Have you ever had a Scout run for office who was more interested in prestige than responsibility? Have you ever had a Scout who was frustrated because he couldn’t get elected senior patrol leader even though his only experience was as deputy assistant bugler? Have you ever had a youth leader who had plenty of ability but no vision for what he wanted to accomplish in his term?
Youth leadership is an essential part of the Boy Scout program, yet our Scouts often don’t understand why they should (or shouldn’t!) run for office, which offices they should run for, and what they should do once they’ve been elected. That’s why I like Nick Dannemiller’s recent post, “So You Want to Be Chief?”, so much. Dannemiller is the current national chief of the Order of the Arrow, and his post addresses Scouts who are considering running for office within the OA. However, his advice applies just as well to your troop. Consider, for example, this bit of advice:
Do your job, and do it well. Every elected position in this organization is important. If you find yourself currently in one of those positions with the hope to move on to a different position (note not “higher” or “better”), you first need to make sure you are committing your time and energy into that role. How well you carry out the duties of your current office will speak louder than any election speech.
“So You Want to Be Chief?” ought to be required reading for every Scout who’s thinking about–or ought to be thinking about–running in your next round of troop elections.