*Note: Anytime we mention “crew” hereafter also applies to “company”. Some aspects may depend on the individual group.
Advisors, How Do They Work?
Advisors are there to give advice when it’s called for, to guide youth through the program that the youth have created. While they should have a chance to weigh-in on program choices and development, they should not be planning or creating the program exclusively. Advisors should be able to identify weaknesses and strengths within their crew and suggest development for the members who need it and how to overall strengthen, support and solidify the leadership skills in their youth. Ideally, an Advisor ensures paperwork has been filed correctly and that the group has created a meeting plan, camp, hike or other event that will enrich the attendees in some way. (Keep in mind, that enrichment may be as simple as social interaction or the purpose of fun.)
Rover Advisors are the wonderful people who step up the aid us through this time in our Scouting careers – they understand that Rovers are at once self-sufficient, while still looking to have someone nearby to watch their successes and help pick them up and dust them off when they need it. For this age group, the Advisor should be attending meetings and should also be positive in the knowledge that if they cannot attend a meeting, event or camp that the Rovers will carry out the plans accordingly, having fun and enjoying themselves while being safe.
If youth seem stuck in a rut, an Advisor may do something to switch it up. An example could be little friendly competitions such as a camp meal challenge – “Youth plan and cook their own meals with recipes they haven’t tried before, Advisors do the same” to see how creative you can be. These are wonderful learning opportunities and will get youth thinking of ways to do better next time. Advisors: be creative in challenges and you will start to lead your youth in such a sneaky way that they don’t know you’re pushing them to do, and be, better.
How do they earn their paycheque? (It’s massive, trust us.)
Foundational Quality 3: Honourable
Integrity can be considered as the condition of “not doing what’s wrong.” Character can be defined as doing the right thing for the mere reason that it is the right thing, even if that thing is difficult and unpopular. The two sewn together make honour. Author Jeff O’Leary, in The Centurion Principles, writes, “Honour’ encompasses the virtue of integrity and honesty, self-denial, loyalty, and a servant’s humility to those in authority above as well as a just and merciful heart to those below.”
Honour is such a rarely used word in our times that it seems a little old-fashioned. But living a life of integrity and character is timeless and, for a leader, absolutely necessary. It’s about choices, and a person’s choices in life follow him to the grave.
Is this to say that a person needs to be perfect to become a leader? Of course not. Perfection in this life is not possible, and we, the authors, are certainly not exceptions. However, a leader must strive continually toward perfection even though she knows she can never attain it. It is a question of the heart. The most effective leaders throughout history have led with their hearts, in trust, and with honour. If a leader cuts corners, misuses people, or misrepresents the truth, a time bomb begins ticking. Someday, somewhere, the bomb will go off. It is obvious in our times only too often: public figures at the pinnacle of power and fame crash and burn in a cloud of self-inflicted shame. From political scandals to high-profile corporate frauds, these calamities are brought on by a lack of honour in the leadership.
My name is Kimberly McGilvray; I’m a Senior Rover Scout/Cub Scout Leader with the 21st Highlanders at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. When you meet me for the first time, you wouldn’t expect me to have a constant inner turmoil. You might assume that I am attending university and volunteer with a local Scout group. I have a mental disorder marked by alternating periods of elation and depression, which is known as Bipolar. Wikipedia provides a good plain language definition:
“Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis for a mood disorder in which people experience disruptive mood swings. These encompass a frenzied state known as mania (or hypomania) usually alternated with symptoms of depression. Bipolar disorder is defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes.”
To illustrate this point, I have created the graph below with the following explanation to help you understand.
The blue line across the middle of the picture is the “normal” range of human emotional ups and downs.
“Downs” are when you get dumped by your partner, find out that after all your studying you still fail your exam, hear about your parents getting a divorce, or your pet has ended up on death’s door – for example.
“Ups” are when you’ve just passed that exam, eaten a rather delicious burger, finally got that promotion you’ve been waiting for, found out you’re about to become a parent, or just had delicious mind altering sex – for example.
The green line is an example of the mood swings a normal person may experience, kind of veering from ups and downs at an occasional but not overly dramatically or sudden sense.
The purple line is someone suffering from bipolar. I think you get the gist, somewhat sudden, erratic, and way above and below the normal range of ups and downs.
So, what does that have to do with anything? Continue reading