When Kids Grow Up . . .

This past weekend I led our Troop Advancement Outing.  As the Scoutmaster, it’s my one outing where I am officially “in charge.”  That term is used very loosely because the boys plan everything.  I only make sure that the outing is focused on helping the new kids work on things that help them advance in rank.

It seems that every campout I run for the Advancement Outing has a unique weather element to it !!  This year we had below freezing temperatures, rain and sleet. Yipee !!  You have to love Ohio in April !!  The amazing thing about this weather anomaly was that the boys didn’t even flinch an eye.  Sure, it was cold, but they were camping and that was good enough for them.

During this full weekend, the older Scouts taught the new Scouts how to build fires, wield axes, identify plants and animals as well as basic First Aid.  One requirement we always include is a five mile hike.  I always go with the kids because I love doing the activies with them !!  The hike rocked !!!  We saw evidence of deer, raccoons and beavers.  We saw plants and trees we’d never seen before and the highlight of the hike was the break we took.  We stopped at a creek and I told the boys they could spend 15 minutes creeking.  They literally jumped off the bridge and straight into the freezing water !!  They searched for crayfish, fossils, caves, etc.  The energy level skyrocketed !!

Later, our First Aid walk was truly epic !!  The boys walk through the woods and come upon various injured people and they have to identify the problem and a solution to how to help them.  My amazing son led this and came up with Attack of the Insane Doll !!  So, each injured scout along the route had been attacked by a stuffed childhood toy and left the boys punctured, blistered, burned, rabid and broken – with a compound fracture.  The boys who acted out the walk were spectacular and the make-up and props were of Hollywood quality.

So, what does this have to do with HR or the workplace ??  Everything !!

You know what happens to kids when grow up ??  They become our employees !!

So, the bright-eyed and creative kids who jump into a freezing creek and get muddy and soaked may be CEO’s !!  The victims of the insane doll may be engineers, factory workers or managers.

However, when they grow up and come to WORK we have to do our duty to suck their souls out to make sure they “perform” and don’t bring their whole self to work.  We have standards to uphold for goodness sake.

Also, if employees actually did bring their entire being to work, what would happen ??  The sad thing is that we don’t know.  People put on their work face to make sure that things get done and order is ensured.  Also sad !!

Blur the LineWe have a great opportunity in HR to eradicate this and get the kid factor back into our workplaces.  When I think of culture, I want to see people who are engaged, genuine and playful.  I’m fortunate to be at a company that not only allows that – it expects it.

So, this week be a kid.  You know you want to and the other kids around you are just waiting for someone to break out and make it FUN versus it being WORK.  The creek’s waiting . . . just watch out for that doll !!

5 thoughts on “When Kids Grow Up . . .”

  1. Spot on! Part of my work is getting the leadership of small and emerging companies to recognize the entirety of their gifts; the whole person and the gifts with which they were endowed. We could truly elevate the game completely if we would foster an environment that allows “all of us” to bring “all of us” to work. The creativity would just flow!

  2. Great story Steve. I have a friend who was out camping this weekend just gone over here and they experienced below freezing temperatures at night. Thank goodness for bacon in the morning eh 😉

    Two things jump out at me from your blog. First – yes, let’s blur the edges between work and play, and I’d add art into that mix too. Second – learning from kids is great useful fun. I helped run a bring your kids to work day for a client during which we laughed and learned loads. In case you and your readers are interested, here is a link to what we discovered and cocreated together.

    http://stopdoingdumbthingstocustomers.com/learning/dreams-of-children/

    Cheers – Doug

  3. Great comparison. I am a den leader for Cub Scouts, and I can see that these boys are growing up fast and will be out in the “real world” before we know it. One thing I hear myself saying all of the time in scouts is that we can’t allow or excuse bad behavior from the boys. The same can be said in any workplace, whether the behavior is coming from a service worker or the CEO of the company. It’s important to model the behavior we wish to see in others.

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