Rule #1 – Respect. Respect is the first of the two rules, and covers all of the decisions Rangers will make regarding people problems and property problems.Question – is talking over your commander while he is giving instructions respectful. Question – is taking something that belongs to one of your fellow Ranger respectful. Question – is damaging church property on purpose respectful.
Note: If you answered yes to all three, please skip the rest of these notes and relisten to the podcast!
Rule #2 – Safety. Safety covers everything else.Question – is it safe for a Ranger to take a canoe down the Peace River by himself in the dark? Question – is it safe for a Ranger Kid to leave camp by himself?
Hint: “The answer to all of these questions is NO!”
By implementing these two rules at every Outpost level, boys learn quickly how to govern themselves.
First you have to get all of your leadership on board and maintain consistency throughout the Outpost. At all of our event at OP 169 we have a start time. Over the years we have adopted some sort of 5 minute warning or countdown preceding that start time. Our boys know that when the time runs down, the music fades or whatever the cue that is their time to get quiet and listen for instructions. If they are still restless the commander will simple ask, loud enough for everyone to here, “Rule number one”! Usually 85% of the boys will respond, “Respect”! The Commander will ask again, “Rule number one”? 99% of the boys will respond, “Respect”! If there are new boys in the group it only take a couple of time before they get it.
Everyone has to be consistent with this. Every classroom, every event, and every group gathering should be used an as opportunity to reinforce the two rules. Remember there are only TWO rules. Games don’t have rules they have instructions. Merit lessons don’t have rules they have instructions. For example, if we are taking a nighttime canoe trip there are just two rules. Respect and safety. There may be several instructions. Following instructions falls under what rule? Your right, respect and safety.
Rules without relationship breeds rebellion, rules with relationship breeds respect. Without a relationship with your rangers not one rule with work. We have found that the fastest and most lasting relationship occurs when your in the middle of an adventure. Boys will share their deepest fears and reveal their most confident skills on an adventure.
The beauty in all of this is that it’s age appropriate right out of the box. One groups safety, might be different from another. That’s where you get to help them use the two rules to govern themselves.
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