Scoutmaster Musings - Keeping Interest

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Scoutmaster Musings

Keeping Interest
For the scouting skills required for advancement, there are enough experienced scouts that can teach and pass on the skills to the newer scouts. But, how do the experienced scouts learn new stuff that keeps them interested?

This troop has peer patrols rather than mixed-age patrols. The oldest patrol has 6 scouts, all of whom will be aging out over the next year.

At the last PLC meeting, their patrol leader started a discussion around his patrol's view that the PLC is always asking them to help the little scouts and they don't do anything fun at troop meetings.

When I was asked to join the discussion, I acknowledged that they are often asked to lead, mentor, and teach since they have the skills and experience to share. That's the way things work, not just in scouts, but everywhere.

I asked if there were any particular things the experienced scouts wanted to do, but they had no specific ideas. I offered a few ideas and they thought they sounded interesting.

I made a deal with them. They organize an interesting, interactive, fun knot-tieing session for a troop meeting. If it is well-planned and executed, then the next troop meeting there will be a race car and some sports cars and an expert to present racing skills to them.

After that, if they want to do more, there will be other new activities as long as they continue a high level of mentoring and support of the troop. Other ideas offered by adults in the troop include airplanes, advanced first aid, rock music gear, gas engines, and chemistry. My hope is that the scouts will soon come up with ideas they want to do, otherwise it will fail.

If this catches on, then it may become a venture patrol over time. Even though ideas are a dime a dozen, without them things get stagnant.

Scout On
Posted: 15:51 04-23-2008 322
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