Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive
Here is a BRAND NEW tool to help make sure that your unit values are aligned with the values of your Scout families!
Why Alignment is Important
Scouting is families working together to help raise each other’s kids. When we look at Scouting like this, it reminds us that Scouting is a community function. Each unit is a reflection of its families and charter organization.
There are some things in Scouting which we require be done the same way:
- We must adhere to Scouting safety guidelines at all times to ensure that everyone feels physically, emotionally, and socially safe.
- We require all our members to do their best to adhere to Scout Oath & Law – to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
There are other areas of Scouting that provide units the chance to make it their own. Each parent brings their unique skills to the group, and the Scouts learn skills that range from music, to camping, robotics, first aid and everything in between. However, like all communities and families, sometimes discord evolves out of the peace and fun. We understand that people see the world differently and therefore they have different expectations for how Scouting fits into their family. It is important that we know that there are lots of ways to do Scouting.
We find families and parents work best and develop harmony when all the families are aligned.
To help our Scout families self-identify what’s important to the group assembled, we recommend each family fill out the quick but insightful family alignment tool. This tool which we call “How do you Scout?” calculates the program features and intensity of those features that are most important to the families in your unit. Then it provides a simple chart for each of the 8 areas of alignment to help the families know their starting point on each topic, as well as the intensity level.
The purpose is to inform and equip you with some ideas and language to have conversations to figure out what your family priorities are and whether the unit can run in a way that is respectful of your wishes. By identifying possible areas mis-alignment, the adults can make conscious and intentional decisions about those topics.
We suggest an annual family meeting of all the parents in a unit to go through the group results. This way, each year all the parents can reaffirm “How they want to Scout.” Our hope is that if we all do this, we will increase the chance that everyone can find the right group of people to Scout with.
In order to get the most out of this experience, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Our plan is to understand how your family wants to participate in Scouting and use that to determine fit with the unit.
- People don’t always agree, but that’s okay.
- We all have a voice in the unit.
- We understand that everyone is doing what they think is right for their family.
- We must trust each other to be genuine.