I worked with a group of Boys Scouts for several years as a volunteer instructor.
The first meeting I attended(at request of 2 parents) left me in shock; the boys were generally out of control. This was due to a lack of leadership by the Scoutmaster & parents who attended.
I was approached by 2 parents who I’d known for years; we played on softball teams in competitive tournaments.
Would I work with them if they took over the troop, as co scoutmasters?
Could I teach outdoor skills to the troop; really “do something”.
I said I could, and I would, but they had to totally back me up
We would not be hanging around the troop’s meeting house; we would be doing outdoor activities & community work projects.
The 2 parents took over the troop as co scoutmasters.
I don’t know how that was done; I had no part in the coup…
Attended my first meeting with them as co scoutmasters; introduced myself & began to outline the “new agenda”…
Two kids were kicked out of the meeting due to disruption. It was winter; there was 7 or 8 inches of snow on the ground. Kid’s parents were there; they raised no issues.
To make a long story short; disruption, chaotic behavior, and failure to follow directions brought about natural consequences. Smarter kids got the message real quick.
Some took longer.
Some bailed out of the troop.
All the kids received instruction in first aid, water safety, CPR, canoeing, rock climbing, rappeling, caving, backpacking and search & rescue. All participated in rock climbing, rappelling, caving, canoeing, backpacking, search & rescue activities on multiple occasions. They completed multiple community projects.
Some of them fell by the wayside. A hard core group hung in there.
Before long, they were policing each others behavior. If they didn’t, all suffered the consequences. Slowly but surely they took virtually total responsibility for themselves & others…
In the end about 10 of them did a 2 week backpacking expedition at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in New Mexico. I attended & participated; my expenses paid by the troop. I & the parents who went to Philmont gave some advice, but the scouts led the trip with us mainly acting as tourists.
5 or 6 of them achieved Eagle Scout status. All the kids are now married with their own kids, and in varied professions . Several have college degrees. When I see them; they want to BS about the “good old days” as scouts. They know now how those good old days came to be.
If there is no control of behavior; nothing is learned.
P.S. My training in military was often used; I was a Military Policeman, and a Drill Sergeant.