloo District & Council Trainer Current Council Member at Large (Cascade Pacific Council) Former Tiger DL & CM of P221 in Pioneer District Former Skyloo District CS Roundtable Commissioner. Former Ast Council Commissioner for Commissioner Tools and Communication Former Pioneer District Training Chair WE1-492-09 Beaver W1-492-11 Bobwhite TG ASM Logistic W1-492-17-2
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  1. Shawn says:

    Very well said. I do have experience in some of the areas you don’t yet, and you will definitely be an asset to your son’s troop when the time comes.
    One thing I want to address: I know people who have attended Wood Badge and still don’t “get it.” I also know people who haven’t attended for one reason or another who most definitely do “get it.” However, Wood Badge is well worth everyone’s time, money, blood, sweat, and tears.


  2. Fawn Walden says:

    I agree if I hear well I’ve got Woodbadge and you don’t one more time! Just because they had the $300 to spend on Wood badge doesn’t make them a better leader.


  3. Eric says:

    Well said. There are a couple of forums I gave up on a few years ago because of the know-it-alls.


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