Working with Challenging
Hudson Valley Council
A few weeks ago I went to
the Hudson Valley Council Pow Wow and attended a great session on this topic.
Commissioner Scott was well organized and thoroughly knew his topic and
graciously sent me a copy of his outline to share with you. Let’s give him a
big Heap How!! CD
Step 1 - Be Proactive vs.
An ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure!
The best way to deal with a
problem is to avoid having the problem. Proactive actions are usually seen in
a positive light. Where as reactive actions are often seen as negative.
Here are nine proactive
actions you can take to prevent problems with adults -
essence of being proactive
the 5 P’s
Prior Planning Prevents
plans B, C, D, E, F & G and more!
Get as much
input from those affected as possible
much advance notice as possible – avoid calendar conflicts, etc.
to communicate your plan to those who need to know (see below)
meaningful Annual Pack Planning meetings, Den meetings, Pack meetings, etc.
Know the program
Training (see next item)
established policies found in resources such as the Cub Scout Leaders Book,
the Guide to Safe Scouting, and other Scout Handbooks, …
procedures – file that tour Permit two weeks ahead of the trip
– have two adults at every event
the Rank advancement requirements. Learn the scouting vocabulary used in the
requirements and what it means. E.G. – Show or tell means for the Scout to
show or tell you something, not you to show or tell the Scout something.
trained leader is better able to adapt to problems as they occur and to
address issues as they arise
build your confidence –
help you to know the program (see above)
Go to all
levels of training - New Leader Essentials, Youth Protection Training , Cub
Scout Leader Position Specific Training, BALOO / Webelos Leader Outdoor
Roundtables, Universities of scouting, and Pow-Wows to meet with other
Scouters, share information, get ideas and new resources.
Communications (The Big “C”
ASSUME people know what’s going on or that they understood what you said –
Be clear /
(Study showed that over 95% of all people listen with the intent of
responding versus understanding)
Body language can tell you how well you are doing
/ meeting programs / announcements all are one way communications – follow up
to be sure the message was delivered.
Know / embrace the things
that create the most “issues” with the adults and address them before hand:
charge? Leadership (see next item)
Pinewood Derby as an example -
Ribbons vs. trophies – less competition
way before hand
A Race for
adults could eliminate Dad’s need to show off with his son’s car
Use the process in the publication, Selecting Cub Scout
Leadership published by National Council.
It is Bin Item 13-500 or is available on line at
Click on Cub
Scouting under site index and then Selecting a Cub Scout Leader.
selective, Take time to talk with prospective leaders,
Get to know
them; they have significant impact on the boys
atmosphere that makes leadership special, valuable and valued
leaders will create problems
leadership - start them off slow – working on a committee or event team (Blue
& Gold, trip, overnighter)
“Parent and Family Talent Survey Sheet”
part of the team it’s harder (not impossible) to criticize.
(see below) – when you’re having fun it’s harder (again, not impossible) to be
everybody participates at Pack meetings, etc.
about/communicate your needs
Face-to-face / one-on-one
as to you needs when asking – Tiger program, activity needs (drive, phone
“small”/slow, ease them in to things
forget to thank them – publicly and privately
needs a pat on the back and it costs nothing
Keep at it
to keep people involved
work yesterday may work today
today’s involvement for granted tomorrow
AND FINALLY - THE BIG TWO
Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, defined Scouting as “Fun with a
Keep It Simple, MAKE IT FUN!
to be “a problem” (not impossible) when you’re having fun.
routine / boredom – don’t use the same ceremony twice, always camp at the same
place, see the same team in action.
everybody involved (see above) at Den meetings, Pack activities / outings, and
your age! People will respond and have fun, as long they don’t feel obvious.
The more active the
(Emcee) is, the less obvious the audiences feels, the more they will respond.
yourself too seriously
loud and at yourself
joke time, hats, horns,
I love that part!!
Yes definitely – a good, active song leader can get even the most
self-conscious person to sing out!!
the wonder of being 8 years old…
And always remember –
ABOUT THE BOYS! (4 words / 15 letters)
If you’re in Scouting for any
You’re in it for the wrong
Focus/always keep coming back to “Why am I here? – The BOYS”
attitude will help make issues with adults not look too big or seem too
It is why
the Den Leader is the most important leader – without a good Den Leader; there
will not be a quality den program. Without quality den programs, there will
be NO BOYS. Without boys you don’t need Cubmasters, Roundtable Commissioners,
District Execs and Commissioners or Councils!!
yourself - Why am I a Leader??
the poem in the Prayers and Poems section!
read it aloud to your adults, they’ll get the message
remind people why you’re there – the BOYS (including their son)
Step #2 - But remember -
Problems will happen
So there will be times when
you need to be Reactive
These are usually negative and
problem based. With so many people/personalities in a unit they are
unavoidable – expect them, accept them
Six hints for handling
these are -
of people listen with the intent of responding NOT understanding (try and be
one of the 5%)
put yourself in the other persons shoes
may not be with you or Scouting. There may be issues at home (i.e. divorce,
laid off from work, etc.)
The problem/issue/concern may
focus on the facts and NOT the emotions.
enough to admit when something is/you’re wrong – it may be simply a
misunderstanding or bad communication
you’re only human – we ALL make mistakes.
goes a long way
Be responsive / Take
things slide. People want to feel as if they’ve been heard and understood
something’s wrong – FIX IT!
If you say
you’re going to do something, DO IT - when you say you’re going to do it.
mistakes – they’re great teachers!
Don’t hold a grudge
IT’S ABOUT THE BOYS!
have to agree to disagree
problem is resolvable
“challenging” adult can be turned around
Use Other resources
leaders – maybe you know someone else who has been through what you’re going
through and can lend a different perspective.
that resentment doesn’t fuel the fire
Commissioners, Commissioner staff, Professional staff, District Executive,
etc, all are there to help you!
IT’S ABOUT THE BOYS!
you want to reach Commissioner Scott, you can E-mail him at