Our central work, our focus, as Scout leaders is to create opportunities for Scouting: to create chances, approaches and advantages :
OPPORTUNITY: A combination of circumstances favorable for the purpose; a good chance or occasion to advance oneself. Favorable circumstances: an opening, event, probability, possibility. A suitable time, occasion, moment.
CHANCE: The happening of events without apparent cause, or the apparent absence of cause or design, an unpredictable event, a risk or gamble, an advantageous or opportune time or occasion, a possibility or probability.
APPROACH: to move close to something, going towards something, a way of dealing with a situation or problem.
ADVANTAGE: A beneficial factor or combination of factors, a relatively favorable position; superiority of means.
Opportunity is an encouragement in itself to experience something new or beneficial.
Once the opportunity is offered we step back and see what happens next. This bears repeating: step back and see what happens next.
We’ll be disappointed to see some Scouts miss some opportunities some of the time but we don’t want to focus on that. What we want to focus on are those that take advantage of what’s provided.
Focus on the Scouts who take advantage of opportunity and study their reactions. Let that inform your approach to strengthening the way opportunities are created. Concentrate on the Scouts who show up, not the ones who stayed home.
Once we do this we learn encourage those activities and approaches that are at the heart of Scouting; the ones that work.
In a Scout troop we’ll be doing this by training and mentoring our youth leaders to create opportunities more than by creating those opportunities ourselves.
We don’t want to create an opportunity and then rub the Scout’s faces in until they take advantage of the opportunity in the way we think they should. When I do this I tend to get frustrated. Once you see your work as creating opportunity and then stepping back to see what happens you’ll be less frustrated and more effective.