Chapter 10 - Knowing and Understanding Group Resources

This competency enables a learner to:

About Group Resources

What happens when a group of people meet for the first time? An informal process of "getting to know you" always takes place. Standard rituals of introduction take place: "Where do you live? What school do/did you attend? What do you do? Where were you born? Where did you grow up?" People do a lot of quick assessment: "How much can I trust this fellow?" "Does he do things by the book?" "Is this someone I'd like to spend more time with?"

Helping Members Learn About Group Resources

This competency enhances the accidental, serendipitous encounter. It provides an informal but recognized stage when these exchanges can be made and acknowledged. The process increases the intensity of the exchanges, promoting honesty and trust. It accelerates the rate at which the group begins to coalesce and develop commitment to a common purpose. Greater productivity and increased quality are the results.

As a leader, it is a good idea to introduce activities that help the individuals in the group to become acquainted with one another's skills, knowledge, and abilities. Showing off a school transcript or resume is not what we mean. The idea is to challenge the individuals and the group in such a way that they are required to draw on each other for assistance.

For example, when a patrol was challenged to throw a line over a tree in order to fetch a bucket containing "radioactive" material, the boys were astounded when one of the girls in the group proved herself better at knot-tying than any of them.

In another instance, the group was forming up well and responding to some harsh wind and wet conditions on a staff training hike. The adult leader took one of the members aside and asked him how his ankle was. "My ankle?" replied the youth, puzzled. "Yes. Didn't I see you twist it a while back?" "No." "Oh, I'm sure you did. Let's see how the rest of the group handles this," responded the leader. The group's use of resources, mostly their own fortitude and ability to pull together, were subsequently tested. A more serious "injury" could have required them to create a stretcher, additionally testing their resources, but that scenario was not appropriate in this instance.

Getting to Know Individual Resources

Knowing and Using Group Resources is usually introduced as the group is forming, as it is a means to the end of creating group morale and spirit. The patrol, after being given a name, is typically asked more than once if they have a yell, song, and flag. When asked about materials for a flag, the Patrol Counselor responds, "Gee, where do you think you could find the resources for a patrol flag within the troop?" If the camper is stumped, the leader might add a hint: "Ever heard of a Quartermaster?" Types of Resources

Resources are, for our purposes, inexhaustible. We as leaders work primarily through others; we assume that everyone's limits can be expanded, and that no one ever reaches their fullest potential. Resources are also, by our general definition, all inclusive. They include the tangible and intangible--the sun, trees, people, time, a knife--everything is a resource.

On a practical level, there are two types of resources that a leader needs to pay attention to, human and physical resources.

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