Silver and Gold Party
I believe all Scouting units should support each other with the intent that all youth get the opportunity to experience Scouting. Some troops in a community see other troops as competition and refuse to help the other units improve. By having all units improve, Scouting improves, and more youth will tend to participate - maybe not participate in your unit, but still be in Scouting.
Providing the framework for, and attitude of, Cooperation rather than Competition, the youth leaders of your units can gain more skills and improve Scouting for their fellow Scouts. A periodic gathering of leaders is a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to do that.
Once each quarter, all SPLs and ASPLs are invited to gather and share what they have done, share what they have planned, and ask questions of the group. I call it a Silver and Gold Party because of the SPL and ASPL patches, but call it whatever you think would draw participation.
The Hook: How do you entice youth to participate? Pizza, rootbeer floats, sundaes, 6-foot sub, .. - around $2 per person that each participant should bring. If bling is your thing, maybe a gold star or some such device to pin on their position patch for each party they attend.
The Line: How does knowledge get shared? Each SPL takes only 1-2 minutes to talk about their troop's recent activities and what they have coming up in the next 3 months. The leader lists activity titles on a whiteboard. After all the presentations, anyone can ask questions about activities - how well it worked, planning involved, what to do different next time, and the like.
The Sinker: How do the troops improve? SPLs commit to taking ideas back home. These could be "Gee, it looks like we're doing everything right!" or "Hey, over at Troop XXX they're going to YYY this summer!" The youth learn from each other how their counterparts are doing things and pick up tips, ideas, and enthusiasm.
The Grab Bag: Allow an open time for scouts to ask each other for advice on any Scouting topic - How do you get scouts to be quiet? Are your new scouts as weird as ours? How do you handle electronics? What's a good lights out time? They can ask advice about anything they're finding to be a challenge.
For the first couple parties, someone (probably the adult organizing this) leads the gathering, but having a different troop's SPL lead it each quarter is best. Holding it at each troop's meeting place lets everyone see the "home turf" of other units and get ideas.
If done each quarter, then SPLs in troops that elect every 6 months can attend twice.
With 5 troops, set aside 5-10 minutes for ice breaker and showing off the host troop's meeting area, 5 minutes to get food, 10-15 minutes for SPL reports, 15 minutes of QnA, 10 minutes of discussion, 5 minute wrap-up, and out of there in under an hour.
Posted: 19:51 05-15-2019 1359
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