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By:    On: 2012-01-23

One of the biggest challenges troops face in developing youth leaders is getting the adults out of the way. If things get the least bit out of hand at a troop meeting, for example, we adults are far too quick to step in, shout “Sign’s up,” restore order – and totally undermine the senior patrol leader’s authority.

Unfortunately, nobody has figure out a way to fix the problem – until now. I have an idea that I think would work. Although I feel good about it, I haven’t implemented it, so I’d love to hear from you if you give it a try.

The idea is to adapt the concept of the “cuss jar” that some people use to break bad habits. Here’s how the idea works: Get a big jar and label it “Never Send a Man to Do a Boy’s Job.” Cut a slot in the lid, and put the jar in a prominent place in your meeting room. Then, challenge each of your youth and adult leaders to be on the lookout for instances where an adult leader undercuts a youth leader’s authority. The fine: a quarter (or a dollar – whatever the market will bear). When you reach a designated amount of money, order pizza or ice cream for a PLC meeting.

Will the idea work? I don’t know, but it seems to me it offers a fun alternative to confronting that adult who just can’t get out of den leader mode. Give it a try, and let me know what happens.


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