Scoutmaster Musings - The Taming

> > > Triple Prizes < < < 

Scoutmaster Musings

The Taming
I've spent quite a few hours over the past year reading some Baden-Powell writings and some early year Scoutmaster handbooks. As I read them, I can see my friends and me doing exactly what they describe - running through fields for no reason but to run, doing things our own way whether right or wrong, turning anything at all into a game. As I've reflected on these books and tried to use what I can from them to improve what our troop offers for the scouts, I've run into a tough realization over and over.

I can't help but notice that boys have been tamed. Given complete leeway to choose absolutely any activity for a troop meeting, we still sit in rows of chairs, have announcements, have instruction, and sit. We have no one tussling, rough-housing, even thumb wrestling. Nothing gets broken, no clothes get ripped. These scouts appear to prefer to sit and listen to someone talk than go outside and climb a tree. Even with direct prompting from me at the PLC meetings, an active game just isn't part of a meeting. I must be wrong. There must be something I'm missing.

When we're on campouts, if there is any free time, they sit. They don't run off and explore or get in trouble. They just sit and maybe work on some advancement.

It's almost like watching tamed bears. They do neat tricks, but you just know they should naturally be doing something else. It may be that our community, in general, is very driven to have kids excel. Since kindergarten, organized activities such as school, sports, music, and playgroups have dominated these boys' lives. Maybe they really don't know how to cut loose and have fun without a schedule and a goal. But, it's probably just that they are used to troop meetings being a certain way and they're in a rut.

So, now I'm at the 'lets try an experiment' point. And, that's what I'm planning for the next few months. I'm collecting a bunch of things my buddies and I used to do. Stuff like pitching pennies, pen guns, match rockets, hand slaps, tree climbing, rock skipping, whatever I can remember. At the next PLC, I'll ask the SPL if I could have a 10-15 minute chunk of time at the next 4 troop meetings for a Scoutmaster Challenge or some such thing.

Assuming the SPL agrees, then I'll get an Assistant Scoutmaster for each patrol and explain the plan to them. At the meeting, they'll each take a patrol and show them the activity and then step back and let the scouts play. I don't think we'll have competitions, but if the scouts move towards that, then great!

After a few meetings I'll know if this has become a part of the meeting that scouts look forward to or not. If it is, then I'll need to chat with the PLC about the experiment and how it's time for me to step back and they can start an SPL Challenge instead. Hopefully, that will be a good start to some brainstorming of active games to try. If that happens, it will be a good big step back towards FUN.

Scout On
Posted: 16:11 11-02-2007 248
    Previous Post     Next Post        archives:   2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005      Scoutmaster Musings - RSS Feed

Site Disclosure Statement

Follow Me, Boys

Recent Comments
Major Dad on Msgr Peace Award
Major Dad on Msgr Peace Award
Michelle W on Archery belt loop
Tom on Boy Scout Uniform
Larry A on Totin Chip award
Paul on Boy Scout Uniform
Mary on Boy Scout Uniform
Mary on Square Knots
Maria on 2nd Class Scout
Mark Kilcup on Fly Fishing MB
More Comments...

Contest   -   Ask a Question   -   Add Content   -   scout software

This site is not officially associated with the Boy Scouts of America
listeria testingscout software
Boy Scouts  
Boy Scout Trail
Cub Scouts
Boy Scouts
My Blog

Group Games
Merit Badges
SM Minutes
Pen Pals

Online Tests
Our Schedule
Our Progress


Shop 4 Stuff
Privacy Policy
ICRA labeled

Find more Scouting Resources at
This site is not officially associated with the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scout Trail Home Bobcat Tiger Cub Scout Wolf Cub Scout Bear Cub Scout Webelos Boy Scout Tenderfoot Scout 2nd Class Scout 1st Class Scout Star Scout Life Scout Eagle Scout